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Dirt Racing

Flick FAST at Tri-City; Reitz, Schneider, and Urey also Score

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Photo by Paul Arch

FRANKLIN, PA (May 12, 2024): A.J. Flick, the two-time and defending champion in the Krill Recycling LLC 410 Sprint Cars secured the home turf against the invasion of the FAST on Dirt Sprint Car Series on Mother’s Day at Tri City Raceway Park. The event, which made up for a cancellation the week before, was the first race conducted under the new track ownership of Josh and Kyrsten Shiffer. It was a major success. Also taking home wins on this momentous night were Chad Reitz (21st Century Energy Group 358 Modifieds), Chris Schneider (Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks), and Matt Urey (4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks).

In the FAST Sprint Car feature, Logan McCandless and A.J. Flick brought the outstanding field to the green flag. Behind them were Matt Farnham and Dale Blaney. In the third row were series points leader Zane DeVault and Dylan Norris. The fourth row consisted of defending FAST champion Brandon Spithaler and Sean Rayhall. The fifth row paired Ricky Peterson and Gale Ruth, Jr. The sixth duo was Jack Sodeman, Jr. and Bob Felmlee.

Flick raced into turn one ahead of McCandless, Farnham, DeVault, and Spithaler. Before the racers could settle in, there was a caution for a three-car tangle in turn two, which included a flip by Sye Lynch. T.J. Michael and Ruth were also involved, but they were able to make repairs and resume racing.

Flick bolted ahead again on the restart. McCandless raced along in second, ahead of Farnham, DeVault, Spithaler, Blaney, Rayhall, Felmlee, and Sodeman.

Michael averted disaster on lap seven, when he went over the right rear wheel of Jarrett Cavalet midway down the back stretch. Both drivers were able to keep moving, and Michael safely brought his car into the pits. Cavalet stopped at the entrance to turn three to bring out the second caution.

On the ensuing restart, Flick continued to lead over McCandless, Farnham, and Norris. There was a good three-car battle for fifth among DeVault, Blaney, and Spithaler. That ended several laps later when Spithaler sustained a flat right rear and brought his car to a stop.

The first two remained unchanged when the race went green again, but Norris moved into third, ahead of DeVault and Farnham.

The final eleven laps went off without a hitch. Flick picked up the checkers, 0.613 seconds ahead of McCandless. DeVault, Norris, and Farnham completed the top five. Blaney, Spithaler, Rayhall, Sodeman, and Felmlee completed the top ten.

The heat winners were Farnham, Flick, and McCandless. The B Main winner was Brent Matus, who had mechanical woes and did not complete a lap in the A Main. The evening’s fastest qualifier overall was DeVault, with a time of 15.220 seconds on the big half mile.

In the 21st Century Energy Group 358 Modifieds, Hayden Holden and Ryan Guthrie paced the field for the start of the twenty lapper. Chad Reitz and Eric Beggs were partners in row two. Kevin Green and Steve Slater made up row three. Lenny Liebold, III and Gage Priester were in row four, with Brandon Ritchey and Jeremy Beichner in row five. The sixth row consisted of Jimmy Holden and Daniel Hostetler.

On the initial green, Guthrie got off to a slow start, causing Beggs to check up. He got turned and made contact with the front stretch wall. Although he was unhurt, he was unable to continue in the race.

On the second attempt to get the race going, Hayden Holden assumed control, with Reitz running a close second. Slater, Guthrie, Green, and Priester followed. Green coasted to a halt in turn four on the second lap.

Three Rivers Karting

Hayden Holden maintained the lead for two more laps. Reitz got a big run off turn two with his powerful Ford powered car, and he swooped into the lead entering turn three.

Reitz set a fast pace through lap nineteen, when the final caution set up a green-white-checker finish. Reitz completed the rounds without any further complications. Hayden Holden and Slater were next across the line. Priester and Guthrie were fourth and fifth.

The balance of the top ten were Beichner, Hostetler, Liebold, Jimmy Holden, and Ritchey.

The heat winners were Hayden Holden and Slater. There was no B Main.

The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks had Hunter Exley and Chris Schneider on the front row. Shane Applebee and Josh Seippel left from row two. The third had Bobby Whitling and Brandon Connor. Row four matched Pat Fielding with Hot Rod Laskey. Tim Bish and Mike Miller had row five covered and Matt Bernard and Doug Iorio, II followed them.

Schneider and Exley got off to a quick start for the twenty lapper. Seippel, Conner, and Bobby Whitling were in tow. Whitling’s race ended early, however.

Schneider, Exley, and Seippel continued in the top three after that brief stoppage for Bobby Whitling. But Bish was on the move, reaching the top five by the middle stage of the race. He continued his advance in the second half of the contest.

At the checkers, it was Schneider, Exley, Bish, Miller, and Connor. Iorio, Ron Boardman, Applebee, Bernard, and Jake Whitling completed the top ten.

The 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks wore the nightcap. Tevn Schaffer and Tim Callahan were in the first row for the twelve lap finale. Dillon Morrison and Greg Rockwell had the second row covered. The third consisted of John Gill and Matt Urey, the defending division. Bill Fuchs and Mike Kelly met in row four. The fifth had Chad Greeley and Ben Aley, with Nick Bem and Allen Robison right behind.

Callahan led the early going until he sustained a flat coming off turn two. Morrison and Urey, who were locked in a heated battle for second at the time, had to take evasive measures. Fortunately, they were able to avoid impact with Callahan. The contest between Morrison and Urey was intense, with Urey making a late race pass to grab the win.

Taking third was Fuchs, followed by Rockwell and Gill. Robison, Jason Campbell, Greeley, Billie Jo Huffman, and Kelly completed the top ten.

Next week, Tri City Raceway Park will resume its normal schedule. The Krill Recycling 410 Sprint Cars will be the headline division, with support coming from the 21st Energy Group 358 Modifieds, the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks, and the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. Added to the card will be the Old School Kool Tour to provide a retrospective look at Western Pennsylvania racing.

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.

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.

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“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.

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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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