SARVER, PA (September 25, 2021): David Gravel made a dominant move on the lap 23 restart to earn his second consecutive Commonwealth Clash for the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series at Lernerville Speedway. The victory was Gravel’s tenth of the season, which now includes two clean sweeps.
“Wayne (Johnson) gave me a big old chop job at the start there. (Brad) Sweet tried to do the same thing down there (gesturing toward turn three), but once I got in front I got my elbows up and I knew I just had an eleven lap run to the finish.”
Gravel added that there was superior grip down off turn four, which he used to his best opportunity. “I got a bad jump (on the restart), but I had a crazy amount of drive on Brad.”
Sweet, who finished second, had a similar observation. “I probably made a mistake (taking the inside line) on that restart. I was spinning my wheels. I tried to get down to block his move but I didn’t make it. I thought that I had a car capable of winning, butt he driver didn’t get the job done.”
Gravel and Wayne Johnson paced the start of the 35 lap affair. Donny Schatz and Sweet occupied row two, with Brock Zearfoss and James McFadden in row three. Sheldon Haudenschild and Carson Macedo were in the fourth row, with Kraig Kinser and Jacob Allen lined up in row five. Row six belonged to Logan Schchart, who replaced a motor after his heat race, and track champion A.J. Flick.
Johnson clawed his way to the front at the drop of the green and, surprisingly, he started to gain some separation on Gravel in the opening laps. However, on the second round of the speedway, the red flag was displayed. First-time visitor Marcus Dumesny flipped out over turn two. He was unhurt, but the damage to his car prevented his return to action.
Johnson again prevailed over Gravel on the restart. Sweet settled into third, followed by Schatz, McFadden, Haudenschild, and Macedo.
Sweet navigated his way past Gravel in traffic on lap twelve and he immediately went after Johnson. He made the pass for the lead low in three and four with thirteen laps in the books.
Sweet began to slip away from Johnson, who was under attack from Gravel. By lap 17, Gravel was in second, and Johnson began to fade from that point on.
Flick ended his run with a broken rear axle in turn one with twenty-two laps complete. At the time, he was the highest placing Lernerville regular.
On the restart, Sweet did lose some momentum coming down the front stretch. Gravel was up on the rim, and when Sweet slid across his lane, he turned under the leader. Gravel had tremendous forward bite and the lead duo entered turn three side by side.
Sweet tried to get low to block Gravel’s bonzai move, but he could not get down low enough or soon enough. Gravel squeezed through on the inside and used the moisture in turn four to propel himself into the lead.
Gravel completed the remaining laps without complication. His margin of victory was 1.478 seconds. Sweet held on for second, with Schatz coming home third.
Schatz was surprised by the top dominance throughout the feature event. “I was really good on the top, I thought that it would go away, but it just kept getting better.”
McFadden and Haudenschild were fourth and fifth, respectively. Macedo, Allen, Schuchart, Kasey Kahne, and Johnson completed the top ten.
Brandon Spithaler was the highest finishing local racer, crossing in the thirteenth position.
David Gravel, Wayne Johnson, Brad Sweet, and Donny Schatz won their heat races. The B Main victor was MIchael Bauer. Gravel won the Dash and he was also the evening’s fastest qualifier in the 34 car field. His time was 12.416.
In the twenty lapper for the Allegheny Sprint Tour, Logan McCandless scored his first career victory at Lernerville Speedway. He drove by early leader Jarrett Rosencrance nine laps into the contest.
Rosencrance and Steve Cousins brought the 305 Sprints to their green flag. Rob Felix and McCandless were in row two, with Roman Jones and Tyler Cochran in the third. It took two tries to get the race going, but when the laps started counting, it was Rosencrance leading McCandless, Cousins, and Steve Kennawell.
McCandless rolled the outside of turns three and four to grab the lead just before midway. His pace was slowed one more time for Greg Dobrosky’s trip out over the turn two bank. Dobrosky was unhurt, and he was able to resume the race.
McCandless led the remainder of the race, with Rosencrance maintaining second. Jeff Weaver came up for third, followed by Kennawell and Cousins. Kyle Colwell, Jr., Rob Felix, Scott Frack, Jake Gomola, and Tyler Cochran completed the top ten.
“We’ve had some speed here, we have five wins at Mercer this year,” McCandless said. He anticipates devoting most of his energies in 2022 to racing a 410 Sprint.
Jake Gomola and Jeff Weaver were the Allegheny Sprint Tour heat winners.
Lernerville Speedway will close out its season October 14-16 with the Steel City Stampede.
Michael Norris wins night two of Bill Hendren Memorial at PPMS
IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Michael Norris doesn’t race every week at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway but ‘The Crusher Kid’ may want to add a few more visits to dirt’s ‘Monster Half Mile’ in 2022 after winning the feature in night 2 of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’.
Norris’ victory was his 2nd straight RUSH Late Model Touring Series win at PPMS and third in four events. Norris also won the ‘Jook George Steel City Classic’ in August and in 2020.
“Kyle (Lukon) got out there and was setting a pretty good pace,” said Norris. “I kind of got in line behind him and didn’t know if I had anything for him in clean air, but I figured once we got to lapped traffic we’d see what we’re both made of.”
Norris made his move on lap 11 and passed Lukon for the lead. Norris masterfully worked lap traffic over the remaining laps to capture the checkered flag and another win in a signature local event.
“It means a lot to win these memorials,” said Norris. “Any memorial means the person was pretty significant and were pioneers in the sport. I appreciate you guys putting this on, and I just love coming here any chance I get- I’ll run lawnmowers around here I don’t care.”
Kyle Hardy, Friday night’s winner, tried chasing down Norris over the final 17-laps but settled for second place and the RUSH Late Model Touring points lead.
“I didn’t have anything for Michael,” said Hardy. “We would have liked to have won tonight, but always have the big picture in the back of our minds. Not a bad weekend at all.”
Joe Martin was third for the second straight night. It was Martin’s fifth straight Tour podium finish, 10th straight top six, and 13th top six in the last 14 events as he maintains runner-up in the standings.
“Bill Hendren Memorial” Night 2 (30 laps, $3200 to-win): 1. MICHAEL NORRIS (51) 2. Kyle Hardy (99) 3. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 4. Colton Flinner (Chernik 5x) 5. Daryl Charlier (Centerline 114) 6. Logan Zarin (1z) 7. Levi Crowl (5) 8. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 9. Jacob Gunn (14G) 10. Garret Paugh (03) 11. Tony Musolino (Dobnak 42) 12. Bud Watson (225) 13. Ray Love, Jr. (08) 14. Zach Gunn (17G) 15. Tom Klein (77) 16. Tom Duratz (55D) 17. Ryan Frazee (11F) 18. Bill Kessler (09) 19. Kassidy Kamicker (72B) 20. Zach Kane (10) 21. Dan Lepro (2L) 22. Kyle Lukon (184) 23. Cole Petrelle (84) 24. Eddie Carrier, Jr. (Lukon 184X).
Non-Qualifier (6 laps, $500 to-win): 1. Philip Bubeck (Tennant 2) 2. Dave Goble (20G). DNS: Nick Love (38), Jeremy Wonderling (3J), Grant Garrison (1), Zach Morrow (Bentz 60), Tim Shaffer (45), Andrew Squatriglia (115).
Macedo Makes History at the Grove
WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (October 2, 2021): Carson Macedo earned his biggest career win in the 59th National Open held at Williams Grove Sppedway. He picked up $75,000, the largest payday ever doled out at the historic venue.
“This is the biggest win of my career,” Macedo said. “This is really cool. When I started coming here, I couldn’t get ahold of this place.” Well, Macedo grabbed control of the race on lap 36 and he did not let go. That was when he made the winning move in turn one, sliding past leader Logan Schuchart. “The lapped cars were holding up Logan. I just drove really hard. I slid across and the wing held me.”
Schuchart, who suffered perhaps the biggest disappointment of his budding career, was philosophical about the outcome. “All in all, two, second place finishes this weekend are pretty good for me. I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me. Carson ran a great race. I thought I could maybe rip the top on him.” But Schuchart’s attempted counter attack never materialized.
Brent Marks had the pole for the 40 lap affair. Schuchart was on his right. Sheldon Haudenschild and David Gravel were in row two. Anthony Macri and Carson Macedo continued the youth movement by starting in row three. Six-time Open champion, Donny Schatz and Justin Peck were in row four. Kasey Kahne and Lance Dewease started in row five, with James McFadden and Brian Brown in the sixth row.
Marks blasted into the lead, followed by Schuchart, Gravel, Macedo, Haudenschild, Macri, and Schatz. Before Marks could build upon his early advantage, a red flag stopped the race after just two laps. Brian Brown spun and collected Daryn Pittman, who turned over from the contact. Freddy Rahmer, Jr. was also involved in the melee. No drivers were injured, but all three were eliminated from the contest.
Marks assumed control again when the race resumed. He began to pull away from Schuchart as the laps clicked off. Marks’ bid for a second win in the Open ended when he got into a lapped car and spun in turn two. He was able to restart the race, but his quest for the victory was over.
That handed the lead to Schuchart. He was able to maintain control for the next twenty-three laps despite a second red flag on lap 12. Robbie Kendall flipped after he tangled with T.J. Stutts between turns one and two. Again, neither driver was hurt, but Kendall was done for the night.
While Schuchart led Macedo, Haudenschild, Macri, and Gravel, the battle was for the sixth spot. Schatz and Dewease were mixing things up until lap 27, when Schatz took the position once and for all.
Schuchart got into traffic and kept his advantage over Macedo. However, in the final ten laps, Macedo began to close on the leader. He made his winning move on lap 35, and led the final four laps. Schuchart made a desperate bid in the final corners, but came up a tad short.
Following Macedo and Schuchart were Haudenschild, Macri, and Gravel. Schatz was sixth. Then came Dewease, Kyle Larson, McFadden, and Brad Sweet.
Macri received a $1,000 bonus for the highest finishing PA Posse driver. Sweet grabbed $559 as the hard charger. He advanced nine positions during the race.
The heat wins were chalked up by Schatz, Macedo, Gravel, and Haudenschild. Dewease set the fast time again, this time topping Group B with a lap of 16.774 seconds. He failed to lock into the dash when Macri swept by him in turn one following a restart with two laps to go in the third heat. The B Main winner was Jacob Allen, and Devon Borden took the checkers in the C Main.
Kyle Hardy wins night one of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’ at PPMS
IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Kyle Hardy picked up his first win at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway by grabbing the feature victory in night one of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’.
“What a race- it was super fun out there,” said Hardy. “I can’t thank my crew to get this car so good to where I could steer across the middle of the race track. What a car we’ve had all year.”
Hardy held off PPMS track Champion Daryl Charlier in a thrilling side-by-side battle for several laps around dirt’s ‘Monster Half Mile’.
“If you had a camera or mirror on me you’d have seen how freaked out I was just trying to get where I needed to be to win this thing,” said Hardy.
The victory was not a surprise as Hardy was the runner up when the RUSH Late Model Touring Series visited PPMS twice earlier this season for the ‘Herb Scott Memorial’ and ‘Jook George Steel City Classic’.
Charlier brought it home in second place and earned $1,500 for his efforts.
“If I’m going to finish second I guess I’ll finish second to Kyle Hardy- he’s the top dog in the crates and especially the RUSH Series,” said Charlier.
RUSH Late Model Touring Series “Bill Hendren Memorial” (30 laps, $3000 to-win): 1. KYLE HARDY (99) 2. Daryl Charlier (Centerline 114) 3. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 4. Eddie Carrier, Jr. (Lukon 184X) 5. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 6. Jacob Gunn (14G) 7. Bud Watson (225) 8. Garret Paugh (03) 9. Logan Zarin (1z) 10. Levi Crowl (5) 11. Ray Love, Jr. (08) 12. Zach Kane (10) 13. Michael Reft (9R) 14. Colton Flinner (Chernik 5x) 15. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 16. Tony Musolino (Dobnak 42) 17. Zach Gunn (17G) 18. Kyle Lukon (184) 19. Ryan Frazee (11F) 20. Zach Morrow (Bentz 60) 21. Bill Kessler (09) 22. Justin Kann (66) 23. Philip Bubeck (Tennant 2) 24. Tim Shaffer (45).
DNQ: Dan Lepro (2L), Tom Duratz (55D), Grant Garrison (1), Kassidy Kamicker (72B), Tom Klein (77), Rob Coffaro (24), Dave Goble (20G), Nick Love (38), Noah Brunell (31), Zach Crawford (c4), Ben Policz (14B).