Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2017 Pennsylvania Super Late Model Power Poll: The Final Standings

Hey there race fans, we've come to the end of the super late model racing season here in Pennsylvania, so that means it's time to tally up the totals and find out who the best in the state were for 2017.

We saw a year that was impacted pretty heavily by mother nature and big races (which scored extra points based on purse size). I'm not sure how much weather affected these rankings, because it sure seemed that when there was rain pretty much all the tracks rained out on a given weekend. The big races definitely affected these rankings, though, and it is reflected in the final standings, which you'll see in a little bit.

And the winner is....

Jeff Rine. And this is no real surprise. He's been at or near the top of this thing for the entire season. And what a season it was. He managed to win12 scoring races along the way, including  a victory with the World of Outlaws at Selinsgrove. Even on the nights he didn't win, he had an uncanny knack of finishing in the top five, which scored him points, too. It was the kind of year most drivers dream of having, and he's done it a couple times now, considering this is now his second victory of these rankings. 

It got pretty interesting down the stretch as second place Alex Ferree managed to close the gap pretty significantly the last few weeks of the season, but alas, it wasn't mean to be. this may have been affected by the rainouts just a bit, as Alex's home track Lernerville did rain out acople times on weekends that Jeff got to run.

Anyways, let's go ahead and get to them final standings. The full final  standings are posted below. The amount of wins on the season will be in parenthesis after each driver's name.

1. Jeff Rine (12), 131 points.

2. Alex Ferree (10), 121 points.

3. Max Blair (7), 86 points. 

4. Coleby Frye (4), 75 points. 

5. Charlie Powell (8), 74 points. 

6. Michael Lake (7), 65 points. 

7.  Jared Miley (5), 63 points. 

8.  Dave Hess Jr. (4); Dylan Yoder (1), 55 points. 

10.  Paul Kot (6), 54 points. 

11. Matt Cosner (3), 51 points. 

12. Michael Norris (6), 50 points. 

13. Chris Farrell (5), 49 points. 

14. Dan Angelicchio (4); Greg Oakes (2), 47 points. 

16. Doug Eck (2), 46 points. 

17. Kyle Hardy (3), 45 points. 

18. Andy Haus (2), 44 points. 

19. Mike Blose (4); Russ King (3), 42 points. 

21. Jason Covert (1); Don O'Neal (1), 41 Points. 

23. Brandon Sheppard (4), 40 points. 

24. Chad Hollenbeck (2), 38 points. 

25. Rick Eckert (2), 35 points. 

26. Bryan Bernheisel (4); Denny Fenton, 32 points. 

28. DJ Troutman (1), 31 points. 

29. Chris Madden, 30 points.

30. Dave Blazavich (1), 28 points. 

31. Matt Lux (1); Bob Dorman, 26 points. 

33. Doug Glessner(1); Mike Marlar; Josh Richards; Shawn Claar, 25 points. 

38. Hayes Mattern (3); Tim McCreadie, 24 points. 

40. Greg Satterlee (1), 22 points. 

41. Keith Barbara (1); Tony Adams (1), Tommy Beck, 21 points. 

44. Brandon Overton (1); Gene Knaub (1); Mike Lupfer (1), 20 points. 

47. Boom Briggs (2); Darrell Lanigan, 19 points. 

49. Austin Hubbard (1), 18 points. 

50. Gary Stuhler (1); Waylon Wagner (1); Donnie Shick (1); Rick Singleton (1); Earl Pearson Jr.; Mike Pegher Jr, 17 points. 

56. Damian Bidwell (1); Tim Wilson; Jimmy Owens, 16 points. 

59. Chuck Clise (1); Scott Alvetro, 15 points. 

61. Colton Flinner (2), 14 points. 

62. Jeff Sweeney (2); Matt Sponaugle; Devin Friese, 13 points. 

65. Dave Scott (1); Rance Garlock (1); Mason Ziegler; Robbie Black, 12 points. 

69. Steve Campbell; Nick Dickson; Jake Finnerty; Frank Heckenast Jr; Dan Stone, 11 points. 

74. Chub Frank; Kenny Schaltenbrand; Derek Rodkey, 10 points. 

77. Jim Yoder (1); Trent Brenneman (1); Billy Dickson (1); Clate Copeman; John Flinner; GR Smith; Morgan Bagley; Billy Eash; Gale Huey, 9 points. 

86. Chris Hackett (1); Jake Gunn, Tim Senic; Tim Smith; Eric Wells; Brady Wonderling; Brent Rehbergen, 8 points. 

93. Andrew Wylie (1); Andrew Yoder (1); Walker Arthur (1); Matt Parks; John Mollick; Ryan Montgomery; Bernie Whiteford; Kenny Schaffer; Tommy Schirnofer, 7 points. 

102.  Jonathan Davenport (1); Rob Blair; Kenny Moreland; Kenny Pettyjohn; Bump Hedman; Tanner Horst; Dan Smeal; Steve Sciafe Jr.; Mark Whitener; Jon Hodgkiss; Austin Berry; Jim Bernheisel; Matt Cochran,  6 points. 

115. John Volpe; Keith Jackson; Danny Snyder; Darrell Bossard; Jason Witherite; Jerry Redden. 5 points. 

121. Jason Schmidt; Dewayne Tanneyhill; Curtis Teats; Ken Treyvitz; Joe Martin; Dewayne Brooks; Jeremy Ohl; Trever Feathers,  4 points. 

129. Wyatt Scott; Gabe Shaffer; Jon Mitchell; Gary Dalton; Steve Kania, 3 points.

134. Jason Miller; Steve Arthurs; Donnie Dotson; Daryl Hills; Rod Phillps; Brian Tavenner; Chad Wright; Jeff Tayler; Colton Burdette; Gary Lyle; Rick Tripoldi; Daryl Charlier; Andy Fries, 2 points.

146. Charlie Duncan; Dave Zona; Scott Bittenger; Bobby Roher; Duane Stiner; Rich Gardner; Chase Jughans; Devin Lewis; Chris Lander; Luke Hoffner; Tom Decker Jr.; Tom Shaffer; Nathan Lasalle; Ed Ferree; Ryan Christoff; Kyle Knapp; Dan Gill; Mike Wonderling; Clayton Kennedy; John Dobson; Doug Dodd; Matt Nailor, 1 point. 

And that's all 167 drivers who managed to score some points this season. It was fun, as always to keep track of all this, and I'll defnitely be doing it again next season. If I dont't talk to you, have a great holiday season and a Happy New Year.

See ya next season!



Sunday, October 8, 2017

O'Neal Owns Pittsburgher 100; McCreadie and Richards Earn Separation In Points Standings

Tevin Bair Photo

Imperial, PA (October 7, 2017) And then there were two? Not so fast possibly.  However, the Pittsburgher 100 at Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's Motor Speedway did help bring some clarity to the points championship chase on Saturday night.  And beyond that, the weekend was highlighted by the fact that Don O'Neal was brilliant on both Friday and Saturday, and put on one of most dominant performances in recent race history.

The field was brought to green by O'Neal of Martinsville Indiana and Winfield Tennessee's Mike Marlar. O'Neal quickly made his intentions known bolting into the lead at the drop of the green easily distancing himself from the field. The races first caution on lap 13 and most significant for one of the three championship contending drivers. The 0 of Scott Bloomquist rested against the wall in turn one following hard contact that changed the course of his race, and hopes for a title. Bloomquist went pit side for repair and would return to try and salvage as many points as he could, managing an 18th place finish.
Howie Balis Photo

Much like the initial start O'Neal pegged the restart and easily pulled away from the field on every restart thereafter.  Meanwhile, contenders Josh Richards and Tim McCreadie were doing what they needed to do during the 100 lap main event.  The fourth starting Richards fell to seventh early on and worked his way back by McCreadie who would keep his sights on Richards the rest of the way, but could draw no closer than a sixth place finish. Still though it was a good enough performance to keep Richards 40 points behind him entering the final event of the season in the annual Dirt Track World Championships.

As the laps wound down, the restarts turned out to be no big deal for "The Real Deal" as he was never seriously challenged for the lead and cruised to the $20,000 payday with a green to checker win.

Afterwards an upbeat O'Neal was asked to access his night.  "Track record , won the heat, and won the race. We raced what we had, my guys made the right calls and made my job easy," O'Neal said following his second tour win of the season. "As far as future plans go, O'Neal  will be back aboard the Peak #5 for Clint Bowyer Racing on the Lucas Oil tour in 2018. "The way we are wrapping up 2017 like we have, I just want to get to Speed Weeks and get going again."

Second place finisher Darrell Lanigan who started 14th  on the grid was pleased with his run. "Starting where we did to end up second, we were all on the same tires and at a big ole place like this clean air means a lot."

Bloomquist  was very gracious after a disappointing Pittsburgher 100 that saw him fall back to 75 points behind McCreadie. "After tonight we got ourselves way behind and won't be able to do anything with it. We will get to Portsmouth to contend for the win "  Bloomquist is completely aware if either of his title contenders finish in the top 10 that it could potentially eliminate his chance at the Lucas crown. I won't sit around and wish for anyone to have a bad night to win a championship."

Series points leader McCreadie was asked what a Lucas title would mean to him, "It would be one of the coolest things we could do as a race team. I was fortunate to win one championship a long time ago and it's been a long drought"

In support division  action Pittsburgh Pa' s Daryl Charlier won the $2,500 to win RUSH Crate Late Model, Bill Hendron Memorial race over Max Blair and Ryan Montgomery.  The night was capped off by a dominating performance in the Penn/Ohio Street Stock feature as Chris Schneider of Lower Burrell Pa driving the Jack Keil / Rob Shook owned #64 took the honors.

Feature Finish (100-Lap $20,000 to win, 29th Annual Pittsburgher 100)

1.   Don O’Neal, Martinsville, IN

2.   Darrell Lanigan, Union, KY

3.   Josh Richards, Shinnston, WV

4.   Earl Pearson, Jr., Jacksonville, FL

5.   Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN

6.   Tim McCreadie, Watertown, NY

7.   Hudson O’Neal, Martinsville, IN

8.   Boom Briggs, Bear Lake

9.   Mason Ziegler, Chalk Hill

10.  Rick Eckert, York

11.  Gregg Satterlee, Rochester Mills

12.  Russ King, Bristolville, OH

13.  Jason Covert, York Haven

14.  Derek Stefanick, Imperial

15.  Jon Hodgkiss, Kennedy

16.  Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL

17.  Steve Francis, Ashland, KY

18.  Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, TN

19.  Alex Ferree, Valencia

20.  Dennis Erb, Jr., Carpentersville, IL

21.  Mike Marlar, Winfield, TN

22.  Jake Gunn, McDonald

23.  Tony Musolino, Scott Twp.

24.  Colton Flinner, Allison Park

25.  Jared Miley, Pittsburgh

26.  Tommy Beck, Sewickley

27.  Mike Norris, Sarver

28.  Mike Pegher, Cranberry Township

The race was slowed by 11 cautions
Lap 13 Bloomquist
Lap16 Flinner
Lap 22 Norris
Lap 30 Flinner
Lap 34 Flinner
Lap 43 Musolini
Lap 50 Gunn
Lap 51 debris
Lap 60 Marlar
Lap 82 Covert
Lap 83 Francis

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Great Pittsburgher 100 Roundtable

The Lucas Oil Late Model Series points chase is tighter than a.....................well we won't finish that unique analogy, but you can guess that it's tight. Besides every other dirt racing news outlet has already let you know how tight it is.  However, it is time for the Pittsburgher 100! It's one of our favorite events of the entire year as one of the toughest Late Model fields in the country battle it out on the "Monster Half Mile".

The legendary surface at Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's Motor Speedway lends itself to wide open, three and four wide action in every turn, and on lap. And there's lots of ways the action could come to a conclusion when the checkered flag falls. Expect the electricity in the air and an atmosphere in the crowd that could border on pandemonium at times with the closeness of the points taken into consideration.

So what do we expect to see unfold come Saturday night? We'll tell you all about it as we answer a few burning questions coming into the weekend. Get your beer! It's time for another edition of TDN Roundtable! Be sure to join us in the parking lot for burned sausages and beer!

Daylon Barr Photo

What worked for Tim McCreadie this year that has put him in a position to win the entire series? He can help himself put the championship to bed with a win here.

Josh Bayko- I think not having the pressures of being both the owner and driver has helped him immensely. He's just a hired gun now, and all he has to focus on are the races themselves. That has showed in the results. He's been incredibly consistent this year, and that's surely a welcome change after the last half dozen or so years. This particular weekend, though, he'll be traveling between PPMS and Oswego, where he's racing a modified at Super DIRT Week. It may hinder his performance in both cars, as they take radically different driving styles, and adjust back and forth day to day has got to be a little rough.

Todd Nunes- Tim has been a model of consistency this year. He seem to be good out of the box almost every time he unloads. Double duty this weekend could be detrimental to his stamina though.

Tyler Beichner- I think his switch to the Lucas Oil series in 2016 put a breath of fresh air in his sails. After following the World of Outlaws for so long, the jump to Lucas seemed to revitalize him. Now after a year to familiarize with the different tracks on tour, he's had a chance to fill his notebook and become a contender each night out.

Kyle Symons - I think that McCreadie and company finally found the right combination.  Being the Longhorn house car driver, and having those resources behind him have helped his team out greatly, and that has led to what has been his best season ever.  It will be tough to hold off Bloomquist and Richards over the final two events at PPMS and Portsmouth, but don't count out McCreadie.  He's been in the thick of the points battle all year long and now finds himself in the lead with two races to go.  He could definitely win the Lucas Oil championship this season.

The local/regional field is as tough as they come. Which area driver do you feel has the best chance at pulling a miracle at PPMS and why?

Josh Bayko -I'd have to go with Jared Miley. He's as tough as they come at PPMS, and he's shown to be pretty good in 100 lap races the past few years. If he starts up front, he could absolutely pull ofr the shocker. 

Todd Nunes- Alex Ferree has been very fast in the super late specials he’s raced at PPMS this year. There’s several locals that could put up a challenge, if the cards fall right for one of them, we may be talking about the local guy next week.

Tyler Beichner- Michael Norris. Without any form of an invert or redraw built into the format, how you time is as important as how you race. Norris set quick time at last year's Pittsburgher 100, and this year it seems that his race speed has finally caught up to his qualifying speed. Sure he's not a veteran in 100-lap races, but everyone has to break through at some point.

Kyle Symons - I have to agree with Tyler and go with Michael Norris here.  Norris was fast at Pittsburgh last season setting fast time, but fading during the feature a little bit.  If he can put it all together this weekend he could be a surprise winner of the Pittsburgher 100.

Patrick Miller Photo

Richards and Bloomquist are good bets of course, they're always tough at PPMS,  but what tour regulars or other national touring drivers are potential winners this weekend?

Josh Bayko - Brandon Sheppard has got to be the name that stands out. The Rocket house car is damn near unbeatable in races it attends at PPMS, and Brandon is a certainly a guy that knows how to win 100 lap races. Sure Josh Richards was the wheelman for most of those races, but let's get serious here. Brandon is every bit as potent as Josh. He might not have the laps there, but the car will be right every time it hits the track. I'd even go so far to say that he's gotta be the favorite going in.

Todd Nunes- Sheppard has had a great season, and Rockets always do well at PPMS, however I’m gonna bet Greg Satterlee hasn’t forgotten how to get around the joint. Look for a good run for Greg as he gets some home cooking this weekend.

Kyle Symons - Brandon Sheppard will be very tough, but I'll go off the radar a little bit and go with Jimmy Owens.  Owens has been the top points getter on the Lucas Oil tour over the past two months, and has found speed that they were lacking earlier in the season.  He had a solid fifth place finish in this event last season, so look for him to be a contender this weekend.

What makes the Pittsburgher stand out amongst all the other 100 lap, big money races out there? What makes it such a special place?

Josh Bayko - The Pittsburgher has a pretty rich history that has has seen a few different sanctions and a few different formats over the years. Somehow through times of turmoil and change, the race soldiers on. There's something to be said about that kind of tenacity.  The track itself is big, wide and crazy fast. The place is definitely in the conversation of fastest dirt tracks in America. That slone makes it special.

Todd Nunes- We're on to the 29th Pittsburgher 100, and man has the race seen big names in those years. Drivers can run anywhere at PPMS, and $20k to win isn’t exactly chump change. There’s a lot of memories tied to the Pittsburgher for both drivers, and fans.

Kyle Symons - The Pittsburgher has always been a great late-season special that has always drawn good cars, and the layout of the track definitely favors the brave.  Fans flock to PPMS every year for this event, and despite many different sanctions, the event has always drawn really good fields.

 Time to chime in! Give us your one and only winner and how do they get the job done?

Josh Bayko - Brandon Sheppard. I say he qualifies top 5, putting him on the front row of a heat, that he wins, which starts him up front. I say he gets out front by lap 20 and never looks back.

Todd Nunes- As long as Bloomer finds his way into the pits prior to qualifying, he will be hard to beat. However, Richards will likely repeat as winner, taking the lead from Black Sunshine mid-race.

Tyler Beichner- Scott Bloomquist. Why? Because his legend will grow - from his dismal stretch of DNF's beginning in June at the Firecracker to being counted out of the points chase with only a dozen races remaining on the schedule. Now we're down to two, and I think he's in the driver's seat. He'll win this weekend, and the DTWC in a couple of weeks, and build on to the ever-growing aura that surrounds him.

Kyle Symons - I'm going to go with Scott Bloomquist here to put the pressure on the rest of the field heading into the final points event in the Dirt Track World Championship at Portsmouth in a couple of weeks.  Bloomquist, Richards and McCreadie will all be in the top five as well this weekend.