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.
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.