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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.

Three Rivers Karting

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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Dirt Racing

Marlar two-for-two at Lernerville

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Photo: Paul Arch

SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Mike Marlar is looking like the man to beat for Saturday night’s $50,000 Firecracker 100 presented by Big River Steel after winning Friday night’s preliminary feature at Lernerville Speedway, giving Marlar back-to-back wins at The Action Track.

Marlar held off a hard-charging Tim McCreadie at the checkers after grabbing the lead from Ricky Thornton, Jr. on lap 14.  Thornton started from the pole position and led the first 13-laps.

“He (Thornton) had the bottom and he wasn’t going to move,” said Marlar.  “I was just waiting on that brown ring on the bottom to wear out. It was getting thinner and thinner so then on that one restart I found some crumbs out here kind of in the middle leaving four, so I got on the outside and it worked for me, I barely got by him.”

Halfway through the feature as Marlar was leading the field, McCreadie was working his way through the field from his ninth starting spot and set his sights on the leader but needed just a little more to the final spot.

Three Rivers Karting

“To come home second to Mikey, he’s really good,” said McCreadie, the reigning Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion and 2019 Firecracker 100 winner. “I need some help over in one and two. I can’t get where I want the car to be activated. We need a little more we will just keep working hard it’s all we can do.”

“I saw him (McCreadie) flash under me in one and two, after about four or five laps my tires would get a little hotter and they’d give up some grip, so I think he preserved his tires a little better,” said Marlar.

Thornton held on for third and was content, for now. “He (Marlar) was really good through the middle just like T-Mac was. I felt like we had a really good car. We’ll take a third, it should set us up in good position for tomorrow’s heat races.”

Saturday is what everyone in the field wants to win and it looks like they are going to have to beat Marlar to do it and Marlar knows he and his team have some work to do.

“It’s definitely been a good weekend so far,” said Marlar. “The trip is paid for and tomorrow will be the cherry on top. It will be tough. You know we have a good 30-40 lap car; it slides around on me once the tires get warm. So tomorrow we will get a harder tire and see if that helps the situation too.”

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Dirt Racing

Macri Takes Speedweek Opener; Brehm Breaks Through

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Williams Grove Speedway

WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (June 24, 2022): Anthony Macri, the winningest 410 Sprint Car driver in the country, notched another victory in the opening round of Pennsylvania Speedweek at Williams Grove Speedway. He set the stage for the win by turning in the fastest lap in qualifying, transferring out of his heat, and picking the pole for the feature event.

Joining him in celebrating success was Tyler Brehm, who got his first career win at Williams Grove Speedway in the 358 Sprint Car division.

“As soon as we hit dirty air, we got extremely tight,” Macri said. “I started playing with the wing and we had trouble with the lapped cars.” Part of the problem was driver error, Macri said. “I made some mistakes not knowing where the lapped cars were going.” He reiterated that the car was “extremely tight” in traffic and that he also had “to play with the brake pedal.”

Despite this difficulty, Macri finished just a tad shy of one second ahead of Brent Marks, another highly successful racer.

Beside Macri on the front row for the thirty lapper was Justin Peck. Marks and Lucas Wolfe were paired on row two. T.J. Stutts lined up inside of Dylan Cisney in row three. Then came Danny Dietrich and Lance Dewease. Chad Trout and Matt Campbell made up row five. The sixth row belonged to Dylan Norris and Freddie Rahmer, Jr.

Macri led the charge into turn one. Peck was close, but Macri slid up the track to block the visitor from the All Star Circuit of Champions. Marks nestled into third, ahead of Stutts, Dietrich, Wolfe, Norris, Dewease, Campbell, and Rahmer. Cisney was struggling and he slowed his car to a stop on lap three for the first caution of the event.

Macri resumed control on the restart, but a spin by a backmarker waived that off. On the second try, Macri again took command. But Peck and Marks were engaged in a torrid battle for the second position. Lap after lap they traded the spot, but Marks took it for good by the halfway mark.

Stutts continued in fourth, but he was under attack from Dietrich. That contest did not last very long, though, as Dietrich suddenly slowed coming off turn four with seventeen laps down, By the time that he stopped, Macri had completed lap eighteen.

Macri completed the final dozen laps without a hitch. Marks began to close in when Macri had his troubles with the slower cars ahead of him. But Marks could not get close enough to mount a challenge for the lead.

After that last caution, Dewease was one of the faster cars in the race. He ahd reached fifth by the time of the caution, and he raced his way past Stutts on lap 21. Dewease was closing on Peck for third but he ran out of laps.

Three Rivers Karting

The finish was Macri, Marks, Peck, Dewease, and Stutts. Norris, Rahmer, Devon Borden, Wolfe, and Chase Dietz rounded out the top ten. Ryan Smith, the eleventh place finisher, was the hard charger, advancing nine positions.

Three heats were presented, with the wins going to Stutts, Wolfe, and Marks. Robbie Kendall collected the B Main victory. Macri was the fastest car of the 28 racers to take time. His best lap was 16.842. Macri saved the car from hittingthe turn four wall on his second qualifying attempt. He said that he was just being too aggressive.

After his win, Tyler Brehm said excitedly, “this was a five-year-old kid’s dream.” He explained that he cut his teeth in racing working with Steve Buckwalter and that the win “was a long time coming.”

Brehm took the green flag from the fourth position. Chad Criswell had darted out to the early lead from the pole, but his car stopped unexpectedly in turn four on the opening lap. Devin Adams rode over Criswell’s right rear, but Adams regained control before getting out to the fence.

Adams moved to the pole for the restart and he took the lead over Brehm, Kyle Denmyer, Kody Hartlaub, and Derek Locke.

Brehm went low in turn four to pass Adams several laps into the contest. Brehm built up his lead in the race that went caution free after the initial stoppage for Criswell.

Hartlaub chased Brehm home. Locke worked his way to third in the second half of the race. Adams held on for fourth, just a notch ahead of Doug Hammaker.

Frankie Herr, Denmyer, Steve Owings, Cameron Smith, and Steve Wilbur completed the top ten.

Three heat winners were Criswell, Denmyer, and Kyle Keen. Cody Fletcher prevailed in the B Main.

Williams Grove Speedway will present its next Speedweek event, the Mitch Smith Memorial, on July 1. That show will be for the 410 Srpints only. July 8 will have the USAC East Coast 360 Sprints joining the 410s. The make-up date for the Randy Wolfe Tribute race will fall on July 15. The 358 Sprints will be on the dance card that night with the 410s.

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Dirt Racing

Tri-City Raceway Prepares for Holiday Spectacular

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FRANKLIN, PA (June 23, 2022): The staff and management of Tri-City Raceway Park have another Sunday Thunder event, on June 26, to get ready before the big blow-out over the July 4 holiday weekend. “Just like the racers, we want to keep the momentum going,” said track owner, Merle Black. “We had two great races, Western PA Speedweek and a regular show, and now we have one more race to work out the details before the big holiday extravaganza,” he added.

With a pair of Shawgo Real Estate, LLC Sprint Car races in the books, A.J. Flick finds himself on top of the early championship rankings. Flick has a win and a second place finish so far, and he hopes to score again this Sunday. Sitting six points back is young Chase Metheney. Veterans Jack Sodeman, Jr. and Carl Bowser are third and fourth, Versatile Rod Jones, who has raced in several different classes over the years, holds down the fifth place.

Defending track champion, Brandon Matus, was unable to start last week’s event, so he is way down in the standings. Watch for him to start the long climb back this weekend.

Bob Felmlee also has to recover from tough luck last week. He crashed in turn four and did not finish that race. He will be ready to compete for the win!

Many other top runners will be on hand, including Brent Matus, Jeremy Weaver, Logan McCandless, and Leyton Wagner. Will the Ohio racer, Ricky Peterson, be back? He scored his first career win in dominating fashion last Sunday.

Jimmy Holden used his first win of the season to catapult into the points lead in the Donovan & Bauer Auto Group 358 Modified ranks. Kevin Hoffman trails by four markers, and New Yorker Nick Joy is five behind Holden. Jeremiah Singledecker and Mike Kinney are also within striking distance. Further back are Kyle Fink, Travis Shingledecker, Eric Beggs, and Kevin Green. Will Lonnie Riggs be back? Mechanical problems sidelined him last week and he will be looking to rebound soon.

Jason Johns and Chris Schneider are tied atop the standings in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks after one round of action. Pat Fielding, Josh Seippel, Rod Laskey, Curtis J. Bish, and Charlie McMillen can all move up with a good finish this week.

Three Rivers Karting

Levi Maskal has staked himself to a double digit lead in the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. Maskal is two for two so far, which is no mean feat considering the tough competition in this affordable class. More than two dozen racers have already tried their luck on the big, fast half mile oval.

Racing will begin at 6 p.m., with practice commencing at approximately 5:15. The Pit gates will open at 2 p.m. Spectators can gain admission to the grounds at 4 p.m. to get their favorite seats.

Regular event ticket pricing will apply. So, adults (ages 16 to 62) will be admitted for $15, and seniors (ages 62 and up) will be admitted for $13. Student tickets (for those aged 10 to 16) will be $10. Children (up to age 10) will be admitted for free. The Family Pass will be $45, and that will be good for two adults of any age and two students. Pit Passes will be $30.

If you cannot make it to Tri-City Raceway Park this weekend, remember that there will be three nights of action, and more, over the Independence Day holiday. Friday, July 1, will be reserved as a practice session for all classes. There will be free grandstand admission that night. Competition will begin on Saturday night, July 2, with the Shawgo Real Estate, LLC 410 Sprints, the Donovan & Bauer Auto Group 358 Modifieds, and the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks.

There will also be qualifying for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks. Sunday, July 3, will see the return of the ground pounding Big Block Modifieds from the BRP Tour. The Shawgo Real Estate, LLC 410 Sprints will be back, along with the RUSH Sprint Cars. The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks will race, as will the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. The Junior Sprints will also be on hand. There will be celebratory fireworks during the Sunday program, and, after this fabulous show, there will be a big bonfire. There will be free camping on the grounds throughout the weekend.

Watch the website and social media platforms for any changes.

Further information about Tri-City Raceway Park can be obtained by calling the track office at 724-967-4601, or by e-mailing the office at tricityracewaypark2020@gmail.com. Or, you can check the web at Tri-CityRacewayPark.com, or the Facebook page at Tri City Raceway Park. Tri-City Raceway Park is located just a few miles north of Franklin, PA, at 3430 State Route 417 in Oakland Township.

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