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Zeigler Apologetic After Labor Day 55 Win, Altobelli Annihilates Modified Field

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BEDFORD, PA (September 1, 2023): When a racer wins one of the most historic Super Late Model Races in the region, he should be ecstatic. Especially when the race is sanctioned by the ULMS and when it pays a hefty $12,055 to the winner. But Mason Zeigler was noticeably subdued after taking his second triumph in the annual Labor Day 55 classic.

Zeigler got to victory lane after he tangled with Alex Ferree on a lap 47 restart. Ferree led from the start and he withstood a similar move several laps earlier. Zeigler again threw a wicked slider at Ferree, and there was heavy side-to-side contact between them. Both cars got sideways, Zeigler checked up, and maintained his forward momentum. However, Ferree spun to the top of the track. Rather than taking his position at the rear of the field, Ferree called it a night.

Zeigler was greeted by a cascade of boos and derogatory remarks when he drove up onto the fairgrounds stage. “I didn’t deserve that win,” he said sheepishly. “I got loose and I doored him. Alex is my buddy. I’m going to try to make it right with him. It would be different if we were rivals, but he’s my buddy. I’m sorry to all the fans to stink up a show like that.”

Ferree and Coleby Frye started on the front row for the holiday special. Matt Cosner was inside row two sporting a throwback paint scheme. Max

Blair was his dancing partner. Zeigler rolled off in third, with Tyler Emery on his flank. Gregg Satterlee and Brian Bernheisel had row four to themselves. Jeff Rine, who was eventually crowned as the Bedford Speedway points champion, lined up in row five, along with Dylan Yoder.

Michael Norris and Jason Covert made it an even dozen. Further back in the field were Kyle Hardy, Kyle Lee, Ryan Montgomery, Logan Zarin, Justin Weaver, Colton Flinner, Dan Stone, and Jakob Piper.

Ferree and Frye charged into turn one at the start of the fifty-five lap A Main held under the ULMS banner. Cosner, Emery, Blair, Zeigler, Bernheisel, Satterlee, and Yoder were sorting themselves out. The top five remained unchanged as Ferree began to distance himself from Frye, even as he entered lapped traffic around lap ten.

Seven rounds later, the traffic picked up as Ferreee was still cruising out front. However, due to the other cars, which were fighting for positions, Ferreee got held up and Frye closed in to a couple of car lengths behind the leader.

Blair moved into fourth on lap twenty-three and he was closing in on Cosner. Meanwhile Ferree got into a safe position and he started to pull away from Frye and Cosner once again.

Ferree’s advantage was swept away with the display ofn the first caution twenty-nine laps into the contest. For the first Delaware couple-file restart, Ferree was all alone out front, with Frye, Cosner, Blair, Zeigler, Emery, Bernheisel, Jeff Rine, Hardy, and Norris making up the top ten. Norris surrendered his preferred spot, though, when he pitted with a flat right rear while the field was under the caution.

Frye took a run at the leader on the green, but Ferree was up to the task. He remained ahead of “Superfly.” Due to Norris’ misfortune, Lee moved into the top ten. Six laps later, Lee brought out caution number two when he stopped at the entry to turn three.

On the ensuing restart, Zeigler was lined up in third, but he would not stay there for long. Entering turn one, he made a bold move to the inside of Ferree. Zeigler grabbed the lead briefly, but Ferree rode the rim to regain the advantage coming off turn two.

Three Rivers Karting

Chuck Clise called for the next caution on lap 44, when he spun on the front stretch. He did not hit any other cars or the inside wall, so he was able to regain the roster. Blair was not so fortunate on the restart, though. He tangled with Hardy and Frye, and spun to the inside a bit closer to the flagstand. Blair’s car sustained some damage to the right front corner, and he needed assistance from a tow truck to get back to the pits.

Lee brought out another caution just three laps later, setting up Zeigler’s aggressive inside move that changed the complexion of the race. Zeigler was able to keep moving and Ferree retired from the race, much to the dismay of the large crowd on hand. Ferree was a sentimental favorite as his car owner, Lynn Geisler, won the Labor Day 55 back in 1998 under the MACS sanction.

However, Zeigler stopped to get some sheet metal pulled from around the right rear. He was able to retain his point position for the final green of the night.

Zeigler got away cleanly and Cosner hovered in second. Frye rallied in the final eight laps, but he could not make up any positions on Zeigler or Cosner. Frye, Hardy, and Rine took the next three positions.

Yoder, Zarin, Emery, Montgomery, and Bernheisel completed the top ten.

Four heat races were presented, with the checkers going to Emery, Frye, Ferree, and Bernheisel. The B Mains were split between Montgomery and Zarin. The evening’s fastest qualifier was Emery, with a lap of 19.479 in Group A. Zeigler did have fast time, but his lap was disallowed for leaving the track in turn four instead of turn two after his rapid run. He was one of a handful of racers who suffered that fate. The top runner in Group B was Ferree, with a time of 19.601.

In the Mid-Atlantic Modified go, Donnie Farling raced to the front from his outside pole position. Drake Troutman ran along in second, followed by john Whitfield, Brandon Hoover, and Mitch Thomas, who was doing double duty.

Mike Altobelli moved ahead, taking second in traffic with a dozen laps in the books. Although a caution came out almost immediately, Altobelli had the advantage at the flagstand so he started on the pole.

Altobeli took the checkers ahead of Farling, Drake Troutman, Jacob Marker, and Ridge Bookwalter. Nabbing positions six through ten were Whitfield, Dave Troutman, Bruce Dreistadt, Tom Wakefield, and Ryan Dolan.

Preliminaries belonged to Altobelli and Mitchell. There was no B Main.

Bedford Speedway will be back in action on Sunday, September 3, with Championship Night for the Late Model Spportsmen, Semi Late Models, Pure Stocks, and Four Cylinders.

Then, the three-day Dave Toutman Memorial will be held Thursday through Staurday, September 21 through 23. Racing will return with the Annual Keystone Cup for the Super Late Models on October 20 and 21. Friday support will come from the Semi Late Models, Pure Stocks, and Four Cylinders. The Late Model Sportsmen and the Mid-Atlantic Modifieds will add to the show on Staurday, which is the season finale.

Dirt Racing

Borden Thrills at Port Royal; Robinson, Covert, and Hart also Score

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PORT ROYAL, PA (April 13, 2024): Defending track champion, Devon Borden, battled Danny Dietrich in the final laps of the 410 Sprint Car race at Port Royal Speedway, bringing fans to their feet. Borden’s first win of the season came by 1.219 seconds over Dietrich, who won the season opener. Borden earned $5,800 for the effort.

“I just knew that I was going to have to go where they weren’t and drive the $h!+ out of it,” Borden said as he struggled to catch his breath. Starting twelfth, Borden knew that he had to make a big push early to get to the front with several heavy hitters starting ahead of him. “I had to make the top work before it went away.” He was able to charge to third in just nine laps and it only took him three more to reach second. Getting that final position was quite a bit harder to accomplish. “The last three laps were pretty hectic, and things had to play out in our favor.”

Borden gave props to his crew chief, Chris Shuttlesworth. “We didn’t start out very good, but now we have it going.”

A modified version of the PA Speedweek format was used for this program. The only deviation was the use of group time trials to set heat race line-ups. In the Speedweek format, each driver times against the whole field; whereas, the group approach only pits the racers against the same cars that will run in the same heat race. The heat race winners and the fastest car to qualify draw for starting positions at the front of the field. The remainder are seeded by their heat race finishes. B Main transfers make up the final rows.

The luck racers were Lucas Wolfe and Steve Buckwalter. Behind them were Dietrich and Logan Wagner. Dylan Cisney, the Mayor of Port Royal was paired up with Jeff Halligan in row three. The fourth row belonged to Gerard McIntyre, Jr. and Jake Karklin. Mike Wagner and Blane Heimbach claimed row five. T.J. Stutts was inside Borden in row six.

Buckwalter sailed into turn one on the outside and began to pull away from his pursuers. Dietrich settled into second, with Logan Wagner a close third. Wolfe fell back to fourth, followed by Karklin, Halligan, Cisney, Heimbach, Borden, and McIntyre. Buckwalter held control for the first six rounds. However, Dietrich closed in on him when Buckwalter encountered lapped traffic.

Dietrich became more aggressive on lap seven, sliding ahead of Buckwalter in turn three. Buckwalter turned back under him in turn four to regain the lead as they thundered down the long front stretch. Dietrich fought back through turns one and two, coming off the bottom of turn two with the lead. This time around, it was Buckwalter’s turn to slide for the lead in turn three. Dietrich crossed over in four to assume command as they completed lap eight. Meanwhile, Borden was making steady progress to the third position, but he was a good distance behind the lead duo.

When Kassidy Kreitz slowed to a stop on the back stretch on lap later, that eliminated the deficit for Borden. He got to start right behind Dietrich and Buckwalter. Borden took advantage of the opportunity, picking up the second spot just three laps after the race resumed.

It took Borden a few more laps to close the gap on the leader. Dietrich began picking his way through the slower cars, and Borden closed in. However, he could not make a move for the lead, as he seemed to have poor timing when approaching the lapped cars.

With just a few laps remaining, though, the front two cars broke free of the slower cars. With no traffic separating himself from the leader, Borden was able to press for the lead.

Over the final three laps, Dietrich and Borden swapped the lead several times, much to the delight of the fans. Borden took the lead for good entering turn three on the final lap. Dietrich dove low while Borden kept his momentum up on the cushion. Dietrich scrubbed off some speed coming through turn four, and Borden scooted ahead for the win.

Buckwalter turned in a creditable performance for third. Chase Dietz came on in the final laps to get fourth. Logan Wagner slipped to fifth in the final tally. Wolfe, Halligan, Karklin, Cisney, and Heimbach completed the top ten.

Three Rivers Karting

Dietrich, Buckwalter, Wolfe, and Cisney chalked up the heat wins. Justin Whittal prevailed in the B Main. Dietrich was fastest in Group one and overall, with a time of 17.113 seconds.

In the Super Late Models, Dillan Stake and Chad Myers brought the field to the green. Jeff Rine and Ross Robinson were right behind them. Shaun Jones and Colton Flinner were in row three, ahead of Brian Bernheisel and Dylan Yoder. Row five matched Tyler Emory and Chris Casner. Tim Wilson and Matt Cosner completed the top twelve.

Myers grabbed the early lead, with Robinson hot on his heels. Stake, Rine, Flinner, and Yoder followed in close formation. Myers rode along in the middle groove, and Robinson searched high and low for a place to try to make a pass. Robinson finally settled in on the inside, and he began to chip away at Myers’ lead.

Robinson came off the bottom of turn two and powered ahead of Myers just before the halfway point in the contest. Robinson started to draw away from Myers, but a caution on lap fourteen wiped out his advantage. Myers could not get a run on the Delaware racer when the action resumed. Instead, Myers was under attack from Flinner, Eckert, Stake, and Rine.

Flinner worked his way into second, bringing Eckert along into third. Myers continued on fourth with Stake on his tail.

At the checkers, it was Robinson ahead of Flinner by 3.806 seconds. Eckert, Myers, and Stake completed the top five. Next to cross were Rine, Yoder, Cosner, Jones, and Jason Covert.

The four heat winners were Robinson, Rine, Myers, and Stake. Gregg Satterlee won the B Main.

Robinson was relived to capture the win, his first at the Speed Palace. “We got lucky with the pill draws,” he said. Robinson said that he changed his set-up after hot laps, reverting to the combination that brought him a win recently at his hometown track, the Georgetown Speedway.

The top ten racers from the A Main were inverted for an Australian pursuit immediately following the A Main. Covert, who raced hard just to make it to the tenth spot in the A Main, earned the pole for the pursuit, which paid $1,000 to the winner. He was able to stay out front for the entire ten laps. “It just goes to show how even we all are,” he said. “We were inverted and the clean air on my nose made all the difference. I could come off the corners wherever I wanted.” Jones, Cosner, Yoder, and Rine were the balance of the top five. Eckert and Robinson were the other finishers. Flinner, Myers, and Stake were the drivers eliminated in the race.

Devin Hart went wire to wire in the twenty lap Limited Late Model nightcap. Tommy Slanker ran second in the early going before fading to fifth at the finish. Jared Fulkroad, Trent Brenneman and Shawn Shoemaker were the racers who moved ahead of him. Kenny Yoder, Ryan Zook, Casey Steinhoff, Lane Snook, and Jaxton Garman rounded out the top ten.

The pair of heats went to Brenneman and Zook. There was no B Main.

A three division program will be held next weekend, with the 305 Sprints joining the 410 Sprints and Super Late Models. The Keith Kauffman Classic for the 410 Sprints will be on April 27, with support coming from the USAC East Coast Sprints and the Wingless Sportsmen. Then, on Sunday, April 28, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirst Series will invade the speedway. Limited Late Models will also be on the card.

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Dirt Racing

Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway Cancels Saturday Program; Pivots To Flood Relief Drive

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IMPERIAL, PA (April 13, 2024) Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway is pivoting to flood relief instead of racing Saturday night after torrential rains the past few days caused flooding all over Western Pennsylvania.  PPMS is working with the UEMS Racing Series to find a suitable date for both parties to make up the event.

Three Rivers Karting

The Speedway instead is holding a relief drive from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. to help those affected by the flood.

UPDATE: PPMS was able to split the total collection up between both Sturgeon Vol. Fire Dept. and Oakdale Hose Company. From there, the fire companies will administer the collected items to other organizations or directly to those in need. We were fortunate enough to collect a large volume of just about every necessity. Any items that are not claimed during this process will be stored and administered as needed in the future.

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Dirt Racing

Dietz Dominates Day Race at Lincoln

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Lincoln Speedway

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (April 7, 2024): Chase Dietz returned to his roots to capture his tenth career win at the Fabulous Lincoln Speedway. With the weather changing up the weekend’s racing plans, Dietz was able to race at Lincoln because the show was postponed a day. Dietz, who has long been a regular at the track, will now be concentrating his efforts on Saturdays at the Port Royal Speedway, where he debuted yesterday as the new driver of the famous Zemco number one. He was back in his own machine for this one, and it was like he never left.

“I plan to be back whenever I can,” Dietz said happily. “This is the track where I got my start and I really enjoy racing here.” But, the offer to drive for John and Pee Wee Zemaitis was one that he could not refuse.

Sunny skies and a slight breeze produced a tricky racing surface. “It definitely was unique,” Dietz observed. “It was kinda patchy. Fred (Putney, the masterful track preparer), sprinkled it and that pushed things up.”

Dietz, who started on the pole and went wire-to wire, noted “it was kinda tough, running out front. I was searching around looking for rubber.” He found enough to maintain his advantage over a fast-closing Matt Campbell.

Campbell, who raced his way into second while fighting through some heavy traffic, surprised all by saying that he liked racing on the daytime surface. “It gave me the chance to move around.” He added that he thought that he learned some things that he can carry over to the normal night time racing.

The race was run according to PA Speedweek procedures. So a re-draw shuffled the top eight racers. Dietz and Aaron Bollinger were the fortunate ones to pick front row starting positions. Beyond them were Tyler Ross and Campbell. Emerson Axsom and Kody Hartlaub made up row three. Cameron Smith and Freddie Rahmer, Jr. were in row four. The fifth belonged to Justin Whittal and Dallas Schott. Chad Trout and Danny Dietrich completed the first half of the field.

Three Rivers Karting

The original start was called back because Aussie Greg Newton took a spectacular spill between turns three and four on what would have been the opening lap. He was unhurt, but could not continue in the event.

On the second try, Dietz again blasted to the front and he planted the right rear tire in the moisture that Putney laid down on the outside line during the intermission. Bollinger did likewise, while Cambell, Ross, Hartlaub, Rahmer, Jr., and Axsom fanned out behind them.

The front three remained unchanged through the first seven laps. Campbell picked off Bollinger in traffic on lap weight, and he would hold onto that position for the remainder of the non-stop thirty lapper.

Bollinger and Ross were putting on a good show for the third spot. Ross assumed control of the position by lap ten, but a new player was in the mix. Danny Dietrich reached the top five by the halfway mark and he was looking to advance. He quickly dispatched Bollinger, but it took him several laps to catch and overtake Ross. He was able to do it with less than five laps in the contest.

Dietz completed his tour in eight minutes and nineteen and a quarter seconds. His margin of victory was 0.845 seconds over Cambell, Danny Dietrich was third. Bollinger got Ross in the waning laps. Positions six through ten went to Devon Borden, Whittal, Rahmer, Jr., Axsom, and Smith.

The four heat winners were Bollinger, Campbell, Axsom, and Ross. The B Main victory went to Reese Nowotarski. Dietz set the fastest time of the day, 13.878 seconds. He edged Rahmer, Jr. by a mere one-thousandth of a second.

Lincoln Speedway will return to its usual Saturday night slot on April 13. Joining the 410 Sprints on Golf Cart Services Night will be the USAC East Coast Sprints. April 20 will be the annual Weldon Sterner Memorial paying a whopping twenty thousand dollars to the winner. The 358 Sprints will provide the support for that one. Another 410 and 358 Sprint doubleheader will close out the month of April. Starting time will be 6 p.m. for each of those events.

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