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Brunnell Wins Ray’s Race for Penn-Ohio Pro Stocks; Matus, Martin and Speer also Score

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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.

Three Rivers Karting

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.

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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Dirt Racing

Don Martin Silver Cup XXX Tonight At Lernerville

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SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series invades Lernerville Speedway tonight for the $25,000-to-win Don Martin Silver Cup XXX.

Donny Schatz is the defending event winner, taking home the checkered flag and big check for a record-extending seventh time in 2021.  He will be one to watch on ‘The Action Track’ this evening.

The World of Outlaws roll into Lernerville following the richest event weekend ($175,000 up for grabs) in winged sprint car competition, the 37th and 38th Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway.  Tyler Courtney and Kyle Larson took home the respective victories.

Lernerville’s local stars will be looking to accomplish what Ed Lynch Jr. did in 2002 – beat the Outlaws on their home track.  Lynch’s son, 3rd Generation Racer Sye Lynch, is guaranteed a starting spot after winning the Mid-Season Championship feature event on June 18.  Lynch sits atop the Lernerville points standings.

Three Rivers Karting

Right behind Lynch in the points standings is defending and 4-time Lernerville track Champion A.J. Flick, who sits second in the points, and Brandon Matus, who is third in the points standings.

Pit gates for the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XXX will open at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday with grandstand gates opening at 5:00 p.m. Hot laps are slated to begin at 6:30 while Opening Ceremonies will be at 7:20 p.m. and racing to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XXX ticket prices are as follows:
Pit Passes: DIRTcar Member: $40, Non-Member: $45
Reserved Adult: $42
Reserved 17 & Under: $31
General Admission: $40
General Admission (ages 11-17): $24
General Admission (ages 10 & under): FREE
Camping: $25 (No hook-ups)
Paradise Parking: $45 – Car, $100 – Camping
Preferred Parking: $25

Past Winners of the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup: (2009 – 2015: Twin Features)
2020 – Donny Schatz
2019 – David Gravel
2018 – Kyle Larson
2017 – Donny Schatz
2016 – David Gravel
2015 – Overall Dale Blaney (Twin Features – Dale Blaney & Cody Darrah)
2014 – Overall Donny Schatz (Twin Features – Donny Schatz & Cody Darrah)
2013 – Overall Donny Schatz (Twin Features – Donny Schatz & Daryn Pittman)
2012 – Overall Craig Dollansky (Twin Features – Craig Dollansky & Tony Stewart)
2011 – Overall Tim Shaffer (Twin Features – Dale Blaney & Tim Shaffer)
2010 – Overall- Donny Schatz (Twin Features – Lance Dewease & Joey Saldana)
2009 – Overall-Danny Lasoski (Twin Features – Danny Lasoski & Stevie Smith)
2008 – Steve Kinser
2007 – Donny Schatz
2006 – Donny Schatz
2005 – Tim Shaffer
2004 – Sammy Swindell
2003 – Did not run
2002 – Ed Lynch Jr.
2001 – Mark Kinser
2000 – Sammy Swindell
1999 – Mark Kinser
1998 – Mark Kinser
1997 – Mark Kinser
1996 – Mark Kinser
1995 – Stevie Smith
1994 – Steve Kinser
1993 – Jeff Swindell
1992 – Sammy Swindell (inaugural race)

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Dirt Racing

Flick First at Tri-City Raceway Park; Ruth Jr., Whitling, Greeley, Davenport, and Rinehart also win

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(Franklin, PA July 18, 2021): A.J. Flick scored a much-needed win in the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprints at Tri-City Raceway Park. With his usual haunts getting hit with rain, Flick was looking for a place to do some preparation for the big race coming up Tuesday at another area speedway. Everything worked to his liking and he left with $2,500 for his efforts.

Also scoring wins this night were Gale Ruth, Jr. (Gary Glass Automotive and Washington House RUSH Sprints), Bobby Whitling (Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks), Chad Greeley (4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks), Garrett Davenport (Junior Sprints Open), and Grady Rinehart (Junior Sprints Stock).

In the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Car part of the program, a pair of third-generation drivers paced the field. Leyton Wagner had the pole and A.J. Flick was on his flank. Carl Bowser and Bob Felmlee were in the second row, with Matt Farnham and Clay Riney beside him. Behind them were Brandon Matus and Adam Kekich, who was subbing for Logan McCandless. Ken Rossey, Jr. and Brent Matus made up the sixth row.

Flick got the best of Wagner on the initial start, and that proved to be an advantage that would not be overcome. “It is weird becasue we’ve never been good here at Tri-City, but here in 2021, it has been our best track.” Flick now has a pair of wins despite only a part-time schedule at the speedway.

Wagner raced along in second, but surrendered the spot to Farnham as the field completed the second circuit of the big half mile.
As Flick and Farnham drew away for the field, Wagner and Felmlee were fighting for third. The veteran, Felmlee, went beneath the younger pilot and took over the third spot with ten to go.

The most hotly contested position for most of the race was sixth, as Sodeman and Brandon Matus were fighting for points. Sodeman entered the night just one point ahead of the Wheelman, but Matus passed him, and a couple of other racers, to put himself unofficially in the lead seeking his first championship at any track.

In the final laps, Farnham started to close in on Flick, who was held up a bit by lapped traffic. However, Flick had a big enough cushion that Farnham could not get close enough to make a bid for the win.

After Flick and Farnham were Felmlee, Brandon Matus, and Wagner. Sixth went to Riney. Sodeman was seventh, then came Kekich, Weaver, and Gallagher.

The pair of heat races for the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprints, presented by the Donovan & Bauer Auto Group, went to Wagner and Flick. There was no B Main.

In the RUSH Sprint Car division, running under the twin banners of Gary Glass Automotive and Washington House, Arnie Kent and Kevin Ruhlman were on the front row, with Gale Ruth, Jr. and Rod George right behind. Brad Church and Chad Ruhlan occupied the third row, and Balze Myers and Tyler Newhart were in the fourth. Row five belonged to Brian Hartzell and A.J. McQuarrie, and Zach Morrow was paired with Joe Lockhart in row six.

Kent dashed out to the early lead, with Kevin Ruhlman and Gale Ruth, Jr. trailing. Ruth moved into the lead on the fourth lap and was never headed.

As the race went on, there was a tremendous battle for the second spot involving Kent, Kevin and Chad Ruhlman, and George. Kevin Ruhlman slid out of the groove going down the long back chute and lost a pair of positions. However, his bigger mistake came after the checkers, when he failed to take his car across the scales. He was disqualified for the infraction.

Ruth scored the win, his second in three tries at Tri-City Raceway Park. Kent, Chad Ruhlman, George, and Blaze Myers were the top five finishers.

Sixth went to John Mollick, followed by Brad Church, Brian Hartzell, A.J. McQuarrie, and Nolan Graves.

The Donovan & Bauer Auto Group heat races for the Gary Glass Automotive and Washington House RUSH Sprints went to Gale Ruth, Jr. and Rod George. There was no B Main.

Three Rivers Karting

The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks ran a tune-up for the big-paying Penn Ohio Pro Stock Championship battle coming up on July 15. Bobby Whitling, a two-time winner this season, started on the pole with Tim Bish as his dancing partner. Jason Johns and Darr Diegelman were in the second row, with Shane Applebee and Rod Laskey in the third. Joe Stajnrajh and Tyler Wyant were in the fourth row, with Patrick Fielding beside Andy Buckley. Row six belonged to last week’s winner, Curtis J. Bish and his brother Curt Bish, Jr.

Tim Bish took the early lead, but Whitling was racing in his shadow. After a close battle between them, Whitling took charge. Curtis J. Bish worked into third and he was challenging for second. Meanwhile, Jason Johns, Rod Laskey, Tyler Wyant, Josh Seippel and others were fifghting for spots in the top ten.

Whitling had the inside line working to perfection and he crossed the finish line first. A trio of Bishes–Tim, Curtis J., and Curt–came next. Johns was fifth. Sixth went to Seippel, followed by Laskey, Wyant, Buckley, and Doug Iorio, II.

Three Donovan & Bauer Auto Group heat races were contested for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks. Winners were Joe Stajnrajh, Darr Diegelman, and Patrick Fielding. There was no B Main, as all 27 racers were allowed to start the feature event.

In the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks, Chad Greeley and Bodey McClintock led the field to the starting line in turn four. Tim Callahan and Patrick Lane followed, with D.J. Macrae and Evan Sobieski in row three. Point leader Dalton Speer lined up next to his rival, Justin Bailey, in the fourth row. Levi Maskal and Mike Barr were in row five and Jamie Tasker and Hemi Kineston were in row six.
It was only a matter of time before Greeley would win a feature in his highly competitive four cylinder machine. He moved into the lead at the drop of the green and withstood several restarts, including one with just a pair of laps to go.

Taking the second position was Bailey, who took over the unofficial points lead with his top finish. Bodey McClintock, who ran second a good bit of the race, took third, with D.J. Macrae and Levi Maskal in fifth.

The sixth place finisher was Evan Sobieski. Patrick Lane, Hemi Kineston, Michael Barr, and Joanne Wilson completed the top ten.
Dalton Speer, who entered the night with the point lead, suffered a flat while racing in the top five.

The pair of Donovan & Bauer heat races for the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks went to Justin Bailey and Dalton Speer. Ther was no B Main.

Garret Davenport swept the heat and feature for the Junior Sprints. Taking second, also in an Open car, was Carter Himes. The Stock division winner was Grady Rinehart, followed by Adam Presnar, Camron Miller, David Coley, Colton Gulher, Jazlyn Boyles, Deryk Jones, Maddie Rafferty, and Keaton Himes.

Next week, Tri-City Raceway Park will present the Penn Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series. All of the regional stars and cars will be on hand to challenge the stout competitors in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stock Class. This special event will pay at least $3,500 to the winner and $150 to start the feature, but there will be no increase in the general admission ticket prices. Also on the card will be the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars, the Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds, and the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. The following two weeks, August 1 and 8, will be Sunday Thunder events. Point racing will conclude at Tri-City Raceway Park on August 15.

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.

Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars: A.J. Flick, Matt Farnham, Bob Felmlee, Brandon Matus, Leyton Wagner. Clay Riney, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Adam Kekich, Jeremy Weaver, Darin Gallagher, Ken Rossey, Jr., Brent Matus, Davey Jones, Bryan Salisbury, Bob McMillin, Gale Ruth, Sr., Jim Morris, Carl Bowser (DNS), Randy Wyant (DNS).

Gary Glass Automotive/Washington House RUSH Sprint Cars: Gale Ruth, Jr., Arnie Kent, Chad Ruhlman, Rod George, Blaze Myers, John Mollick, Brad Church, Brian Hartzell, A.J. McQuarrie, Nolan Graves, Tyler Newhart, Zach Morrow, Brian Cressley, Joe Lockhart, Ricky Tucker, Jr., Kevin Kaserman, Gale Ruth, Sr., Kevin Ruhlman (DNS).

Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks: Bobby Whitling, Tim Bish, Curtis J. Bish, Curt Bish, Jason Johns, Josh Seippel, Rod Laskey, Tyler Wyant, Andy Buckley, Doug Iorio, II, Joe Steinrajh, Matt Bernard, David Baker, Larry Kugel, Gary Fisher, Charlie McMillen, Mike Bordt, Mike Miller, Patrick Fielding, Russ Coyne, Darr Diegelman, Shane Applebee, Aaron Smith, James Barber, Josh Blum, Jason Covey (DNS), William Hurrelbrink (DNS).

4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks: Chad Greeley, Justin Bailey, Bodey McClintock, D.J. Macrae, Levi Maskal, Evan Sobieski, Patrick Lane, Hemi Kineston, Michael Barr, Joanne Wilson, Jamie Tasker Todd Hanlon, Dalton Speer, Tim Callahan, Devin Erwin, Howard Garlick.

Junior Sprints: Garret Davenport (Open), Carter Himes (Open), Grady Rinehart (Stock), Adam Presnar (Stock), Camron Miller (Stock), David Coley (Stock), Colton Gulher (Stock), Jazlyn Boyles (Stock), Deryk Jones (Stock), Maddie Rafferty (Stock), Keaton Himes (Stock).

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