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Dirt Racing

Larson Achieves Lifetime Goal

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Photo: Paul Arch

KNOXVILLE, IA (August 14, 2021): Kyle Larsen always dreamed of winning the Knoxville Nationals. Now, that dream has become reality.

“The atmosphere this week was unbelievable,” Larson said. He speculated that the year off added to the buzz that surrounded the activities at the Knoxville Raceway. “I felt the energy all week and that kept me pumped up.” He also admitted to being quite nervous before the big race. “Honestly, this is as nervous as I’ve been leading up to a race in a couple of years. I had butterflies all day today.” He also admitted to being distracted during practice for his NASCAR Cup race, saying that he kept playing different scenarios through his head. He also gave thanks to Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon for their belief in him and for allowing him to come and race at Knoxville before racing a Cup car.

Larson revealed a bit of his race strategy. “I wanted to get the lead before the break. I looked at the board and I knew that we were coming down to the end of it. I just blitzed it for a lap and I pulled it off.” He lost the lead briefly on lap 26, but he managed to get back in front of his adversary, Donny Schatz, to be the leader heading into the pit stop.

He would see Schatz again, late in the second half of the race, but he picked up his pace and scooted away from the ten-time winner of the race. “I could see that Donny was taking huge chunks out of my lead lap after lap. He was on my rear bumper and I just told myself ‘I know he’s here, just don’t miss it.’ It was great to beat Donny here for the Nationals. He beat me a few years ago, and he’s the best there is.”

Giovanni Scelzi was the youngest driver ever to sit on the pole for the Knoxville Nationals finale. He had Brad Sweet by his side, and Larson and Brent Marks in the row behind. Schatz was inside row three, with David Gravel next to him. Kasey Kahne was in the fourth row, paired with Logan Schuchart. Brian Brown, a crowd favorite, had row five along with Ian Madsen aboard the Rudzik Excavating car formerly driven by Tim Shaffer. Row six belonged to Brooke Tatnell and Tyler Courtney.

Scelzi broke out to the early lead followed by Schatz, Larson, Gravel, Sweet, McFadden, Marks, and Kahne. By the time that the fans settled into their seats, the top five had formed a single file formation. That lasted for about five laps before racers began to make some moves to improve their track positions.

Schatz and Larson moved in on Scelzi and there was a brief three-car battle for the lead. Scelzi scooted away and Sweet moved in to make it a three-car battle for second.

This time, it was Schatz who drove away from his competition. He began to reel in the leader. He did get his nose out in front of Scelzi on lap nine, but the teen came right back to regain the lead before they got to the scoring loop. Schatz stayed close and he worked on Scelzi again. He succeeded in making the pass count on lap eleven.

Now, it was Larson giving chase to Scelzi, but it was for the second position. Larson made the pass stick on lap 14.

As the racers closed in on the halfway mark, Larson was catching the leader. He rolled the top of turns one and two to take the lead with 24 laps completed. Schatz fought back after the leaders took the halfway sign, but Larson rallied at the west end of the track to be scored as the leader on lap 26 when the yellow flag was displayed.

The racers all ventured pitside for final adjustments on their cars. Almost all of them changed both rear tires, but McFadden also replaced a heavily worn left front tire. The pit stop was uneventful for most teams, but Marks and Tatnell were penalized two positions each for working past the final horn.

When the race resumed, Larson darted out to the lead. Before the racers could settle in for the second half, Rico Abreu brought out the caution. Two laps later, the race was halted again for a flip by Brown in turn one. That incident collected several other cars, including Brock Zearfoss and Sheldon Hadenschild. During the clean-up, Zearfoss replace dthe entire front end of his car and Haudenschild replaced a right rear tire. Cory Eliason’s crew also made a wing change and other repairs. Although he came back out with the others, he did not take the green as there was some additional damage that the crew did not correct when making their hasty repairs.

Three Rivers Karting

With those interruptions behind them Larson began to stretch his lead over Schatz. which he would never surrender. Larson settled in behind a lapped car and was riding along in the rubber. Schatz, meanwhile, was pouring on the coals. Behind him there was an intense three-car battle for third between Scelzi, Sweet, and Gravel. Soon after Sweet and Gravel overtook Scelzi, Gravel blew his engine.

With twenty laps remaining, Schatz was closing in on the leader, and he was bringing Sweet along for good measure. Scelzi was under attack from Schuchart, who was one of the few drivers to make headway in the second half of the contest.

Schatz caught up to Larsen with five to go. Larson was still riding behind the lapped car and Schatz moved up a groove in turns three and four with three laps remaining. Schatz came off turn four next to Larson, who realized that Schatz was within striking distance. He picked up his pace and gained a few car lengths on his challenger. Schatz tried again on the final lap, but he could not get a run on the leader.

Larson took the checkers to a thunderous ovation. Schatz was second, followed by Sweet, Scelzi, and Schuchart. Marks crossed in sixth. McFadden paid for the new rubber with a seventh place finish. His car owner, Kahne, was next, with Carson Macedo and Sheldon Haudenschild rounding out the top ten.

The B Main transfer cars were Macedo, Kerry Madsen, Eliason, and Haudenschild. The B Main finish was quite thrilling, as Madsen, Eliason, Haudenschild, and Spencer Bayston were closing rapidly on a lapped car. All five came to the finish line in a wild scramble, with Haudenschild driving down to the berm to keep up his speed and grab the final transfer by just .008 seconds.

The C Main transfers were Hunter Schuereberg, Ayrton Gennetten, Harli White, and Sawyer Phillips. Wayne Johnson suffered a flat while leading on the last lap, forcing a green-white-checkered finish to the event.

The D Main was dominated by Jack Dover. Scotty Thiel, Dustin Selvage, Mark Dobmeier, Chad Kemenah, and Jesse Attard also advanced.
The E Main winner was Jason Sides, followed by Dylan Cisney, Jacob Allen, John Carney, II, and Tyler Esh. Bobby Mincer was added to the D Main as an alternate when Skylar Gee scratched from the event.

A Main: Kyle Larson, Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet, Giovanni Scelzi, Logan Schuchart, Brent Marks, James McFadden, Kasey Kahne, Carson Macedo, Sheldon Haudenschild, Kerry Madsen, Brooke Tatnell, Justin Peck, Shane Stewart, Brock Zearfoss, Ian Madsen, Anthony Macri, David Gravel, Justin Henderson, Brian Brown, Tyler Courtney, Cory Eliason, Rico Abreu, Danny Dietrich.

B Main: Carson Macedo, Kerry Madsen, Cory Eliason, Sheldon Haudenschild, Spencer Bayston, Shane Golobic, Kraig Kinser, Scott Bogucki, Davey Heskin, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Bill Balog, Lynton Jeffrey, Sawyer Phillips, Ayrton Gennetten, Sye Lynch, Daryn Pittman, Hunter Schuerenberg, Josh Schneiderman, Josh Baughman, Sammy Swindell, Zeb Wise, Kyle Reinhardt, Harli White, Jac Haudenschild, Paul McMahan (DNS).

C Main: Hunter Schuerenberg, Ayrton Gennetten, Harli White, Sawyer Phillips, Carson McCarl, Tim Shaffer, Tim Kaeding, Marcus Dumesny, Roger Crockett, Clint Garner, Tasker Phillips, Mark Dobmeier, A.J. Moeller, Tanner Carrick, Colby Copeland, Jesse Attard, Dustin Selvage, Mike Wagner, Jack Dover, McKenna Haase, Chad Kemenah, Wayne Johnson, Terry McCarl, Scotty Thiel (DNS).

D Main: Jack Dover, Scotty Thiel, Dustin Selvage, Mark Dobmeier, Chad Kemenah, Jesse Attard, Jake Bubak, Don Droud, Jr., Derek Hagar, Greg Wilson, Robbie Kendall, Ryan Roberts, Jordan Goldesberry, Jacob Allen, Jeff Swindell, Riley Goodno, T.J. Stutts, Jason Sides, Dylan Cisney, John Carney, II, Chris Martin, Tyler Esh, Bobby Mincer, Noah Gass, Skylar Gee (DNS), Lucas Wolfe (DNS).

E Main: Jason Sides, Dylan Cisney, Jacob Allen, John Carney, II, Tyler Esh, Bobby Mincer, Kevin Ingle, Tori Knutson, Austin Miller, Joe Simbro, Logan Wagner (DNS), Ryan Giles (DNS), Austin MCCarl (DNS), Skylar prochaska (DNS), Matt Moro (DNS), Cale Thomas (DNS), Parker Price-Miller (DNS).

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Dirt Racing

Logan Wagner Wins Tuscarora 50

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Chad Warner

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.

Three Rivers Karting

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.

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Dirt Racing

Eliason Wins after Motor Change in Lincoln All Stars Go

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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.

Three Rivers Karting

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.

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Dirt Racing

McCreadie Makes up for Mistake at Port Royal

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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.

Three Rivers Karting

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.

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