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     Western Pennsylvania News

      by Rick Rarer

The Sprint Car season is finally in full swing here in Western Pennsylvania with Saturday night stop Mercer Raceway Park leading the way  by completing six shows so far. It’s no big surprise that Rod George leads the way with four wins as he continues his consistent ways running near the front almost every week. Also on the winners board  this season so far is Gary Kriess who made his return to weekly racing after taking several years off and Craig Folmar who scored career win number on aboard a 410 sprint. Folmar has been fast just about every night out wherever he has run this season and will more than likely add to his win total. Don’t forget to mark your calendar for June 6th when the USAC sprints make their first ever appearance at Mercer Raceway. This should be a must see event as some of the country’s best wingless drivers invade the Mercer oval.


Lernerville Speedway has completed five shows and it’s been Ed Lynch Jr showing the way. After winning the first three shows The Apollo Rocket elected to start last on week four but dry track conditions kept him from coming up through the pack for a fourth straight win and giving Rod George his first Lernerville win of the season. This past Friday Carl Bowser ended his struggles by holding off a fast closing George for his first win of the season.


Big news concerning the Silver Cup race at Lernerville was released when it was announced this year’s edition will have a whole new format. The new format which should be a big hit will feature two thirty lap features each paying 15,000 dollars to the winner. The second feature will not carry points and will see an invert of the fastest cars. Look for a huge crowd as the fans will get two shows in one night, It should be a good one.


Sharon Speedway’s bi-weekly schedule has allowed them to complete three  sprint shows. Two 410 shows are in the books which were won by Danny Holtgraver and Kevin Schaeffer. This past Saturday the ASCS Patriot Sprints headlined the card and put on a Helluva race as Blake Breen and Bubba Broderick battled it out side by side while Trevor Lewis came from the tail to make for a three wide finish that saw Breen edge Lewis for the win and Bubba settling for third.  


The next big show at Sharon will be the Lou Blaney Classic on Tuesday July 7th when the Sprint Car and Modified drivers will honor the great Lou Blaney who was a stand out in both divisions during his career. Both classes will be going for top prizes of 3,000 dollars. There should be good fields in both and a few of the Sprint Car drivers already confirmed to compete include Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, and Dave Blaney. This should be a great show to honor a great racer.


It was great to see Sprint Cars return to Tri-City Speedway as the owners have penciled the winged warriors in for four dates in 2009. The first saw a nice field of thirty two cars fill the pits and a nice crowd on hand for the action. They weren’t let down as Tim Shaffer and Ed Lynch Jr waged war nearly all thirty laps of the feature that saw Lynch hold off All-Star regulars Shaffer, Dale Blaney, Greg Wilson, and Brandon Wimmer for the 2,500 dollar win.


Sprint Cars will return to Tri-City when the All-Star Circuit of Champions headline on July 19th. It will be their first visit there since 2007 when Dale Blaney stood in victory lane.   This Friday May 29th Sprint Cars will return to Thunder Mountain Speedway in Knoxdale, Pa. After the success of last year’s show the sprints will visit three times in 2009. Look for a mix of western Pa and a handful of Clinton County regulars to make up the field.

E-mail Rick Here

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