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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.

Dirt Racing

PPMS, Latrobe and Lervnerville Cancel Saturday Events

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PITTSBURGH, PA (May 25, 2024) A forecast calling for thunderstorms after 3 p.m. with gusty winds and possible hail throughout areas of Western Pennsylvania on Saturday is forcing local tracks to cancel their Saturday nights events.

Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway made the decision early to cancel their Choice for Change Action Event with the RUSH Sprint Cars.  All tickets purchased for the event are eligible for a full refund.  Next up at PPMS is the Western PA Speedweek event on Thursday with UEMS Racing Series.

Penn Ohio Pro Stock Touring Series and Latrobe Speedway officials are also postponing the tour’s season-opener because of Mother Nature.  The good news is the delay is only one week.

Three Rivers Karting

“Despite the unfortunate weather forecast that canceled our fourth race in a row, we have a silver lining,” said SNB Promotions Dennis Bates. “Thankfully, we were able to reschedule the Homak Penn Ohio Pro Stock Tour for the following Saturday, June 1. Providing a new opportunity for our stakeholders to enjoy a modified six-division event. Most Homak Penn Ohio Pro Stock touring teams have more than a two-hour drive to the speedway, so it made sense to postpone the race.”

The modified six-division show will also include the K2 Engineering FASTrak Pro Late Models, Joe’s Body Shop & Towing Pure Stocks, Special T Metals LLC Modified 4 Cylinders, the Marilungo Disposal LLC Strictly Stock 4 Cylinders, and the Dean Pollock Hobby Stocks.

The grim forecast is also causing Overdrive Monster Truck and Lernerville Speedway officials to postpone tonight’s event. The show will now take place on Sunday, May 26 with VIP gates opening at 2 p.m.  The grandstands will open at 2:30 p.m. with a scheduled start of 6 p.m.  All tickets purchased in advance will be honored for May 26.

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Dirt Racing

Red-Hot Spithaler Continues His Winning Ways At Lernerville

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SARVER, PA (May 24, 2024) There its not a hotter driver in the local 410 Sprint Car ranks than Brandon Spithaler.  One week after finishing fourth in the World of Outlaws A Main at Attica Raceway Park, Spithaler picked up the checkered flag in the People’s Natural Gas feature Friday night at Lernerville Speedway.

Spithaler started eighth in the 19-car field and held off Bradon Matus and Michael Bauer to pick up the win.  AJ Flick finished fourth and hard-charger Dan Kuriger rounded out the Top 5 after starting 18th.

Flick remains atop the Championship standing followed by Carl Bowser, who trails flick by 16-points.  Bauer and Matus each sit 19-points back of Flick with Baurer holding down third in the standings by virtue of his 2-Top 5 finished.  The victory moves Spithaler to sixth, 29-points back despite participating in only 2-events.

Tyler Dietz started on the front row and took home the victory in the Precise Racing Products Late Model feature.  Colton Flinner finished second followed by Michael Norris and John Garvin Jr.

Norris remains atop the Championship standings with Flinner in second, 1-point behind.  Garvin is 7-points behind in third and Dietz’ victory leaves him sitting in fourth, 13-points behind.

Three Rivers Karting

Garrett Krummert is your winner in the Diehl Automotive Big Block Modifieds.  Krummert started seventh and expertly worked traffic to get past second-place starter and finisher Rex King Jr.  Jeremiah Shingledecker finished third followed by Will Thomas in fourth.  Ayden Cipriano rounded out the Top 5.

The Top 4 finishers are your Top 4 in the Championship standings with King Jr 5-points behind Krummert.  Shingledecker sits third, 16-points back and Thomas is only one point back of third, 17-points behind Krummert.

Pole sitter Chris Schneider held off a hard-charging Dietz to win the Millerstown Pic-A-Part Pro Stocks feature.  Christian Schneider came home third after starting sixth followed by Corey McPherson in fourth and Jason Fosnaught in fifth.

Dietz and Christian Schneider are tied atop the Championship standings with 113 points each.  Chris Schneider is third 9-points back in a battle that is bound to go down to the final weekend.

Saturday night’s Overdrive Monster Trucks event has been postponed to Sunday due to the forecast.  VIP Gates will open at 2 p.m. with grandstands opening at 2:30 p.m.  The event will start at 6 p.m.  All tickets purchased in advance will be honored for May 26.

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Dirt Racing

Dietrich Does It At The Grove

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Williams Grove Speedway

MECHANICSBURG, PA (May 24, 2024): Danny Dietrich got a break at the start of the John Trone Tribute A Main at Williams Grove Speedway, and he made the most of it. Dietrich fell in behind Lucas Wolfe on the initial green, but a multi-car crash before the entire field crossed for lap one necessitated a complete restart. Dietrich was better prepared for the second try, and he was able to keep Wolfe behind him motoring down the long straightaway. Still, Dietrich had to fend Wolfe off once or twice during the contest to ensure the $10,039 win. Wolfe slid out of the rubber once in the late going, and Spencer Bayston scooted by for second.

Also grabbing a win was Logan Spahr in the PASS IMCA 305 Sprint undercard.

“We had a good draw, but we had a bad start,” the Gettsysburg pilot observed. “I like racing with Lucas (Wolfe) because he will always race you clean. Lucas got me, but we were better the next time.” Dietrich explained that there was some moisture in the middle of the track, and that was where Wolfe launched at the drop of the green. “I didn’t push him up enough, so the second time I moved up and I got a better run,” Dietrich added.

Dietrich started on the pole carrying the traditional red, white, and blue colors and the historic number 29 that always adorned the Bob Weikert-owned machines over the years. The next generation of Weikerts sponsor Dietrich’s car, owned by Gary Kauffman of Biglerville, and the Kauffman/Dietrich team pay homage to the iconic car and the famous owner over the Memorial Day Weekend. The same livery will be used in the two-day event at the Port Royal Speedway.

Wolfe was on Dietrich’s flank for the start of the twenty-five lapper. In the row behind were Devon Borden and Bayston. Row three paired up Chase Dietz and Cory Eliason. Anthony Macri and Rico Abreu made up row four. Next were T.J. Stutts and midwestern star Brian Brown. James McFadden and Kyle Reinhardt occupied row six.

The first lap melee eliminated several cars, including those of current points leader and defending champion Freddie Rahmer, Jr., and Lance Dewease.

After the failed attempt to start the race, Dietrich claimed the lead that he would never relinquish. Wolfe stayed close, particularly in the early going. He was followed by Bayston, Borden, Dietz, Eliason, Macri, Abreu, Brown, and Reinhardt. Dietrich had a comfortable margin eliminated on lap eleven when Austin Bishop stopped on the track for the first official caution.

On the restart, Wolfe drove in the middle grove entering turn one. He was able to get along side of Dietrich, but the bottom was the better line due to the accumulated rubber. So Dietrich was able to drive away from his challenger in turn two. Bayston remained in third, with Dietz and Eliason next.

Two laps later, Abreu spun himself out of the top ten. He managed to keep moving, so there was no caution but, now, Abreu was at the tail of the field. Bayston got a good run on Wolfe for second a lap later, but Bayston slid up the track and handed third over to Dietz. Bayston was able to regain the position by lap fifteen, when Abreu and Aaron Bollinger tangled in turn one.

Three Rivers Karting

On the restart, Dietrich continued to lead Wolfe and Bayston. Bayston was pressing Wolfe while Dietrich began to pull away. With just two laps remaining, Wolfe slid up off the rubber in turn one, losing second to Bayston in the process.

At the checkers, it was Dietrich by a wide margin over Bayston, Wolfe, Eliason, and Dietz. Macri, Borden, Reinhardt, Brown, and Stutts completed the top ten.

The four heat wins went to Abreu, Bayston, Wolfe, and Dietrich. Cameron Smith prevailed in the B Main. Eliason was the fastest qualifier this night, topping Group A with a lap of 17.898 seconds. Macri was best in Group B with a time of 18.278 seconds.

Josh Beamer had the pole for the twenty-lap nightcap for the PASS IMCA 305 Sprints. Beside him was Erin Statler. Row two consisted of Jason Roush and Spahr. The third row matched Andrew Boyer with Kenny Heffner. Drew Young shared row four with Mike Alleman. Owen Dimm and Danny Buccafusco raced from row five, and they were trailed by Landon Price and Mike Melair.

Beamer dashed out front, but Spahr was into second in no time at all. Roush, Heffner, Boyer, and Young followed closely. As the lap counter advanced, Beamer and Spahr separated themselves from Heffner, who raced alone in third. Positions four on back were hotly contested.

Spahr assumed the lead on lap eleven, just one round ahead of the lone caution of the race for Croix Beasom.

On the restart, Spahr got a tremendous jump on Beasom. Young lost several positions after the race resumed. Moving ahead of him were Christian Rumsey, Heffner, Melair, Statler, and Buccafusco.

Spahr showed no mercy to his competitors over the final eight laps. Beamer registered a second place finish, ahead of Rumsey, Melair, and Statler. Positions six through ten went to Heffner, Buccafusco, Young, Boyer, and Dimm.

Boyer and Heffner shared the heats. There was no B Main.

Next week, the 358 Sprints will return to support the 410 Sprints. The 358s will go for twenty-five laps with extra purse money on the line. The month of June will commence with the 410s and USAC East Coast Sprints in the Bill Gallagher Memorial. On June 14, the USAC National Sprints will be the added attraction, along with the 410 Sprints. June 21 will be the tune-up for Central PA Speedweek.

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