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Spithaler and Rudolph Get First Tri-City Scores of the Season; Repeat Victories for Tyler Wyant and Greeley



FRANKLIN, PA (August 8, 2021): Brandon Spithaler earned his first Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Car win of the season to highlight the Sunday Thunder racing program at Tri-City Raceway Park. Empire state veteran Erick Rudolph made his first visit to the track this season a successful one in the Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds. Teenager Tyler Wyant and Chad Geeley each scored their second feature wins in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks and the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks, respectively.

Spithaler started on the front row, with Brandon Matus by his side. Points leader Jack Sodeman was in the third spot, with his protege, Darin Gallagher next to him. Row three had Logan McCandless and Clay Riney. Veterans George Hobaugh and Bob Felmlee rolled away in row four, with Bryan Salisbury and Brent Matus in row five. Steve Bright and Gale Ruth, Sr. started in row six. Ken Rossey, Jr. tagged the tail.

In search of his third career win at Tri-City, Spithaler took the lead at the start. Sodeman, who was looking to pad his point lead, quickly moved into second, ahead of his championship rival, Brandon Matus. Sodeman provided stiff competition through the first half of the event. His closest challenge came on lap fourteen in traffic, when he was able to pull alongside the leader. But Spithaler was better able to navigate through the slower cars and he pulled out to a comfortable lead.

Spithaler held the top spot to the checkered, completing the twenty-five laps in less than seven minutes! To be exact, the time of the event was six minutes and 52.292 seconds. Sodeman was second, 3.087 seconds back. Brandon Matus was third. Gallagher crossed in fourth, with Riney taking fifth. Felmlee, Hobaugh, McCandless, Rossey, and Bright completed the top ten.

The Donovan & Bauer Auto Group heat races for the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars went to Sodeman and Felmlee. There was no B Main.
With his heat win and second place finish in the feature, Sodeman gained a few points on Brandon Matus for the seasonal championship. Just eight counters separate them going into the final race of the regular season.

Rudolph was paired up with Kyle Fink on the front row of the Krill Recycling 358 Modified feature race. Sid Unverzagt, Jr. and Kevin Hoffman were in row two. Max Smoker and Lonnie Riggs were right behind them. Tom Holden and his nephew, Jimmy, were in row four. Nick Joy and Ryan Riffe had the fifth row covered. In row six, it was D.J. Schrader and Kevin Green. The Shingledecker brothers, Travis and Jeremiah, were in the final row.

Rudolph jumped out to the lead, with Unverzagt in tow. Rudolph’s early advantage was nullified when Tom Holden slowed with rear suspension damage. Jeremiah Shingledecker, who was working his way forward from his last place starting spot due to four consecutive wins, was also involved. He was sent to the rear for the restart, of course.

Rudolph resumed the lead when the green flashed on again. But only two more laps were completed before the race was slowed for Schrader’s misfortune.

Once again, Rudolph took command. Unversagt was holding second, his best run of the season so far. Jimmy Holden took third from Fink on the eighth circuit. Jeremiah Shingledecker climbed back through the field, briefly displacing Jimmy Holden from third on lap eighteen. However, Holden regained the position before the final caution was displayed

Rudolph completed the three lap dash to get the win, his third ever at the speedway. Unverzagt finished second, which certainly boosted his confidence. Jimmy Holden was followed across the line by Jeremiah Shingledecker and Fink. Riggs, Travis Shingledecker, Riffe, Schrader, and Smoker were the next five across the finish line.

In the Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds, there were a pair of heat races held on behlaf of the Donovan & Bauer Auto Group. Winners were Rudolph and Fink. There was no B Main.

Jeremiah Shingledecker was the hard charge on the night, picking up ten positions to earn the bonus offered by Fisher and Father Napa Auto Parts. He will head into the final night of racing with a commanding lead in the standings.

Josh Seippel had the pole for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stock main, with young Mr. Wyant to his right. Darr Diegelman and Russ Coyne were in teh second row, with Patrick Fielding and Jason Johns trailing them. Bobby Whitling and points leader Curtis J. Bish were in the fourth row. Curt Bish and Shane Applebee started in the fifth row. Matt Bernard started shotgun on the field.

Tyler Wyant surged ahead at the drop of the green and he had smooth sailing throughout the event. Seippel was a close second. The battle for third went to Curtis J. Bish over Johns and Whitling. Curt Bish, Bernard, Fielding, Diegelman, and Coyne rounded out the top ten.

Three Rivers Karting

A pair of Donovan & Bauer Auto Group preliminaries were held in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks as well. Victories went to Tyler Wyant and Whitling. There was no B Main.

Wyant’s successes in the heat and feature allowed him to close the gap slightly on Curtis J, Bish for the point championship. Just eight points separate them. Seipple remains close, just seventeen points removed from the top position.

Levi Maskal and points leader Justin Bailey brought the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks to the green flag. Todd Hanlon and D.J. Macrae were in the second row. Chad Greeley and Jesse Armstrong were in row three. The fourth flight consisted of Kevin Watson and Daltin Speer. The fifth row had Evan Sobieski and Bodey McClintock and the sixth had Nick Steiger and Michael Barr.

A first lap incident marred the start of the night’s final race, the twelve lapper for the Mini Stocks. Five cars were eliminated.

On the second attempt, Bailey took the lead. But he gave way to Greely on lap two. Dalton Speer charged from eighth to second, and he was giving Greeley all that he could handle for the race lead. However, Speer’s car lost power on lap eight causing a caution. The final caution period came with two laps remaining, but Greeley had no difficulties with either restart. Maskal used the final restart to take second, which would be his best finish of the season. Macrae, Bailey, and McClintock were third through fifth. Armstrong, Jamie Tasker, Barr, Diezel Marvin, and Speer rounded out the top ten.

The 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks spun off two heats and the wins belonged to Hanlon and Speer. There was no B Main.

Bailey enters the final points race 24 points ahead of Speer and 35 up on the surging Greeley.

The final points race of the regular season will be held at Tri-City Raceway Park next Sunday, August 15. Champions will be crowned, so you will not want to miss that one. There will be action in all four Sunday Thunder divisions. The racers will have off for two consecutive weekends after that. However, there will be the Renegade Monster Truck show on Saturday, yes, Saturday, August 28. Be sure to bring the children to see one of their favorite forms of motorsports!

And, don’t forget the huge Labor Day extravaganza coming soon, on September 3-5. The first night will be an open practice session for all classes. The drivers will compete for a total purse exceeding $70,000 beginning on Saturday, September 4. The Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprints will headline that card, but there will be plenty of variety to interest all racing fans. There will be a bonfire and music after the racing. Then, the racers will be back on Sunday, September 5, with all divisions except for the Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds. They will be eligible to compete against the Big Blocks of the BRP Modified Tour and there will be a special bonus for the three top finishers out of the top ten in Tri-City points running their trusty 358 against the ground pounding BRP Mods. More details will be available in the forthcoming weeks.

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 Or, you can check the web at, 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.

Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars: Brandon Spithaler, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Brandon Matus, Darin Gallagher, Clay Riney, Bob Felmlee, George Hobaugh, Logan McCandless, Ken Rossey, Jr., Steve Bright, Bryan Salisbury, Brent Matus, Gale Ruth, Sr.

Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds: Erick Rudolph, Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Jimmy Holden, Jeremiah Shingledecker, Kyle Fink, Lonnie Riggs, Travis Shingledecker, Ryan Riffe, D.J. Schrader, Max Smoker, Kevin Green, Tom Holden, Kevin Hoffman, Nick Joy.

Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks: Tyler Wyant, Josh Seippel, Curtis J. Bish, Jason Johns, Bobby Whitling, Curt Bish, Matt Bernard, Patrick Fielding, Darr Diegelman, Russ Coyne, Shane Applebee, Aaron Smith (DNS), Josh Blum (DNS).

4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks: Chad Greeley, Levi Maskal, used the final restart to take second, which would be his best finish of the season. D.J. Macrae, Justin Bailey, Bodey McClintock, Jesse Armstrong, Jamie Tasker, Michael Barr, Diezel Marvin, Dalton Speer, Evan Sobieski, Kevin Watson, Nick Steiger, Matt Urey, Devin Erwin, Todd Hanlon, Andrew Proper (DNS), Charles McClintock (DNS).

Dirt Racing

Ryan Smith Succeeds at Sharon; Cipriano and Konbau also Score



Sharon Speedway

HARTFORD, OH (June 1, 2024): Ryan Smith romped to the win at Sharon Speedway on night three of Western Pennsylvania Speedweek despite Dave Blaney’s home field advantage. Smith, a former series champion, had the benefit of starting some five rows ahead of Blaney, but Blaney made an early charge to make things interesting. Meanwhile, Smith was stalking the early leader, Zane DeVault, and Smith sailed by him when DeVault brushed the outside wall coming off turn two. Unfortunately for the fans, a head to head battle between Smith and Blaney never materialized because the track took rubber, and Blaney’s top line which he used so effectively early was no longer there in the final stage of the race.

Ayden Cipriano (Big Block Modifieds) and Jeremy Kornbau (Allegheny Sprint Tour 305 Sprint Cars) also earned significant first wins.
“It’s pretty cool to beat Dave at his own place,” Smith quipped. He explained that he tried to make his car as wide as he could in the early going and, then, he mainly ran the low side when the rubber came in. While that strategy was successful for him, he did admit to having some trouble with lapped cars also using that line as the race progressed. Nonetheless, Smith put enough of them behind him to provide a safe margin of victory over Blaney.

Blaney, who thrilled the partisan crowd with his dash to the front in the early laps, characteristically downplayed his accomplishment. “I had a good start,” he said humbly. Then, he added with a chuckle, “I had a couple of closer calls than an old mane would like.” Blaney was referring to the time in the opening laps when he threaded the needle in turn three between two competitors who were fighting for position. “Then, the track got faster as the race went on,” he commented, making it difficult for him to chase down Smith.

DeVault, who soldiered on for third despite hurting his car, noted, “I tried to win it or wear it on top when I got into the wall, I was just hanging on after that. But, you know me, I’ll hang in there until the end.”

DeVault and Smith were the lucky ones who fished the front row starting spots in the top twelve re-draw promoted by a Lake Erie charter service. Smith had a helper, though, as he chose a child from the stands to be his designated fisherman. Mitch Harble and Logan McCandless drew into the second row, with Chase Metheney and Adam Kekich in the third. Then came Michael Bauer and Dale Blaney. Jordan Poirier and Dan Kuriger had row five, with Dave Kalb and Dave Blaney getting the two remaining fish available.

DeVault seized the early advantage, with Smith staying close. Harble, McCandless, Dale Blaney, and Poirier were next. However, the racer who drew the most attention in the early going was Dave Blaney. He shot from twelfth to seventh on the opening lap by using the high line that no one else dared to try.

Dave Blaney reached fourth by the time that DeVault had his shunt with the outside wall on lap six, and he was third when Matt Farnham stopped because his right rear tire was going flat.

On the ensuing restart, Blaney executed a perfect slider job in turn one to overtake DeVault. Smith, however, was in the lead, and he opened up several car lengths on Blaney.

Three Rivers Karting

Smith was into lapped traffic by the fourteenth round. He was able to pick off the back markers pretty easily. As he advanced through them, the going got tougher and Blaney was able to narrow the margin.

As the race moved into the final stages, Smith had several lapped cars separating himself from his pursuer. They were all running the bottom, and Blaney went back to the high side to try to get back into a position of contention. However, the top groove was no longer there for him, and he could not get past the lapped cars that were keeping pace with the leader. Blaney nestled in behind them and rode out the remaining laps for a second place finish that still satisfied the home town crowd.

DeVault was third, ahead of Dale Blaney and McCandless. Kekich, Poirier, Lee Jacobs, Kuriger, and Mark Smith rounded out the top ten. Jacobs was named the hard charger, at plus twelve.

Once again, five heats were required for the forty-six car field. Chalking up wins were Dave and Dale Blaney, Kekich, Ryan Smith, and Metheney. A.J. Flick and Lance Moss split the twin B Mains. Dave Blaney was the evening’s fastest qualifier with a lap of 15.835 seconds.

With three races complete, Dave Blaney has a 20 point lead over his brother, Dale. A.J. Flick holds down third one point back from Dale. Tim Shaffer and Mark Smith make up the top five.

Ayden Cipriano earned his first career Big Block Modified win, holding off Rex King, Jr. Cipriano benefited from a penalty imposed on leader Rick Regalski for jumping the lap seven restart. That infraction moved Cipriano to the pole and Regalski to third. King raced in the middle groove to move from sixth to second after the green light came on again.

Chas Wolbert was third, Will Thomas fourth, and Brad Rapp fifth. Positions six through ten went to Garrett Krummert, Regalski, Chad Reitz, Mike Kinney, and Steve Barr.

King and Thomas captured heat wins. There was no B Main.

Another first-time winner was Jeremy Kornbau in the Allegheny Sprint Tour A Main. It was the first time the 305 Sprint Cars appeared at the famous oval. Nolan Groves, Brett Brunkenhoefer, Roman Jones, and Jim Pattock were in the top five. Jarrett Rosencrance, Dale Schweikart, Andy Priest, Arnie Kent, and John Scarborough rounded out the top ten. Dale Schweikart, Pattock, and Priest won the preliminaries. There was no B Main.

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Dirt Racing

Flick Wins W PA Speedweek Jean Lynch Classic at Lernerville; Norris, King, and Schneider Also Score



SARVER, PA (May 31, 2024): A.J. Flick knows how to win at Lernerville Speedway and on the Western Pennsylvania Speedweek tour. He is a seven-time speedway 410 Sprint Car champion and a two-time Speedweek king. He has won both titles for the last two years. He took a big step forward in both title chases by snagging the $4,000 check that went to the winner of the first jean Lynch Classic hosted at Lernerville Speedway.

Also scoring wins on this momentous night were Michael Norris in the Super Late Models, Rex King, Jr. in the Big Block Modifieds, and Christian Schneider in the Pro Stocks.

“The lynch name is synonymous with this place,” Flick said. “Everybody knows how hard Sye (Lynch) would run at this race, but you could see him fading,” Flick explained. He added, “that 28 car (Jordan Poirier) was fast in clean air, but I wanted to keep the win in Apollo,” which is home to both the Lynch and Flick families.

Flick chased down Poirier, who took the lead away from Lynch following the only restart of the race, on lap fourteen. Flick lined up third for that pivotal restart. Although he, too, quickly dispatched Lynch, it took him over ten laps to catch and pass Poirier, who was making his first start at the Action Track.

Poirier was pleased with his maiden voyage, explaining that he had some trouble working his way past unfamiliar lapped cars. He added, “once I saw his (Flick’s) nose, I knew that he was going to get by me.”

Lynch and Poirier were on the front row as a result of the re-draw for the top two from each heat race and the two fastest qualifiers who transferred from their respective heat races. Jeremy Weaver was flanked by Hall of Famer Tim Shaffer, a former Lernerville champion. Carl Bowser and Zane DeVault occupied row three. Behind them were Ricky Peterson and Dave Blaney, another Hall of Famer. Mark Smith and Flick paired off in row five, followed by Lance Moss and Brandon Spithaler.

As the partisan crowd hoped, Lynch raced into turn one ahead of Poirier, Weaver, Shaffer, DeVault, Bowser, Peterson, Mark Smith, and Flick. Lynch was running hard, and he caught the rear of the field in just seven laps. Nonetheless, Poirier stayed close. Shaffer moved into third in the early going, followed by DeVault and Flick. Flick continued his advance, taking third on lap thirteen. He was still a good distance behind the leaders, but a caution on lap fourteen brought them back to him in a hurry.

On the ensuing restart, Poirier executed a slider on Lynch in turn one to take the lead. Lynch fought back coming off turn two, but Poirier made a good run through turns three and four to preserve his lead.

As Poirier began to distance himself from Lynch, Flick worked by Lynch for the second position. It took Flick several laps to catch Poirier. Flick got a good run off turn four and he rode the rim in turns one and two to take the lead away from the rapid Canadian on lap twenty-six.

Flick pulled away in the final four laps to secure the win. Poirier was strong in second, followed by Shaffer, Dave Blaney, and Lynch. Brandon Spithaler raced his way up to sixth. Mark Smith, Dale Blaney, the third Hall of Fame driver in the field, DeVault, and Weaver completed the top ten.

Five heats were required for the forty-six cars that signed in. Bowser, Flick, Dave Blaney, Spithaler, and Poirier captured the checkers. Matt Farnham and Dave Kalb won their respective B Mains. Lynch set the mark in qualifications with a lap of 13.172 seconds.

Heading into the next round, at his own Sharon Speedway, Dave Blaney has a two point margin over Shaffer and Flick in the series points. Dale Blaney and Mark Smith sit fourth and fifth. Norris, Spithaler, Bowser, Weaver, and DeVault make up the top ten.

Three Rivers Karting

In the Super Late Models, a test session proved to be highly successful for Michael Norris. “We tried a lot of different stuff,” he said. “We put our heads together with Mark Richards and Brian Daugherty trying to find something that would work in the slick. If this race is indicative of their combined efforts, it seems as though Norris may be ready for the upcoming Firecracker 100 for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.

Veteran Chub Frank was on hand to get some needed track time before the Firecracker, and he started from the pole position for the twenty-six lapper. Next to him was Ken Schaltenbrand. Norris lined up third, with Jon Lee as his dance partner. Danny Angelicchio and Michael Duritsky were in the third row. Colton Flinner and Alex Ferree were in row four. Then came Tyler Dietz and Ryan Christoff. The fifth row matched Tyler Wyant with Andy Boozel. Gary Lyle and recent high school graduate Levi Yetter held down row six.

Frank led the parade to turn one, but Schaltenbrand had the momentum on the newly-banked turns one and two. He shot out to the lead coming off turn two. Schaltenbrand led the first eight laps. Frank gave way to Norris for second on lap eight. On the next circuit, Norris used the inside line to overtake Schaltenbrand.

The race remained under the green flag until lap twenty-four, when Wyant surrendered his spot in the top ten by stopping on the back stretch. During that long run, Norris stretched his lead over Frank, Schaltenbrand, Angelicchio, and Flinner. The minor incident set up a green-white-checker finish.

Norris got away cleanly. Frank and Schaltenbrand were not so fortunate, as they lost positions to Flinner. Dietz was another driver who benefited from the late race restart, as he picked up two spots.

At the checkers, it was Norris over Flinner, Frank, Dietz, and Schaltenbrand. Jared Miley, Angelicchio, Lee, Ferree, and Duritsky rounded out the top ten.

Heat winners were Norris, Frank, and Dietz. Miley took the B Main.

Rex King, Jr. and Will Thomas paced the field for the Big Block Modifieds. They ran first and second over the entire twenty-five lap distance. The second row starters, Dave Murdick and Steve Feder, also ran in the top five the entire way.

A caution on lap twenty-one bunched up the field. King and Thomas remained the lead duo, but behind them several positions changed ands in the final four laps.

Behind King and Thomas were Murdick, Garrett Krummert, and Feder. Brad Rapp, Jeremiah Shingledecker, Rick Regalski, Jordan Ehrenberg, and Ayden Cipriano were the next five finishers.

Feder and Krummert took the preliminaries. There was no B Main.

As usual, the Pro Stocks wore the nightcap. Christian Schneider bolted from the pole to take the early lead and he would complete the twenty-lap journey first. Tyler Dietz ran second, with Chris Schneider, Brett Hutira, and Cody Koteles next in line. Jacob Dietz, Tyler Schneider, Mike Bordt, Chase Lambert, and heath Close claimed sixth through tenth positions.

Chris Schneider and Hutira prevailed in their respective heats. There was no B Main.

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Dirt Racing

Norris Nails It at Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Motor Speedway



IMPERIAL, PA (May 30, 2024): Dylan Norris made his first visit to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Motor Speedway a memorable one. The budding talent from Hanover, PA Picked up the win on the opening night of Western Pennsylvania Speedweek, earning $3,500 in the process. To do it, he held off a fast closing Hall of Fame driver, Dave Blaney, and two other decorated veterans, Tim Shaffer and Dale Blaney, were close behind.

“This was our first time here,” Norris said, “and it is definitely different than what we have at home.” Despite having no notes to work from, Norris observed that “we were good right out of the box, we were good on the bottom.”

It did not take Norris very long to figure out that the bottom was where he needed to be. But, it almost cost him the race. “We had some trouble with lapped cars.” Norris said that he tried to make some passes in the middle groove, but “I knew I had to get back down in the rubber.”

Norris made the move back to the inside line soon enough to keep Dave Blaney behind him. “You couldn’t do much except wait for mistakes, and he didn’t make any,” Blaney observed.

John Jerich, a relative newcomer to the sport of 410 Sprint Car racing, had the pole for the twenty lapper. The race was shortened to that distance because teams were experiencing excessive tire wear. Shaffer and Dale Blaney were paired in row two, with Dave Blaney and Ryan Smith, a former Speedweek champion, in row three. The fourth row consisted of Mark Smith and former FAST on Dirt Series champion Brandon Spithaler. Two-time and defending Speedweek king, A.J. Flick lined up inside of Jack Sodeman, Jr., in row five. Taking positions in row six were Carl Bowser, a frequent winner at PPMS, and Aussie Jordyn Charge.

Norris seized control immediately, but the initial start was set aside for a multi-car tangle coming off turn four. Billy Dietrich went over, and he was one of three cars that were unable to resume racing. Michael Bauer and Logan McCandless suffered less damage, but they were also out of the event.

On the second try, Norris rocketed into turn one, and he began to draw away from Jerich, Dale Blaney, Shaffer, and Dave Blaney. Norris began to stretch his advantage until he began to lap slower cars. Meanwhile, Dave Blaney was steadily moving forward, reaching fourth by lap five, third by lap ten, and second by lap fifteen. Blaney then began to whittle away at the lead. He did close to within a couple of car lengths late in the contest, but Norris was flawless.

Three Rivers Karting

Shaffer, Dale Blaney, and Jerich swapped positions in the top five, with Shaffer ultimately coming out on top of his two rivals.

Mark Smith drove a consistent race to claim sixth, ahead of Flick, Spithaler, Ryan Smith, and Bowser.

There were four heats for the Sprinters, with wins going to Spithaler, Mark Smith, Dave Blaney, and Flick. The pair of B Mains belonged to Ricky Peterson and Brandon Matus. The fastest qualifier on the night was Spithaler, with a lap of 16.644 around Dirt’s Monster Half Mile.

The UEMS e-Mods were the primary support division. They went twenty-five laps for $3,000. Jonathan Taylor picked up the win after a spirited battle with K.C. Burdette. “It’s good to be back here, we got to run here when we were younger,” Taylor said.

Burdette and Jonathan Taylor started on the front row, and they set sail at the start of the race. Burdette led the first four laps, but Taylor drove by him on lap four. Burdette held second about the next fifteen laps. On lap twenty, Burdette came off the bottom of turn four to take the lead at the scoring loop, but Jonathan Taylor rallied in turn one to regain the lead.

Gregory Moore charged into second in the closing laps and he got within striking distance of Jonathan Taylor. Burdette nabbed third, ahead of Brian Ruhlman, and Dustin Demattia, Joel Watson, Mitch Thomas, Evan Taylor, Nate Young, and Bud Watson were sixth through tenth.

Heat wins went to Jonathan Taylor and Burdette. There was no B Main. The evening’s fast time was turned in by Thomas, with a lap of 21.120.

The Hobby Stocks closed out the night. Logan Koteles went wire-to-wire for the win. Marc Corio followed him to the checkers. Garrett O’Patchen, Leroy Brown, and Jonathan Koteles completed the top five.

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