Big Block Modifieds

Big Block Modifieds

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Dirt Network's Crate List- September 2014 Western PA Crate Late Model Rankings

"The Crate List" September 2014

Welcome back to The Dirt Network's monthly crate late model rankings page. I have been a bit occupied by my daily work responsibilities piling up so I apologize for this month's list being so late. Well that along with a trip to Eldora for the World 100 of course didnt help. The race season is fast approaching the finish line, with many weekly tracks finishing up points races in mid-September. The crate races we feature on this page were scored for 8 different tracks in August, a season high. Specials at Mckean County, Eriez, & Tyler County were supported by our weekly races at Sharon, PPMS, Marion Center, Dog Hollow, and Roaring Knob.

The Crate list will follow this format, I will be looking at weekly and touring race results for the crate tracks in the area with emphasis on the Fastrak and RUSH series. So here we go once again with The Crate List for September!

 1. Joe Martin -Joe Pulled the hat trick at Dog Hollow winning 3 races in a row in August. And don't forget that big win with the Rush Tour at Mckean over 42 other teams! Add in another win and a 4th place at Marion Center and Joe's late season return to dirt has been unforgettable. Yet again we have another new #1 driver for The Crate List this month.

2. Max Blair - A welcomed return to crates on a part time basis when his super late car is not on the road, Max is one of the best in the country at wheeling the 604 crate cars. A Fastrak tour win at Eriez and a 2nd at Mckean with the Rush Tour put Max on the list for the first time this year.

3. Alan Dellinger - "Jim Dandy Jr." owned Sharon in August pulling 2 victories and a 2nd place finish. Alan is running well on the new sealed shock program from Bilstein as well.

4. Daryl Charlier.- Daryl had a great month at his home track, PPMS with one win and two 2nd place finishes. The season has turned around for the #88 team (thanks Nick) with some podium finishes to build on.

5. Mike Laughard- A staple on the podiums at Marion Center and Dog Hollow, Mike racked up two 2nds and a 3rd at "The Dog" and a win, two 2nds and a 4th place finish at Marion Center.

Honorable Mention

Keep an eye on these drivers, they are knocking on the top 5's door!

1.  Derek Rogers - a second and 4th in a rare appearance at Roaring Knob was capped off with a big fastrak Tour win at Tyler County.
2.  Nolan Dalton -coming on strong at seasons end, Mr. Dalton captured a win, a 2nd and two 5th place  finishes at his home track, Roaring Knob.
3.  Josh Holtgraver - a PPMS regular, Josh added a win, a 3rd and a 5th to his strong resume at the 1/2 mile oval this year.


Here were the average car counts for August in the Crate Late Model division.

SHARON    14, 12, 10  avg = 12 cars
MARION CENTER   5, 10, 13, 5,   avg = 8 cars
DOG HOLLOW    14, 15, 13,  avg = 14 cars
ROARING KNOB  15, 22, 24, 20, 15,  avg = 19 cars
PITTSBURGH    18, 17, 19  avg =18 cars

MCKEAN COUNTY = 40 cars avg. (2 races)
ERIEZ  = 18 cars
TYLER COUNTY = 23 cars


RUSH   Friday, September 12 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH) $1,500 to-win
("Apple Festival Nationals" - "Gary Knollinger Memorial")

RUSH  Saturday, September 13 Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA)
("Pittsburgher" plus "Steel City Roulette drawing)

RUSH   Saturday, September 27 Woodhull Raceway (Woodhull, NY) $1,500 to-win

Well thats it, that's the list for September! See Yinz at the races! - Brian "Dobie" Compton

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Story From Sharon;Applefest Night 2; Weller Cruises; Schneider Makes History; Dixon Parks It

The Sharon Applefest Nationals night two played out underneath a complete fall like atmosphere Saturday night. The stage set by mother nature was laid out with sun breaking through the cloud deck in an around Sharon Speedway as the air turned crispy while numerous camp fires in the mix gave every indication that the season is yet again, coming to a close week by week.

However, disappointing that fact is, the racing on Saturday night took the edge off it as six divisions of action took to the track, providing some dramatic moments in the BRP Modified Tour "Russ King Memorial" feature and some dominating performances such as the one Chris Schneider displayed in the final Penn/Ohio Pro Stock Championship event of the season.

BRP Modified/Russ King Memorial:

It was a tale of two races in one, with a season championship battle running completely through the middle of the 35 lap feature, and in the end, Jim Weller Jr found himself in victory lane.

Weller started alongside New York invader Chris Hile to lead the 25 car field to the green flag. Both of them would succumb to Jeremiah Shingledecker within two laps.

 Shingledecker wasted no time in taking the top side momentum at the start and converting it to a lead from his fifth place starting spot and it was a quite impressive lead at that. As Shingledecker made his way though lapped with traffic with ease on lap seven, another New York invader in the form of Chad Brachmann began making his charge to the front from seventh to third. Shingledecker checked out to a five plus second lead over Weller who'd made his way back around Hile after falling a couple of starts on the initial green flag.

But when a caution involving tour points leader Dave Murdick on lap 16 halted the 37md's forward progress both the race and the championship battle turned on a dime.  Murdick was unable to continue while his closest pursuers, Rex King Jr and Sr were making their march towards the front, both having redrawn starting spots further back.

Shingledecker had been having his way with the field using the high side to that point, but elected the low side on the lap 17 restart and Weller was able to make his way around him to take a lead which he wouldn't completely relinquish. The two swapped the lead for the next two laps while Justin Wright moved up to the fourth spot.  Weller then put the field behind him, stretching out to a near four second advantage after a few restarts in the waning laps, but with clean air ahead he was the class of the field on this night.

Shingledecker, who perhaps had used more tire than he would have liked to early on, then played defense and played it well, holding off a hard charging Brachmann who had to settle for a third place finish.

Weller pocketed $2,000 for the victory, his third career Applefest Nationals win, but the matter of the BRP Modified Tour Championship still had to be cleared up.  Though no official word has been made public just yet, it may be safe to believe that King Jr, via his heat win earlier in the evening and his feature finish (6th) most likely are enough to give him the championship as Murdick's modest lead was erased with his DNF.

Top 10

1. Jim Weller Jr
2. Jeremiah Shingledecker
3. Chad Brachmann
4. Justin Wright
5. Jim Rasey
6. Rex King Jr
7. Chris Hile
8. Rick Richner
9. Rex King Sr
10. Brad Rapp

Penn/Ohio Pro Stock Series: 

Bob McCann brought the field to the green flag and looked strong early on as did Shawn Fawcett, but it was only a matter of time before Chris Schneider charged from his 9th starting spot towards the front,

Schneider had won on night one from 10th and put an exclamation point on the weekend and the inaugural series point title with his performance in the 25 lap, caution filled feature.

After a red flag for fluid on the surface following a lap four yellow flag. Schneider found himself in fourth and went to work on the leaders including Shane Applebee, Fawcett, and McCann.

By lap 10, Schneider had pulled door handle to door handle with the leader, McCann when the yellow waved yet again. Schneider went up top on the subsequent restart as Applebee moved into third when the last caution occurred on lap 14 as Fawcett and Shaun Hooks tangled between turns three and four.

On the final restart, Schneider checked out to a healthy advantage over the remaining laps while McCann impressively held off Applebee, Ed Bolyard and Chris Withers, who'd moved up to join the top five.

Schneider came into the evening with a decent lead on his closest pursuer in the points battle, Rusty Martz and put any doubt about the title to rest. Martz found it difficult to move forward from his mid pack starting spot throughout 25 laps.

The inaugural champion, Schneider, departed Applefest with two feature wins in addition to his $3,000 series title check making it perhaps one of the most lucrative weekends any stock driver in the area has ever achieved in recent memory.

Top 5:

1. Chris Schneider
2. Bob McCann
3. Shane Applebee
4. Ed Bolyard
5. Chris Withers

Steve Dixon led virtually the entire 30 lap, $1,000 to win emod feature, but it was no cakewalk by any stretch.

Behind him Gary Eicher and Dan Davies were in battle mode for the early laps as the three cars seperated from the rest of the pack early on. but didn't quite seperate from themselves.

A lap 11 caution re-stacked the grid and on the restart Scott Stiffler joined the party as he moved around Davies to take the third spot.

Dixon took the high road while Eicher worked the bottom in the second half of the feature, and the two engaged in a battle to the end with Dixon holding a mere half second advantage. With the laps winding down, the two found themselves manuvering around lapped traffic where Eicher almost made his way around Davies in turns three and four, but a caution on lap 26 for Shawn Shingledecker who'd spun in turns one and two provided one last restart and chance for clean air for the last four laps.

Dixon took advantage, nailing the restart and driving away from the field once and for all for the victory. Russ Dunn climbed from his seventeenth starting spot to fifth earning the hard charger bragging rights.

Top 5:

1. Steve Dixon
2. Gary Eicher
3. Scott Stiffler
4. Dan Davies
5. Russ Dunn

RUSH Sportsman Modifieds:
Greg Martin continued his dominance of the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds at Sharon Speedway with his third feature win in his last four tries!

The Western New York native has made the haul to many of the weekly shows in the inaugural season of the series as has Adam Hilton, who's supplied the greatest amount of pressure to Martin's wins in 2014.

But, Jeremy Zufall has also had some strong runs this season and Saturday night may have been one of his best as Martin checked out early in the 15 lap feature. Behind them, Hilton had his hands full from the mid pack in his attempt to run Martin down. It took a last lap pass on Larry Kugel to for Hilton to snag the final podium spot.

Top 5:

1. Greg Martin
2. Jeremy Zufall
3. Adam Hilton
4. Larry Kugel
5. Andy Paden

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pittsburgher and Herb Scott Memorial Ready To Rock at PPMS

What we wouldn't do for a little more racing.....

And this Saturday and Sunday at Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's Motor Speedway, you can get two more fantastic days of dirt racing action. This two day speed fest is more suited to the late model fanatics as the annual "Pittsburgher" graces the clay in Imperial, PA. In past incarnations, this race features some of the finest regional late model talent around and a deep field of cars. And even though the unfortunate demise of the NDRL, who originally had planned another large scale Pittsburgher, might keep away the likes of Moyer, Bloomquist and Mars, some very good cars are scheduled to take part in the weekend festivities. 

While the Pittsburgher opens the weekend Saturday, the held over "Herb Scott Memorial"$5,000 to win super late model event takes place Sunday to complete the weekend at the "Monster Half Mile", and there's just the right amount of support division action to give the super lates time to prepare and still provide quality racing on the track without having to worry about a 1 am final checkered flag.

So, who might be dropping by this weekend? You can pretty much expect all the weekly regulars including Jared and Ben Miley, John Garvin Jr, Steve Baker, John Mollick and company. But also be on the lookout for former Pittsburgher champion Gregg Satterlee,  Devin Moran, Keith Barbara and a host of other top drivers from outside the area. Here's your details at a glance.

What: The Annual "Pittsburgher" and Herb Scott Memorial at Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's Motor Speedway. Both super late model events are 50 lap, $5,000 to win shows!

When: Saturday September 12 and Sunday September 13. Plan on 4:30 PM  hot laps, 5 PM time trials, and 6 PM green flag on heats both days.

Cost: $25 per day or $45 for the two day pass. You can get a two day pit pass for $85.00

Camping: $25 for two days worth of campfires, beer, and story telling in the parking lot after the races

Post Race Festivities: On Saturday, let "It's Miller Time" entertain you with live music until 2 AM in the main lot. On Sunday, it's probably better to just drive home and get some sleep for work, damn it!

Also On The Card:

The RUSH late models will appear both days. Saturday they'll partake in a special touring series event for $1,200 to win and a weekly $1,000 to win show on Sunday. Limited sportsman, hobby stocks and young guns will also run.

On Sunday, The Homak Penn/Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series joins the party as well as 3/4 late models.

The weather looks like it's going to play fairly nice folks, and we've not that much time left before we've got no racing left for a few months. So get there and enjoy it!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Recommended Racing: Sharon's Applefest Takes Center Stage

We're still racing. Don't let football season fool you. Many drivers are still chasing one last big win, or one spot better in the standings. And for us fans, that means there's still some time left to see them! It's actually a great time of year, crisp fall air, bonfires, and two day shows that really bring the cars.

We've got two great two day destinations for you this weekend that won't disappoint, in our neck of the woods.

What: Applefest at Sharon Speedway, two day speed festival.
When: Friday September 12 and Saturday September 13 ; Racing starts at 6 PM on Friday and 5:30 PM on Saturday.
Cost: $13 each day, two day passes for $22. Pit Passes $30 a day or $55 for a two day pass
Okay, so what's on the card? That's the real caveat, the card is loaded with RUSH Late Models and Sportsman Modifieds, BRP Modified and Homak Penn/Ohio Pro Stock Series, Mini Stocks and TUSA Mod Lites. There's something here for everyone and live entertainment too. Bring your camper and a case of your favorite suds.
Here's the basic gist of the lineup:
RUSH Late Model $1500 to win touring event
Homak Penn/Ohio Pro Stocks $1250 to win
Emods: $700 to win
RUSH Sporstman Modifieds
TUSA Mod Lites
Sportsman Dwarf Cars
Mini Stocks
BRP Modifieds "Russ King Memorial" $2,000 to win
Homak Penn/Ohio Pro Stocks $1250 to win
Emods $1,000 to win
Economods $500 to win
Rush Sportsman Modifieds
Mini Stocks
A Closer Look:

There's going to be a lot of cars here, we're not gonna lie!
On the line for the BRP Modifieds will be a tour championship as Dave Murdick currently leads the season standings going into the final event with Rex King Jr and Sr both within a handful of points. The highest total any driver can receive in any BRP modified tour night is 26 so this could very well come down to the last lap. Can Murdick hang on? Also in the mix could be several "Niagara Frontier" modifieds who will be looking to take the cash back over the NY/PA border. Chad Brachmann, Randy Chrysler and others have come down in recent years to give it their best, expect a few out of the area guys.
This will be the final two races of the Homak Penn/Ohio Pro Stock Series where top dog Chris Schneider is being closely pursued by Rusty Martz. Six points separate them heading into the final two events. You can probably expect 30+ cars and some close racing.

No matter how you look at it, this event is one of the best value, two day-end of season events around. For as many cars as you'll be seeing and the ticket price, it's hard to beat. So get out there and see it, you won't regret it!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Winged 410 Sprint Car Rankings - Volume V

The season is quickly winding down, and thus our periodic sprint car rankings will be doing the same. Don't get too worked up...we've got at least a couple left after this issue. This volume of sprint car rankings dates back to August 20th (when Volume IV was created). Just as always, only winged 410 sprint results will count. So let's get to it.

Donny Schatz continues his dominance with the WoO through late summer

1. Donny Schatz (No Change)

The pilot of the Tony Stewart Racing #15 machine stays atop our Winged Sprint Car Rankings for the 3rd consecutive volume. Since our last rankings, Schatz earned four wins on the World of Outlaws circuit (Skagit Speedway [2], Castrol Raceway, and Grays Harbor Raceway). As the season winds down, Donny has bumped his win total up to 20 and currently carries a 196 point lead in the championship standings.

2. Daryn Pittman (No Change)

If it wasn't for the man that stands atop the rankings, Daryn Pittman is the man that we would all be talking about. Over the past three weeks, Pittman can hold one World of Outlaws win (Southern Oregon Speedway) and four runner-up finishes to his credit. The defending series champion sits second in the championship standings at the moment and has collected 13 wins.

3. Dale Blaney (No Change)

The "King of the All Stars" has once again had another stellar couple of weeks behind the wheel of Tony Kennedy's #14K sprint car. In recent weeks, Dale Blaney has won two more All Star races (Mercer Raceway Park, Attica Raceway Park). In addition, Blaney had strong runs this past weekend at Port Royal, charging through the field Friday night and running in the top five during the "Tuscarora 50" until problems occurred later in the race.

4. Greg Hodnett (Unranked)

Greg Hodnett has made his first season with the Heffner Racing team one to remember. He has seemingly dominated the Central PA circuit, being the fastest and most consistent without question, but it is his recent runs that land him in position 4 on our rankings. His 2nd place run at the Labor Day Classic at Port Royal was just a precursor to his $12,000 "Tuscarora 50" win that ensued at the Speed Palace the following weekend.

5. Danny Holtgraver (Unranked)

Holtgraver, a Pittsburgh, PA resident, makes his debut in our Winged Sprint Car Rankings based upon his strong runs as of late with the All Stars Circuit of Champions. Danny recently won his third ASCoC race of the season (Attica Raceway Park), making a great year for the start-up team Rob Hunter Racing. Holtgraver's #10H also managed a runner-up finish in ASCoC action at Mercer Raceway Park and collected back-to-back top four finishes at Port Royal for the fair weekend.

6. Kerry Madsen (-2)

Though Madsen has dropped two spots since our last rankings just three weeks ago, being just the fourth driver to stay on the ballot for three straight volumes is nothing to scoff at. The Australia-native has cooled down after heating up earlier this summer, but his results still speak for themselves. His recent win was the closest in recorded WoO history (.005 seconds at Antioch Speedway), and he also has a runner-up finish to his credit in recent weeks. He currently sits at fourth in the points standings.

7. Stevie Smith (Unranked)

The "Black Bandit" has continued to impress while running out of the Fred Rahmer stable for the 2014 season. Stevie Smith was the winner of the ASCoC-sanctioned "Night Before the 50" after staving off a charging Danny Holtgraver. Smith then followed that up with a runner-up finish in the historic "Tuscarora 50" at Port Royal Speedway.

8. Carson Macedo/Jonathan Allard/Kyle Hirst (All Unranked)

The trio of California drivers combine to make up our 8th and final spot on the rankings. While Macedo and Allard triumphed against the Outlaws while Hirst lost by a mere 5 thousandths of a second, their lack of 410 results over the span that this rankings includes comes due to the fact that they have limited opportunity to participate in 410 sprint action. Think of this 8th spot as a representation of all California sprint car drivers and the tough competition that they present when outsiders invade their territory.

On the Edge: Drivers that just missed making the cut

Danny Dietrich
Shane Stewart

Drivers that fell out of the previous rankings:

Brian Brown
Brent Marks
Rico Abreu
Paul McMahan

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bloomer Nabs DoW; Three Sprint Drivers Receive Honorable Mentions

Call him what you want - "Bloomer", "Black Sunshine", "VooDoo Child" - we now know him as the most recent winner of the coveted TDN 'Driver of the Week' award. Scott Bloomquist's total domination of the World 100 may be the greatest spectacle of racing that we've ever witnessed. Many drivers would be demoralized after being sent to the rear for a controversial infraction of the rules (in the biggest race of the year might I add), but Bloomquist only got better and faster. No debate here, he won the Driver of the Week by about as much as he won the $47,000 at the Big E. On top of all that, Bloomquist may have just registered the 2014 Performance of the Year.

Honorable Mentions:

Greg Hodnett:
The Central PA hot-shoe continued his strong season, his first as the pilot of the Heffner Motorsports #27 machine. The veteran driver and former WoO regular has tore up the Central Pennsylvania circuit in a way that we haven't seen in a number of years. The Thomasville, PA native scorched the field late Saturday evening, leading all 50 laps, en route to his $12,000 victory at Port Royal Speedway. At the conclusion of the All Star sanctioned "Tuscarora 50", it was also determined that Hodnett was the champion of the ASCoC Eastern Region.

Carson Macedo:
The young gun hailing out of California bested the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Friday evening as the Outlaws invaded the Silver Dollar Speedway for Night 1 of the Gold Cup. The win was Macedo's first career with the touring series, and it came on a night where 41 cars signed in. Carson Macedo is the driver of the #21x sprint car owned by Tarlton and Sons Inc.

Stewart Friesen:
The Sprakers, NY driver controlled the "Cole Cup" at Utica-Rome Speedway for the 360 sprint car division. The $10,000 win is the biggest of Friesen's sprint car career to date; his modified racing career is littered with various wins and accomplishments. The race was co-sanctioned by the Empire Super Sprints and Patriot Sprint Tour, two very dominant 360 sprint car series located in the Northeast. Interesting note...finishing 2nd in the Cole Cup was Stewart Friesen's wife, Jessica Zemken.

Highlighted Races of the Coming Week:

  • WoO Late Model doubleheader at Berlin (Mich.)
  • WoO Sprints at Clay County Fairgrounds & Deer Creek 
  • All Star Sprint doubleheader at Fremont (OH)
  • Super DIRTcar Series at Mohawk Int.
  • Freedom 76 at Grandview ($25,000 to win Big Blocks)