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.
Marks Takes Third Win of Speedweek
HAGERSTOWN, MD (June 30, 2022): Brent Marks was the first driver to gather three checkered flags during the Pennsylvania Speedweek. He chased down leader Kyle Larson during the long green flag run that lasted until lap twenty-eight of the thirty scheduled laps. The win fortifioed his points lead over Anthony Macri and Justin Peck, both of whom finished in the top ten.
“I never expected the track to get like that,” Marks said. “I thought that it (the moisture applied just before feature time) would last about ten laps and that everybody would go to the bottom. But it stayed good up top.” Indeed, the groove that Marks and Larson preferred was way up top, just inches from the fences at both ends of the speedway.
Marks explained how he was able to pass Larson for the lead. “Kyle threw a slider (on the lapped car of Freddie Rahmer, Jr.) and scrubbed a lot of speed off and I could stay up top and I could get a run on him into (turn) one.” Marks used a slider of his own to get past Larson and then he proceeded to pull away.
Larson got another shot at Marks after the lap twenty-eight caution, but Marks was in full defensive mode. “I was just trying to block him the last two laps,” Marks admitted candidly. “I could hear him but I didn’t know where he was. I couldn’t go to the top on the restart, I had to build my momentum to get up there,” he explained.
Larson felt that he was a little short. “Brent was really good, for sure. I couldn’t clear Rahmer and I knew that a run was coming,” Larson noted. As for the restart, Larson said that he was running the middle and that Marks “closed it off.”
Larson teased Marks by suggesting that he should go on the road more often and “beat up on guys like Gravel, and Sweet, and Macedo, so I can get a few more wins when I come here.” Larson added that he plans to be back in Pennsylvania in a couple of weeks, presumably for the World of Outlaws appearances at Port Royal Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway.
Macri, who was the hard charger and third place finisher, noted that his car was not good at the beginning of the night and that “it took a while for us to get the car better.” When asked if he thought that he couple capitalize on the restart, he thought that he could maybe get by Larson, but then he realized that his tires got too cold and they sealed over under the caution. “So, I got defensive and went for the points.”
Tanner Thorson and Larson brought the field to the green flag. Marks and Rico Abreu were in the second row. Devon Borden had his best starting spot of the week, fifth, with Peck beside him. Ryan Smith and Dylan Cisney had the final pill draw positions. Then came Rahmer and R.J. Stutts. Row six belonged to Danny Dietrich and Sye Lynch.
Although Thorson reached turn one first, he was never scored as the leader of the eveny. Larson rode the rim to take the lead comining off turn two and Marks followed him into second. Smith also got by the defending Chili Bowl champion on the opening lap. Abreu and Dietrich followed him.
During the long green flag run, Larson and Marks disappeared from the other racers. Smith and Thorson battled with Abreu for third, with each of them holding it at various times.
Macri was on the march. He advanced from thirteenth on the grid to the top ten within the first five laps. By lap fifteen, he was into the top five. He was running third at lap twenty-five, but he was very far behind the leaders.
Larson and Marks had lapped all the way up to the eighth position by the time that the caution came out. Rahmer, who was solidly in the top ten, was one of the lapped cars and he broke Larson’s momentum, enabling Marks to make the pass for the lead with twenty-two laps in the books.
When the green flag waived for the final two-lap dash, Marks got awya cleanly and Larson stayed close, hoping for a mistake. Macri did take a peek inside of Larson coming off turn four, but he spun the tires and Larson got away.
At the finish, it was Marks, Larson, Macri, Dietrich, and Smith. Abreu got shuffled back to sixth. Borden, Lucas Wolfe, Chase Dietz, and Rahmer completed the top ten.
Thirty-six Sprints registered for the race. The four heats went to Thorson, Larson, Abreu, and Borden. The B Main winner was Ryan Timms. The evening’s fastest qualifier was Smith, who turned a lap of 15.824 seconds.
Marks leads Macri by 62 points and Peck by 130 heading into the Mitch Smith Memorial at WIlliams Grove Speedway. Wolfe and Stutts are fourth and fifth. Dietrich is sixth, followed by Freddie Rahmer, Jr., Dietz, Larson, and Ryan Smith.
Macri Makes it Two in Speedweek
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (June 25, 2022): Anthony Macri dominated round two of Pennsylvania Speedweek held at the Fabulous Lincoln Speedway. It was a similar script for him: he was the fastest qualifier, he transferred from his heat, he picked the pole for the feature, and he led wire-to-wire. His second win of the season in the Pigeon Hills was also his fourteenth at all venues. This one was worth $9200 in honor of the late Kevin Gobrecht. What is more, the win turned out to be a 39th Wedding Anniversary for his parents.
“We started on the pole and we set a pretty good pace, but we still had to pass the lapped cars,” Macri observed. While he had difficulty with that Friday night, it was an easier task on this occasion. Then he turned introspective. “That was win number fourteen. We started six years ago and I never thought that we would be where we are. We’re having a hell of a year. It’s nice to be here.”
This time, Macri had a different wingman, Troy Wagaman, Jr., for the thirty lap finale. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. and Chase Dietz were in row two. Jeff Halligan and Justin Peck were in the third. Lucas Wolfe and T.J. Stutts were in row four. Brent Marks and Lance Dewease were in row five. Jimmy Siegel and Dylan Norris were in the sixth.
Macri swooped into tun one on the opening lap. Rahmer was close behind, but it did not take long for Macri to begin to stretch his lead. Wagaman held third, with Peck, Dietz, Halligan, and Stutts following. A three-car tangle in turn two claimed Alan Krimes, Justin Whittal, and Landon Myers. That gave Rahmer another shot at Macri, but the Concrete Kid was up to the challenge.
Over the next seventeen laps, Macri ran alone out front, as Rahmer lost sight of the leader. Midway through that run, Peck caught Rahmer and the two put on a spectacular battle for second as they negotiated the slower traffic. Another caution cleared the track for them, but the contest for second continued unabated. Peck eventually grabbed the position and he held it to the finish.
After the final restart, Marks also set Rahmer back another notch. Dietz was coming on as well, but he ran out of time to chase down Rahmer. Wagaman held on for sixth. Dewease picked off a couple of cars in the final run, but he could not reach Wagaman. Stutts, Wolfe, and Devon Borden completed the top ten.
Four heats were run, with wins going to Troy Wagaman, Jr., Halligan, Dietz, and Wolfe. The C Main went to Robbie Kendall. Chad Trout, who was one of the evening’s fastest qualifiers, recovered from a heat race mechanical failure to get the checkers in the B Main. Macri’s overall quick time was set in Group A, at 13.285 seconds. Peck topped Group B with a time of 13.647 seconds.
A broken oil filter on Danny Dietrich’s car on his first time trial lap caused some concern in his pit, but repairs were made and he was able to post a time at the end of his group. He failed to transfer from his heat but did earn a starting spot through the B Main. Dietrich was fourteenth in the feature.
Macri enters round three of Speedweek with a healthy 63 point lead over Peck. Marks, Dewease, and Stutts make up the rest of the top five. Rahmer, Wolfe, Dietz, Norris, and Borden are next.
Hunter Fulton captured the flag in the Extreme Stock undercard. Bob Scott, Jr., Sam Rial, Marshall McMullen, and Justin Yohn rounded out the top five. Fulton and McMullen won the preliminaries.
Lincoln Speedway will host its second Speedweek contest on Monday night, June 27. It will be a Sprint Car only program. The Monster Trucks will invade the speedway on July 2. The Central PA Legends will also be in action. The Sprint Cars, both 410 and 358 varieties, will be back on July 9 and 16. The Super Sportsmen Tour will be added to the card on July 16.
Weather Claims Another Victory at Tri-City Raceway Park
FRANKLIN, PA (June 26, 2022): With a forecast that included mid-afternoon thunderstorms continuing well into the night, Tri-City Raceway Park canceled the racing program set for Sunday, June 26. “We did not want to expose our fans, racers, and staff to any dangerous weather conditions,” said track owner Merle Black. “We want everybody to be safe and ready for the big event coming up over the July 4 holiday weekend.”
Activity will start at the Venango County oval on Friday, July 1, with a practice session for all classes that will be in competition, and there will be lots of those! Grandstand admission will be free on Friday night. Racing will take place on Saturday, July 2, and Sunday, July 3.
The Shawgo Real Estate, LLC 410 Sprint Cars will see action on both nights. Complete programs will be presented for the winged warriors each night.
The Donovan & Bauer Auto Group 358 Modifieds will race on Saturday, but many of those racers are expected back for the Sunday showdown with the Big Block Modifieds of the BRP Modified Tour. Many race fans can remember when Gary Smoker turned away the Big Block Mods at Tri-City with his 358 Modified! Will it happen again?
Also doing double duty will be the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. Levi Maskal has been unbeatable so far this season. Will his hot streak continue?
The Saturday racing card will also include the qualifying for the Penn-Ohio Pro Stocks racing under the banner of Hovis Auto & Truck Supply. The 40 lap feature for that class will be held on Sunday night.
And, let’s take a page from the past. On Saturday, the Vintage Modifieds will take to the track. This is not just an exhibition run for these seasoned machines! There will be no holds barred competition.
Sunday’s program will include a look into the future. The Junior Sprints will take to the track. Many of the racers in that class are youngsters getting their first taste of auto racing. Current driver Chase Metheney got his start in this division several years ago and now he sits second in the championship standings for the Shawgo Real Estate, LLC 410 Sprint Cars. Who will be the next budding star to showcase his or her talents?
In addition, the RUSH non-wing Sprints will race on Sunday.
As is customary for July 4 celebrations, there will be Fireworks during Sunday evening. Then, after the races that night, there will be a big bonfire and a DJ will be spinning the tunes.
Camping will be free for the weekend at Tri-City Raceway Park. There will be no hookups provided.
If you cannot make it to the track for the July 4 Weekend Bash, mark your racing calendars for July 10 when Tri-City Raceway Park will present a Sunday Thunder racing program. Double points will be offered that night, so the racing will be intense in all of the track’s regular divisions.
Watch the website and social media platforms for any changes.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.