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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.

Dirt Racing

Troutman and Moran Share Night Two Wins at Lernerville’s Firecracker

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Photo by Paul Arch

SARVER, PA (June 21, 2024): Drake Troutman rallied to win his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in the first preliminary feature on night two of the Firecracker weekend at Lernerville Speedway. Also gracing victory lane was Devin Moran for the eleventh time in his LOLMDS career.

Troutman, the nineteen year old racer from Hyndman, Bedford County, PA, was very emotional after getting the checkered flag. “I don’t know what to say, I didn’t think we’d be getting one of these in a while.” After composing himself, Troutman dedicated the win to his late father, D.J. Troutman, who perished in 2021 during the height of the Covid pandemic. Troutman was also appreciative of the crew of his family owned machine. “We just have a bunch of kids, they are with me at the shop all hours of the day and night and they are with me up and down the road.”

Troutman grabbed the lead three laps into the fray, but he surrendered the point again to Mason Zeigler, who went from third to first on a lap four restart. They battled side by side for several laps before Troutman was able to regain the lead on lap ten. “I figured he’d have me around the top,” Troutman said, “but we were able to get back around on the bottom.”

Troutman and Zeigler made an all-Pennsylvania front row. Ross Robinson and Tim McCreadie were in row two, The third row consisted of Daulton Wilson and Trevor Collins. Garrett Alberson and Jared Miley took off from row four. Dan Stone and Clay Harris departed from row five. The sixth row featured Gregg Satterlee and Tyler Wyant.

Zeigler grabbed the early lead, with Troutman, Robinson, McCreadie, Wilson, and Alberson in tow. Trountman dipped to the inside to get the lead on lap three, just before a caution was shown for the spin by Forrest Trent.

Zeigler ripped the lip in turns one and two to assume control when the race resumed. Troutman battled back, though, and the duo went back and forth for a handful of laps. Troutman got the advantage coming through turns three and four to lead lap ten. Two laps later, McCreadie got by Zeigler.

Troutman had a comfortable lead at the time that McCreadie moved into second. However, Troutman caught the back markers, and that enabled McCreadie to cut into the lead.

Fortunately for Troutman, a caution flashed on again on lap sixteen, when Wilson spun in turn one while fighting for track position with a lapped car. Wilson was running third at the time. Robinson and Zeigler took evasive action, driving off the track, but they were not scored as part of the caution, so they regained their top five starting positions.

The last nine laps went off without a hitch. During that run, Robinson began to apply pressure to McCreadie for the second spot. He was able to slip ahead of McCreadie in the closing laps.

Troutman had a bit of a scare heading for the checkered flag. The lapped car of Jamie Lathroum suddenly slowed coming through turn four and he drifted up to the top of the speedway. Troutman was coming, and he checked up to avoid contact. Robinson was far enough back that he was unable to sneak by the leader.

Following the pair of sevens was McCreadie. Fourth went to Alberson and fifth to charging Jared Miley, who picked up three spots in the stretch run. Satterlee, Tyler Wyant, Trevor Collins, and Jimmy Owens completed the top ten.

Three Rivers Karting

Both Robinson and McCreadie were happy for Troutman. Robinson commended the youthful team for their hard work and perseverance. McCreadie remarked that Troutman is a good, clean racer, who would battle hard, but not make contact. Both drivers commented about tire choices as well, Robinson and Troutman were both on hard rubber. McCreadie went with a different choice, and he said that he was unable to turn off the cushion because of it.

The officials must have been listening to the post-race interviews, as they called an audible before the start of the second twenty-five lapper. They applied water to the surface and spent a good twenty minutes working the track in again. Meanwhile, the racers were sent back to their pits to make any adjustments in light of the unanticipated track preparation.

Although “a lot of guys were freaking out,” as Devin Moran put it, he proclaimed that “we didn’t change a thing.” He figured that the track would stay hard and he felt no changes were needed for the second feature. Moran was right.

Michael Norris and Devin Moran paired up in row one, with Hudson O’Neal and Jonathan Davenport right behind them. Row three belonged to Ricky THornton, Jr. and Ken Schaltenbrand. In row four, it was Chub Frank and Mike Marlar. Paired up in the fifth row were Spencer Hughes and Levi Yetter. The sixth row had Colton Flinner and John Garvin.

Norris jumped out to the early lead, and the partisan faithful were hoping that he, too, could capture his first LOLMDS win. Norris drew away from Moran by several car lengths in the first five laps. Racing behind them were Davenport, O’Neal, Thornton, and Schaltenbrand.

Norris’ bid for another Firecracker preliminary win exploded on laps five and six. The others came under the World of Outlaws sanction. He got up on two wheels in turn one. The miscue enabled Moran to drive by him. Norris brought the car back down and he was able to complete lap six in second place. However, the car shot straight off turn one, and he backed it into the distant guard rail at the south end of the track. He was able to refire and, after a quick check in the hot pit area, he was able to resume the race.

Moran raced out front for the remainder of the contest. Davenport ran in second for a lap or two before Thornton got by. Thornton could not catch Moran, though.

The final caution came on lap fifteen when Kyle Lukon clobbered the wall and some water barrels at the exit to turn four. On the ensuing restart, Marlar shot into second. O’Neal also moved ahead a notch in the running order.

At the finish, it was Moran, Marlar, Thornton, O’Neal, and Davenport. Max Blair advanced to sixth, ahead of Schaltenbrand, Frank, Carson Ferguson, and Hughes.

The evening’s fastest qualifiers were Drake Troutman, whose lap of 15.589 was best in Group A. Michael Norris was best overall when he topped Group B with a time of 15.524 seconds.

The six heat races went to Drake Troutman, Mason Ziegler, Ross Robinson, Michael Norris, Devin Moran, and Hudson O’Neal.

There were no B Mains.

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Dirt Racing

Thornton and Davenport Score Preliminary Wins on Night One of the Firecracker Weekend at Lernerville

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Photo: Paul Arch

SARVER, PA (June 20, 2024): Ricky Thornton, Jr. and Jonathan Davenport captured the twenty-five lap preliminary features on night one of the Firecracker weekend at Lernerville Speedway. The successful racers earned valuable points that will be used to set the starting lineups for the heat races on the final night of the event. Barring some misfortunes on night two, these stalwarts are likely to earn choice starting spots in Saturday’s heat races.

Thornton noted that the track was “super technical,” but he was “pretty efficient” at both ends of the speedway. He explained that he was able to get into the corners and to turn the car. He was a bit concerned by Devin Moran on a couple of the restarts, though. Thornton worried about his placement on the track. He decided to slide himself to try to take away any momentum that Moran could generate coming off turn four.

Thornton had the pole with Garrett Alberson on his right. Hudson O’Neal and Moran lined up behind them. Mike Marlar and Tim MCreadie occupied row three. Then came track favorite Michael Norris and Jimmy Owens. Max Blair and Spencer Hughes paired up in row five. John Garvin, Jr. and Alex Ferree claimed row six for the local contingent.

Thornton got a second chance at the start of the first preliminary feature. Moran charged from fourth to first on what would have been the opening lap. However, a four car tangle in turn four wiped that out. A complete restart was ordered.

On the second try, Thornton was better prepared. He grabbed the lead ahead of Alberson, Moran, O’Neal, Norris, Marlar, McCreadie, Owens, Blair, and Michael Duritsky. Before the racers could get into a steady rhythm, a caution for Ferree slowed the pace.

Three Rivers Karting

Thornton held the advantage on the restart, O’Neal and Moran worked by Alberson. Marlar displaced Norris, and Owens was hot on his heels.

The field got nineteen laps in before the next caution was displayed. Moran was the unfortunate fellow who got up over the berm between turns one and two. It was unclear whether he flattened a right rear tire or whether he merely packed the wheel with mud. In any event, he limped to the pits, ending his night a bit early.

Thornton completed the remaining three laps without incident to earn $5,000. Marlar crossed in second, followed by Alberson. Norris rallied to take fourth, a spot ahead of Owens. O’Neal slipped to sixth. McCreadie, Hughes, Blair, and Zeigler rounded out the top ten.

Marlar knew that he could not contend with Thornton in the three lap dash that ended the race. “I definitely thought that when he had the clean air for the last three laps, I know that I wasn’t going to get him.” He added that the cushion was “treacherous,” and he cited the problem encountered by Moran as an example. “I decided to just bring it home in second and put it in the trailer.”

Alberson was appreciative of the late race caution. He was on a soft right rear tire, and he was able to get to the bottom and to pass O’Neal. “If I want to race with these guys for the lead, we have some more work to do,” he added. Well, Alberson, and all other racers, will get a second opportunity to gather points in the double feature format to be used on night two.

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Dirt Racing

Ryan Smith Succeeds at Sharon; Cipriano and Konbau also Score

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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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