Rick’s Racing Roundup: Matus Clinches Tri-City Championship

Tri-City Raceway closed out their 2021 regular season in an exciting fashion this past Sunday night.

(Photo: Brandon Matus won the feature and his first track championship Sunday at Tri-City. Photo by Rick Rarer.)

The evening kicked off with easily the most exciting sprint car feature of the season at the Venango county oval. Fresh off a win less than twenty-four hours earlier coming at Sharon Speedway, Carl Bowser set the pace early in the twenty-lap affair.

Fellow front-row starter Brandon Matus would stalk Bowser throughout the race event taking the lead near the halfway point only to have Bowser regain the lead and take command with just a few laps remaining. Then in the final laps to everyone’s disbelief Matus made a charge on the top of the speedway making a last-lap pass to steal the win away from Bowser.

The win also clinched the 2021 Tri-City track championship for Matus, the first of his career. Bowser would settle for second after his dominating performance while 2020 track champ Jack Sodeman Jr, Bob Felmlee, and Clay Riney would round out the top five.

Jeremiah Shingledecker has been the modified driver to beat all season at Tri-City and Sunday he couldn’t have had a better night when he clinched the track championship after starting on the pole and leading every lap of the 358 modified feature for his sixth win of the season.

Seneca's Bobby Whitling on his way to career win number 100. Photo by Rick Rarer.

Seneca’s Bobby Whitling on his way to career win number 100. Photo by Rick Rarer.

The pro stock feature saw longtime competitor Bobby Whitling score his 100th career win. As Whitling took the checkered flag, there was a special family moment. His father had joined flag man Todd Beichner atop the flag stand and he was allowed to wave the checkered flag in celebration of his son’s landmark achievement. Curtis Bish would finish second and secure his first track championship.

There will be no racing the rest of August at Tri-City but the Renegade Monster Trucks will be in action on Saturday, August 28. Racing action resumes on Labor Day weekend with two big shows on September 5 and 6 each featuring six divisions of action. One of the area’s best bands; Dead Level will play a concert after the show on Sunday night to close out the weekend.

There is plenty of racing action on tap this weekend in western Pennsylvania including Fab 4 racing at Lernerville Speedway and a regular four division show featuring the ULMS late models at Thunder Mountain Speedway both this Friday evening.

The 410 sprint cars have been added to the card at Michael’s Mercer Raceway this Saturday joining the big block modifieds, 305 sprint cars, mini stocks, and limited modifieds for their final point race of the season. 410 sprint cars will also highlight the card at Mercer the following Saturday, August 28.

This Saturday Sharon Speedway will be the place to be for late model fans when the World of Outlaws late models invade the Hartford, Ohio speed plant for their only visit of the season. Econo mods will round out the action with racing slated for 7:00 p.m.

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