WILLIAMS GROVE (August 21, 2020): Brandon Sheppard doubled up on the eastern swing for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, scoring his second consecutive win in the mid-state and thirteenth of the season on the tour. Picking where he left off at nearby Lincoln Speedway, Sheppard led all 40 laps at the Grove. Taking the 410 Sprint feature was Freddie Rahmer, Jr. It was his first of the season at the track.
Although Sheppard has always driven the Late Models, he appreciates the history at Williams Grove. “I love this track,” he said. “I came here once as a kid to see a Sprint Car race.” That’s pretty impressive considering the fact that Sheppard was raised in New Berlin, IL. Although Sheppard dominated the race, he was unaware of a potential problem with his Rocket house car. “He was leaking rear end grease,” explained the second place finisher, Gregg Satterlee. Satterlee remained patient racing behind Sheppard, as he was hoping that Sheppard’s car would fail him in the final laps. But, it did not.
Cade Dillard and Sheppard had the first row for the Late Model go by luck of the draw. Then came Darrell Lanagan and Mason Zeigler. Jason Covert and Max Blair were in row three, with surprising Gene Knaub in row four. Satterlee lined up in row five with Scott Bloomquist beside him.
Dillard led the field into turn one, but Sheppard dropped to the inside in turn two and took the lead racing down the long back stretch at the Grove. Dillard stayed close, but he could not close the gap that Sheppard began to create.
Dillard got a couple of tries on restarts, but he could not capitalize on them. Then, he started searching to find a quicker line that may have given him a shot at overhauling the leader. However, nothing worked for him.
While Dillard was chasing Sheppard in vain, the action behind him was pretty intense. Ricky Weiss, Zeigler, Lanagan, and Satterlee were fighting for positions. Weiss kept trying the outside line and he jumped the cushion several times in the first and second corners. Several times he came storming back, only to have it happen again.
By the halfway mark, Satterlee moved into third and Rick Eckert climbed into fourth Eckert had started in the middle of the field, but pitted early for an adjustment and he steadily worked his way toward the front.
A caution on lap 30 gave Dillard his last chance to snatch the lead away from Sheppard on a restart. Dillard tried the high side again, but he, too, had trouble with the cushion. Dillard gave up several positions due to his miscue.
A caution just four laps later gave Satterlee his one and only chance to challenge for the lead. He rolled into turn one on the inside of Sheppard, but Sheppard maintained his momentum and pulled away coming through turn two. Eckert closed in on Satterlee in the final laps, but he could not get his car to turn effectively despite making several in-car adjustments .
At the finish, it was Sheppard over Satterlee and Eckert. Taking fourth was Zeigler. Knaub challenged for fourth on the final lap, but he could not hold the position. Still, fifth was quite a run for the local driver. Dillard crossed in sixth. Ashton Winger, Lanagan, Chase Junghans, and Dennis Erb, Jr. completed the top ten.
Heat wins were scored by Dillard, Sheppard, Lanagan, and Zeigler. The pair of B Mains went to Kyle Lee and Jeff Rine. The fastest qualifier overall was Brent Larson, who topped the A Group with a lap of 19.773 seconds. he was unable to take advantage of the good time, and had to use a series provisional to startthe A Main. The fastest driver in Group B was Brandon Sheppard, at 19.800. There were 39 cars registered this night.
The 410 Sprint Car feature started with a bang. As the field was coming to take the green, there was chaos in the middle of the pack. Cars started flipping, four in all, and seven in total were involved in the big wreck. Although several cars sustained damage, including that of points leader Brent Marks, none of the drivers were injured.
The revamped line-up had Jordan Givler on the pole with Brent Shearer outside. Jason Solwold and Chase Dietz were in row two, with T.J. Stutts and Brett Michalski in the fourth row. Kyle Reinhardt was inside row five and Rahmer was moved up beside him. Matt Campbell and Adrian Shaffer were in row six. The second half of the field was jumbled and it appeared that several scoring errors took place, as Campbell was not penalized for working on his car on the track during the red flag and Danny Dietrich was placed ahead of several competitors who were not scored as part of the accident, even though he pitted for a new right rear tire.
When the race started again, Givler led the field into the corner. Shearer made a play for the lead, but spun. He did a complete 360, without making any contact, and kept his car moving. However, he fell to the rear of the field in the process.
Givler’s lead was short-lived, however. Dietz took command after a restart with one lap in the books. Reinhardt moved into fourth. Solwold held down second and Rahmer was up to fifth.
Dietz began to stretch out his lead, while Solwold was having trouble keeping Rahmer at bay. Meanwhile, Dietrich was marching through the diminished field.
Rahmer grabbed second with a textbook slider on Solwold on lap seven. On the next trip around, Dietrich did the same to take third.
While the fans were anxious to see whether sparks would fly between Rahmer and Dietrich, Dietz led the way. Rahmer separated himself from Dietrich and got close enough to try sliders on Dietz for the lead. The first effort failed, on lap 14, but the next one succeeded.
Rahmer led the remaining ten laps without incident. Dietrich moved into second on lap 16, but he was unable to reel in the leader. Dietz crossed in third, wondering what might have been had the wreck not brought the surviving fast cars closer to him for the start. Solwold was fourth, his best outing since taking over the John Trone car. Steve Buckwalter cam on in the second half of the race to earn fifth.
Positions six through ten went to Stutts, Reinhardt, Kyle Moody, Lucas Wolfe, and Adrian Shaffer.
Heat wins went to Givler, Shearer, and Solwold. Lucas Wolfe had his top wing collapse while leading his heat. As a result, he was relegated to last on the original starting grid. There was no B Main.
Williams Grove will have twin 20 lap features next week for the All Star Circuit of Champions. This will be a must-see event. It will be the Jack Gunn Memorial paying tribute to the innovative former promoter of the speedway.
Mother Nature Wins The Weekend In Western PA
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Mother Nature is putting a damper on the early portion of the Western Pennsylvania dirt track racing season as both Lernerville Speedway and Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway were forced to cancel their racing programs on Friday and Saturday night.
The inclement weather has forced Lernerville to postpone the Lernerville Grand, the 1,000th Sprint Car race in The Action Track’s storied history, two weeks in a row. Lernerville will host Military Appreciation Night on Friday, May 15, 2021 where Fab4 Racing will be on track.
PPMS was able to get in a full slate last weekend but has already made the decision to cancel Saturday night’s action. Racing will resume on Saturday, May 15, 2021, for an Action Event featuring the Rohrich Automotive RUSH Late Model Dirt Series, the Hobby Stocks, the Penn Ohio Pro Stocks, the Crawford Auto Repair Four Cylinders, and the All Ways Safe Young Guns.
UPDATE: Add Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio to the cancellation list thanks to the weather. An identical “Super Series” show will be coming up next Saturday night (May 15) as the “410” Sprint Cars return for $3,000 to-win along with the Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and the Whelen Econo Mods. Pits open at 4 p.m. and grandstands at 5. Sprint Car group qualifying will take place at 6:30 p.m. with heat races at 7.
Hafertepe Hammers All Stars At Tri-City Raceway Park; Ruhlman Rush Sprint Star
FRANKLIN, PA (May 2, 2021): Sam Hafertepe, Jr. scored his first win with the FloRacing All Stars Circuit of Champions in thirteen years of competition with the series. The All Stars program was presented courtesy of Krill Recycling LLC of Fennelton, PA.
Taking the Gary Glass Automotive/Washington House RUSH Sprint Car feature was Chad Ruhlman aboard the Tim Engels machine from Franklin, PA.
“Running out front was the place to be,” Hafertepe said. He explained that track position gave him better opportunities to navigate around some difficult track conditions.
Sam Hafertepe, Jr. and Ian Madsen led the All Star field to the green flag. Row two belonged to Tyler Courtney and Matt Farnham. Starting in the third row were Cap Henry and Bill Balog and they were followed by Hunter Schuerenberg and Justin Peck. Cale Conley and Sye Lynch started in row five with Carl Bowser and Kyle Reinhardt in row six.
Hafertepe bolted into the lead followed by Courtney, Madsen, Farnham and Peck. Before the racers could settle in, however, Reinhardt flipped his machine in between turns one and two. He was not hurt, but neither he nor track favorite Jack Sodeman, Jr. were able to continue.
Hafertepe assumed the lead again with Madsen, Farnham, and Henry in tow. Peck was applying the pressure and he began his move to the front. He reached fourth by lap four and third by lap five.
A caution for the lazy spin by Lynch in turn four bunched the field up and gave Peck an opportunity to challenge the leaders. He was hounding Courtney while Hafertepe ran out front by himself. Peck moved into second on lap seventeen before the pace was slowed due to Cory Eliason stopping in turn two.
On the ensuing restart, Peck made a bold move in turn one, but he snagged a rut and flipped his machine ending an impressive run up from the eighth starting spot.
Hafertepe completed the remaining eight laps without further ado. Courtney posted his best All Stars finish to date, second. Madsen crossed in third and gained enough points to take command of the All Stars series championship. Balog and Henry were fourth and fifth. Schuerenberg was sixth followed by Conley, Paul McMahan, Paige Polyak and Wise.
McMahan was the All Stars Hard Charger with thirteen positions advanced. Brandon Matus took the Fisher and Father NAPA Auto Parts Pro Performer Hard Charger award at plus five.
Balog, Farnham, Schuerenberg, and Henry were victorious in the heat races for the All Stars. Bob Felmlee nailed the second turn wall in his heat race, inflicting major damage on the car. Felmlee was unhurt. Lynch spun while racing second in his heat, but he was able to restart and made the transfer to the A Main.
Hafertepe, Jr. and Madsen captured the twin Dashes for the All Stars.
The B Main winner was McMahan. Dan Shetler was unhurt in his crash in turn one during the B Main.
The evening’s fastest qualifier overall was Justin Peck, with a lap of 14.998 in Group C. It was a new track record. He was the only driver to crack the 15 second mark. Courtney was the fastest in Group A, Madsen in Group B, and Lynch in Group D.
Teenager Nolan Groves and Brian Hartzell paced the Gary Glass Automotive and Washington House RUSH Sprint Car feature. Gale Ruth, Jr. and Chad Ruhlman were in the second row with Tyler Newhart and Rod George in the third row.
Ruhlman and Hartzell battled for the early lead with Ruth and George in hot pursuit. Ruth was the man to watch, going from third to first on lap four. However, Ruth was crowded and got into the outside wall, bending two wheels. He limped off the track after leading just one lap.
Ruhlman and Hartzell resumed the battle for the lead, but soon a new challenger appeared. Rod George showed everyone that he still remembered the fastest way around the big half mile. He took second on lap nine and chased down Ruhlman.
Ruhlman and George went back and fourth for several laps before Ruhlman seized control again. Soon thereafter, George’s car began to sputter and he had to retire from the race with nineteen laps down. However, while he and Ruhlman were entertaining the fans, Brad Church, Arnie Kent, and Newhart were fighting for third.
George’s misfortune set up a green checkered finish. Ruhlman completed the final lap, with Hartzell in second. Church, Kent, and Blaze Myers completed the top five. Newhart, Ricky Tucker, A.J. MacQuarrie, George, and Steve Pedley rounded out the top ten.
In the Rush Sprint Car heat races, Nolan Groves and Rod George captured the wins. Donovan and Bauer Auto Group of Titusville presented the heat races. There was no B Main.
Remember that there will be no racing at Tri-City Raceway Park on May 9 in observance of Mother’s Day. Action will resume on May 16, with a Sunday Thunder program featuring the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars, the Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds, the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks, and the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. May 16 will also be Military Night with all veterans and current members of the armed forces admitted free of charge with proper identification. May 23 will be a special program for the ULMS Late Model Series and the 305 Sprint Cars. The 305 Sprints will have double features. The month of May will conclude on May 30 with another Sunday Thunder racing event.
Flo Racing All Stars (25 laps): Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Tyler Courtney, Ian Madsen, Bill Balog, Cap Henry, Hunter Schuerenberg, Cale Conley, Paul McMahan, Paige Polyak, Zeb Wise, Sye Lynch, Brandon Spithaler, Carl Bowser, T.J. Michael, Brandon Matus, Frankie Nervo, Justin Peck, Matt Farnham, Lee Jacobs, Lucas Wolfe, Kyle Reinhardt, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Gary Taylor. DNQ: Skyler Gee, George Hobaugh, Greg Wilson, Brent Matus, Brett Brunkenhofer, Ken Rossey, Darin Gallagher, Dan Shetler, Michael Bauer, Bob Felmlee.
Gary Glass Automotive/Washington House RUSH Sprints: Chad Ruhlman, Brian Hartzell, Brad Church, Arnie Kent, Blaze Myers, Tyler Newhart, Ricky Turner, A.J. MacQuarrie, Rod George, Steve Pedley, Gale Ruth, Sr., Gale Ruth, Jr., Nlan Graves, John Mollick (DNS).
Justin Peck Wins Buckeye Cup At Sharon Speedway
HARTFORD, OH (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Justin Peck led wire-to-wire to win the FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions ‘Buckeye Cup’ Saturday at Sharon Speedway.
Peck withstood a challenge from second place finisher Cole Duncan before pulling away to claim the victory, his second in the ‘Buckeye State’ after winning at Attica Raceway Park in April.
“We were able to put a whole night together,” said Peck. “We qualified good enough tonight where we just had to transfer through our heat race to make the dash, and that’s the name of the game. You need to put yourself in a position early and start up front in these things. We fine tune things as the night goes on. I can’t thank everyone enough.”
Peck jumped out to the early lead with Hunter Schuerenberg, Cole Duncan, Dave Blaney, and Ian Madsen giving chase before encountering lap traffic on lap 11.
The lap traffic was just enough to impede Peck as Duncan and Blaney started closing in, eventually catching him on lap 16.
“I tried to lose that race there pretty early on by running the top and smacking the wall,” said Peck. “I actually knocked the ladder out of the car before we even got ten laps in. I just had to smarten up a little bit after that. I knew we had a fast race car. I just needed to finish the race.”
Peck started pulling away by lap 22 as Duncan, Blaney, Madsen and Zeb Wise fought it out for the remaining podium spots. Duncan crossed the start/finish line in second place followed by Blaney in third, however Blaney was eventually disqualified for missing the scales after the race. Blaney was credited with a 25th place finish.
The All Stars continue their Pennsylvania – Ohio weekend with at stop at Merle Black’s Tri-City Raceway Park in Franklin, PA.
A-Main (30 Laps):
1. 13-Justin Peck ; 2. 22C-Cole Duncan ; 3. 11-Ian Madsen ; 4. 10-Zeb Wise ; 5. 17B-Bill Balog ; 6. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 7. 81-Lee Jacobs ; 8. 4-Cap Henry ; 9. 5-Paul McMahan ; 10. 26-Cory Eliason ; 11. 97-Gary Taylor ; 12. 3C-Cale Conley ; 13. 42-Sye Lynch ; 14. 7BC-Tyler Courtney ; 15. O8-Dan Kuriger ; 16. 11B-Carl Bowser ; 17. 29-Michael Bauer ; 18. 28-Skylar Gee ; 19. 6-Bob Felmlee ; 20. 5K-Adam Kekich ; 21. 8M-TJ Michael ; 22. 22-Brandon Spithaler ; 23. 12-Darin Gallagher ; 24. 23JR-Jack Sodeman Jr. ; 25. 10B-Dave Blaney  Lap Leaders: Justin Peck (1-30)