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Dewease Wins Night before the 50 at Port Royal Speedway

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Bert Wojo

PORT ROYAL, PA (September 11, 2020): Lance Dewease got to do something that very few Sprint Car drivers have been able to do this season: he chased down and passed Kyle Larson for the win on the Night before the 50 at Port Royal Speedway. After struggling on a tacky and fast track Thursday night, Dewease and the Dream Team decided to race on Friday night to get a better idea of what the conditions may be like for the big event. They were planning to take the night off to get ready for the big show on Saturday but a tenth place run the night before may have changed their minds. They collected $6,000 and the second guaranteed starting spot for the big race.

Dewease is a member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, and so are his car owner, Don Kreitz, Jr., and his crew chief, Davey Brown. They have made a habit of winning major events since teaming up several seasons ago. Last night, he remarked that his team has been flying under the radar for most of the season, and he thought that may have been a good thing. But, there is no hiding now. Dewease branded himself as a favorite to gain his seventh triumph in this marquee event.

Dewease showed the patience and confidence of a veteran racer. While his younger adversaries, Larson and Anthony Macri were pounding the cushion, Dewease stayed in the middle of the track. But, he found a good line low in turns three and four, which he used to drive by Larson and Macri, much to the delight of the large crowd on hand.

“That’s the only way we can beat those guys,” Dewease said modestly. “Anthony is getting really good here and Kyle is the best in the business now.” Dewease added that he defeated Larson on the links Friday and it was fun to beat his friend on the track. “He (Larson) waived at me when he passed me a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t waive at him when I passed him. He’s too good right now to do that. I didn’t hear him after I got by him.”

Kerry Madsen and Larson had the front row starting spots from their respective dash wins. Macri and Dewease lined up in row tow. Brent Marks and Cory Eliason, last night’s winner, were in row three. Aaron Reutzel and Tyler Courtney were in row four and Cale Thomas and Dylan Cisney were in row five. Ian Madsen and Rico Abreu were in row six.

While Madsen led the charge into turn one, he was unable to keep Larson at bay. Larson rode the inside line in the first two turns to emerge with the early lead. Macri soon followed suit to gain second. Dewease drove by Madsen on lap three.

Larson and Macri started to separate themselves from the rest of the field, but the first and only caution, on lap four for Paul McMahan, closed up the field.

Larson zoomed out front when the green light flashed on and Macri was goving chase. Meanwhile, Dewease stayed within range. As the leaders got into traffic, things tightend up. Macri began pressing Larson, and Dewease was closing the gap. Macri slid under Larson at one point, but Larson maintained his momentum and drove back around the six-time winner to regain the lead. Soon, however, it was a three-car battle royale for the lead.

Dewease challenged Macri for second, but fell back a few car lengths when they ran up on some slower traffic. He fought back and set up an inside move to pass both Macri and Larson as the trio swept through turns three and four with about five to go. He negotiated the last five circuits without difficulty.

“I was pretty comfortable with the car,” Dewease said. “I could keep pace with them. I felt like we’d be OK as long as they didn’t get back into clean air.” Luck was on his side as there wer no other cautions in the contest, so Dewease did not have to worry about chasing down Larson or Macri on a clear track.”

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Macri thought that he may have used his tires too much in chasing down Larson. “I was maintaining, but I kinda used my tire when I got up to him.”

Larson’s comments were similar to those of Dewease. “I felt good early when I had a clean track.” He started to have problems, though, when he was approaching the slower cars ahead of him. “When I was within a straight, things got pretty dirty and I couldn’t get grip. I was searching and I couldn’t get off the corners like they could.”

Dewease was the winner, with Macri second. Larson crossed in third. Dylan Cisney put in a great performance getting fourth. Kerry Madsen was fifth. Marks, Abreu, Danny Dietrich, Eliason, and Ian Madsen rounded out the top ten.

Heat victories went to Cisney, Abreu, Dewease, Larson, and Reutzel. The C Main winner was Alan Krimes. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. won the B Main. Macri was the evening’s fastest qualifier.

In the 25 lap Super Late Model finale, Jeff Rine took advantage of a restart with fifteen laps in the books to pass Trent Brenneman, who lead from the drop of the green. The restart was set up by an incident in turn one that eliminated three cars in the top ten at the time: Kyle Lee, Marvin Winters and Trevor Feathers.

Rine was followed across the line by Brenneman, ageless Gary Stuhler, Ross Robinson, and Dylan Yoder. Colton Flinner, who raced as high as third, fell back to sixth at the finish. He was trailed by Dan Stone, Andy Haus, Brett Schadel, and Jim Yoder. Haus’s seventh was good enough to clinch the track championship in this division.

Heat wins were scored by Brenneman, Robinson, and Feathers. There was no B Main.

Saturday night, Port Royal Speedway will host the fifty-third annual Tuscarora 50. Gates will open at 2 p.m. and the racing will begin at 6 p.m. It will be a Sprint Car only show. $53,000 will be paid to the winner.

A-Main (30 Laps)
1. 69K-Lance Dewease [4]; 2. 39M-Anthony Macri [3]; 3. 57-Kyle Larson [2]; 4. 5C-Dylan Cisney [10]; 5. 24-Rico Abreu [12]; 6. 2M-Kerry Madsen [1]; 7. 26-Cory Eliason [6]; 8. 5-Brent Marks [5]; 9. 48-Danny Dietrich [13]; 10. 17-Ian Madsen [11]; 11. 70-Cale Thomas [9]; 12. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [27]; 13. 51-Freddie Rahmer [21]; 14. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [8]; 15. 87-Aaron Reutzel [7]; 16. 1-Logan Wagner [18]; 17. 98-Jared Esh [24]; 18. 99-Skylar Gee [16]; 19. 11T-TJ Stutts [14]; 20. 11-Zeb Wise [17]; 21. 55-Mike Wagner [22]; 22. 39T-Justin Peck [19]; 23. 21-Brian Brown [23]; 24. 42-Sye Lynch [20]; 25. 13-Paul McMahan [25]; 26. 18-Gio Scelzi [15]; 27. 25-Tyler Bear [26] Lap Leaders: Kyle Larson (1-24), Lance Dewease (25-30).

2020 All Star Circuit of Champions Driver Standings: (As of September 11, 2020)
1. Aaron Reutzel – 5236
2. Cory Eliason – 5154
3. Zeb Wise – 4814
4. Paul McMahan – 4664
5. Skylar Gee – 4556
6. Greg Wilson – 4396
7. Josh Baughman – 3858
8. Danny Dietrich – 2992
9. Brock Zearfoss – 2896
10. Kyle Larson – 2888

Local Racing

Sye Lynch Partnering With Baughman Motorsports

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APOLLO, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Sprint Car driver Sye Lynch is partnering with Baughman Motorsports for the 2021 racing season.

Lynch, the third generation 410 Sprint Car driver, and his team plan to enter around 80-events as part of this partnership with Josh Baughman and Baughman Motorsports.  Longtime Lynch partner Mosites Motorsports joins new marketing partners Fischer Body Shop of Missouri and Hollywood Blasting and Coating of Odessa, Texas as part of the arrangement.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” said Lynch. “To have Fischer Body Shop and Baughman Motorsports join our efforts at Sye Lynch Racing is pretty special. We’ve been working on these plans for over four months. I’m not sure how we were able to keep it a secret this long, but it’s out there now. I’m ready to get started.”

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Lynch’s schedule is still being finalized but highlights include some of sprint car racing’s premier showcases like the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway (July 15 & July 17) and the Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway (August 11-14).

“We are still working out the logistics side of things,” said Lynch. “I hope to have a complete plan of attack released in the coming weeks. I just want to thank all of my partners for their dedication and support. Our goal is to go out every night and put on a show. I’m confident we have what it takes to do that.”

Baughman is stepping back from full-time competition in 2021 but plans to run 10-15 events in 2021.

“We are excited about this new venture with Sye Lynch,” said Baughman. “He’s a talented kid with the hunger to win and we’re proud to be affiliated. I think it’s safe to say that we are all anxious to get the year underway.”

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Dirt Racing

Schatz Scores Jean Lynch Classic Win at East Bay

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Photo: Chad Warner

GIBSONTON, FL (February 2, 2021): Donny Schatz scored an impressive win over the Madsen brothers, Ian and Kerry, in the second running of the Jean Lynch Classic for the All Star Circuit of Champions at East Bay Raceway Park. The All Stars’ visit to the ‘Clay by the Bay’ was cut to one night due to heavy rain that hit the track Sunday and continued into Monday. The speedway looked more like the fish farm that Jimmy Mingo and others converted into a racy oval over four decades ago. A substantial pond remained inside turn one on Tuesday but, fortunately, no Sprint Cars made a detour into that area.

“It’s been a long time since I was at East Bay,” Schatz said. He estimated that his last appearance at the track was in the early ’90s. “It’s really neat, tricky; it has some slick spots, some shiny spots.” Nonetheless, Schatz had no difficulty mastering the unfamiliar surface.

Ian Madsen and Cory Eliason paced the field for the 30 lap feature event named for the lady who was a former co-owner of the series and track manager at East Bay. Schatz lined up third, with Justin Peck beside him. Tony Stewart and Anthony Macri were in the third row, and Steve Buckwalter and Tyler Courtney in the fourth. The final dash participants, Kyle Reinhardt and Tim Shaffer, made up row five. Then came Jamie Myers and Gio Scelzi.

Eliason assumed command on the opening lap and he began to distance himself from Schatz, Ian Madsen, Peck, and Macri. However, just five laps into the race, Eliason collided with a slower car driven by Chris Windom. Eliason got a flat right front tire, but there was no other apparent damage to his car, so he was able to resume the race at the rear of the field.

Peck, who had slipped by Schatz on the last completed lap, took off at the drop of the green. Schatz raced along in second, followed by Ian Madsen, Courtney, Shaffer, and Macri. The man on the move, though, was Kerry Madsen, who was up to seventh from 17th on the starting grid.

A caution bunched things up at lap eleven. While the front runners did not change, Kerry Madsen made some aggressive moves to enter the top five.

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With fourteen laps in the books, Schatz was hounding Peck for the lead. He got a strong run off of turn two, but Peck moved up a lane to block his advance. Schatz deftly turned under Peck halfway down the back stretch and he was the new leader entering turn three. Peck no longer had the steam to race with the leaders and he slowly started to drift back in the running order after that.

The final caution was displayed on lap 17. Schatz continued to lead over Ian Madsen when racing resumed, but now the battle was for third. Courtney and Kerry Madsen were the contestants, with Shaffer looking for an opening. Madsen wrestled the spot away from Cortney in a few laps, and he set out after his brother.

The sibling rivalry intensified as the pair of Aussies picked their way through lapped traffic. “I didn’t know it was him,” Ian said of the driver pressing him for second. “I knew that he started pretty far back.” For his part, Kerry Madsen had to wonder how things would have played out differently if he had started closer to the front. “It was a great run, I had a great car and could go anywhere I wanted.”

Schatz maintained his lead to the finish. Ian held off his older brother for second. Courtney was fourth and Scelzi benefitted from a miscue by Shaffer on the final lap to gain the fifth spot. Shaffer, Peck, Stewart, Brent Marks, and Hunter Schuerenberg completed the top ten.

Kerry Madsen was the hard charger, advancing 14 positions.

Ian Madsen was the fastest qualifier of the night, turning in a lap of 12.680 seconds. Buckwalter, Courtney, Shaffer, and Schatz scored heat wins. The dashes belonged to Ian Madsen and Eliason. Terry McCarl captured the B Main.

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Local Racing

Western PA Sprint Speedweek Adds Another Sponsor

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SHIPPENVILLE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Western PA Sprint Speedweek is adding another partner to the growing list of companies stepping up to support the five-race series this June.

J.S. Bova Excavating LLC has signed on to be a presenting sponsor of this summer’s upcoming five-race speedweek, scheduled to run from Wednesday, June 2nd through Sunday, June 6th.

J.S. Bova is a family-owned excavating company and general contractor known for its outstanding service, extensive expertise, steadfast reliability, and commitment to safety. J.S. Bova proudly serves the Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania area out of their central Struthers, Ohio location.

“We’re excited to get behind the revival of Western PA Speedweek” said owner Joe Bova. “We believe the area sprint car competition and racetracks are underrated and on the upswing, and we want to be associated with the excitement that this event brings.”

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Joe and Sherri Bova founded their business in 2013 and worked together to build their organization from the ground up. In less than a decade they have expanded their portfolio to offer a wide range of services and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants signed on to be the title sponsor of Western PA Sprint Speedweek last week.

Western PA Sprint Speedweek returns from a 20-year hiatus June 2nd-6th. Western Pennsylvania’s ‘410 Sprint Cars’ will compete for five straight nights with each show featuring a strong $3,000-to-win, $250-to-start purse.

Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants Western PA Sprint Speedweek presented by J.S. Bova Excavating Schedule:

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