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.
Chip Ganassi Racing unveils Alex Palou’s No. 10 DHL Honda
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing unveiled the livery for two-time and reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion Alex Palou’s DHL Honda on Tuesday. DHL signed on as the primary sponsor this off-season in a multi-year partnership with the team.
The No. 10 car will carry the familiar yellow of DHL’s branding but adds a splash of red that has been synonymous with the Ganassi team for decades.
“As everybody can see, this is quite the amazing livery,” said Palou. “The No. 10 DHL Honda looks very aggressive, and it will certainly stand out on the track, which is great. I can’t wait to start the season with a run in this livery at Sebring before we kick things off in St. Pete. It’s looking like the perfect livery to try to defend our title in 2024 and I cannot wait to deliver on-track here soon.”
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding takes place March 8-10 on the streets of St. Pete.
Jean Lynch Classic Coming to Lernerville Speedway
(February 6th, 2024) – Western PA Speedweek and Lernerville Speedway are introducing ‘The Jean Lynch Classic presented by Rustler Sales & Service’ as the cornerstone event of the 2024 Western PA Speedweek. The $4,000 to win, $350 to start event on Friday, May 31st will mark the highest paying Speedweek race since the 2021 reincarnation.
“My family and I can’t thank Tyler Beichner, Lernerville Speedway, and everyone involved with Western PA Speedweek enough for putting this together to honor my grandmother Jean Lynch,” said racer Sye Lynch, Jean’s grandson, in a Facebook post. “Her accomplishments and legacy in the racing world should never be forgotten. My team and I are working to make this night even more special and memorable for everyone. That’s how “Mrs. Jean” as many called her, would want it.”
Jean Lynch was a pioneer for women in racing with ties to tracks and organizations such as NASCAR, CART, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy 500, the All Star Circuit of Champions and Ohio Sprint Speedweek, and much more. However, her love for racing never left the local racing scene as she could be found managing, promoting, and renting out tracks all across the northeast. The pinnacle of Jean’s lifelong love for racing came in 2013 when she was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. Lynch is also a member of the Lernerville Speedway Hall of Fame, Pittsburgh Circle Track Hall of Fame, Tri-City Speedway Hall of Fame and DIRT Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Lynch passed away last year on June 30, 2023.
Rustler Sales and Service is teaming up with Western PA Speedweek to be presenting sponsor of the Jean Lynch Classic. Owned and operated by former racer Brian Steinman, Rustler Sales and Service specializes in heavy truck sales, service and towing across northwestern Pennsylvania. Call (814) 214-7023 or visit rustlersalesandservice.net to find out how Rustler’s can best serve you.
JEAN LYNCH CLASSIC PAYOFF:
Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Names MINI 2024 Marque Of The Year
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – MINI, the iconic British brand, is the 2024 ‘Marque Of The Year’ for the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. 2024 marks the third time for the brand to receive the honor, which also occurred in 2004 and 2014.
“Excitement is in the air as MINI and MINI of Pittsburgh takes the spotlight as ‘Marque of the Year’, said Morgan McLane, Motoring Advisor at MINI of Pittsburgh. “Join us as we revitalize the spirit of motoring, embrace the elegance of the past, and set the stage for a future filled with MINI adventures.”
MINIS will be everywhere this summer in Pittsburgh including on-track both weekends and at all of the PVGP car shows throughout race week, July 26 through August 4.
“This honor is a testament to our commitment to excellence and we can’t wait to share this thrilling ride with the entire Pittsburgh community,” said Jason Karpa, Motoring Manager at MINI of Pittsburgh.
The Classic MINI debuted in 1959 as an inexpensive, 4-person “saloon” that didn’t use a lot of gas or take up a lot of space.
MINIS are no stranger to the race track. In 1961 British racing legend John Cooper added some horsepower, bigger brakes, tuned the suspension a tweak and the Classic MINI Cooper 997 was born.
John Cooper’s Classic MINI Cooper and Cooper S went on to dominate the 1960’s race scene, winning almost every international competition imaginable, including historic wins at Monte Carlo in 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1967.
MINIS will be on the track in 2024 as Mini of Pittsburgh and Vince Longo Jr. team up for the MINI Track Rides program for the 11th year. Three race-equipped MINI Coopers are custom-wrapped and showcased on the track and at Grand Prix Race Week events. Longo and his certified racers take riders around the track for an experience and view you can only get from inside a car.
Todd Cook created the 2024 PVGP Poster, which features Bruce Whipple racing his 1962 Austin MINI Cooper S that competes at Schenley Park and Pitt Race. Whipple, from Newton, New Jersey plans to change his race number to 42 signifying the 42nd running of the PVGP to match the poster.
Cook also created a second poster featuring a GT40 in honor of the GT40 60th Reunion the PVGP is hosting July 26-28.
For a complete schedule of events, visit PVGP.org.