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Brandon Matus’ Last Lap Pass Wins Battle and War at Tri-City; Shingledecker, Whitling, and Dalton Speer also Take Features

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FRANKLIN, PA (August 15, 2021) – It was a last lap pass that Brandon Matus will remember forever. He rocketed past race leader Carl Bowser on the backstretch to get the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Car win at Tri-City Raceway Park and to gain four additional points, enough to change a two point deficit to a two point advantage in the championship tilt with the defending title holder, Jack Sodeman, Jr.

In other action, Jeremiah Shingledecker clinched the Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modified championship by starting the feature event, but then he led every lap to get his sixth win of the season. Bobby Whitling won his 100th career feature by sailing under the checkered flag thrown by his father in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks. Dalton Speer, who dominated the early season action before hitting a rough patch, came back to win the final point race in the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. Nonetheless, Curtis J. Bish and Justin Bailey secured their point championships in the Pro Stocks and Mini Stocks, respectively.

Bowser and Brandon Matus paced the field in the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprints. Brent Matus and Logan McCandless drew the second row, with Clay Riney and Sodeman lined up in the third. Row four had Bob Felmlee and Brandon Spithaler, and the fifth belonged to Ken Rossey, Jr. and Mike Lutz, Jr. Rod Jones and his daughter, Vivian, made up row six.

Bowser took the lead at the start of the twenty-five lapper that would decide the track championship. Brandon Matus, who shaved two points from Sodeman’s eight point advantage through heat race action, slid into second. The race was slowed after just two laps due to debris.

Racing resumed again with Bowser continuing to lead Matus. But Sodeman did not enter the top five until lap five.

A spin by Roman Jones brought out the second caution. On the ensuing restart, Sodeman climbed to fourth. Had the race ended that way, there would have been a tie for the championship. But things were not finished yet.

At lap ten, the final caution was displayed, setting up a fifteen lap run to the checkers.

Bowser took the point, followed by Brandon Matus, but Sodeman was now up to third after passing Felmlee. That broke the potential tie and would have given Sodeman the nod with two points to spare.

While Brandon Matus hounded Bowser, Clay Riney and Bob Felmlee were swapping the fourth place behind Sodeman. Brandon Matus searched in vain, but could not find a way to get by Bowser, who won earlier in the weekend at another area speedway.

With the white flag waving and traffic looming ahead, Brandon Matus took the high line off turn two and moved past Bowser on the long back chute. The pass for position was critical, not only for the outcome of the race, but also the point championship.

The Wheelman got the win and his title by .904 seconds. It was his second victory of the season and third overall at the track. He was followed by Bowser and Sodeman. Felmlee held off Riney for fourth. Spithaler, McCandless, Gallagher, Rod Jones, and Bryan Salisbury rounded out the top ten.

A pair of heat races were presented by Donovan & Bauer Auto Group for the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars. Taking the wins were Felmlee and Brandon Matus. There was no B Main.

After spending two weeks at the rear of the starting line-ups because of his string of successes, Jeremiah Shingledecker drew the pole for the twenty lap Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modified go. He had D.J. Schrader on his right. Behind them were Jimmy Holden and Lonnie Riggs. Nick Joy and Sid Unverzagt, Jr. were in the third row. Max Smoker and Tom Holden followed. Ryan Riffe and Kevin Green were in row five. Ryan Riffe started shotgun on the field.

The championship was determined when the green flag was shown to the field and, for all intents and purposes, so was the feature event. Shingledecker took the lead and only one caution, on lap two, would slow his progress.

He had smooth sailing over the remaining eighteen laps, winning by 3.412 seconds. Jimmy Holden took over second on lap six and held it the rest of the way. Riggs took third, matching his best run of the season. Joy was fourth, a season’s best for him. Unverzagt crossed in fifth, giving him top fives in consecutive weeks.

Schrader, Hoffman, Smoker, Riffe, and Green completed the top ten.

The Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds needed two Donovan & Bauer Auto Group heats to set the starting line-up. Shingledecker and Joy scored the victories. There was no B Main.

Three Rivers Karting

Tim Bish grabbed the pole for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stock race. Bryan Daugherty started his first feature of the season in second. Curtis J. Bish and Curt Bish were in row two, followed by Whitling and Hunter Exley. Jason Johns and Tyler Wyant were in row four. Josh Seippel was paired off with Charlie McMillen in row five, then came Patrick Fielding and Darr Diegelman. Josh Blum was on the tail of the field.

Tim Bish took control for the first six laps, but an issue for McMillen slowed the pace.

Bish led the way again upon the display of the green, but Whitling was up to the challenge. He nosed ahead just before the second caution, this time for Daugherty.

Back to green, and Whitling was holding strong in the top spot. Tim Bish was challenged by Curtis J Bish, who took over second on lap twelve.

As Whitling took the checkered flag, there was a special family moment. His father had joined Todd Beichner atop the flag stand and he was allowed to wave it in celebration of his son’s landmark achievement. The win was Whitling’s one hundredth overall, and fifty-fifth at the track, with all but one of those coming in the Pro Stock division.

Curtis J. Bish was second, which ensured his first track championship. Tim Bish was third, followed by Johns, Curt Bish, Jr., Wyant, Seippel, Daugherty, Exley, and Fielding.

The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks also had two heats courtesy of Donovan & Bauer Auto Group. Curtis J. Bish and Johns prevailed. There was no B Main.

The 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks had Evan Sobieski and Daltin Speer on the fron row, Kelly Clark and Bodey McClintock in row two. The third row had D.J. Macrae and Justin Bailey, while the fourth belonged to Levi Maskal and Chad Greeley. Diezel Marvin and Michael Barr were in row five. Jesse Armstrong and Jamie Tasker were in row six.

Dalton Speer completed the dozen laps without interruption. It was his sixth win of the season, which was filled with ups and downs. He was hotter than a firecracker at the start of the season but a series of bad finishes in the middle of season dashed his championship aspirations. Although he needed only a top ten to claim the top prize, Bailey chased Speer home. Then came Greeley, Macrae, and Sobieski. Bodey McClintock, Maskal, Clark, Barr, and Tasker were the next five finishers.

The 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks contested two heats under the auspices of the Donovan & Baeer Auto Group. Topping them were Greeley and Dalton Speer. There was no B Main.

Remember that Tri-City Raceway Park will be dark on August 22. There will also be no racing on August 29.

The Renegade Monster Trucks will put on their awesome display on August 28, which is a Saturday.

Racing will return to Tri-City Raceway Park on Labor Day weekend. There will be a wide variety of racing, as eight divisions will be in competition. The activities will kick off with an open practice session for all classes on Friday, September 3. The Shawgo Real Estate LLC Sprint Cars will headline both September 4 and 5. The Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds will be the undercard on Saturday, September 4. The BRP Modified Tour will be in for its only appearance of the season on Sunday, September 5. Five support divisions will also see action both nights. After the races on Sunday, there will be a bonfire and music.

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 tricityracewaypark2020@gmail.com. Or, you can check the web at Tri-CityRacewayPark.com, 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 Matus, Carl Bowser, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Bob Felmlee, Clay Riney, Brandon Spithaler, Logan McCandless, Darin Gallagher, Rod Jones, Bryan Slisbury, Brent Matus, Ken Rossey, Jr., Steve Bright, Sterling Theiss, Vivian Jones, Michael Marano, Michael Lutz, Jr., Roman Jones.

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

Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks: Bobby Whitling, Curtis J> Bish, Tim Bish, Jason Johns, Curt Bish, Jr., Tyler Wyant, Josh Seipple, Brian Daugherty, Hunter Exley, Patrick Fielding, Darr Diegelman, Josh Blum, Charlie McMillen.

4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks: Dalton Speer, Justin Bailey, Chad Greeley, D.J. Macrae, Evan Sobieski, Bodey McLin tock, Kelly Clark, Michael Barr, Jamie Tasker, Joanne Wilson, Howard Garlick, Diezel Marvin, Charles McClintock, J.R. Shaner, Jesse Armstrong, Dillon Speer (DNS).

Dirt Racing

Penn Ohio Pro Stocks Invade Tri City Raceway Park

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FRANKLIN, PA (July 10, 2024): This Sunday, July 14, the spotlight will shine on the Pro Stock division at the Tri City Raceway Park. The region’s top runners will be on hand, as the event will be part of the Penn Ohio Pro Stock Series. Of course, the track’s regulars will be there representing the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks.

“The Pro Stock class has long been part of the tradition at Tri City Raceway Park, and we are proud to have this battle among the best in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio at our track,” said the new owner Josh Shiffer.

“And, last week’s feature was a great example of the competitiveness that the Pro Stocks bring,” he added. Rod Laskey scored his first win of the season by holding off a strong challenge from Jackson Humanic, who was subbing for Josh Seippel. Seippel will be back from vacation in time for the invasion of the Penn Ohio series, in which he also competes. And, we know that Humanic will be hungry for a win after his strong finish last week.

Another track regular expected to be on hand will be Bobby Whitling. The “Seneca Slider” missed the last race due to a fuel pump failure detected at his garage. Tim Bish, a multi-time winner at Tri City this season, may return as well. He has been sidelined by an engine failure.

There will be plenty other talented drivers also carrying the Tri City flag, too. Pat Fielding, Doug Iorio, II, Russ Coyne, Jason Kimmy, Aaron Smith, Andrew Hammond, Jake Whitling, Charlie McMillen, Matt Bernard, and Hunter Exley are some whose names will be familiar to the Tri City fans.

The invaders will include Chris Schneider, who has already been a winner at Tri City this year. Tyler Dietz, Joey Zambotti, Chase Lambert, Brandon Connor, Jason Fosnaught, Brett Hutira, and Tommy Dembowski are among the Penn Ohio Series regulars who are expected as well.

This will be a unique opportunity for the Pro Stock fans to see many of the top stars on the track together, as the Sunday race date eliminates schedule conflicts for so many of the competitors.

But, there will be three other classes in action also. The Krill Recycling 410 Sprint Cars will be on the card, along with the 4 Your Car Connection RUSH Sprints. And, the 21st Century Energy Group 358 Modifieds will be back after their brief hiatus.

On Sunday evening, Matt Farnham and Michael Bauer provided a last lap thrill in the 410 Sprint Car ranks, while A.J. Flick was closing in on them both! John Mollick picked up his second win of the season with young Blaze Myers right behind him in the Rush Sprinters.

Three Rivers Karting

While many of his competitors were enjoying the week off from racing, 358 Modified point leader Chad Reitz was at Tri City helping his friend, Bob Felmlee. Felmlee is the points leader in the Krill Recycling 410 Sprints. Reitz will be ready with his Ford powered Modified, the only Blue Oval among the Bowtie Brigade. Eric Gabany will probably be at the controls of Steve Slater’s car once again, as medical issues have kept Slater out of the seat for the last couple of weeks. Hayden and Jimmy Holden, Kyle Fink, Lenny Liebold, III, Makayla Shannon, Frank Guidace, Eric Beggs, Troy McGregor, and many others will be looking for their first wins this season.

Regular event ticket pricing will apply for this exciting event. That means adult admission will be $15. Seniors (ages 62 and up), students (ages 11 through 16), and military will be $13, all with proper identification. The children (ages 10 and under) will be admitted for free, as usual at Tri City. The Pit Passes will be $35, with the exception of those required for the infants (ages 2 and under). The youngsters will be pitside for just $15.

The pit gates will be open at 2 p.m. and the spectator gates will open at 4 p.m. Racing will begin at 6 p.m. There will be practice for the Pro Stocks before the racing begins in earnest.

If you cannot make it to Tri City Raceway Park this week, consider the weekend doubleheader coming up on July 20 and 21. Saturday will feature a Demolition Derby and an Enduro. Next will be a Sunday Thunder program, along with Bike races for the children. Helmets will be required for all riders.

Also, mark your racing calendars for the return of the FAST on Dirt Sprint Car Series on July 28.

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 & Truck Supply (Pro Stocks), and 4 Your Car Connection (RUSH Sprint Cars).

All competitors at Tri City Raceway Park will be eligible for the Marsh Heating & Cooling Heat Race Challenge. The driver that wins the most heat races over the courseof the season, regardless of the class, will receive a special award. Currently leading in that category is Tim Bish.

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 timberland timber land management), 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 and undercoating), Bish Heating & 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 & Towing, Oakland-Rampart Equipment (makers of centrifugal dryers, wash systems, and separators), Shaw Industries (machine shop), Welding Technologies, Froggie Radio, and Hards Welding.

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

Pierce Prevails at Sharon on Night One

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Sharon Speedway

HARTFORD, OH (July 12, 2024): Bobby Pierce chipped away again at Brandon Sheppard’s point lead on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series tour. His win on night one of the Sharon Showdown was worth $10,000. It was his third consecutive win.

Pierce mounted hard tires for the forty lapper, while many of his adversaries went with softer rubber, The decision seemed to be foolish at the start of the race, as Ryan Gustin got a hole shot on him. “It was slimy when we took the green and the hard tire did not like that. I lost four spots on the start,” Pierce noted. It took a while for the tires to come in, but, when they did, he took off. Pierce steadily moved forward, picking up most of the positions that he gave away at the start. Then, he chased down Gustin for the lead on lap twenty-one. In the second half of the race, it was a matter of keeping the tires warm, especially under the yellow. But, he added, “the last ten laps, I was hanging on. The track was tricky.”

Cade Dillard, who finished second, was one of the racers on softer tires. “We had a good car, but he (Pierce) just kept getting better and better.” Nonetheless, Dillard was pleased with the podium finish. “We needed a good run with all the bad luck lately. Hopefully, we can do better tomorrow night, but I’ll take a podium finish all night long.”

Gustin was in control for the first half of the race, but he struggled after losing the lead to Pierce. “We missed it a little bit on the set-up. It is what it is. It’s what these two-day shows are like. If you don’t win on the first night, you learn from it and go on to the next one.”

Pierce drew the pole, with Nick Hoffman on his flank. Gustin lined up in third, with Brian Shirley as his dance partner. Dillard and Michael Norris were in row three. Dennis Erb, Jr. and Brandon Sheppard made up row four. The fifth belonged to Kyle Bronson and Cody Overton. Row six paired Dustin Sorenson and Tyler Breuning.

Pierce had no grip at the start of the race, and he slid up the track coming off turn four. That left the bottom open for Gustin and he quickly filled the void. Gustin blasted by Pierce and Hoffman, who settled into second. Dillard took third on the opening lap. Then came Pierce, Shirley, Erb, Bronson, Sorenson, Max McLaughlin, and Norris.

Dillard moved into second before the first caution, which came on lap two. By lap five, Hoffman regained second, and Pierce followed him into third.

Gustin built up a commanding lead, and he was already into lapped traffic on lap nine. This allowed Hoffman and Pierce to start to narrow the margin.

On lap eighteen, Pierce worked by Hoffman in traffic. Meanwhile, Gustin cleared several lapped cars and he had a bit of a clear track ahead of him. But Pierce’s tires were coming in, and he chipped away at the lead. It only took him three laps to catch and pass Gustin.

Three Rivers Karting

Pierce opened a slight advantage, but a caution on lap twenty-five eliminated that. On the ensuing restart, Dillard rolled off the top of turn two to take second away from Gustin and Bronson charged past Gustin coming off turn four. Bronson could not keep the position, as Gustin rallied to take it back on lap twenty-nine.

Pierce built up a comfortable lead in the final stage of the race. However, he caught a trio of lapped cars that were fighting for position. Pierce opted to follow them the last couple of laps instead of trying to poke his nose into the middle of their contest. This enabled Dillard to close, but he ran out of laps and he could not mount a challenge for the lead.

Pierce, Dillard, and Gustin grabbed the first three positions. Bronson was fourth, with Hoffman picking up the fifth spot. Sixth through tenth went to Sheppard, Norris, Sorenson, Shirley, and Erb.

Gregg Satterlee was the hard charger, advancing seven positions to take thirteenth in the pay line.

There were four heats, with Gustin, Pierce, Shirley, and Hoffman taking the laurels.Dave Hess, Jr. and Alex Ferree captured the B Mains. Gustin set the best time overall, topping Group A with a lap of 15.238 seconds. Shirley topped Group B with a lap fo 15.442 seconds.

In the RUSH Sprint Car feature, John Mollick charged from his outside front row starting spot to lead the opening lap, ahead of Gale Ruth, Jr., Brent Rhebergen, Blaze Myers, Trent Marshall, and Arnie Kent. While Mollick continued to lead, Rhebergen and Myers battled for the second spot. However, that came to an end when Myers got up over the berm in turn four, losing several positions before slowing to bring out the caution with six laps remaining.

Kent stepped up to challenge Rhebergen for second and he secured the position with two to go. Kent chased Mollick to the finish. Rhebergen was third, followed by Charlie Utsinger and Bill Cunningham. Ruth, Marshall, Amelia Clay, Billy Myers, and Curt Emings completed the top ten.
Ruth and Mollick split the heat wins. There was no B Main.

The Econo Modified feature closed out the night. The twenty lapper was shortened to fourteen laps because the twenty-minute time limit expired. Dennis Lunger passed Jeremy Double on the final restart to get the win.

Jacob Eucker, Jarrett Young, and Andy Buckley completed the top five. Buzz Seitz, Arianna Samuelson, Zack Eller, Carter Bidwell, and Troy Pinch were the next five finishers.

Double, Seitz, and Eucker won the preliminaries. There was no B Main.

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Dirt Racing

Schuchart Makes it Two

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File Photo

HAGERSTOWN, MD (July 4, 2024): Logan Schuchart again enjoyed his time off from the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series in victory lane during Pennsylvania Speedweek. He joined Danny Dietrich and Anthony Macri as two-time winners on the circuit. It was Schuchart’s third win overall in his last four starts.

Schuchart benefited from the draw for top starting spots. He drew the number one, again, and that certainly facilitated his drive to victory. Schuchart noted that, on the big half mile, the field got separated, so the air got better as the race went on. He amassed a huge lead before the only caution, on lap twenty-four, and he did not know how hard he had to push. He also observed that “when (he) came up on lapped cars, (he) could go wherever (he) wanted.”

The win “means a lot to me. It’s been ten years since I’ve been here.” Once again, he watched a lot of videos to prepare for the race. This time, they were vintage films of his grandfather, Bobby Allen, racing against the likes of Doug Wolfgang.

Troy Wagaman, Jr., who was making his first ever start at the Capitol of Dirt Track Racing, started second and ran second the entire thirty lap distance. “It sucks being in dirty air. I tried to keep pace, but he (Schuchart) got away.”

Anthony Macri did not time well and he did not win his heat race, so he and Speedweek rival Danny Dietrich started outside the coveted re-draw positions.

Nonetheless, Macri was strong in the second half of the race and reached third, one spot ahead of Dietrich. “It took a little bit for the car to come in, and for me to find a good line.” He certainly was comfortable in the stretch run. “Hopefully, we chipped away at the points.”

Schuchart and Wagaman drew into the front row for the feature event. Chad Trout and Justin Whittal were in row two. The third consisted of Kody Hartlaub and Lance Dewease. Then came Macri and Danny Dietrich. T.J. Stutts and Freddie Rahmer, Jr. were paired up in row five. Next in line were Jacob Allen and Cameron Smith.

Three Rivers Karting

Schuchart jumped out to the lead at the drop of the green and he quickly distanced himself from his old karting foe, Wagaman. Whittal, Hartlaub, Trout, Danny Dietrich, Dewease, Macri, Rahmer, and Devon Borden followed.

As Schuchart and Wagaman drove away, Danny Dietrich began his march to the front. He was up to fourth by lap six. It took him seven more trips around the fast half mile to reach third. By lap twenty, he was still in third, but he was starting to test Wagaman for the role as the first chaser.

A caution on lap twenty-four for the disabled car of Mike Waltyer, Jr. bunched the pack up again. Dietrich readied himself to make a charge on Wagaman, but he did not get away cleanly. Instead, it was Macri, who lined up fourth for the restart, that got a good jump. After a short but spirited battle, Macri sailed by Dietrich heading down the backstretch on lap twenty-six.

Macri closed in on Wagaman, but the laps ran out before he could make a move for the second position.

At the checkers, it was Schuchart, Wagaman, Macri, Dietrich, and Whittal. Trout, Dewease, Hartlaub, Stutts, and Borden took positions six through ten.

The three heats went to Hartlaub, Wagaman, and Schuchart. Lucas Wolfe won the B Main. There were thirty-one sprints signed in for the event.

Hunter Mackison, who was making his first Speedweek start of 2024, flipped at the start of the B Main. He was not hurt in the incident.

Speedweek moves back to Williams Grove Speedway for the Mitch Smith Memorial, paying $20,000 to the winner. Danny Dietrich leads Anthony Macri by thirty points headed into that contest. Troy Wagaman, Jr., Devon Borden, and Kody Hartlaub round out the top five in Speedweek rankings. Schuchart has remarkably climbed into seventh in Speedweek standings.

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