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.
Mother Nature Wins The Weekend In Western PA
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Mother Nature is putting a damper on the early portion of the Western Pennsylvania dirt track racing season as both Lernerville Speedway and Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway were forced to cancel their racing programs on Friday and Saturday night.
The inclement weather has forced Lernerville to postpone the Lernerville Grand, the 1,000th Sprint Car race in The Action Track’s storied history, two weeks in a row. Lernerville will host Military Appreciation Night on Friday, May 15, 2021 where Fab4 Racing will be on track.
PPMS was able to get in a full slate last weekend but has already made the decision to cancel Saturday night’s action. Racing will resume on Saturday, May 15, 2021, for an Action Event featuring the Rohrich Automotive RUSH Late Model Dirt Series, the Hobby Stocks, the Penn Ohio Pro Stocks, the Crawford Auto Repair Four Cylinders, and the All Ways Safe Young Guns.
UPDATE: Add Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio to the cancellation list thanks to the weather. An identical “Super Series” show will be coming up next Saturday night (May 15) as the “410” Sprint Cars return for $3,000 to-win along with the Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and the Whelen Econo Mods. Pits open at 4 p.m. and grandstands at 5. Sprint Car group qualifying will take place at 6:30 p.m. with heat races at 7.
Hafertepe Hammers All Stars At Tri-City Raceway Park; Ruhlman Rush Sprint Star
FRANKLIN, PA (May 2, 2021): Sam Hafertepe, Jr. scored his first win with the FloRacing All Stars Circuit of Champions in thirteen years of competition with the series. The All Stars program was presented courtesy of Krill Recycling LLC of Fennelton, PA.
Taking the Gary Glass Automotive/Washington House RUSH Sprint Car feature was Chad Ruhlman aboard the Tim Engels machine from Franklin, PA.
“Running out front was the place to be,” Hafertepe said. He explained that track position gave him better opportunities to navigate around some difficult track conditions.
Sam Hafertepe, Jr. and Ian Madsen led the All Star field to the green flag. Row two belonged to Tyler Courtney and Matt Farnham. Starting in the third row were Cap Henry and Bill Balog and they were followed by Hunter Schuerenberg and Justin Peck. Cale Conley and Sye Lynch started in row five with Carl Bowser and Kyle Reinhardt in row six.
Hafertepe bolted into the lead followed by Courtney, Madsen, Farnham and Peck. Before the racers could settle in, however, Reinhardt flipped his machine in between turns one and two. He was not hurt, but neither he nor track favorite Jack Sodeman, Jr. were able to continue.
Hafertepe assumed the lead again with Madsen, Farnham, and Henry in tow. Peck was applying the pressure and he began his move to the front. He reached fourth by lap four and third by lap five.
A caution for the lazy spin by Lynch in turn four bunched the field up and gave Peck an opportunity to challenge the leaders. He was hounding Courtney while Hafertepe ran out front by himself. Peck moved into second on lap seventeen before the pace was slowed due to Cory Eliason stopping in turn two.
On the ensuing restart, Peck made a bold move in turn one, but he snagged a rut and flipped his machine ending an impressive run up from the eighth starting spot.
Hafertepe completed the remaining eight laps without further ado. Courtney posted his best All Stars finish to date, second. Madsen crossed in third and gained enough points to take command of the All Stars series championship. Balog and Henry were fourth and fifth. Schuerenberg was sixth followed by Conley, Paul McMahan, Paige Polyak and Wise.
McMahan was the All Stars Hard Charger with thirteen positions advanced. Brandon Matus took the Fisher and Father NAPA Auto Parts Pro Performer Hard Charger award at plus five.
Balog, Farnham, Schuerenberg, and Henry were victorious in the heat races for the All Stars. Bob Felmlee nailed the second turn wall in his heat race, inflicting major damage on the car. Felmlee was unhurt. Lynch spun while racing second in his heat, but he was able to restart and made the transfer to the A Main.
Hafertepe, Jr. and Madsen captured the twin Dashes for the All Stars.
The B Main winner was McMahan. Dan Shetler was unhurt in his crash in turn one during the B Main.
The evening’s fastest qualifier overall was Justin Peck, with a lap of 14.998 in Group C. It was a new track record. He was the only driver to crack the 15 second mark. Courtney was the fastest in Group A, Madsen in Group B, and Lynch in Group D.
Teenager Nolan Groves and Brian Hartzell paced the Gary Glass Automotive and Washington House RUSH Sprint Car feature. Gale Ruth, Jr. and Chad Ruhlman were in the second row with Tyler Newhart and Rod George in the third row.
Ruhlman and Hartzell battled for the early lead with Ruth and George in hot pursuit. Ruth was the man to watch, going from third to first on lap four. However, Ruth was crowded and got into the outside wall, bending two wheels. He limped off the track after leading just one lap.
Ruhlman and Hartzell resumed the battle for the lead, but soon a new challenger appeared. Rod George showed everyone that he still remembered the fastest way around the big half mile. He took second on lap nine and chased down Ruhlman.
Ruhlman and George went back and fourth for several laps before Ruhlman seized control again. Soon thereafter, George’s car began to sputter and he had to retire from the race with nineteen laps down. However, while he and Ruhlman were entertaining the fans, Brad Church, Arnie Kent, and Newhart were fighting for third.
George’s misfortune set up a green checkered finish. Ruhlman completed the final lap, with Hartzell in second. Church, Kent, and Blaze Myers completed the top five. Newhart, Ricky Tucker, A.J. MacQuarrie, George, and Steve Pedley rounded out the top ten.
In the Rush Sprint Car heat races, Nolan Groves and Rod George captured the wins. Donovan and Bauer Auto Group of Titusville presented the heat races. There was no B Main.
Remember that there will be no racing at Tri-City Raceway Park on May 9 in observance of Mother’s Day. Action will resume on May 16, with a Sunday Thunder program featuring the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars, the Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds, the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks, and the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. May 16 will also be Military Night with all veterans and current members of the armed forces admitted free of charge with proper identification. May 23 will be a special program for the ULMS Late Model Series and the 305 Sprint Cars. The 305 Sprints will have double features. The month of May will conclude on May 30 with another Sunday Thunder racing event.
Flo Racing All Stars (25 laps): Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Tyler Courtney, Ian Madsen, Bill Balog, Cap Henry, Hunter Schuerenberg, Cale Conley, Paul McMahan, Paige Polyak, Zeb Wise, Sye Lynch, Brandon Spithaler, Carl Bowser, T.J. Michael, Brandon Matus, Frankie Nervo, Justin Peck, Matt Farnham, Lee Jacobs, Lucas Wolfe, Kyle Reinhardt, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Gary Taylor. DNQ: Skyler Gee, George Hobaugh, Greg Wilson, Brent Matus, Brett Brunkenhofer, Ken Rossey, Darin Gallagher, Dan Shetler, Michael Bauer, Bob Felmlee.
Gary Glass Automotive/Washington House RUSH Sprints: Chad Ruhlman, Brian Hartzell, Brad Church, Arnie Kent, Blaze Myers, Tyler Newhart, Ricky Turner, A.J. MacQuarrie, Rod George, Steve Pedley, Gale Ruth, Sr., Gale Ruth, Jr., Nlan Graves, John Mollick (DNS).
Justin Peck Wins Buckeye Cup At Sharon Speedway
HARTFORD, OH (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Justin Peck led wire-to-wire to win the FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions ‘Buckeye Cup’ Saturday at Sharon Speedway.
Peck withstood a challenge from second place finisher Cole Duncan before pulling away to claim the victory, his second in the ‘Buckeye State’ after winning at Attica Raceway Park in April.
“We were able to put a whole night together,” said Peck. “We qualified good enough tonight where we just had to transfer through our heat race to make the dash, and that’s the name of the game. You need to put yourself in a position early and start up front in these things. We fine tune things as the night goes on. I can’t thank everyone enough.”
Peck jumped out to the early lead with Hunter Schuerenberg, Cole Duncan, Dave Blaney, and Ian Madsen giving chase before encountering lap traffic on lap 11.
The lap traffic was just enough to impede Peck as Duncan and Blaney started closing in, eventually catching him on lap 16.
“I tried to lose that race there pretty early on by running the top and smacking the wall,” said Peck. “I actually knocked the ladder out of the car before we even got ten laps in. I just had to smarten up a little bit after that. I knew we had a fast race car. I just needed to finish the race.”
Peck started pulling away by lap 22 as Duncan, Blaney, Madsen and Zeb Wise fought it out for the remaining podium spots. Duncan crossed the start/finish line in second place followed by Blaney in third, however Blaney was eventually disqualified for missing the scales after the race. Blaney was credited with a 25th place finish.
The All Stars continue their Pennsylvania – Ohio weekend with at stop at Merle Black’s Tri-City Raceway Park in Franklin, PA.
A-Main (30 Laps):
1. 13-Justin Peck ; 2. 22C-Cole Duncan ; 3. 11-Ian Madsen ; 4. 10-Zeb Wise ; 5. 17B-Bill Balog ; 6. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 7. 81-Lee Jacobs ; 8. 4-Cap Henry ; 9. 5-Paul McMahan ; 10. 26-Cory Eliason ; 11. 97-Gary Taylor ; 12. 3C-Cale Conley ; 13. 42-Sye Lynch ; 14. 7BC-Tyler Courtney ; 15. O8-Dan Kuriger ; 16. 11B-Carl Bowser ; 17. 29-Michael Bauer ; 18. 28-Skylar Gee ; 19. 6-Bob Felmlee ; 20. 5K-Adam Kekich ; 21. 8M-TJ Michael ; 22. 22-Brandon Spithaler ; 23. 12-Darin Gallagher ; 24. 23JR-Jack Sodeman Jr. ; 25. 10B-Dave Blaney  Lap Leaders: Justin Peck (1-30)