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Stewart Stuns Them All at Williams Grove

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Trent Gower Photography

WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now – July 24, 2020): Shane Stewart upset the World of Outlaws and the Pennsylvania Posse on the opening night of the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway. It was the first victory of the season for the driver from Bixby, OK, who is running a partial, independent schedule in Bernie Steubgen’s potent machine. Stewart dominated the race and neither Anthony Macri nor Donny Schatz were able to challenge for the lead.

“I was thinking about quitting, but Bernie called me and said, ‘hey, let’s get together for a little schedule,’ and I am very appreciative for the opportunity,” Stewart said. “The car’s been very fast all summer but Bernie’s got a very successful business in Indy (Indy Race Parts) and we don’t get to race much.” Stewart, who took off Thursday night to spend time in the shop of engine builder Charlie Garrett, was ready ti race this night. “We spent the day at Charlie Garrett’s place and he told us a bunch of stories about his successes. It puts a lot of pride in his motors and that puts a lot of pressure on us.” Stewart said that Garret told him earlier in the night, “I will see you in victory lane.”

Stewart had the pole position for the 25 lap preliminary feature. Anthony Macri was by his side and the young, local pilot was looking for his first World of Outlaws win and first career win at the Grove. A pair of Outlaws champions line up behind them, Daryn Pittman and Donny Schatz. Crowd favorite Lance Dewease and David gravel were in the third row, Then came Jacob Allen and Steve Buckwalter. Brad Sweet and Brock Zearfoss were in the fifth row,

Stewart blasted out to an early lead, with Macri, Schatz, Pittman and Dewease in tow. Just as the racers were starting to settle in, the red flag came out for a minor incident in turn three. Landon Myers spun and Wayne Johnson hit him before turning over on his side. Neither driver was injured in the collision.

Stewart led Macri and company into turn one on the restart. Pittman and Schatz started a tug of war for the third position while Dewease watched from some distance back. Gravel followed, while Sweet, Allen, T.J. Stutts, and Freddie Rahmer, Jr. were swapping positions.

Stewart reached the back of the field by lap 12. Although Macri started to close in, he never got the opportunity to see if the traffic would upset Stewart enough to give him a shot at a pass. Brian Montieth brought out a caution that cleared the track for Stewart. On the restart, Macri did throw a slider at Stewart and briefly took the lead. However, Stewart turned back under him coming through the second corner, and Macri resumed the role of chaser.

Three Rivers Karting

Schatz took over third on the restart, followed by Pittman, Dewease, and Gravel.

As the leaders crossed for lap 15, Dewease slowed drastically and coasted to a stop. His bid for win number 100 at the venerable speedway came to an end.

On the ensuing restart, Schatz slid under Macri for second place. But, Schatz was no match for Stewart in the clean air. Stewart completed the last ten laps without incident.

“We were missing lapped traffic tonight,” Schatz explained. “Every time we came close the yellow came out. We needed Shane to move off his line in traffic but he didn’t have to do it.” Macri concurred, adding that he “got upon the curb and bobbled a little bit and I lost my composure for a lap or two.” Nonetheless, he brought his car home third, a very respectable showing.

Fourth went to Pittman and fifth to Grave. Positions six through ten belonged to Sweet, Logan Schuchart, Carson Macedo, Sheldon Haudenschild, and Rahmer.

Dewease, Gravel, Stewart, and Pittman. Stewart won the placement dash. Schuchart topped Haudenschild in the B Main. Dewease clocked the fastest time of the night, 17.025 seconds.

The Summer Nationals will conclude Saturday night at Williams Grove. 410 and 358 Sprints will be on the card next Friday, July 31. Late Models will join the 410s for the Billy Kimmel Memorial on August 7. A show was added to the schedule for August 14, featuring 410 and 358 Sprints, along with the USAC Eastern 360 Sprints.

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Dirt Racing

Opening Night At Lernerville Speedway Postponed

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SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Western Pennsylvania dirt track racers and fans were revving up their engines in preparation for Friday night’s opening night at Lernerville Speedway but Mother Nature had other plans.

Lernerville announced Friday morning that opening night has been postponed due to weather.

Three Rivers Karting

Opening night will now be Friday April 23 with Fab4 racing revved up by Marburger Farm Dairy.

For tickets and more information visit www.lernerville.com.

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Dirt Racing

Shaffer Scores Again at Lincoln

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Lincoln Speedway

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (April 10, 2021): Tm Shaffer became the first repeat winner of the season in the 410 Sprint division at Lincoln Speedway. Shaffer caught a break with eight laps remaining in the contest when Chase Dietz failed to clear the leader, Aaron Bollinger, in a daring two for one slide job attempt in turns three and four. Shaffer was able to turn under the wreck in progress and assumed the point for the restart. He was never headed.

Also grabbing checkers this night were Hayden Miller in the 358 Sprint Cars and Scott Shaffer in the Outlaw Vintage Racing Series Modifieds.

Shaffer proclaimed that his new pairing with Heffner Motorsports has the makings of a great team. And, he should know. The Hall of Fame driver has been part of several championship caliber combinations over the years.

“The 16 (Bollinger) was putting a good pace on and I was just waiting for lapped traffic but he was getting away,” Shaffer said. Shaffer called upon his vast experience to get the victory. “Sometimes you just have to wait for it to come to you and it did.” Dietz, however, was impatient, and it cost him dearly. “I hated to see that,” Shaffer said of the accident that handed him the win. “This can be a humbling sport.”

Scott Fisher and Bolliger were paired up on the front row for the start of the 30 lap event run under the track handicapping system. Glendon Forsythe and Dylan Norris were in the second row. Tim Glatfelter and Shaffer occupied row three. Opening day victor, Tim Wagaman, lined up beside Dietz, while Austin Bishop and Tyler Ross started in row six. Poor heat race performances relegated Kyle Moody, Brandon Rahmer, Jimmy Siegel, Freddie Rahmer, Jr., Matt Campbell, and points leader Alan Krimes to the second half of the starting order. Also mired in the back of the field was Danny Dietrich who arrived late after racing at Port Royal Speedway earlier in the night. Dietrich was able to tag the tail of the third heat and wound up seventh in his qualifier.

Bollinger seized the early lead and it looked as though he was going to give himself a belated birthday present. He raced out front up until the mishap with Dietz on lap 22. Shafer bolted into second on the opening lap and he chased the younger driver throughout. Fisher, Norris, Glatfelter, and Forsythe followed.

As Fisher was falling back, Dietz was coming forward. He reached the top five with just five laps down. In five more rounds, he was fourth. At the halfway mark, he was third and gaining on the leaders.

Dietz was certainly on the charge as the race entered the stretch run. He got a tremendous run down the backstretch and swooped under Shaffer in turn three. Dietz was carrying plenty of momentum and, when Bollinger bobbled just a bit, Dietz saw an opportunity. Instead of sliding up behind the leader, Dietz continued on the low line and tried to slide him as well. He drifted up as Bollinger was regaining control coming off the cushion. There was impact. Hard impact. It carried both cars up to the wall in turn four. Shaffer was able to check up to avoid the accident.

Shaffer led Glatfelter the rest of the way to get his second victory of 2021 at Lincoln. Norris held off Freddie Rahmer, Jr., who climbed up from fifteenth on the grid. Ross turned in a creditable job to nail down fifth.

Tim Wagaman, Kyle Moody, Landon Myers, Billy Dietrich, and Bishop completed the top ten. It was Myers’ first start of the season and he came from the tail after pitting for an engine problem as the field was pushing off. Also making his first start of the season was Cory Haas in his new ride, the Buzz Wilson 38. Haas also endured a sour motor, but his problem was not corrected and he placed last in the race.

Heat wins belonged to Forsythe, Norris, and Bollinger. There was no B Main.

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In the 358 Sprints, fans expected to see a repeat win by Jeff Rohrbaugh, who started on the outside of row one. But it was the youngster, Miller, who won the race into turn one.

Miller was anxious before the race began. “Before I went out there, I was shaking so bad. I was pacing in the trailer,” he explained. But the nerves never got to him once he was inside the car.

Rohrbaugh fell back to fourth on the opening lap, and would never contend for the victory.

Steve Owings slid into the second spot and he challenged Miller occasionally during the 20 lap affair. However, Zane Rudisill was the one who had the fans excited in the final laps.

Rudisill picked off two racers to get into third on a restart with just a handful of laps remaining. Then he took second and began to close in on Miller. A final caution with three to go gave him a shot at the leader, but Miller was up to the challenge.

“I raced with Zane in the 600s at Path Valley and I know how tough he could be,” Miller said. “The last three or four laps I made the car as wide as possible.”

After Miller and Rudisill came Owings, Kody Hartlaub, and Cody Fletcher, the points leader. Another Cody, Phillips, led the next group of five to the finish line. Jordan Strickler, Matt Findley, Justin Foster, and Riley Emig were next across.

The race was stopped twice for violent flips by Jon Stewart and Brett Strickler, both between turns three and four. Neither driver was hurt.

The three heat winners were Rohrbaugh, Hartlaub, and Jordan Strickler. Jacob Balliet scored in the B Main.

Scott Shaffer charged from eighth to get the Vintage Modified main win over Wes Cassel and Mark Hahn.

Next week, Lincoln Speedway will present the 18th Annual Weldon Sterner Memorial. The race will pay $6,900 to the winner. Sterner is remembered as the owner of the potent 69 cars driven by Van May. He was also a promoter of Lincoln Speedway for a number of years. Joining the 410 Sprints will be the 358 Sprints. On April 24 there will be a triple header for the 410 Sprints, Central PA Legends Cars, and Mid Atlantic Modifieds.

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Dirt Racing

Billy Dietrich holds off Brother Danny at Lincoln

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Photo: Lincoln Speedway

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (April 3, 2021): For the second week in a row, a veteran driver got a long-overdue win at the Fabulous Lincoln Speedway. This time, it was Billy Dietrich who last went to Victory Lane five years and three weeks ago. The Biglersville driver scored his third career 410 Sprint Car win to go along with nine in the 358 Sprint division.

Another veteran also scored at Lincoln Speedway this week. Jeff Rohrbaugh earned his seventeenth career victory in the 358 ranks. He has the most wins in that class since its inception.

“That was a hell of a race,” Billy Dietrcih exclaimed after climbing from his car. “We’ve been creepin’ up on it,” he added, noting his consistent finishes so far this season. He attributed his success to improvements in the engine department over the off-season. “We also had a good time trial lap.”

The race was run under the PA Speedweek rules. Under that regime, the fastest qualifier in each heat race are slotted into fourth starting position and the remainder of the cars start heads up. The heat race winners and the fastest qualifiers from each heat get to re-draw for starting spots at the front of the field. The lone exception is if the heat winner happens to be the fastest car to advance. In that case, only one car would make the re-draw.

Dietrich, the third-fastest qualifier on the night, easily made the transfer to the A Main. He then had the good fortune to pull pill number two. Joining him on the front row was Chad Trout, who set the second fastest time of the night. In row two were Danny Dietrich and Troy Wagaman, both of whom won their respective heat races. Row three had the other heat winner, Tim Shaffer, flanked by the night’s quick timer, Robbie Kendall. The current point leader, Alan Krimes, was paired up with Matt Campbell in row four. Last week’s winner, Jimmy Siegel and Chase Dietz started in row five. the Sixth stanza had Freddie Rahmer, Jr. and Tim Wagaman, Jr., the Icebreaker 30 winner.

While Trout led the parade to the first turn, Billy Dietrich rode the rim in turns one and two to grab the lead. Troy Wagaman and Danny Dietrich fell in line, followed by Shaffer, Dietz, Krimes, Campbell, and Siegel.

Wild Bill sailed along out front and began lapping cars early in the contest. Despite encountering the slower traffic so soon, Dietrich was able to stretch his advantage while picking his way through the back markers.

Meanwhile, Trout was holding off the leader’s brother. Dietz was making headway, and reached the fourth spot by the time that the crossed flags were shown to Billy Dietrich. Troy Wagaman and Shaffer were fighting for fifth, with Krimes lurking in their shadows.

The only caution of the race came with 22 of the 30 laps complete. There was debris in turn two.

On the restart, Danny Dietrich blasted into turn one on the outside, while Trout hugged the inside rail. The powerful move put the brothers first and second. Danny closed in on his sibling and he tried both high and low lines to try to overtake Billy.

Three Rivers Karting

“I figured that he was coming,” Billy said about his brother’s challenge. “I was staying on the bottom no matter who was there.” Danny did roll up beside Billy in turns one and two several times in the waning laps, but the better grip was low in those corners. Ironically, the outside line was faster for Billy in turns three and four, and Danny could not get hooked up on the inside at that end of the speedway.

Billy took the checkers as the sixth winner in six races at Lincoln. Danny was second, followed by Trout, Dietz, and Troy Wagaman. Shaffer was sixth, ahead of Krimes, Freddie Rahmer, Jr., Campbell and Siegel.

Glendon Forsythe was the B Main victor. Kendall’s quick time was 13.409 seconds.

Rohrbaugh decided to go racing on Friday. “We pulled the car down from the shelf and put the motor in yesterday,” he explained. “It’s great to be back. A lot of guys said ‘it’s good to see you,’ I said, ‘it’s good to be seen,'” he added with a laugh. Of his seventeen triumphs, Rohrbaugh noted “I’ve been doing it longer than the rest of them, I get one a year or so.” His goal, he added, was to reach twenty, which may be good enough to call it a career.

Riley Emig, a 358 Sprint rookie, had the pole and he jumped out to the early lead. Rohrbaugh quickly moved into second from his fourth place starting spot and he was in position to grab the lead when Emig drifted a bit too high in turns three and four with four laps down.

Rohrbaugh led Emig, Cody Fletcher, Brett Strickler, and Jon Stewart. Fletcher had a scare when his car had an oil leak develop into a flash fire which quickly subsided. Track officials threw a yellow flag, though, because Fletcher dropped enough fluid onto the speedway. Fletcher was able to retain his starting position, though, and he would go on to complete the contest.

Emig’s impressive run came to an end just before the halfway mark. He spun in turn one for the only other interruption in the race.

Rohrbaugh cruised to the win, followed by Brett Strickler, Fletcher, Stewart, and Jordan Strickler. Brett Wanner, Tyler Esh, Kody Hartlaub, Kyle Denmyer, and Wyatt Hinkle completed the top ten.

Heats for the 358 Sprinters went to Stewart, Jordan Strickler, and Rohrbaugh. Mike Bittinger won the B Main.

Next week, the same two divisions will be in action, along with the Outlaw Vintage racers. The scheduled starting time will be 7 p.m., but be sure to check the track’s social media to determine if the start time will be moved up due to adverse weather. The following week, the track will host the annual Weldon Sterner Memorial for the 410 Sprints. Sterner was a long-time car owner and a former promoter at the Pigeon Hills oval.

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