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Dewease Does it Again at Port Royal Speedway

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Bert Wojo

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.

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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.

A-Main (50 Laps)
1. 69K-Lance Dewease [1]; 2. 39M-Anthony Macri [6]; 3. 5C-Dylan Cisney [5]; 4. 57-Kyle Larson [22]; 5. 26-Cory Eliason [10]; 6. 1-Logan Wagner [19]; 7. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [4]; 8. 39-Spencer Bayston [20]; 9. 2M-Kerry Madsen [8]; 10. 51-Freddie Rahmer [11]; 11. 5-Brent Marks [25]; 12. 48-Danny Dietrich [9]; 13. 14-Tony Stewart [7]; 14. 55-Mike Wagner [17]; 15. 9-James McFadden [14]; 16. 12-Blane Heimbach [21]; 17. 17-Ian Madsen [18]; 18. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [23]; 19. 21-Brian Brown [16]; 20. 18-Gio Scelzi [13]; 21. 87-Aaron Reutzel [12]; 22. 13-Paul McMahan [15]; 23. 24-Rico Abreu [2]; 24. 11T-TJ Stutts [3]; 25. 98-Jared Esh [24] Lap Leaders: Lance Dewease (1-18), Rico Abreu (19-37), Lance Dewease (38-50)
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All Star Circuit of Champions returning to Lernerville Speedway for 2-events including Don Martin Memorial

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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.

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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.”

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Western PA Speedweek to return in 2022

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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.

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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.

 

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Lernerville Speedway not on World of Outlaws schedule in 2022

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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.

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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.

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