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Shaffer Scores at Lincoln



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.

Three Rivers Karting

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.

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Dirt Racing

Sodeman, Brachmann, and Seippel Win Before Rain Sets in at Tri-City Raceway Park



Photo: Sodeman Racing

FRANKLIN, PA (April 18, 2021): Defending 410 Sprint track champion opened the defense of his Shawgo Real Estate title in fine form, leading all 25 laps. Joining him in victory lane were Chad Brachmann and Josh Seippel in the Krill Recycling 358 Modifieds and Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks, respectively. The 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks completed only two laps before wet conditions forced a suspension of the race. It will be completed next week.

In the Shawgo Real Estate 410 Sprint Car division Jack Sodeman, Jr. held off pesky New York driver Matt Farnham to capture the first round of action. Sodeman had to to endure a green-white-checkered finish. Farnham made a run at the veteran from North Jackson, OH, but he could not draw up next to him.

“I’m out of shape for an old man on this kind of track,” Sodeman said with a smile. “I had to go into protection mode the last few laps.”

Sodeman and Farnham brought the Shawgo Real Estate 410 Sprint Cars to the first feature green flag of the season. Carl Bowser and George Hobaugh fired off from row two, and Darrin Gallagher and Brandon Matus from the third. Brandon Spithaler and Bob Felmlee were paired off in row four. Leyton Wagner and Mike Lutz, Jr. started in row five.

Sodeman fired first and he led the field into turn one. Farnham tucked into second, followed by Hobaugh, Bowser, and Brandon Matus. The action only lasted for three laps, when the wing collapsed on the machine of divisional rookie Jeremy Weaver.

Sodeman led the next 21 laps without interruption, but Farnham remained within striking distance throughout. Hobaugh raced along in third. The battle on the speedway was for the fourth position between Brandon Matus and Brandon Spithaler. Carl Bowser joined the fray as well.

At the checkers, it was Sodeman over Farnaham, Hobaugh, Brandon Matus, and Bowser. Spithaler fell back to sixth
in the final two-lap dash. Felmee and Gallagher were next. Brent Matus and Kyle Colwell completed the top ten. Colwell had a scare in the early going when he did a little off-roading between turns one and two. He was able to keep control and completed the entire distance.

Heat winners this night were Jack Sodeman, Jr. and Carl Bowser. There was no B Main.

In the Krill Recycling 358 Modifieds, Jeremiah Shingledecker and Eric Beggs had the front row covered. Jimmy Holden and and Kyle Fink started in the second row. Nick Joy and Kevin Hoffman lined up in row three. Curt Bish and Chad Brachmann came from row four and Max Smoker and Nathan McDowell pulled away from row five.

Chad Brachmann carried the winner’s share north across the border to the Empire State. He methodically worked his way to the front. Then, he used a powerful outside move in a late race restart to pass Shingledecker, who led from the start.

Three Rivers Karting

Jimmy Holden chased Shingledecker most of the way. He also made a feint on Shingledecker when the race had its final restart with just three laps remaining. He drew up inside of Shingledecker, but he could not pull off the pass.

At the finish, it was Brachmann over Shingledecker, Holden, Hoffman, and Nathan McDowell. D.J. Schrader, Max Smoker, Curtis Bish, Jr., and Eric Beggs rounded out the top ten.

Jeremiah Shingledecker and Chad Brachmann prevailed in the preliminaries. There was no B Main.

In the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks, Doug Iorio, II and William Hurrelbrink paced the field for the start of the A Main. Michael Miller and Josh Seippel lined up behind them, followed by Tyler Wyant and Pat Fielding. Josh Blum and Darr Diegelman started in row four Curtis J. Bish and Mike Bordt had row five.

It was the hometown hero, Josh Seippel, who took the win by a narrow margin over Tyler Wyant. Early leader, William Hurrelbrink, held on for third. Michael Miller and Doug Iorio, II completed the top five. Pat Fielding, Darr Diegelman, Mike Bordt, Josh Blum, and Curt Bish, Jr. completed the top ten.

Michael Miller and William Hurrelbrink led their heat races to the finish line. There was no B Main.

The 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks completed just two laps before te track became too wet to continue. D.J. Macrae had the lead when the race was called. He will start on the pole when the race resumes. Pat Hanlon, II and Dalton Speer were the heat winners.

Next week, Tri-City Raceway Park will present another Sunday Thunder program, along with the balance of the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stock feature.

Shawgo Real Estate 410 Sprint Cars: Jack Sodeman, Jr., Matt Farnham, George Hobaugh, Brandon Matus, Carl Bowser, Brandon Spithaler, Bob Felmlee, Darrin Gallagher, Brent Matus, Kyle Colwell, Steve Bright, Chase Matheny, Leyton Wagner, Jeremy Weaver, Mike Lutz, Jr. (DNS).

Krill Recycling 358 Modifieds: Chad Brachmann, Jeremiah Shingledecker, Jimmy Holden, Kevin Hoffman, Nathan McDowell, D.J. Schrader, Max Smoker, Nick Joy, Curtis Bish, Jr., Eric Beggs, Kyle Fink, Tyler Clark, Ryan Riffe, Greg Martin (DNS), Sid Unverzagt, Jr. (DNS), Lonnie Riggs (DNS).

Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks: Josh Seippel, Tyler Wyant, William Hurrelbrink, Michael Miller, Doug Iorio, II, Pat Fielding, Darr Diegelman, Mike Bordt, Josh Blum, Curt Bish, Jr., Douglas Eck (DNS), Curtis J. Bish (DNS).

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Dirt Racing

Logan Wagner Scores One for the Home Team at Port Royal



Photo: Paul Arch

PORT ROYAL, PA (April 17, 2021): Logan Wagner defended the home turf against the invasion of the All Star Circuit of Champions. The Keith Kauffman Classic was his first win of the season at Port Royal Speedway where he is the two-time and defending track champion. To get the win, though, Wagner had to fight off Anthony Macri in a pair of green-white-checkered finishes.

“It is a weight lifted off my shoulders, we won against the All Stars,” Wagner exclaimed. Wagner seemingly had the race in hand until that caution, which came on lap 29 of 30. Under series rules, the race had to have two consecutive green flag laps. Hence, the extra circuit and the enhanced drama.

Wagner got the jump on Macri, but a spin by Blaine Heimbach gave Macri another shot at the leader. This time, Macri had the better run into one, and he pulled alongside Wagner. They raced side by side through turns one and two and down the backstretch as well. “I rolled the wing forward, I was pushing tight, and I had to chop him,” Wagner explained of his decisive move in three to seal the deal.

For his part, Macri was pleased that he salvaged a second place. “I had some fire on my ass,” he said. After setting the fast time of the night at 15.606 seconds, Macri got impatient in his heat and he slammed the wall between turns one and two. He was towed from the track, forfeiting a position in the Dash and relegating him to the pole of the B Main, which he easily won. Macri had to wonder what might have been had he not run low on fuel in the final laps. “We got next to him and ran out of fuel.”

Tyler Courtney and Jeff Halligan locked up the front row with their Dash victories. Jacob Allen, who made the long tow back from Texas after consecutive rain-outs with the World of Outlaws, lined up to Wagner’s inside in row two. Ian Madsen and Cory Eliason were next in line. Tony Stewart and Kerry Madsen were paired up in row four. Rico Abreu and Danny Dietrich started in the fifth row, with Paul McMahan and Zeb Wise behind them.

Courtney pulled ahead of Halligan at the drop of the green flag. Allen and Wagner followed, then Ian Madsen and Eliason. Courtney began to stretch his advantage and it looked as though the former USAC champion may score his first win with the All Stars.

However, Wagner was on the charge, and he moved into second by lap ten. He began to cut into Sunshine’s lead as the laps clicked off. The fans began to buzz as Wagner drew in on the leader. He was making ground with sweeping runs on the inside of turns one and three.

Three Rivers Karting

With 21 laps completed, Wagner dove into the first turn and got alongside Courtney. He powered off the second turn with the lead and he started to pull away, much to the delight of the partisan crowd.

A caution on lap 24 for Kerry Madsen’s flat tire bunched the field up for the first time since the initial start. Wagner had the point, with Courtney keeping Allen at bay. Fourth was Macri, who passed seventeen cars without the benefit of any cautions. The younger Madsen restarted in fifth, followed by Stewart, Lance Dewease, Dietrich, Abreu, and Eliason.

It took a couple of laps for Macri to get some heat back in that big right rear tire. He surged into second with 28 laps complete, but Wagner had several car lengths on him. However, Dylan Cisney set the stage for the final act when his flat brought out the second caution of the race. While the field was circulating under the yellow, Courtney’s right rear tire went down as well, ending his superb performance.

As noted, Macri had two chances to overhaul Wagner, but he could not pull it off.

Wagner scored the popular win, with Macri taking second for the home team. Ian Madsen was the first traveler to cross the finish line. Allen was fourth, with Dewease in fifth. Dietrich, Stewart, Mike Wagner, Abreu, and Eliason rounded out the top ten.

Heat winners were Eliason, Abreu, Halligan, Allen, and Kerry Madsen.

In the Limited Late Model feature, Trent Brenneman led wire to wire in the non-stop finale. Andrew Yoder rallied for second after giving up a few positions in the early going. Devin Hart, Shawn Shoemaker, and Barry Miller completed the top five.

Port Royal will wrap up the weekend with a visit from the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. The Limited Lates will be the support division on Sunday evening. A sprint Car triple header will take place on April 24. Joining the 410 Sprints will be the 360 Sprints of the United Racing Club and the PASS 305 Sprints. On May 1, the speedway will host the 410 Sprints, the Super Late Models, and the PASS 305s.

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Dirt Racing

Kyle Larson Wins at Williams Grove



Photo: Paul Arch

WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (April 16, 2021): Kyle Larson made his first 410 Sprint Car race of the season a memorable one, capturing the Tommy Hinnershitz Classic at Williams Grove Speedway. Larson, who admitted to having some rustiness earlier in the night, got better as the night went on. He won his Dash, which put him on the front row beside his good friend, Lance Dewease, and then he chased down the veteran who was seeking his 100th career win at the track. Larsen went on to score a convincing win.

Also getting to victory lane was the defending 358 Sprint Car champion, Derek Locke.

“I used to hate this place,” Larson said. His early struggles at the track were well documented. “But, now that I have a fast car here, it’s really fun.” Larson went so far as to say that Williams Grove is now one of his favorite venues. And, why not? In the last twelve months, he tabbed three wins at the track. Larson clearly enjoys racing at Williams Grove and going head to head
with his pal.

“I knew that I had a really good car,” Larson noted. “I was catching (Dewease) at both ends. I showed him the nose in three and he was getting tight.” Larson sailed by Dewease on the outside of turns one and two and never looked back. Still, Larson was concerned that the wily veteran might chase him down in traffic. “He has a lot of laps here,” he explained.

Indeed, Dewease was closing in on Larson until he encountered the lapped car of T.J. Stutts. It took Dewease several laps to get past Stutts and, by then, Larson’s lead was insurmountable.  Dewease noted that his car got really tight as the race went on. “We weren’t very good after that red flag with three laps in. He (Larson) got by me and he checked out.” So Dewease must wait a little while longer to claim the big win.

Dewease and Larson had the front row by virtue of their respective Dash wins. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. and Ian Madsen were in the second row, with Anthony Macri and Tim Shaffer right behind. Kerry Madsen rolled off from row four, along with Tony Stewart, the surprise winner the night before at Virginia Motor Speedway. Tyler Courtney and Zeb Wise were in row five and Paul McMahan and Zach Hampton started from the sixth verse.

Dewease fired first and opened a three car length advantage over the NASCAR star. Ian Madsen held down third, ahead of Rahmer, Shaffer, Macri, and Wise. Dewease maintained his advantage through the first three laps before the red was displayed for Stutts, who turned his car over midway down the backstretch. The damage was minimal, and Stutts was able to pit for some repairs to enable him to continue.

After that stoppage, Dewease resumed command. However, Larson was stalking him and he made several aggressive runs to the inside of turn three. With each successive lap, Larson drew closer. He did pull alongside Dewease in three with nine laps completed and he made the winning move at the opposite end of the track on the tenth circuit.

Three Rivers Karting

Soon thereafter, the only caution was displayed for Cap Henry’s spin between turns three and four. Dewease got to start on Larson’s tail, but he could not capitalize on that opportunity. Larson rolled into turn one without any threat from Dewease and he completed the remaining 20 laps without seeing any light blue flashing next to him.

After the caution, the driver making progress was Rahmer. After falling back a few spots in the first third of the race, Rahmer found some speed in the middle stage of the contest. He regained the third position on lap 12 and he began to close in on Dewease. “The middle part of the race we were really good,” Rahmer commented. “We left a little on the table though.” While Rahmer made things interesting, he could not get close enough to Dewease to challenge for second.

While Rahmer was coming forward, Shaffer started to fall back. Shafer raced in fourth in the early going but gave up several positions over the second half of the race.

At the checkers, it was Larson, Dewease, Rahmer, Ian Madsen, and Macri. Tony Steward was sixth, followed by Shaffer, Kerry Madsen, Courtney, and McMahan.

The heat winners were Ian Madsen, Stewart, Kerry Madsen, and Shaffer. Brett Shearer took the B Main over Danny Dietrich, who made his second engine change of the night in time to start the A Main. Dewease was the night’s fastest qualifier with a lap of 16.316

“It was good to get the year started right,” Derek Locke said about his victory. After starting in the eighth spot, he steadily advanced to the second spot in the early going. He chased Tyler Brehm for five or six laps. The leaders were dicing in traffic and narrowly avoided a spinning car in turn three near the halfway mark. For the restart, Locke slid the wing back a bit and he was able to drive past Brehm easily in turns one and two.

Brehm followed Locke the rest of the way. Chris Frank, Cody Fletcher, and Kyle Denmyer completed the top five. Chad Criswell, Brett Wanner, Matt Findley, Scott Fisher, and Zach Newlin were the next five across the finish line.

Wanner, Brehm, and Denmeyer won their heat races. There was no B Main.

Williams Grove will return to action next week with a Yellow Breeches 500 race night featuring the 410 and 358 Sprint cars. Then, on April 30, the ASCS National Tour will invade the speedway, along with the United Racing Club. These organizations will bring some of the best 360 Sprint racers in the country. The 410 Sprints will also be on the card.

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