KNOXVILLE, IA (August 7, 2021): Giovanni Scelzi saved his best for last in the finals of the 360 Nationals at Knoxville Raceway. After stalking Daryn Pittman for most of the race, Scelzi took the lead with two to go, lost it at the wite flag, and got it back again in turn two on the final lap. The crowd responded enthusiastically to the young driver’s heroics, and the pilot from Fresno, CA loved being in the spotlight.
“I was running as hard as I could,” Scelzi said. “The car was really good. God, I love Bernie (Steubgen, his crew chief). I can’t believe it. To win a crown jewel like this is unbelievable,” he added. Scelzi, who is affectionately known as “Hot Sauce,” gave props to his adversary, the crafty veteran Daryn Pittman. “Pittman was good on the bottom, but I just never gave up. He’s such a smart racer, he broke my momentum going into one, and luckily I could drive back underneath him.”
Pitman was dejected, but deferential. “I got beat. Those are hard to take as a driver. I thought that we were good, but he’s been good ever since he unloaded here last week. To get that close and let it go on the last lap is tough.” Pittman said that he was surprised that Scelzi did not take his line away when he got the lead with two to go. “I think the bottom was the preferred line and I was surprised that he didn’t come across my nose and take my line, but he kept his line and raced me clean.”
The third place finisher, Justin Henderson, was satisfied with his car and he was pleased with his run from eighth to third. Then, he mused, “if we had started a few rows farther up, we might have had something. Eighth to third is nothing to kick the dirt about and we’re really proud of this team.”
Points accumulated on the qualifying nights determined the starting lineup for the nation’s most illustrious 360 Sprint Car race. Shane Golobic, who changed a motor after hot laps, started on the pole, with Pittman by his side. Sam Hafertepe, Jr., the winner on opening night, was paired up with Scelzi, who triumphed on the second night. In row three, Terry McCarl, the winner of six prior intallments of this classic, was matched up with perennial Knoxville 360 champion, Clint Garner. Row four had the second member of the McCarl clan, Carson, alongside Henderson. Lynton Jeffrey and Skyler Prochaska were in row five. Row six had a pair of Aussies, Scott Bogucki and Brooke Tatnell.
Pittman powered off the fourth turn and swooped to the low line entering turn one ahead of the pack. Golobic, Scelzi, Garner, Hafertepe, Henderson, TMac, and Tatnell followed. Soon, Scelzi drove by Golobic and he began to close in on the leader.
Pittman was glued to the inside and Scelzi was flogging the cushion. They played a high speed game of cat and mouse for most of the race. Scelzi was building momentum as the field completed the tenth round. He came off turn two with the lead, but Pittman battled back and he drove by coming through turns three and four to regain the lead.
Soon thereafter, Brian Brown was caught up in a skirmish as he was fighting for a position toward the rear of the field. He turned the car over in turn two, The cafr was taken to the pits and inspected by his crew. It was pronounced raceworthy and he returned to the fray. However, he lasted only a few more laps before retiring. That would be the only stoppage of the race.
Pittman resumed the lead on the restart, but Scelzi stayed close. Coming to the two-lap signal, Scelzi had a run on Pittman. Pittman’s car wiggled a bit as he came off turn four and Scelzi scooted past. Pittman fought back and he regained the lead as they raced toward the white flag.
Pittman changed up his strategy and he drove across the middle of turn one and caught the cushion ahead of Scelzi. Scelzi stayed in the throttle though, and he was able to turn under Pittman as they went through the second corner. Scelzi led into three, but Pittman could not get close enough to make a move on him for the win.
Scelzi swept under the checkers 0.579 seconds ahead of Pittman to claim the $15,000 top prize. Henderson raced up to third in the closing laps. Golobic and Tatnell were fourth and fifth. Hafertepe, Garner, Bogucki, Terry McCarl, and Tyler Courtney completed the top ten.
In the B Main, Cory Eliason went wire to wire to earn a transfer to the A Main. Sammy Swindell overtook Ryan Giles late in the race to get second. Following Swindell to get the last transfers were Austin McCarl and Brian Brown. Giles faded to fifth, missing the cut. Derek Hagar and Josh Higday crashed simultaneously in turn one on the opening lap, but neither driver was hurt. They must have dropped some debris, though, as three racers got flat right rear tires with nine laps complete.
The C Main was marked with a spectacular crash on the opening lap. Christopher Thram got the worst of it, but Matt Covington was also involved. Neither driver was hurt in the spectacle. The lengthy clean-up included a repair to the catch fence. When the race got going, a pair of California drivers, Michael Faccinto and Colby Copeland, led the parade. Kyle Reinhardt and Calvin Landis also earned transfers. Harli White and Connor Leoffler crashed in separate incidents during the contest. Neither driver was injured.
The D Main opened the program. Covington and Thram ran one-two for the entire distance. Harli White, Casey Friedrichsen, Gunner Ramey, and Tanner Holmes made the transfers.
A Main: Giovanni Scelzi, Daryn Pittman, Justin Henderson, Shane Golobic, Brooke Tatnell, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Clint Garner, Scott Bogucki, Terry McCarl, Tyler Courtney, Cory Eliason, Matt Juhl, Carson MCCarl, Brady Bacon, Sawyer Phillips, Terry McCarl, Jamie Ball, Sammy Swindell, Austin McCarl, Skyler Prochaska, Garrett Williamson, Blake Hahn, Ian Madsen, Brian Brown.
B Main: Cory Eliason, Sammy Swindell, Austin McCarl, Brian Brown, Ryan Giles, Kaleb Johnson, Dylan Westbrook, J.J. Hickle, Jeff Swindell, Davey Heskin, Calvin Landis, Greg Wilson, Michael Faccinto, Coleby Copeland, Kyle Reinhardt, Jake Martens, Matt Moro, Roger Crockett, John Carney, II, Jack Dover, Jake Bubak, Seth Brahmer, Josh Hogday, Derek Hagar.
C Main: Michael Faccinto, Colby Copeland, Kyle Reinhardt, Calvin Landis, Devin Kline, Joe Beaver, Chris Martin, Tanner Holmes, Cody Ledger, Ricky Montgimery, Riley Goodno, Chance Mortin, Gunner Ramey, Austin Miller, Casey Friedrichsen, Tanner Carrick, Connon Leoffler, Harli White, Josh Baughman, Ryan Roberts, Ryan Leavitt, Nathan Mills, Christopher Thram, Matt Covington.
D Main: Matt Covington, Christopher Thram ran, Harli White, Casey Friedrichsen, Gunner Ramey, Tanner Holmes, Rob Kubli, Chase Dunham, Kade Morton, Ryan Bickett, Wes Wofford, Slater Helt, Elliott Amdahl, Brandon Halverson, Travis reber, Brandon Anderson, Alan Zoutte, Vance Wofford, Mike Johnston, John Anderson, Boyd Peterson, Devon Dobie, Chase Porter, Jason Schultz.
Logan Wagner Wins Tuscarora 50
PORT ROYAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Logan Wagner passed Lance Dewease with two-laps-to-go to win Saturday night’s All Star Circuit of Champions Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal Speedway.
“I’m living the dream in a different universe, man, this is just unreal,” said an elated Wagner in victory lane. “I knew in that second 25-lapper that I had something for (Dewease). It was so awesome to race him clean…I didn’t even know how many laps were left when we got by him. I just ran as hard as I could…just about stuffed it into the fence a couple of times. I’m out of breath!”
Dewease took the lead on lap 12 from Rico Abreu, who led the first 11 laps, and led all the way to the halfway mark. An oil leak didn’t deter Dewease in the second half of the 50-lapper as he was back out front when the green flag dropped.
Wagner, a four-time track Champion at Port Royal, caught Dewease on lap 34 when the leader encountered lap traffic but subsequent cautions on lap 36 and lap 38 gave Dewease clear track on both restarts and he took full advantage.
It took Wagner 11-more laps to get back to Dewease. Wagner got a great run off turn two and passed Dewease on the backstretch for the lead before diving into turn three. The victory was the third All-Star victory for Wagner, who also captured the 2021 Keith Kauffman Classic at ‘The Speed Palace’.
Dewease held on for second with Anthony Macri rounding out the podium.
The All Star Circuit of Champions will continue their September calendar with another round in the Keystone State, this time setting aim at Williams Grove Speedway and Lincoln Speedway for back-to-back blockbusters on Friday and Saturday, September 17-18. The rescheduled Jack Gunn Memorial, featuring a $7,000-to-win headliner, will kick things off on Friday, followed by Lincoln’s $20,000-to-win Dirt Classic VIII on Saturday. Fans and teams should note that the rescheduled Jack Gunn Memorial will feature only one main event.
Eliason Wins after Motor Change in Lincoln All Stars Go
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (August 28, 2021): Cory Eliason turned a disaster to his advantage in the Kramer Klash for the All Stars Circuit of Champions at Lincoln Speedway. His motor expired at the very end of his heat race. His crew went into action and swapped it out in time for him to take the pole for his dash, which he dominated with the new powerplant. Then, Eliason led all thirty-five laps in the A Main. The win was his second of the season and seventh of his career with the traveling band. Eliason collected $7,300 for the victory.
When they pulled the pills for the dash, Eliason gave props to his team for making the engine change. “We were lucky that they had the Legends cars tonight, that gave my crew a little extra time to make the engine change.”
Eliason’s dash win snared the pole for the A Main. Next to him was the second dash winner, Zeb Wise. Parker Price-Miller and Robbie Kendall were in row two. Hunter Schuerenberg and Gerard McIntyre, Jr. started from the third row. Kyle Reinhardt and Brent Marks lined up in the fourth row, with the remaining dash cars, T.J. Stutts and Justin Peck in row five. The sixth row was made up of All Stars points leader, Tyler Courtney, and Chad Trout.
It took three tries to get the A Main going while a light mist was falling.The fist was waived off when Tyler Ross smacked the wall between turns one and two. The second resulted in a multi-car crash in turn one that involved at least seven cars, four of which were able to resume the action. One each of the three attempts, Eliason went to the cushion and held off Wise to take control.
Before the racers could sort themselves out, another massive wreck occurred at the opposite end of the track. Kendall went over Schuerenberg’s wheel and took a violent tumble. Schuerenberg hit the wall head on, and at least two other cars turned over in the chaos. This time, three of the racers could continue on.
Despite the toll on the machines, none of the drivers were injured.
When the race got going again, Eliason continued to lead. Wise ran along in second, with Price-Miller, McIntyre, and Peck trailing. About ten or twelve laps into the race, Wise came to life. For about five laps, he gave Eliason all that he could handle. However, Eliason found something extra and he was able to pull away from his challenger as they reached the halfway mark.
Soon, the leaders were into heavier traffic, and Peck began to flex some muscle. He reached third with twenty laps completed and he was certainly the fastest car on the track. With twenty-seven laps completed, Peck turned under Wise coming off turn four to take second. He began to close rapidly on Eliason, and the fans were getting ready for a battle royale.
With Peck in range of the leader, the caution flashed on. The crowd was anxious to see what Peck may do on the restart, but he was no match for Eliason on a clear track.
The final caution, on lap thirty, gave Peck another shot at the leader. But Peck missed his entry to turn one on the restart and he surrendered second to Price-Miller.
Eliason made the appointed rounds and took the checkers ahead of Price-Miller. Peck brought the Kramer Williamson tribute car home third. Fourth went to Wise, who held off a charge by McIntyre over the final three laps.
Reinhardt crossed in sixth, with Alan Krimes, Stutts, Brandon Rahmer, and Courtney completing the top ten. Brandon Rahmer was the hard charger, advancing fifteen positions.
The heat winners were Peck, Schuerenberg, Kendall, and Reinhardt. The B Main winner was Cap Henry. Stutts set the fastest time of the night, touring the speedway in 12.976 seconds.
Jeremy Ott was the winner in the PA Legends Cars feature that ended the night. Logan Carbaugh, Rravis McClelland, Chris Transeau and Stephen Wurtzer rounded out the top five. Bill Diehl, Blaine Leppo, McClelland, and Transeau won their heat race, The B Main victories went to Brent Marquis and Quinn Trimmer.
Next week, the Bob Leiby Memorial will be held. There will be twin twenties for the 410 Sprints, with each win worth $3,000. The PA Legends Cars will be on the card once again. September 11 will feature the Super Late Models. Support will be provided by the 358 and 305 Sprints. Then, on September 18, the All Stars will be back in the Pigeon Hills for the Eighth Annual Dirt Classic, paying $20,000.
McCreadie Makes up for Mistake at Port Royal
PORT ROYAL, PA (August 28, 2021): Tim McCreadie blamed himself for his fifth place finish on the opening night of the Rumble by the River. But, he made up for it by winning the second preliminary feature for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at Port Royal Speedway.
He explained that he thought that the checkered flag came out a lap earlier in his heat race on Thursday, so he backed down and lost a position in the finish. That buried him in sixteenth place for the start and, with only thirty laps of racing, it was impossible for him to catch up to the leaders.
McCreadie made sure that he did not repeat the blunder on Friday night. He dominated his heat race to earn the outside front row starting spot for the A Main and then he went on to lead all but one of the fourty laps. The victory padded McCreadie’s series points lead and added $12,000 to his bank account.
Jonathan Davenport did stay within striking distance through the first twenty-five laps, which were all run under the green. But Davenport got a flat right front tire after running over some debris between turns one and two. Fourth place runner Chris Ferguson also got a flat due to the same cause. Ironically, McCreadie also ran over the same material, but his tires were good to go the distance. McCreadie confided that he did not even know that he ran over the same debris that sidelined two of his rivals.
“Man, I am tired,” McCreadie said as he was catching his breath. “When you get to be this old, you never know how many chances you will get to win, so you have to run hard all of the time. I was good throughout the race, I thought that JD might get me in traffic and then he had the flat, and Hudson was good, too, they’ve both been pretty good of late.”
Davenport and McCreadie shared the front row, having won heats one and three, respectively. The other heat winners, Ferguson and Jimmy Owens, lined up behind them. Then came Josh Richards and O’Neal, winner on the opening night. Stormy Scott and Michael Norris were in row four. The fifth verse was sung by Andy Haus and Tyler Erb. The sixth featured Ricky Thornton, Jr. and Shane Clanton.
Davenport took the early lead, lost it briefly to McCreadie, and then powered off turn four to claim the opening lap. McCreadie came down off the top to slide Davenport on lap two to take the lead. Although McCreadie led the rest of the way, Davenport stayed close and tried a slider or two himself without success.
O’Neal joined the fun around lap fifteen when McCreadie and Davenport were hung up behind some lapped traffic. That created a great three-car battle for the lead, but McCreadie managed to get away by a couple of car lengths, leaving the main characters from the opening night to fight for second.
The race took a dramatic turn on lap twenty-five. Thornton slapped the wall between one and two. Although he kept going, his car was badly damaged and parts were strewn in the high groove. The leaders all ran over the stuff, and two of the contestants, Davenport and Ferguson, got flats that would send them pitside soon thereafter.
The race got going again but another shake-up within the top ten was about to occur. The restart produced two three-car battles within the top ten. One was for third and the other was for seventh. The latter resulted in contact in turn three that claimed Richards, Jason Covert, and Scott. While that was being cleaned up, Davenport and Ferguson pitted for fresh rubber.
On the ensuing restart, Erb made his move to the front. The racers only got one lap recorded before Gregg Satterlee, who was running ninth, came to a halt on the back stretch.
Then, on the next restart, Erb blasted into second and Norris threaded the needle to get to fourth. O’Neal got shuffled back on the restart and fell out of the top five. The action was intense through the field, and that led to another caution.
Fortunately, the racers had that spell worked out of their systems and the remaining twelve laps were run off without incident.
McCreadie took the checkers first, followed by Owens, Erb, Clanton, and O’Neal. Earl Pearson, Jr. was sixth. Norris, Spencer Hughes, Ross Robinson, and Trevor Feathers completed the top ten. Robinson’s perseverance paid off as he picked up several positions in the final laps to crack the top ten from last on the grid. He was named the hard charger and got $400 extra as his reward.
Pearson and Satterlee copped the twin B Mains. The night’s top qualifiers were Davenport, at 18.616, and McCreadie at 18.727.
The Mid Atlantic Modifieds were the undercard this night. George Dixon took the lead from his fourth starting spot. His time out front was limited, however, He spun on his own on lap six, handing the lead over to Steve Arpin. That would be the only caution of the event.
Mike Altobelli worked his way forward from eighth at the start to take the lead on lap nine. While he would go the rest of the way unchecked, David Stremme did close in during the final laps to make things interesting.
Third went to Arpin. Then came Keith Jackson, Austin Holcombe, Mitch Thomas, Ron Davies, Carl McKinney, Steve Axtell, and Ryan Ayers.
Port Royal Speedway will conclude the Rumble by the River on Saturday night. The Juniata Fair will take over the grounds for seven days, but racing will take place on five of them. The action starts with the annual Butch Renninger Memorial on Saturday, September 4, featuring the Super Late Models and the Limited Late Models. The 410 Sprints will also be on the card. The Sprints return on Monday afternoon, September 6 for the 70th Annual Labor Day Classic. Four Cylinders and non-wing Super Sportsmen will add to the fun. Then the big show, the 54th Tuscarora 50 will be held Thursday through Saturday. The All Stars Circuit of Champions will headline all three nights. The 305 Sprints (Thursday), and Super Late Models (Friday) will also be in action. The finale will be all 410 Sprints.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series: Tim, McCreadie, Jimmy Owens, Tyler Erb, Shane Clabton, Hudson O’Neal, Earl Pearson, Jr., Michael Norris, Spencer Hughes, Ross Robinson, Trevor Feathers, Colton Flinner, Gary Stuhler, Chris Ferguson, Jonathan Davenport, Andy Haus, Kyle Bronson, Ricky Thornton, Jr., Matt Cosner, Gregg Satterlee, Josh Richards, Stormy Scott, Jason Covert, Jeff Rine, Mike Marlar, Kyle Lee. DNQ: Brian Booze, Dylan Yoder, Dillan Stake, Logan Zarin, Tim Smith, Shaun Jones, Mason Miller, Pancho Lawler, Scott Flickinger, Kyle Hardy, Michael Brown, Rick Eckert, Tyler Bare, Mike Lupfer, Dan Stone, Johnny Scott, Dale Hollidge, Brett Schadel, Austin Berry, Chris Casner, Deshawn Gingerich.
Mid Atlantic Modifieds: Michael Altobelli, David Stremme, Steve Arpin, Keith Jackson, Austin Holcombe, Mitch Thomas, Ron Davies, Carl McKinney, Steve Axtell, Ryan Ayers, George Dixon, Jonathan Taylor, T.J. DeHaven, Jerry Foster, Rim Fedder, Alyssa Rowe, Amber Mills, Brad Kling, Brandon Householder, Tom Wakefield, Deron Henry, Michael Pappas, Jacob Marker, Justin Collum.
DNQ: Nick Dibella, Al Brewer, David green, John Lobb, Ray Kable, Jr., Doug Stine, Frank Dibella.