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Abreu Absolute at Grandview

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Jason Brown Motorsports Photography

(Bechtelsville, PA June 28, 2022): After spending some time with his family, Rico Abreu made his 2022 Pennsylvania Speedweek debut in grand style, winning his heat race and leading wire-to-wire in the 35 lap feature. His third career Speedweek win was worth a cool $10,000 and his name will be engraved on the perpetual trophy for the Hodnett Cup. The Hodnett Cup honors the memory of six-time Thunder on the Hill champion, Greg Hodnett.

Brett Kressley, the Saturday night points leader at the track, used a long green flag run to chase down the leaders and grab the lead just past half way in the NASCAR 358 Modified undercard.

Abreu noted that “we just put ourselves into position all night.” He also gave props to this crew led by veteran wrench Ricky Warner. “This team is starting to gel,” Abreu added. Plus, he explained that his equipment is fresh.

Abreu caught a break when the caution came out when he encountered heavy lapped traffic with twenty-three laps completed. “It worked in our favor. I didn’t want to get beat up there, so I kept cheating up but the lapped cars were getting away from me.” The maneuver was almost a costly one, as second place runner, Brent Marks, got his nose under him just as the caution light flashed on.

Marks, who eventually dropped to third, agreed with Abreu. “That was a little frustrating race. I got under Rico and then the yellow came out.” Marks added that things always seem to happen that way for him at Grandview Speedway.

Anthony Macri dug himself out of a hole to finish second. After starting on the outside of the front row, he lost valuable track position on the opening lap. “I messed up on the initial start and two or three cars got by me.” Macri, who was strong in his heat using a middle groove, struggled for most of the race. “The bottom started to clean up and then it took some rubber,” he explained. He was able to drive past Marks, and he reached the tail of Abreu’s car, but there was nothing left to make a bid for the win.

Abreu and Macri were on the front row, with Christopher Bell and Marks in the second. Kyle Larson and Danny Dietrich were in row three. Tanner Thorson and Justin Peck launched from row four, with Austin Bishop and Lucas Wolfe taking off from the fifth row, Ryan Smith and Kyle Moody departed from row six.

Abreu led the charge into turn one, but there was plenty of action going on behind him, Marks reached second, followed by Bell, Macri, and Larson. Bell moved into second on lap two, but Marks wasn’t prepared to give up the spot. The two battled back and forth before Marks claimed the position just as the yellow came out.

On the restart, with seven complete, Bell dove low in turn one and the two ran side-by-side for half a lap. Marks thundered off the top of turn four to hold the second position.

With Abreu leading Marks, things were getting interesting elsewhere in the top five. Dietrich and Larson were making their presence known to Bell and Macri.

That race within the race ended when Larson turned over in between the third and fourth corners. His car sustained a broken left rear wheel, but it was unknown if that precipitated the crash or resulted from it. In any event, the four-time winner of this event was out before the halfway mark.

Three Rivers Karting

Abreu led the next nine laps, with Marks staying in his shadow. Marks drew closer as Abreu slowed his pace to stay behind the lapped cars. Marks made a bold move on the inside of turn three but his attempted pass would not have counted even if it had been completed because the caution came out for the final time. Fortunately, both lead cars were able to avoid the spinner ahead of them.

On the ensuing restart, Abreu and Marks both went low into turn one. Macri tried the middle groove and found enough grip to drive by Marks for second. Abreu stayed low, in the rubber, and pulled away until he reached the rear of the field. This time, he tucked in behind the last car and moderated his pace again.

Macri drew in on the leader, and soon the top five or six cars were running nose to tail. Abreu stayed in line and did not attempt to pass any of the slower cars. The last of them slid up out of the groove and Abreu darted ahead, ensuring his victory.

Macri crossed in second, with Marks third. Dietrich was fourth, and Bell was fifth. Thorson edged pout Peck in the final laps for sixth. Ryan Smith, Wolfe, and Freddie Rahmer, Jr. completed the top ten.

Four heats were conducted for the thirty-one cars on hand. The winners were Abreu, Peck, Thorson, and Larson. Jeff Halligan won the B Main. Macri set the fastest time of the night, at 12.025 seconds.

The unofficial points for PA Speedweek finds Macri ahead of Marks by 84 markers. Peck is third, nineteen points back from second. These three drivers are the only ones eligible for the ten for ten bonus offered by Selinsgrove Ford, as they have logged top ten finishes in each race so far. Wolfe, Stutts, Freddie Rahmer, Jr., Dietrich, Halligan, Dylan Norris, and Chase Dietz make up the rest of the top ten.

In the NASCAR 358 Modifieds, Mike Lisowski jumped out to the early lead, followed by Jared Umbenhauer, Duane Howard, Brett Kressley, Ron Kline, Alex Yankowski, and Craig Whitmoyer. Umbenhauer took control just a couple of laps later.

Kressley moved into second soon thereafter and he chased down the leader in traffic. Kressly made his move to the front, leaving Umbenhauer in second, while Howard, Yankowski, Lissowski, and Jeff Strunk battled for positions in the top five.

“The long green lag run helped me,” Kresslesy said. He (Umbenhauer) got caught up in lapped traffic.”

A quick caution with four laps remaining gave Howard a shot at the leader, but Kressley was up to the task.

At the checkers, it was Kressley, Howard, Umbenhauer, Yankowski, and Billy Pauch, Jr. Strunk, Lisowski, Craig Von Dohren, Whitmoyer, and Rick Laubach completed the top ten.

The heat victories belonged to Laubach, Kline, and Whitmoyer. The B Main victor was Bobby Trapper, Jr.

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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