FRANKLIN, PA – Jack Sodeman, Jr. regained the lead when Mark Smith lost a powerplant while gunning for his third win of the weekend in Western Pennsylvania. Sodeman continued without a significant challenge and took home the $4,000 pay envelope for the Diehl Chevrolet 410 Sprint Cars. The extra money was presented by the Moose Lodge, which also sponsored the bicycle races for the children and the Back to School packages that each child received.
Also capturing wins at Tri-City Raceway Park were Mike Kinney, a first-time winner in the Pitt Stop Pub 358 Modifieds, Josh Seippel in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks, and Matt Urey in the 4 Your Car Connection Four Cylinder Mini Stocks.
“It has been so long since I pulled up to victory lane, I thought I wouldn’t find it,” Sodeman quipped. “Jesus himself couldn’t catch Mark (Smith). I appreciate the win, but not like that, with him having motor problems.” Sodeman explained.
Sodeman pulled the pole for the start of the twenty-five lap A Main in the Diehl Chevrolet 410 Sprint Cars. Next to him was the visitor from across the pond, Ryan Harrison from the United Kingdom. Greg Wilson and Andy McKisson were in row two, with Mark Smith and Andy Priest in row three. The fourth row belonged to Sean Rayhall and points leader A.J. Flick. Behind them were Bob Felmlee, currently sitting second in points, and Michael Bauer in a rare Tri-City appearance.
Sodeman powered into the lead, followed by Smith, Harrison, Wilson, Flick, McKisson, Rayhall, and Priest. Smith quickly closed in on Sodeman and drove by him on lap three.
Lap six was a tumultuous one. Cameron Nastasi spun for the first caution. On the restart, Bauer crashed hard in turn two. He was not hurt. Bauer was the first 410 Sprint Car to get upside down at Tri-City in 2023.
Smith broke away from the field once again when the race resumed. Sodeman continued in second, while Flick hounded Wilson for the third position. Rayhall and Harrison competed for fifth. Meanwhile, Felmlee started to move forward.
With a comfortable lead on lap fourteen, Smith suddenly lost power coming through turns three and four. Flames shot from the engine compartment, signaling the end of his stellar run.
Sodeman went back to the point for the final restart. Wilson remained in second, but Flick increased the pressure, to no avail. Felmlee moved into fourth, but he could not get by Flick to gain any ground in the battle for the point championship. Rayhall took over the fifth position and held it to the end.
Harrison was sixth, followed by Andy Cavanaugh, Bodey McClintock, and Steven Bright.
Heat wins went to Harrison and Smith. There was no B Main.
Hayden Holden and Mike Kinney brought the Pitt Stop Pub 358 Modifieds to the green flag for a twenty lap go. Ayden Cipriano and Tom Holden were in row two, followed by Gage Priester and Lenny Liebold, III. Anthony Antrus and Chad Reitz made up row four.
Kinney sailed into the lead and set a rapid pace. Hayden Holden raced ahead of Tom Holden in the early going, with Cipriano holding down fifth. Within a couple of laps, Cipriano moved up a notch and he began to press Hayden Holden for second. Despite his persistence, Cipriano was unable to make the pass.
Antrus brought out the lone caution on lap nine for a spin between turns three and four.
Although Hayden Holden was able to start on Kinney’s bumper, he was unable to mount any challenge to the leader. In fact, Holden had to fend off Cipriano who tried to unseat him from second.
At the checkers, it was Kinney taking the win, a significant one in his career. Kinney commented that he had several opportunities at Tri-City before, but he could never get the job done until this night. Hayden Holden was second, with points leader Cipriano taking third. Fourth was Tom Holden. Gage Priester completed the top five. Liebold, Antrus, and Reitz were the other competitors.
The lone heat win went to Kinney. There was no B Main.
The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stock feature was the most competitive feature of the night. Pat Fielding and Hunter Exley, Jr. brought the field to the green, followed by Bobby Whitling and Josh Seippel. The third row had points leader Tyler Wyant matched with Aaron Smith. Chase Lambert and Jake Whitling were in row four.
Bobby Whitling hugged the inside line to take the lead away from Fielding on the first lap. Seippel and Exley diced for third, with Wyant lurking.
Bobby Whitling held control for the first nine laps, but Seippel was oh, so close. Seippel had his new car glued to the bottom and he was able to get inside of Whitling, which was no mean feat. The two veterans raced close, but did not touch, as Seippel slipped ahead coming through turn four.
Seippel completed the non-stop fifteen lap race to pick up his second consecutive win. Bobby Whitling, Wyant, Exley, and Fielding rounded out the top five. Jake Witling came home in sixth. Smith and Lambert completed the field.
Seipple was also the heat winner. There was no B Main.
It took a couple of tries to get the 4 Your Car Connection Four Cylinder Mini Stock feature going. Thomas Warren and Kevin Wice brought the field to the initial green, followed by Adam Aley and Dillon Thorne. Joe Campbell and Tim Callahan were in row three, with Dillon Morrison inside of points leader Matt Urey.
Once the race got going, Urey marched to the front. Campbell raced along in second, with Warren, Thorne, and Callahan making up the top five. Chad Greeley, Adam Aley, Ben Aley, Morrison, and Matt Daugherty completed the top ten at the end of a dozen laps.
Heat winners were Urey and Callahan. There was no B Main.
Next week, Tri-City Raceway Park will present the final Sunday Thunder event of the 2023 season. Joining the four usual classes will be the A & MP electric, Inc. UMP Modifieds. Then, the Labor Day weekend blowout will close out the season. Practice in all divisions will be held Friday night. The BRP Big Block Modified Tour will headline the program on Saturday, with the Diehl Chevrolet 410 Sprint Cars topping the card on Sunday night. The bonfire and live music will be presented on Sunday after all of the racing is done. Additional details will be announced soon.
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 email@example.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. Professional auto racing will be presented in a family friendly atmosphere most Sunday evenings from May through Labor Day weekend.
Diehl Chevrolet 410 Sprint Cars: Jack Sodeman, Jr., Greg Wilson, A.J. Flick, Bob Felmlee, Sean Rayhall, Ryan Harrison, Andy Cavanaugh, Cameron Nastasi, Bodey McClintock, Steven Bright, Andy McKisson, Mark Smith, Leyton Wagner, Michael Bauer, Nathan McDowell, Bob Lime, Andy Priest, and Carl Bowser.
Pitt Stop Pub 358 Modifieds: Mike Kinney, Hayden Holden, Ayden Cipriano, Tom Holden, Gage Priester, Lenny Liebold, III, Anthony Antrus, Chad Reitz.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply pro Stocks: Josh Seippel, Bobby Whitling, Tyler Wyant, Hunter Exley, Jr., Pat Fielding, Jake Whitling, Aaron Smith, Chase Lambert.
4 Your Car Connection Four Cylinder Mini Stocks: Matt Urey, Joe Campbell, Thomas Warren, Dillon Thorne, Tim Callahan, Chad Greeley, Adam Aley, Ben Aley, Dillon Morrison, Matt Daugherty, Bill Fuchs, Kevin Wice, Jesse Armstrong, Mike Roberts.