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Dirt Racing

Lee Repeats as UMP Modified Champion at East Bay

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GIBSONTON, FL (February 3, 2024): Lucas Lee came back to win the finale for the UMP Modifieds during the WInternationals at East Bay Raceway Park. It was his second consecutive triumph in the winter classic. He won a pair of the preliminaries earlier in the week, and remained competitive in the other events, but he was not racing for the wins. He wasn’t worried, though, for he was confident that he had something special for Saturday night. Indeed, he did.

Lee ran in the top three for almost the entire race. He challenged Cole Czarneski for second on several occasions, but Lee came to life in the final twenty-five laps. Most of that run to the checkers was spent racing side by side with Kyle Strickler. “I thank him for racing me clean,” Lee said. “He could have come down and chopped me off.” Lee recalled a similar duel with Strickler at Florence Speedway, when Strickler came out on top, and he was very satisfied that the finish was reversed this time around.

Lee attributed much of his success to changing track conditions. “It cleaned up enough that I could go in hard.” Lee explained that the harder that he entered the corners, the better the car stuck. He made up a lot of time racing the inside line in turns three and four, but he conceded that Strickler was probably better than he was at the other end of the track. The eye test showed as much. During their struggle for the lead, Strickler was able to gain a slight advantage by rolling the top in turns one and two, but Lee could at least pull even or move ahead in three and four.

Strickler agreed that track conditions were important. He lost the lead in the middle stage of the race. His car began to push through turns three and four and Czarneski was able to drive hard in those corners. “It slicked off in four and I had to find a new line,” Strickler explained. Despite losing the race to his friend, Lee, Strickler was happy. “That was a lot of fun. This is probably the best I have felt finishing second. It doesn’t sting as much as last night.” Strickler thought that he gave away the Friday preliminary. Strickler, who now spends most of the time racing a Late Model, added that he really enjoys racing the Modified and finds it to be much less stressful.

Strickler drew the pole for the seventy-five lapper. Czarneski was by his side. Brad DeYoung and Ryan Gierke occupied row two, the last two cars locked into the A Main were Michael Leach and Lee. Then came the heat winners, led by Devin Dixon and Trey Jacoby. Rodney Wing and Brian Skaggs came next. The final heat winner, Austin Holcombe, was paired with David Pollen in row six.

Strickler led Czarneski, DeYoung, Gierke, Leach, Lee, Jacoby, and Wing in the early going. A caution three laps in re-set the running order, as Gierke was sent to the tail for turning a fellow competitor. On the restart, Lee was able to wrestle second away from Czarneski, but the teen regained the position just before the next caution, which appeared on lap eleven. In that interval, Leach and Wing moved into the top five. In addition, Jason Garver, winner of one of the B Mains, climbed into the top ten from seventeenth on the grid.

Czarneski continued to shadow Strickler when the race resumed. Lee stayed close in third while trying to hold off Leach and Wing. Garver’s dash to the front took a severe blow when he lost the left rear tire. He pitted on the caution and resumed the race, but any chances of a win were gone.

Following the restart, Strickler led Czarneski and Lee into traffic. Strickler had some difficulties working past the slower cars, and that enabled Czarneski to slip by on the inside coming off turn four. Czarneski led up to the fuel stop on lap thirty-five. Lee maintained third but he let the leaders get away in traffic.

Three Rivers Karting

At the fuel stop, Czarneski was the leader over Strickler, Lee, Leach, Jacoby, DeYoung, Holcombe, Michael Turner, Austin Sanders, and Pollen. Of note, Turner was the winner of the second B Main and he methodically worked his way ahead.

When the race resumed, Strickler made a bold move to the top of the speedway. He was able to maintain momentum and he pulled alongside Czarneski. Strickler got his nose ahead to lead lap thirty-seven. While the lead duo ran side-by-side, Lee was lurking. Leach and Jacoby were fighting for fourth, with Wing close behind them.

At lap fifty, Leach lost the handle and took a visit to the pits. On the ensuing restart, Lee asserted himself. While Strickler led, Lee and Czarneski fought for second. The Tennessee veteran claimed the position by lap fifty-five, and he set out after Strickler. It did not take him very long to mount a serious challenge for the lead.

Lee was on the bottom, and Strickler was up on the cushion. The two ran side-by-side for a number of laps before Strickler got the advantage. The final caution appeared on lap sixty-three. The battle for the lead picked up again when the green light flashed on for the last time. Lee got a strong run coming off turn four to lead lap sixty-seven.

Strickler fought back to regain the lead, but he could not dispose of Lee. Lee’s persistence paid off on lap seventy-two when he went to P1 on the scoreboard. Strickler continued to run the high side and he was able to pull alongside Lee.

The duo took the white flag racing side-by-side. Lee cut two good corners to get a slight advantage heading down the back stretch for the last time. Strickler pulled all the stops in the final corners and came up just a tad short at the checkers. Lee got the win by 0.272 seconds.

Czarneski had a choice seat for the final showdown, but he was too far back to join the fun that unfolded in front of him. Jacoby and Wing completed the top five. Leach came back after his miscue and a trip to the pits to garner sixth. Dixon, Skaggs, Turner, and Alan Weisser rounded out the top ten.

DeYoung and Holcombe were the last two cars on the lead lap.

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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