ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (March 6, 2021): Tim Shaffer, the ‘Steel City Outlaw’, celebrated his first win as the newest member of the Pennsylvania Posse, an endearing term reserved for those regularly racing in cozy Central Pennsylvania. Although Shaffer has not relocated to the midstate, the Aliquippa native plans to spend many race nights competing at Lincoln Speedway and other famous eastern venues. On this occasion, he triumphed over midwestern invader Hunter Schuerenberg, who seemed to have the race well in hand until his driving error led to a wounded racecar.
This is not the first time in his Hall of Fame career that Shaffer was regarded as a member of the Posse. As he was climbing the ladder in Sprint Car racing, Shaffer spent a year and a half racing in Central PA, including an extended stay in the Apple Chevrolet car owned by Bob Stewart and wrenched by Shaffer’s pal, Lee Stauffer. Remarkably, that team never graced victory lane at Lincoln together. “I have a lot of friends back here,” Shaffer said.
Shaffer left Stewart and Stauffer to take the ride in the Selma Shell car from California, and he became a traveler after that. Shaffer spent years as a member of the Outlaw fraternity, hence his nickname, as well as racing with the All Stars and other sanctions along the way. Ironically, Shaffer’s move to the Selma Shell car brought Memphis driver Greg Hodnett to the Keystone State, as they essentially swapped rides. Hodnett went on to great success as a Posse member himself before tragically losing his life in a racing accident while driving for Mike Heffner. Hodnett was posthumously elected to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.
“Mike Heffner, thank you very much for giving me a great opportunity,” Shaffer noted. His options for 2021 were not looking very promising before hooking up with the venerable car owner about two months ago. Now, they find themselves atop the national leader board in feature wins in the early part of the season. His other two victories came against 360 Sprint competition in the Sunshine State.
“It is all about communication,” Shaffer explained. In just this short time, Shaffer has bonded with crew chief Heath Moyle, and it will be interesting to see how the season unfolds.
Shaffer has showed an uncanny knack for negotiating Lincoln Speedway. On opening day, he marched from twenty-second on the grid to twelfth in the payoff line. This week, he did not have so much ground to cover, as he pulled the number three pill for the main event. “The track was kinda narrow,” Shaffer observed, “but it had two grooves and I could move around some.” He was able to “bend” the car around corners, as he put it, and he could get under other drivers coming off the turns. Indeed, that was how he assumed the lead with just a couple of laps remaining.
The second place finisher, Schuerenberg, had a fast car all day, but he was unable to make the inside moves like Shaffer. Schuerenberg had a problem holding the inside line off turn four on the start of his heat race, bouncing into his partner and leaving the bottom line open for a holeshot from the third place starter to take the lead. In the feature, Schuerenberg was leading when he tried to put a lap on Chad Trout. Schuerenberg’s left front wheel struck Trout’s right rear tire, flattening it, and Glendon Forsythe scooted by for the lead. Because Trout was unable to limp off the track, the caution was displayed, and Schuerenber was put back on the point for the restart. However, the damage was done. Schuerenberg had a broken and loosened nose wing, a bent torsion tube, and a broken shock.
“I really wish we didn’t have that incident with that lapped car that bent a torsion tube and broke a shock,” Schurenberg explained. Schuerenberg was able to maintain his speed when racing in clean air, but when he caught slower cars, he had to be more cautious. And, to make matters worse, his car developed a fuel leak and his legs were soaked with fuel. “I didn’t want to jam on the brakes and throw a spark into the cockpit.” He concluded, “I think we had the car to beat,” and remarked that he was looking forward to coming back into the area for some extra laps before the start of the All Stars season.
The front row for the start belonged to Forsythe and Schuernberg. Shaffer and Billy Dietrich were in the second row. Kyle Moody and Rick Lafferty were in the third. Steve Buckwalter and Tim Glatfelter came next, with Chase Dietz and Freddie Rahmer, Jr. behind them. The sixth pair were Dylan Norris and Tyler Ross. Once again, some heavy hitters were sprinkled through the second half of the starting field. Kerry Madsen made his first start for Michael Barshinger from row seven, as did Matt Campbell. Danny Dietrich was inside row eight, Alan Krimes outside row nine, and last week’s winner, Tim Wagaman, was in row eleven.
Schuerenberg took the early lead, followed by Forsythe, Billy Dietrich, Shaffer, and Moody. Trout slowed to a stop on the frontstretch to inform track officials of a safety issue on Brandon Rahmer’s car. Rahmer pitted because the fuel tank was loose and he was unable to continue. Trout was put back into the proper running order.
The leaders ran single file until Schuerenberg’s incident with Trout on lap seven. On the restart, Billy Dietrich made a bold inside move to take second from Forsythe, but a flip by Buckwalter in turn one brought out the red and negated the pass. On the second try, Forsythe looked to the inside of Schurenberg in turn one and Shaffer peeked to the outside of Dietrich. No passes were completed, however.
Shaffer moved by Billy Dietrich nine laps into the race with an inside move off turn two. He began to close in on Forsythe and took over second soon after the crossed flags were shown to the field.
With Schuerenberg encountering lapped cars with increasing frequency, Shaffer started to close in. The question was whether there would be enough time for him to work past the leader. The question was answered on lap 26. Shaffer pinched the car to the inside coming off turn four and he powered by for the lead. Then Billy Dietrich took up the chase of Schuerenberg in the final laps, but he was unable to make a move for second.
Shaffer grabbed the win, much to the delight of the small but hardy crowd. Schuerenberg was impressive in taking second with the dmaged machine. Billy Dietrich, Forsythe, and Moody rounded out the top five. Danny Dietrich was sixth, followed by Dietz, Freddie Rahmer, Jr., Glatfelter, and Lafferty.
Shaffer, Glatfelter, and Forsythe were the heat winners. Trout copped the B Main. There were 27 cars signed in for the event.
Next week will be the last afternoon race for Lincoln Speedway, but it will be the first doubleheader. The Central PA Legends cars will join the fun. Racing will commence at 2 p.m. March 20 will be the first Sprint Car doubleheader, as the 358 Sprints make their season debut. March 27 will see the PASS/IMCA 305 Sprints in their stead. March 20 and 27 will be 6 p.m. starts.
Campbell Claims Grove Win; Locke Doubles in 358s
WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (July 30, 2021) – Matt Campbell held off the heavy hitters to score his second career 410 Sprint Car victory at Williams Grove Speedway. Although he was scored as the leader for all 25 laps, he had to survive the attacks by Danny Dietrich a third of the way through the race and then he had to fend off Lance Dewease in the closing laps. It was Campbell’s first win since taking over the reins of Jerry Parrish’s car following the retirement of his long-time driver, Brain Montieth.
“I was watching the track to see if the rubber was coming in,” Campbell said. After he had trouble passing a lapped car, he knew that it was time to move down in the rubber. On the final two restarts, Campbell had Dewease right behind him. So, Campbell had to keep the car pinned to the inside. “I heard Lance try to roll the top on me, but I just stayed in the rubber.”
Campbell and Dewease were on the front row by virtue of their heat race wins. Third place starter, Danny Dietrich, was also a heat winner. Next to him was Anthony Macri. Jared Esh and Aaron Bollinger were in the third row, with T.J. Stutts and Alan Krimes in the fourth. The fifth row featured Devon Borden and Freddie Rahmer, Jr. The sixth row paired Lucas Wolfe with Dylan Norris.
Campbell jumped out to the lead, but Dewease got a poor start, losing several positions on the opening lap. That put Macri and Dietrich ahead of him, with Bollinger, Rahmer, Esh, Stutts, Borden, and Wolfe fanned out behind him.
With Campbell leading Dietrich, it took Dewease several laps to get rolling. He worked into third, passing Macri with eight in the books. Around that same time, Dietrich caught up to Campbell and he started throwing slide jobs at the leader. Although Dietrich did draw up alongside Campbell a few times, he was never able to slide up in front of him to take the lead away.
“Danny definitely raced me clean,” Campbell noted. “I could see him half way through the corner and I knew if I got on the gas I would pull him off the corner.” The strategy worked for Campbell, and he was able to retain the lead despite the thrusts by Dietrich.
After Dietrich’s bids for the lead failed, he started falling back to Dewease. Dewease chased him through the middle stage of the race before overtaking him with seven laps remaining.
Dewease started to close in on Campbell, and cautions on laps 20 and 22 erased the margin completely. On the first restart, Dewease tried to poke his nose inside of Campbell entering turn one, but Campbell pinched down and did not give Dewease an opening. On the second restart, Campbell committed to the inside line and Dewease went high to try to drive around him. But, Campbell’s car was good in the rubber and he was able to put a couple of car lengths between them.
Campbell went on to the win, besting Dewease by 0.512 seconds. Dietrich was third, followed by Rahmer, Stuttsm Wolfe, Chase Dietz, Macri, Mark Smith, and Bollinger. Macri gave up his top five position when he had to pit to replace a flat right rear tire during one of the final restarts.
The B Main winner was Chris Arnold.
Derek Locke had a much easier time of it, especially in the non-stop nightcap for the 358 Sprints. That one he led wire-to-wire. He patiently worked his way to the front in the opening feature, which was a make-up event from a rained out race a couple of weeks ago. The pair of wins were his fifth and sixth of the season at Williams Grove, and he is undefeated in feature event competition. His winnings for the night were $4,000, better than all but Campbell.
“I was a little tight early, and I had to figure out how to drive teh track,” Locke said after his win in the make-up race. “About halfway through, I knew that I had a good car.” As for the second feature, Locke said that it was a matter of luck because he drew the pole. However, his strategy was to save the tires, and he was never seriously challenged, lapping all the way up to the seventh place car. “I could pass in the rubber,” he explained.
In the opener, Brett Wanner and Cody Fletcher were on the front row, with Rich Eichelberger and Nat Tuckey in the second. Kody Hartlaub and Steve Owings were in the third row, with Travis Scott and Chad Criswell in row four. Matt Findley and Locke were in row five. Row six paired up Tyler Brehm and Devin Adams.
Wanner took the early lead, with Owings, Eichelberger, Fletcher, Tuckey and Hartlaub trailing. Wanner’s lead did not last for long, as his car slowed after just a couple of rounds. Owings inherited the lead, with Eichelberger, Fletcher, and Tuckey fighting for the next few positions.
Meanwhile, Locke was carefully moving forward. He reached sixth by lap seven and he was into the top five at lap ten. By the halfway mark, he was fourth, and he climbed to third on lap 14. A restart bunched the field up for him, and he took over second on lap 17. On the next circuit, he was in the lead.
Locke completed the remaining laps without any difficulty. Owings held on for second, followed by Eichelberger, Fletcher, Scott, Criswell, Tuckey, Chris Frank, Findley, and Hartlaub.
In the nightcap, Locke was on the pole and Findley was next to him. Zachary Cool and John Stehman were in the second row, followed by Justin Foster and Devin Adams. Tuckey and Criswell were in row four, with Frank and Scott next. Eichelberger rolled off in eleventh, and Owings made it an even dozen.
Locke bolted to the lead on the initial start and he was never headed. The field got strung out, with Findley holding second for most of the contest. Later, he gave way to Frank. Findley crossed in third, with Stehman and Foster following. Tuckey and Scott were the last two drivers on the lead lap. Criswell, Owings, and Cool completed the top ten.
The 358 Sprint heat winners were Eichelberger and Locke. There was no B Main.
Next week, Williams Grove Speedway will present the Billy Kimmel Memorial for teh 410 Sprints and the Super Late Models. On the 13th, no racing is presently scheduled due to the Knoxville Nationals. August 20, racing will resume with the 410 Sprints paired up with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series. The All Star Circuit of Champions will be in on August 27 for the Jack Gunn Memorial Twin 20s.
Marks Makes Posse Proud
WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (July 24, 2021): Brent Marks declared his allegiance to the Pennsylvania Posse in victory lane at Williams Grove, much to the delight of the substantial crowd on hand for the finale of the 20th Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway, The fans were in a forgiving mood because, regardless of affiliation, he was the first Pennsylvania driver to defeat the World of Outlaws at the Grove in over two years.
Marks was a bona fide member of the Posse before leaving to spend a couple of seasons with the Outlaws. For 2021, his plan was to follow the All Stars Circuit of Champions aboard the CJB Motorsports entry. However, the driver from Myersdale, PA is back in his family-owned Sprint after parting company with the CJB team earlier this season. While Marks spends most of his time racing locally, he does wander off on occasion, such as his recent journey to Eldora Speedway for the King’s Royal events last week.
“The track was very tricky tonight,” Marks said. “We had a lot of trouble with lapped cars,” he added. He also acknowledged his good luck, as he twice lost the lead to last night’s winner, Sheldon Haudenschild. The two lead changes occurred well before the scoring loop and neither was counted as official. On one occasion, Marks was bailed out by a caution for one of those troublesome lapped cars and, on the other, Haudenschild popped a wheelie going down the back stretch after taking the green and Marks gathered himself back up to drive past while Haudenschild fought to regain control.
Haudenschild positioned himself for a repeat performance, starting the thirty lapper on the pole. Donny Schatz was on his flank. Lance Dewease got to start seven rows closer to the front this night, and Marks was lined up next to him. David Gravel was in the third row, along with Carson Macedo. Anthony Macri and Lucas Wolfe had row four, and Aaron Reutzel was matched with Troy Wagaman, Jr. Devon Borden and James McFadden were in row six.
Schatz got the early advantage over Haudenschild, Marks, Dewease, and Macedo. By the time the field got to the scoring loop, though, Marks was into second, and Macedo moved ahead of Dewease.
Schatz reached lapped traffic quickly, catching the backmarkers on lap six. Soon thereafter, Marks was on his tail. Marks took a run at the leader, but could not make the pass. He came back in turn one on lap eight, but he got up over the cushion, and he lost second to Haudenschild briefly. Marks rallied back in turn two and regained second heading down the back stretch.
A couple of laps later, Macedo took a look to the inside of Haudenschild for third. Macedo could not make the pass in turn four and Haudenschild scooted away.
The top six got into single file formation as they worked through traffic. Schatz was the leader, followed by Marks, Haudenschild, Macedo, and Dewease. Gravel and Mcfadden were battling for sixth, with Macri lurking close behind them.
Marks made a bid for the lead in turn one with twenty laps completed. He slid up ahead of Schatz to a thunderous ovation. Haudenschild repeated the maneuver two laps later to take second.
Haudenschild began to catch Marks, who was having his share of troubles with the slower cars he encountered. Haudenschild dove low into turn one and made a slide job to get past Marks. Unfortunately, Freddie Rahmer, Jr. was up on the cushion, and Haudenschild could not clear him. There was contact and Rahmer got into the heavy dirt above the groove. As he came to a stop on the outside of turn two, Haudenschild darted toward turn three.
The resulting caution put Marks back on the point for the restart, but Haudenschild was not quite done yet. When racing resumed, he tried another slider on Marks, but he could not complete the pass. He got a good run off the inside of turn two and surged ahead. As he was doing so, the front wheels raised up and Haudenschild had to struggle to maintain control. He did, but Marks was able to motor by him heading toward turn three.
While that action was going on up front, Dewease dropped to the inside and he tried to pick off Macedo in turn one. He got alongside, but lost his momentum. Macedo pulled away, and now Dewease was under attack from McFadden and Gravel. The cluster of three came off turn four and Dewease was stuck in the middle, fighting to save his position in the top five. He was successful, but he could not catch Macedo in the remaining laps to attempt another pass.
Marks made the appointed rounds without further challenge from Haudenschild. Third went to Schatz, followed by Macedo and Dewease. Macri grabbed sixth in the final laps. McFadden was seventh, then came Gravel, Reutzel, and Wolfe.
The four heat winners were Haudenschild, Marks, Macri, and Macedo. The dash victor was Haudenschild who also set the fastest time in qualifying, at 17.262 seconds. The B Main winner was Logan Schchart, who also garnered the hard charger award. He advanced nine positions in the A Main.
Williams Grove Speedway will return to action on July 30, with a Sprint Car Doubleheader. The 410s will be joined by the 358s on York Racing Club night. The Billy Kimmel Memorial will be held on August 6, featuring the 410 Sprints and the Super Late Models.
Chappel, Duritsky, Ruhlman and Wolbert winners on Friday at Lernerville
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Issac Chappel passed Carmen Perigo on Lap 6 and never looked back to take the win in the BOSS Wingless Sprint Car Series 25-lap main event. The win was the fifth in-a-row for Chappel in the BOSS Series.
Mike Duritsky picked up his first career win at ‘The Action Track’ by holding off Will Thomas and Logan Zarin to capture the RUSH Late Model Series feature. Daryl Charlier and Joe Martin rounded out the Top 5.
Chad Ruhlman fought off Blaze Myers to pick up the win in the RUSH Sprint Car Series feature. John Mollick was third followed by Gale Ruth and one of several drivers pulling double-duty, Zach Morrow.
Chas Wolbert collected his 40th career feature victory going wire-to-wire in the RUSH Sportsman Modified feature. Ben Easler was second. Justin Shea rounded out the podium.