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Dirt Racing

Buckwalter, Shultz, and Duke Have Open Wheel Madness at Port Royal Speedway

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PORT ROYAL, PA (April 24, 2021): Steve Buckwalter had every intention of competing at Lincoln Speedway, but due to schedule changes at both tracks designed to avoid evening rains, he opted for Port Royal Speedway instead. The Royersford Rocket was rewarded with his sixth career victory at the Speed Palace in a non-stop affair.

Joining Buckwalter in celebrations were Jason Shultz in the United Racing Club 360 Sprint Cars and Ken Duke in the PASS/IMCA 305 Sprint Cars.

“It’s been tough up here, it’s been pretty slick,” Buckwalter noted. “There are a few guys who can get grip down the straights and the rest of us are running for sixth.”

Tyler Reeser and Kody Lehman locked up the front row for the start of the 25 lap 410 Sprint Car A Main. Tyler Bear and Justin Whittal were in the second row, followed by A.J. Flick and Buckwalter. Row four belonged to Blaine Heimbach and Dylan Cisney. Last week’s All Star victor, Logan Wagner, and Gerard McIntyre were in the fifth row. Danny Dietrich was paired up with Lucas Wolfe in row six. Anthony Macri, Justin Peck, Mike Wagner, Brent Marks, and Jeff Halligan were scattered through the second half of the starting grid. Marks was back in his family’s car after parting company with Chad and Jen Clemmons earlier in the week.

Reeser raced into the first turn ahead of Lehman, Whittal, Buckwalter, Bear, and Heimbach. Reeser held control through the first nine laps while Buckwalter quietly moved forward. Buckwalter saw an opportunity to move to the inside of Reeser entering turn one and he came off the second corner with a lead that he would never relinquish.

Reeser continued along in second for a few more laps, but Whittal was pressing him. With a dozen laps in the books, Whittal swept by Reeser on the cushion in turns one and two. Whittal began to pull away, but he could not catch Buckwalter.

In the second half of the contest, Cisney began to move forward. He was fifth at lap ten, third at lap 15, and second at lap 23. Another driver making some headway was Dietrich, who cracked the top five by lap 20 after spending most of the race hovering around the top ten.

Buckwalter took the win, much to the satisfaction of the crowd. Cisney was closing in the final laps, but ran out of time. Whittal was third, with Bear and Dietrich completing the top five. Macri, Heimbach, Logan Wagner, McIntyre, and Lehman crossed next.

Heat victories went to Whittal, Heimbach, and Bear . Halliagn took the B Main.

In the United Racing Club A Main, Ryan Smith and Anthony Macri led the way to the green flag. Andy Best and Ken Carberry were in the second row, with Kyle Smith and Justin Shultz in row three.

Smith led the field into turn one, but Macri had the momentum on the high side. He swept into the lead coming off turn two and then he ducked down to the inside entering turn three. Macri remained in the rubber and opened a lead over Ryan Smith, Carberry, Best, and Shultz. Smith was using the same line as Macri and he started to close in on the Concrete Kid.

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Just before the halfway mark, Smith made his bid for the lead in turns one and two. He squeezed between Macri and the inside wall and he emerged from turn two with the lead.

Smith and Macri raced along out front, but Shultz came to life midway through the race. He began to pick off cars after a lap 14 restart and soon thereafter he was in second.

Smith was into lapped traffic and Shultz closed in rapidly. Smith moved up a half a groove to set up a pass of a lapped car. Shultz got his nose under Smith entering turn one. The car stuck and he was able to pass the leader as well as the lapped car. Smith was now trapped behind the slower car and that gave Shultz the chance to pull away.

Smith got one last chance when the final caution flew with three laps remaining. Because of track conditions, however, URC officials chose to have a single file restart instead of the customary double file arrangement.

Schultz sailed into turn one unmolested and led the rest of the way without any serious challenge from Smith. Macri, Carberry, and Mike Walter Jr. rounded out the top five. Robbie Kendall, Best, Kyle Smith, Paulie Cologiovanni, and Jordan Thomas were the next five finishers.

Heat wins went to Macri, Kendall, Ryan Smith, and Cologiovanni. Connor Leoffler came from South Carolina to capture the B Main.

In the PASS/IMCA 305 Sprints, Ken Duke took advantage of his second starting spot to grab the initial lead. Duke ran into difficulty when lapping cars midway through the race. That allowed Kassidy Kreitz to chase him down. Kreitz, who started fourteenth, made a bold move on the inside of turn one to take the lead when Duke slid high. She pulled away down the backstretch. But, by the time that she hit turn three, the red flag was out. A blown motor and subsequent oil fire necessitated the stoppage.

Duke was returned to the point for the restart and he easily pulled away from Kreitz. She got a second chance several laps later, but Duke again prevailed.

At the checkers, it was Duke over Kreitz, Dave Grube, Garrett Bard, and Austin Reed. Doug Dodson, Rowdy Heffner, Mikell McGee, Nick Sweigart, and Jeff Weaver took positions six through ten.

Dodson, Sweigart, Justin Mills, and Reed scored in the preliminaries. Mike Alleman took the B Main.

Port Royal Speedway will be back next Saturday with 410 and 305 Sprint Cars, along with Super Late Models. Post time should be 7 p.m., but check social media for any schedule changes. May 8 will have the 410 Sprints, ULMS Late Models, and Limited Late Models. There will be no racing on May 15. The World of Outlaws Late Model Series will invade the Speed Palace for a two-day program May 21-22.

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Dirt Racing

Mother Nature Wins The Weekend In Western PA

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Mother Nature is putting a damper on the early portion of the Western Pennsylvania dirt track racing season as both Lernerville Speedway and Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway were forced to cancel their racing programs on Friday and Saturday night.

The inclement weather has forced Lernerville to postpone the Lernerville Grand, the 1,000th Sprint Car race in The Action Track’s storied history, two weeks in a row.  Lernerville will host Military Appreciation Night on Friday, May 15, 2021 where Fab4 Racing will be on track.

Three Rivers Karting

PPMS was able to get in a full slate last weekend but has already made the decision to cancel Saturday night’s action. Racing will resume on Saturday, May 15, 2021, for an Action Event featuring the Rohrich Automotive RUSH Late Model Dirt Series, the Hobby Stocks, the Penn Ohio Pro Stocks, the Crawford Auto Repair Four Cylinders, and the All Ways Safe Young Guns.

UPDATE: Add Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio to the cancellation list thanks to the weather. An identical “Super Series” show will be coming up next Saturday night (May 15) as the “410” Sprint Cars return for $3,000 to-win along with the Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and the Whelen Econo Mods. Pits open at 4 p.m. and grandstands at 5. Sprint Car group qualifying will take place at 6:30 p.m. with heat races at 7.

 

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Dirt Racing

Hafertepe Hammers All Stars At Tri-City Raceway Park; Ruhlman Rush Sprint Star

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Photo: Rick Rarer

FRANKLIN, PA (May 2, 2021): Sam Hafertepe, Jr. scored his first win with the FloRacing All Stars Circuit of Champions in thirteen years of competition with the series. The All Stars program was presented courtesy of Krill Recycling LLC of Fennelton, PA.

Taking the Gary Glass Automotive/Washington House RUSH Sprint Car feature was Chad Ruhlman aboard the Tim Engels machine from Franklin, PA.

“Running out front was the place to be,” Hafertepe said. He explained that track position gave him better opportunities to navigate around some difficult track conditions.

Sam Hafertepe, Jr. and Ian Madsen led the All Star field to the green flag. Row two belonged to Tyler Courtney and Matt Farnham. Starting in the third row were Cap Henry and Bill Balog and they were followed by Hunter Schuerenberg and Justin Peck. Cale Conley and Sye Lynch started in row five with Carl Bowser and Kyle Reinhardt in row six.

Hafertepe bolted into the lead followed by Courtney, Madsen, Farnham and Peck. Before the racers could settle in, however, Reinhardt flipped his machine in between turns one and two. He was not hurt, but neither he nor track favorite Jack Sodeman, Jr. were able to continue.

Hafertepe assumed the lead again with Madsen, Farnham, and Henry in tow. Peck was applying the pressure and he began his move to the front. He reached fourth by lap four and third by lap five.

A caution for the lazy spin by Lynch in turn four bunched the field up and gave Peck an opportunity to challenge the leaders. He was hounding Courtney while Hafertepe ran out front by himself. Peck moved into second on lap seventeen before the pace was slowed due to Cory Eliason stopping in turn two.

On the ensuing restart, Peck made a bold move in turn one, but he snagged a rut and flipped his machine ending an impressive run up from the eighth starting spot.

Hafertepe completed the remaining eight laps without further ado. Courtney posted his best All Stars finish to date, second. Madsen crossed in third and gained enough points to take command of the All Stars series championship. Balog and Henry were fourth and fifth. Schuerenberg was sixth followed by Conley, Paul McMahan, Paige Polyak and Wise.

McMahan was the All Stars Hard Charger with thirteen positions advanced. Brandon Matus took the Fisher and Father NAPA Auto Parts Pro Performer Hard Charger award at plus five.

Balog, Farnham, Schuerenberg, and Henry were victorious in the heat races for the All Stars. Bob Felmlee nailed the second turn wall in his heat race, inflicting major damage on the car. Felmlee was unhurt. Lynch spun while racing second in his heat, but he was able to restart and made the transfer to the A Main.

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Hafertepe, Jr. and Madsen captured the twin Dashes for the All Stars.

The B Main winner was McMahan. Dan Shetler was unhurt in his crash in turn one during the B Main.

The evening’s fastest qualifier overall was Justin Peck, with a lap of 14.998 in Group C. It was a new track record. He was the only driver to crack the 15 second mark. Courtney was the fastest in Group A, Madsen in Group B, and Lynch in Group D.

Teenager Nolan Groves and Brian Hartzell paced the Gary Glass Automotive and Washington House RUSH Sprint Car feature. Gale Ruth, Jr. and Chad Ruhlman were in the second row with Tyler Newhart and Rod George in the third row.

Ruhlman and Hartzell battled for the early lead with Ruth and George in hot pursuit. Ruth was the man to watch, going from third to first on lap four. However, Ruth was crowded and got into the outside wall, bending two wheels. He limped off the track after leading just one lap.

Ruhlman and Hartzell resumed the battle for the lead, but soon a new challenger appeared. Rod George showed everyone that he still remembered the fastest way around the big half mile. He took second on lap nine and chased down Ruhlman.

Ruhlman and George went back and fourth for several laps before Ruhlman seized control again. Soon thereafter, George’s car began to sputter and he had to retire from the race with nineteen laps down. However, while he and Ruhlman were entertaining the fans, Brad Church, Arnie Kent, and Newhart were fighting for third.

George’s misfortune set up a green checkered finish. Ruhlman completed the final lap, with Hartzell in second. Church, Kent, and Blaze Myers completed the top five. Newhart, Ricky Tucker, A.J. MacQuarrie, George, and Steve Pedley rounded out the top ten.

In the Rush Sprint Car heat races, Nolan Groves and Rod George captured the wins. Donovan and Bauer Auto Group of Titusville presented the heat races. There was no B Main.

Remember that there will be no racing at Tri-City Raceway Park on May 9 in observance of Mother’s Day. Action will resume on May 16, with a Sunday Thunder program featuring the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars, the Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds, the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks, and the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. May 16 will also be Military Night with all veterans and current members of the armed forces admitted free of charge with proper identification. May 23 will be a special program for the ULMS Late Model Series and the 305 Sprint Cars. The 305 Sprints will have double features. The month of May will conclude on May 30 with another Sunday Thunder racing event.

Flo Racing All Stars (25 laps): Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Tyler Courtney, Ian Madsen, Bill Balog, Cap Henry, Hunter Schuerenberg, Cale Conley, Paul McMahan, Paige Polyak, Zeb Wise, Sye Lynch, Brandon Spithaler, Carl Bowser, T.J. Michael, Brandon Matus, Frankie Nervo, Justin Peck, Matt Farnham, Lee Jacobs, Lucas Wolfe, Kyle Reinhardt, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Gary Taylor. DNQ: Skyler Gee, George Hobaugh, Greg Wilson, Brent Matus, Brett Brunkenhofer, Ken Rossey, Darin Gallagher, Dan Shetler, Michael Bauer, Bob Felmlee.

Gary Glass Automotive/Washington House RUSH Sprints: Chad Ruhlman, Brian Hartzell, Brad Church, Arnie Kent, Blaze Myers, Tyler Newhart, Ricky Turner, A.J. MacQuarrie, Rod George, Steve Pedley, Gale Ruth, Sr., Gale Ruth, Jr., Nlan Graves, John Mollick (DNS).

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Dirt Racing

Justin Peck Wins Buckeye Cup At Sharon Speedway

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Photo: Chad Warner

HARTFORD, OH (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Justin Peck led wire-to-wire to win the FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions ‘Buckeye Cup’ Saturday at Sharon Speedway.

Peck withstood a challenge from second place finisher Cole Duncan before pulling away to claim the victory, his second in the ‘Buckeye State’ after winning at Attica Raceway Park in April.

“We were able to put a whole night together,” said Peck. “We qualified good enough tonight where we just had to transfer through our heat race to make the dash, and that’s the name of the game. You need to put yourself in a position early and start up front in these things. We fine tune things as the night goes on. I can’t thank everyone enough.”

Peck jumped out to the early lead with Hunter Schuerenberg, Cole Duncan, Dave Blaney, and Ian Madsen giving chase before encountering lap traffic on lap 11.

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The lap traffic was just enough to impede Peck as Duncan and Blaney started closing in, eventually catching him on lap 16.

“I tried to lose that race there pretty early on by running the top and smacking the wall,” said Peck. “I actually knocked the ladder out of the car before we even got ten laps in. I just had to smarten up a little bit after that. I knew we had a fast race car. I just needed to finish the race.”

Peck started pulling away by lap 22 as Duncan, Blaney, Madsen and Zeb Wise fought it out for the remaining podium spots.  Duncan crossed the start/finish line in second place followed by Blaney in third, however Blaney was eventually disqualified for missing the scales after the race. Blaney was credited with a 25th place finish.

The All Stars continue their Pennsylvania – Ohio weekend with at stop at Merle Black’s Tri-City Raceway Park in Franklin, PA.

A-Main (30 Laps):
1. 13-Justin Peck [1]; 2. 22C-Cole Duncan [2]; 3. 11-Ian Madsen [4]; 4. 10-Zeb Wise [7]; 5. 17B-Bill Balog [6]; 6. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [3]; 7. 81-Lee Jacobs [10]; 8. 4-Cap Henry [14]; 9. 5-Paul McMahan [24]; 10. 26-Cory Eliason [13]; 11. 97-Gary Taylor [12]; 12. 3C-Cale Conley [8]; 13. 42-Sye Lynch [17]; 14. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [5]; 15. O8-Dan Kuriger [23]; 16. 11B-Carl Bowser [21]; 17. 29-Michael Bauer [16]; 18. 28-Skylar Gee [11]; 19. 6-Bob Felmlee [20]; 20. 5K-Adam Kekich [22]; 21. 8M-TJ Michael [25]; 22. 22-Brandon Spithaler [15]; 23. 12-Darin Gallagher [18]; 24. 23JR-Jack Sodeman Jr. [19]; 25. 10B-Dave Blaney [9] Lap Leaders: Justin Peck (1-30)

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