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Gravel Grabs Lincoln Loot

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Photo by Paul Arch

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (May 8, 2024): David Gravel continued his hot streak on the World of Outlaws Sprint Car tour at the Fabulous Lincoln Speedway. His sixth victory of the season was his third in his last four outings, and he stretched his points lead over Donny Schatz to more than fifty counters entering the weekend’s action at the Williams Grove Speedway.

“I started on the pole and I didn’t know what kind of pace to be running, or where to run. If I was running third, I would have been searching around. I started low and went to the middles for two laps in (turn) one and two, and then I went to the top and I was able to carry some speed.” Gravel was challenged in the middle part of the race by Carson Macedo, but as the race wore on, Gravel’s dominance became apparent.

Second place finisher, Giovanni Scelzi, gave props to Gravel and company. “They are really fast right now. There’s no excuses from me,” he added. “We flat out got beat.”

Macedo, who eventually finished third, observed, “I was good early in the feature, I was pacing myself, but then I had a bad restart, and Gio got by me.” Macedo overlooked the fact that Anthony Macri also passed him in the later stages of the race, but Macedo was able to recover his position before the restarts switched to single file for the final ten laps of the contest.

Gravel and Macedo occupied the front row as a result of their performances in the Dash. Gravel noticed that Macedo’s team was changing torsion bars before the Dash. “They were looking for something,” he said. “I was comfortable with my car though,” and he was able to make the pass in the final thirty yards of the Dash.

Behind them were Buddy Kofoid and Scelzi. Kody Hartlaub and Macri made a PA third row. They were followed by Schatz and Chase Dietz. Bill Balog and Troy Wagaman, Jr. shared the fifth row. Lucas Wolfe and Sheldon Haudenschild were in row six.

With the exception of hometown Outlaw Logan Schuchart, the second half of the field was reserved for the PA Posse. Stuck back there were Kyle Moody, in thirteenth, Freddie Rahmer, Jr., in seventeenth, his brother Brandon, in twenty-first, Devon Borden, in twenty-second, and Danny Dietrich, in twenty-fourth.

Gravel led Macedo into turn one on the opening lap, with Kofoid, Scelzi, Macri, Hartlaub, Dietz, Schatz, Wagaman, and Balog following. Thigs remained unchanged until Gravel raced into lapped traffic on lap eight. At that point, subtle changes started to take place in the top ten.

Three Rivers Karting

Scelzi slipped by Kofoid for third. Soon thereafter, Kofoid was under attack from Macri. Dietz was hot on his heels. Schuchart reached into the top ten, as did Wagaman, but they were not able to remain there.

In the middle stage of the thirty-five lapper, Macedo closed in on Gravel and he made a bid for the lead in turn one. Gravel rallied, and kept the challenger behind him.

The first caution of the contest was shown on lap twenty-three, when Moody slowed to a stop on the front straight. On the ensuing restart, Macri picked off Kofoid. Scelzi was hounding Macedo, and he took over second on lap twenty-four. Macri was working on Macedo when the race was halted for a flip by Balog, who crashed out of the top ten. Balog’s car also caught fire, but the safety crew quickly doused the flames. Balog was not hurt, but his car was substantially damaged.

The field logged two more laps before the next red flag appeared. This time, It was Hartlaub who went over at the exit of turn two. Wolfe, Rahmer Jr., and Chad Trout were also involved. Hartlaub and Rahmer Jr. were unable to continue.

Despite these distractions, Gravel remained in control. He led the final seven laps without further incidents. Scelzi, Macedo, and Macri held their positions as well. Schatz moved up to fifth in the final laps. Haudenschild, Kofoid, Wagaman, Danny Dietrich, and Dietz completed the top ten.

Dietrich was the hard charger, passing fifteen cars during the race.

The four heat winners were also the night’s four fastest qualifiers. They were Schatz, Gravel, Macri, and Macedo. The quick time was registered by Schatz, at 13.487 seconds. The B Main winner was Brandon Rahmer, who dropped from his heat while running in second position, which would have made him eligible for the Dash. So, instead of locking into the first eight, he was relegated to twenty-first on the grid.

Lincoln Speedway will not race on Saturday evening. There will be a car show and exhibition racing for vintage cars in the afternoon. There will also be an auto thrill show in the evening. A 410 and 358 Sprint Car double header will be held on May 18 as part of the Fallen Firefighters Memorial program. May 25 will be the Don Leiby Memorial, which will have ARDC Midgets and Late Models added to the 410 Sprint Car staple.

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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