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Jeff Strunk Wins His 6th Freedom 76 September 10, 2016

Jeff Strunk Wins His 6th Freedom 76

BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Jeff Strunk, “the Bechtelsville Bullet,” had been having a rather mediocre season, at least by his usually high standards, at Grandview Speedway behind the wheel of the Glenn Hyneman owned No. 126 Modified. Saturday night the ten-time NASCAR track point champion rectified the 2016 campaign by pulling off his biggest win of the year ­ the Freedom 76-Lap Modified Classic event for a hefty payday of $25,000 plus. He racked up a sizeable amount in lap money, the $100 half-way leader money from Area Auto Racing News and the Dan’s Deli ½-way hoagie award. Strunk didn’t have an easy time in claiming his sixth win in the event, his last being in 2013, as he first dueled with Ryan Watt, who he lost the lead to earlier and then had to thwart off the challenges of second-place finisher and defending race winner Craig VonDohren. Following the five qualifying heats won by Dan Bouc, Jared Umbenhauer, Bobby Varin, Rick Laubach, also the winner of the $1,000 Cash Dash, and David VanHorn plus the Schaeffer Motorsports Minuteman 20 captured by Kyle Borror the 32-car starting field was set for the main event – the 46th Annual Freedom 76. Through the luck of the draw Jeff Strunk pulled the number one seed and he wasted no time maintaining the lead on the initial green from starter Ray Kemp. Thrashing for positions behind him were Watt, Ray Swinehart, Brian Krummel and Mike Kellner. Duane Howard, the race winner in 2011, brought out the first caution on the fifth lap when he slowed on the homestretch. After a quick pit stop he rejoined the action. Strunk maintained first on the restart and within a matter of laps he had a comfortable margin built up over the rest of the competition. Lapped traffic allowed Watt to reel Strunk in and gain some ground. Finally on lap 20, Billy Pauch slowed in turn one after contact with the homestretch wall while running eighth bringing him to an abrupt halt and the yellow was out. This time Watt, who started third, outgunned Strunk to become the new leader. By this time the order behind Watt consisted of Strunk, 12th-place starter Von Dohren, Swinehart and last week’s feature winner Doug Manmiller, who started eighth. The field regrouped when Kellner, in the top ten, brought out the 34th lap caution when he slowed his pace in turn four. When action went green again with Watt on the high lane and Strunk hugging the inside, the pair battled side-by-side for several laps with neither one lifting. Strunk was back in front at the conclusion of the 37th lap. Don Norris Jr. slowed in the second turn for the yellow shortly after Strunk regained control and that brought out a mandatory fuel stop. After the seven-minute stop, Strunk was still first, but now Manmiller and VonDohren were second and third as Watt got shuffled to fourth and Rick Laubach fifth. VonDohren was back in the runner-up spot on the 43rd lap and set his sights on Strunk. Ryan Godown brought out the final caution on the 49th lap after contact with the homestretch wall brought him to a stop in turn two. Once again the restart saw Strunk stick with the inside path and VonDohren running his familiar high lane. The two swapped paint on occasion, but not enough to change the status. Waiting in the wings for a miscue in hopes of advancement were Laubach, Manmiller and Watt. Lapped cars came into the picture again on the 66th lap and Laubach began gaining ground on the front two. Strunk kept everyone behind him and went on to claim his third win of the season at the 1/3-mile oval followed by VonDohren, Laubach, Manmiller and Watt. Rounding out the top ten were Swinehart, Krummel, Umbenhauer, Kyle Weiss and Varin. For additional news visit www.dirttrackdigest.com
Weekly Winners 8/30/16 - 9/5/16 September 5, 2016

Weekly Winners 8/30/16 - 9/5/16

Congratulations to:

Jeff Choquette – Five Flags Speedway

Dale Planck – Brockville Ontario Speedway

Will Vaught – Lucas Oil Speedway

Jimmy Mars – Lernerville Speedway

Josh Richards – Lernerville Speedway

Aaron Reutzel – Jackson Motorplex

Craig Von Dohren – Big Diamond Speedway

Pete Bicknell – Merrittville Speedway

Brandon Oakley – Winchester Speedway

Andrew Satterlee – Dog Hollow Speedway

Doug Manmiller – Grandview Speedway

Wade Bland – Western Speedway

Steve Owings – Trail-Way Speedway

Alan Fink – Fulton Speedway

David Payne – Tazewell Speedway

Billy Dunn – Can-Am Motorsports Park

Eddie Hoffman – Grundy Speedway

Rodney Sanders – Cresco Speedway & Deer Creek Speedway

Andy Bishop – Southern Illinois Raceway

Billy Knippenburg – Grundy Speedway

Mike Mataragas – Sycamore Speedway (pictured)

Matt Sheppard – Weedsport Speedway, Utica-Rome Speedway, Lebanon Valley Speedway & Canandaigua Motorsports Park

Dona Marcoullier – Tri-City Motor Speedway

Tim Fuller – Mohawk Int’l. Raceway

Michael Kloos – Tri-City Speedway & I 55 Raceway

Keith Flach – Lebanon Valley Speedway

Sammy Epling – Merritt Speedway

Mike Laughard – Dog Hollow Speedway

Jose Parga – Farmer City Raceway

Danny Johnson – Outlaw Speedway

Matt Cosner – Bedford Speedway & Hagerstown Speedway

Gregg Satterlee – Dog Hollow Speedway & Port Royal Speedway

Oakley Gets First JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Win at Winchester September 4, 2016

Oakley Gets First JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Win at Winchester

Salem, IN. (September 6, 2016) – Brandon Oakley had dreamed as a kid of winning a race on the famous High Banks of Winchester Speedway, and Oakley’s dream came true on Sunday night in winning the Winchester 100 Presented by JEGS.com and picking up his first ever JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance victory. “It’s awesome getting a win here,” remarked Oakley in victory lane. “I’ve been coming here since I was a kid and racing here for about six years, this is one of the places I really wanted to get a win and it happened tonight. We had to work hard for this one, but we got the opportunity and made it happen!” Colin Nickolai led the field to the green flag after Boyne Machine Company Fast Qualifier Cody Coughlin drew a five for the inverted start. Zane Smith grabbed the early lead from his outside pole starting position and led the first 17 laps while Travis Braden was working his way to the front. Braden passed Smith on lap 18 before Smith was able to get the lead again on lap 30. Braden made another pass for the lead on lap 34 and looked to be on his way to his second straight series victory when his night ended suddenly with hard contact in the outside turn four wall after something failed in the right front suspension. Braden was okay after the hit, but his car was heavily damaged. That handed the lead to defending event winner Jack Smith with only 16 laps left in the race. Smith was able to get the lead on the lap 85 restart and held that lead until Oakley was able to make the pass on lap 90, the two battled hard for the lead for several laps before Oakley was able to get around Smith and go on to get the win. Oakley picked up the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award for his winning pass. Smith would finish in second, earning the Sweet Move of the Race Award after holding on to his car after some contact with Oakley when the two were battling for the lead. Dan Leeck would finish in third and picked up the FLUIDYNE High Performance Cool Under Pressure Award after coming from his ninth place starting position and battling to get his third place finish. Phil Bozell would come from his 11th place starting position to finish in fourth earning Hardcharger Awards from T & K Trucking and Racing Electronics plus a Great Lakes Tire/Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award. Nickolai would finish in fifth after making a pit stop were his crew made several adjustments allowing him to race back through the field for the fifth place finish, which earned his crew the PitBoxes.com Pit Crew of the Race Award. Jack Dossey III earned the VanDoorn Racing Development Rookie of the Race Award with his seventh place finish. Dakota Stroup earned a Great Lakes Tire/Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award with his eighth place finish. More information on all the CRA series is available at www.cra-racing.com.
Mars Wins Lernerville Working Man September 3, 2016

Mars Wins Lernerville Working Man

SARVER, Pa. – Sept. 3, 2016 – Jimmy Mars won the Working Man finale presented by GottaRace.com Saturday night at Lernerville Speedway. Mars started third in the 75-lap Craftsman Club® Feature, ultimately earning the $20,000 purse for the weekend. “It’s awesome to be back at Lernerville,” Mars said. “We don’t get to race as much as we want to right now. Things are going good, and I have so many people to thank. We have a lot of great people behind us. Everything worked great.” Mars' last World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series victory came on July 2014. In a seven-caution spectacular, Mars fought a stout group of series regulars. Three-time Series Champion Josh Richards, who was seeking his record-breaking 18th win of the season, swiftly led the 24-car field in the beginning laps of the race from fourth. Richards led 64 laps of the main event, while the rest of the top five relentlessly battled for a chance to take on the red-hot driver out of Shinnston, W.V. Early on, it was Mars. Mars maintained a half-second behind Richards for the first eight laps. Thereon, he funneled back to as far as fourth place. Mars’ greatest battle was between Defending Series Champion Shane Clanton. Clanton, who overtook Mars’ No. 28M Deppe Enterprises/ S&S Transport, Inc. MB Customs car on lap 67, began to trade third and fourth position with Mars. The Menomonie, Wisc. native solidified third on a lap 45 restart. Thereon, he looked toward 2011 Series Champion Rick Eckert for second place. Eckert earned one of the two $2,500-to-win qualifying features earlier in the weekend. With 28 laps remaining, Mars passed Eckert for second. Meanwhile, 2013 Rookie of the Year runner-up Morgan Bagley moved into fourth position – knocking on the door of his second top five performance of the season. The pivotal moment in the race came with 11 laps remaining. Richards, who was weaving through lapped traffic and building his lead over Mars, made contact with one of the cars. His car suffered a right-front flat tire, essentially giving Mars the go-ahead for the lead. “Yeah, that was too bad for Josh,” Mars said. “It’s tough in lapped traffic, you know? That stuff just happens, and it sucks. I’ve been in that position before. For the last few laps before that I’d say Josh and I were both saving our tires a little bit, and the bottom had a lot of moisture. I don’t know what he had for tires, but our car worked great. So I was patient in the beginning, fell back there a little bit, and then I was there at the end.” On the restart, Bagley catapulted his No. 14M Gotta Race Apparel/ P-W Sales Black Diamond car into second place. Bagley was able to diminish Mars’ lead to 1.258 seconds with four laps to go, but ended up losing a half-second by the time he hit the checkers. Billy Moyer Jr., whose last top five finish came on August 13, squeaked into the final podium spot over Eckert in his No. 21JR Crop Production Services/ Karl Performance Moyer/ Victory racecar. Bagley’s second place finish was his best of the season. He finished third earlier in the season at Tyler County Speedway (W.V.) on May 29. Mars said the last laps of the race were suspenseful with Bagley on his tail. With Mars “overshooting the corner a couple of times in turn one,” it lent enough room for Bagley to make a last-ditch effort. “[Our season] is definitely headed in the right direction,” Bagley said. “I’ll tell you, we’ve been really working hard all year trying stuff. I mean, we’re just really getting back to standard. We’re just trying to keep our program up to par, get our cars better. Jimmy was good. Hats off to them. They had the car to beat. We got into [turn] one and two a little better than him. I just ran out of track there. We were going to give him hell and try something.” Moyer Jr., who leads the Rookie of the Year standings, recorded his fifth top five performance of 2016. Moyer started 12thin the Craftsman Club® feature, and he credits his tires for his strong charge to the podium. “We came in, changed tires and the car to make it a little better,” Moyer said. “We just really weren’t good at the beginning. Early on, I sometimes don’t drive very well sideways with the wheel-spin like a lot of these guys. I thought we had a flat there and changed tires. It helped. This Billy Moyer car has been really good lately. Thanks to all the fans. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be out here.” Mike Norris, a hometown Sarver, Pa. native, rounded-out the top five. Norris finished second in his qualifying feature on Friday. For more news visit www.woolms.com
Sheppard Scores $17,500 Victory at Lebanon Valley September 1, 2016

Sheppard Scores $17,500 Victory at Lebanon Valley

Matt Sheppard made a late race charge by Kenny Tremont Jr. and set his No. 9s machine on cruise control at Lebanon Valley Speedway for the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified Mr. Dirt Track USA 100. After Sheppard took a wild ride at Canandaigua on Saturday totaling his car, his team was able to regroup in no time to take the checkers Thursday night and capture the $17,500 victory. "I can't thank enough people. Bicknell practically built this racecar in a day; the lettering guy lettered it the day we picked it up. Every one of the manufacturers stepped right out," Sheppard said. "This thing didn't miss a beat tonight. This is what championships are made of. It was a big turning point from Saturday to tonight. Our season could have gone down hill in a hurry but instead we're sitting here in victory lane at Lebanon Valley." The Valley's regulars, Tremont Jr. and Keith Flach started the 32-car field to the initial green. Tremont jumped out early to a sizable lead. Tremont caught the back of the field on lap 21. Tremont was no stranger to lap traffic as he worked his way through pulling away from Flach and Brett Hearn. Hearn slowly worked his way on the bottom through lapped traffic and started knocking on the rear bumper of Flach patiently waiting to make his move for that second spot.Tremont was slicing and dicing his way through lap traffic until the halfway mark when Flach and Hearn started closing in. Tremont lead the way at the halfway mark over Flach, Hearn, Friesen and Matt Sheppard. Hearn used the bottom groove and drove by Flach for the second spot then chased Tremont down as he started knocking on his doors on lap 52. Just as things were heating up the second yellow flag of the night was brought out for a slow moving Jimmy Horton on lap 54. Tremont was running the topside as Hearn patiently hugged the bottom of the track hoping to make ground on him. Sheppard moved into the fourth spot over Friesen then drove under Flach and pulled away in third on lap 65. Tremont, Hearn and Sheppard were in their own league as they pulled away from the field, catching lap traffic on lap 75. Hearn then moved to the top to maneuver through lap traffic, opening the door for Sheppard to drive under him on lap 84 advancing Sheppard into the second spot. Friesen passed Flach on the bottom coming out of turn four for the third spot on lap 85.Sheppard was able to complete the pass as he dove to the bottom in turn three, slid to the top coming out of four, worked his way around a lapped car and took the lead on lap 89. The third yellow of the night was brought out on lap 90 due to a slow moving fourth place runner Hearn with a right rear flat. The final restart of the night saw the field restart single file as Sheppard set his car on cruise control as he pulled away with half a straightaway lead over Tremont. On that restart Friesen worked his way on the bottom for a couple of laps and was able to slide by Tremont for the second spot with just two laps to go. It was all Sheppard as he sailed his way to his first ever Mr. Dirt Track USA victory. "The car was phenomenal on the long runs. It was a little tight on the short runs. I'd lose the nose a little while and lose a little bit of ground. It just seemed like I could just drive it in straight and rotate the bottom. This motor really pulled up off the corners. I just can't thank everyone enough," Sheppard said in victory lane. "Long time car owner, Jeff Bruneau, he's in the hospital right now. There's no bigger win he would have loved than this one right here. We're praying for him. I'm sure he would have loved this one." Sixth place starter Friesen looked to make a repeat of last year but fell one spot short. "It was good tonight. The Halmar team has worked really hard all season. We have great racecar's and a great engine. We just didn't make the right adjustments for the feature. We had a good long run car but the short runs we were getting beaten up pretty good. I'm proud of my guys to finish second to Sheppard. That's nothing really to complain about. We'll work a little bit harder and come back out again on Monday." Lebanon Valley's regular Kenny Tremont Jr. led all but the final twelve laps of the feature rounding himself off with a third place finish. "This is such a good team. They did a great job tonight. We just used the right rear tire up and towards the end there we were just hanging on. I'm really pleased with how the car went, maybe a little bit harder tire compound would have helped us." For more news visit www.lebanonvalley.com
Weekly Winners 8/23/16 - 8/29/16 August 29, 2016

Weekly Winners 8/23/16 - 8/29/16

Congratulations to:

Austin Jahnz - Jackson Motorsplex

Cory Probst - Murray County Speedway & Arlington Raceway

Michael Norris – Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway (pictured)

Dona Marcoullier – Tri-City Motor Speedway

Kelly Shryock - Fairmont Raceway & Jackson Motorplex

Luke Cranston – Belleville High Banks

Billy Whitaker – Fulton Speedway

John Cordovani – Canandaigua Motorsports Park

Clint Smith – Senoia Raceway

Joey Jensen - Cedar Lake Speedway

Aaron Shearn - Raceway Park

Coleby Frye – Port Royal Speedway

Robbie Scott – Princeton Speedway

Jeff Waterman - 34 Raceway

Steve Stacey – South Bend Motor Speedway

Eric Stanton - Boone Speedway

Rodney Sanders – Park Jefferson Speedway

Charlie Collins – Ukiah Speedway

Jimmy Mars – Oshkosh Speedzone

Vic Coffey – Brewerton Speedway

Chuck Clise – Marion Center Speedway

Matt Cosner – Bedford Speedway

Josh Richards – Merritt Speedway

Jason Trammell – Tazewell Speedway

Duane Howard – Grandview Speedway

Jordan Grabouski - Beatrice Speedway & Thunder Hill Speedway

Andy Altenburg - Fairmont Raceway

Ronnie Davis – Brewerton Speedway

Billy Dunn – Can-Am Motorsports Park

Dave Zagaiski – Berlin Raceway

Justin Haers – Canandaigua Motorsports Park

Aaron Reutzel – Badlands Motor Speedway

Rex King Jr. – Lernerville Speedway

Tim Fuller – Rolling Wheels Raceway Park

Chris Herbison – Brockville Ontario Speedway

Corey Madden - Shelby County Speedway

A.J. Diemel – Cedar Lake Speedway