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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.

Dirt Racing

PPMS, Latrobe and Lervnerville Cancel Saturday Events

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PITTSBURGH, PA (May 25, 2024) A forecast calling for thunderstorms after 3 p.m. with gusty winds and possible hail throughout areas of Western Pennsylvania on Saturday is forcing local tracks to cancel their Saturday nights events.

Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway made the decision early to cancel their Choice for Change Action Event with the RUSH Sprint Cars.  All tickets purchased for the event are eligible for a full refund.  Next up at PPMS is the Western PA Speedweek event on Thursday with UEMS Racing Series.

Penn Ohio Pro Stock Touring Series and Latrobe Speedway officials are also postponing the tour’s season-opener because of Mother Nature.  The good news is the delay is only one week.

Three Rivers Karting

“Despite the unfortunate weather forecast that canceled our fourth race in a row, we have a silver lining,” said SNB Promotions Dennis Bates. “Thankfully, we were able to reschedule the Homak Penn Ohio Pro Stock Tour for the following Saturday, June 1. Providing a new opportunity for our stakeholders to enjoy a modified six-division event. Most Homak Penn Ohio Pro Stock touring teams have more than a two-hour drive to the speedway, so it made sense to postpone the race.”

The modified six-division show will also include the K2 Engineering FASTrak Pro Late Models, Joe’s Body Shop & Towing Pure Stocks, Special T Metals LLC Modified 4 Cylinders, the Marilungo Disposal LLC Strictly Stock 4 Cylinders, and the Dean Pollock Hobby Stocks.

The grim forecast is also causing Overdrive Monster Truck and Lernerville Speedway officials to postpone tonight’s event. The show will now take place on Sunday, May 26 with VIP gates opening at 2 p.m.  The grandstands will open at 2:30 p.m. with a scheduled start of 6 p.m.  All tickets purchased in advance will be honored for May 26.

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Dirt Racing

Red-Hot Spithaler Continues His Winning Ways At Lernerville

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SARVER, PA (May 24, 2024) There its not a hotter driver in the local 410 Sprint Car ranks than Brandon Spithaler.  One week after finishing fourth in the World of Outlaws A Main at Attica Raceway Park, Spithaler picked up the checkered flag in the People’s Natural Gas feature Friday night at Lernerville Speedway.

Spithaler started eighth in the 19-car field and held off Bradon Matus and Michael Bauer to pick up the win.  AJ Flick finished fourth and hard-charger Dan Kuriger rounded out the Top 5 after starting 18th.

Flick remains atop the Championship standing followed by Carl Bowser, who trails flick by 16-points.  Bauer and Matus each sit 19-points back of Flick with Baurer holding down third in the standings by virtue of his 2-Top 5 finished.  The victory moves Spithaler to sixth, 29-points back despite participating in only 2-events.

Tyler Dietz started on the front row and took home the victory in the Precise Racing Products Late Model feature.  Colton Flinner finished second followed by Michael Norris and John Garvin Jr.

Norris remains atop the Championship standings with Flinner in second, 1-point behind.  Garvin is 7-points behind in third and Dietz’ victory leaves him sitting in fourth, 13-points behind.

Three Rivers Karting

Garrett Krummert is your winner in the Diehl Automotive Big Block Modifieds.  Krummert started seventh and expertly worked traffic to get past second-place starter and finisher Rex King Jr.  Jeremiah Shingledecker finished third followed by Will Thomas in fourth.  Ayden Cipriano rounded out the Top 5.

The Top 4 finishers are your Top 4 in the Championship standings with King Jr 5-points behind Krummert.  Shingledecker sits third, 16-points back and Thomas is only one point back of third, 17-points behind Krummert.

Pole sitter Chris Schneider held off a hard-charging Dietz to win the Millerstown Pic-A-Part Pro Stocks feature.  Christian Schneider came home third after starting sixth followed by Corey McPherson in fourth and Jason Fosnaught in fifth.

Dietz and Christian Schneider are tied atop the Championship standings with 113 points each.  Chris Schneider is third 9-points back in a battle that is bound to go down to the final weekend.

Saturday night’s Overdrive Monster Trucks event has been postponed to Sunday due to the forecast.  VIP Gates will open at 2 p.m. with grandstands opening at 2:30 p.m.  The event will start at 6 p.m.  All tickets purchased in advance will be honored for May 26.

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Dirt Racing

Dietrich Does It At The Grove

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Williams Grove Speedway

MECHANICSBURG, PA (May 24, 2024): Danny Dietrich got a break at the start of the John Trone Tribute A Main at Williams Grove Speedway, and he made the most of it. Dietrich fell in behind Lucas Wolfe on the initial green, but a multi-car crash before the entire field crossed for lap one necessitated a complete restart. Dietrich was better prepared for the second try, and he was able to keep Wolfe behind him motoring down the long straightaway. Still, Dietrich had to fend Wolfe off once or twice during the contest to ensure the $10,039 win. Wolfe slid out of the rubber once in the late going, and Spencer Bayston scooted by for second.

Also grabbing a win was Logan Spahr in the PASS IMCA 305 Sprint undercard.

“We had a good draw, but we had a bad start,” the Gettsysburg pilot observed. “I like racing with Lucas (Wolfe) because he will always race you clean. Lucas got me, but we were better the next time.” Dietrich explained that there was some moisture in the middle of the track, and that was where Wolfe launched at the drop of the green. “I didn’t push him up enough, so the second time I moved up and I got a better run,” Dietrich added.

Dietrich started on the pole carrying the traditional red, white, and blue colors and the historic number 29 that always adorned the Bob Weikert-owned machines over the years. The next generation of Weikerts sponsor Dietrich’s car, owned by Gary Kauffman of Biglerville, and the Kauffman/Dietrich team pay homage to the iconic car and the famous owner over the Memorial Day Weekend. The same livery will be used in the two-day event at the Port Royal Speedway.

Wolfe was on Dietrich’s flank for the start of the twenty-five lapper. In the row behind were Devon Borden and Bayston. Row three paired up Chase Dietz and Cory Eliason. Anthony Macri and Rico Abreu made up row four. Next were T.J. Stutts and midwestern star Brian Brown. James McFadden and Kyle Reinhardt occupied row six.

The first lap melee eliminated several cars, including those of current points leader and defending champion Freddie Rahmer, Jr., and Lance Dewease.

After the failed attempt to start the race, Dietrich claimed the lead that he would never relinquish. Wolfe stayed close, particularly in the early going. He was followed by Bayston, Borden, Dietz, Eliason, Macri, Abreu, Brown, and Reinhardt. Dietrich had a comfortable margin eliminated on lap eleven when Austin Bishop stopped on the track for the first official caution.

On the restart, Wolfe drove in the middle grove entering turn one. He was able to get along side of Dietrich, but the bottom was the better line due to the accumulated rubber. So Dietrich was able to drive away from his challenger in turn two. Bayston remained in third, with Dietz and Eliason next.

Two laps later, Abreu spun himself out of the top ten. He managed to keep moving, so there was no caution but, now, Abreu was at the tail of the field. Bayston got a good run on Wolfe for second a lap later, but Bayston slid up the track and handed third over to Dietz. Bayston was able to regain the position by lap fifteen, when Abreu and Aaron Bollinger tangled in turn one.

Three Rivers Karting

On the restart, Dietrich continued to lead Wolfe and Bayston. Bayston was pressing Wolfe while Dietrich began to pull away. With just two laps remaining, Wolfe slid up off the rubber in turn one, losing second to Bayston in the process.

At the checkers, it was Dietrich by a wide margin over Bayston, Wolfe, Eliason, and Dietz. Macri, Borden, Reinhardt, Brown, and Stutts completed the top ten.

The four heat wins went to Abreu, Bayston, Wolfe, and Dietrich. Cameron Smith prevailed in the B Main. Eliason was the fastest qualifier this night, topping Group A with a lap of 17.898 seconds. Macri was best in Group B with a time of 18.278 seconds.

Josh Beamer had the pole for the twenty-lap nightcap for the PASS IMCA 305 Sprints. Beside him was Erin Statler. Row two consisted of Jason Roush and Spahr. The third row matched Andrew Boyer with Kenny Heffner. Drew Young shared row four with Mike Alleman. Owen Dimm and Danny Buccafusco raced from row five, and they were trailed by Landon Price and Mike Melair.

Beamer dashed out front, but Spahr was into second in no time at all. Roush, Heffner, Boyer, and Young followed closely. As the lap counter advanced, Beamer and Spahr separated themselves from Heffner, who raced alone in third. Positions four on back were hotly contested.

Spahr assumed the lead on lap eleven, just one round ahead of the lone caution of the race for Croix Beasom.

On the restart, Spahr got a tremendous jump on Beasom. Young lost several positions after the race resumed. Moving ahead of him were Christian Rumsey, Heffner, Melair, Statler, and Buccafusco.

Spahr showed no mercy to his competitors over the final eight laps. Beamer registered a second place finish, ahead of Rumsey, Melair, and Statler. Positions six through ten went to Heffner, Buccafusco, Young, Boyer, and Dimm.

Boyer and Heffner shared the heats. There was no B Main.

Next week, the 358 Sprints will return to support the 410 Sprints. The 358s will go for twenty-five laps with extra purse money on the line. The month of June will commence with the 410s and USAC East Coast Sprints in the Bill Gallagher Memorial. On June 14, the USAC National Sprints will be the added attraction, along with the 410 Sprints. June 21 will be the tune-up for Central PA Speedweek.

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