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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

Chappel, Duritsky, Ruhlman and Wolbert winners on Friday at Lernerville

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SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Issac Chappel passed Carmen Perigo on Lap 6 and never looked back to take the win in the BOSS Wingless Sprint Car Series 25-lap main event.  The win was the fifth in-a-row for Chappel in the BOSS Series.

Mike Duritsky picked up his first career win at ‘The Action Track’ by holding off Will Thomas and Logan Zarin to capture the RUSH Late Model Series feature.  Daryl Charlier and Joe Martin rounded out the Top 5.

Three Rivers Karting

Chad Ruhlman fought off Blaze Myers to pick up the win in the RUSH Sprint Car Series feature.  John Mollick was third followed by Gale Ruth and one of several drivers pulling double-duty, Zach Morrow.

Chas Wolbert collected his 40th career feature victory going wire-to-wire in the RUSH Sportsman Modified feature.  Ben Easler was second.  Justin Shea rounded out the podium.

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Dirt Racing

Li’l Haud Happy at the Grove

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Photo: Paul Arch

WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (July 23, 2021): Sheldon Haudenschild took his career first checkered flag at Williams Grove Speedway on the opening night of the Summer Nationals. While the driver from Wooster, OH gladly took the $10,000 purse, current Williams Grove points leader, Lance Dewease, won the hearts of the Pennsylvania faithful with a remarkably strong run from seventeenth to second.

Haudenschild, who joined his father, Jac, as a World of Outlaws victor at the Grove, expressed relief that he was finally able to get a win at the speedway. “I feel like I have a lot of laps around this place, but I could never get that win. We’ve been close, but it feels great to finally pull one off. Makes it sweeter that the 69 (Dewease) was behind us.”

Haudenschild had the pole for the twenty-five lap preliminary feature. Anthony Macri had the local contingent stoked with his second place starting spot. James McFadden lined up third, with David Gravel in fourth. Chad Trout rolled off in fifth, with Donny Schatz next to him. Aaron Reutzel and T.J. Stutts made up row four, with Brent Marks and Kraig Kinser in row five. The sixth row belonged to Brad Sweet and Logan Schuchart.

Haudenschild blasted off turn four into the lead, while Macri had some difficulty getting up to speed. Gravel and McFadden got by him by the first corner and Schatz and Stutts were hounding him. A quick caution for Jeff Halligan facing the wrong way in turn two caused a realignment, but Haudenschild again got away cleanly.

Macri lost another position in the early going, this one to Schatz, but his misfortunes continued. By lap five, he dropped to seventh. But things would get worse for the driver seeking his first 410 win at the Grove. Aaron Reutzel got sideways coming through turn four and Macri clipped him as he went by. Macri spun to the inside and his car was struck by Stutts, who did a slow roll bringing out the red. None of the drivers were injured and both Reutzel and Macri were able to return after making some hasty repairs.

That stoppage proved to be the last of the contest. But it was significant for another reason. It moved Lance Dewease into the eighth position for the restart and it brought the rest of the field back to him.

Three Rivers Karting

When the green light came on again, Haudenschild resumed his lead and he continued to ride the cushion. McFadden stayed within striking distance, while Gravel was keeping Schatz at bay.

But all eyes were glued on the blue machine of Dewease. Using his customary low line, Dewease was making some progress until he reached the car of Carson Macedo. Macedo was using the low line as well and it took Dewease several laps to get by him. However, once he completed the pass, there was no stopping Dewease.

Dewease reached the top five on lap 18, and the best was yet to come. He caught and passed Schatz with two to go and he did the same to McFadden on the white flag lap. While Dewease was closing in on Hadenschild, the Posse fans were hoping for a caution that would set up a dash for the cash.

Their hopes were not fulfilled and Haudenschild streaked under the checkered flag for the win. Dewease crossed in second, making the fans wonder what might have been had he started closer to the front.

“The driver put us behind in qualifying,” Dewease confessed. “We were able to pass cars; we’ve been able to pass cars all year here. But, it was twenty-five laps, that’s all that matters, and Sheldon won it.” Dewease noted that he had some difficulty getting by Macedo and Schatz, both of whom were using his preferred line, but he was pleased to make his charge from the ninth row to second. He received a $250 bonus for beingthe hard charger. Dewease was grateful, but he proclaimed that he did not want that award again on Saturday night.

McFadden claimed the other podium spot, followed by Schatz and Marks. Positions six through ten went to Gravel, Macedo, Sweet, Schuchart, and Danny Dietrich.

The four heat wins went to Schatz, Trout, Stutts, and Macri. Haudenschild won the Dash and Wayne Johnson took the B Main. Haudenschild also set the fastest time of the night, 17.104 seconds. Trout was second, followed by Stutts and Macri.

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Dirt Racing

Sweet Scores Before Rain Hits Lernerville

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Photo: Paul Arch

SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Grass Valley, CA driver Brad Sweet checked one off of his bucket list. He took the crown jewel event at Lernerville Speedway, the Don Martin Memorial, for the first time in his career. It was his third triumph at the track, the other two coming in the Fall’s Commonwealth Clash.

Sye Lynch was on the pole, with David Gravel next to him for the start of the 40 lap affair. Sweet lined up next to Aaron Reutzel in the second row. Carson Macedo and Donny Schatz were in row three with Christopher Bell and Sheldon Haudenschild in row four. The fifth row belonged to Brock Zearfoss and Logan Schuchart. James McFadden and Jacob Allen were in row six.

Lynch got the jump on Gravel and reached the top of turn one first. That gave him an advantage in the opening laps. Sweet settled into third and he seemed most comfortable running the low line around the speedway. Reutzel, Macedo, Schuchart and Bell followed.

Michael Bauer flipped between turns one and two with five complete. He was unhurt, but his car was pushed back to the pit area and he was finished for the night.

Lynch took off on the restart, but this time Sweet made a bold move on the inside of turn one. Sweet nosed ahead, but Lynch turned back under him to regain the lead. The two racers ran side by side for several laps before Lynch slid out over the cushion in turn two with twelve complete. Sweet was hard on the inside and powered to the front.

Sweet continued to lead, but he moved to the top side as he approached the lapped traffic. Sweet was just as quick on the high side and he built up his advantage to more than seven and a half seconds over Reutzel, who moved ahead of Lynch on lap fourteen.

Three Rivers Karting

The action was halted again on lap sixteen when Haudenschild flipped in turn three. Remarkably, his car landed on its wheels and sustained minimal damage. Haudenschild was pushed to the work area and he returned to the race. Despite his misfortune, he rallied in the last third of the race to get a top ten for his efforts.

While Sweet was completing the final rounds, the battle was for the second spot between Reutzel and Schatz. The seven-time Silver Cup winner made the pass with two to go.

Sweet was the winner, taking the checkers just moments before the rain inundated the speedway. Schatz, Reutzel, Gravel, and James McFadden were the top five. Shuchart, Macedo, Tim Shaffer, Bell, and Haudenschild rounded out the top ten.

Carl Bowser was the hard charger, passing thirteen cars on his way to an eleventh place finish.

After his Cinderella story came to an end, Lynch raced in the top ten until the stretch run. However, he faded to fifteenth at the finish. Lynch was attempting to join his father, Ed Sr., as a winner of the Don Martin Memorial.

Three of the four heat races were each won from the pole position. Victories went to Lynch, Gravel, Sweet, and Reutzel. The only pole sitter to miss grabbing the brass ring was Schatz. Lynch was the evening’s fastest qualifier, turning the track at 12.543 seconds and he also won the Dash. The B Main winner was Jason Sides.

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