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Sheppard and Eckert Share Victory Lane at Georgetown

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Georgetown Speedway

GEORGETOWN, DE(October 31, 2020): A pair of veterans earned their first career victories at Georgetown Speedway during the Mid-Atlantic Championship weekend. Matt Sheppard scored in the Short Track Super Series Modifieds and Rick Eckert prevailed in the United Late Model Series.

“It’s fitting that I got the win coming from the back,” Sheppard said. He had pitted just six laps into the fray to replace a flat right front tire and then he chased down the Northeast’s winningest Modified pilot, Stewart Friesen. “It’s been a tough year, so to get win number twenty is really good,” Sheppard added.

Friesen and the Quaker Shaker, Rick Laubach, were on the front row for the 44 lap contest. Brandon Grosso and Anthony Perrego were in the second row. Billy Pauch, Jr. lined up next to Mike Maresca in the third, with J.R. McGinley and Andy Bachetti behind them. Richie Pratt, Jr. and Sheppard were in row five. Matt Peck and Mike Gular were in the sixth row. These starting positions were based on the luck of the draw.

While everybody expected Friesen to grab the early lead, Laubach had other ideas. Scooby surged ahead coming off the fourth turn and Friesen fell in behind when the duo reached turn one. Perrego and Maresca came next, with Pauch, Bachetti, and Pratt following.

The first ten laps were puntuated with four cautions. Through it all, Laubach maintained control, although Friesen did make several strong challenges for the lead. Perrego and Pauch were also fixtures in the top five. P5 changed hands several times, though.

Near the end of the longest green flag run, eleven laps in distance, Friese powered past Laubach for the lead. Perrego and Pauch were figthing for third during this interval. Ryan Krachun nailed down fifth. However, Tyler Dipple was advancing quickly. After taking a provisional to start in the twenty-seventh position, he clawed his way to sixth.

Yellow fever set in again, as seven cautions were displayed over the second half of the race. Friesen continued to lead, but he had a new pursuer. Sheppard passed Laubach for second on lap 24. Laubach would go pitside for a flat three laps later, and Pratt was next to pit a few laps later.

Sheppard reeled in Friesen and the two talents put on an exciting show for the fans. Sheppard had a run on the outside of turn two, but Friesen drifted a bit high and there was minor contact. Both drivers were able to maintain control. On lap 31, Sheppard tried the outside line coming off turn two again, and this time he was able to make it past Friesen without incident.

On a lap 36 restart, Friesen got out into the loose stuff in turn one and le lost four or five positions. Among the drivers to benefit from this rare mistake was Pauch, who needed to gain positions if he had any hope of overtaking Friesen in the quest for the Series Southern Division point title. While Pauch was able to climb into second, Friesen got back on track. He rallied for fourth, which was enough to preserve his points lead over Pauch.

At the finish, it was Sheppard, Pauch, Perrego, Friesen, and Dippel. Although Pauch lost out in the series points chase, he was able to claim the track championship. he took a jab at his famous father in the post-race interview, noting that he was the first member of the family to win a title on Delaware soil. Pauch also remarked that he was “the only guy in the top five with a real job.”

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Danny Creeden, Laubach, Gular, Ryan Watt, and Matt Stangle completed the top ten.

Heat wins were scored by Perrego, Bachetti, Friesen, and Sheppard. The B Mains went to Watt and Tyler Siri.

In the 40 lap Late Model event, Mike Maresca led the field to the start, but Rick Eckert took control of the race as they thundered off turn two. Mark Pettyjohn, Max Blair, Donnie Lingo, and Kyle Hardy trailed. A quick yellow brought a moan from the crowd, as they feared another caution plagued race.

However, the racers redeemed themselves, completing fifteen more circuits before the next caution was displayed. While Eckert led the way, Max Blair was giving chase. He took the lead briefly coming off the second turn, but Eckert came charging back atthe opposite end of teh track.

Eckert and Blair began to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.Soon they were trading the top spot. Blair took charge just before the halfway mark, but Eckert stayed within shooting distance. Aided by a caution on lap 26, Eckert found a good line in turns one and two and he used it to regain the lead on teh restart.

“I was getting lazy, and then I picked the wrong lane for a restart and (Blair) got by me,” Eckert noted. “Then, he switched lanes, and I got back by him.”

Eckert added that he was “able to find a line that I could use to make up time in one and two.” Though he claimed to struggle in turns three and four, Eckert explained that Blair was having trouble down there also.

Eckert led the remainder of the race without challenge from Blair, who did finish second. Third went to Hardy. Maresca was fourth, followed by Ross Robinson. Jason Covert was sixth after running as high as second briefly. Amanda Robinson was next. Gary Stuhler, Danny Snyder, and Trevor Collins completed the top ten.

Heat winners were Eckert, Blair, and Pettyjohn. Eckert turned in the fastest lap in qualification runs at 18.050 seconds. There was no B Main.

Justin Grosso topped Joe Toth, Tim Hartman, Jr., Anthony Tramontana, and Tanner Van Doren in the 602 Crate Sportsmen. Steve Kemery, Robert Dutton, Tramontana, and Grosso were victorious in their heats. Greg Humlhanz and Greg Reed won the B Mains.

Georgetown Speedway officials announced that there will be one more race at the half mile in 2020. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 28, the Gobbler will be held, with Big Block Modifieds topping the card. Support divisions have yet to be determined.

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Local Racing

Sye Lynch Partnering With Baughman Motorsports

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APOLLO, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Sprint Car driver Sye Lynch is partnering with Baughman Motorsports for the 2021 racing season.

Lynch, the third generation 410 Sprint Car driver, and his team plan to enter around 80-events as part of this partnership with Josh Baughman and Baughman Motorsports.  Longtime Lynch partner Mosites Motorsports joins new marketing partners Fischer Body Shop of Missouri and Hollywood Blasting and Coating of Odessa, Texas as part of the arrangement.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” said Lynch. “To have Fischer Body Shop and Baughman Motorsports join our efforts at Sye Lynch Racing is pretty special. We’ve been working on these plans for over four months. I’m not sure how we were able to keep it a secret this long, but it’s out there now. I’m ready to get started.”

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Lynch’s schedule is still being finalized but highlights include some of sprint car racing’s premier showcases like the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway (July 15 & July 17) and the Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway (August 11-14).

“We are still working out the logistics side of things,” said Lynch. “I hope to have a complete plan of attack released in the coming weeks. I just want to thank all of my partners for their dedication and support. Our goal is to go out every night and put on a show. I’m confident we have what it takes to do that.”

Baughman is stepping back from full-time competition in 2021 but plans to run 10-15 events in 2021.

“We are excited about this new venture with Sye Lynch,” said Baughman. “He’s a talented kid with the hunger to win and we’re proud to be affiliated. I think it’s safe to say that we are all anxious to get the year underway.”

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Dirt Racing

Schatz Scores Jean Lynch Classic Win at East Bay

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Photo: Chad Warner

GIBSONTON, FL (February 2, 2021): Donny Schatz scored an impressive win over the Madsen brothers, Ian and Kerry, in the second running of the Jean Lynch Classic for the All Star Circuit of Champions at East Bay Raceway Park. The All Stars’ visit to the ‘Clay by the Bay’ was cut to one night due to heavy rain that hit the track Sunday and continued into Monday. The speedway looked more like the fish farm that Jimmy Mingo and others converted into a racy oval over four decades ago. A substantial pond remained inside turn one on Tuesday but, fortunately, no Sprint Cars made a detour into that area.

“It’s been a long time since I was at East Bay,” Schatz said. He estimated that his last appearance at the track was in the early ’90s. “It’s really neat, tricky; it has some slick spots, some shiny spots.” Nonetheless, Schatz had no difficulty mastering the unfamiliar surface.

Ian Madsen and Cory Eliason paced the field for the 30 lap feature event named for the lady who was a former co-owner of the series and track manager at East Bay. Schatz lined up third, with Justin Peck beside him. Tony Stewart and Anthony Macri were in the third row, and Steve Buckwalter and Tyler Courtney in the fourth. The final dash participants, Kyle Reinhardt and Tim Shaffer, made up row five. Then came Jamie Myers and Gio Scelzi.

Eliason assumed command on the opening lap and he began to distance himself from Schatz, Ian Madsen, Peck, and Macri. However, just five laps into the race, Eliason collided with a slower car driven by Chris Windom. Eliason got a flat right front tire, but there was no other apparent damage to his car, so he was able to resume the race at the rear of the field.

Peck, who had slipped by Schatz on the last completed lap, took off at the drop of the green. Schatz raced along in second, followed by Ian Madsen, Courtney, Shaffer, and Macri. The man on the move, though, was Kerry Madsen, who was up to seventh from 17th on the starting grid.

A caution bunched things up at lap eleven. While the front runners did not change, Kerry Madsen made some aggressive moves to enter the top five.

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With fourteen laps in the books, Schatz was hounding Peck for the lead. He got a strong run off of turn two, but Peck moved up a lane to block his advance. Schatz deftly turned under Peck halfway down the back stretch and he was the new leader entering turn three. Peck no longer had the steam to race with the leaders and he slowly started to drift back in the running order after that.

The final caution was displayed on lap 17. Schatz continued to lead over Ian Madsen when racing resumed, but now the battle was for third. Courtney and Kerry Madsen were the contestants, with Shaffer looking for an opening. Madsen wrestled the spot away from Cortney in a few laps, and he set out after his brother.

The sibling rivalry intensified as the pair of Aussies picked their way through lapped traffic. “I didn’t know it was him,” Ian said of the driver pressing him for second. “I knew that he started pretty far back.” For his part, Kerry Madsen had to wonder how things would have played out differently if he had started closer to the front. “It was a great run, I had a great car and could go anywhere I wanted.”

Schatz maintained his lead to the finish. Ian held off his older brother for second. Courtney was fourth and Scelzi benefitted from a miscue by Shaffer on the final lap to gain the fifth spot. Shaffer, Peck, Stewart, Brent Marks, and Hunter Schuerenberg completed the top ten.

Kerry Madsen was the hard charger, advancing 14 positions.

Ian Madsen was the fastest qualifier of the night, turning in a lap of 12.680 seconds. Buckwalter, Courtney, Shaffer, and Schatz scored heat wins. The dashes belonged to Ian Madsen and Eliason. Terry McCarl captured the B Main.

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Local Racing

Western PA Sprint Speedweek Adds Another Sponsor

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SHIPPENVILLE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Western PA Sprint Speedweek is adding another partner to the growing list of companies stepping up to support the five-race series this June.

J.S. Bova Excavating LLC has signed on to be a presenting sponsor of this summer’s upcoming five-race speedweek, scheduled to run from Wednesday, June 2nd through Sunday, June 6th.

J.S. Bova is a family-owned excavating company and general contractor known for its outstanding service, extensive expertise, steadfast reliability, and commitment to safety. J.S. Bova proudly serves the Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania area out of their central Struthers, Ohio location.

“We’re excited to get behind the revival of Western PA Speedweek” said owner Joe Bova. “We believe the area sprint car competition and racetracks are underrated and on the upswing, and we want to be associated with the excitement that this event brings.”

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Joe and Sherri Bova founded their business in 2013 and worked together to build their organization from the ground up. In less than a decade they have expanded their portfolio to offer a wide range of services and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants signed on to be the title sponsor of Western PA Sprint Speedweek last week.

Western PA Sprint Speedweek returns from a 20-year hiatus June 2nd-6th. Western Pennsylvania’s ‘410 Sprint Cars’ will compete for five straight nights with each show featuring a strong $3,000-to-win, $250-to-start purse.

Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants Western PA Sprint Speedweek presented by J.S. Bova Excavating Schedule:

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