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Larson Wins Again at Williams Grove

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Chad Warner

WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now – July 17, 2020): Kyle Larson’s amazing hot streak continued at the Williams Grove Speedway. The former NASCAR pilot captured the Tommy Hinnershitz Memorial Classic named for the first-ballot Hall of Fame driver who happened to score the first victory in the 81 years of the historic track. Larson was greeted in victory lane by a member of the Hinnershitz family, who readily agreed that Tommy would have been proud of the rim-riding style displayed by Larson throughout most of the race. Ironically, the winning move was something Larson had learned from his good friend, Lance Dewease. On lap 26, Larson dove low in turn three and blasted by Anthony Macri who was seeking his first 410 Sprint Car win at the track.

“I’ve won a lot of races, but I have never been on a streak like this before,” Larson said modestly. Despite the down time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the missed races due to his NASCAR obligation, Larson now has more than 20 victories in Sprint Car and Midget competition.

“I felt really good the whole race,” he said. He admitted to being “a little sloppy” until he adjusted his wing. That enabled him to get off the corners better. Adding to his late-race advantage, the straightaways cleared off and Larson was able to get a run into the corners as well. The higher entry speed led to more momentum through the corners, as was evident when he pulled the trigger on the unsuspecting Macri.

Macri had the pole for the star-studded 30 lapper. Next to him was Kerry Madsen. Row two should have been comprised of Carson Macedo and Sammy Swindell. However, Swindell’s car began to leak oil and water on the pace laps, and he was forced to retire form the contest. That moved up Daryn Pittman to the second row. Larson and Cory Eliason were the third row pairing. David Gravel and Brent Marks lined up in row four and Aaron Reutzel was joined by Kyle Reinhardt in row five.

Macri took the lead, but Madsen, Macedo, Pittman and Larson stayed close in the early going. Macri built up a substantial lead as the laps clicked off. He had a bit of a scare on lap nine, however. “I misjudged the corner and got into the curb,” he explained. Madsen pulled up beside the young driver who kept his poise and the lead. Macri began to pull away again, but his lead was wiped out by the only caution of the race. On lap 15, soon after Macri got the halfway signal, Josh Baughman coasted to a stop on the long back chute.

Macri and Madsen were nose to tail for the restart. Madsen tried to slide under Macri in the first turn, but Macri made a block before sliding up to the cushion. “I went to the bottom on the restart and I tried to carry the momentum around the top,” he explained. The maeuver worked and Macri again began to build his lead over the Aussie.

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“I’ve never had much luck at Williams Grove,” Madsen said. “I thought I had a car that could win it in the middle of the race,” he added. But after his two runs at Macri, Madsen was unable to mount another challenge. Instead, it was Larson who kept getting faster and faster as teh race moved into the final stanza. “Paul (Silva) prepares an awesome car and I can trust it a lot,” Larson noted.

Indeed, he moved into fourth on the restart and he seemed destined to remain there for the rest of the race. But suddenly, the California-based car came to life. He reached second by lap 22 but Macri still had a lead of several car lengths. Larson began to close the gap despite jumpingthe cushion a couple of times in turn four. He was on Macri’s tail with five to go and made the big move one lap later to nail down his second win of the season at the Grove.

Larson and Macri were followed by Madsen, Gravel, and Pittman.Brock Zearfoss rallied in the last ten laps to get sixth. Danny Dietrich advanced ten positions to nab seventh.Macedoand Reutzel crossed before Freddie Rahmer, Jr.

Marks, Swindell, Reutzel, and Macedo took the preliminaries. Lucas Wolfe topped the B Main. The twin dashes went to Macri and Madsen. Larson was the evening’s fastest qualifier with a lap of 16.950 seconds. He was the only friver below 17 seconds this night.

Kevin Nouse scored his second 358 Sprint Car win, leading the entire 20 laps. Doug Hammaker, Chris Frank, Tyler Brehm, and Scott Fisher were the other members of the top five.

Williams Grove Speedway will host the Summer Nationals next Friday and Saturday. The World of Outlaws will be present in full force, but other invaders are expected as the All Stars will be off that weekend. Yung Money (Larson) will also be in the house. Lance Dewease will return in the hopes of scoring his 100th career win at the track.

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Local Racing

Weekend Racing Preview: Fab 4 at Lernerville; RUSH Late Models at PPMS and more

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Steve Skarupa Photography

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – A full weekend of racing both locally and nationally and Pittsburgh Racing Now has a sneak peek of the action on the track.

Fab 4 Racing Friday Night At Lernerville:

  • All Fab 4 Racing Divisions are racing tonight at Lernerville.  Carl Bowser leads the Peoples Natural Gas DIRTcar Sprints standings with an 18-point over AJ Flick.  Colton Flinner leads the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Model standings by 11-points over Tyler Dietz.  In the Diehl Automotive DIRTcar Big Block Modified division Garrett Krummert leads John Mollick and Brian Swartzlander by 12-points.  Tyler Dietz holds a 9-point lead over Corey McPherson in the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar/RUSH Pro Stocks division.  Gates open at 5 p.m. and tonight is “Big Rig Night” sponsored by Trans Edge Trucking.

Williams Grove Postpones Billy Kimmel Memorial:

  • Williams Grove Speedway has cancelled tonight’s racing program due to rain and the forecast for more rain throughout the evening.  Williams Grove will be back in action next week with the Lawrence Chevrolet 410 Sprint Cars, USAC East Coast, 358 Sprints.  The Billy Kimmel Memorial has been added to next week’s program.

Jook George Steel City Classic Saturday At PPMS:

  • The annual “Jook George Steel City Classic” for the RUSH Late Model Touring Division takes place on Saturday at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway (PPMS).  The track and sanctioning body are expecting between 40-and-50-entries for the event, which will pay a minimum of $6,010 to the winner with an additional $1,000-bonus to a driver/team who contributes to the purse.  Check out our preview here.
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Motor Mountain Masters Saturday at Jennerstown:

  • The biggest event of the year for Jennerstown Raceway’s Martella’s Pharmacies Late Model division takes place with the third annual Motor Mountain Masters Saturday. The crown jewel event will bring drivers from the New England states, the South and from  the Midwest to battle the area’s regional stars in a 150-lap race. The Stoystown Auto Wreckers Modified division will also compete. “The Masters” has quickly become one of the most talked about races in the United States. Last year, Todd Stone of Middlebury, Vermont, wore the red sport coat in Stoney’s Beer Victory Lane.

Hank Gentzler Memorial Saturday At Lincoln Speedway:

  • Lincoln Speedway hosts the Hank Gentzler Memorial Manufacturer’s Appreciation Night. Gentzler was a speed shop owner who started the Manufacturers’ Night and always got parts and gift certificates to pass out to the racers. Gentzler’s widow continued things until she sold the business to Pancho Lawlor, who puts the show on in Gentzler’s memory.  Saturday night’s program will include the 410 and 358-Sprints and the Vintage Outlaw Series.  Racing starts at 7:30 p.m.

“Tribute to Curt Hershey” Along With Salute to the Military Night At Port Royal:

  • Port Royal Speedway on Saturday will host a Salute to the Military Night along with a “Tribute to Curt Hershey”.  Hershey was an engine builder in Central PA that passed away in June.  Saturday night’s schedule includes a Pre-race concert along with 410 Sprints, Late Models and the PASS/IMCA 305 Sprints.  Admission is $20, $10 for students, pits $30 and the racing starts at 7:00 p.m.

Michaels Memorial Saturday At Mercer:

  • Saturday at Mercer it’s the Michaels Memorial Show featuring the BRP Big Block Modifieds $ 5,000-to-win; 410-Sprint Cars $2,000-to-win, the 305 sprints, FASTRAK modified and the mighty Mercer mini stocks.
    Grandstand Admission is $20 for adults and $17 for seniors. Pit Passes are $35 for adults, $30 for seniors.
    Pit gates open at 4 p.m., Grandstands at 5 p.m. with the racing starting at 7 p.m.

Sunday Thunder At Tri-City Raceway Park:

  • Sunday at Tri-City Raceway Park it’s the Shawgo Real Estate Sprint Cars, Modifieds (358 cubic inch engines), 4-Your-Car-Connection Mini Stocks, Modified Lites, and Non-Wing Crate-Engine Sprint Cars.  Adult General Admission is $15.  The gates open at 4pm with racing at 6pm

USAC Sprints At Selinsgrove Speedway:

  • Selinsgrove Speedway on Sunday plays host to the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series in the Bill Holland Classic.  Holland was a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native who won the Indianapolis 500 in 1949 and finished second in 1947, 1948 and 1950.  He also won the first-ever event at Selinsgrove.  Racing starts at 7:00 p.m.
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Local Racing

The “Jook George Steel City Classic” Roaring Into Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway

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Pittsburgh Racing Now

IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The “Jook George Steel City Classic” presented by Zarin Truck and Auto for the RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series roars into Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway this Saturday night.

The $6,010-to-win and $400-to-start event also features a $1,000-bonus to the winning driver and team who has contributed to the event.  Miley Motor Sports and race coordinator Branden Lockwich came up with the idea for the bonus last year, which has helped the event continue to grow.

The “Jook George Steel City Classic” became a RUSH Tour race for the first time in 2017 and drew 43 cars with Mike Pegher Jr capturing the $4,010 win. In 2018, a record 51 cars were on hand with Jacob Hawkins scoring the $5,010 win. Last year’s event was the richest in RUSH history as Kyle Lukon (pictured above) scored the $10,010 win and the extra $1,000 contributor bonus!

“Miley Motor Sports is ecstatic about the 31st edition of the RUSH Dirt Late Model Series ‘Jook George Classic’ to honor our great friend of racing, Jook George,” expressed PPMS promoter Matt Miley. “We can’t thank Brandon, the RUSH Team, and all who have contributed enough. It’s a win, win, win, win for racers, fans, sponsors, and the Speedway.”

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“It’s really amazing how this event has grown and how so many people have gotten behind it to make this all possible,” expressed RUSH Director Vicki Emig. “Branden has led the efforts of transforming this from a special weekly event to what was a record breaking major Touring Series show last year. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic that set back Branden’s efforts, it’s unbelievable how this event is still going to turn out. We can’t thank the George Family, Miley Motor Sports, Branden and so many others for their amazing contributions, while allowing us to present this as RUSH Late Model Touring Series event.”

Lockwich is still soliciting contributions from any driver that still would like to expand the purse and be eligible for the bonus as well as contributions from individuals or business.  You can contact Branden at 412-639-3723 or see him at the track on Saturday.

William Thomas “Jook” George had a brief driving career himself, but as he turned to car owner he chose, and had for most of his racing career, the #10 and that was in honor of his racing hero Lou Blaney.  Blaney drove his car on a couple occasions.  George’s most dominant stretch as a car owner came in the late ’70s when Earl Teeters was his driver.  In 1990 George captured the track championship at PPMS in with John Beatty behind the wheel.  In 1993 George won the Fall Classic in with Bill Yakin. George was also nominated as the Sportsman of the Year at PPMS and nominated into the Pittsburgh Circle Track Hall of Fame.

PPMS will also be featuring the Keystone Coach Works Hobby Stocks, the PPMS Pro Stocks, the Four Cylinders, and the Young Guns. Gates Open at 5 p.m., hot laps begin at 6 p.m., immediately followed by the RUSH Late Model Dirt Series qualifying.  For more information visit ppms.com.

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Local Racing

Weekend Racing Notebook

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Paul Arch

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The weekend winners from around the world of motorsports including Local tracks plus the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions, and IMSA.

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All-Star Circuit of Champions Weekend:

  • Cory Eliason picked up his first Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions victory Sunday night at the reopening of Huset Speedway.  Dominic Scelzi finished second and Kerry Madsen rounded out the podium.
  • Kyle Larson won his seventh straight Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 feature on Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway, setting a record with the series. Rico Abreu finished second and Gio Scelzi rounded out the podium.
  • Larson also picked up the win in Friday night’s feature at 34 Raceway.  Eliason finished second and Tucker Klaasmeyer finished third.
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Acura, Corvette, Lexus Claim IMSA Wins At Road America:

  • Helio Castroneves found traction with his Acura ARX-05 where others could not, as he and his Acura Team Penske co-driver Ricky Taylor prevailed in monsoon-like conditions in the final hour to win in the Daytona Prototype International Class in Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America.
  • DragonSpeed USA’s Ben Hanley and Henrik Heeman took home the victory in LMP2.  Hanley switched from slick tires to rain tires as the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA, which was leading went off course due to the wet conditions.  They rallied to finish fourth behind the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA and the No. 18 Era Motorsports ORECA.
  • Corvette Racing scored a 1-2 finish at Road America in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.  The No. 3 Vette with Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia finished first with the No. 4 of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner coming home in second place.
  • Frankie Montecalvo and Townsend Bell parked the AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus in victory lane in the GT Daytona (GTD) class.  The victory was the third straight for the team. Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry finished second in their Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo.

Mother Nature Wins At Tri-City, PPMS, Jennerstown and Port Royal:

  • Rains throughout Western Pennsylvania forced several area race tracks to cancel their programs.  Tri-City cancelled their Sunday program while Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway (PPMS) and Port Royal had to throw the red flag on their programs Saturday night.

Norris, Flick, King Jr & Schneider Win At Lernerville:

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