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Rudolph Caps perfect Weekend with 358 Mod Tour Win at Tri-City Raceway Park; Flick, Bish and Lawrence also Victors



Motorsports Aspects

FRANKLIN, PA (July 25, 2020 – Pittsburgh Racing Now): Erick Rudolph completed a Western Pennsylvania hat trick Sunday at Tri-City Raceway Park. His victory came in the first race of the year for the Outlaw Small Block Modified Tour. Also taking wins were A.J. Flick in the 410 Sprint Cars, Curtis J. Bish in the Pro Stocks, and Mark Lawrence in the Mini Stocks.

Gary Kriess, Jr. and Dan Kuriger paced the field for the start of the 25 lap Sprint Car feature event. Jeremy Kornbau and Leyton Wagner were in row two, George Hobaugh and Brandon Spithaler in row three, and Flick and Carl Bowser in row four.

Kriess jumped out to the early lead, followed by Kuriger, Kornbau, Wagner, and Flick. Flick worked his way into second by lap seven. He took aim on Kriess and the two popular drivers traded the lead several times over the next several laps. Flick set a pick in turn four and pinned Kriess behind a slower car. That enabled Flick to pull away from the veteran. Kriess got another shot at the lead on a lap 17 restart, but Flick was up to the task.

Several drivers made advances in the final laps. Sye Lynch raced into second. Bowser took third on lap 20 and Brandon Spithaer moved to fifth on the same lap.

At the checkers, it was Flick, Lynch, Bowser, Kriess, and Spithaler. Kornbau was sixth, followed by Jack Sodeman, Jr. Sodeman was the hard charger, passing ten cars during the race. Kuriger, Darin Gallagher, and Michael Bauer completed the top ten.

Spithaler, Wagner, and Kornbau were the heat winners. There was no B Main.

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Kyle Fink and Jeremiah Shingledecker brought the 358 Modifieds to the green flag. Kevin Hoffman and Tom Holden were in the second row, with Dave Schrader, Jr. and Lonnie Riggs in the third stanza. Rudolph and Max Smoker held row four.

Fink and Shingledecker battled for the early lead, while Rudolph steadily moved forward. Rudolph took command in turn one with seven laps complete. Hoffman climbed into second following the second caution in the 20 lapper, but he could not mount a challenge on the fleet New Yorker.

At the finish, it was Rudolph, Hoffman, Shingledecker, Fink, and Riggs. Jimmy Holden, Rick Regalski, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Andy Jankowiak, and Tom Holden completed the top ten.
Riggs and Rudolph took heat wins. There was no B Main.

In the Pro Stocks, Curtis J. Bish fought off challenges from his borther, Curt Bish for most of the race. However, it was Jackson Humanic who charged into second and chased him home. Curt Bish held on for third. Rod Laskey was fourth, but he was close enough to the front that he could have capitalized on the slightest mistake of any of the leaders. Blaze Myers was fifth. Then came Randy Wyant, Tyler Wyant, Pat Fielding, Brett McDonald, and Wesley McCray. Laskey and Curtis J. Bish took the preliminaries. There was no B Main.

In the Mini Stock nightcap, Mark Lawrence held off Chad Greeley. Dalton Speer and Jim Buchanan were third and fourth. It was an eventful night for Dillon Speer, who won the three previous races. He lost his primary car in heat racing, went home for his spare, and started at the tail of the field. While moving forward in the feature, his car caught fire, but it was safe to resume racing, and he brought it home in fifth. Heat winners were Lawrence and Patrick Hanlon.

Tri-City Raceway Park will be back in action next Sunday with the Penn-Ohio Pro Stocks presenting “Ray’s Race,” held in memory of R.K. Virgile. Mr. Virgile was a long-time supporter of the class and the speedway. Also in action will be the 410 Sprints, 358 Modifieds and the Mini Stocks.

Dirt Racing

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



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.

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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



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.

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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



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.

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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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