Tuesday, September 18, 2018

2018 Pennsylvania Super Late Model Power Rankings: Week 25

Hrey there race fans, It's Tuesday, and I'm gonna update these rankings. I know, I know, I'm supposed to update em every Monday, but yesterday I went to the eye doctor to get an exam and had my eyes dilated. That made it really uncomfortable to look at a monitor, and I figured I'd delay it a day instead of just throwing together a quickly thrown together and poorly spelled mess of a column. 

So as we're now into the post season specials and such, there wasn't really an abundance of races going on this weekend. The only scoring shows were a regular show at Thunder Mountain Friday night, a 5k super late special at Raceway 7 Saturday, a 3k special coupled with a makeup feature at Hummingbird Saturday, and the 3k Kahuna at Roaring Knob Saturday. As always, I couldn't find any full results for the Knob, so if any of ya'll find them out, please let me know so I can reflect them in these rankings. I'm mostly looking for who finished fourth and fifth.

Weather did not affect any of the shows, which was pretty refreshing and quite rare this season. Sadly, the weather for this coming weekend looks pretty pretty blah at this point. There isn't really a whole lot scheduled anyways, so it wouldn't affect to many races, but the one race that really matters is a WoO Late Model Series race scheduled at Selinsgrove Saturday. That series has been affected by rain just as bad as our area has, and with a tight points race coming down the stretch, it would absolutely suck to see 'em lose another show and the points that go along with it.

But I digress, you really read this writeup to find out how the tip ten did this weekend, so let's go ahead and get to those rankings.

1. Jeff Rine (9), 117 points. 

2.  Dylan Yoder (4), 91 points. 

3.  Max Blair (8), 86 points. 

4. Jared Miley (5), 74 points. Jared ran third at Raceway 7 Saturday.

5. Jon Lee (5), 69 points. Jon had a second in the main feature and and a third in the makeup at Hummingbird Saturday.

6. Michael Norris (10), 66 points. 

7.  Coleby Frye (5), 58 points. 

8. Michael Maresca (3), 56 points. Michael took the win at Thunder Mountain Friday, and got fourth Saturday at Raceway 7.

9. Andy Haus (2), 55 points. 

10.  Chris Farrell (5), 50 points. Chris came home third in the main feature and got second in the makeup at Hummingbird Saturday.

And that's our top ten for this week. I should have next week's update up by Monday next week, barring any extenuating circumstances.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Story From Lernerville: Gordon Tops Penn-Ohio Stocks; McPherson Turns In Classic Performance In Victory; Kenawell Seizes Opportunity; Dietz and Hartman Take Wins

John Stivason/Stivason Photos

The post season parade of special events picked back up again on Saturday night with the running of the annual Autumn-Motive Fest, beneath a canopy of sunny skies and warm temperatures.  Andrew Gordon put the field behind him early and never looked back in the Homak Penn-Ohio Pro Stock main event, earning a win which helped him pull even closer in the standings to series points leader Chris Schneider.

Meanwhile, Corey McPherson picked up right where he left off, turning in another dominant performance in taking home the trophy in the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar/RUSH Pro Stocks, and in Allegheny Sprint Tour action, Steve Kenawell Jr. picked the perfect time to make his move as he managed his first career victory at Lernerville. In other action, Tyler Dietz and John Hartman each took the wins in the two final features of the night.

Gordon Tops Penn-Ohio Stocks

In a caution marred 25-lap main event, Andrew Gordon found a way to stay out of trouble, and stay as fast as he needed to be en route to his fourth series win of the season.  Joey Zambotti jumped out to the early lead but was unable to get too comfortable with it as three early cautions halted his momentum. Meanwhile, Gordon kept moving forward with authority from his eighth starting spot on each accompanying restart. Joining them up front were Bobby Whitling, Tim Bish and  Bill Hurrelbrink.

With five laps in the books, Zambotti spun in front of the field in turn four as Hurrelbrink inherited the lead. It would be a short lived one for Hurrelbrink as just one lap later, Rusty Martz and 2017 race winner Corey McPherson made contact in turn four to bring out yet another yellow flag. When action resumed, Gordon rocketed to the lead and looked to be in firm command of the field. Meanwhile, Chris Schneider had been making progress towards the front of the field after starting 11th on the grid, passing Bish for the second spot with nine laps down.  Schneider was able to apply pressure to Gordon while working on the bottom groove of the surface.

Gary Heeman Photo

Gordon put his restart skills to good use on three more occasions down the stretch, including a critical restart with three laps remaining following a red flag period as Zambotti and Alan Dellinger. Gordon got a remarkable jump and was virtually uncontested the rest of the way while Ryan Moyer found some speed at the top of the speedway and made his way past Hurrelbrink for the third spot, finishing the race as the highest finishing crate motor entry.

Homak Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Series Main Event (25 Laps)

1. (25G) Andrew Gordon
2. (55) Chris Schneider
3. (16M) Rusty Martz
4. (13X) Ryan Moyer
5. (63) Chris McGuire
6. (299) Kyle Couchenour
7. (C8) Bill Hurrelbrink
8. (08) Jeff Broniszewski
9. (73) Jason Fosnaught
10. (7W) Bobby Whitling
11. (T2) Tyler Thompson
12. (64) Rob Shook
13. (2W) Terry Wheeler
14. (3C) Barry Faris
15. (31) Noah Brunell
16. (84s) Joshua Seippel
17. (30) Bob Egley
18. (1B) Alan Dellinger
19. (20) Tim Deutsch
20. (948) Joey Zambotti
21. (11B) Tim Bish
22. (C33) Corey McPherson
23. (81) Mike Miller
24. (1R) Rod Laskey
25. (28Y) Terry Young
26. (965) Andy Buckley

McPherson Turns In Classic Performance

In the Millerstown Pic-A-Part Pro Stock main event, track champion Corey McPherson got out to the early lead, passing a fast running John Hartman at the lap four mark. Meanwhile, Tyler Dietz, who had penalized earlier in the race and sent to the tail of the field, managed to make his way to third place by lap seven. However, neither Dietz nor a stout looking Noah Brunell could manage to shave McPherson's considerable lead he had accumulated, working feverishly on the top side of the speedway.

McPherson found himself in lapped traffic with six laps to go, but never lost any portion his lead in the waning laps of the race while Dietz made a strong effort to take the second spot away from Brunell on the last set of turns which came up short. Ryan Moyer and Joe Kelley rounded out the top five.

Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar/RUSH Pro Stock Main Event (20 Laps)

1. (C33) Corey McPherson
2. (31) Noah Brunell
3. (27) Tyler Dietz
4. (13x) Ryan Moyer
5. (66) Joe Kelley
6. (30) Bob Egley
7. (25) Brett McDonald
8. (26) Mike Bordt
9. (10) John Hartman
10. (29B) Scott Byers
11. (17) Sam Eichelberger
12. (28Y) Terry Young
13. (21) Jeff Miller
14. (948) Joey Zambotti
15. (35B) Jacob Dietz- Did Not Start
16. (310) Dale Tuche- Did Not Start

Kenawell Makes Most of Opportunity

Jonathan Jones started on the pole of the 20 lap Allegheny Sprint Tour main event alongside Steve Kenawell Jr. and they stayed up front for the entire race. Behind them, Ron Aurand, Roger Irvine and Greg Doborsky looked to make their presence known as they honed in on the leaders.  Irvine slowed with four laps in the books and retired for the evening.

Gary Heeman Photo

When action resumed, Jones and Kenawell set themselves apart from the rest of the field with Jones pounding the topside of the speedway and Kenawell running the bottom. The two were separated by less than a second for the majority of the main event until Kenawell found the perfect opportunity to make a bid for the lead with Jones in lapped traffic on lap 16. Kenawell dipped below the leader and emerged with the lead just past the flag stand and three more circuits remaining. He would hold on for the win while Ron Aurand rounded out the podium. 

Allegheny Sprint Tour 305 RaceSaver Sprint Main Event (20 Laps)

1. (17K) Steve Kenawell Jr.
2. (12J) Jonathan Jones
3. (86) Ron Aurand
4. (88) Greg Dobrosky
5. (79W) Will Fleming
6. (4J) Jacob Gomola
7. (26) Ryan Lynn
8. (27) Vinny Dougherty
9. (R6) Reed Thompson
10. (29B) Robby Bartchy
11. (x7) Andy Cavanaugh
12. (00s) Randy Sterling
13. (41) Matthew Gardina
14. (12) Roger Irvine
15. (22) George Frederick
16. (7) Richard Lawson
17. (34) Glenn Noland

Dietz and Hartman Find Victory Lane

Dietz put his car on the track for a third race and got rewarded as he passed Luke Rutsky with three laps to go tand never looked take the victory in the Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Non-Qualifier's race while John Hartman went flag to flag to earn the win in the DIRTcar/RUSH Pro Stock Non-Winners Race.

Homak Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Series Non Qualifiers Race (15 Laps)

1. (27) Tyler Dietz
2. (22R) Luke Rutsky
3. (25M) Brett McDonald
4. (717) Leigh Wheeler
5. (15) Joe Wrona
6. (23H) Hunter Exley
7. (T6) Michael Miller
8. (67J) Jamie Duncan
9. (20J) Jim Fosnaught
10. (4) Jaob Billyk
11. (54) Wayne Carbo
12. (310) Dale Tuche
13. (54E) Tony Tarrapino
14. (20E) Jordan Eck
15. (12M) Trevor McCann
16. (10) Nick Kocuba

Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar/RUSH Pro Stock Non Winners Race (8 Laps)

1. (10) John Hartman
2. (29) Scott Byers
3. (27) Jacob Dietz
4. (310) Dale Tuche
5. (26) Mike Bordt

Monday, September 10, 2018

2018 Pennsylvania Super Late Model Power Rankings: Week 24

Hey there race fans, it's a very soggy Monday here in Pennsylvania, and that means it's time for this update to the ranking that I keep.

I mention soggy, because the remnants tropical storm Gordon of have been hitting us hard here all weekend, and continue to hit us hard. I actually worry for the DTWC, held at Portsmouth Raceway Park, dude to flooding. If you've never been there, let me explain a bit. The track itself sits in a low lying area a stones throw away from the Ohio river, and tends to get completely flooded when the river swells. Ohio is already soggy from the storm heading through there late last week. Now the same storm is causing the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers to swell to flood stage levels. Those two rivers feed the Ohio, which is already on the high side. PRP is going to flood. I don't expect it to still be flooded out when it comes time to run the DTWC, but they're going to have one hell of a cleanup on their hands.

Okay, now that you know the weather situation, let me explain what it meant for racing in our area over this past scoring week. Just two tracks got their shows in, Thunder Mountain, and Port Royal, who both ran on Friday night, so this update has a fair amount of drivers who did not score.

So here's the rankings.

1. Jeff Rine (9), 117 points. Jeff won at Port Royal.

2. Dylan Yoder (4), 91 points. Dylan ran second at Port Royal

3. Max Blair (8), 86 points. 

4. Jared Miley (5), 69 points. Jared came home second at Thunder Mountain.

5. Michael Norris (10), 66 points. 

6.  Coleby Frye (5), 58 points. 

7.  Jon Lee (5), 56 points. Jon got a third at Thunder Moutain.

8. Andy Haus (2), 55 points. Andy finished third at Port Royal.

9. Bryan Bernheisel (4), 47 points. 

9.  Mike Maresca (2), 47 points. 

And that's the top ten for this week. Check back next Monday to see where your favorites land.

And on a serious note, the them iof this week's writeup is weather, and we're in the season not so affectionately called hurricane season. There's a monster of a hurricane headed straight for the southeast. Let's hope it take a turn north or weakens before is hits the shore

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Hardy Honored And Humbled After Connor Bobik Memorial Victory

Derek Bobik Photo

Tyler Bare, winner of the Butch Renninger Memorial at Port Royal Speedway the previous night and Michael Lake lead the stout 24 car field of Zimmers ULMS Super Late Models to the green for the 8th annual Connor Bobik Memorial, a race that has yet to see a repeat winner in it's history thus far.  Mike Maresca starting from his 2nd row starting spot, looked to throw his hat into contention early on with a slider going into turn three.  He emerged with the second spot challenging Lake and Bare but on the next lap Maresca got loose and spun in front of the rest of the field.

Luckily he escaped any damage, went to the pits and returned to tag the field, and was able to make his way back through, earning a top 10 finish on the night. Early on, two drivers found themselves using the same strategy in getting to the front quick as Alex Ferree  and Kyle Hardy both made forward charges from their 12th and seventh starting spots respectively.  The pair challenged Bare for the race lead early on in the action. On lap 11 Hardy took the lead from Bare and Ferree found himself in the second spot

On each of the 6 restarts after cautions,  Bare And Ferree put on a show for the very large crowd in attendance as Hardy was still hammering around the racy surface while keeping an oncoming Ferree at bay.

Derek Bobik Photo

On a lap 31 restart Bare found himself the owner of a flat right rear which ended his night as he pulled the car to the trailer.  The final restart came with five laps to go which allowed Ferree one more shot at Hardy and with two laps to go a noticeable popping was coming from the leader's car.   Ferree was able to close in but it was not enough as Hardy was too strong as he picked up his second win of the year.

Second place Ferree offered an upbeat attitude after the race “At least we have speed in the car and it’s working we just need some luck.”

"Winning a race in the name of a kid  means toand what this the family is pretty cool," Hardy said after the checkered flag waved. "It's crazy."

Video Interview: 3rd Place Finisher Shane McLoughlin

Video Interview: 2nd Place Finisher Alex Ferree

Video Interview: Feature Winner Kyle Hardy

Final Results- ULMS Late Models- 40 Lap Connor Bobik Memorial  $5,000 to win

1. (99) Kyle Hardy
2. (4) Alex Ferree
3. (59) Shane McLoughlin
4. (111) Max Blair
5. (94) Charles Powell
6. (14) Corey Conley
7. (18B) Dave Blazavich
8. (W3) John Wayne Weaver * Hard Charger
9. (84) Andrew Wylie
10 (7mm) Mike Maresca
11. (111d) Matt Lux
12. (28c) Clate Copeman
13. (43) Tom Decker Jr
14. (09) Scott Stein
15. (7) Ryan Claycomb
16. (43a) Tyler Bare
17. (18) Michael Wonderling Jr.
18. (75) Jason Dobson
19. (91) Tommy Beck
20. (27) Michael Lake
21. (11) Curtis Teats
22. (28d)  Bob Gordon
23. (44) Joe Petyak
24  Shawn Claar

Heat Winners: Andrew Wylie, Tyler Bare, Mike Maresca and  Dave Blazavich
BMain Winners: Bob Gordon and Joe Petyak

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

At The Races Presented by Schaeffer Oil Featuring- Bobby Whitling

Sportsmanship is alive and well in the sport of Dirt Track Racing as witnessed by a selfless action from another competitor recently.

Friday's Penn Ohio Pro Stock Series race and TDNs featured drive Bobby Whitling of Seneca Pa gave us harsh reminder of how unpredictable this sport can be. Whitling is the owner of 92 career wins in three different classes and is also the owner and proprietor of Slider Chassis out of Seneca Pa.  So not only can he drive these complicated race cars, he builds them. Also he is a huge supporter of The Penn Ohio Street Stock Series. The very humble Whitling is often soft spoken and always gets the most out of his equipment not he track.  On this night the series was in night one of a weekend double header and huge points implications were on the line. Going into the weekend Whitling sat 2nd begins points leader Andrew Gordon. Whitling was to roll off 7th in the third heat race.  One lap into the scheduled 8 lap race Whitling slowed scoring off turn 4 and pulled the 7w into the infield.

Video Interview #1- John McConnell with Bobby Whitling

During an interview after the heats were completed, Whitling's motor broke a cam and his night was over.

Then the most unlikely of circumstances happened. Fellow competitor Jesse Brock of Stoneboro Pa offered up his 22b for the veteran Whitling to use for the remainder of the night. Brock is not a consistent follower of the Penn Ohio Series and one unique aspect was involved. Whitling built the 22b owned by Brock. He cleared the car change with Series officials and was able to tag the back of the b main to try and race his way into the feature. It was learned that Whitling was the high point man that wasn’t qualified for the feature so he was gaurenteed a starting spot for the main. So being the competitor he is he tried to race his way into the main event missing by one spot.

Video Interview #2- John McConnell with Bobby Whitling

Upon a pre main interview it was learned about the provisional for the high point guy Whitling and crew set out and made some changes to the new mount they were using for the feature.  Whitling was headed to the starting grid starting 25th and had all intentions of just feeling out the situation and seeing how the race was going.  When the green dropped almost immediately the next decision for Whitling was made by himself.  On lap one of the feature the yellow waved for a car that spun directly in front of Whitling almost causing a multi car incedent.  Whitling pulled the 22b of Brocks to the pit area.

Video Interview #3 John McConnell with Bobby Whitling

Following the main it was learned that Whitling simply didn’t want to tare up the sharp looking loaner car of Brock'ss and settled for a 25th place finish while thinking of his own mount that was in need of much needed attention with the motor issue. Sportsmanship plays a huge role in this sport we all love  And on this night I got to witness two forms of it.  Case in pint. The unselfish act of a fellow competitor willing to lend his mount for the betterment of another driver and in the latter the unselfish way that Whitling took care of someone else’s mount not wanting to risk someone else’s ride.  As long as drivers like Bobby Whitling and Jesse Brock are in the sport I feel the sport will prosper. Thank you both for the lesson of sportsmanship.

The Penn Ohio Street Stock race was won by Chris Schneider propelling him to the pints lead after the Raceway 7 event.

TDN's World 100 Preview!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that the grandaddy of all dirt late model races is coming up this weekend, the 48th running of the World 100 at Eldora Speedway. What we're going to do here is give you the skinny on the event and offer a couple predictions at the end. It'll be in our standard five Ws form.

Who? As of this writing, 88 of the very best dirt late model drivers in the country. That number is sure to go up by the time cars hit the track Thursday night, as the pre-entry list is still missing some names you typically see at the big ones at Eldora.

What? Three nights of racing action. Thursday and Friday night's programs mirror each other, and will see time trials, after which the field will be split into an odd and an even group, based on where the drivers time, and each grop will run a full program with heats, consis and a feature. Saturday will see heats based off the results from the two prelim nights, consis, a  couple non qualifiers features, and the main event, the World 100, paying a cool 51 thousand to win, but more importantly, the coveted Globe statue.

Where? Tony Stewart's famed Eldora Speedway, located in Rossburg, Ohio. directions can be found here.

When? Racing for the weekend starts Thursday night at 8:00 PM sharp, and runs Through Saturday night, barring weather issues. A full schedule for the weekend's action can be found here.

Why? Because late models are freaking awesome.

How? If you're looking to participate, it's probably be a good idea to get there sometime Thursday morning so you can get your car through tech and prepared for the night's racing action.

If you're looking to attend as a fan, tickets can still be had for the event via the internet here. Tickets will assuredly be available the day of the show at the gate, but the options might not be there, as the show generally sells out.

If you'd like to see the show, but can't get off work or can't afford to go, don't fret, the event will be broadcast on iPPV from our friends at

Now that you've got the skinny on the event, here's some predictions for the weekend.

Who will win?

Jonathan Davenport. Yes, I know, he's been in a bit of a slump recently, but he's the defending champ of the race. I can't bet against him until somebody beats him.

Who won't win?

Brandon Sheepard. Yes, I know, he's got more wins in national touring series races this season than anybody elsse, and has turned many laps at Eldora Speedway over the course of his career, but seriously, that Rocket house car is seriously cursed at Eldora for some reason. Maybe this is the year it finally breaks that curse and wins, but I wouldn't count on it.

Who could shock the World?

Kent Robinson. He's been very good at Eldora this year, amnd is currently third in point standings at the track. I see no reason why he couldn't put together a great night on Saturday and come hom 51k richer. World be an amazing story if he did pull it off.

And that's our World 100 preview. I hope we were helpful.