Heated Tri-City Championship Battle


FRANKLIN, PA-  Often, awarding double points for a single event allows for a successful racer to build up a commanding lead over the competition. However, in three of the four classes making up the Sunday Thunder programs at Tri-City Raceway Park, the contests are closer than eve!
In two of the divisions, the points leader only has a single-digit advantage over his closest rival. “That makes for some intense racing, in the heats and the features, because every race counts toward the season championship,” said track owner Merle Black.
Jack Sodeman, Jr. knows how to win titles at the Venango County oval. He has several on his resume, along with numerous championships at other area speedways. But, Sodeman only has a six point margin over Jeremy Weaver, who is seeking his first in the Shawgo Real Estate, LLC 410 Sprint Cars. Weaver got some help from veteran racer Bob McMillin, who turned over the controls of his potent car to Weaver and applied Weaver’s number, 35W, so that the youthful pilot could maintain his rank.
Bob Felmlee is twenty-two points back from Sodeman and last week’s winner, A.J. Flick, trails Sodeman by twenty-five. Flick has a pair of wins, but he missed one race, so his high ranking is quite an accomplishment.
Chase Metheney holds down fifth, and he is only twenty-seven counters behind Sodeman, so he is still in contention for the title too.
But there are a number of other drivers who can liven things up, including the father and son team of Brent and Brandon Matus, Steve Bright, Logan McCandless, and Carl Bowser. Veteran Ohio pilot, Bob Lime, made his first start of the season, and he loves to race on the big half mile oval.
Tyler Wyant also has a slim lead five-point advantage over his closest competition. The teen from Franklin is on a mission to get his first track championship. Pat Fielding is second in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks, and he is feeling quite confident that he can overtake Wyant. Fielding remarked last week that his car has been working extremely well of late, and it shows!
Josh Seippel battled Fielding throughout last Sunday’s race, but he could do no better than third, behind Wyant and Fielding. Nonetheless, he is close to them both in the championship standings. He is just twelve points behind Wyant.
Although he has four wins to his credit, Maskal the Rascal saw his points lead diminish somewhat last week in the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. Levi Maskal had a broken steering rack in his heat race and, then, his car began to sputter late in the feature event. He soldiered on to third, but the winner, Matt Urey, had no troubles whatsoever, cutting the margin to twenty-one.
Chad Greeley, D.J. Macrae, and Bodey McClintock have been competitive all season long, but they just cannot break through with a win. Surprisingly, the two drivers who dominated the action last year, Justin Bailey and Dalton Speer, are struggling in 2022. Maybe one of these drivers will step up his game this week!
Defending champion Jeremiah Shingledecker has stretched his lead in the Donovan & Bauer Auto Group 358 Modifieds. Shingledecker entered the event at the head of the class. Kevin Hoffman scored his first of the season in the double-point event, and he is now sixty points in arrears heading into this week’s race.
Jimmy Holden will be back, along with New Yorker Nick Joy, Travis Shingledecker, Lonny Riggs, Tom Hoden, and Kevin Green.
Racing will start at 6 p.m. Pit gates will open at 2 p.m., and spectator gates will open at 4 p.m.
Regular event ticket pricing will apply this Sunday, July 17. So, adults (ages 16 through 62) will be admitted for $15. Seniors, (ages 62 and up) will be admitted for $13, and students (ages 10 through 16) will be admitted for $10. Children (ages 10 and under) will be admitted free of charge. There will be Family Passes available for $45, and that is good for two adults of any age and two students. The Pit Passes are $35.
The next two Sundays, July 24 and 31, will also be Sunday Thunder events, with racing for the four classes:  the Shawgo Real Estate, LLC 410 Sprint Cars, the Donovan & Bauer Auto Group 358 Modifieds, the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks, and the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks.
Coming up on Sunday, August 21, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series will invade Tri-City Raceway Park and the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks will also be in action. Please note that putting the Mini Stocks on the card is a schedule change due to a conflicting date for the RUSH Sprint Cars.
Watch the website and social media platforms for any other changes.
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.