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Six Opens for Schatz

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Williams Grove Speedway Twitter

WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (October 3, 2020): Donny Schatz captured his sixth win in the National Open held at Williams Grove Speedway. The win, which was worth $75,000, was his fifth of the season on the World of Outlaws Sprint tour and his twenty-first career win at the venerable track.

Schatz drove the only Ford-powered car in the field. “When you’re building something from scratch, it takes some time,” he said. He gave props to his team. “People have been working hard,” he noted. The experimental engine seems to work quite well on big tracks, but he acknowledged that they still have some work to do to make it work as effectively on the smaller tracks which make up most of the series schedule.

Schatz had some good luck through the evening. After logging the ninth fastest time in his qualifying group, he was racing second in his heat when the leader, Shane Stewart, suffered a mechanical failure. That got him into the dash, where he finished third. A good pill draw ensured a font row starting spot in the dash and his third place finish in that event got him near the front of the A Main line-up. Thus, he could conserve his equipment through the first half of the feature while keeping the leaders in sight. When it was time to make his move to the front, his car was still fresh.

When his car reached Victory Lane, however, it was a bit worse for wear. On his cool down lap, Schatz was waiving to the fans in on Beer Hill when he clobbered the third turn fence. Despite the bent right front wheel and damaged steering arm, he was able to bring the car around to the front stretch for the customary photo op.

Schatz was not the only racer to overcome a poor qualification time. LoganSchuchart raced from seventh to second in his heat and he snagged a second spot in the dash. Anthony Macri and Brent Marks earned transfers from heat one despite starting eighth and ninth, respectively. Danny Dietrich raced into the A Main from a tenth place start in his heat. Lance Dewease passed seven cars in the B Main to get his spot on the grid and, he passed twelve cars en route to an eleventh place finish in the A Main.

David Gravel and Schuchart were on the front row for the A Main. Jacob Allen and Schatz were in row two. Kyle Larson and Sheldon Haudenschild were in row three. James McFadden and Daryn Pittman occupied row four. Brock Zearfoss and Cory Eliason were in row five, and row six consisted of Kyle Reinhart and Brad Sweet.

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At the drop of the green , Schuchart assumed command. He was able to pinch Gravel down to gain the advantage coming off turn four. That strategy worked for him several more times in the early going, as cautions on laps four, eight, and twelve paired them up on the front row three more times. “I tried to hold David down in three and four, but he kept getting better and better,” Schuchart said. “He had too many shots at me and then he got a run on me into turn one.”

Indeed, after running second, Gravel was able to pull off a slider to take the lead with eleven laps in the books. He would lead ten laps before Schatz took control just a few laps before the mandatory fuel stop. Allen and Larson ran in the top five through the break, which came on lap 25.

After the break, Larson had one of the fastest cars on the track. He climbed into third on lap 26 and second one round later. He began to chop into Schatz’ advantage and, with five to go, the tension began to build. With two to go, Larson was within striking distance and Schatz was beginning to have some difficulty getting past the lapped cars. Larson explained, “I was just hoping to be close enough to him when he went to the top in one and two (to try to pass some lapped cars) but we weren’t close enough. Then, I had to go to the top in three and four and I needed a miracle.” Much to the dismay of the huge crowd, though, Larson slapped the wall coming through turn four on the final lap, ending his bid for the win. “I think we had a car capable of winning, but we fell a little short,” he added.

Schuchart followed Schatz and Larson across the line. Gravel held on for fourth. Haudenschild worked up to fifth after falling back in the early going. Pittman took sixth, with Allen, Macri, Marks, and Sweet completing the top ten.

Heat victories were scored by Larson, Allen, Schatz, and Gravel. The B Main winner was Stewart.  Tops in the C and D were Spencer Bayston and Troy Wagaman, respectively. The non-qualifiers race went to Chad Trout. Haudenschild was the evening’s fastest qualifier in Group A with a time of 16.685. Stewart was best in Group B with a mark of 17.103.

Williams Grove will be dark until the season opener in 2021. The World of Outlaws will be back in the area next week for the Nittany Showdown to be held at Port Royal Speedway on Friday and Saturday nights.

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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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