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Macri Makes Last Lap Pass at Williams Grove, Norris Nabs 358 Opener

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MECHANICSBURG, PA (March 29, 2024): Anthony Macri made a daring last lap pass on the outside of turn four to earn his second win of the season at Williams Grove Speedway. The move was worth a $500 bonus, which brought his winnings to $6,000. Plus, Macri picked up a gift certificate for being the hard charger.

“I was close on the restarts,” Macri said, “but he (Mike Walters, Jr.) was setting a good pace. When the yellow came out (on lap twenty-one) I thought I was done.” Macri explained that he pulled his wing back under the caution and he decided to go for it. “I figured I was either going to make the pass or be out in the cornfield.”

Walter had the pole for the start of the twenty-five lapper by virtue of winning the first heat race. Next to him was Ryan Wilson, winner of heat two. The third heat winner, Steve Buckwalter was inside row two, flanked by Briggs Danner. Ryan Taylor and Tony Jackson were in row three. Dylan Norris and Lucas Wolfe manned row five. Row six belonged to Logan McCandless and T.J. Stutts.

Heavy hitters were buried deep in the starting line-up. Cory Eliason rolled off from position fifteen, Troy Wagaman, Jr. from sixteenth, Macri from seventeenth, Danny Dietrich from nineteenth, Dylan Cisney from twenty-first, and Freddie Rahmer, Jr. from twenty-second.

Walter won the race to turn one on the opening lap, and he established himself on the cushion. Wilson, Buckwalter, Moody, Danner, and Taylor followed. Buckwalter was an early casualty, bringing out a caution just three laps into the event. Walter resumed the lead on the restart, but Moody took over second, bringing Danner and Norris with him. Meanwhile, Macri was already into the sixth position by lap five.

Cautions on laps nine and ten brought the leaders back to Macri, and he advanced to third by the halfway mark. As the leaders were racing through turns one and two, Danny Dietrich and Greg McCandless tangled in turn four, with both racers flipping. Fortunately, neither driver was hurt.

When the race went green again, Macri was challenging Moody for the second position. After overtaking Moody, Macri went on the attack. Within a couple of laps, he was pressing Walter for the lead. When Walter jumped the cushion between turns one and two, Macri scooted past him. But soon thereafter a caution came out, so the pass did not count.

On the restart, Macri dove low into turn one, but Walter was able to hold him off. Macri’s sliders in turns one and three on successive laps were unsuccessful.

On the final lap, Macri went hard into turn one once again. He pulled up beside the leader, but Walter maintained the advantage through turn two. Macri got a good run at the leader down the back stretch, but Walter went low to block another slider. Macri changed his line and rolled the cushion in turn three. Macri had some momentum and was racing wheel to wheel with Walter for the win.

Three Rivers Karting

They entered turn four side by side, and Walter bobbled. Macri pulled ahead as Walter slid up the track and got sideways in the middle of the corner. Macri went on to win. Walter was able to keep his car moving, but he lost second to Norris.

Moody finished fourth, with Danner fifth. Eliason, Taylor, Rahmer, Devon Borden, and Stutts completed the top ten.

Although Danny Dietrich won the B Main, he encountered mechanical problems during the event and he pitted twice. The flip ended his string of podium finishes in Central PA.

Matt Findley took the lead from the pole and maintained control for the first half of the 358 Sprint Car feature. Justin Foster raced in second until lap six, when he retired from the contest. That put Zach Newlin into the second position.

Findley and Newlin swapped the lead on laps eleven and twelve. Dylan Norris joined the fun on lap twelve. He took second away from Newlin and took up the chase. On lap sixteen, Norris was the new leader. Newlin passed Findley one lap later.

Then, Findley’s nose wing collapsed and he fell out of the top five.

At the checkers, it was Norris over Newlin, Kyle Spence, Preston Lattomus, and Doug Hammaker. Findley held on for sixth, ahead of Nat Tuckey, Dwight Leppo, Chris Frank, and Chase Gutshall.

Heats for the 358 Sprints went to Derek Locke, Frankie Herr, and Leppo. There was no B Main.

Next week, Williams Grove Speedway will present another Sprint Car doubleheader. The 410s will top the card, of course. Racing with the 358 Sprints will be the 360 Sprints of the United Racing Club. On April 12, the 410s will be joined by the USAC East Coast 360 Wingless Sprints and the PASS/IMCA 305 sprints.

And, mark your calendars for the Tommy Hinnershitz Classic on April 19. Street Stocks will provide support that night.

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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