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.
Michael Norris wins night two of Bill Hendren Memorial at PPMS
IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Michael Norris doesn’t race every week at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway but ‘The Crusher Kid’ may want to add a few more visits to dirt’s ‘Monster Half Mile’ in 2022 after winning the feature in night 2 of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’.
Norris’ victory was his 2nd straight RUSH Late Model Touring Series win at PPMS and third in four events. Norris also won the ‘Jook George Steel City Classic’ in August and in 2020.
“Kyle (Lukon) got out there and was setting a pretty good pace,” said Norris. “I kind of got in line behind him and didn’t know if I had anything for him in clean air, but I figured once we got to lapped traffic we’d see what we’re both made of.”
Norris made his move on lap 11 and passed Lukon for the lead. Norris masterfully worked lap traffic over the remaining laps to capture the checkered flag and another win in a signature local event.
“It means a lot to win these memorials,” said Norris. “Any memorial means the person was pretty significant and were pioneers in the sport. I appreciate you guys putting this on, and I just love coming here any chance I get- I’ll run lawnmowers around here I don’t care.”
Kyle Hardy, Friday night’s winner, tried chasing down Norris over the final 17-laps but settled for second place and the RUSH Late Model Touring points lead.
“I didn’t have anything for Michael,” said Hardy. “We would have liked to have won tonight, but always have the big picture in the back of our minds. Not a bad weekend at all.”
Joe Martin was third for the second straight night. It was Martin’s fifth straight Tour podium finish, 10th straight top six, and 13th top six in the last 14 events as he maintains runner-up in the standings.
“Bill Hendren Memorial” Night 2 (30 laps, $3200 to-win): 1. MICHAEL NORRIS (51) 2. Kyle Hardy (99) 3. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 4. Colton Flinner (Chernik 5x) 5. Daryl Charlier (Centerline 114) 6. Logan Zarin (1z) 7. Levi Crowl (5) 8. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 9. Jacob Gunn (14G) 10. Garret Paugh (03) 11. Tony Musolino (Dobnak 42) 12. Bud Watson (225) 13. Ray Love, Jr. (08) 14. Zach Gunn (17G) 15. Tom Klein (77) 16. Tom Duratz (55D) 17. Ryan Frazee (11F) 18. Bill Kessler (09) 19. Kassidy Kamicker (72B) 20. Zach Kane (10) 21. Dan Lepro (2L) 22. Kyle Lukon (184) 23. Cole Petrelle (84) 24. Eddie Carrier, Jr. (Lukon 184X).
Non-Qualifier (6 laps, $500 to-win): 1. Philip Bubeck (Tennant 2) 2. Dave Goble (20G). DNS: Nick Love (38), Jeremy Wonderling (3J), Grant Garrison (1), Zach Morrow (Bentz 60), Tim Shaffer (45), Andrew Squatriglia (115).
Macedo Makes History at the Grove
WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (October 2, 2021): Carson Macedo earned his biggest career win in the 59th National Open held at Williams Grove Sppedway. He picked up $75,000, the largest payday ever doled out at the historic venue.
“This is the biggest win of my career,” Macedo said. “This is really cool. When I started coming here, I couldn’t get ahold of this place.” Well, Macedo grabbed control of the race on lap 36 and he did not let go. That was when he made the winning move in turn one, sliding past leader Logan Schuchart. “The lapped cars were holding up Logan. I just drove really hard. I slid across and the wing held me.”
Schuchart, who suffered perhaps the biggest disappointment of his budding career, was philosophical about the outcome. “All in all, two, second place finishes this weekend are pretty good for me. I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me. Carson ran a great race. I thought I could maybe rip the top on him.” But Schuchart’s attempted counter attack never materialized.
Brent Marks had the pole for the 40 lap affair. Schuchart was on his right. Sheldon Haudenschild and David Gravel were in row two. Anthony Macri and Carson Macedo continued the youth movement by starting in row three. Six-time Open champion, Donny Schatz and Justin Peck were in row four. Kasey Kahne and Lance Dewease started in row five, with James McFadden and Brian Brown in the sixth row.
Marks blasted into the lead, followed by Schuchart, Gravel, Macedo, Haudenschild, Macri, and Schatz. Before Marks could build upon his early advantage, a red flag stopped the race after just two laps. Brian Brown spun and collected Daryn Pittman, who turned over from the contact. Freddy Rahmer, Jr. was also involved in the melee. No drivers were injured, but all three were eliminated from the contest.
Marks assumed control again when the race resumed. He began to pull away from Schuchart as the laps clicked off. Marks’ bid for a second win in the Open ended when he got into a lapped car and spun in turn two. He was able to restart the race, but his quest for the victory was over.
That handed the lead to Schuchart. He was able to maintain control for the next twenty-three laps despite a second red flag on lap 12. Robbie Kendall flipped after he tangled with T.J. Stutts between turns one and two. Again, neither driver was hurt, but Kendall was done for the night.
While Schuchart led Macedo, Haudenschild, Macri, and Gravel, the battle was for the sixth spot. Schatz and Dewease were mixing things up until lap 27, when Schatz took the position once and for all.
Schuchart got into traffic and kept his advantage over Macedo. However, in the final ten laps, Macedo began to close on the leader. He made his winning move on lap 35, and led the final four laps. Schuchart made a desperate bid in the final corners, but came up a tad short.
Following Macedo and Schuchart were Haudenschild, Macri, and Gravel. Schatz was sixth. Then came Dewease, Kyle Larson, McFadden, and Brad Sweet.
Macri received a $1,000 bonus for the highest finishing PA Posse driver. Sweet grabbed $559 as the hard charger. He advanced nine positions during the race.
The heat wins were chalked up by Schatz, Macedo, Gravel, and Haudenschild. Dewease set the fast time again, this time topping Group B with a lap of 16.774 seconds. He failed to lock into the dash when Macri swept by him in turn one following a restart with two laps to go in the third heat. The B Main winner was Jacob Allen, and Devon Borden took the checkers in the C Main.
Kyle Hardy wins night one of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’ at PPMS
IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Kyle Hardy picked up his first win at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway by grabbing the feature victory in night one of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’.
“What a race- it was super fun out there,” said Hardy. “I can’t thank my crew to get this car so good to where I could steer across the middle of the race track. What a car we’ve had all year.”
Hardy held off PPMS track Champion Daryl Charlier in a thrilling side-by-side battle for several laps around dirt’s ‘Monster Half Mile’.
“If you had a camera or mirror on me you’d have seen how freaked out I was just trying to get where I needed to be to win this thing,” said Hardy.
The victory was not a surprise as Hardy was the runner up when the RUSH Late Model Touring Series visited PPMS twice earlier this season for the ‘Herb Scott Memorial’ and ‘Jook George Steel City Classic’.
Charlier brought it home in second place and earned $1,500 for his efforts.
“If I’m going to finish second I guess I’ll finish second to Kyle Hardy- he’s the top dog in the crates and especially the RUSH Series,” said Charlier.
RUSH Late Model Touring Series “Bill Hendren Memorial” (30 laps, $3000 to-win): 1. KYLE HARDY (99) 2. Daryl Charlier (Centerline 114) 3. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 4. Eddie Carrier, Jr. (Lukon 184X) 5. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 6. Jacob Gunn (14G) 7. Bud Watson (225) 8. Garret Paugh (03) 9. Logan Zarin (1z) 10. Levi Crowl (5) 11. Ray Love, Jr. (08) 12. Zach Kane (10) 13. Michael Reft (9R) 14. Colton Flinner (Chernik 5x) 15. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 16. Tony Musolino (Dobnak 42) 17. Zach Gunn (17G) 18. Kyle Lukon (184) 19. Ryan Frazee (11F) 20. Zach Morrow (Bentz 60) 21. Bill Kessler (09) 22. Justin Kann (66) 23. Philip Bubeck (Tennant 2) 24. Tim Shaffer (45).
DNQ: Dan Lepro (2L), Tom Duratz (55D), Grant Garrison (1), Kassidy Kamicker (72B), Tom Klein (77), Rob Coffaro (24), Dave Goble (20G), Nick Love (38), Noah Brunell (31), Zach Crawford (c4), Ben Policz (14B).