PORT ROYAL, PA (August 27, 2020): Tim McCreadie dominated the opening night of the ‘Rumble by the River’ at Port Royal Speedway besting Kyle Strickler by over seven seconds. It was McCreadie’s third win in the last five races on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. In the other two races with this new car, McCreadie scored second place finishes. Despite these recent successes, McCreadie still trails points leader Jimmy Owens by more than 600 counters.
“This is as close to home as I can get,” said the driver from Watertown, NY. He explained that there were plenty of friends and family in for the race, but they were leaving Friday to race a Modified in New York. While he was disappointed that he could not travel with them, he said, “I hope they can make it back for Saturday.”
McCreadie had a perfect night, setting the fastest time in Group A and overall, and winning the first heat by a healthy margin. That put him on the pole for the main event. Next to him was his nemesis, Jimmy Owens, who topped Group B in qualifications and who prevailed in heat race number four. Kyle Strickler and Devin Moran were in row two by virtue of their heat wins, and Shane Clanton lined up next to Kyle Larson as a result of their heat victories. Then came Hudson O’Neal and Tyler Breuning. Mason Zeigler and Chris Ferguson were in row five and the sixth row was comprised of Earl Pearson, Jr. and Jonathan Davenport.
When the green flag flew, so did McCreadie. Owens fell into second, followed by Strickler, Moran, Clanton, Larson, and O’Neal. Larson picked off Clanton a couple of laps into the race. The leaders maintained their positions through the first caution, which came ten laps into the contest when Rick Eckert slowed.
On the restart, Owens took a dive into the first turn but he did not have enough momentum to slide up ahead of McCreadie. Indeed, Owens put himself into jeopardy, as Strickler rode the cushion around turns one and two and nearly took over the second spot. But, by the end of the eleventh lap, the leaders had sorted themselves back out again and it was McCreadie leading Owens, Strickler, Moran, and Larson.
Debris caused the second and final stoppage of the race with 18 laps in the books. Once again, Owens looked inside of McCreadie, to no avail. Strickler again rode the rim and this time he was able to pass Owens. Also gaining a position was Larson, who raced by Moran in turns one and two. With Owens stuck on the inside, Larson was able to take the long way around to pick up another position.
As the laps clicked off, McCreadie set sail. Strickler raced along in second. Larson was in a dogfight with Owens for third. Ferguson was on the move and he reached the top five with ten to go.
All eyes were glued on the battle for third. Could Larson score a podium finish in his first Dirt Late Model feature? While Larson was able to hold the position, he was struggling. he was banging the walls at both ends of the track, somewhat reminiscent of his first NASCAR truck ride at Eldora Speedway. On the final lap, Larson hit the wall several times coming through turns three and four. He lost quite a bit of momentum and limped toward teh finish line.
Getting the checkers was McCreadie, followed by Strickler. Owens and Ferguson both got by Larson, who completed the top five. O’Neal came back for sixth with his new team. Ziegler, Brandon Sheppard, Clanton, and Josh Richards rounded out the top ten. Next came the hard charger for the night, Michael Norris, who advanced ten positions in the 30 lapper.
Stickler was happy with his second place finish, noting that he was on a different tire than most of his competitors. “We were struggling,” he said, “but I think we got it figured out.” Strickler explained that his team started the week with a bare chassis and put the car together for this weekend’s racing.
Owens remarked “we had a good second place car.” He tried a couple of sliders, “but I fell behind on the straight” and gave up second place.
Larson was disappointed that he gave up two spots on the last lap and that he tore up the right rear corner in the process. “The last few laps I was running as hard as I could. But I got too free into three and I clobbered the wall down there and I gave up a few spots.” Larson said that he learned quite a bit over the course of teh race. “The dirty air wasn’t as bad as people told me it would be. I had to cheat my entry to keep air on the car.” He was proud to get to drive for the Rumleys. “It was cool for me to race for those guys and to add my name to the list of guys that ran this car. They don’t get to race too often, so I hope that I can come back and pick up a few positions in the next one.”
The Limited Late Models ran a pair of 20 lap feature events. Taking the opening win was Andrew Yoder, his third of the season at Port Royal and ninth overall. Considering that he only raced eleven times up that point, his winning percentage was quite impressive. Taking second was Trent Brenneman, who led much of the affair. Dillan Stake and Matt Cochran completed the top five. In the nightcap, Stake led the entire distance. Brenneman came on for second, followed by Yoder. Shawn Shoemaker and Devin Hart were fourth and fifth.
All Star Circuit of Champions returning to Lernerville Speedway for 2-events including Don Martin Memorial
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) is returning to Lernerville Speedway in 2022 for two nights of action including the Don Martin Memorial XXXI.
The All-Stars will make their first appearance at ‘The Action Track’ on Friday, April 29. The appearance will mark the series return to Lernerville for the first time since 2019 as COVID-19 cancelled their 2020 appearance and rain washed out this year’s visit.
On July 6th the All-Stars will return for the $25,000-to-win ‘Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XXXI’, one of the most prestigious Sprint Car events in the history of the sport.
“We’re very excited to bring in the All-Stars and their thrilling brand of high-level Sprint Car racing” said Lernerville Speedway General Manager Mike Lysakowski said in a statement. “I have always been a fan of the All-Stars and for 2022, we had more freedom in choosing a date for this year’s Silver Cup. We believe we have chosen a date that is very conducive to bringing both national and regional Sprint Car aces to Lernerville.”
Western PA Speedweek to return in 2022
SHIPPENVILLE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Western PA Speedweek is returning for 2022 following a successful reboot earlier this year.
The five consecutive nights of winged 410 Sprint Car action will see the best regional drivers vying for an A-Main feature purse that is increasing to $14,000 with $3,000 going to the winner each night and a $300 minimum to start!
The action takes place Wednesday, June 1st through Sunday, June 5th at Michael’s Mercer Raceway (Mercer, PA), Thunder Mountain Speedway (Brookville, PA), Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA), Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH) and Tri-City Raceway Park (Franklin, PA), with the round-trip total clocking in at exactly 259 miles from beginning to end.
The group time trial format used last season was extremely popular with both drivers and fans alike, and will also be utilized again in 2022.
Ryan Smith of Fleetwood, PA is the defending Speedweek Champion after winning two features and a podium in three events in 2021.
Lernerville Speedway not on World of Outlaws schedule in 2022
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Lernerville Speedway, a fixture on the World of Outlaws tour since their inception in 1978, is not on the Outlaws schedule for 2022. The fate of the Don Martin Silver Cup is unknown at this time.
Lernerville officials were planning for two NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car events as well as a World of Outlaws Late Model event for 2022 and were shocked and surprised when the schedule was released on Monday.
Pittsburgh Racing Now has reached out to World Racing Group, the parent company of the World of Outlaws, for comment but have not received a response as of publication.