FRANKLIN, PA (August 16, 2020): The Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Series made its first visit of the season to Tri-City Raceway Park for the third annual Ray’s Race held in memory of R.K. Virgile. Mr. Vigile was the founder of a successful scrap metal business in nearby Oil City, but race fans will remember him as a loyal supporter of the Pro Stock class, especially at Tri-City. His name was splashed across the body panels of countless cars over the years and quite a few of his former drivers were on hand to support the event. However, it was an invader of sorts, Greensburg area driver Noah Brunnell, who came away victorious in the special race.
Also getting wins on this night were Brandon Matus in the 410 Sprint Car division, Greg Martin in the 358 Modifieds, and Dillon Speer in the Mini Stocks.
Matus, a third generation driver from Wampum, PA, took advantage of his front row starting position, as he jumped out to the lead. Veteran Gary Kriess, Jr. had the pole, and he was mighty strong in his heat race, but something was amiss in his machine come feature time. Jack Sodeman, Jr. also moved ahead of Kriess on the opening lap and it was not long thereafter that Kriess retired from action.
While Matus motored along in the lead, Sodeman had to deal with a number of challenges for the second spot. First it was George Hobaugh, Jr. and later it was Brandon Spithaler who tried to take the spot away. Neither were successful.
Other positions in the top ten changed hands frequently over the course of the 25 lapper. Michael Bauer, Carl Bowser, and New York Modified driver Matt Farnham were among the most active. Each took turns racing into the top five at various stages of the race.
At the checkers, it was Brandon Matus ahead of Sodeman and Spithaler. Bowser made a late race charge to get fourth amd Hobaugh held on for fifth. Bauer, John Garvin, Farnham, Leyton Wagner, and Chase Matheny completed the top ten. It was quite an accomplishment for young Matheny, who started at the rear of the field after being unable to compete in his heat race due to an engine problem.
Three heat races were contested earlier in the night, with Kriess, Spithaler, and Brandon Matus getting the wins.
A major wreck early in the 358 Modified race completely changed the complexion of that event. Eric Beggs and Steve Barr were fighting for the lead, but they tangled in turn one with just a couple of laps in the books. A number of other top cars were collected, with several of them being eliminated for the rest of the night. This development moved Jeff Schaffer, Jr. to the front row, with last week’s winner, Greg Martin on his right.
When the green light flashed on again, Schaffer took the lead. But it was Kyle Fink who assume command just a lap or two later. Fink’s time out front did not last as long as he would have liked, as Martin found a comfortable groove and he raced into the lead. Fink remained close throughout the remainder of the race, but he was unable to regain is advantage.
Two racers put in impressive performances. One was Steve Barr, who came back through the field to get third in the closing laps. The other was Ryan Riffe, who ran in the top five for most of the race. Although he was edged out by Schaffer for the fourth spot, Riffe had to be happy with his fifth place finish, as it was his best run of the season. Riffe had a number of mechanical issues in earlier races at Tri-City.
Another hard luck driver, Sid Unverzagt, Jr., took sixth, followed by Andy Jankowiak, Beggs, Max Smoker, and D.J. Schrader.
The preliminaries went to Schaffer and Riffe.
In Ray’s Race, Noah Brunnell took the early lead, but the action was intense behind him. Rod Laskey made contact with series points leader Andrew Gordon while fighting for position, setting off a wild crash in turn four. Gordon’s car went over several times, and was heavily damaged, but he was not hurt.
Curtis J. Bish and Josh Seippel chased Brunnell, but neither could make a challenge for the lead. Tim Bish came home in fourth, followed by Jackson Humanic in fifth.
Heat wins went to Rusty Martz, Tim Bish, and Laskey. Seippel took the dash held for drivers who enjoyed Mr. Virgile’s backing during his long involvement in the Pro Stock class.
The nightcap once again was held for the Mini Stocks. While the winner was a familiar one, Dillon Speer, the twist was that he was driving his four cylinder car rather than the more potent six cylinder machine that graced victory lane several times already. Pat Hanlon was making his first start in the car normally driven by his father, Todd, who recently announced his retirement from the sport. Hanlon was excited about his second place finish. J.R. Shaner was third, followed by Rick Feeley and Bondy Stoyer. Speer and Stoyer took the checkers in their respective heat races.
Next week, Tri-City Raceway Park will have another round of Sunday Night Thunder.
Gravel Seizes Opportunity to Win Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville Speedway
SARVER, PA (September 26, 2020): David Gravel capitalized upon the misfortune of Sheldon Haudenschild to win the Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville Speedway. It was the Connecticut driver’s fourth World of Outlaws win at the Action Track.
“Sheldon was the class of the field, until he blew the tire we were going to run second,” Gravel observed. “I didn’t know where he was racing, he must have been setting a torrid pace around the top.” Indeed, Haudenschild was doing just that. He had amassed a lead in excess of seven seconds moments before the right rear tire let go with just over a lap and a half remaining in the contest.
“Ten years ago, I would have been running around the top until I went off the track,” Gravel noted. “But, after watching Donny (Schatz) and Brad (Sweet) win races here, I learned to race this track like they do.”
Gravel also noted that the car was not very good when they unloaded this night, but the crew kept adjusting and it was very comfortable for him come feature time.
Kerry Madsen and Sheldon Haudenschild were on the front row for the 35 lap A Main. Daryn Pittman and James McFadden held the second row, with Kraig Kinser and Gravel in row three. Carson Macedo and Brad Sweet were in row four, while row five belonged to Parker Price-Miller and Logan Schuchart. Shane Stewart and Jacob Allen had row six reserved.
Haudenschild wasted no time blasting into the lead. James McFadden followed him on the rim into the second spot, but he could not maintain the rapid pace set by the leader. Madsen settled into third, with Pittman, Kinser, Macedo and Schuchart in tow.
Haudenschild was quite comfortable riding the outside groove around the track. McFadden kept him in sight, but he was no factor to challenge for the lead.
With Haudenschild and McFadden racing all alone out front, the battle was for the third position between Madsen and Pittman. Pittman, recently reunited with his former car owner, Mike Heffner, claimed the third position by lap ten and he was hustling around the inside trying to make up ground on the leaders. Gravel was following him in the march toward the front.
While they succeeded in closing in on McFadden, Haudenschild’s car was getting smaller and smaller as the laps clicked off. “I lost my rhythm in the middle part of the race,” McFadden explained. He was being pressed by Pittman and later, Gravel, for the second position.
Gravel moved into the second spot on lap 33, moments before Haudenschild’s tire exploded. He got the point for the restart, but he still had to hold off McFadden and Pittman for the remaining two laps.
“I lost some air pressure in the (right rear) tire under he caution, and the car was better after that on the restart,” McFadden commented. While he was able to maintain pace with Gravel, he could not mount a challenge for the victory.
After Gravel and McFadden came Pittman. “We’re thrilled with that,” he said. “For us, it’s like a win.
There were a couple of mistakes that I’d like to clean up,” he added. But, he did not get the opportunity to do so in the pair of laps left in the dash to the checkers.
Logan Schuchart was fourth, with Madsen crossing in fifth. Sweet was sixth, followed by Kinser, Macedo, Allen, and Schatz.
The hard charger was Cap Henry, who was plus eight on the night.
Heat winners were Daryn Pittman, Carson Macedo, David Gravel, and Kerry Madsen. Madsen was the dash winner. Carl Bowser topped the C Main. The B Main went to Cale Thomas. The evening’s fastest qualifiers were Price-Miler, who topped Group A with a lap of 12.746, and Kinser, who was best in Group B with a round of 12.961.
Justin Clark won the 20 lap A Main for the Allegheny Sprint Tour 305 feature. The midwest invader prevailed over Ryan Lynn, Dylan Shatzer, Robbie Bartchy, and Jimmy Morris. Heat wins went to Bartchy, Clark, and Shatzer. There was no B Main.
Schneider Wins Wee Willie White Memorial as Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway Crowns Champions
IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chris Schneider held off Daryl Charlier to win the Wee Willie White Memorial for the ADMAR Pro Stocks Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.
Schneider took home the checkered flag but Dave McManus and Daryl Charlier took home the Pro Stocks Championship for car owner Ben Laboon.
Chas Wolbert was victorious in the RUSH Sportsman Modified feature, beating Kole Holden and Ayden Cipriano to the checkered flag. Tony Tatgenhorst and Chelsie Kriegisch rounded out the Top 5.
Mike Duritsky was victorious in the RUSH Late Model feature, holding off the hard-charging Logan Zarin, who started fifth and Tommy Schirnhofer, who started sixth. Pole-sitter Nico Dabecco finished fourth and Michigan’s Colby Beighey rounded out the Top 5.
Ben Policz took home his second straight RUSH Late Model Dirt Series Championship.
Stephen Shelpman beat Joe Anthony and Gary Koteles to win the Keystone Coach Works Hobby Stocks feature, claiming his fourth straight track Championship in the process.
Brothers Philip Bubeck and Noah Bubeck took home feature wins in the Four Cylinders and Young Guns divisions, winning track Championships for the Washington, PA family.
World of Outlaws Sprint Cars At Lernerville Speedway Tonight For The Commonwealth Clash
Brad Sweet won last year’s clash and enters tonight’s race with a 44-point lead in the Championship standings ahead of Logan Schuchart. Sweet padded his points lead with a third place finish Friday night at Wayne County Speedway.
Sheldon Haudenschild (pictured above) took home the victory Friday night at Wayne County, the Wooster, Ohio native’s home track. The victory was Haudenschild’s sixth of 2020 but his first Series win at home.
“It means the world, man,” Haudenschild said. “I’m just so happy to race here, let alone win. It’s just amazing. It’s truly a dream come true.”
Donny Schatz, the winner of the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup in July, comes into the race third in points, 90-points back of the top spot.
Fans interested in going to tonight’s Clash can click here for tickets.
The Allegheny Sprint Tour 305 Sprint Cars are also on tonight’s schedule. Pits Open at 4 p.m., Grandstands at 5 p.m.; Hot Laps followed Immediately by Time Trials 6 p.m; Racing at 7 p.m.