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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.”

Three Rivers Karting

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

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RUSH Late Model Series Enhancing ‘Track Pack’ Program For 2021

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PULSAKI, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The RUSH Late Model Series is bringing back and enhancing their ‘Track Pack’ program for 2021.

The ‘Track Pack’ program debuted in 2016 and continued through the 2019 season before the COVID-19 pandemic suspended the program in 2020. Each of those four years, $800 was split amongst the top five RUSH members with $300 to the champion at each RUSH weekly-sanctioned track.

In 2021 RUSH Late Model weekly-sanctioned tracks top-six will share in $2,500!  RUSH weekly member racers will accumulate points at each event and at the end of the year the top six in member points will split $2,500 with $1000 going to the champion followed by $500, $400, $300, $200, $100 for positions 2-through-6. These monies will be awarded over and above any other championship monies drivers will receive.

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“We’ve always known the strength of RUSH lays within our weekly tracks and the racers who support them,” said RUSH Director Vicki Emig. “During the pandemic, the average car counts at our weekly tracks were very impressive as most all tracks increased. In the past the ‘Summer Chase’ gave just 10 racers additional monies, but we feel by taking that money and adding another approximate $14,000 to the ‘Track Pack’ we can allow substantially more racers the ability to take home additional weekly monies at the end of the year.”

Prior to COVID-19 RUSH had announced the Touring Series Championship point fund would double to $35,500 with a record $12,000 going to the champion! This will now take place in 2021. The Touring Series schedule continues to come together and is expected to be similar to 2020’s before the pandemic.

The 2021 season is expected to be the richest in RUSH Racing Series history, which includes the RUSH Late Models, Sprint Cars, Sportsman Modifieds and Pro Mods, with additional programs and events planned throughout.

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Motivated Maresca Masters Bridgeport

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BRIDGEPORT, NJ (November 8, 2020): Mike Maresca, the 2020 Fonda Speedway champion from Pottsdam, NY, scored his first career Big Block Modified victory in the final race of the season at Bridgeport Motorsports Park. The win was only worth $5,000 to him becasue he neglected to pay the Gambler’s Fee when registering for the race.

“I’ve always enjoyed coming to Bridgeport, even when it was 5/8ths,” Maresca said. He dedicated the win to the late track manager, Danny Serrano, noting “he was an awesome fan and a good friend.” Maresca went on to say that he received a text from Serrano the day before he died, and that he drew inspiration from it.

Jack Lehnar and Rich Rutski were paired on the front row for the start of the fifty lapper. Behind them, in the second row, were Ryan Watt and Ryan Krachun. Jimmy Blewitt and Jared Umbenhauer were in the third. Richie Pratt, Jr. and Mike Mahaney were in row four, followed by Maresca and Jeff Strunk. Then came Eric Kormann and Davey Sammons. Dillon Steuer and Matt Stangle were in row seven.

Lehnar led Watt into the first corner and they were followed by Umbenhauer, Rutski, Pratt, and Maresca on the opening lap. A two-car tangle at the back of the pack slowed the action.

When racing resumed Lehnar led the next eleven laps, but Watt was pressing him every inch of the way. Watt ‘s familiarity with the new configuration led him to the high side and he rode the rim in turns one and two to gain the lead while Lehnar hugged the inside. Soon after Watt assumed control, a caution slowed the pace again.

Watt pulled away on the ensuing restart, with Lehnar and Maresca fighting for second. Blewitt, Pratt, Umbenhauer, Krachun, and Mahaney trailed. Maresca moved into second just before another caution slowed the pace.

Three Rivers Karting

Surprisingly, Watt took the inside line for the lap 18 restart, and that proved to be his undoing. Maresca blasted into the lead at the drop of the green and he held control all the way to the finish. While he was on cruise control, Watt stayed close. Behind them, Blewitt, Pratt and Krachun were locked in a battle for third.

The final two cautions came out with 27 laps in the books. When the racing got going again, Maresca stretched his lead, and Watt also separated himself from the rest of the field. Pratt slipped ahead of Blewitt. Krachun continued along in fifth.

The final 23 laps were run without any caution. While the top five remained static, positions six through ten were changing hands. Track champion, Billy Pauch, came on to grab sixth, bringing Dominic Buffalino with him. Billy Pauch, Jr., Strunk, and Ryan Godown completed the top ten.

There were five heats, and the wins went to Lehnar, Umbenhauer, Krachun, maresca, and Sammons. The pair of B Mains were split by Tyler Dippel and Danny Bouc.

Steve Davis romped to the win in the 602 Crate Sportsmen. This time,he had to battle with teenager Anthony Tramontana. They locked wheels going through turn one midway through the race, and Davis was able to break free. However, Tramontana spun out. Davis continued on for the victory, his second of the weekend. Paul Mancini was second, with Stacy Jackson, Steve Kemery, and Travis Hill completing the top five. Dan Fleming, Adam White, Sammy Martz, Jr., Howie Finch, and Wayne Weaver were the next five to cross the finish line.

T.J. Henry copped the Outlaw Stock feature. Lee Allen was second, closing out the season with just one finish outside teh top five. Mike Hughes got his second third place finish of the weekend. Jimmy Doer and John Parker were fourth and fifth.

The USAC Speedsters competed in a pair of feature events. The make-up race went to Kenny Miller, III, with Louden Reimert, Jared Silfee, Briggs Danner, and Ryan Godown chasing him home. Miller was set to start on the pole for the nightcap, but he pitted and had to go to the trail for the satrt. That moved Steve Buckwalter to the front row, and he was unbeatable from there. Godown was second this time, followed by Jeff Hartman, Reimert, and Tim Iulg.

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Yankowski Wins, then Crashes at Bridgeport in Mod 100; Cologiovanni Holds Off Smith in Sprints

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Alex Yankowski Racing

BRIDGEPORT, NJ (November 7, 2020): Alex Yankowski experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat in the final moments of the Danny Serrano Memorial 100 at Bridgeport Motorsports Park. Moments after the sixteen-year-old pilot from Covington Township, PA took the checkered flag for the biggest win of his young career, he was involved in a spectacular crash that heavily damaged his potent Big Block Modified.

Also picking up wins were Paulie Cologiovanni in the United Racing Club 360 Sprint Cars and Steve Davis in the 602 Crate Sportsmen Invitational.

Yankowski started the century grind deep in the pack, twenty-third to be exact. Through the first half of the race, he drove very conservatively. “I tried to ride around and save the car,” he explained. Even after the midpoint, Yankowski did not appear amongst the leaders. It was not until about 57 that he cracked into the top ten. The car really came to life in the final thirty laps. By that time, he reached fifth, and he had probably the fastest car on the track.

A restart on lap 73 had him in fourth spot, but not for long. When the green light flashed on, he darted into second and was pressing veteran Ryan Godown for the lead. Yankowski dove low in turn three four laps later and slid up ahead of Godown. The rest was history.

Yankowski had to fend off a challenge from Ryan Watt in the final laps. Watt drew up beside him in traffic once, but the youngster rolled the top in turn one and opened up a three car length advantage coming off the second corner. Watt never got close again.

On the cool down lap, Yankowski was following some lappers that were fighting for position on their final circuit. Peter Britten spun in turn four and Yankowski went high to avoid him. Yankowski got into some lose dirt out by the wall and he got sucked in. He climbed the wall and the nose of his car got above the concrete and into the catch fence. The fence did its job of keeping the car on the track, but Yankowski mowed down a couple of posts that held the chain link fence and cables. The right front wheel was torn off and the car tumbled to a halt by the flagstand. Fortunately, no other cars struck Yankowski’s mangled machine. He climbed out unscathed and walked over to the ambulance. After spending some time getting checked out, he waived out the ambulance door to the adoring crowd before emerging for his post-race interview.

“We had a good car, obviously not so good now,” he said with a smile. Yankowski promised to get it patched up for Sunday’s fifty lap finale.

Ryan Krachun and Jimmy Horton led the field to the green flag, followed by Mike Mahaney and Danny Bouc. Jeff Strunk and Jojo Watson were in the third row, with Watt and Dwayne Howard in row four. Jared Umbenhauer and Danny Sammons were next, followed by Dom Buffalino and Dillon Steuer.

Krachun led the way until turn three on the opening lap. He rapped the outside wall and turned the lead over to Horton. Soon thereafter, Krachun stopped his car due to the damage it sustained.

On the ensuing restart, Watson used the outside line to pass Horton. Watson held sway until lap 41, when Bouc assumed command. Bouc continued out front until lap 59, when Godown blasted by. Godown had started in twenty-fifth position and he steadily moved forward through the first half of the race, Some of his moves in traffic were simply amazing.

Godown got a scare on lap 68 when he brushed the wall between turns three and four. He kept the car moving and did not lose his lead. Bouc did cut into the margin, but he was not close enough to seize the opportunity to pass the leader.

The turning point of the race came between laps 70 and 77. Two quick cautions bunched the field up on laps 70 and 73, giving Yankowski the chance to pick off some competitors in bunches. As noted, he moved into second on a restart and took the lead with 23 laps remaining.

Three Rivers Karting

Watt was also coming forward in the stretch run. He was second by lap 85 and he did close in on the leader once. But, after Watt showed his nose beneath a lapped car, Yankowski fought back and he completed the rest of the laps with a comfortable margin.

Following Yankowski and Watt were Godown, Bouc, and Strunk. Frank Cozze, Mahaney, Matt Stangle, Rick Laubach, and Billy Pauch completed the top ten.

In the final race of the year for the URC Sprints, Alex Bright started on the pole, with Austin Bishop by his side. Cologiovanni was lined up third, with J.J. Grasson next to him. Chuck Hebing and Tim Tanner were in the third row, with R.J. Jacobs and Briggs Danner in the row behind. Then came Tyler Ross and Troy Betts and Ryan Smith and Derek Locke.

Bright jumped out front, followed by Bishop, Cologiovanni, Grasso and Hebing. Bright blew his engine while leading and turned the lead over to Cologiovanni with ten laps complete. Hebing gave chase until the halfway mark. That was when Ryan Smith took over second.

Smith got a couple of shots at the leader and he was able to execute a slide job in turn one once to grab the lead. However, Cologiovanni turned back under Smith in turn two to regain the lead. From that point on, Cologiovanni drove defensively. “I couldn’t really tell where somebody was catching me,” he said. “So, I was driving a defensive line. A couple of times, I got up in the marbles and clipped the wall, but I cut off two and was pretty fast.”

Cologiovanni led Smith to the checkers. Danner came on for third, followed by Hebing and Locke. Sixth went to Jason Schultz. Then Tyler Ross and the two title contenders, Josh Weller and Adam Carberry. Troy Betts completed the top ten.

Smith’s combined finishes of fifth on Friday and second on Saturday earned him the Midge Miller Memorial trophy. Smith said that this weekend was the most fun that he had in a Sprint Car all season. Readers may remember that Smith lost the ride in the Mike Heffner number 72 410 Sprinter just before the month of money in Pennsylvania.

Carberry clinched the points championship despite struggling throughout the race. His cause was aided somewhat by attrition. Plus, his rival, Weller, was caught up in an incident with Grasso just before the halfway sign. Weller’s car sustained some damage to the right rear corner which affected its performance. He brought the wounded car home one spot ahead of Carberry, but that was not enough to overcome the thirteen point deficit.

Heat winners in the Sprint Car ranks were Bishop, Cologiovanni, Ross, and Bright. Schultz won the B Main. Two Central PA favorites were eliminated in heat race action. Lucas Wolfe had an oil leak which led to a fire. Mark Smith was involved in a minor skirmish that damaged the right rear suspension and flattened a tire. Neither Wolfe nor Smith answered the call for the B Main.

In the Sportsmen Invitational, the first 28 laps were run off without any interruptions. Steve Kemery led that entire distance. However, the fireworks came after that. Second place runner Steve Davis went on the offensive on the restart. There was plenty of contact between the two racers over the final two laps. While they roughed each other up, Peyton Talbot made a charge for the win. He came up just a couple of feet short at the checkers.

Davis got the win, much to the disappointment of the remaining fans. Kemery and Talbot followed. Dan Fleming, Ryan Simmons, Sammy Martz, Jr., Howie Finch, Danny Buccafusca, Matt Peck, and Jim Houseworth rounded out the top ten.

Buccafusca, Davis, and Kemery were the heat winners for the Sportsmen. Davis won the dash to earn the pole position for the feature.

Bridgeport Motorsports Park will close out its season on Sunday with a fifty lapper for the Modifieds. Sportsmen, Street Stocks, and Speedsters will also be on the card. Racing will begin at 3 p.m.

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