Flick Flies at Tri-City Raceway Park, Sweeps Speedweek, Claims Title

FRANKLIN, PA – A.J. Flick had a perfect week defending the home turf in Western Pennsylvania and claiming top honors for the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars. He swept the three features of the mini-series and snared the points championship as well. The opening two rounds were rained out. At Tri-City Raceway Park, he kept the second place points man, Ryan Smith, at bay. Smith made a last lap lunge in turn one, but Flick darted away. Smith popped a right rear tire at the finish line, so perhaps it was going soft when he made his desperate bid for the win.

Also gracing victory lane were Erick Rudolph in the Donovan & Bauer Auto Group 358 Modifieds, Gale Ruth, Jr. in the RUSH Sprint Cars, and Levi Maskal in the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks.
“It is just great to be here and to be part of this special event. To sweep it is unbelievable,” Flick said. He acknowledged that to do so, he needed a combination of speed and luck. “We had some bad pill draws, we had some good pill draws. We were able to overcome the bad ones.” He added taht he has been making small adjustments to the car, which has gotten faster in recent weeks.
A.J. Flick, the points leader of the mini-series by eight markers coming into Tri-City Raceway Park, drew the pole position for the thirty lap A Main. The top three finishers from each heat were eligible for the re-draw. Next to him was Jared Zimbardi. Ryan Smith, the defending mini-series champion and second in 2022 points, started inside row two. He was flanked by Bob Felmlee. Jack Sodeman, Jr. and Michael Bauer rolled away in row three, followed by Cody Bova and Oklahoma driver Ryan Timms. George Hobaugh and Sye Lynch were in the fifth row, Row six paired Denny Peebles and Brandon Matus.
Flick bolted from the starting zone to open an immediate lead over ZImbardi, Sodeman, Smith, and Bova. Smith moved into second quickly, but he could not close the gap on the high-flying Flick.
Cautions on laps five and ten brought Flick back to Smith, but Flick was up to the challenge both times. He encountered lapped traffic with seventeen rounds complete and that allowed Smith to narrow the margin.
Smith really cut the lead in the final five circuits. He made a bold bid for the lead on the inside of turn one on the last lap, but Flick was able to scoot away from him in turn two to seal the win. It was his fifth career victory at Tri-City Raceway Park.
Flick, Smith, and Sodeman were the podium finishers. Okie Ryan Timms and Ohioan Cody Bova completed the top five. Zimbardi fell back to sixth after running in the top three in the early going. Bob Felmlee, Matt Farnham, Brandon Matus, and Michael Bauer were seventh through tenth.
Bob Felmlee, Ryan Smith, and A.J. Flick prevailed in the qualifiers for the Western PA Sprint Speedweek finale and the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprints. The B Main winner was Darin Gallagher. Jack Sodeman, Jr. was the fastest overall in time trials. He turned the big half mile at 16.233 seconds. Twenty-eight drivers from four states signed in for the event.
The 358 Modified feature, presented by Donovan & Bauer Auto Group, had Nick Joy and Rick Regalski on the front row. Jimmy Holden were paired off in the third row. Row four had Erick Rudolph and Jeremiah Shingledecker matched up. Rows five and six were made up of Matt Sheffenhagen and Eric Beggs, and Travis Shingledecker and Kyle Fink.
Joy led Regalski, Kinney, Hoffman, and Rudolph in the early going of the twenty lapper that went non-stop. Rudolph was biding his time, making the big push in the second half of the contest.
Rudolph reached second by lap fifteen. He took the lead entering the first turn immediately thereafter.
“We had a good car,” he said. He was one of the few drivers using the low line. “That’s where the car wanted to be,” he added. He concluded by noting that Tri-City Raceway Park was one of his favorites. “I like the way it races.”
Joy held on for second,Regalski turned in a creditable performance for the third spot. Jeremiah Shingledecker climbed up to fourth, with Kinney getting fifth. Positions six through ten went to Hoffman, Holden, Shaffenhagen, Beggs, and Krummert.
The pair of heat races for the Donovan & Bauer Auto Group 358 Modifieds went to Erick Rudolph and Jimmy Holden. There was no B Main for the thirteen-car field.
The RUSH Sprint Cars had veterans Andy Priest and Gale Ruth, Jr. on the front row. Next in line were Arnie Kent and John Mollick. Row three had Zack Wilson and Chad Ruhlman, Behind them were Brian Hartzell and Blaze Myers, who celebrated his high school graduation at the track. Nolan Groves and Ricky Tucker, Jr. were in the fifth row, A.J. McQuarrie and Brandon Shughart started in the sixth row.
Ruth took the lead at the drop of the green, followed by Priest, Kent, Ruhlman, and Wilson. Ruth was leading comfortably when Priest got loose in turn four. Kent was close enough to zoom by at the opposite end of the speedway. However, Kent’s good fortune ended when his car came to a halt off turn two with eight laps complete.
Ruth led again without challenge until the next caution on lap thirteen. In the final seven laps, the battle was for second between Priest and young Mr. Myers. Ruhlman tried to enter the fray, but he faded toward the end of the race.
Behind Ruth, Priest, and Myers came Ruhlamn and Jammin’ Johnny Mollick. Positions six through ten went to Wilson, Graves, Hartzell, Brian Cressley, and Tucker.
The preliminaries for the RUSH Sprint Cars belonged to Chad Ruhlman and Gale Ruth, Jr. There was no B Main for the sixteen cars on hand.
In the 4 Your Car connection Mini Stocks, Kevin Wice and Dillon Speer brought the field to the green. Evan Sobieski and Nick Steiger were in the second row. Levi Maskal and defending champion Justin Bailey were in row three. Dalton Speer and Howard Garlick were in the fourth row. Row five had Chad Greeley and Matt Miller. The sixth row belonged to D.J. Macrae and Travis Taylor.
Dillon Speer led the early going before surrendering the top spot to Levi Maskal. Maskal was challenged briefly by Dalton Speer, but Speer suffered a flat right front tire and limped across the line in fourth.
Maskal’s victory was the first ever in his career.
Taking second was Matt Urey. He was followed by Chad Greeley, Dalton Speer, and D.J. Macrae. Matthew Willer, Howard Garlick, Bodey McClintock, Kevin Wice, and Paul Marsh, Jr. completed the top ten.
Twenty-three 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks entered the event. The three heat winners were Justin Bailey, Dalton Speer, and Evan Sobieski. There was no B Main.
Remember that there will be no racing at Tri-City Raceway Park on Sunday, June 12.
The speedway will be back in action on Father’s Day, June 19, with free gifts to all dads. The Sunday Thunder program will feature the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars, the Donovan & Bauer Auto Group 358 Modifieds, the Hovis Truck & Auto Supply Pro Stocks, and the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. Another Sunday Thunder program is scheduled for Sunday, June 26. Then, there will be a Summer spectacular held over the July 4 weekend, commencing with practice for all divisions on Friday, and racing both Saturday and Sunday, with fireworks and a bon fire adding to the Sunday fun.
Western PA Sprint Car Speedweek/Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars:  A.J. Flick, Ryan Smith, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Ryan Timms, Cody Bova, Jared Zimbardi, Bob Felmlee, Matt Farnham, Brandon Matus, Michael Bauer, Logan McCandless, Vivian Jones, Carl Bowser, George Hobaugh, Darin Gallagher, Jeremy Weaver, Denny Peebles, Nathan McDowell, Brent Matus, Matt Sherlock, Chase Matheney, Sye Lynch, Rod Jones, Randy Wyant.
DNQ:  Shane Shook, Steve Bright, Michael Lutz, John Carpenter.
Donovan & Bauer Auto Group 358 Modifieds:  Erick Rudolph, Nick Joy, Rick Regalski, Jeremiah Shingledecker, Mike Kinney, Kevin Hoffman, Jimmy Holden, Matt Steffenhagen, Garrett Krummert, Eric Beggs, Lonny Riggs, Kyle Fink, Travis Shingledecker.
RUSH Sprint Cars:  Gale Ruth, Jr., Andy Priest, Blaze Myers, Chad Ruhlman, John Mollick, Zach Wilson, Nolan Groves, Brian Hartzell, Brian Cressley, Ricky Tucker, Joe Buccola, A.J. MCQuarrie, Amelia Clay, Charlie Utsinger, Brandon Shughart, Arnie Kent.
4 Your Connection Mini Stocks:  Levi Maskal, Matt Urey, Chad Greeley, Dalton Speer, D.J. Macrae, Matthew Miller, Howard Garlick, Kevin Wice, Jr., Justin Bailey, Bodey McClintock, Paul Marsh, Jr., Dillon Thome, Sillon Speer, Evan Sobieski, Nick Steiger, Tyler Ellenberger, Kenneth North, Todd Hanlon, Thomas Warren, Travis Taylor, Jamie Tasker, Jason Swartz, Mike Barr.