Howard Hammers Tri-City Foes; Smith Clinches Speedweek Crown; Shingledecker, Ruth, Speer also Win

FRANKLIN, PA – Bradley Howard completed the Central PA domination of Western PA Sprint Speedweek. He logged a top ten and a top five in the two races won by Ryan Smith and then he closed out the rain-shortened mini series with a win of his own at Tri-City Raceway Park. Howard inherited the lead when track champion and current points leader Jack Sodeman, Jr. crashed in turn three while holding a commanding lead in the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint feature.
Also taking checkered flags this night were Jeremiah Shingledecker in the Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds, Gale Ruth, Jr. in the Gary Glass Automotive and Washington House RUSH Sprints, and Dalton Speer in the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks.
“This was bad ass, I wasn’t expecting the track to get that big of a lip,” Howard said. He credited the win to recent improvements in his engine program.
Sodeman had the pole position for the thirty lap Speedweek finale presented by Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint feature. Sye Lynch was on his flank. Matt Farnham and Howard had command of the second row, with Landon Myers and Brandon Spithaler in the third row. Lee Jacobs, the lone Ohio invader, was in the fourth row, with Darin Gallagher beside him. Cody Bova and Michael Bauer were in row five, and Ryan Smith and Carl Bowser, who finished one-two the night before, were in row six.
Lynch took the lead on the initial green, but a caution for Bova on the back chute called that back. This time, Sodeman was better prepared, and he took the lead heading into turn one. Lynch was second, followed by Howard, Spithaler, Farnham and Myers.
A caution five laps into the contest brought Sodeman and Lynch back to the other drivers. They had gotten away and they were waging a private battle for the lead.
On the restart, Spithaler sailed into third and he began to reel in Lynch. Sodeman was alone out front. He was almost collected in an incident in turn four. He managed to avoid major contact, but Lynch and Spithaler were not so fortunate. They tangled and then a slower car could not avoid them. Jeremy Hill went over in the melee but he was not hurt.
Without Lynch or Spithaler to contend with, Sodeman had the car on cruise control. However, on lap eighteen, he flipped hard in turn three. Sodeman reported afterwards that something broke and he could not steer his machine. Perhaps it was damage from the earlier skirmish that eliminated Lynch and Spithaler from contention. Matt Farnham was also eliminated in that wreck. Neither driver sustained injury.
That put Howard in command for the restart.  He had Darin Gallagher breathing down his neck, with Jacobs, Bowser, and Smith lurking.
Howard withstood restarts following yet another red (for separate crashes by Chase Metheny and Kyle Colwell) and a caution. Jacobs and Smith advanced in the interlude and they had an intense battle going for the second position.
At the finish, it was Howard, over Jacobs, Smith, Gallagher, and Myers. Bowser, Brandon Matus, Bob Felmlee, Lynch, and Spithaler rounded out the top ten.
Smith’s third was more than enough to clinch the series point championship.
The Donovan & Bauer Auto Group heat races for the 410 Sprint Speedweek were captured by Bradley Howard, Landon Myers, and Jack Sodeman, Jr. There was no B Main for the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars.
The evening’s fastest qualifier was A.J. Flick. He outpaced Group 2 with a lap of 15.764 seconds. His good fortune did not carry over to his heat race, however. Flick crashed hard in turn two of the opening lap and scratched for the night. He was not hurt in the ordeal. Quickest in Group 1 was Matt Farnham, at 15.778, and in Group 3, it was Lee Jacobs, who turned in a lap of 16.069.
In the Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds, Lonnie Riggs moved up to the front row when Travis Shingledecker was a late scratch. Riggs was paired up with Sid Unverzagt, Jr. Behind them were Tom Holden and Kyle Fink. Jeremiah Shingledecker was matched with Eric Beggs.
Riggs bolted out to the lead, with Unverzagt, Shingledecker and Beggs in tow. Riggs held command until Shingledecker got under him entering turn one with eight complete.
From there, it was smooth sailing for Shingledecker, who picked up his second victory of the season. Riggs and Fink waged an intense battle for second, with Fink coming out on top. After Riggs came Jimmy Holden and Kevin Hoffman. Positions six through ten went to D.J. Schrader, Unverzagt, Curt Bish, Max Smoker, and Nathan McDowell.
The Donovan & Bauer Auto Group heat winners in the Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds were Kyle Fink and Jeremiah Shingledecker. There was B Main.
In the RUSH Sprint feature, presented by Gary Glass Automotive and Washington House, it was Gale Ruth, Jr. overcoming the disappointment of dropping out from the Shawgo real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Car Main.
Ruth dominated the non-wing RUSH Sprints to become the third generation of his family to stand in victory lane at Tri-City Raceway Park. Arnie Kent and Rod George put on an entertaining race for the second position, with Kent topping the four-time 410 Track Champion for second. Fourth and fifth went to John Mollick and Nolan Groves, respectively. A.J. McQuarrie, Blaze Myers, Brian Hartzell, Chad Ruhlman, and Steve Pedley completed the top ten.
John Mollick was named the hard charger for the race. Brad Church and Brian Cressley received bonus money for being the last two cars on the lead lap. These awards were presented by Tom Willis in honor of all cancer survivors. Mr. Willis’ generosity also resulted in an enhanced pay-out for the top five finishers in the feature.
The heat winners for the Gary Glass Automotive and Washington House RUSH Sprints were Gale Ruth, Jr. and Rod George. They took the honors for the Donovan & Bauer Auto Group heat races and they also received bonus money for their heat wins courtesy of Mr. Willis. There was no B Main.
In the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks, Dalton Speer rallied for his third feature win of the season. Chad Greeley, a consistent runner in his own right, was second. Andy Thompson was third. Brody McClintock, D.J.Macrae, Justin Bailey, Evan Sobieski, Patrick Lane, James Tasker, and Howard Garlick completed the top ten.
D.J. Macrae was the hard charger with eight passes in the feature event. He claimed a prize presented by Fisher and Father NAPA Auto Parts.
Justin Bailey and Dalton Speer won the pair of Donovan & Bauer Auto Group heat races in the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stock division. There was no B Main.
Next week, Tri-City Raceway Park will host a Sunday Thunder program, consisting of the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprints, Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks, and 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. On Father’s Day, June 20, there will be another Sunday Thunder program. But there will be special gifts for all fathers in attendance.
Additional information about Tri-City Raceway Park can be obtained by calling the track office at 724-967-4601, or by e-mail to tricityracewaypark2020@gmail.com. You can also check the website at Tri-CityRacewayPark.com, or Facebook at Tri City Raceway Park. Tri-City Raceway Park is located on Oakland Township, which is just a short drive from Franklin. For the GPS, 3430 State Route 417, Franklin, PA 16323.
Western PA Speedweek (Shawgo Real Estate LLC Sprints):  Bradley Howard, Lee Jacobs, Ryan Smith, Darin Gallagher, Landon Myers, Carl Bowser, Brandon Matus, Bob Felmlee, Sye Lynch, Brandon Spithaler, Michael Bauer, Logan McCandless, Leyton Wagner, Cody Bova, Brent Matus, Ken Rossey, Matt Sherlock, Steve Bright, Chase Metheny, Kyle Colwell, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Matt Farnham, Jeremy Hill, Gale Ruth, Jr., A.J. Flick (DNS), Josh Baughman (DNS).
Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds:  Jeremiah Shingledecker, Kyle Fink, Lonnie Riggs, Jimmy Holden, Kevin Hoffman, D.J. Schrader, Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Curt Bish, Max Smoker, Nathan McDowell, Ryan Riffe, Kevin Green, Eric Beggs, Tom Holden, Travis Shingledecker (DNS), Tyler Clark (DNS).
Gary Glass Automotive/Washington House RUSH Sprints:  Gale Ruth, Jr., Arnie Kent, Rod George, John Mollick, Nolan Groves. A.J. McQuarrie, Blaze Myers, Brian Hartzell, Chad Ruhlman, Steve Pedley, Brad Church, Brian Cressley, Ricky Tucker, Jr., Tyler Newhart.
4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks:  Dalton Speer, Chad Greeley, Andy Thompson, Brody McClintock, D.J.Macrae, Justin Bailey, Evan Sobieski, Patrick Lane, James Tasker, Howard Garlick, Joanne Wilson, Kevin Wice, Brayden Seippel, Pat Hanlon, Hemi Kinneston, Jesse Armstrong, Shane Heath, Diezel Marvin, Nick Steiger, Raymond Bailey (DNS).