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Gravel Goes at the Grove

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Paul Arch

WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (October 2, 2020): David Gravel was unstoppable at Williams Grove Speedway on the opening night of the National Open weekend. The $10,000 victory was his sixth career win at the track, including two prestigious triumphs in the grand finale.

Gravel, who got the jump on the initial start and led wire to wire in the non-stop affair said, “I had a couple of close calls. I had no idea how big of a lead I had, and there were a lot of lapped cars. With thirty cars in the field, I got to them pretty quickly.” However, Gravel was able to dispatch them easily enough, as acknowledged by the second place finisher, Kyle Larson. “David has been really fast, he picked off some lappers and we couldn’t get close.”

On one occasion late in the race, Larson thought that he may be able to narrow the gap. However, as Larson explained it, “I saw David hung up with some lapped cars and I overdrove the corner.” He got sideways in two, and Freddie Rahmer, Jr. checked-up as well, narrowly averting a crash that would have eliminated both racers. “Fortunately, Freddie saw me or else we both would have crashed,” Larson noted.

Rahmer had the pole as a result of his impressive dash victory. Gravel was next to him. Row two consisted of Larson and Shane Stewart, who set a new track record in qualifications this night. Row three belonged to Anthony Macri and James McFadden. Jacob Allen and Aaron Reutzel were in row four. Row five had Kerry Madsen and Donny Schatz, and in the sixth row were Brian Montieth and Gio Scelzi.

As noted, Gravel surged into the lead at the drop of the green. Rahmer tucked into second, with Stewart holding off Larson for third. Macri and McFadden came next. Gravel began pulling away from Rahmer in the clean air and he was able to stretch his lead even when he reached the lapped traffic.

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Larson moved into third on lap eleven, but he still had ground to make up on Rahmer. Over the next nine laps, he was able to do so. Larson tried to slide under Rahmer in turns one and two with five laps remaining in the contest. He did nose ahead briefly, but Rahmer fought back and regained the position as the duo thundered down the back stretch. It took Larson two more rounds to make another run at Rahmer and, this time, he was able to make the pass count.

“Maybe if I could have gotten Freddie the first time, maybe I could have chased (Gravel) down,” Larson mused.

As the track slicked off, some drivers began to make progress through the field. One was Reutzel, who came up to fourth in the last five laps of the race. Schatz and Lance Dewease were two others who picked off several cars to earn top ten credits for the night. The most successful driver at passing cars, though, was Brad Sweet. The current World of Outlaws points leader passed eleventh cars on his way to eleventh at the checkers.

Gravel, Larson, and Rahmer nailed down the podium positions. Reutzel bested Macri for fourth. Stewart slipped back to sixth in the final tally. Then came Schatz and Dewease. McFadden and Madsen rounded out the top ten.

Heat winners were Stewart, Reutzel, Gravel, and Larson. The D Main went to Wayne Johnson. Topping the C Main was Kyle Moody, while the B belonged to Parker Price-Miller. Rahmer scored in the dash. The non-qulaifiers race went to Brent Shearer. Stewart’s time of 16.111 broke an 18-year-old record held by Brian Paulus in the days before 410 Sprint Cars had a mandatory minimum weight requirement. Gravel was just over three tenths off that pace when he topped Group B in time trials.

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Dirt Racing

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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Dirt Racing

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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