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Dirt Racing

Macri Sweeps Weikert Weekend

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Photo: Paul Arch

PORT ROYAL, PA (May 29, 2022): After a red-hot start to the 2022 season, Anthony Macri went into a brief dry spell. But, he came out of it in a big way this weekend taking both ends of the Bob Weikert Memorial at Port Royal Speedway. The latest victory for the Concrete Kid was worth $29,000 and his total earnings for the weekend approached $40,000! Macri could have banked a little more, but Friday’s All Stars event at Williams Grove Speedway was washed out and he crashed out early in last week’s feature that was cut short and completed as the last race on a busy holiday card.

Macri, the emerging star from Dilsburg, PA, now has ten wins on the season, four of them being with the All-Star Circuit of Champions.

The make-up 410 Sprint Car race was won by Logan Wagner. Steve Wilbur was victorious in the Wingless Sportsmen race which punctuated the two 410 Sprint Car races.

Once again, Macri took a cerebral approach to the main event. In the opener, he changed up his line several times to keep Lance Dewease guessing in the final four laps of the thriller. This time around, he varied his starting points and corner entry into turn one to keep Brent Marks on his toes. “Brent is not dumb. He will catch on to what we do on restarts. I took away the slider line,” Macri explained about his technique in a pivotal lap 25 restart. Macri nailed it perfectly and that gave him some needed breathing room for the final five rounds of the spacious half mile.

Macri also mentioned two other tricks that helped him pick up the big win. The frist was tire management. “I was trying to keep ahead of my tires, keep them warm and keep them from picking up dirt under the yellow.” The second was the installation of a larger fuel tank for the night. He mentioned that he only had three gallons of fuel left after his battle to the wire with Dewease. He was not sure how much fuel was on board after this win, but he was confident that he had plenty enough to go the distance and to have a reserve if extra laps were called for in this contest.

Marks commented on Macri’s successful restarts. “He did a good job on the restarts.” But Marks made another point in Macri’s favor. “He could really stick the middle. I was good on top, but he was good in the middle, and that made a big difference.” Marks added that Macri’s use of the middle line was particularly effective when they were racing in clean air. ”I wanted to stay in traffic, we just weren’t good enough to stay with him in clean air.”

The luck of the draw for the ten top point getters in qualifications put Rico Abreu and Chris Windom on the front row. Tyler Courtney was paired up with Macri in row two. Jeff Halligan shared row three with Marks. Danny Dietrich was beside Giovanni Scelzi. Brian Brown and Justin Peck made up row five. The best of the rest for the start of the race were Mike Wagner and Hunter Schuerenberg. Lance Dewease was buried in nineteenth as a consequence of a poor time trial effort. Steve Buckwalter was twenty-first, Freddie Rahmer, Jr. was twenty-third, Dylan Cisney was twenty-fourth, and Lucas Wolfe was twenty-fifth.

Buckwalter, Rahmer, and Cisney came through the B Main, while Wolfe used a track provisional to start the race.

Windom rolled around Abreu to take the early lead. The newcomer to winged Sprint Car racing held control to lap ten. Abreu ran second through the first six laps until he hit the turn one fence and damaged the right rear suspension to bring out the first yellow.

That handed the second position to Marks who gave chase for several laps before he was overhauled by Macri. Macri swept into the lead and the battle was on between Windom and Marks for the role of first chaser. Marks secured the position with sixteen laps in the books and he began to close in on Macri as they darted through the traffic.

Meanwhile, Courtney and Halligan began to mix things up with Windom. Courtney assumed third for several laps, but Halligan came on after the lap 25 restart. He shot by both Windom and Courtney, but he could not close in on Marks for second.

Three Rivers Karting

Two other racers making moves through the race were Dewease and Wolfe. Dewease advance to thirteenth rather quickly, but his middle stage of the race was not very spectacular. He came on on the final ten laps to move into the top ten. Wolfe was slower to advance in the opening laps, but for the second half of the race his progress was impressive. He reached tenth by the time the checkers flew, which was impressive considering that he started shotgun on the field.

Macri, Marks and Halligan made for an all posse podium again. Courtney and Peck were the first two travelers across the finish line. Then came Logan Wagner, Dewease, Windom, Dietrich, and Wolfe.

Heat winners were Peck, Halligan, Ryan Smith, and Dewease. The B Main belonged to Buckwalter. The evening’s fastest qualifier was Macri with a lap of 16.499 seconds. There were 44 cars registered for the event.

The 410 finale was the final seventeen laps of last week’s feature event.

Justin Whittal led through the red flag for Tyler Walton’s crash in turn one on lap eleven. During the stoppage, it was determined that Whittal was leaking fuel and he had to pit for repairs. Marks was put at the head of the line for the restart, but he never led a lap. Logan Wagner swooped under him in turn one on the restart and led the rest of the distance.

“What a cool experience,” Wagner said enthusiastically. “We wanted to win the Weikert, but this is a good way to close the weekend.”
Following Wagner and Marks were Cisney, Halligan, and Gerard McIntyre. The next five to cross were Buckwalter, Wolfe, Mike Wagner, Cody Lehman, and Whittal.

In the Wingless Sportsmen, the twenty lapper went non-stop. But the race seemed to play out in separate halfs. The first belonged to Brett Perigo, who led from the drop of the green. But the second, and most important, was dominated by Steve Wilbur.

While WIlbur was all alone out front, Brett Perigo was locked in a battle with Trent Yoder and Michael Smith for the second spot. Perigo retained that position, but it was a very entertaining contest. Smith took third, followed by Yoder and Eric Jennings.

Positions six through ten belonged to Tony Jackson, Tom Savage, Bob Gutshall, Kevin Gutshall, and Jason Failor.

The trio of heat races belonged to Wilbur, Brett Perigo, and Kevin Guttshall. There was no B Main. Twenty-one wingless warriors were on hand.

Port Royal will return to action Saturday with the 410 Sprints joined by the Super Late Models and Limited Late Models. The latter will contest double features. It will be Senior Citizens Night, with $10 general admission for that group and dollar dogs for all! June 11 will be 410 Sprint Cars supported by Limited Late Models and PASS/IMCA 305 Sprints. The 305s will run double features. June 18 will be Open Wheel Madness II, featuring two divisions of the United States Auto Club along with the 410 Sprints. The USAC National Sprint Cars will be joined by the Silver Crown Series. There will be no racing on June 25 in recognition of the PA Speedweek Sprint Car event held at Lincoln Speedway.

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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