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Macri, Wagner, Heimbach, Sweigart, and Bright are Five Fast Fellows at Port Royal Speedway

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Port Royal Speedway

PORT ROYAL, PA (August 22, 2020): Five different Sprint Car drivers visited victory lane at the Speed Palace. Grabbing the $10,000 paycheck in the Legends Dream Race was Anthony Macri. Also winning in the 410 Sprint class were Logan Wagner and Blaine Heimbach. The 305 Sprint winner was Nitro Nick Sweigart. Alex Bright won his first ever Sprint Car race for the USAC East Coast wingless Sprints.

The first feature to hit the track was the make-up race from the Living Legends Night. It was a 30 lap contest. Former champions Logan Wagner and Brock Zearfoss had the front row, with current points leader Brent Marks flanked by perennial favorite and former champ Lance Dewease in row two. Tyler Bear and Anthony Macri lined up next. Steve Buckwalter and T.J. Stutts were in row four with Ryan Smith and Ryan Taylor in row five.

Logan Wagner zoomed into the lead at the drop of the green, followed by Dewease, Zearfoss, Macri, Marks, Stutts, and Bear. Dewease showed Wagner his nose on several occasions, including the charges into turn one following restarts on laps four and nine. However, the outside line was the fastest way around the big track, and Wagner was able to keep his momentum, and the lead.

Macri also found the high line to his liking and he chased down Dewease for second with eleven laps in the books. Meanwhile, Marks moved up an notch in the running order, while Zearfoss kept Stutts, Heimbach, and Taylor at bay.  Macri began to close in on Logan Wagner as the race neared the midpoint. On lap 18, Macri slid by in turns one and two to grab the lead. Dewease had a comfortable margin over Marks, who also had distanced himself from Zearfoss.

The final caution on lap 20 set up a ten-lap run to the checkers. Macri was fastest in the clean air and he pulled away from Wagner with ease. Dewease challenged Wagner for second in the closing laps, but he could not make the pass when it counted. Marks and Zearfoss rounded out the top five. Stutts held off a charge from Jeff Halligan, who started 18th on the grid. Heimbach lost a couple of positions in the final laps. Taylor and Dylan Cisney completed the top ten.

Macri rebounded from two weeks of disappointments to celebrate his fifth win at Port Royal this season. “It feels good to get a win again,” he noted. “The last two weeks we felt like shit. We didn’t do well at Knoxville and we junked a car last night.” Fortunately, Macri and his team assembled this machine this week and tested it at Port Royal on Thursday night. “Normally, I don’t like a new car, but this one feels pretty good.”

The second 410 feature race was the third main event to pull onto the track. It was a make-up from the previous week when rains came during a clean-up of a wreck on the opening lap of the race. The restart line-up had Logan Wagner on the pole again with Cisney next to him. Taylor was paired up with Mike Wagner in the second stanza. Heimbach and Paulie Colagiovanni were in row three, with Lucas Wolfe and Tyler Bear in row four. Halligan and Curt Stroup were in row five for the start.

Wagner again assumed command, running the high groove. This time, however, he was never headed as the racers ran off all 20 laps without a single interruption. Cisney raced along in second but never was a contender for the win. Mike Wagner held third, with Wolfe completing the distance in fourth. Heimbach maintained his fifth place position throughout as well.

Ryan Taylor fell back to sixth. Brent Marks put on quite a display coming from the eleventh row, as he was one of the cars involved in the opening lap crash last week. Halligan, Colagiovanni and Stutts completed the top ten.

“I can’t believe it, here we are!” exclaimed Wagner after the victory. “We went half this season and here we are in the new victory lane.”

The final feature of the night was the regularly scheduled 410 A Main. This time, Jeff Miller was on the pole and Ryan Taylor had the second position. Heimbach and Tyler Reeser were in the second row. Wolfe and Cisney had the third row. The Wagners, Mike and his son, Logan, were in the fourth row, with Macri and Dewease in row five.

Taylor took the lead in this race, which also went non-stop. Miller settled into second, followed by Reeser, Heimbach, Wolfe, and Cisney. By lap five, Heimbach reached second and he was charging after the leader. Miller, Cisney and Logan Wagner were mixing things up for top five spots.

Three Rivers Karting

Heimbach caught Taylor by the halfway mark. He slipped by on the insuide of turn two a few laps later. Taylor continued in second until just a handful of laps were left in the race. Logan Wagner sailed by and he set his sights on Heimbach. While Wagner was able to get the fans excited by closing in on the leader, he could not pull off the double this night. He crossed the finish line several car lengths behind Heimbach.

Taylor held on for third. Marks came from the middle of the field to get fourth. Wolfe crossed in fifth with a sour engine. Macri and Dewease were next. Reeser, Cisney, and Mike Wagner completed the top ten.

The four heat winners for the regular show were Miller, Halligan, Logan Wagner, and Taylor. A.J. Flick won the B Main.

“We were better all night tonight,” Heimbach said. “Tonight, every time we were out on the track, we got a little better.” He explained that he made small changes to the car as the night went on. “We just made little changes, you’ve got to make small changes so you don’t take yourself out of it,” he explained. Heimbach was relieved to get the win, as he has been struggling for most of the season. Heimbach was quite tired, noting that the heat took its toll. “We just had to keep moving, we didn’t have much of a break between races.”

The 305 Sprint feature was a quick one as well. Nick Sweigart took the lead and set a fast pace. “It’s nice to start up front every now and then, and I got to capitalize on it tonight.”

While Sweigart ran out front, multiple winner Garrett Bard pulled into second with six laps remaining. He was able to close in on the leader, but he could not make a bid for the win. Dave Grube, Doug Dodson, and Domenic Melair rounded out the top five. Larry McVay, Kassidy Kreitz, Landon Price, Erin Statler, and Devin Adams ran sixth through tenth.

Preliminaries went to Bard, Melair, Jimmy White, and Dodson. Dylan Smith won the B Main.

In the USAC East Coast 360 Sprints, Alex Bright went from fourth to second on the opening lap. Soon thereafter, he was in the lead. It was not easy for him, though, as Steve Drevicki followed him into second. Drevicki and Bright went at it the rest of the way, as they were easily the class of the field.

“This was just the third race with the car,” Bright commented. “It was fun racing with Drevicki just like we did with the ARDC (Midget club). I knew I had to get a good start. It was shoving just a bit and I knew I was going to get a slider from Drevicki and that yello (on lap 24 of 25) guaranteed it, but we got a good start.”

Following the former Midgeteers was Davey Franek, Billy Vaninwegen, and Chris Allen, Jr. Bill Unglert, Christian Bruno, Shawn Donath, David Swanson and J.R. Berry were the next five to cross the line.

Heat wins wentto Drevicki, Franek, and Kevin Nouse. There was no B Main for the wingless racers.

Port Royal will host the biggest Late Model Race in the mid-state next week. Starting Thursday and continuing through Saturday, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will be in town. Set to make his Dirt Late Model debut is the nation’s hottest open wheel racer, Kyle Larson! Can he master yet another dirt track discipline? Come out to find out for yourself.

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Dirt Racing

Kyle Larson Wins at Williams Grove

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Photo: Paul Arch

WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (April 16, 2021): Kyle Larson made his first 410 Sprint Car race of the season a memorable one, capturing the Tommy Hinnershitz Classic at Williams Grove Speedway. Larson, who admitted to having some rustiness earlier in the night, got better as the night went on. He won his Dash, which put him on the front row beside his good friend, Lance Dewease, and then he chased down the veteran who was seeking his 100th career win at the track. Larsen went on to score a convincing win.

Also getting to victory lane was the defending 358 Sprint Car champion, Derek Locke.

“I used to hate this place,” Larson said. His early struggles at the track were well documented. “But, now that I have a fast car here, it’s really fun.” Larson went so far as to say that Williams Grove is now one of his favorite venues. And, why not? In the last twelve months, he tabbed three wins at the track. Larson clearly enjoys racing at Williams Grove and going head to head
with his pal.

“I knew that I had a really good car,” Larson noted. “I was catching (Dewease) at both ends. I showed him the nose in three and he was getting tight.” Larson sailed by Dewease on the outside of turns one and two and never looked back. Still, Larson was concerned that the wily veteran might chase him down in traffic. “He has a lot of laps here,” he explained.

Indeed, Dewease was closing in on Larson until he encountered the lapped car of T.J. Stutts. It took Dewease several laps to get past Stutts and, by then, Larson’s lead was insurmountable.  Dewease noted that his car got really tight as the race went on. “We weren’t very good after that red flag with three laps in. He (Larson) got by me and he checked out.” So Dewease must wait a little while longer to claim the big win.

Dewease and Larson had the front row by virtue of their respective Dash wins. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. and Ian Madsen were in the second row, with Anthony Macri and Tim Shaffer right behind. Kerry Madsen rolled off from row four, along with Tony Stewart, the surprise winner the night before at Virginia Motor Speedway. Tyler Courtney and Zeb Wise were in row five and Paul McMahan and Zach Hampton started from the sixth verse.

Dewease fired first and opened a three car length advantage over the NASCAR star. Ian Madsen held down third, ahead of Rahmer, Shaffer, Macri, and Wise. Dewease maintained his advantage through the first three laps before the red was displayed for Stutts, who turned his car over midway down the backstretch. The damage was minimal, and Stutts was able to pit for some repairs to enable him to continue.

After that stoppage, Dewease resumed command. However, Larson was stalking him and he made several aggressive runs to the inside of turn three. With each successive lap, Larson drew closer. He did pull alongside Dewease in three with nine laps completed and he made the winning move at the opposite end of the track on the tenth circuit.

Three Rivers Karting

Soon thereafter, the only caution was displayed for Cap Henry’s spin between turns three and four. Dewease got to start on Larson’s tail, but he could not capitalize on that opportunity. Larson rolled into turn one without any threat from Dewease and he completed the remaining 20 laps without seeing any light blue flashing next to him.

After the caution, the driver making progress was Rahmer. After falling back a few spots in the first third of the race, Rahmer found some speed in the middle stage of the contest. He regained the third position on lap 12 and he began to close in on Dewease. “The middle part of the race we were really good,” Rahmer commented. “We left a little on the table though.” While Rahmer made things interesting, he could not get close enough to Dewease to challenge for second.

While Rahmer was coming forward, Shaffer started to fall back. Shafer raced in fourth in the early going but gave up several positions over the second half of the race.

At the checkers, it was Larson, Dewease, Rahmer, Ian Madsen, and Macri. Tony Steward was sixth, followed by Shaffer, Kerry Madsen, Courtney, and McMahan.

The heat winners were Ian Madsen, Stewart, Kerry Madsen, and Shaffer. Brett Shearer took the B Main over Danny Dietrich, who made his second engine change of the night in time to start the A Main. Dewease was the night’s fastest qualifier with a lap of 16.316

“It was good to get the year started right,” Derek Locke said about his victory. After starting in the eighth spot, he steadily advanced to the second spot in the early going. He chased Tyler Brehm for five or six laps. The leaders were dicing in traffic and narrowly avoided a spinning car in turn three near the halfway mark. For the restart, Locke slid the wing back a bit and he was able to drive past Brehm easily in turns one and two.

Brehm followed Locke the rest of the way. Chris Frank, Cody Fletcher, and Kyle Denmyer completed the top five. Chad Criswell, Brett Wanner, Matt Findley, Scott Fisher, and Zach Newlin were the next five across the finish line.

Wanner, Brehm, and Denmeyer won their heat races. There was no B Main.

Williams Grove will return to action next week with a Yellow Breeches 500 race night featuring the 410 and 358 Sprint cars. Then, on April 30, the ASCS National Tour will invade the speedway, along with the United Racing Club. These organizations will bring some of the best 360 Sprint racers in the country. The 410 Sprints will also be on the card.

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Dirt Racing

Opening Night At Lernerville Speedway Postponed

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SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Western Pennsylvania dirt track racers and fans were revving up their engines in preparation for Friday night’s opening night at Lernerville Speedway but Mother Nature had other plans.

Lernerville announced Friday morning that opening night has been postponed due to weather.

Three Rivers Karting

Opening night will now be Friday April 23 with Fab4 racing revved up by Marburger Farm Dairy.

For tickets and more information visit www.lernerville.com.

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Dirt Racing

Shaffer Scores Again at Lincoln

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Lincoln Speedway

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (April 10, 2021): Tm Shaffer became the first repeat winner of the season in the 410 Sprint division at Lincoln Speedway. Shaffer caught a break with eight laps remaining in the contest when Chase Dietz failed to clear the leader, Aaron Bollinger, in a daring two for one slide job attempt in turns three and four. Shaffer was able to turn under the wreck in progress and assumed the point for the restart. He was never headed.

Also grabbing checkers this night were Hayden Miller in the 358 Sprint Cars and Scott Shaffer in the Outlaw Vintage Racing Series Modifieds.

Shaffer proclaimed that his new pairing with Heffner Motorsports has the makings of a great team. And, he should know. The Hall of Fame driver has been part of several championship caliber combinations over the years.

“The 16 (Bollinger) was putting a good pace on and I was just waiting for lapped traffic but he was getting away,” Shaffer said. Shaffer called upon his vast experience to get the victory. “Sometimes you just have to wait for it to come to you and it did.” Dietz, however, was impatient, and it cost him dearly. “I hated to see that,” Shaffer said of the accident that handed him the win. “This can be a humbling sport.”

Scott Fisher and Bolliger were paired up on the front row for the start of the 30 lap event run under the track handicapping system. Glendon Forsythe and Dylan Norris were in the second row. Tim Glatfelter and Shaffer occupied row three. Opening day victor, Tim Wagaman, lined up beside Dietz, while Austin Bishop and Tyler Ross started in row six. Poor heat race performances relegated Kyle Moody, Brandon Rahmer, Jimmy Siegel, Freddie Rahmer, Jr., Matt Campbell, and points leader Alan Krimes to the second half of the starting order. Also mired in the back of the field was Danny Dietrich who arrived late after racing at Port Royal Speedway earlier in the night. Dietrich was able to tag the tail of the third heat and wound up seventh in his qualifier.

Bollinger seized the early lead and it looked as though he was going to give himself a belated birthday present. He raced out front up until the mishap with Dietz on lap 22. Shafer bolted into second on the opening lap and he chased the younger driver throughout. Fisher, Norris, Glatfelter, and Forsythe followed.

As Fisher was falling back, Dietz was coming forward. He reached the top five with just five laps down. In five more rounds, he was fourth. At the halfway mark, he was third and gaining on the leaders.

Dietz was certainly on the charge as the race entered the stretch run. He got a tremendous run down the backstretch and swooped under Shaffer in turn three. Dietz was carrying plenty of momentum and, when Bollinger bobbled just a bit, Dietz saw an opportunity. Instead of sliding up behind the leader, Dietz continued on the low line and tried to slide him as well. He drifted up as Bollinger was regaining control coming off the cushion. There was impact. Hard impact. It carried both cars up to the wall in turn four. Shaffer was able to check up to avoid the accident.

Shaffer led Glatfelter the rest of the way to get his second victory of 2021 at Lincoln. Norris held off Freddie Rahmer, Jr., who climbed up from fifteenth on the grid. Ross turned in a creditable job to nail down fifth.

Tim Wagaman, Kyle Moody, Landon Myers, Billy Dietrich, and Bishop completed the top ten. It was Myers’ first start of the season and he came from the tail after pitting for an engine problem as the field was pushing off. Also making his first start of the season was Cory Haas in his new ride, the Buzz Wilson 38. Haas also endured a sour motor, but his problem was not corrected and he placed last in the race.

Heat wins belonged to Forsythe, Norris, and Bollinger. There was no B Main.

Three Rivers Karting

In the 358 Sprints, fans expected to see a repeat win by Jeff Rohrbaugh, who started on the outside of row one. But it was the youngster, Miller, who won the race into turn one.

Miller was anxious before the race began. “Before I went out there, I was shaking so bad. I was pacing in the trailer,” he explained. But the nerves never got to him once he was inside the car.

Rohrbaugh fell back to fourth on the opening lap, and would never contend for the victory.

Steve Owings slid into the second spot and he challenged Miller occasionally during the 20 lap affair. However, Zane Rudisill was the one who had the fans excited in the final laps.

Rudisill picked off two racers to get into third on a restart with just a handful of laps remaining. Then he took second and began to close in on Miller. A final caution with three to go gave him a shot at the leader, but Miller was up to the challenge.

“I raced with Zane in the 600s at Path Valley and I know how tough he could be,” Miller said. “The last three or four laps I made the car as wide as possible.”

After Miller and Rudisill came Owings, Kody Hartlaub, and Cody Fletcher, the points leader. Another Cody, Phillips, led the next group of five to the finish line. Jordan Strickler, Matt Findley, Justin Foster, and Riley Emig were next across.

The race was stopped twice for violent flips by Jon Stewart and Brett Strickler, both between turns three and four. Neither driver was hurt.

The three heat winners were Rohrbaugh, Hartlaub, and Jordan Strickler. Jacob Balliet scored in the B Main.

Scott Shaffer charged from eighth to get the Vintage Modified main win over Wes Cassel and Mark Hahn.

Next week, Lincoln Speedway will present the 18th Annual Weldon Sterner Memorial. The race will pay $6,900 to the winner. Sterner is remembered as the owner of the potent 69 cars driven by Van May. He was also a promoter of Lincoln Speedway for a number of years. Joining the 410 Sprints will be the 358 Sprints. On April 24 there will be a triple header for the 410 Sprints, Central PA Legends Cars, and Mid Atlantic Modifieds.

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