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Babb Banks $10,555 in Slocum 50 Victory April 21, 2018

Babb Banks $10,555 in Slocum 50 Victory

By Billy Rock (West Burlington, IA) -- For the second time in the young 2018 season, Moweaqua, IL driver Shannon Babb was able to get out front early and distance himself from the field en-route to a win with the Lucas Oil MLRA. Saturday nights 10th annual "Slocum 50" presented by Roederer's Pit Stop, would attract a total of 37 drivers all vying for the $10,555 top prize.

In a rare time-trial qualifying event for the MLRA at the 34 Raceway, it would be Chad Simpson and Shannon Babb setting fast times in their respective sessions. Those two drivers would carry that mojo into the feature event as Simpson rolled off on the DirtonDirt.com pole with Babb to his outside.

When the green flag dropped however, it would be Chris Simpson making the first bold move of the race from his fourth starting spot. As the pair of front row starters slipped up slightly exiting turn two, Chris Simpson was able to pin his Longhorn Chassis to the bottom and take the early lead with a methodic three wide pass on lap one.

Simpson's time at the point however would be short lived as the events first caution would appear on lap two. With Chris Simpson out front for the restart, the actual upper hand appeared to belong to Babb as he was quickly able to search the multiple grooves of the speedway for a way back around the early leader Simpson.

In the annual race honoring the life of former late model driver Brent Slocum, it was only fitting that Babb would make his move for the lead on the races fifth lap--the same car number of Slocum. Once out in front, Babb would maintain a consistent margin between himself and Simpson and hold on for the win, surviving a deep drive into lapped traffic.

An excited Babb commented in the Andy's Frozen Custard Victory Lane by saying, "It was awesome that they re-worked the track before our feature, they just made it great from top to bottom for the first half of the race and gave us all a chance. We were going three wide and I didn't know where to run at, but once we got the top going in three and four I was able to make the pass."

The events final 41 laps went caution free which kept the race leaders buried in lapped traffic for most of the race. Babb said of his battle in traffic, "It was getting tough in traffic at the end. I knew where we were and just needed to stay there. I didn't know if they would try to give me a slide job or not but they treated me right."

Chris Simpson would come home in second and in doing so takes over the points lead where his worst finish in his last three MLRA starts is 2nd. Regarding Babb's early pass for the lead Simpson said, "It's hard to leave the bottom when you take the lead on the bottom. He (Babb) just found the black of the racetrack before I did."

Simpson, who picked up the $5,000 MLRA win on Friday in Davenport commented, "Anytime you can run top 3 or 4 with these guys it's a good night."

Finishing off Saturdays podium positions was 2014 MLRA Champion Chad Simpson, who for the second straight night spent much of the race battling his brother for position. Friday nights action in Davenport saw the driver of the "Duece-Nickel" sidelined after making contact with the turn two wall while running in the top three. For Chad, Saturday nights result was a welcome finish to their weekend that will give them momentum heading into next weekend's MLRA southern swing.

Chad Simpson spent the entire second half of the main event lurking behind brother Chris for the runner up spot. He said of the great battle, "The lap cars were holding him(Chris) up a little bit and they were helping me to where I could catch him a little bit. There were a couple of spots I was better but then there was a couple he was better at than me, so it was just a trade off in the end."

Rounding out the top five was Billy Drake and Dave Eckrich. The nights hard charger went to Decorah, IA's Tyler Bruening who came home in 12th after taking a provisional and starting 25th.

For additional news visit www.34raceway.com

PHOTO CREDIT: Lloyd Collins/Fast Track Photos

Logan Roberson Captures April 21, 2018

Logan Roberson Captures "Battle of the Bay" Title at Winchester

By Mike Leone

 

April 21, 2018               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

(Winchester, VA)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series powered by Pace Performance returned to Winchester Speedway on Saturday night for the first time in three years to the Virginia oval.  It was the fourth and final night of the inaugural “Battle of the Bay” Mid-Atlantic Speedweek presented by Pancho’s Racing Products, which attracted 44 cars from six states (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania & New York) along with Ontario, Canada.

 

One night after winning his first National Touring Series event of any kind at Potomac Speedway, Logan Roberson put a beat down on a stellar field of competitors Saturday night sweeping the night by setting a new track record in qualifying, winning his heat race, the K&N Dash, and leading all 30 laps of the feature.  The $2,125 sweep also propelled Roberson to the $1,000 “Battle of the Bay” title by just one-point over Thursday’s Georgetown winner, Ross Robinson, and two points over Wednesday’s Delaware winner, Max Blair!  

 

“We struggled the first two nights but it’s nice to get back home and to win against this competition is great,” expressed the 20-year-old Waynesboro, VA driver.  “To win two tour events back-to-back means a lot.  You have Max Blair, Ross Robinson, and Jeremy Wonderling.  I watch those guys on Facebook win 10 to 30 races a year.  To beat them, you know you’ve beat the best in crate racing.  I enjoyed it.  I can’t thank my family, friends, and sponsors enough.  It’s been a dream come true to do what I do.  It’s a lot of fun, and to meet great people- I love it. Vicki (Emig) and Mike (Leone) put on such a great series.  My crew gave me a great car again.  I just had to hold the steering wheel.  I made a few mistakes in the feature that almost cost me.” 

 

Roberson led Jeremy Wonderling, Tanner Kerr, Amanda Whaley, and John Waters for the first seven non-stop laps of the feature until Billy Thompson slowed to bring out the event’s only caution as the final 23 went caution-free.  Waters made his way under and past Whaley for fourth on lap 10 as Whaley’s boyfriend, Robinson, followed in fifth on lap 13.  Meanwhile, Roberson had distanced himself from the field and had a straightaway lead by the time he caught lapped traffic on lap 19. 

 

Roberson had to work his way through heavy lapped traffic on lap 28 as Jason Genco, Adam Ferri, and Devin Brannon were all battling for position.  Once he did, it was clear sailing as Roberson took the checkered flag first by a commanding 2.686 seconds in his Dirt Defender/BTS Towing Service/Pancho's Racing Products/QA1 Shocks/Race 1/Sunoco/All About Wraps-sponsored #17.

 

Wonderling, a Sweeney Touring Series regular, ended the “Battle of the Bay” with his best performance taking the $1,000 runner-up.  “Congratulations to Logan,” stated the Scio, NY driver.  “He deserves it- he runs well.  I’ve never been here before so I really didn’t know what to do, but things worked pretty well.  It’s good end to the week.  I tried everything I could to narrow the window down, but he kept seeming to get better so I gave up and just tried to maintain my line.”

 

In his first ever Tour start, Kerr was an impressive third.  “Hats off to Logan (Roberson) and his crew,” expressed the hometown Winchester driver.  “I have to deal with him every week down here.  Man they are a class act.  They are the best in the region and one of the best crate drivers in the country.  His results speak for that.  It’s a true blessing to be able to come out here and run with these guys.  I told my guys at the beginning of the week I wasn’t sure if I was even going to run it.  We’ve been having some brake issues and bad luck.  I told them mid-week we were going to try it and the ultimate goal is to get in the show.  To stand on the frontstretch with the type of drivers that finished behind us makes it feel good.  We have a very small budget, old car and shocks with a used motor.  I can’t thank my family, crew, and sponsors enough.”

 

Waters, the 2016 Sweeney Tour Champion and last year’s runner-up, was fourth for his best “Battle of the Bay” finish.  The most important battle on the speedway was the intense action with Whaley, Robinson, Blair, and Sandercock.  As Whaley was sliding back, Robinson was trying to keep Blair behind him in the chase for the “Battle of the Bay” title, while Canadian Charlie Sandercock was running the highline moving forward.  Robinson, Blair, and Sandercock would all pass Whaley, but Robinson was unable to fend off Blair and the charging Sandercock in the final laps, which cost Robinson the title. 

 

After starting 10th, Blair was fifth giving him all four top five finishes.  Sandercock went 17th to sixth to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger gift card as he really turned around his night after having to start ninth in his heat due to being light at the scales. Robinson and Whaley faded to seventh and eighth at the finish.  Brady Wonderling was ninth ahead of track regular, Levi Crowl, who made his first ever Tour start.  

 

Scott Gunn ended the night and the “Battle of the Bay” victorious leading all 10 laps of the non-qualifier.  Gunn got behind the eight-ball after being light at the scales following qualifying putting himself behind all night.  Gunn did rally from eighth to third in the first last chance B main earning him the pole position for the non-qualifier.  The West Mifflin, Pa. driver earned $175 in his West Mifflin Collision #14G as became the 30th different winner in 34 races run all-time.  Mike Franklin was second, who ironically was light after finishing fourth in his heat.  J.J. Mazur, Ronnie Martin, Jr., and Christian Schneider completed the top five. 

 

Roberson shattered Jacob Hawkins’ previous track record of 15.700 set nearly three years ago with a lap of 15.479 in $100 FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying.  Besides Roberson, Wonderling, Kerr, Waters, and Whaley picked up $25 FK Rod Ends heat race wins.  Joe Warren and Jason Knowles split the last chance B mains.

 

For additional news visit www.rushlatemodels.com

Weekly Winners 4/10/18 - 4/16/18 April 16, 2018

Weekly Winners 4/10/18 - 4/16/18

Congratulations to:

Ben Watkins – Cherokee Speedway

Kelly Shryock – Lee County Speedway (pictured)

Matt Sheppard – Delaware International Speedway

Donald McIntosh – Tri-County Racetrack

James Dennis – I-77 Raceway Park & Ohio Valley Speedway

Stewart Friesen – Grandview Speedway

Austin Horton – Senoia Raceway

Eric Stanton – Benton County Speedway

Dennis Hale – Senoia Raceway

Lance Borgman – I-80 Speedway

Tyler Clem – Bubba Raceway Park

Ronnie Johnson – Boyd’s Speedway & Dixie Speedway

Dakotah Knuckles – Tazewell Speedway

Ashton Winger – East Bay Raceway Park

Jordan Grabouski – I-80 Speedway

Russell Erwin – County Line Raceway

Darren Alvey - Potomac Speedway

Friesen Wins Bruce Rogers Memorial at Grandview April 14, 2018

Friesen Wins Bruce Rogers Memorial at Grandview

BECHTELSVILLE, PA. April 15, 2018 . . . Mother Nature finally cooperated with the racing community on Saturday night and produced beautiful weather and the 56th racing season at Grandview Speedway got underway in front of a very large turnout of fans. Close to 50 small and big block Modifieds lined the pits to participate in the events leading up to the first annual Bruce Rogers Memorial Money Maker 50-lap race sponsored by VP Racing Fuels. The race was run in honor of the late Bruce Rogers, who passed away last March. Bruce, along with his father Forrest, built the track close to 60 years ago.

Three laps shy of a victory in the prestigious memorial event, Stewart Friesen wrestled the lead away from Mike Gular as the front runners had to deal with lapped traffic. Friesen held on and went on to collect the $7,500 top prize money along with beautiful hardware signifying the victory. In 2014 Friesen, now a regular in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition, won the season opener along with the rich Freedom 76 Classic.

Kevin Hirthler, doing double duty in the Modified and Sportsman divisions, took the lead when leader Ryan Lilick dropped out of action and chalked up the victory in the 25-lap Sportsman feature.

Through a heads-up draw, Don Norris Jr., returning to action after a year hiatus, started on the pole in the 50-lap Memorial feature, but it was second-place starter Tim Buckwalter that took the early lead and Gular followed through for second.

Buckwalter and Gular were bumper to bumper for several laps while back further Norris Jr., Friesen and Jordan Henn diced for positions.

Gular dove underneath Buckwalter for the lead along the homestretch on the 12th lap and heading down the backstretch Buckwalter pulled into the infield out of contention.

With 15 laps in the books Gular, Norris Jr., Friesen, Craig Von Dohren and Matt Sheppard, the third, first, fourth, 12th and sixth-place starters continued to hold down one through five as they encountered slower moving traffic that were also racing for positions.

Kevin Hirthler, who had just broken into the top ten, spun in the fourth turn on the 22nd lap and went pit side. Gular held his line on the restart, but Friesen was right there leaving him no room to slip-up and Friesen knew Von Dohren was pressuring him too.

Sheppard’s solid fourth place run ended on the 24th lap with a right rear flat tire. After a pit stop he rejoined the pack, but was only able to get back to 11th until the end.

At the half-way marker Gular, Friesen and Von Dohren, who all ran the top lane; Watt and Frank Cozze completed the top five.

In the final stages of the event, lap cars hampered the front runners and Friesen had a full head of steam built up even though he abused his tires and was coming on strong as it appeared Gular was having problems getting through turns one and two.

On the 47th lap, three short of a victory for Gular, Friesen passed him. Gular didn’t surrender easily and tried to regain the top spot.

Friesen continued his pace and pulled into the winner’s circle for his third win at the oval followed by Gular, Von Dohren, Watt and Cozze. Rounding out the top ten were Duane Howard, Meme DeSantis, Rick Laubach, Billy Pauch Sr. and Mike Mahaney.

Heats were won by Jordan Henn, Brett Kressley, Sheppard and Von Dohren. Jared Umbenhauer and Laubach won the consolation events.

For additional news visit www.grandviewspeedway.net

Photo courtesy of www.grandviewspeedway.net

Dakotah Knuckles Wins Spring Nationals Series Visit to Tazewell April 13, 2018

Dakotah Knuckles Wins Spring Nationals Series Visit to Tazewell

Dakotah Knuckles of Ewing, Va. scored the biggest payday and first-career Super Late Model victory during the Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series event Friday Night at Tazewell Speedway.

Knuckles drove the Hickory Star Marina, Marcum Oil, Estes Brothers Construction, Schaeffer’s Oil, Timberline Barns and Hill’s Truck Repair-sponsored Cornett Racing Engines-powered Rocket Chassis to the $5,000 payday. Knuckles also became the 24th different winner in 46 races on the Spring Nationals Series.

From the drop of the green flag it was all Knuckles at the point. He would lead until lap 27 then Eric Wells would take command of the race. Wells would lead from lap 28 until lap 34 then Knuckles would make a power move to the outside to grab the lead back and go on for his first big payday in the 40-lapper.

Six caution flags slowed the event. The first yellow came on the opening lap as a four car pileup in turn two sent the field back for a re-aligned start. The second yellow came on lap two as Jason Jameson spun his mount in turn four. Jameson would rally back from the tail to fourth at one point before a flat tire knocked him out of contention for a possible victory. The third yellow came on lap five as a five car pileup in turn four slowed the field yet again. On lap eight, an eight car maylay slowed the field for the fourth time. On lap 25, Carder Miller slowed with a flat tire to bring out the caution and the final yellow flag would fly on lap 28 as Forrest Trent slowed in turn four.

For more news visit www.southernnationalsseries.com

Photo courtesy of McLeod Media Services

Matt Sheppard Soars To Victory in the Full Throttle Series April 11, 2018

Matt Sheppard Soars To Victory in the Full Throttle Series

Delmar, DE…The FULL THROTTLE SERIES Race # 1 officially got underway tonight at the Delaware International Speedway. The Taylor & Messick, 40 lap big block modified feature, had 34 Modifieds hitting the track for a spot in the lineup with $4000 on the line for the winner and $400 to take the green.  In addition, there were lap bonuses included tonight.

Matt Sheppard 9S, of Waterloo, NY, stated, “the track was one of the best I’ve raced on there was a racing groove from the top to the bottom I could run anywhere I needed.”

Sheppard blazed the track flawlessly from the drop of the green to take the lead from Anthony Perrego 44, from the start.  The first yellow came out with Scotty VanGorder stopping in turn 4.  On the restart Sheppard, Perrego, Jamie Mills 30, Jimmy Horton 43H and Ryan Godown 66 were the top 5.  Mills and Horton battled for third on the take off until lap 7, when local Jordan Watson 1J slows in turn 4 and he’s done for the night. Watson was plagued with mishap in hot laps with water pump woes but qualified in the consi to take the green in the feature. 

By Lap 10, Godown charged Sheppard for the lead with some good old-fashioned side by side racing for a number of laps until lap 12 when Ryan Watt 14W slowed in turn 4 with a flat.  On the restart, Godown, Sheppard, Perrego, Mills, and Craig VonDohren 14S were the leaders, with Sheppard retaking the lead by laps 14-15 in turn 2 setting up a 4 to 5 car length lead.  The caution was back out on lap 20 when Horton slowed and Jeff Brown 9 went in the pits with a flat. 

At the half way restart it was Sheppard, Godown, Perrego, Mills, VonDohren in the top 5; 6th to 10th went to Billy Pauch Jr. 51, Rick Laubach 1K, Duane Howard 357, H. J. Bunting 85 and Shawn Ward 7W.  Brown was able to return in time for restart.

Sheppard remained the leader with a battle for third between Mills and Perrego in turns 1 and 2. Mills looked to drive down and the car just kicked out from under him bringing out the yellow on lap 25, when he hit the retainer wall just outside of turn 2.   This ended the good run he had going.  Sheppard leads Godown, Perrego, Pauch Jr. and Howard in the top 5 on the restart. Howard and Pauch Jr. made little contact, but the green remained out with 18 cars on the track.

Watt made his way through the pack to claim 11th after having a flat on lap 12. On Lap 28, Perrego and Howard battle for third until Perrego ends up taking second. Lap 32 Howard gets around in turn 4 by himself bringing out the caution. Lap 33 Sheppard leads, Godown, Perrego, Pauch, Jr., VonDohren, Laubach, Jim Britt 118, Watt and Mike Gular 2A rounded out the top 10. The final two laps had a showdown for third between Bunting and VonDohren and VonDohren pushed forward claiming third.  The final top five was Sheppard, Godown, VonDohren, Bunting and Perrego.  The full field rundown was Matt Sheppard 9S, Ryan Godown 66, Craig VonDohren 14S, H. J. Bunting III 85, Anthony Perrego 44, Rick Laubach 1K, Billy Pauch Jr. 51, Ryan Watt 14W, Jim Britt 118, Mike Gular 2A, Jo Jo Watson 30M, Shawn Ward 7W, Brad Trice 33, Scott VanGorder 17, Kevin Sockriter 55K, Ron Roberts Z14, DNF: Brandon Watkins 4W, Duane Howard 357, Jeff Brown 9, Jamie Mills 30, Kevin Gardner 71, Michael White 43, Jordan Watson 1J, and Jimmy Horton 43H.

The track was super-fast all night leading Sheppard to having the fastest lap in the feature with 18.577 sec and 96.577 mph. During the heats, Sheppard still had the fastest lap of 18.161 sec and 99.113 mph.  Heats were won by Mills with 18.303 sec and a 98.345 mph, Watt at 18.326 sec and 98.221 mph lap, Sheppard, Godown with 18.627 sec and fast lap of 96.634 mph.  The two consi heats were won by Kevin Sockriter 55K, and Watson.  DNQ: J. Justice, B. Watkins, M. Hawkins, K. Peek, D. Hawkins, C. Tatman, DNS: M. Byram, C. Wright, R. Dutton, and B. Hitz.

The track would like to thank Taylor & Messick of Harrington, De. for their continued support of the Full Throttle Series. In addition, L & J Sheet Metal of Laurel, De. for their sponsorship of every lap during the Modified feature. 

For additional news visit www.delawareracing.com

Photo courtesy of www.delawareracing.com