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.
Jennerstown Crowns Champions
JENNERSTOWN, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Jennerstown Speedway is celebrating after crowning its 2020 Champions Saturday night.
Barry Awtey started the Late Model division feature from the pole position with Albert Francis, the points leader going into the race, starting tenth and Teddy Gibala (third place in points) starting 12th. All three Championship contenders were lined up 1-2-3 by lap 20 with Gibala and Francis chasing Awtey but they did not have enough and Awtey picked up his second win of 2020. Despite the valiant effort of winning the race and leading the most laps, Awtey fell short in the title fight as Francis earned the title by four points.
Tom Golick picked up his second win of 2020 in the Modified division feature. John Fama scored a career-best second place finish followed by Jason Busch in third. Anthony Aiello finished fourth to clinch the Championship, his third consecutive Modified title.
Casey Fleegle started on the pole position in the Street Stocks feature and never looked back, holding off Josh Coughenour and championship contender Aaron Van Fleet. Fleegle earned the title of 2020 Champion by a slim margin of ten points over Van Fleet on the strength of a division-leading six wins.
Rookie Kyle Burkholder earned his first victory on a paved track by taking the checkered flag in the Chargers 15-lap feature. Dale Kimberly finished second followed by Steven Singo in third place. Kimberly took home the Championship for the third year in-a-row.
Evan Nibert captured the checkered flag in the 4-Cylinders feature. Jeff Vasos finished second with Steve Settle coming home in third place. Vasos took home the Championship, finishing 57-points ahead of his closest competition.
Gallagher Aces Applefest Sprints, Rudolph Doubles in Mods at Tri-City Raceway Park
FRANKLIN, PA (September 20, 2020): Darin Gallagher picked a perfect time to score his first career 410 Sprint Car victory. After sliding his mentor, Jack Sodeman, Jr., for the lead, Gallagher had to fend off a strong challenge from Dan Shetler to earn the $5,000 Applefest payday At Tri-City Raceway Park. But, Erick Rudolph had the most profitable weekend, scoring $4,000 wins in both the Big Block Modifieds and the 358 Modifieds.
Other victories were scored by Jeff Schaffer (Crate Modifieds), Zack Morrow (RUSH Sprint Cars), Chris Schneider (Pro Stocks), and Pat Hanlon (Mini Stocks).
“This feels great, I’m ecstatic,” Gallagher gushed after his impressive victory. “I had to slide Jack to get the lead, and I’ve never done that before.” Gallagher then commented, “I was running so hard. Dan (Shetler) and I have a lot of respect for each other and I knew that we could run close like that.”
Indeed, Shetler chased Gallagher down and he did take the lead away, but Gallagher rallied and ran the outside line to regain the lead after a few laps racing side by side. “That’s an old Dash 12 that I bought last year and I think that I lost a cylinder,” Gallagher said. “I dont know if it was a bad spark plug or something internal,” but on the slick surface the lack of horsepower could have been his ace in the hole. “I wasn’t spinning my wheels, I was able to use everything it had.”
Sodeman, who was gunning for a track championship, started on the pole for the 30 lapper. Next to him was A.J. Flick. Gallagher and Shetler were in row two, with Dan Kuriger and Carl Bowser in row three. Brandon Spithaler, who entered the final points race trailing Sodeman by just six markers, was in row four, along with George Hobaugh, Jr. Sye Lynch and Brandon Matus made up row five.
At the drop of the green, Sodeman took the lead, with Flick, Gallagher, Shetler, and Kuriger in tow.
While Sodeman led, Spithaler began to work his way to the front. He reached second by lap nine, when the race was slowed for debris in turn one. Spithaler was pressing Sodeman for the lead after the restart, but on lap ten, his title hopes took a major blow. Spithaler spun in turn two and had to start at the rear of the field.
The drama began to build soon thereafter. Sodeman was being challenged by his protege. Just after Gallagher slid Sodeman in turn two to grab the lead, Kuriger powered into second. Sodeman started falling back through the field, while Spithaler was marching forward.
Gallagher began to put some distance on Kuriger in the middle stage of the race. Kuriger’s run came to an end on lap 22, when he spun in turn four. By that time, Spithaler had passed Sodeman, but he needed some help. He was only two positions ahead when the race resumed.
In the final nine laps, Gallagher and Shetler battled for the lead. Shetler started cutting into
Gallagher’s advantage and the engine in Gallagher’s machine started to sputter. Shetler took the lead, but Gallagher stayed close. They ran side by side for a few laps, while Flick started to close in as well.
Gallagher would not give up, though, and he drove by Shetler in turns one and two with just a couple of laps remaining. Shetler continued to give chase, but Gallagher was flawless.
At the finish, it was the young Butler pilot raising his hand in victory. Shetler was second, followed by Flick, Bowser, and Spithaler. Brandon Matus was sixth and Sodeman seventh, good enough to clinch the championship by a slim margin of two points unofficially. Jeremy Kornbau, Hobaugh, and Brent Matus completed the top ten.
Gallagher, Flick, and Sodeman won heats held on Saturday. There was no B Main.
In the Big Block Modified feature, Empire State drivers Chad Brachmann and Erick Rudolph had the front row. Shawn Kozar and Rex King, Sr. were in row two, with Garrett Krummert and Jeremiah Shingledecker in row three. Jim Rasey and Rick Regalski were in row four. Steve Barr and J.R. McGinley were in row five.
Rudolph slid under Brachmann entering turn one on the opening lap. Brachmann skid across the slick surface and lost six positions as Rudolph pulled away. King Sr. move into second, followed by Shingledecker and Kozar.
Rudolph was cruising out front,. but there was a spirited battle for second between King Sr. and Shingledecker. They banged wheels going through turns three and four and then they got together coming down the front stretch. Shingledecker got out of shape and his car began to tumble toward the first turn. King Sr. was penalized for his role in the incident, moving Brachmann into second for the restart.
The two New Yorkers continued racing out front, while Rasey, Brad Rapp, and others fought for spots in the top five. Kozar rolled in turn two with 18 laps complete to bunch things up again. Nonetheless, Kozar was able to restart the race as his car was battered but not broken.
In the final laps of the race, Rudolph and Brachmann pulled away from the rest of the pack. Rasey and Rapp continued their struggle, but Garrett Krummert entered the picture. along with King Sr. and Rex King Jr. who pitted for two new tires while Kozar was being turned back onto his wheels.
At the finish, it was Rudolph, Brachmann, Krummert, King Jr. and King Sr. Rapp faded to sixth.Regalski, Barr, Kyle Fink, amd Mike Turner rounded out the top ten. Rasey spun in between turns three and four on the final lap and he was scored eleventh based upon laps completed.
Regalski and Krummert won the qualifying rounds on Saturday. There was no B Main.
Rex King, Jr. had the pole for his first 358 Modified start. Two-time winner Greg Martin was on his flank. Rudolph and Tim Holden, another two-tine victor, were in row two. Brachmann and Brian Sadler were in row three, with Ryan Riffe and Shingledecker in row four. Ryan Susice and Brandon Michaud were in row five.
King Jr. led the opening lap, but Rudolph was stalking him. Martin hovered in third, with Brachmann, Holden, Riffe, and Susice following. Rudolph powered by King J. on lap two and was never headed.
King Jr. continued on in second through the halfway mark. However, Susice took the position away soon thereafter. Shingledecker and Kevin Hoffman cracked the top five as Martin began to slide back.
A pair of cautions on lap 17 set up an eight lap run to the checkers. Rudolph completed them without incident. Shingledecker came on strong to get the second spot. Suicice helpd on for third. King Jr. was fourth followed by Martin. J.R. McGinley, Jimmy Holden, Brian Sadler, Tom Holden, and Jeff Schaffer, Jr. were sixth through tenth.
Suicise, Riffe, and Rudolph scored the preliminaries on Saturday. There was no B Main.
Zack Morrow started on the pole for the RUSH non-wing Sprint Car feature and he would go wire to wire for the emotional victory. He dedicated the win to his father, who passed on about a week before the race. Shaun Smith moved from third into second early in the contest, but he was no match for the high-flying Morrow in this one. Jeremy Weaver chased him home. Steve Pedley and Gale Ruth, Jr. rounded out the top five.
Nolan Graves, Brian Hartzell, Rick Regalski, , Andy Feil, and Amelia Clay made up the second group of five finishers.
Morrow and Ruth were the heat winners in Saturday’s action. There was no B Main.
The Pro Stocks ran for 50 laps. Noah Brunell earned the pole Saturday based on his heat and dash wins. He led the first 19 laps, but he could not break free from Chris Schneider, who also was a heat winner. Schneider made the pass and went on to lead the remaining 31 laps.
Bobby Whitling gave chase for a significant portion of the second half of the race, but he surrendered the runner-up spot to Randy Wyant. Wyant closed in on Schneider, but never posed a threat for the win.
At the finish, it was Schneider, Wyant, Whitling, Jimmy Fosnaught, and Jackson Humanic who came from the last row on the starting grid. Joe Stajnrajh, Blaze Myers, Pat Fielding, Rod Laskey, and Josh Seippel completed the top ten.
Joining Brunell and Schneider in heat wins Saturday was Doug Iorio, II. There was no B Main.
Jeff Schaffer, Sr. was back behind the wheel of a Modified for the first time in a couple of years and he made the most of the opportunity leading the entire twenty laps for the Crate Modified win. His teammate, Garrett Krummert was second. Kyle Martell was third, followed by Kole Holden and D.J. Schrader. David Kalb, Jr., Todd Gabriel, Kevin Hoffman, Jessica Kriegisch, and Gage Priester completed the top ten.
Krummert won the only heat race held on Saturday. There was no B Main.
Pat Hanlon stormed from twenty-third to second in less than a handful of laps in the nightcap for the Mini Stocks. He inherited the lead when Dillon Speer could not get his mount to shift out of first gear after a critical restart. J.R. Shaner was second. Austin Fedder, Patrick Lane, and Justin Bailey were the next three finishers. Jesse Armstrong, Joseph DeWoody, Kelly Clark, Mike Barr, and Zack Swartz held down positions six through ten.
Dillon Speer and Bill Fuchs were heat winners Saturday. There was no B Main.
Based upon their performances all season long, Sodeman (410 Sprints), Fink (358 Modifieds) and Dillon Speer (Mini Stocks) were named as champions for the three core classes at Tri-City Raceway Park.
Carl Bowser Takes Applefest Win At Tri-City Raceway Park; Sunday Lineups Set
FRANKLIN, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Carl Bowser is back in Victory Lane following his win Saturday at “Applefest Race Weekend” at Tri-City Raceway Park.
The 25-lap race was a makeup feature that was postponed on August 23 and came one night after Bowser was taken out of the feature race at Lernerville.
Bowser became only the second driver to win more than once at Tri-City in 2020, joining Brandon Spithaler as a two-time winner. Spithaler finished in second place with Jack Sodeman, Jr. crossing the finish line third. Dan Shetler placed fourth and 2020 winner Brandon Matus finished fifth.
Sunday the Sprint Cars will race a 30-lap feature event paying $5,000 to the winner. Sodeman, Jr. enters the Sunday season finale with a six point lead over Spithaler in the quest to earn the title of Tri-City Champion.
The Big Block Modifieds set the starting lineup for their $4,000-to-win, 30-lap, feature on Sunday with a pair of preliminary Heat Races. Rick Regalski beat Rex King, Sr. to win the first heat. The second Heat Race was won by Garrett Krummert, who held off Erick Rudolph.
A trio of heat races set the starting grid for Sunday’s 30-lap, $4,000-to-win Small Block Modified feature. Ryan Susice, Rudolph and Ryan Riffe captured the checkered flags.
The Pro Stocks set their field for Sunday’s 50-lap, $2,250-to-win race. Heat race victories went to Chris Schneider, Doug Iorio II, and Noah Brunell. Brunell also won a special “Dash Race” for the division.
The RUSH Sprint Cars ran two heat races on Saturday to set the field for their 20-lap, $1,000-to-win feature on Sunday. Zach Morrow and Gale Ruth, Jr. each took prelim wins.
Garrett Krummert was also victorious in the heat race for the Crate-Engined Modified division. The Mini Stock division Heat Races were won Dillon Speer and Bill Fuchs.
Fans coming to Sunday’s events are encouraged to bring all 2020 ticket stubs to the race as they will be used for Grand Prize drawings, which include two Jeep-replica go-karts are among the top prizes. Winners must be present and have matching ticket stub numbers in hand to claim prizes. Sunday’s event also includes a fireworks display after the races. Gates open at 2 p.m. with racing to begin at 4 p.m.