Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Top 25 National Sprint Car Poll - Week 5

Kyle Larson (57) racing hard with Sheldon Haudenschild (93)
at Waynesfield Raceway Park during Ohio Speedweek action.

Making a splash on the sprint car scene and moving to No. 14 in this week's rankings is none other than Elk Grove, Calif.'s Kyle Larson. Larson, joined by fellow asphalt racers Rico Abreu and Kasey Kahne, dropped into Ohio over the weekend to partake in some of the All Star Sprint Speedweek fun. The California hotshoe picked up the miniseries opener at Attica, then continued on to pick up podium finishes at both Waynesfield Raceway Park and Millstream Speedway.

Also making their debut in our Top 25 rankings is sprint car legend Sammy Swindell. Swindell's strong runs continued this past weekend when he finished 5th at Knoxville Raceway and 2nd at Mason City Motor Speedway against a tough National Sprint League field. Slammin' Sammy slides in to the 25th and final spot on the poll.

Once again, Fargo, N.D.'s Donny Schatz topped the rankings. Over the past week he notched his 3rd straight River Cities Speedway World of Outlaws win, with another 3rd place finish to boot. Behind him we find a dead-heat tie for the 2nd spot between WoO competitors David Gravel and Shane Stewart. Gravel continues to post consistent Top 5 finishes while Stewart found victory lane twice.

Kyle Larson was the Hard Charger of the week. He now sits 14th in the Rankings, but as of last week he had not tallied a single point due to his NASCAR commitments keeping him from getting dirty. Other notable movers through the field were Shane Stewart, Daryn Pittman and Kerry Madsen who all moved up an impressive 5 spots!

The two drivers who dropped out of the rankings from last week's poll were Pennsylvania's Brent Marks and Ohio's Cole Duncan.

Our panel of voting members for Week 3 included the following:
Blake Anderson, Brian Liskai, Bobby Gerould, Tony Bokhoven, Mike Leone, Kyle Symons, Anthony Corini and Tyler Beichner.

1. Donny Schatz, 199 points (7)
Recent Results: Rebounds from DNF at Granite City to score a win and 3rd at River Cities & Brown County.
Previous Ranking: 1st (NC)

2. David Gravel, 177 points (1)
Recent Results: Strong 2nd place run at River Cities and 6th place finishes at Granite City & Brown County.
Previous Ranking: 4th (+2)

2. Shane Stewart, 177 points
Recent Results: Dominating week results in two wins at Granite City & Brown County, plus a 4th at River Cities.
Previous Ranking: 7th (+5)

4. Brad Sweet, 170 points
Recent Results: Finishes of 2nd, 6th & 7th at Granite City, River Cities, and Brown County respectively.
Previous Ranking: 3rd (-1)

5. Greg Hodnett, 164 points
Recent Results: Caps off a 4th place run at Williams Grove by collecting another win at Port Royal.
Previous Ranking: 2nd (-3)

6. Dale Blaney, 163 points
Recent Results: Builds off of strong runs at Attica and Waynesfield to capture win at Millstream during Speedweek.
Previous Ranking: 5th (-1)

7. Daryn Pittman, 152 points
Recent Results: Consistently a Top 5 car of late with the WoO. Finishes of 4th, 5th, & 4th over the past week.
Previous Ranking: 10th (+5)

8. Danny Lasoski, 143 points
Recent Results: A weekend with the NSL, he placed 7th at Knoxville and picked up the win at Mason City.
Previous Ranking: 6th (-2)

9. Chad Kemenah, 133 points
Recent Results: Gaining speed, Kemenah placed in the Top 5 in each of the first three OH Speedweek events.
Previous Ranking: 11th (+2)

10. Kerry Madsen, 112 points
Recent Results: Notched a 3rd at Granite City with WoO before finding victory lane at Knoxville with the NSL.
Previous Ranking: 15th (+5)

11. Brian Brown, 97 points
Recent Results: After a 13th at Granite City with WoO, finishes weekend strong with a 4th & 6th in NSL action.
Previous Ranking: 8th (-3)

12. Terry McCarl, 92 points
Recent Results: Scores a 9th at Knoxville in NSL action before finishing just inside the Top 5 at Mason City.
Previous Ranking: 9th (-3)

12. Joey Saldana, 92 points
Recent Results: A runner-up at Brown County highlighted his weekend that also included 9th & 10th place finishes.
Previous Ranking: 13th (+1)

14. Kyle Larson, 84 points
Recent Results: Won his Attica debut followed by a runner-up at Waynesfield and 3rd place at Millstream during Ohio Speedweek.
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

15. Sheldon Haudenschild, 78 points
Recent Results: Fending off Larson for the win at Waynesfield was the lone bright spot to his Speedweek start.
Previous Ranking: 20th (+5)

16. Lucas Wolfe, 72 points
Recent Results: Follows up a DNF at Williams Grove with a 2nd place finish at Port Royal.
Previous Ranking: 13th (-4)

17. Dusty Zomer, 60 points
Recent Results: Struggles all weekend result in 13th and 16th place finishes with the Outlaws.
Previous Ranking: 12th (-5)

17. Craig Dollansky, 60 points
Recent Results: Progressively improved all weekend. Finished 12th, 8th & 5th in consecutive starts with WoO/NSL.
Previous Ranking: 16th (-1)

19. Tim Kaeding, 51 points
Recent Results: Notches a podium 3rd place finish at Knoxville before settling for 10th at Brown County.
Previous Ranking: 17th (-2)

20. Danny Dietrich, 44 points
Recent Results: Finishes 2nd at Williams Grove before a 20th & DNQ in two Ohio Speedweek starts.
Previous Ranking: 22nd (+2)

21. Jason Johnson, 31 points
Recent Results: Charges to a 5th place run at Granite City before finishes of 22nd & 12th at River Cities and Brown County.
Previous Ranking: 17th (-4)

22. Lance Dewease, 28 points
Recent Results: The team did not enter a race for yet another week.
Previous Ranking: 21st (-1)

23. Mark Dobmeier, 27 points
Recent Results: Disappointing runs in his neck of the woods. Places 23rd & 13th with the World of Outlaws.
Previous Ranking: 18th (-5)

23. Byron Reed, 27 points
Recent Results: Scores runner-up finish at Attica stop on Speedweek before placing other finishes of 12th & 24th.
Previous Ranking: 24th (+1)

25. Sammy Swindell, 24 points
Recent Results: Joins the rankings after finishing 5th at Knoxville and 2nd at Mason City in NSL action.
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Dropped Out of Rankings
Brent Marks (19), Cole Duncan (25)

Richards Walks Away at Weedsport

Daylon Barr Photo
Domination would be an understatement.

Daylon Barr Photo
     For the seventh time this season in World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series action, Josh Richards is heading to the bank with the winner’s check. But it wasn’t just a win; the Shinnston, W.V. native absolutely walked the field from the drop of the green flag.

Daylon Barr Photo

    After starting on the pole, by the time the 40 lap, caution free feature was finished, Richards had lapped up to fifth place, and extended his lead to over 10 seconds ahead of second place finisher Shane Clanton. Post-race, when asked, Richards said he didn’t know he was that far ahead, but praised the track workers for providing a “perfect” surface.

     Joining Richards and Clanton on top of Weedsport Speedway’s signature Victory Hill was Frank Heckenast Jr., finishing third in the JR99. Earlier in the evening Heckenast set the pace in time trials with a 15.358 second lap around the 3/8ths mile oval, edging Richards by .085s. Rounding out the top 5 was Brandon Overton and Rick Eckert respectively.

Daylon Barr Photo
     This is the series’ only trip to the Empire State this year, but they have a handful of races remaining in Pennsylvania including this weekend’s Firecracker 100 at Lernerville Speedway. Saturday nights feature will pay a whopping $30,000 to the winner. Action gets underway Thursday night with prelims, and continues Friday night with more of the same. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

The TDN Weekly Super Late Model Power Poll: Week 7

Hey there folks, tis' Monday and that means I'm about to hit you with the standings in my late model poll. I know It's a bit later than normal today, but I was at Idewild with my wife and kid all day,. Twas' fun, but sticky hot, and now we're all ready to do a whole lot of nothing. Before I get to that lounging, though, let's get to the whole point you read this stuff each week.

All of the scoring tracks involved got shows in this week, and I even got Roaring Knob results on time. That's a first for this season. Dog Hollow and Eriez had specials that bumped the points scored there up to the special level. A lot of points were scored this week, so the standings will reflect that.

Speaking of those standings, here they be.

1. Max Blair***, 36 points. Max got a fourth at Dog Hollow Friday and picked up the win at Eriez Sunday for his points this week. In non-scoring action, He got a second in ULMS action at  Mercer Raceway Park Saturday.

2. Jared Miley***, 30 points. Jared was first under the Checkers at Dog Hollow Friday for his points this week. In non scoring action, He was third at Mercer on Saturday, and eighth at Eriez Sunday.

3. Alex Ferree***, 25 points. Alex was fourth at Lernerville Friday for his points this week. I idin't see his name anywhere else in any other results this weekend.

4. Dylan Yoder**, 23 points. Dylan ran third at Dog Hollow Friday and got a second at Port Royal Saturday for his points this week.

5. Jeff Rine**, 22 points. Jeff got a third Bedford Friday and had the victory at Selinsgrove Saturday in scoring action for this week.

6. Russ King, 21 points. Russ ran second at Lernerville Friday for his points this week. In non-scoring action, he won Saturday at Mercer.

7. Michael Lake**, 18 points. Michael's points came from a fifth at Dog Hollow this week.I didn't see his name in any other results this weekend, but I hear he went to Ohio Valley for the Jim Dunn Memorial on Saturday.

7. Joe Martin*, 18 points. Joe didn't score any points this eek, but he did run seventh at Dog Hollow Friday. I didn't see his name in any other results this weekend.

9. Rob Blair*, 17 points. Rob got a third at Eriez Sunday for his points this week. I didn't see his name in any other results.

9. Mike Blose*, 17 points.  Mike didn't score any points this week. Only place I saw his name in any results was Dog Hollow Friday, where he came home eleventh.

And that's the first ten names on my list this week. It's the biggest late model weekend of the year this coming weekend with the WoO coming to town for three days at Lernerville, and I hope you're coming out to see it. If not, you're missing out. If you see me, stop and say hey. I'll be wandering around the place all three days so it's pretty likely you'll see me somewhere. It could be like a Where's Waldo kind of thing. Find me and win a prize. The only prize would be a friendly conversation, though.

If not, I'll see ya next Monday when I update these rankings for next week.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Story From Lernerville; Williamson Makes It Four Out of Five; Bowser and Pegher Earn Hard Fought Wins; Young Owns Sportsman

Underneath a beautiful sky, the mid season championships took center stage at Lernerville Speedway on Friday night, and with it came the guaranteed starting spots to four important future events for all four feature winners. And for two drivers, the added incentive couldn't have come at a better time as Carl Bowser and Mike Pegher Jr. each turned around a miserable season with a feature win that put them in the show for the Don Martin Silver Cup and Firecracker 100 respectively. Canadian sensation Mat Williamson also put the skills on display picking up his fourth win in five weeks in the Diehl Automotive Dirt Car Modifieds, and Terry Young found victory lane for the second time in three weeks in the Millerstown Pic-A-Part Sportsman.

Diehl Automotive Modifieds

For most of the young season, the modifieds had treated fans in attendance to some of the most hotly contested and caution free features of the season. They provided more than their share of edge of the seat moments for fans in attendance at the action track. But this night...was not exactly one of those as Mat Williamson took the trophy back to his native Canada for the fourth time in five weeks in a caution marred feature event.

Jimmy Weller III and Brian Swartzlander brought the field to the first of many green flags as Swartlander darted out to the early advantage as a formidable chase pack formed behind him consisting of Garrett Krummert, Jeremiah Shingledecker and Kevin Bolland. But the action was halted early when a lap two tangle between last week's runner up, Mike Maresca, Mike Turner and Mark Frankenhouser reset the field.

Bolland exited the scene on the restart when his car broke something in the front end, causing his night to come to an end while in between yellow flags, Shingledecker and Krummert looked to provide the stiffest challenge to Swartzlander.  Following a lap six caution for a Rick Regalski and Shawn Kozaar tangle in turn two, the race finally picked up some momentum. Following the restart, Swartzlander looked to be in command as the stretched out a fairly comfortable lead up on the top of the speedway. But behind him, lurked Williamson, who had made use of the restarts to get within striking distance as the race progressed.

Pat Miller Photo

At the midway point, Swartzlander had all he could handle behind him as Shingledecker had made up significant ground and began to challenge for the lead. Shingledecker would eventually find one great oppportunity on lap 16 when he went to the bottom of the surface in an attempt to dive underneath the race leader. But the maneuver came up just short. Swartzlander looked to be headed straight for lapped traffic when the yellow flag waved once again on lap 17.

On the restart, Swartzlander elected the top side but managed to slide up and over the cushion coming out of turn two which opened the door for Shingledecker and Williamson, and the latter of the two went right through to the lead on lap 19.  But once there from his ninth starting spot, Williamson had to deal with two pivotal restarts in the waning moments, but was able to keep the field behind him on both occasions to collect the victory.

"It's tiresome," Williamson said. When you get up front like that, you don't want to see a caution, but it also helps you get to the front. It's kind of like a double negative, you wish some guys would settle down a bit and we could get some laps in because fans don't want to sit through yellows. We always want to put a good show on, and tonight I don't think we did."

Top 10:

1. Mat Williamson
2. Rex King Jr.
3. Jeremiah Shingledecker
4. Garrett Krummert
5. Brian Swartzlander
6. Rex King Sr.
7. Dave Murdick
8. Jimmy Weller III
9. JR McGinley
10. Mike Turner

Feature Video Courtesy of Joel Schlosser

People's Gas Dirt Car Sprints

Unexpectedly, the season had been a lost one of sorts for Carl Bowser. The former Lernerville sprint car champion had found himself on the end of bad luck and plagued mechanical gremlins. But with a new car and a favorable starting spot in the twenty five lap feature event, Bowser found himself with an opportunity to turn his season around and took advantage of it with a convincing performance.

Scott Priester started on the poll, but failed to fire on the initial green flag, altering the course of the race Ohio invader Shawn Velnti, a much improved Dan Shetler and Davey Jones were collected down the front stretch.   Once action resumed, Bowser went to the top of the track with authority qne looked to be in complete control in the early going.  Behind him, Jack Sodeman Jr. and Brandon Matus occupied positions two and three as Bowser began to enter his first round of lapped traffic at the five lap mark and he navigated through it as smooth as could be slicing and dicing between cars high and low.  Sodeman Jr. meanwhile, was able to follow him through and looked to find bite on the low side of the speedway.  

Pat Miler Photo

By lap 13, Sodeman Jr's new line was working like a charm, enabling him to get close enough to Bowser to attempt a slide job for the lead on lap 13 which came up short and almost cost him several positions as he nearly went over the banking. The lack of lapped traffic and Sodeman Jr's miscalculation meant that Bowser was back in clean air as he built up a sizable lead over Sodeman Jr once again.

With 20 laps in the books, Bowser found himself once again approaching heavy lapped traffic, but Bowser needed to use none of the lappers the rest of the way as his lead over Sodeman Jr was a substantial one. It was the first win for Bowser since last season, and he emotionally explained what brought  about the success following the feature event.

"We just found a few things recently," Bowser said in victory lane. "Two weeks ago we just left after the heat races we were so bad. So we went home that Friday night an built a new car and it's just really been the difference. We just brought out a new J & J and every time we get one of their cars and we put it together and they go on the race track and do what we did here tonight."

Top 10:

1. Carl Bowser
2. Jack Sodeman Jr.
3. Brandon Matus
4. AJ Flick
5. Dan Kuriger
6. Brent Matus
7. John Garvin Jr.
8. Sye Lynch
9. Ralph Spithaler
10. Alex Paden

Feature Video Courtesy Of Joel Schlosser

Precise Racing Products Super Late Models

Mike Pegher Jr. found himself in almost identical circumstances to Bowser when the night began. And, like Bowser, he found a way to put the negative start to the year behind him in an effort that saw him overtake some stout front runners en route to his first victory of the 2016 campaign.

Russ King looked to be in charge in the early going as he quickly assumed the lead followed by Alex Ferree and Pegher Jr. Then action was then brought to a halt on lap two when Mike Miller spun in turn two.  King's restart was perfect once the action resumed as Pegher Jr. slid underneath Ferree to take the second spot away. Behind them a pack of pursuers formed as Michael Norris, Dave Hess Jr. Matt Lux and Kenny Schaltenbrand set to hunt down the top three.

King then found himself amongst the lappers on lap three as Pegher Jr. was close behind and the traffic helped him find his way around King on lap 11. Once in the lead Pegher Jr. began to stretch out a comfortable margin while making his way forward was Hess Jr. who had climbed from his 11th starting spot to fifth.  However the issue of who would take home the coveted Firecracker 100 starting spot looked to be a forgone conclusion as Pegher Jr. kept setting a torrid pace with the laps winding down.

Mike Miller then brought out the caution for yet another spin on lap 17, resetting the field for one final time.  But on the ensuing restart, Pegher Jr. pounded the top side of the speedway with authority, leaving only the matter of the remainder of the podium spots in doubt. Hess Jr. made the most of the restart and found himself in second position, but in the end, the night belonged to Pegher Jr. who got the monkey off his back as he cruised to victory with ease over the remaining laps.

"We've had nothing but bad luck this year," Pegher remarked upon winning his first feature event of the season. "Some of it was my fault, but I really have to thank my car owner Lynn Geisler. I've cost him a lot of money here lately but he shows up at the shop with me, helping me get the car together and if it wasn't for him...we wouldn't be here."


Top 10:

1. Mike Pegher Jr.
2. Russ King
3. Dave Hess
4. Alex Ferree
5. Michael Norris
6. Matt Lux
7. Kenny Schaltenbrand
8. Gary Lyle
9. Bump Hedman
10. Ed Ferree

Feature Video Courtesy of Joel Schlosser

Millerstown Pic-A-Part Sportsman

If the first half of the season has taught fans in attendance anything, it is that Corey McPherson , Joey Zambotti, and Terry Young seem destined to do battle to the very end. And it's going to be amazing to watch. But on this night, it was Young's turn to rule the field as he checked out to a large margin on the way to his second win of the season.

From the drop of the green flag, the sportsman feature looked to be a two car battle between the hottest drivers in the division.  Terry Young started on the poll, but starting fourth was division points leader Cory McPherson, and it did not take long for him to make it a two car battle in the first few laps. Behind them, Aaron Easler, McPherson and Joey Zambotti began their pursuit as Young sought the bite at the top of the track while Easler and Zambotti kept their sights a little lower on the surface.

Pat Miller Phto

McPherson was able to make his way around both of them by lap nine and set his sights on the leader while Easler and Zambotti continued to do battle for the third spot. But in the second half of the race, all anybody could do was watch and admire, as Young made no mistakes to capitalize on the rest of the way. Tyler Dietz moved forward from his 11th starting spot to finish fourth as the race's hard charger, but Young could not and would not be caught as he toook his second win in three weeks

"I knew if I kept making mistakes running into traffic that Cory (McPherson) would be along any second, but I never did see him again so that's always good when you don't see Cory out the door," Young said. "This is what it's all about right here, getting the picture take with your kids, everybody loves it, the crew loves it, they all come to the garage and they deserve to be up here."

Top 10:

1. Terry Young
2. Corey McPherson
3. Joey Zambotti
4. Tyler Dietz
5. Aaron Easler
6. Jim Fosnaught
7. Brandon Wearing
8. Joe Kelley
9. Brett McDonald
10. Paul Schreckengost

Feature Video Courtesy Of Joel Schlosser