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.
Marlar two-for-two at Lernerville
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Mike Marlar is looking like the man to beat for Saturday night’s $50,000 Firecracker 100 presented by Big River Steel after winning Friday night’s preliminary feature at Lernerville Speedway, giving Marlar back-to-back wins at The Action Track.
Marlar held off a hard-charging Tim McCreadie at the checkers after grabbing the lead from Ricky Thornton, Jr. on lap 14. Thornton started from the pole position and led the first 13-laps.
“He (Thornton) had the bottom and he wasn’t going to move,” said Marlar. “I was just waiting on that brown ring on the bottom to wear out. It was getting thinner and thinner so then on that one restart I found some crumbs out here kind of in the middle leaving four, so I got on the outside and it worked for me, I barely got by him.”
Halfway through the feature as Marlar was leading the field, McCreadie was working his way through the field from his ninth starting spot and set his sights on the leader but needed just a little more to the final spot.
“To come home second to Mikey, he’s really good,” said McCreadie, the reigning Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion and 2019 Firecracker 100 winner. “I need some help over in one and two. I can’t get where I want the car to be activated. We need a little more we will just keep working hard it’s all we can do.”
“I saw him (McCreadie) flash under me in one and two, after about four or five laps my tires would get a little hotter and they’d give up some grip, so I think he preserved his tires a little better,” said Marlar.
Thornton held on for third and was content, for now. “He (Marlar) was really good through the middle just like T-Mac was. I felt like we had a really good car. We’ll take a third, it should set us up in good position for tomorrow’s heat races.”
Saturday is what everyone in the field wants to win and it looks like they are going to have to beat Marlar to do it and Marlar knows he and his team have some work to do.
“It’s definitely been a good weekend so far,” said Marlar. “The trip is paid for and tomorrow will be the cherry on top. It will be tough. You know we have a good 30-40 lap car; it slides around on me once the tires get warm. So tomorrow we will get a harder tire and see if that helps the situation too.”
Macri Takes Speedweek Opener; Brehm Breaks Through
WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (June 24, 2022): Anthony Macri, the winningest 410 Sprint Car driver in the country, notched another victory in the opening round of Pennsylvania Speedweek at Williams Grove Speedway. He set the stage for the win by turning in the fastest lap in qualifying, transferring out of his heat, and picking the pole for the feature event.
Joining him in celebrating success was Tyler Brehm, who got his first career win at Williams Grove Speedway in the 358 Sprint Car division.
“As soon as we hit dirty air, we got extremely tight,” Macri said. “I started playing with the wing and we had trouble with the lapped cars.” Part of the problem was driver error, Macri said. “I made some mistakes not knowing where the lapped cars were going.” He reiterated that the car was “extremely tight” in traffic and that he also had “to play with the brake pedal.”
Despite this difficulty, Macri finished just a tad shy of one second ahead of Brent Marks, another highly successful racer.
Beside Macri on the front row for the thirty lapper was Justin Peck. Marks and Lucas Wolfe were paired on row two. T.J. Stutts lined up inside of Dylan Cisney in row three. Then came Danny Dietrich and Lance Dewease. Chad Trout and Matt Campbell made up row five. The sixth row belonged to Dylan Norris and Freddie Rahmer, Jr.
Macri led the charge into turn one. Peck was close, but Macri slid up the track to block the visitor from the All Star Circuit of Champions. Marks nestled into third, ahead of Stutts, Dietrich, Wolfe, Norris, Dewease, Campbell, and Rahmer. Cisney was struggling and he slowed his car to a stop on lap three for the first caution of the event.
Macri resumed control on the restart, but a spin by a backmarker waived that off. On the second try, Macri again took command. But Peck and Marks were engaged in a torrid battle for the second position. Lap after lap they traded the spot, but Marks took it for good by the halfway mark.
Stutts continued in fourth, but he was under attack from Dietrich. That contest did not last very long, though, as Dietrich suddenly slowed coming off turn four with seventeen laps down, By the time that he stopped, Macri had completed lap eighteen.
Macri completed the final dozen laps without a hitch. Marks began to close in when Macri had his troubles with the slower cars ahead of him. But Marks could not get close enough to mount a challenge for the lead.
After that last caution, Dewease was one of the faster cars in the race. He ahd reached fifth by the time of the caution, and he raced his way past Stutts on lap 21. Dewease was closing on Peck for third but he ran out of laps.
The finish was Macri, Marks, Peck, Dewease, and Stutts. Norris, Rahmer, Devon Borden, Wolfe, and Chase Dietz rounded out the top ten. Ryan Smith, the eleventh place finisher, was the hard charger, advancing nine positions.
Three heats were presented, with the wins going to Stutts, Wolfe, and Marks. Robbie Kendall collected the B Main victory. Macri was the fastest car of the 28 racers to take time. His best lap was 16.842. Macri saved the car from hittingthe turn four wall on his second qualifying attempt. He said that he was just being too aggressive.
After his win, Tyler Brehm said excitedly, “this was a five-year-old kid’s dream.” He explained that he cut his teeth in racing working with Steve Buckwalter and that the win “was a long time coming.”
Brehm took the green flag from the fourth position. Chad Criswell had darted out to the early lead from the pole, but his car stopped unexpectedly in turn four on the opening lap. Devin Adams rode over Criswell’s right rear, but Adams regained control before getting out to the fence.
Adams moved to the pole for the restart and he took the lead over Brehm, Kyle Denmyer, Kody Hartlaub, and Derek Locke.
Brehm went low in turn four to pass Adams several laps into the contest. Brehm built up his lead in the race that went caution free after the initial stoppage for Criswell.
Hartlaub chased Brehm home. Locke worked his way to third in the second half of the race. Adams held on for fourth, just a notch ahead of Doug Hammaker.
Frankie Herr, Denmyer, Steve Owings, Cameron Smith, and Steve Wilbur completed the top ten.
Three heat winners were Criswell, Denmyer, and Kyle Keen. Cody Fletcher prevailed in the B Main.
Williams Grove Speedway will present its next Speedweek event, the Mitch Smith Memorial, on July 1. That show will be for the 410 Srpints only. July 8 will have the USAC East Coast 360 Sprints joining the 410s. The make-up date for the Randy Wolfe Tribute race will fall on July 15. The 358 Sprints will be on the dance card that night with the 410s.
Tri-City Raceway Prepares for Holiday Spectacular
FRANKLIN, PA (June 23, 2022): The staff and management of Tri-City Raceway Park have another Sunday Thunder event, on June 26, to get ready before the big blow-out over the July 4 holiday weekend. “Just like the racers, we want to keep the momentum going,” said track owner, Merle Black. “We had two great races, Western PA Speedweek and a regular show, and now we have one more race to work out the details before the big holiday extravaganza,” he added.
With a pair of Shawgo Real Estate, LLC Sprint Car races in the books, A.J. Flick finds himself on top of the early championship rankings. Flick has a win and a second place finish so far, and he hopes to score again this Sunday. Sitting six points back is young Chase Metheney. Veterans Jack Sodeman, Jr. and Carl Bowser are third and fourth, Versatile Rod Jones, who has raced in several different classes over the years, holds down the fifth place.
Defending track champion, Brandon Matus, was unable to start last week’s event, so he is way down in the standings. Watch for him to start the long climb back this weekend.
Bob Felmlee also has to recover from tough luck last week. He crashed in turn four and did not finish that race. He will be ready to compete for the win!
Many other top runners will be on hand, including Brent Matus, Jeremy Weaver, Logan McCandless, and Leyton Wagner. Will the Ohio racer, Ricky Peterson, be back? He scored his first career win in dominating fashion last Sunday.
Jimmy Holden used his first win of the season to catapult into the points lead in the Donovan & Bauer Auto Group 358 Modified ranks. Kevin Hoffman trails by four markers, and New Yorker Nick Joy is five behind Holden. Jeremiah Singledecker and Mike Kinney are also within striking distance. Further back are Kyle Fink, Travis Shingledecker, Eric Beggs, and Kevin Green. Will Lonnie Riggs be back? Mechanical problems sidelined him last week and he will be looking to rebound soon.
Jason Johns and Chris Schneider are tied atop the standings in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks after one round of action. Pat Fielding, Josh Seippel, Rod Laskey, Curtis J. Bish, and Charlie McMillen can all move up with a good finish this week.
Levi Maskal has staked himself to a double digit lead in the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. Maskal is two for two so far, which is no mean feat considering the tough competition in this affordable class. More than two dozen racers have already tried their luck on the big, fast half mile oval.
Racing will begin at 6 p.m., with practice commencing at approximately 5:15. The Pit gates will open at 2 p.m. Spectators can gain admission to the grounds at 4 p.m. to get their favorite seats.
Regular event ticket pricing will apply. So, adults (ages 16 to 62) will be admitted for $15, and seniors (ages 62 and up) will be admitted for $13. Student tickets (for those aged 10 to 16) will be $10. Children (up to age 10) will be admitted for free. The Family Pass will be $45, and that will be good for two adults of any age and two students. Pit Passes will be $30.
If you cannot make it to Tri-City Raceway Park this weekend, remember that there will be three nights of action, and more, over the Independence Day holiday. Friday, July 1, will be reserved as a practice session for all classes. There will be free grandstand admission that night. Competition will begin on Saturday night, July 2, with the Shawgo Real Estate, LLC 410 Sprints, the Donovan & Bauer Auto Group 358 Modifieds, and the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks.
There will also be qualifying for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks. Sunday, July 3, will see the return of the ground pounding Big Block Modifieds from the BRP Tour. The Shawgo Real Estate, LLC 410 Sprints will be back, along with the RUSH Sprint Cars. The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks will race, as will the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. The Junior Sprints will also be on hand. There will be celebratory fireworks during the Sunday program, and, after this fabulous show, there will be a big bonfire. There will be free camping on the grounds throughout the weekend.
Watch the website and social media platforms for any changes.
Further information about Tri-City Raceway Park can be obtained by calling the track office at 724-967-4601, or by e-mailing the office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, you can check the web at Tri-CityRacewayPark.com, or the Facebook page at Tri City Raceway Park. Tri-City Raceway Park is located just a few miles north of Franklin, PA, at 3430 State Route 417 in Oakland Township.