Rick’s Racing Roundup: Racing Roars Back to Life at Tri-City Raceway

OAKLAND TWP., Pa. (EYT) – After sitting idle for nearly two years, Tri-City Raceway roared back to life this past Sunday with a pit area full of race cars, and in front of a standing-room-only crowd.

(Photo: Sprint cars set to take the first green flag of 2020 in front of a packed house at Tri-City. Photo by Rick Rarer.)

After purchasing the track last fall, Merle Black promised to bring weekly action back to the Venango County oval for the first time in a decade. His hard work paid off as fans and racers responded in droves, making for a very successful opening night.

Under sunny skies, fans were treated to plenty of racing action, and it was a future sprint car hall of famer who invaded the raceway and scored a popular win in the first feature event of the season. “The Steel City Outlaw” Tim Shaffer of Aliquippa is a four-time All-Star champion, who also has twenty-eight World of Outlaw wins to his credit. Ten years ago, he won the biggest sprint car race in the world to become the 2010 Knoxville Nationals champion.

Four time All-Star champion Tim Shaffer and crew celebrate a popular win. Photo by Rick Rarer.

Four time All-Star champion Tim Shaffer and crew celebrate a popular win. Photo by Rick Rarer.

Despite spending many seasons on the road traveling with the All-Stars and Outlaws, Shaffer has remained a fan favorite here in western Pennsylvania anytime he returns to race. Sunday was no different when he was greeted by loud cheers in victory lane from Sunday’s big crowd. Shaffer would take the lead from Ohio invader Lee Jacobs with eight laps to go and dominate the final seven laps for his first win of 2020.

In the 358 modified feature, Kyle Fink made a clean sweep of the weekend with his second win in as many races. Josh Seippel of Franklin held off Curt Bish to win the pro stock feature. The backstretch lights went out on the mini stocks, so they will finish the final laps of their feature next Sunday. Another four division show is slated for this Sunday at Tri-City, featuring the 410 sprint cars again with racing at 6:00 p.m.

Kyle Fink of Strattanville scored a piar of feature wins over the weekend to start his season. Photo by Rick Rarer.

Kyle Fink of Strattanville scored a piar of feature wins over the weekend to start his season. Photo by Rick Rarer.

Hidden Valley Speedway in Clearfield also opened their 2020 season over the weekend with a record crowd this past Saturday. Billy Eash was the winner of the super late model feature, while Kyle Fink scored his first of two wins on the weekend in the 358 modified feature. Other winners at Hidden Valley included Rich Wicker (semi lates), Andrew Gordon (street stocks), Brad Benton (pure stocks), and Joe Humber in the 4-cylinders.

Hidden Valley Speedway plans to be back in action again this Saturday with another six-division program. More good news is two more area tracks are scheduled to reopen this weekend with their 2020 season openers. On Friday, Thunder Mountain Speedway near Brookville will get their season underway with a four-division show highlighted by the ULMS late models in a 3,000 to win event.

Fans attending Thunder Mountain this Friday, you will be required to sign a waiver to enter the track acknowledging the risks of COVID-19. The form is available to print out on the track’s website thundermountainspeedwaypa.com. Fans are encouraged to bring a signed copy with them. Thunder Mountain plans to release a revised 2020 schedule later this week.

Hummingbird Speedway will kick off their 2020 season this Saturday with a five-division racing program dubbed “Salute to Seniors” 2020 seniors will receive FREE admission by presenting their diploma and will be honored with a brief ceremony at intermission. Hummingbird is also in the process of putting together a new 2020 schedule that will be available soon.


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