It was a busy weekend for local speedways
By Pam Baker
CLARION NEWS Racing correspondent
What a beautiful weekend for racing and all the local speedways were able to complete their respective programs this past weekend and there is a lot to report, so I will get right to things.
On Friday night the first race of Western PA Speedweek was held as the first two original races which were to be held on Wednesday and Thursday were canceled due to rain. There were 37 cars in the pit area at Lernerville and Kunkletown's Ryan Smith had no problem adjusting to the track surface at Lernerville and captured the $3,000 to win, 30-lap event. AJ Flick finished a close second with Brandon Matus third. Fourth went to Clarion's Michael Bauer with Lee Jacobs rounding out the top five.
Mike Norris captured yet another feature win in the Late Model division after starting on the pole position and never looked back to get the win. Finishing second was Jared Miley followed by Alex Ferree, Gary Lyle and Tommy Beck.
In the Big Block Modified feature Rex King, Sr. had his car set perfectly and after starting eighth in the field, overtook the duo of Dave Murdick and Garrett Krummert to capture his first win of the season. Finishing second was Brian Swartzlander followed by Rex King, Jr., Jeremiah Shingledecker and Garrett Krummert.
The final race of the evening Corey McPherson in the Penn Ohio Pro Stocks led from start to finish to collect his 49th career Lernerville victory. Finishing second was Joey Zambotti over Jake Dietz, Joe Kelley and Mike Miller.
Coming up this Friday night will be Fan Appreciation Night with fireworks and the FAB 4 regular night of racing featuring the 410 Sprints, Late Models, Big Block Modifieds and Penn Ohio Pro Stocks. Racing starts at 7:30 p.m.
Michaels Mercer Raceway was dark on Saturday night, but coming up this Saturday will feature the Big Block Modifieds, FASTRAK Modifieds, Racesaver 305 Sprints, Mini Stocks and the Young Gun Junior Sprints. Racing starts at 7 p.m.
On Saturday night the BRP Modified Tour racing series for the Big Block Modifieds invaded Hummingbird Speedway and with 21 cars on hand for the event, Garrett Krummert showed the field the way around the track to pick up the win. Starting on the pole was Dave Murdick and Rex King, Jr. Murdick got the jump at the drop of the green and led the first two laps before the caution waved for an accident in turn four that eliminated JR McGinley and Steve Barr. On the restart, King, Jr. was able to wrestle the lead away from Murdick and led the race until Garrett Krummert who worked his way towards the front from his seventh starting position used a slide job in turn three to get the lead away from King, Jr. Krummert then set sail and never looked back to get the $2,000 win. The real race was for second as Brad Rapp and Rex King, Jr. ran side-by-side for several laps before Rapp was able to complete the pass for second. It was Brad's best run of the season with the BRP and he finished second ahead of Rex King, Jr., Rex King, Sr. and Chad Brachmann. The BRP Modified Tour will be heading to Bedford Speedway this coming Sunday night.
Doug Eck made the long tow from Corry to Hummingbird Speedway and was able to capture the Super Late Model feature win. Finishing second was Garrett Mott followed by Kenny Schaffer in third. Fourth went to Scott Alvertro with Paul Kot finishing fifth.
The Semi Late feature saw Eddie Conner pick up another feature win who started on the outside pole and led the distance to get the win. Finishing second was Doug Surra followed by Gabe Shaffer, Deegen Watt and Nick Loffredo.
The 4-Cylinder feature was up next and Wayne Truitt captured his first win of the season over Shawn Hadden, Devin Kaufman, Carl Killinger and Justin Finland.
The final race of the night featured the Pure Stocks and Tim Steis was the best of the field and picked up the feature victory. Finishing second was Bryce Swauger. Third went to Andy Frey with Josh Fields fourth and Dustin Challingsworth fifth.
Coming up this Saturday night at Hummingbird Speedway will be the Al Connor Memorial for the Semi Late Models as well as a special for the Econo Mod division. Also on tap will be the Super Late Models, Pure Stocks and 4-Cylinders. Racing starts at 7 p.m.
Also on Saturday night at Sharon Speedway the second of three Western PA Sprint Speedweek shows was held and Ryan Smith backed up his win from Lernerville with a second at Sharon. Carl Bowser finished second with AJ Flick riding home third. Fourth went to Dan Kuriger with Bradley Howard in fifth.
Nolan Groves started twelfth during the RUSH Sprint Car feature and made the pass for the lead on lap thirteen over Chad Ruhlman to take the $600 feature winners money. Ruhlman finished second ahead of Steve Pedley in third. Fourth went to Blaze Myers with Brian Ruhlman finishing fifth.
Chas Wolbert once again found victory lane after drawing the pole position and leading all twenty laps in the RUSH Sportsman Modified feature. Finishing second to Wolbert was Justin Shay followed by Ben Easler, Rob Kristyak and Tony Tatgenhorst.
The Econo Mod feature ended early as the time limit expired at when that happened Jeremy Double was in the right place at the right time to capture the feature win. Will Thomas, III finished second with Jacob Eucker third. Fourth went to Nate Young with Keith Felicetty rounding out the top five.
Coming up this Saturday at Sharon will be the Steel Valley Pro Stock Nationals for the Penn-Ohio series and will pay $10,000 to the winner. The Dwarf Cars will also run along with a Pro Stocks for this event. Then on Tuesday, June 15th Sharon will run their portion of Ohio Speedweek for the All Star Circuit of Champions that see the winner taking home $6,000 to win. Also running that night will be the RUSH Wingless Sprint Cars. Racing starts at 6pm.
The final race for the Western PA Sprint Speedweek was held on Sunday night at Tri City Speedway. Jack Sodeman, Jr. looked to have the race in the bag as he was way ahead of the field, but something on the car malfunctioned and on lap eighteen as he entered turn three he could not steer his car and went flipping into the guardrails hard. He was uninjured, but this gave Bradley Howard the open opportunity to take over first place and went on then to win the race. Lee Jacobs finished second ahead of Ryan Smith, Darin Gallagher and Landon Myers. Several drivers suffered severe damage to their cars after flipping including AJ Flick who was the fastest qualifier for the night with a lap of 15.764 seconds. He crashed hard in turn two on the first lap of the heat race after riding over the left rear of another car. He was uninjured, but done for the night. Jeremy Hill, Chase Metheny and Kyle Colwell of Knox were also flip victims on Sunday night. No driver was injured in these mishaps.
In the 358 Modified feature Lonny Riggs led the event for the first seven laps before Jeremiah Shingledecker made the pass on lap eight and then sailed to the finish to pick up the win. Finishing second behind Shingledecker was Kyle Fink followed by Riggs, Jimmy Holden and Kevin Hoffman.
The RUSH Wingless Sprint Car feature saw Gale Ruth, Jr. dominate the race and captured the win. Finishing second was Arnie Kent over Rod George, John Mollick and Nolan Groves.
The Mini Stock feature saw Dalton Speer take the checkered flags for the third time this season over Chad Greeley, Andy Thompson, Brody McClintock and DJ Macrae.
Coming up this Sunday at Tri City will be the 410 Sprints along with the 358 Modifieds, Pro Stocks and Mini Stocks. Racing starts at 6 p.m.
Have a great week, be safe and see you at the track.