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Gravel Grabs Grove Gold

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Trent Gower Photography

WILLIAMS GROVE, PA(Pittsburgh Racing Now – July 25, 2020): David Gravel raced to victory in the Summer Nationals for the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars at Williams Grove Speedway. It was his seventh career victory at the track where the Connecticut driver first climbed behind the wheel of a Sprint Car. He earned $20,000 for his efforts.

Gravel noted “clean air in winged racing is so important,” and he enjoyed that condition all night long. Gravel started on the front row of his heat, which he won handily, and then he started on the front row of the dash as well.
Although he finished second in the dash, that was his goal, as it gave him the faster outside line for the start of the feature event. “I got a good start and the cautions went my way, so I didn’t have to deal with any traffic.”

Donny Schatz had the pole position by virtue of his dash victory, with Gravel positioned next to him. Brock Zearfoss and Brad Sweet were in row two, followed by Jacob Allen and Lance Dewease. Logan Schuchart and last night’s winner, Shane Stewart, were in the fourth row, Daryn Pittman and Ryan smith were in row five for the start of the 30 lapper.

Gravel powered past Schatz at the drop of the green flag, Sweet was third and Dewease was in fourth. But soon after the leaders crossed the line, Tim Shaffer flipped his mount on the front stretch. He was unhurt, but the car was done for the night.

Gravel chose the outside for the restart and, once again, he drove away from Schatz. Sweet, Dewease, and Zearfoss followed. Dewease made a significant move, though, and he assumed second. Sweet also moved ahead of Schatz, who was losing power. His car coasted to a stop with a terminal motor problem.

Dewease was moved to the front row for the restart, but he was no match for Gravel. Gravel started to build a lead again, but the racers were only able to complete three more laps. Anthony Macri brought out the yellow, which was immediately followed by a red before another lap was completed. This time, there was a three-car tangle in turn two which eliminated Lucas Wolfe, Steve Buckwalter, and Kraig Kinser.

With so many interruptions, World of Outlaws officials called for a fuel stop.

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The restart was single file. And, it was determined that all further restarts would be single file because the inside line was so much slower than the preferred outside lane.

Gravel again assumed command and led Dewease, Sweet, Schuchart, Allen, Zearfoss, and Pittman for six more rounds. Sheldon Haudenschild brought out another caution when he also lost power.

Gravel led the next eleven laps before another engine failure caused the final caution of the night. This time, the victim was Danny Dietrich. Gravel had almost a three second lead when the caution came out for the track’s points leader.

Gravel got away cleanly for the final go. He clicked off the remaining eight laps without difficulty. Dewease fought off a challenge from Sweet to maintain second position. Teammates Schuchart and Allen rounded out the top five. Brent Marks was sixth, followed by Zearfoss, and Carson Macedo, who started 23rd. Macri rebounded to finish ninth. Pittman was tenth.

Dewease was satisfied with second. “How the racetrack was tonight, we weren’t very good. The track was hard to pass on.” He had good luck, though. “Schatz breaking helped me and when they went to single file that really helped me.” Indeed, Dewease had lost second briefly to Sweet on the last double file restart, back on lap five. Nonetheless, Sweet agreed that the officials made the right call to change the restarts to single file because of track conditions. Dewease was confident that his veteran crew, led by car owner Donnie Kreitz and ace mechanic Davey Brown, could build upon the outcome to get ready for the National Open coming up in early October. Dewease would like to get the 100th win of his career before then, but it would be a fitting achievement for him if it were to happen in the most prestigious race of the year.

The four heats went to Schatz, Allen, Sweet, and Zearfoss. The B Main victor was Buckwalter. Schatz won the dash. The evening’s fastest qualifier was Shane Stewart, at 17.167 seconds. Stewart also had motor problems in the A Main.

The weekend at Williams Grove caused a shake-up in the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Championship points standings.  Schatz left Lernerville Speedway Tuesday night with a 4-point lead over Brad Sweet.  Today, Sweet leads Logan Schuchart by 18 and Schatz now sits in third-place, 26-points out of the top spot.

Williams Grove Speedway will host the York County Racing Club on July 31. Extra purse money will be at stake for both the 410 and 358 Sprint Cars. Coming up on August 7 will be the Billy Kimmel Memorial featuring the 410 Sprints and teh Super Late Models. A three-division Sprint Car program was added for August 14. Joining the 410 and 358 winged Sprints will be the USAC Eastern 360 Sprints, which race sans wings.

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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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