PORT ROYAL, PA (September 12, 2020): Seven was the lucky number for Lance Dewease, as he scored yet another victory in the Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal Speedway. The breaks went his way on this momentous night and he cashed in to the tune of $53,000. He inherited the lead in his heat race when Cale Thomas retired early and that put Dewease into the redraw for the feature event. He drew the pole position. And then, while chasing the leader with thirteen laps remaining, Rico Abreu’s car broke, putting Dewease on the point for the restart.
“Sometimes you have the fastest car but you still don’t win if the breaks don’t go your way. Tonight, the breaks went in our favor,” Dewease said. Dewease quickly added, though, that his team gave him a good car again this night. “I could drive it,” he said confidently.
Dewease was a little disappointed with his performance during the first half of the race. Although he led the first 17 laps, “I got a little too conservative with the lapped cars and I let Rico get by me,” said Dewease. “I thought that I’d be OK when we got back to traffic again.” Dewease was right. He was closing in on Abreu, but the clash of fan favorites never materialized because Abreu’s car broke before Dewease got back to within a car length or two.
Dewease’s seven wins in the Tuscarora 50 took place in four different decades. “To do it in four decades (actually, only 26 years) means two things,” he said. “I’m old. and I’ve been pretty good at his for a pretty long time.” Dewease added that he has been fortunate to drive for some very good people over that span. “I was here when they almost closed this place down,” Dewease recalled. “Steve O’Neil came in as promoter and he started to turn things around, and then they ran him off. They brought him back a few years later and he’s really improved this place.” Dewease was quick to acknowledge the contributions of the hard-working track crew, the dedicated Fair Board, and the loyal fans for making it all possible.
Dewease and Abreu were on the front row for the fifty lapper. T.J. Stutts made repairs to his motor after the heat race and lined up third, with Tyler Courtney next to him. The home town hero, Dylan Cisney started fifth, with the remaining re-draw position going to Anthony Macri. Tony Stewart and Kerry Madsen were in row four, with Danny Dietrich and night one winner, Cory Eliason, in row five. Then came Freddie Rahmer, Jr., and defending race champion, Aaron Reutzel. Buried deep in the pack were track points champion, Logan Wagner, and Kyle Larson. They rolled off in nineteenth and twenty-second respectively.
As anticipated, Dewease surged ahead of Abreu at the drop of the green. Stutts settled into third, but his night ended early. Just four laps into the race, his engine failed him again, and he was through for the night. On the ensuing restart, Dewease again cruised ahead of Abreu, with Macri now holding down the third position. Courtney and Kerry Madsen held down fourth and fifth. Then came Cisney, Tony Stewart, Eliason, Rahmer, and Reutzel.
Larson was climbing through the pack with relative ease. He reached twelfth by the lap four restart and within a couple of laps, he cracked the top ten. His forward progress slowed a bit, as he may have shifted into a conservation mode to save his equipment for the second half of the race.
With ten laps complete, Dewease was into traffic and Abreu started to challenge him for the lead. Soon thereafter, Abreu made his first bid for the lead in turn one, but Dewease calmly turned back under him in turn two to regain the lead as they raced off the corner. Abreu continued to apply the pressure and he succeeded in sliding ahead of Dewease while the two were picking their way through the slower cars.
Abreu led Dewease to the halfway mark, when the race was stopped for fuel. Dewease sat calmly in his car under the red while his veteran crew made some minor adjustments to the car. They also ground the tires to prevent them from sealing up during the stoppage, which was a trick employed by several of the racers, including Abreu, Macri, and Cisney. Meanwhile, Reutzel’s team was making a wing change and some major adjustments in an effort to find more speed for the All Stars points leader.
When racing resumed, Abreu had the point followed by Dewease, Macri, Courtney, Cisney, Madsen, Eliason, Larson, Reutzel, and Rahmer.
Abreu took off, but Dewease was close enough to try a slider for the lead. It did not work, as Abreu kept his momentum up by racing hard on the cushion. Abreu opened a few car lengths advantage over Dewease, but as he started to close in on the slower cars, Abreu’s car began to get loose in the corners. Dewease began to close in as Abreu bounced his car off the outer walls a couple of time.
The impacts, while seemingly minor, took their toll on Abreu’s car. With Dewease closing in, the leader slowed drastically and the caution was displayed for him on lap 37.
Dewease took the point, with Macri second, Courtney third, Cisney fourth, and Madsen fifth. Larson was up to sixth and Logan Wagner was next in line. Eliason, Reutzel, and Spencer Bayston were racing in the top ten at that point.
When the green light flashed on again, Macri spun his tires, and Dewease was able to open up a comfortable advantage. Cisney bolted into third and he started to press Macri for second Courtney was fending off the advances of Larson, while Reutzel was struggling with Madsen and Eliason. Reutzel’s attempt for the repeat ended a few laps later when he slowed after striking the wall one too many times.
This set up a ten lap run to the checkers, which Dewease was able to complete without difficulty. Macri and Cisney had the fans excited as the two young lions traded slide jobs several times per lap. Their contest, while entertaining, kept them both from chasing down the leader.
Macri finally broke free of Cisney with three or four laps left in the race. By then, Dewease had an insurmountable lead. Cisney had his hands full with Larson in the final few rounds of the speedway, but he was able to maintain third for an all-Posse podium. Larson claimed fourth and he also earned the hard charger bonus, with Eliason getting fifth. Logan Wagner was sixth, followed by Courtney, Bayston, Kerry Madsen, and Rahmer.
The heat winners were Macri, Dewease, Stutts, Abreu, Courtney, and Cisney. Remarkably, both Macri and Stutts nursed damaged engines to the finish line in their respective heats. Macri’s crew made an engine change and Stutts’ team made repairs to make the A Main grid.
The B Main win went to Logan Wagner. The race was marred by two major crashes. Instead of throwing the checkered flag with two cars spun to the inside of turn two on the last lap, All Stars officials called for a yellow, requiring the field to complete two more laps before the finish would be official. While several racers were fighting for the final transfer spots on what would have been the last lap, three cars entered turn three side by side. Unfortunately, several cars flipped, one leaving the track. At least three cars were destroyed and several others were heavily damaged. So, the field again tried a green-white-checker finish. This time, as the cars were headed to the checkered flag, there was contact between the ones fighting for the last transfer position. Both cars tumbled wildly into the first turn, collecting yet another car. Both the sixth and seventh place cars were destroyed. Fortunately, no drivers were hurt in either wreck.
The C Main winner was Shane Stewart.
Macri was the night’s fastest qualfier, turning a lap of 15.271 in Group A. Group B’s fastest racer was Kerry Madsen, at 15.478.
A non-qualifiers race was held before the A Main in an effort to widen the track and to slick it off for the feature. Lucas Wolfe picked up the win, which was worth $2,000 and a guaranteed starting spot in the 2021 Tuscarora 50. Brett Michalsk, Tyler Walton, Curt Stroup, and Tyler Bear completed the top five.
Port Royal will be idle until October 9-10, when the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series comes to town. The following week will be the first Speed Showcase 200 for the Modifieds of the Short Track Super Series. The fun will start Thursday, October 15 with a 40 lap feature. Friday will be qualifications and the 200 lapper will be held Saturday. Sportsmen will be the support division each night. The Blue Collar Nationals for the 305 Sprints and Limited Late Models will be pushed back a week to October 24 to accommodate the STSS Modifieds.
Alex Ferree Wins Art Osmer Memorial At Lernerville
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Alex Ferree led wire-to-wire to win Friday night’s 4th Annual Art Osmer Memorial race for the Precise Racing Products Late Model Division at Lernerville Speedway. Kenny Schaltenbrand finished second and Colton Flinner rounded out the podium.
Dan Kuriger captured the checkered flag in the Peoples Natural Gas 410 Sprint Car feature. The victory was Kuriger’s first at ‘The Action Track’ since 2017. Michael Bauer and Brandon Matus finished second and third respectively. AJ Flick finished fourth and leads the points, 229-214, over Matus.
It was a battle of the King’s in the Diehl Automotive Big Block Modified feature. Rex King Sr. held off Rex King Jr. to score his second victory of 2021. Dave Murdick finished third. Jeremiah Shingledecker leads the points by five over Garrett Krummert.
In the Millerstown Pic-A-Part Penn Ohio Pro Stock main event, Chris Schneider scored his 27th feature win at Lernerville holding off points leader Corey McPherson and Brett McDonald.
The action returns on Tuesday, August 3 as Lernerville plays host to a ‘Test and Tune’ night plus a full program for the Blazczak Home Heat Mini Stocks. Racing starts at 7:30 PM while the grandstands are free.
Campbell Claims Grove Win; Locke Doubles in 358s
WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (July 30, 2021) – Matt Campbell held off the heavy hitters to score his second career 410 Sprint Car victory at Williams Grove Speedway. Although he was scored as the leader for all 25 laps, he had to survive the attacks by Danny Dietrich a third of the way through the race and then he had to fend off Lance Dewease in the closing laps. It was Campbell’s first win since taking over the reins of Jerry Parrish’s car following the retirement of his long-time driver, Brain Montieth.
“I was watching the track to see if the rubber was coming in,” Campbell said. After he had trouble passing a lapped car, he knew that it was time to move down in the rubber. On the final two restarts, Campbell had Dewease right behind him. So, Campbell had to keep the car pinned to the inside. “I heard Lance try to roll the top on me, but I just stayed in the rubber.”
Campbell and Dewease were on the front row by virtue of their heat race wins. Third place starter, Danny Dietrich, was also a heat winner. Next to him was Anthony Macri. Jared Esh and Aaron Bollinger were in the third row, with T.J. Stutts and Alan Krimes in the fourth. The fifth row featured Devon Borden and Freddie Rahmer, Jr. The sixth row paired Lucas Wolfe with Dylan Norris.
Campbell jumped out to the lead, but Dewease got a poor start, losing several positions on the opening lap. That put Macri and Dietrich ahead of him, with Bollinger, Rahmer, Esh, Stutts, Borden, and Wolfe fanned out behind him.
With Campbell leading Dietrich, it took Dewease several laps to get rolling. He worked into third, passing Macri with eight in the books. Around that same time, Dietrich caught up to Campbell and he started throwing slide jobs at the leader. Although Dietrich did draw up alongside Campbell a few times, he was never able to slide up in front of him to take the lead away.
“Danny definitely raced me clean,” Campbell noted. “I could see him half way through the corner and I knew if I got on the gas I would pull him off the corner.” The strategy worked for Campbell, and he was able to retain the lead despite the thrusts by Dietrich.
After Dietrich’s bids for the lead failed, he started falling back to Dewease. Dewease chased him through the middle stage of the race before overtaking him with seven laps remaining.
Dewease started to close in on Campbell, and cautions on laps 20 and 22 erased the margin completely. On the first restart, Dewease tried to poke his nose inside of Campbell entering turn one, but Campbell pinched down and did not give Dewease an opening. On the second restart, Campbell committed to the inside line and Dewease went high to try to drive around him. But, Campbell’s car was good in the rubber and he was able to put a couple of car lengths between them.
Campbell went on to the win, besting Dewease by 0.512 seconds. Dietrich was third, followed by Rahmer, Stuttsm Wolfe, Chase Dietz, Macri, Mark Smith, and Bollinger. Macri gave up his top five position when he had to pit to replace a flat right rear tire during one of the final restarts.
The B Main winner was Chris Arnold.
Derek Locke had a much easier time of it, especially in the non-stop nightcap for the 358 Sprints. That one he led wire-to-wire. He patiently worked his way to the front in the opening feature, which was a make-up event from a rained out race a couple of weeks ago. The pair of wins were his fifth and sixth of the season at Williams Grove, and he is undefeated in feature event competition. His winnings for the night were $4,000, better than all but Campbell.
“I was a little tight early, and I had to figure out how to drive teh track,” Locke said after his win in the make-up race. “About halfway through, I knew that I had a good car.” As for the second feature, Locke said that it was a matter of luck because he drew the pole. However, his strategy was to save the tires, and he was never seriously challenged, lapping all the way up to the seventh place car. “I could pass in the rubber,” he explained.
In the opener, Brett Wanner and Cody Fletcher were on the front row, with Rich Eichelberger and Nat Tuckey in the second. Kody Hartlaub and Steve Owings were in the third row, with Travis Scott and Chad Criswell in row four. Matt Findley and Locke were in row five. Row six paired up Tyler Brehm and Devin Adams.
Wanner took the early lead, with Owings, Eichelberger, Fletcher, Tuckey and Hartlaub trailing. Wanner’s lead did not last for long, as his car slowed after just a couple of rounds. Owings inherited the lead, with Eichelberger, Fletcher, and Tuckey fighting for the next few positions.
Meanwhile, Locke was carefully moving forward. He reached sixth by lap seven and he was into the top five at lap ten. By the halfway mark, he was fourth, and he climbed to third on lap 14. A restart bunched the field up for him, and he took over second on lap 17. On the next circuit, he was in the lead.
Locke completed the remaining laps without any difficulty. Owings held on for second, followed by Eichelberger, Fletcher, Scott, Criswell, Tuckey, Chris Frank, Findley, and Hartlaub.
In the nightcap, Locke was on the pole and Findley was next to him. Zachary Cool and John Stehman were in the second row, followed by Justin Foster and Devin Adams. Tuckey and Criswell were in row four, with Frank and Scott next. Eichelberger rolled off in eleventh, and Owings made it an even dozen.
Locke bolted to the lead on the initial start and he was never headed. The field got strung out, with Findley holding second for most of the contest. Later, he gave way to Frank. Findley crossed in third, with Stehman and Foster following. Tuckey and Scott were the last two drivers on the lead lap. Criswell, Owings, and Cool completed the top ten.
The 358 Sprint heat winners were Eichelberger and Locke. There was no B Main.
Next week, Williams Grove Speedway will present the Billy Kimmel Memorial for teh 410 Sprints and the Super Late Models. On the 13th, no racing is presently scheduled due to the Knoxville Nationals. August 20, racing will resume with the 410 Sprints paired up with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series. The All Star Circuit of Champions will be in on August 27 for the Jack Gunn Memorial Twin 20s.
Marks Makes Posse Proud
WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (July 24, 2021): Brent Marks declared his allegiance to the Pennsylvania Posse in victory lane at Williams Grove, much to the delight of the substantial crowd on hand for the finale of the 20th Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway, The fans were in a forgiving mood because, regardless of affiliation, he was the first Pennsylvania driver to defeat the World of Outlaws at the Grove in over two years.
Marks was a bona fide member of the Posse before leaving to spend a couple of seasons with the Outlaws. For 2021, his plan was to follow the All Stars Circuit of Champions aboard the CJB Motorsports entry. However, the driver from Myersdale, PA is back in his family-owned Sprint after parting company with the CJB team earlier this season. While Marks spends most of his time racing locally, he does wander off on occasion, such as his recent journey to Eldora Speedway for the King’s Royal events last week.
“The track was very tricky tonight,” Marks said. “We had a lot of trouble with lapped cars,” he added. He also acknowledged his good luck, as he twice lost the lead to last night’s winner, Sheldon Haudenschild. The two lead changes occurred well before the scoring loop and neither was counted as official. On one occasion, Marks was bailed out by a caution for one of those troublesome lapped cars and, on the other, Haudenschild popped a wheelie going down the back stretch after taking the green and Marks gathered himself back up to drive past while Haudenschild fought to regain control.
Haudenschild positioned himself for a repeat performance, starting the thirty lapper on the pole. Donny Schatz was on his flank. Lance Dewease got to start seven rows closer to the front this night, and Marks was lined up next to him. David Gravel was in the third row, along with Carson Macedo. Anthony Macri and Lucas Wolfe had row four, and Aaron Reutzel was matched with Troy Wagaman, Jr. Devon Borden and James McFadden were in row six.
Schatz got the early advantage over Haudenschild, Marks, Dewease, and Macedo. By the time the field got to the scoring loop, though, Marks was into second, and Macedo moved ahead of Dewease.
Schatz reached lapped traffic quickly, catching the backmarkers on lap six. Soon thereafter, Marks was on his tail. Marks took a run at the leader, but could not make the pass. He came back in turn one on lap eight, but he got up over the cushion, and he lost second to Haudenschild briefly. Marks rallied back in turn two and regained second heading down the back stretch.
A couple of laps later, Macedo took a look to the inside of Haudenschild for third. Macedo could not make the pass in turn four and Haudenschild scooted away.
The top six got into single file formation as they worked through traffic. Schatz was the leader, followed by Marks, Haudenschild, Macedo, and Dewease. Gravel and Mcfadden were battling for sixth, with Macri lurking close behind them.
Marks made a bid for the lead in turn one with twenty laps completed. He slid up ahead of Schatz to a thunderous ovation. Haudenschild repeated the maneuver two laps later to take second.
Haudenschild began to catch Marks, who was having his share of troubles with the slower cars he encountered. Haudenschild dove low into turn one and made a slide job to get past Marks. Unfortunately, Freddie Rahmer, Jr. was up on the cushion, and Haudenschild could not clear him. There was contact and Rahmer got into the heavy dirt above the groove. As he came to a stop on the outside of turn two, Haudenschild darted toward turn three.
The resulting caution put Marks back on the point for the restart, but Haudenschild was not quite done yet. When racing resumed, he tried another slider on Marks, but he could not complete the pass. He got a good run off the inside of turn two and surged ahead. As he was doing so, the front wheels raised up and Haudenschild had to struggle to maintain control. He did, but Marks was able to motor by him heading toward turn three.
While that action was going on up front, Dewease dropped to the inside and he tried to pick off Macedo in turn one. He got alongside, but lost his momentum. Macedo pulled away, and now Dewease was under attack from McFadden and Gravel. The cluster of three came off turn four and Dewease was stuck in the middle, fighting to save his position in the top five. He was successful, but he could not catch Macedo in the remaining laps to attempt another pass.
Marks made the appointed rounds without further challenge from Haudenschild. Third went to Schatz, followed by Macedo and Dewease. Macri grabbed sixth in the final laps. McFadden was seventh, then came Gravel, Reutzel, and Wolfe.
The four heat winners were Haudenschild, Marks, Macri, and Macedo. The dash victor was Haudenschild who also set the fastest time in qualifying, at 17.262 seconds. The B Main winner was Logan Schchart, who also garnered the hard charger award. He advanced nine positions in the A Main.
Williams Grove Speedway will return to action on July 30, with a Sprint Car Doubleheader. The 410s will be joined by the 358s on York Racing Club night. The Billy Kimmel Memorial will be held on August 6, featuring the 410 Sprints and the Super Late Models.