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Macri Masters Port Royal; Danner Does it Too

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Photo: Paul Arch

PORT ROYAL, PA (April 23, 2022): Anthony Macri fought off his rival, Logan Wagner, for the victory in the Keith Kauffman Classic for the All Stars Circuit of Champions at the Port Royal Speedway. Macri is now five for six, with three wins for the season at the Speed Palace alone. With Lance Dewease following Macri and Wagner to the checkers, it was the second night in a row that the PA Posse swept the podium against the traveling band.

Macri and Wagner put on a spectacular driving display over the last dozen or so laps, switching lines, trading slide jobs, and crowding each other, but keeping it clean despite their intense rivalry. “We had our incident and we talked on the phone, and we agreed we weren’t going to give each other an inch,” Macri said. “I have to give him credit,” Macri added. “He could have drove right through me,” but Wagner left Macri just enough room coming through turn two that Macri could squeeze between Wagner’s car and the wall to maintain his advantage in the closing laps. Wagner shared a similar story, “we drew a line in the sand, I told him I’m coming up on him and he said he would come up on me.” Wagner acknowledged that “Anthony is stout, and he shut the door on me (on the last lap), I shut the door on him in the last Keith Kauffman Classic, so I guess we’re even.”

Macri, who started sixth, was a little concerned about his tires as the race drew to a close. “I started to drive aggressively, maybe too aggressively, and my tires weren’t there.” Macri also knew that Wagner was good on the bottom, especially in turns one and two, and he came down off the rim to block a couple of slide jobs in the waning moments of the race.

Logan Wagner had the pole for the thirty lapper, with Parker Price-Miller on the outside. Mike Wagner lined up third, with Cap Henry beside him. Justin Whittal and Macri had dibs on row three, with Jeff Halligan and Lucas Wolfe right behind. Ryan Smith and Lance Dewease started in row five, with Tyler Courtney and Hunter Schuerenberg in row six.

Price-Miller held a slight advantage over the pair of Wagners entering turn one, but Logan maintained his momentum in the low groove to take the lead coming off turn two. Price-Miller stayed in second, but Henry rolled past Mike Wagner to claim third. Whittal, Macri, Smith, and Gerard McIntyre followed.

Logan Wagner was stretching his lead over Price-Miller and Mike Wagner as the laps clicked off. Macri moved into fourth, followed by Henry, Whittal, Smith, Wolfe, and Dewease.

By lap ten, Macri was into the third position, but he was almost a full straight behind Price-Miller, who was more than two seconds off Logan Wagner’s rapid pace. Macri closed quickly on Price-Miller and he had the second position by the halfway mark.

Macri continued his charge and soon he was on the leader’s tail. With seventeen laps completed, Macri dove low into turn one and slid up between a lapped car and Logan Wagner to assume the lead.

Wagner did not give up and he came storming back. He pulled a slider of his own in turn four and nipped Macri at the line. Macri returned teh favor at the opposite end of the speedway to regain the lead.

Back and forth they went, much to the delight of the large crowd. Wagner liked the low line through turns one and two and Macri preferred the far outside. Wagner could carry a lot of speed into turn one and he regained the lead. But Macri turned under him coming off turn two and he led the charge into turn three just as the caution came out.

Macri was put on the point for the restart, with only five laps remaining, as he had a nose ahead at the scoring loop on the last completed lap. He got away first, of course, but Wagner had another good run on him into one to force another lead change. But as Wagner slid up the track, he left just a bit too much room for Macri and, somehow, Macri was able to squeeze through to regain the lead off turn two.

Three Rivers Karting

By now, Macri know Wagner’s playbook. So, he drove through the middle of turn one to block the slider. Macri was a little better on the bottom than Wagner was on the top, so Macri retained the lead.

As they approached turn one for the final time. Macri went even lower. Wagner tried to get under him, but the move broke his momentum and Macri powered through the corners to take a ten car length lead off turn two. Macri stayed low in turns three and four for the final lap. Wagner tried to roll the outside, but he was too far behind the leader at that point.

While most eyes were glued on the fantastic duel for the win, there was excitement for position three as well. Smith and Dewease came up through the pack and they were in positions three and four for the only restart of the race. Smith had the advantage, but Dewease found the inside to his liking, He was able to slide by Smith with just a couple of laps remaining, but he could not get close enough to Macri and Wagner to make it a three car battle for the win.

“I wasn’t very good in the dash,” Dewease commented. So, he started tenth on the grid. The bottom line, which is his preferred groove at Port Royal, wasn’t good at the start of the race and he lost a few positions. But, on the long green run, he picked up speed. “Smith and I passed a bunch of cars, I just wish I was where he was for that restart, I might have had something for those guys. But there was nothing I could do when they were in the clean air.”

Mike Wagner came home in fifth. Wolfe was sixth. Dietrich was seventh, earning the hard charger award by passing fourteen cars. Price-Miller, Halligan, and Blaine Heimbach completed the top ten.

Five heats were run, with Smith, Henry, Price-Miller, Logan Wagner, and Whittal claiming the wins. Dietrich captured the B Main. Mike Wagner was the evening’s fastest qualifier, turning a lap of 15.416 seconds. Forty-two racers were on hand.

The USAC East Coast 360 non-wing Sprints provided the support. Briggs Danner had a good vantage point for the three-car battle for the lead in the early going. Ed Aiken, Mark Smith, and Alex Bright were putting on quite a show. But Danner soon realized that enough was enough, and he began to pick them off. Once out front, Danner built a substantial lead over Bright.

Bright ran second for more than half the race, but Steve Dravicki came on in the final five laps to chase him down for the second position. Bright held off Carmen Perigo and Smith.

Positions six through ten went to Colin White, Kenny Miller III, Aiken, Christian Bruno, and Jason Cherry.

The heats went to Danner and Bright. There was no B Main. Nineteen cars registered for the event.

Port Royal will present 410 Sprints, Super Late Models, and PASS/IMCA 305 Sprints on April 30. May 7 will feature the 410 Sprints, the ULMS Late Models, and Limited Late Models. General Admission will be $10 for all mothers. There will be no racing at Port Royal on May 14 because the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series will be performing at Williams Grove Speedway. The World of Outlaws Late Model Series will pick up on May 21, along with the 410 Sprint Cars.

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Dirt Racing

Rahmer Breaks Dietrich’s Stranglehold on Lincoln; Owings Back in Victory Lane Too

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Lincoln Speedway

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (May 21, 2022): Freddie Rahmer, Jr. won the opener at Lincoln Speedway but then Danny Dietrich took over, reeling off four victories in the 410 Sprint Car ranks. Well, Rahmer came back in style, grabbing his second win of the season and twentieth in his career. Also gracing victory lane was Steve Owings who recovered from a vicious crash a couple of weeks ago to get the win in the 358 Sprint division.

“It’s been a little bit of a test lately,” Rahmer said. He added, “it’s been tough the last couple of weeks, this is a big relief more than anything.” Rahmer struggled after the Icebraker, not even making the race that would have allowed him to slice into Dietrich’s substantial points lead when Dietrich elected to attend a race elsewhere.

Rahmer explained that it was “tricky up on the top,” a sentiment that at least three other racers would echo. Two of them, Michael Millard and Trey Hivner, spun out while leading, and the third, Devon Borden, spun out just after surrendering the lead to Rahmer. Of the latter incident, Rahmer noted “I was lucky to get by him before he had his problem.”

Millard and Hivner had the front row based upon their points averages. Tim Wagaman and Jimmy Siegel were in the second row. Kyle Moody was inside of Borden in the third. Chase Dietz and Rahmer were in row four as the top point chaser to make the handicap. Tim Glatfelter and John Walp were next. Alan Krimes and Dylan Norris made up row six. Buried in twentieth was Danny Dietrich, who had a poor run in his heat race.

Millard took the lead at the drop of the green but his time out front was short lived. He spun in turn four with one lap complete, handing the lead over to Hivner, who did the same thing in the same place on the next circuit. That put Borden on the point for the restart and he would proceed to lead the next nineteen laps.
Borden was setting a rapid pace, but Rahmer was able to stay close. Wagaman settled into third, ahead of Dietz, Moody, and Glatfelter.

Things were unchanged up front for several laps, but Dietrich was making headway. He reached the top ten by lap ten, but further advancement was slower to come.

Rahmer slipped by Borden in traffic to take the lead on lap 22. Boren then spun in the high groove, backing his car into the turn one wall.

Rahmer held off Dietz on the ensuing restart. With the field bunched up, Dietrich was pressing to pass some more cars. An aggressive move by Dietrich in turn four caused some drivers to take evasive measures, and Norris got upside down.

Three Rivers Karting

Dietz thus got another shot at the leader, but he could not capitalize upon the opportunity handed to him with five laps remaining. He chased Rahmer home but he could not challenge for teh win. Krimes charged into third, followed by Wagaman, and Dietrich. The next five finishers were Tyler Ross, Glatfelter, Moody, Billy Dietrich, and Austin Bishop.

The 29 410s competed in four heats, with the won going to Siegel, Moody, Rahmer, and Millard. The consolation race went to Matt Campbell.

Steve Owings had the pole for the 358 Sprint race, which was the first round of the Summer Series. Travis Scott was his dancing partner. Owings led into tun one, but Scott spun whil running second. Because Scott did not come to a complete stop, he was returned to the outside front row starting spot for the second attempt to get the race going.

This was a fortunate break for him, as he kept his car straight in tun one on the restart.

Owings led Scott for the entire 25 laps. Their run to the checkers was slowed for two minor incidents.

Cody Fletcher improved from sixth to third. He was followed by David Holbrook, and Chris Frank. Kody Hartlaub, Matt Findley, Nash Ely, Jeff Rohrbaugh, and Wyatt Hinkle completed the top ten.

Four heats were held for teh 34 358s on hand. Takingthe checkers were Cody Phillips, Holbrook, Hinkle, and Findley. Cameron Smith won the consolation.

Lincoln Speedway will host the Bob Leiby Memorial over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The Central PA Legends will join the 410 and 358 Sprints. Then, on June 4, the much anticipated Steve Smith Tribute race will be held. $19,000 awaits the winner of that one. The USAC East Coast 360 Sprints and the ARDC Midgets will provide the support. June 11 will be the Fallen Firefighters Night in Memory of Brandon Little. That race will be for the 410 and 358 Sprints.

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Weather Claims Another Win at Tri-City Raceway Park; No Racing Memorial Day Weekend

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FRANKLIN, PA (May 22, 2022): Confronted with saturated grounds and a swampy race track; and facing the prospect of additional rain, high winds, and colder temperatures; Tri-City Raceway Park canceled the Sunday Thunder program scheduled for May 22. Plus, track owner Merle Black has announced that there will be no racing at the Venango County oval over the Memorial Day weekend.

“We want our racers and staff to be able to spend the holiday with their families and friends. We are concentrating our energies to be ready for a big event, the finale of the Second Annual Western PA Speedweek.”

The June 4 special will pit the stars and cars of the Shawgo Real Estate 410 Sprints against all comers. Last season, Central PA racer and All Star competitor Bobby Howard took the checkers. Other Central PA racers and some travelers were on hand for the re-launch of the popular mini-series and even more are expected this time.

Three Rivers Karting

Joining the 410 Sprints will be the Donovan & Bauer Auto Group 358 Modifieds, the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks, and the RUSH Sprint Cars.

“This will be a great way to start our 2022 season,” Black said. “We hope that the weather will cooperate with us so that we will have a big crowd, a great field, and spectacular racing,” he added.

Watch the website and social media platforms for any changes.

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.

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Dewease and Locke Dominate at Williams Grove Speedway

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Williams Grove Speedway

WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (May 20, 2022): Lance Dewease scored his first feature win of the season and 104th of his career at Williams Grove Speedway. Dewease held off a number of younger challengers, each of whom had late race chances to overtake the Hall of Fame driver on restarts. Also getting into victory lane was Derek Locke in the 358 Sprint Car undercard.

Normally, the leader is not happy to see a rash of late-race cautions, but this time Dewease was relieved to get them. “I could run really hard on the bottom for about two laps before the (tire) pressures built up.” When asked if he was worried about having Anthony Macri on his tail for the last restart, with two to go, Dewease responded in the negative. “I got good runs in one and two and again in three and four, and I knew that I didn’t have to change my line.”

Dewease explained that he has been fighting a tight race car of late. “Davey (Brown) wasn’t happy with the car last week, so we came out to get some track time to get ready for next week.” Brown, his Hall of Fame chief wrench, wanted to get the car right for the invasion by the All Stars Circuit of Champions. The touring series will compete against the Possee in the Randy Wolfe Tribute race at the Grove, paying $10,000 to win, before heading north to Port Royal Speedway for the Bob Weikert Memorial weekend. Those races will pay $10,000 and $29,000 respectively.

Williams Grove Speedway experimented with a new race format for this round of the Diamond Series. Time turned in hot laps were used to set the starting lineups for the heats. A pill draw determined the number of cars to be inverted, but Dewease pulled a 0, so the heats had the fastest car on the pole. The first two finishers from each heat were handicapped to the front of the feature field, with the racers being inverted based upon their average earnings per race entered.

So, after winning the opening heat, Dewease was scheduled to start in fourth. He got moved to the inside of row two when his dancing partner, T.J. Stutts, was unable to make the call to stage for the feature event because his crew was feverishly making repairs after his heat race win. Stutts was able to make the race, but he was relegated to the tail of the field.

The pole belonged to the winner of the second heat, Robbie Kendall. On his flank was Brett Shearer. Then came Dewease and his new mate, Devon Borden. Row three had Dylan Norris matched with Chase Dietz. Behind them were Danny Dietrich and Matt Campbell. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. and Steve Buckwalter were in row five, and Dylan Cisney and Justin Whittal were in row six. After a poor heat race finish, Anthony Macri rolled away in position seventeen.

Kendall took the early lead with a hole shot on Shearer. Dewease followed Kendall into second. Norris, Borden, and Dietz all charged past Shearer, who became the first racer to cause the caution to be displayed. Before that happened, though, Dewease surged ahead of Kendall for the lead.

When the race resumed, Kendall was under attack from Norris and Borden. Borden rolled the cushion to take over the second spot, and Kendall got cross-wise between turns one and two, collecting Norris in the process. Rahmer and Whittal were also involved in the skirmish.

Dewease held off Borden on the restart and he was able to open a significant lead on the youngster. Dietz was on the charge after that restart, and he worked his way past Borden for second on lap twelve.

Dietz got his shot at Dewease on a restart held six laps later. With Dewease leading Dietz, Dietrich went to work on Borden, but he could not take the position from him. Meanwhile, Macri was into the top five.

Dietz got another chance to overtake Dewease on lap twenty-one, after Borden stopped his car halfway down the backstretch. Dietz could not make a move on the wily veteran, and he was struggling to keep Macri at bay.

Three Rivers Karting

The night ended for Dietz on lap 23, when he checked up in turn four. Macri reacted quickly and did not run over Dietz as he slowed to a halt. While he was being removed from the speedway, the officials called for a fuel stop.

Now it was Macri’s turn to come after Dewease. But the nation’s leading race winner was no match for Dewease. Dewease got the strong run on lap 24 to give himself some breathing room for the final trip around the venerable half mile.

At the checkers, it was Dewease ahead of Macri by just over two-tenths of a second. Taking third was Dietrich. Cisney made the most out of the final restarts, picking off Lucas Wolfe on lap 21 and getting a good run on Dietrich on lap 23. Although Cisney pulled ahead slightly entering turn three, Dietrich stormed bay on the inside of turn four to hold onto the final podium spot. Wolfe trailed Cisney across teh finish line.

Rahmer Jr., came back through the field to get sixth. Campbell, Mark Smith, Norris, and Kyle Moody rounded out the top ten.

There was no B Main.

The 358 Sprint Cars provided the support this night. Getting the win was Derek Locke for the tenth time in a row! Locke’s remarkable winning streak dates back to September of 2020.

Locke started in the fifth spot and he wasted no time getting to the front. Using the middle groove, Locke passed veteran Frankie Herr for the lead just five laps into the contest.

Young Jayden Wolf charged into second, but he was no match for the speedy Locke. Tyler Brehm and Steve Owing also got by Herr in the final stage of the race.

Doug Hammaker, Zach Newlin, Nash Ely, Justin Foster, and Kody Hartlaub were the next five finishers.

The heat victories belonged to Ely, Herr, and Foster. There was no B Main.

After the Wolfe Tribute All Stars event next week, Williams Grove will open the month of June with the 410 Sprints joined by the USAC East Coast Wingless Sprints. Fan appreciation night will be held June 10, with all fans allowed to visit the pit area before the 410 and 358 Sprints fire off. The USAC National Sprint Tour will join the 410s on June 17. Then Williams Grove will host the first night of Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speed Week on June 24.

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