PORT ROYAL, PA (March 21, 2021): Matt Williamson has found a new favorite track. The driver from St. Catharines, ONT carried home another big check from the Speed Palace. This time it was $5,000 for winning the Short Track Super Series Modified feature. Last Fall, in his first appearance at Port Royal Speedway, Williamson won the 200 lapper for $53,000.
Also gracing victory lane was Gregg Satterlee who took his second consecutive win with the United Late Model Series. The native of Indiana, PA garnered $4,000 for his efforts.
Williamson almost did not make the trip to race in Pennsylvania this weekend. He had to beg his car owner, Jeff Behrent, to let them take the car and, then, Williamson had to piece together a crew for the weekend.
The turning point for Williamson came with ten laps to go. Stewart Friesen, who led from the start, was caught behind slower cars. Williamson went to the middle line and tried to drive by Friesen. He could not hold his line and drifted up the track, closing off the charge being made by the thrid place runner, Mike Matheny. On the next lap, Friesen entered turn one in the middle to try to lap the car that was slowing his pace. That opened up the bottom lane for Williamson and he quickly filled the hole. Now, Friesen was caught in no man’s land. Williamson held the preferred line and Friesen had no alternative but to fall in behind the new leader.
“I think he had the better car,” Williamson confided. “I got him in traffic. I had the preferred lane. It felt like ice out there and I knew that I had to stay on the bottom. I may have screwed it up for Mike the lap before.” Friesen noted that he was a sitting duck. “I got impatient and lost my head,” he said dejectedly. “I saw Matty try the outside and I thought that I could get by that slower car.”
It was an all-Friesen front row for the start of the feature event. Jessica was on the inside and her hubby, Stewart, was on the outside. Alex Yankowski was matched up with Max McLaughlin in the second row. Matt Stangle and Mahaney came next. Dwight Howard and Williamson occupied the fourth row. Larry Wight and Tyler Dippel were in the fifth row, with Ryan Godown and Billy Decker filling row six.
While Jessica Friesen led the field into the first corner, Stewart had the faster, outside line. He rode the rim to take the lead coming through the second turn. McLaughlin and Yankowski fought for third while Stangle and Williamson diced for fifth.
Williamson was quick to advance, however. By lap three he was up to third and within two laps he was second. Stewart Friesen, though, had opened up a commanding lead in the clean air and now it was up to Williamson to chase him down.
When Friesen reached the back of the field, that enabled Williamson to close in on him. They began to play a game of high speed hide and seek as they tried to pick their way through the slower cars. A caution for the blown engine of Anthony Perrego gave the leaders a clean track.
As expected, Friesen jetted out to the lead with no traffic to slow his pace. Within five or six laps, though, he was catching the back markers again and Williamson started his march forward. by lap twenty-five, they were trying to slice and dice through the traffic again.
That set up Williamson’s first, unsuccessful bid for the lead. As noted, he tried to pin Friesen behind the lapped car, but he could not maintain his momentum. Friesen nosed ahead. But the cloud had a silver lining for Williamson. When he slid high, Mahaney had to check up, aborting his own bid for the lead. On the next round, Friesen tried the middle line and he, too, slid up the track, leaving the door open for Williamson to scoot by.
Williamson did take the lead, but now Mahaney was trying the high side once again. With Williamson hugging the rail, Mahaney had a full head of steam as he entered the first turn. He pulled up beside the leader. Mahaney noted that “the lapped traffic was playing in my favor. I had a good run on the top and then the yellow came out.”
That put Williamson on the point for the last double file restart of the race. He got the jump on Mahaney coming off turn four and he completed the final eight laps without incident.
Willaimson sailed under the checkers for his second win at Port Royal. Mahaney was second, with Stewart Friesen third. Jessica Friesen turned in a creditable run for fourth. Larry Wight was fifth. Dippel, Stangle, McLaughlin, Godown, and Decker completed the top ten.
Five heats were held. McLaughln, Williamson, Yankowski, Dippel, and Stewart Friesen got the wins. Peter Britten and Erick Rudolph won the pair of B Mains.
In the ULMS Late Model feature, Michael Norris set the fast time in the pole scramble. Max Blair checked in for second. Jeff Rine and Rick Eckert were in the second stanza. Kyle Lee and Gregg Satterlee lined up in the third row. Donnie Lingo and Brian Bernheisel fired off from row four. Trever Feathers and Colton Flinner were in row five, with Gary Stuhler and Mason Zeigler departing from row six.
Norris powered off turn four to get the early advantage over Rine, Blair, Satterlee, Eckert, and Lee. Eckert looked to the inside of Satterlee as they came off the second corner. As Satterlee tried to move up to the rubber, Eckert cut inside, and there was slight contact midway down the back stretch. Eckert spun but there was no further contact. However, his day was ruined just four laps into the contest.
Dylan Yoder was impressive in the opening laps of the race. He came from eighteenth to seventh in just four circuits. While he would continue to battle for positions in the top five, though, he was not able to make a meaningful challenge to the top three.
On the restart, Satterlee rode the rim to go from third to the front. Norris fought back, but he could not regain the top spot. Once Satterlee was in command, it was just a matter of keeping his nose clean.
Satterlee did have a close call just a few laps later. A lapped car spun in between turns one and two. Fortunately, Satterlee saw the incident unfold and he was able to avoid contact. “I saw him losing it and I just eased off and made sure that I wasn’t collected.”
On the ensuing restart, Rine made strong inside move, pulling up next to Satterlee. Rine knew that there was rubber on the inside and he hit it perfectly on the restart. However, Satterlee was also running in the rubber on the top line and he was able to scoot away. He then dropped down to the inside and drove away form Rine.
Satterlee was better prepared for the final restart, with twelve laps remaining. Now the inside line was his preferred groove and Rine was never able to get close enough to make a move on him.
Satterlee finished the race without further ado. Rine was second, followed by Norris. Yoder checked in for fourth and
Lingo advanced to fifth. Gary Stuhler crossed in sixth, followed by Blair, Ross Robinson, Andy Haus, and Nick Dickson.
Bernheisel, Lingo, Blair, and Norris won their respective heat races. Amanda Whaley and Yoder shared the B Mains. Bernheisel was the fastest qualifier in Group A with a lap of 18.599. Blair was best in Group B with a time of 18.715.
Port Royal Speedway will have a triple header next week, featuring the 410 Sprints, Super Late Models, and Limited Late Models. Starting time will be 4 p.m. On april 3, the PASS/IMCA 305 Sprints will take the place of the Limited Late Models with a 6 p.m. start. Coming soon, on April 17-18, there will be a blockbuster weekend. The All Stars Circuit of Champions will take center stage on Saturday and the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will headline on Sunday.
Sodeman, Brachmann, and Seippel Win Before Rain Sets in at Tri-City Raceway Park
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.
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).
Logan Wagner Scores One for the Home Team at Port Royal
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.
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.
Kyle Larson Wins at Williams Grove
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.
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.