Monday, April 24, 2017

2017 Pennsylvania Super Late Model Power Rankings: Week 5

Hey there race fans, it's Monday, so that means It's time for me to update these rankings.

We had a fairly busy racing weekend here for the first time in 2017 this past weekend. Bedford, Dog Hollow, and Selinsgrove all held weekly shows, and McKean County and Port Royal ran specials. The point structure for the McKean County show is the <5k special point structure, and the 10k Lucas shows at Port Royal had the 10k special point structure, so naturally, some new names showed up on the poll in a big way.

For the first time, national touring names are starting to be seen in the standings. It's a departure from past years. Because they'll generally only be popping in for 10k and up specials and their increased point structures, it might seem as if they have an unfair advantage when it comes to these standings. I don't think that'll really be the case. In theory, the guys grinding out points every single week should accumulate more points than the guys who are around five or six times a year with ease. We'll have to see if it pans out that way.

 It's only going to get more busy from here. Lernerville, PPMS and Marion Center will all enter themselves into the game, as their schedules get rolling this coming weekend. It makes the tallying process more tedious for me (though Dirt on Dirt's weekly roundup makes finding weekly results easy) but it also makes the poll more interesting. The more names that are in play scoring points, the more the standings will get jumbled. And jumbled standings are what make this column more interesting.

So let's get to this week's top ten.

1. Jeff Rine**, 22 points. Jeff ran second at Bedford Friday.

2. Gregg Satterlee*, 19 points. Greg was second at Port Royal Sunday.

3. Matt Cosner*, 14 points. Matt took the win at Bedford Friday.

4. Dave Hess Jr.*, 12 points. Dave came home second at McKean County Saturday.

5. Gary Stuhler, 11 points. Gary went scoreless this week.

6. Rick Eckert*, 10 points. Rick was first under the checkers at Port Royal Sunday.

6. Coleby Frye, 10 points. Coleby had an 0fer this past weekend.

6.Tony Adams, 10 points. Tony got a second at Selinsgrove Saturday.

6. Chad Hollenbeck*, 10 points. Chad ran third at Bedford Friday, and was fourth at Selinsgrove Saturday.

10. Mike Lupfer*, 9 points. Mike had a scoreless weekend.

And that's the top ten this week.

As I said, there's tons of racing this coming weekend as most of the remaining super late model tracks in the state join the party. Get out and see the action at one of them. Me personally, I think I'm gonna hit PPMS for the 2017 version of the Red Miley Rumble on Saturday. Might not have a lot of cars in attendance, but the place is always incredibly racy.

Until next week, may your beer stay dirty and your ears ringing with the sounds of 430 cubes coming at you at full bore.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Story From Lernerville- Wagner and Williamson Wire Fields; McPherson Bests Stocks; Kugel Holds Off Holden

The 2017 slate kicked off at Lernerville Speedway on Friday night as the Fab Four presented by Turners Premium Tea graced the clay at The Action Track with seasonal weather in the air and a very racy surface to work with.  Central, PA invader Logan Wagner stopped by and made the trip worthwhile, taking a green to checkered victory in the People's Natural Gas DIRTcar Sprints, while defending Diehl Automotive DIRTcar Modified champion Mat Williamson picked up right where he left off in 2016,  to claim Opening Night honors.  Corey McPherson made his way through the field to victory in the MIllerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar/RUSH Pro Stocks and Rocky Kugel managed to fend off a stiff challenge from Kole Holden to find victory lane in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. 

People's Gas DIRTcar Sprints

A staggering 32 cars arrived at the pit gates on Friday night and when the field was whittled down, a process that included a 14 car B-main, Logan Wagner found himself in victory lane for the second time in less than two weeks on the young season following an April 10th win at Susquehanna Speedway. 
Wagner and Ohio invader Caleb Helms found themselves on the front row and from the drop of the green flag, Wagner looked nearly unbeatable, taking the early lead while a chase pack formed immediately behind him comprised of Helms, Cory Good, George Hobaugh Jr. and Carl Bowser. Wagner looked to be checking out on the field as lapped traffic approached around the six lap mark. However, Helms would not make it easy on the leader as he hunted the leader with precision and purpose.  Behind the two front runners,  eighth starting Carl Bowser was making his way through the competition, picking up positions seemingly every lap in the early going as he passed Hobaugh with nine laps in the books to put himself in the third spot while 17th starting Dan Shetler charged his way forward into the top 10. 

Pat Miller Photo

Out front, it was looking more and more like it would be a two car battle for the win as Wagner and Helms kept up a torrid pace, slicing and dicing their way through heavy lapped traffic at the lap 10 mark.  Then with more clean air to work with, Wagner started to stretch a comfortable lead nearing the 10 laps to go point.  However, Wagner's work was not finished as Helms found a way to creep back into the race following another round of lapped traffic when the caution flag waved for a Sye Lynch spin with 21 laps complete.  The outcome looked to be in doubt, but on the ensuing restart Wagner took off like a rocket and would not be caught the rest of the way while Helms and Bowser rounded out the podium. 

Pat Miller Photo

"We can't complain, it's been an awesome season," Wagner said. "We ended up winning at Susuquehanna and we got an early jump on the season. I gotta thank my sponsors and crew. I gotta dedicate this one for a good friend that passed away recently, this one goes out to him." 
Top 10: Final
  1. Logan Wagner
  2. Caleb Helms
  3. Carl Bowser
  4. Jack Sodeman Jr.
  5. Brandon Matus
  6. Gary Kreiss Jr.
  7. Dan Shetler
  8. AJ Flick
  9. Brandon Spithaler
  10. Jimmy Seger

Diehl Automotive DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds

Defending champion Mat Williamson looked as if he'd lost nothing in the off season in terms of speed or savvy and was in mid-season form as evidenced by a resounding performance that saw him hold off a hard charging Brian Swartzlander to collect the opening night win. 

As the cars made their way out onto the speedway, fans couldn't help but notice a front row consisting of Wiliamson and Rex King Jr.  The two drivers looked primed for a 25 lap duel that would keep fans glued to the edge of their seats.  Williamson bolted out to the early lead followed by King, a strong running Rick Regalski, Jimmy Weller and Brian Swartzlander.   A caution with two laps down slowed the pace and on the restart, Williamson elected to start on the high side where he would get a good jump on the field. On the same restart, Swartzlander slipped and fell back to ninth while Garrett Krummert charged forward from his 10th starting spot to third, winning a three car position battle between himself, Shingledecker and Weller. 
Meanwhile, Williamson was putting the field well behind him in clean air when Regalski brought out the caution with nine laps in the books. Once action resumed, Swartzlander was able to slide under King to take the second spot after a two lap door to door battle. Swartzlander was perhaps the only car that looked capable of catching and perhaps passing the leader, and his cause was helped by a lap 14 caution for JR McGinley who stopped on the back stretch. 
Pat Miller Photo

Williamson was able to drive away in the waning laps after running a few laps with Swartzlander on his doorstep while behind them, to collect his 20th career feature win at Lernerville while Swartzlander took a hard earned second place and King rounded out the podium. Regalski was able to come back from the tail of the field to score a top five finish.
"This place is awesome, it's one of the best race tracks in the country," Williamson said. "The surface is the greatest we go to week in and week out and it makes the four hour drive worthwhile. It's always fun driving here, but they kept me on my toes tonight, they're great race car drivers and they'll make you work for it."

Pat Miller Photo

Top 10: FInal
  1. Mat Williamson
  2. Brian Swartzlander
  3. Rex King Jr. 
  4. Jeremiah Shingledecker
  5. Rick Regalski
  6. Jimmy Weller
  7. Dave Murdick
  8. Thomas Glenn
  9. Rodney Beltz
  10. Shawn Fleeger

Millerstown Pic-A-Part RUSH/DIRTcar Pro Stocks

11th starting Corey McPherson had his work cut out for him on Friday night, and he methodically marched through the field en route to the opening night victory. The four time and defending champion would need some luck to go along with his skill and found it in the middle portion of the 20 lap feature as a slew of cautions and restarts enabled him to advance his position. 

Former track champion Joe Kelley and Collin Burke comprised the front row as Kelley won the drag race to the early lead and looked to be in command of the field. Behind him, a strong chase pack emerged consisting of McDonald, Joey Zambotti, Jim Fosnaught and Paul Shreckengost.  Kelley found the top side of the speedway to his liking in the early going, but could not get much in the way of separation.  The first caution flag waved with four laps down and on the ensuing restart, Fosnaught got a good jump from fifth to second and appeared to be up to the challenge of hunting Kelley down for the lead.  Kelley then slipped on the back stretch at the seven lap mark as Fosnaught and McPherson tried to make their way by. Kelley would then end up sideways on the frontstretch after contact between himself and Fosnaught as a result of a hard battle for the lead.  When action got back underway, McPherson was in control of the race while Tyler Dietz, who had worked forward from his 10th starting spot, found himself taking looks under Zambotti for the second spot in turns one and two, but just as the battle began, the caution came out for Terry Young who spun on the back stretch while collecting Aaron Easler, Mike Bordt and Fosnaught with a little over half he race to go. 
On the ensuing restart, Dietz and Zambotti continued to do battle for the second spot door to door which enabled McPherson to widen his margin over the field.  McPherson ran his fastest laps of the night on lap 15 and looked to be checking out on the field when a caution for debris re-stacked the field.  McPherson pegged the restart and cruised to the opening night victory the 32nd feature win for him at Lernerville Speedway. 
Pat Miller Photo

"It kind of seemed like they were playing cat and mouse to some extent so I figured I'd try to stay away from them," McPherson said in reference to the contact between Kelley and Fosnaught in the battle for the lead.  "And sure enough they got tangled up so I kept away from them enough just to get by. I'm humbled to come out opening night here. "

Top 10: Final
  1. Corey McPherson
  2. Joey Zambotti
  3. Tyler Dietz
  4. Steve D'Apolito
  5. Brandon Wearing
  6. Aaron Easler
  7. Joe Kellley
  8. Terry Young
  9. Mark Sanders
  10. Paul Schreckengost

RUSH Sportsman Modifieds:

Perhaps the best battle for the win tonight took place in the RUSH Sportsman Modified feature as two former winners at Lernerville, Rocky Kugel and Kole Holden, swapped the lead on more than one occasion before Kugel took it for good on lap 15 and didn't look back. 
The two drivers started on the front row and were door to door for the lead in the early going while Chelsie Kriegisch occupied the third spot. Kugel then started to get separation from Holden while Chas Wolbert made his way around Krigisch for the third spot on lap three.  Holden didn't lose sight of the leader though, and clawed his way back even by lap seven as Wolbert came within striking distance of the leaders to make it a three car battle for a moment.
Pat Miller Photo

 As heavy lapped traffic came into play for Kugel, Holden was able to make a pass for the lead down low in turns three and four when the caution flag waved, slowing all momentum. On the restart Holden elected the inside and Kugel won the drag race. He would survive one more restart before checking out for good down the stretch to collect the win. Kyle Martell drove a patient race, saving the best for last as he managed to cross the line third to round out the podium. 
Pat Miller Photo

"I just pulled this thing out of the garage about two days ago," Kugel said. "It sat there the same way it came off the race track, I did't even buy a new tire over the winter, this thing sat on the bars all winter long, they've got 15 races on them and they're in victory lane again. I'm gonna try to run everything here this year, as long as I can make it here, I'm going to be here."
Top 10 Final:
  1. Rocky Kugel
  2. Kole Holden
  3. Kyle Martell
  4. Brian Schaffer
  5. Chelsie Kriegisch
  6. Chas Wolbert
  7. Justin Shea
  8. Brandon Ritchey
  9. Steve Slater
  10. Kenny Hardy
For the full field rundown from Friday Night's events, you can view our quick results page here; Fab Four Quick Results 4.21
The Fab Four Presented by Turners Premium Tea will be back in action on Friday, April 28 as the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models make their 2017 season debut. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

NW Ohio Points Standings

After two long weeks of no racing in Northwest Ohio, things started back up this past weekend with the HD Supply Spring Nationals at Attica Raceway park.

There was some moving and shaking in both 410 and 305 points after two nights of racing.

Friday and Saturday night earned bonus points for the 410 sprints. Friday night was a FAST race and Saturday night was an All Star Circuit of Champions race. Each driver earned points for their qualifying efforts.

Here's the rundown after 3 races

410 Sprints

1. Cole Duncan         134 points                      
2. Tim Shaffer           133 points
3. Spenser Bayston   127 points
4. Chris Andrews      122 points
5. Byron Reed           119 points

305 Sprints 

1. Jamie Miller      53 points                            
2. Ricky Peterson  51 points
3. Steve Rando      49 points
4. John Ivy            45 points
5. Paul Weaver      41 points

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Top 25 National Sprint Car Poll - Week 5

David Gravel recently recorded his 4th WoO win of the season

Welcome back for another week of our Top 25 National Sprint Car Poll. Our voters' ballots this week take into consideration all of the '410 sprint' races that were contested from April 13th-16th. Knoxville Raceway's season opener was lost to Mother Nature, as was Silver Dollar's sprint car event. Nine events were contested, however, with the World of Outlaws, All Stars, and MOWA all in action.

David Gravel, after three weeks of dominance, has upended Donny Schatz to claim the No. 1 spot in our rankings. The Connecticut native, while piloting the the CJB Motorsports #5 entry, finally earns the top position after four consecutive weeks of being second.

Donny Schatz relinquishes the top spot but only drops one spot to No. 2 on our list. The duo split the first-place votes with five apiece, but it was Gravel obtaining more total votes overall. Not far behind them are Brad Sweet and Jason Johnson, who are having fantastic season in their own rights and are just a few points away from moving further up the board.

The biggest mover of the week is none other than Pennsylvania's own Lucas Wolfe. Wolfe, in his first year driving for owner Mike Barshinger, claimed the $5,000-to-win Spring Championship at Lincoln Speedway on Saturday night.

With big movers, comes big fallers. This week's biggest drop was found in Rico Abreu, who dropped ten spots down to No. 16. The California driver placed 6th in a Sprint Car Challenge Tour event at Placerville Speedway. This did not count towards voters' ballots as we only take into consideration '410' sprint car events.

Falling out of the Top 25 Poll this week are Cory Eliason (21), Kyle Hirst (22) and Caleb Helms (23). Replacing that trio of drivers is Lance Dewease, who returns to the rankings after a two-week absence, along with Spencer Bayston and Carson Macedo who are making their first appearances of the season.

Our panel of voting members includes the following:
Anthony Corini, Blake Anderson, Brian Liskai, Bobby Gerould, Kyle Symons, Mike Leone, Mike Mallett, Shawn Miller, Tony Bokhoven and Tyler Beichner.

Previous rankings: Preseason Week 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

1. David Gravel, 245 points (5)
Recent Results: Continues his hot streak with a win at Gator Motorplex and 2nd in Devil's Bowl's finale
Previous Ranking: 2nd (+1)

2. Donny Schatz, 243 points (5)
Recent Results: Recorded a 4th place finish at Gator Motorplex but did not contend at Devil's Bowl
Previous Ranking: 1st (-1)

3. Brad Sweet, 232 points
Recent Results: Followed up his runner-up finish Night 1 at Devil's Bowl with a win in the finale
Previous Ranking: 3rd (NC)

4. Jason Johnson, 220 points
Recent Results: Notched three Top 6 finishes last weekend including a win in the Devil's Bowl prelim
Previous Ranking: 5th (+1)

5. Sheldon Haudenschild, 171 points
Recent Results: Earned his fifth Top 5 run of the year Saturday night at Devil's Bowl Speedway
Previous Ranking: 10th (+5)

6. Brian Brown, 158 points
Recent Results: Rain ruined his plans of running the Knoxville Raceway season opener
Previous Ranking: 4th (-2)

7. Daryn Pittman, 158 points
Recent Results: Ran 7th in the Devil's Bowl prelim as he looks to get his season back on track
Previous Ranking: 11th (+4)

8. Logan Schuchart, 157 points
Recent Results: Picked up a podium finish Friday at Devil's Bowl in between 10th & 11th place finishes
Previous Ranking: 12th (+4)

9. Shane Stewart, 153 points
Recent Results: Placed 6th at Devil's Bowl on Friday but failed to crack the Top 5 for the third straight week
Previous Ranking: 7th (-2)

10. Chad Kemenah, 152 points
Recent Results: Finished 5th in the final rundown of the All Star Circuit of Champions race at Attica
Previous Ranking: 9th (-1)

11. Greg Hodnett, 138 points
Recent Results: A 4th place run in Lincoln's Spring Championship followed a 10th at Williams Grove
Previous Ranking: 8th (-3)

12. Jason Sides, 135 points
Recent Results: Extended his streak of Top 10's to eight straight races at Gator Motorplex and Devil's Bowl
Previous Ranking: 15th (+3)

13. Dale Blaney, 116 points
Recent Results: Bouncing back from a DNQ on Friday at Attica, he ran 4th the next night against the All Stars
Previous Ranking: 13th (NC)

14. Danny Dietrich, 114 points
Recent Results: Recorded a pair of podium finishes in Central PA at Williams Grove and Lincoln Speedway
Previous Ranking: 17th (+3)

15. Lance Dewease, 98 points
Recent Results: In just his second start of the year, he piloted the #69K to victory lane at Williams Grove
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

16. Rico Abreu, 95 points
Recent Results: Did not enter a '410' sprint event this past weekend but placed 6th in '360' competition
Previous Ranking: 6th (-10)

17. Paul McMahan, 91 points
Recent Results: Settled for a runner-up finish at Gator Motorplex after leading the majority of the race
Previous Ranking: 19th (+2)

18. Lucas Wolfe, 85 points
Recent Results: Follows up a mediocre run at Williams Grove by winning the Spring Championship at Lincoln
Previous Ranking: 25th (+7)

19. Ian Madsen, 80 points
Recent Results: His plans of entering the Knoxville Raceway opener were washed out by Mother Nature
Previous Ranking: 14th (-5)

20. Joey Saldana, 79 points
Recent Results: Ran 6th at Gator Motorplex before placing 4th at Devil's Bowl for his second Top 5 of the year
Previous Ranking: 18th (-2)

21. Tim Shaffer, 69 points
Recent Results: Ran up front at Attica Raceway Park both nights on his way to 3rd & 6th place finishes
Previous Ranking: 20th (-1)

22. Doug Esh, 52 points
Recent Results: Never challenged for the win with 7th & 8th place runs at Williams Grove and Port Royal
Previous Ranking: 16th (-6)

23. Spencer Bayston, 45 point
Recent Results: Recorded two podium finishes at Attica over the weekend including a win with the All Stars
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

24. Brian Montieth, 35 points
Recent Results: After struggling at Williams Grove, he bounced back to run 2nd at Lincoln Speedway
Previous Ranking: 24th (NC)

25. Carson Macedo, 19 points
Recent Results: Stayed up front Friday at Attica on his way to a 5th place run against a stout field
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Dropped Out of Rankings
Cory Eliason (21), Kyle Hirst (22), Caleb Helms (23)