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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.

Three Rivers Karting

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).

Dirt Racing

Reitz Doubles Up in 358 Modifieds, and Felmlee Flies in 410 Sprints at Tri City Raceway Park; Tim Bish and Morrison Score in Pro Stocks and Mini Stocks

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FRANKLIN, PA (May 19, 2024): Chad Reitz, who lives just two miles from Tri City Raceway Park, became the first driver to tally two wins in the 2024 season. On lap fifteen of twenty, he swooped ahead of Rick Regalski, who led from the drop of the green in the 21st Century Energy Group 358 Modifieds. Bob Felmlee was untouchable in the Krill Recycling LLC 410 Sprint Cars. Also getting their first triumphs of the season were Tim Bish in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks and Dillon Morrison in the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks.

The first feature to hit the track was the twenty lapper for the 21st Century Energy Group 358 Modifieds.

Rick Regalski and Nick Joy were making their first starts of the 2024 season from the front row. Mark Sevin and Logan Lockhart were next in line. Jessica Kriegisch and Ron Cartwright were matched in row three. The fourth belonged to Jimmy Holden and Steve Slater. Last week’s winner, Chad Reitz, and Kole Holden made up row five. The sixth consisted of Don Cornelius and Hayden Holden.

Regalski opened up a modest lead over Joy, Kriegisch, Cartwright, and Lockhart on the opening lap. Regalski started to separate himself over the course of the first five or six laps. However, a caution on the sixth round of the big half mile eliminated Green and Sevin.

Regalski held control after the pair of restarts that were required to get the next round into the books. Joy continued in second, followed by Cartwright, Reitz and Kole Holden. Reitz was on the move when the race

Joy bought out cautions on laps fourteen and sixteen. Between those interludes, Reitz moved into the lead. He dipped to the inside to pass Regalski entering turn three.

Reitz complete the final four laps without incident. Regalski remained strong in second, ahead of Slater, Jimmy Holden, and Cartwright. The next five to cross the line were Kole Holden, Hayden Holden, Ryan Guthrie, Lockhart, and Jeremy Beichener.

Regalski’s car failed post-race tech, resulting in his disqualification. Brayden Beatty was moved up into the top ten.

Heat wins were scored by Slater, Kriegisch, and Reitz. There was no B Main.

In the Krill Recycling LLC 410 Sprint Cars, Logan McCandless and Bob Felmlee brought the field to the green for the start of the twenty-five lapper. Gale Ruth, Jr., and Brandon Matus were right behind. Matt Farnham and Jack Sodeman, Jr. presented in row three. The fourth consisted of last week’s winner, A.J. Flick, and Jeremy “Hollywood” Weaver. In row five, Zane DeVault and Michael “The Professor” Bauer. John Jerich and Andy Cavanaugh paired up in row six.

Felmlee won the race to turn pone and he dropped to the inside to secure the lead. McCandless settled into second, ahead of Ruth, Brandon Matus, and Flick. Felmlee set a brisk pace, and there were no significant changes in the running order through the first ten laps.

On lap eleven, Tommy Jasen brought out a caution that brought Felmlee and McCandless back to the rest of the field. Felmlee held control once again.

On lap seventeen, Farnham stopped in turn four to drop from the top ten.

Six more rounds were completed before the final stoppage, on lap twenty-three.

Felmlee kept his car straight and completed the final two laps ahead of McCandless, Brandin Matus, DeVault, and Ruth. Sodeman, Flick, Weaver, Bayer, and Brent Matus completed the top ten.

The trio of heat winners were Ruth, DeVault, and Weaver. There was no B Main.

In the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks, Tommy Dembowski and Matt Bernard led the way to the green. Doug Iorio, II, and Mike Miller had row two covered, while Tim Bish and Rod Laskey made up row three. The fourth duo was Pat Fielding and Josh Seippel. Following them were Aaron Smith and Jason Kimmy.

The early portion of the Pro Stock main was a three-car breakaway consisting of Dembowski, Iorio, and Bish. With Dembowski out front, Iorio and Bish were fighting intensely for the second position. Bish eventually took control of it before a caution realigned the field.

In the second half of the contest, Bish moved to the front of the line. Iorio faded and Dembowski dropped out.

Three Rivers Karting

Laskey came on for second, ahead of Fielding, last week’s winner, Chris Schneider, and Mike Miller. Seippel, Iorio, Bernard, Coyne, and Charlie McMillen rounded out the top ten.

Bish and Fielding shared the glory for the heat race wins. There was no B Main.

Dillon Morrison and Mike Kelley headed the field for the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. Justin Forsythe and Tim Callahan were in the second row, ahead of Bill Fuchs and last week’s winner, Matt Urey. Ben Aley and Dillon Thorne held the fourth row.

Morrison bolted out to the lead in the twelve lapper, just as he did on opening night. Urey worked into second once again, but, this time, he was unable to chase down Morrison.

Joe Campbell came home in third, ahead of Forsythe and Aley. Chad Greeley, Matt Daugherty, Bill McCollums, Thorne, and Callahan completed the top ten.

The pair of heats went to Urey and Callahan. There was no B Main.

The Old Skool Kool Tour brought over a dozen assorted vintage race cars to Tri City Raceway Park. A pair of twelve lap features were contested. Wally Stock scored the win for the Modifieds, and Bob Alcorn captured the Modified Sportsmen. In the Late Model division, the winner was Bill Coada. Brian Lederhouse took the Stock Car go.

Tri City Raceway Park announced the Marsh Heating and Cooling Heat Race Challenge. All racers are eligible for a special award at the end of the season based upon the number of heat races won, regardless of the class. Leading the way with two wins each are Steve Slater, Tim Bish, Tim Callahan, and Matt Urey. Winners of a single heat race so far are Matt Farnham, A.J. Flick, Logan McCandless, Gale Ruth, Jr., Zane DeVault, and Jeremy Weaver, Jessica Kriegisch, Chad Reitz, Josh Seippel, Chris Schneider, and Pat Fielding.

Next weekend, Tri City Raceway Park will host the first visit of the BRP Modified Tour. Also on the card will be the 305 Sprint Cars, the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks, the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks, and the Vintage Modifieds.

21st Centyry Energy Group 358 Modifieds: Chad Reitz, Steve Slater, Jimmy Holden, Ron Cartwright, Kole Holden, Hayden Holden, Ryan Guthrie, Logen Lockhart, Jeremy Beichner, Brayden Beatty, Kyle Fink, Troy McGregor, Nick Joy, Don Cornelius, Jessica Kriegisch, Brandon Ritchey, Patrick Lane, Mark Sevin, Kenin Green, Thomas Rodgers, Tom Holden, Rick Regalski (DQ). DNS: Lenny Liebold, III, Ryan Kemery.

Krill Recycling LLC 410 Sprint Cars: Bob Felmlee, Logan McCandless, Brandon Matus, Zane DeVault, Gale Ruth, Jr., Jack Sodeman, jr., A.J. Flick, Jeremy Weaver, Michael Bauer, Brent Matus, Ricky Peterson, Andy Cavanaugh, Vivian Jones, John Jerich, Cameron Nastasi, Bodey mcClintock, Chase Metheney, Matt Farnham,Jacob Gomola, Timmy Jasen, Carl Bowser. DNS: Nathen McDowell.

Hovis Auto and Truck Supply Pro Stocks: Tim Bish, Rod Laskey, Pat Fielding, Chris Schneider, Mike Miller, Josh Seippel, Doug Iorio, Matt bernard, Russ Coyne, Charlie McMillen, Aaron Smith. Jason Kimmy, Tommy Dembowski. DNS: Jake Whitling, Gary Miller. Jr.

4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks: Dillon Morrison, Matt Urey, Joe Campbell, Justin Foirsyth, Ben Aley, Chad Greeley, Matt Daugherty, BillMcCollums, Dillon Thorne, Tim Callahan, Bill Fuchs, Mike Kelley.

Old Skool Kool Tour Vintage: Modifieds/Sportsmen: Wally Stock, Bob Alcorn (Sp.), Tom Warburton, Jim Kurpakus, Tim Beatty, Paul Bacchus, Nick Hessom (Sp.). Late Models/Stocks: Bill Coada, Larry Walters, Brian Lederhouse (St.), Gary Taylor (St.), Bill Stile.

The divisional sponsors of Tri City Raceway Park for 2024 are: Krill Recycling, LLC (410 Sprint Cars), 21st Century Energy Group (358 Modifieds), Hovis Auto and Truck Supply (Pro Stocks), and 4 Your Car Connection (Mini Stocks).

All competitors at Tri City Raceway Park will now be eligible for the Marsh Heating and Cooling Heat Race Challenge. The driver that wins the most heat races over the course of the season, regardless of the class, will receive a special award.

Other marketing partners of Tri City Raceway Park for 2024 include: Erie Beer, Wab-Tec (manufacturer of locomotive engines), Schaeffer Lubricants, Keystone Transit (school buses), Blue Ox Timbers (buyers of timber and timber land managment), Constable Refuse (residential and commercial garbage collectors), First Rate Realty (real estate sales), Landscape Connection (portable toilets and landscape supplies), KEI-Klapec Express Inc. (trucking company), BKI-Bert Klapec Inc. (excavation and demolition), Shambaugh Towing, Gibson Hill Automotive (auto repair), McCandless Ford Sales (located in Mercer and Meadville), McCandless Trailer Sales (located in Mercer and Meadville), Big Dog RC (remote controlled cars and race track), McGregor Excavating, Les Frickshun Lubricants (lubricants and undercoating), Bish Heating and Cooling, Wet Hose LLC (pressure washing), Heffern Septic Service, Tionesta Builders Supply (located in Tionesta and Shippenville), UCIP-United Community Independence Program (housing and services for the handicapped), Close Racing Supply, Billy’s Garage and Towing, Oakland-Rampart Equipment (makers of centrifugal dryers, wash systems, and separators).

Remember that you will need to check the Facebook page, Tri City Raceway Park, for current information. The former website is not updated and will soon be replaced.

Tri-City Raceway Park is located just a few miles north of Franklin, PA, at 3430 State Route 417 in Oakland Township. Professional auto racing will be presented in a family friendly atmosphere most Sunday evenings from May through Labor Day weekend.

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Dirt Racing

Pittsburgh PA Motor Speedway and Latrobe Speedway Cancel Saturday Programs

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PITTSBURGH, PA (May 18, 2024) – Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway and Latrobe Speedway are cancelling their Saturday programs because of rain.

“We can’t get a break,” said SNB Promotions Dennis Bates. “The speedway grounds are too wet after Friday’s storms. We are looking forward to the next Blue Collar Night at the Races on August 10.”

Next Saturday Latrobe Speedway plans the Memorial Day Clash as the Penn Ohio Pro Stocks Touring Series returns to Latrobe.  They will be joined by the FASTrak Pro Late Models, the Joe’s Body Shop & Towing Pure Stocks, the Special T Metals LLC Modified 4 Cylinders, and the Marilungo Disposal LLC Strictly Stock 4 Cylinders.

Three Rivers Karting

“Heavy overnight rains and saturated grounds have forced us to cancel tonight’s Action Event + RUSH Sportsman Modifieds event,” PPMS said in a statement. “This marks our third consecutive cancelation.”

Next Saturday PPMS plans the Choice for Change Action Event + RUSH Sprint Cars.

They’re not the only ones.  Lernerville Speedway was forced to cancel Friday night, which was the third week in-a-row for ‘The Action Track’. The make up date for the BRP Modified Tour portion will be held on July, 26.

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Dirt Racing

Wolfe and Best Win at Williams Grove

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Williams Grove Speedway

MECHANICSBURG, PA (May 17, 2024): Lucas Wolfe had to play defense in the final five laps of the 410 Sprint Car race, but the strategy paid off. He captured his first win of the season at Williams Grove Speedway. But, getting his first career win at the track was Andy Best in the 358 Sprint Cars.

“I did see him (Freddie Rahmer, Jr.), he was beside me, but I had good enough traction coming off turn two, and I got to three ahead of him,” Wolfe said. Rahmer was not done, though. With Wolfe stuck behind a lapped car, Rahmer took to the outside in an unsuccessful attempt to overtake the leader. “I had trouble getting by a lapped car, so I took the ‘all over line,’” Wolfe added. His final defensive maneuver was to crowd Rahmer going down the backstretch with two to go.

Kyle Reinhardt and Wolfe were on the front row under the point average handicapping system employed for this race. Devon Borden and Chad Trout were in row two. Tim Wagaman, Jr. and Rahmer were the final cars subject to the handicap. Row four consisted of Dylan Cisney and Ryan Wilson. Jeff Halligan and Jarrett Cavalet made up row five. The sixth belonged to Logan Wagner and Matt Campbell.

Wolfe got a great start, and he led Reinhardt and company by several car lengths entering turn one. Trout ducked under Reinhardt for second, and Rahmer settled into fourth as the field rounded turn two. Borden, Wagaman, Wilson, Cisney, Campbell, and Halligan followed. As the field began to sort itself out, a light rain began to fall, resulting in a caution on lap two.

After a brief delay, the cars returned to the track to complete the race. Wolfe started on the point, and he maintained the lead when the race went green again. Rahmer moved ahead of Reinhart, but the running order otherwise remained static.

Another caution came on two laps later for the spin by Tony Jackson in turn three. On the ensuing restart, Wolfe led Trout, Rahmer, Reinhardt, Wagaman, and Borden.

Halligan, who was running inside the top ten at the time, spun himself out of contention on lap seven. That turned out to be the final incident of the race.

Wolfe opened up a slight margin over Trout on the restart. Rahmer continued in third, with Wagaman and Borden now running ahead of Reinhardt.

Soon after the halfway signal, Rahmer began to challenge Trout for second. Trout was able to stay ahead of the current points leader for a couple of laps, but he lost the position in turn one when he got over the cushion with fifteen laps complete.

Rahmer then began to close in on Wolfe. By lap twenty, Rahmer was stalking the leader. Rahmer tried the inside line, but Wolfe won the drag race to turn three to preserve his dwindling lead.

Three Rivers Karting

Wolfe caught up to a lapper soon thereafter, but he could not make the pass to earn some breathing room. Rahmer came charging back, this time to the outside. Wolfe moved up the track on the backstretch with two to go, and Rahmer had to burp the throttle a bit. That allowed Wolfe to scoot away by a car length or two.

Wolfe maintained the advantage to the checkered flag. Rahmer was a close second, followed by Wagaman, Trout, and Campbell. Campbell’s strong stretch run earned him the hard charger award. Borden, Reinhardt, Wagner, Justin Whittal, and Cisney completed the top ten.

Reinhardt, Wolfe, and Borden captured the heat wins. Ryan Taylor prevailed in the B Main. The evening’s fastest qualifier was Wagaman, who toured the speedway in 16.609 seconds.

Andy Best romped to an easy win in the nightcap for the 358 Sprinters. “It was a really good piece,” he said with a sigh of relief. “We struggled the last three weeks, we were a lapped car. We just threw things at it,” the Delaware pilot explained.

Best had a prime starting spot for the twenty lapper, outside row one. On the pole was Logan Rumsey. In the second row were Derek Locke and Steve Owings. The third row paired Sam Miller and Joe Timmins. Chase Gutshall and Tyler Rutherford made up row four. Behind them were Justin Foster and Dwight Leppo. Wyatt Hinkle and Kyle Spence occupied row six.

Best hopped out to the early lead, with Locke, Owings, Rumsey, Gutshall, and Leppo in tow. As Best drove away from the field with ease, the first five remained in order, but the second five were battling for positions.

Best’s lead was erased when the red flag came out for the spectacular crash by Miller at the entry to turn three. He was not hurt, but his car was demolished.

Best picked right up again after the stoppage. He completed the remaining ten laps with Locke giving chase. Owings, Gutshall, and Rumsey were the first five finishers. Next in line were Hinkle, Spence, Doug Hammaker, Leppo, and Adam Carberry.

Rumsey, Best, and Locke scored the heat wins. Carberry claimed the B Main, which put him into position to be the hard charger.

Next week, Williams Grove Speedway will present the John Trone Tribute race, with a hefty $10,039 going to the winner of the 410 Sprints. The PASS IMCA 305 Sprints will provide support. Fireworks will also be included. The merry month of May will close with a 410 and 358 Sprint Car doubleheader. The 410s will pay $8,000 to the winner. Extra money will be on the line for the 358s as well, with $2,500 on the winner’s nose from a purse that will exceed $12,000. The first Friday in June will be fan appreciation night. The 410s will be joined by the USAC East Coast Sprints with 5Gs going to the winner of the Bill Gallagher Memorial.

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