Spithaler and Rudolph Get First Tri-City Scores of the Season

FRANKLIN, PA – Brandon Spithaler earned his first Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Car win of the season to highlight the Sunday Thunder racing program at Tri-City Raceway Park. Empire state veteran Erick Rudolph made his first visit to the track this season a successful one in the Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds. Teenager Tyler Wyant and Chad Geeley each scored their second feature wins in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks and the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks, respectively.
Spithaler started on the front row, with Brandon Matus by his side. Points leader Jack Sodeman was in the third spot, with his protege, Darin Gallagher next to him. Row three had Logan McCandless and Clay Riney. Veterans George Hobaugh and Bob Felmlee rolled away in row four, with Bryan Salisbury and Brent Matus in row five. Steve Bright and Gale Ruth, Sr. started in row six. Ken Rossey, Jr. tagged the tail.
In search of his third career win at Tri-City, Spithaler took the lead at the start. Sodeman, who was looking to pad his point lead, quickly moved into second, ahead of his championship rival, Brandon Matus. Sodeman provided stiff competition through the first half of the event. His closest challenge came on lap fourteen in traffic, when he was able to pull alongside the leader. But Spithaler was better able to navigate through the slower cars and he pulled out to a comfortable lead.
Spithaler held the top spot to the checkered, completing the twenty-five laps in less than seven minutes! To be exact, the time of the event was six minutes and 52.292 seconds. Sodeman was second, 3.087 seconds back. Brandon Matus was third. Gallagher crossed in fourth, with Riney taking fifth. Felmlee, Hobaugh, McCandless, Rossey, and Bright completed the top ten.
The Donovan & Bauer Auto Group heat races for the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars went to Sodeman and Felmlee. There was no B Main.
With his heat win and second place finish in the feature, Sodeman gained a few points on Brandon Matus for the seasonal championship. Just eight counters separate them going into the final race of the regular season.
Rudolph was paired up with Kyle Fink on the front row of the Krill Recycling 358 Modified feature race. Sid Unverzagt, Jr. and Kevin Hoffman were in row two. Max Smoker and Lonnie Riggs were right behind them. Tom Holden and his nephew, Jimmy, were in row four. Nick Joy and Ryan Riffe had the fifth row covered. In row six, it was D.J. Schrader and Kevin Green. The Shingledecker brothers, Travis and Jeremiah, were in the final row.
Rudolph jumped out to the lead, with Unverzagt in tow. Rudolph’s early advantage was nullified when Tom Holden slowed with rear suspension damage. Jeremiah Shingledecker, who was working his way forward from his last place starting spot due to four consecutive wins, was also involved. He was sent to the rear for the restart, of course.
Rudolph resumed the lead when the green flashed on again. But only two more laps were completed before the race was slowed for Schrader’s misfortune.
Once again, Rudolph took command. Unversagt was holding second, his best run of the season so far. Jimmy Holden took third from Fink on the eighth circuit. Jeremiah Shingledecker climbed back through the field, briefly displacing Jimmy Holden from third on lap eighteen. However, Holden regained the position before the final caution was displayed
Rudolph completed the three lap dash to get the win, his third ever at the speedway. Unverzagt finished second, which certainly boosted his confidence. Jimmy Holden was followed across the line by Jeremiah Shingledecker and Fink. Riggs, Travis Shingledecker, Riffe, Schrader, and Smoker were the next five across the finish line.
In the Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds, there were a pair of heat races held on behlaf of the Donovan & Bauer Auto Group. Winners were Rudolph and Fink. There was no B Main.
Jeremiah Shingledecker was the hard charge on the night, picking up ten positions to earn the bonus offered by Fisher and Father Napa Auto Parts. He will head into the final night of racing with a commanding lead in the standings.
Josh Seippel had the pole for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stock main, with young Mr. Wyant to his right. Darr Diegelman and Russ Coyne were in teh second row, with Patrick Fielding and Jason Johns trailing them. Bobby Whitling and points leader Curtis J. Bish were in the fourth row. Curt Bish and Shane Applebee started in the fifth row. Matt Bernard started shotgun on the field.
Tyler Wyant surged ahead at the drop of the green and he had smooth sailing throughout the event. Seippel was a close second. The battle for third went to Curtis J. Bish over Johns and Whitling. Curt Bish, Bernard, Fielding, Diegelman, and Coyne rounded out the top ten.
A pair of Donovan & Bauer Auto Group preliminaries were held in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks as well. Victories went to Tyler Wyant and Whitling.  There was no B Main.
Wyant’s successes in the heat and feature allowed him to close the gap slightly on Curtis J, Bish for the point championship. Just eight points separate them. Seipple remains close, just seventeen points removed from the top position.
Levi Maskal and points leader Justin Bailey brought the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks to the green flag. Todd Hanlon and D.J. Macrae were in the second row. Chad Greeley and Jesse Armstrong were in row three. The fourth flight consisted of Kevin Watson and Daltin Speer. The fifth row had Evan Sobieski and Bodey McClintock and the sixth had Nick Steiger and Michael Barr.
A first lap incident marred the start of the night’s final race, the twelve lapper for the Mini Stocks. Five cars were eliminated.
On the second attempt, Bailey took the lead. But he gave way to Greely on lap two. Dalton Speer charged from eighth to second, and he was giving Greeley all that he could handle for the race lead. However, Speer’s car lost power on lap eight causing a caution. The final caution period came with two laps remaining, but Greeley had no difficulties with either restart. Maskal used the final restart to take second, which would be his best finish of the season. Macrae, Bailey, and McClintock were third through fifth. Armstrong, Jamie Tasker, Barr, Diezel Marvin, and Speer rounded out the top ten.
The 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks spun off two heats and the wins belonged to Hanlon and Speer. There was no B Main.
Bailey enters the final points race 24 points ahead of Speer and 35 up on the surging Greeley.
The final points race of the regular season will be held at Tri-City Raceway Park next Sunday, August 15. Champions will be crowned, so you will not want to miss that one. There will be action in all four Sunday Thunder divisions. The racers will have off for two consecutive weekends after that. However, there will be the Renegade Monster Truck show on Saturday, yes, Saturday, August 28. Be sure to bring the children to see one of their favorite forms of motorsports!
And, don’t forget the huge Labor Day extravaganza coming soon, on September 3-5. The first night will be an open practice session for all classes. The drivers will compete for a total purse exceeding $70,000 beginning on Saturday, September 4. The Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprints will headline that card, but there will be plenty of variety to interest all racing fans. There will be a bonfire and music after the racing. Then, the racers will be back on Sunday, September 5, with all divisions except for the Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds. They will be eligible to compete against the Big Blocks of the BRP Modified Tour and there will be a special bonus for the three top finishers out of the top ten in Tri-City points running their trusty 358 against the ground pounding BRP Mods. More details will be available in the forthcoming weeks.
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 tricityracewaypark2020@gmail.com. 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.
Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint Cars:  Brandon Spithaler, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Brandon Matus, Darin Gallagher, Clay Riney, Bob Felmlee, George Hobaugh, Logan McCandless, Ken Rossey, Jr., Steve Bright, Bryan Salisbury, Brent Matus, Gale Ruth, Sr.
Krill Recycling LLC 358 Modifieds:  Erick Rudolph, Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Jimmy Holden, Jeremiah Shingledecker, Kyle Fink, Lonnie Riggs, Travis Shingledecker, Ryan Riffe, D.J. Schrader, Max Smoker, Kevin Green, Tom Holden, Kevin Hoffman, Nick Joy.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks:  Tyler Wyant, Josh Seippel, Curtis J. Bish, Jason Johns, Bobby Whitling, Curt Bish, Matt Bernard, Patrick Fielding, Darr Diegelman, Russ Coyne, Shane Applebee, Aaron Smith (DNS), Josh Blum (DNS).
4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks:  Chad Greeley, Levi Maskal, used the final restart to take second, which would be his best finish of the season. D.J. Macrae, Justin Bailey, Bodey McClintock, Jesse Armstrong, Jamie Tasker, Michael Barr, Diezel Marvin, Dalton Speer, Evan Sobieski, Kevin Watson, Nick Steiger, Matt Urey, Devin Erwin, Todd Hanlon, Andrew Proper (DNS), Charles McClintock (DNS).