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Dirt Racing

Shaffer Scores on Night Two at East Bay

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Tim Shaffer

GIBSONTON, FL (February 12, 2021): It did not take long for the Steel City Outlaw to register his first win as the new driver of Mike Heffner’s potent 360 Sprint Car. After grabbing a second spot in the opening round of the King of the 360s portion of the 45th Annual Winternationals, Shaffer got the win in just his seventh outing with the new team.

“This is awesome,” Shaffer said modestly. He gave props to his crew chief, Heath Moyle, and explained that the two have been able to communicate well in their brief time together. “When you can beat Mark (Smith) here, you’re doing something. He has a really good program and that’s what we’re striving for. We want to get a great program and be successful everywhere.”

Mark Smith and Tim Shaffer made up a Keystone State front row for the 25 lapper. Terry McCarl and Brett Wright were in the row behind. Eric Riggens and Carson McCarl rolled away from row three. Dale Howard and Cody Bova were in row four, with Nick Snyder and Ben Brown in row five. The sixth row had the opening night winner, Danny Martin, Jr., and Zane DeVault looking across at one another.

Smith powered off turn four to take the initial lead, with Wright challenging Shaffer for second. Riggens, Terry McCarl, and Howard followed closely. Shaffer dispatched Wright, and soon thereafter it became a two-car battle for the lead. The Pennsylvania drivers began to pull away from the rest of the pack as they were playing cat and mouse while lapping slower cars.

Smith lost some grip between turns three and four, and the back end of his car slid out, allowing Shaffer to duck under him and grab the lead as a they crossed the line for the seventh time. Shaffer slid out a bit in turn one on the next lap, but Smith could not return the favor.

Traffic became heavier as Shaffer and Smith continued on. Smith made a good run through three and four on the bottom to regain the lead. He was not able to keep it for long, though. Smith went to the outside of a slower car, and Shaffer went beneath them both in turn two to take the lead again.

While Shaffer and Smith were putting on a great show up front, Riggens climbed into third. McCarl rode along in fourth, but Martin was fifth and climbing. A caution on lap fifteen for Wright’s spin in turn four brought the field back together again. Wright limped to the pits, ending a run that surely would have locked him into the Saturday A Main.  Wright’s misfortune played into Martin’s hand, as he immediately gained two spots when racing resumed.

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By lap 18, Martin worked into second. Smith remained close, and Riggens was hounding him for third. McCarl and Howard were still racing in position, but they were losing ground to the leaders.

Martin began to close in on Shaffer as the laps were winding down. Fans started to wonder whether he could bypass Shaffer for a second consecutive triumph.

However the second caution of the contest was displayed just as Shaffer took the white flag.

Shaffer got away cleanly on the restart. Martin, however, slid up the track coming off turn four and Smith quickly filled the inside lane. He was able to get a nose ahead of Martin entering turn one. Martin fought back on the outside of turn two, but Smith was better on the inside than Martin was on the outside of turns three and four.

Shaffer took the win, with Smith edging Martin for second. Riggens and Terry McCarl were fourth and fifth. Howard, Max Stambaugh, Carson McCarl, Bova, and DeVault completed the top ten.

The 49 car field was divided into six heats again. Smith, Terry McCarl, Carson McCarl, Wright, Howard, and Shaffer prevailed. Stambaugh, Davey Franek, and Conner Leoffler each won a B Main.

The combined performances in the first two rounds locked six racers into the Saturday A Main. Dale Howard and Tim Shaffer tied as the top point getters. Terry McCarl, Mark Smith, Danny Martin, Jr., and Eric Riggens also got preferred starting positions for the Ronald Laney Memorial and they too will not have to compete in any heat races on championship night. Wright’s DNF proved costly, as he missed the cut by just one point.

Jim Kradel won the Mini Sprint A Main over Steve Diamond, Jr., Stephen Thomas, Don Quinn, and James McNulty. Jerod Myers defeated Doug Dyal in the Micro Sprint feature. Paul Seburn, William Brennan, Jr., and Joshua Davis completed the top five.

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Dirt Racing

Mother Nature Wins The Weekend In Western PA

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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.

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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.

 

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Dirt Racing

Hafertepe Hammers All Stars At Tri-City Raceway Park; Ruhlman Rush Sprint Star

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Photo: Rick Rarer

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.

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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).

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Dirt Racing

Justin Peck Wins Buckeye Cup At Sharon Speedway

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Photo: Chad Warner

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.

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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 [1]; 2. 22C-Cole Duncan [2]; 3. 11-Ian Madsen [4]; 4. 10-Zeb Wise [7]; 5. 17B-Bill Balog [6]; 6. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [3]; 7. 81-Lee Jacobs [10]; 8. 4-Cap Henry [14]; 9. 5-Paul McMahan [24]; 10. 26-Cory Eliason [13]; 11. 97-Gary Taylor [12]; 12. 3C-Cale Conley [8]; 13. 42-Sye Lynch [17]; 14. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [5]; 15. O8-Dan Kuriger [23]; 16. 11B-Carl Bowser [21]; 17. 29-Michael Bauer [16]; 18. 28-Skylar Gee [11]; 19. 6-Bob Felmlee [20]; 20. 5K-Adam Kekich [22]; 21. 8M-TJ Michael [25]; 22. 22-Brandon Spithaler [15]; 23. 12-Darin Gallagher [18]; 24. 23JR-Jack Sodeman Jr. [19]; 25. 10B-Dave Blaney [9] Lap Leaders: Justin Peck (1-30)

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