FRANKLIN, PA – With no racing action at Tri-City Raceway Park last Sunday, the competitors now have only two opportunities to gather points that count toward the seasonal championships in the four divisions that make up the Sunday Thunder programs at the Venango County oval.
“There are close contests in three of our classes,” said track owner Merle Black. “So, those racers will be fighting hard for every position in the heats and features. Everybody wants the recognition that comes with a point championship. That’s something that will go into the record books.”
Oh, let’s not forget the stipend that goes along with the trophy that the kingpins will receive!
Here’s how things shape up.
In the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars, it is basically a two-horse race. Jack Sodeman, Jr., the defending champion, is looking to repeat. He has a three-point margin over Brandon Matus. Matus has never won a championship at any track, so knocking off the reigning king at Tri-City would be a huge accomplishment for him. Matus caught and passed Sodeman, who had a rough stretch after tearing up a couple of cars. But Sodeman had better luck the last time out, and he regained the lead. This battle will come down to the wire!
Two racers will vie for the title in the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks, too. Dalton Speer started out the season with several wins, but Justin Bailey has come on strong! Bailey now leads by fifteen markers, making this class too close to call.
The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks have three challengers for the crown. At the top of the standings is Curtis J. Bish. He is seventeen points ahead of teenager Tyler Wyant. And just four points behind him is Josh Seippel. So the three drivers are separated by twenty-one points.
The only racer who seems to have control is Jeremiah Shingledecker. He is on a tear, winning four Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modified races in a row! The last one was memorable because he came from the rear of the field twice to overtake his brother, Travis, with a daring late-race pass. Jeremiah leads by seventy-three points.
Although the focus will be on how the top runners will fare, we don’t want to overlook the other drivers who will be gunning for the victory. Just ask veteran Bob Felmlee what it means to get the checkered flag. He took the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Car win recently and it was his first at Tri-City in over a decade. Many, many more drivers could experience the same thrill that Felmlee did.
The final Sunday Thunder event will take place on August 15, and that is the day of reckoning. At the end of that night, we will know, for sure, who will have the bragging rights and everything else that goes with the championships.
There will be a couple of weeks off for the racers before the big show over Labor Day weekend. Over $70,000 will be paid out to the racers in eight classes. Included in the holiday extravaganza will be BRP Big Block Modifieds. The ground-pounding cars will be on the track Sunday night. The fun will start on Friday with open competition in all classes. Saturday will have a complete show for seven divisions, and six of them will be back for the Sunday finale, along with the Big Blocks. There will be a bonfire and music, too!
And the Renegade Monster Trucks will invade Tri-City Raceway Park for their annual event on August 28. Children love the Monster Trucks and this will be a fun motorsports event for the entire family.
The Sunday Thunder ticket pricing for the August 8 and 15 events will be as follows. Adults (ages 16 to 62) will be $15, seniors (ages 62 and above) will be $13. Students (ages 10 to 16) will be $10. Children (ages 10 and under) will be free. The Family Pass will be available for those two programs. At $45, two adults of any age and two students will be admitted. Pit passes will be $30. Special event ticket pricing will apply for the Labor Day and Monster Truck shows.
The Pit gates will open at 2 p.m. on August 8 and 15. Spectators will be admitted beginning at 4 p.m. Racing will start at 6 p.m.
Further information about Tri-City Raceway Park can be obtained by calling the track office at 724-967-4601, or by e-mailing the office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, you can check the web at Tri-CityRacewayPark.com, or the Facebook page at Tri City Raceway Park. Tri-City Raceway Park is located just a few miles north of Franklin, PA, at 3430 State Route 417 in Oakland Township.