Rick’s Racing Roundup: Smith Scores First Speedweek Victory

After getting off to a wet start which included two rainouts, Western Pennsylvania Speedweek took off full speed with great car counts and racing over the weekend.

(Ryan Smith scored a pair of wins and the Speedweek championship. Photo by Rick Rarer)

Unfortunately, Mercer Raceway and Thunder Mountain Speedway would lose their shows to rain on Wednesday and Thursday. Sunny skies would prevail on Friday as a season-high thirty-seven sprint cars and a big crowd filled Lernerville Speedway for the first Speedweek show in twenty years.

When the checkered flag flew it was central Pennsylvania invader and former All-Star regular Ryan Smith scoring his first Speedweek victory by edging defending track champion AJ Flick in an exciting fashion. Other winners Friday included Michael Norris in another dominating late model performance.

Rex King Sr bested Brian Swartzlander for another big block modified victory while Corey McPherson led every lap of the feature to score his 49th career pro stock win. Fab 4 racing returns to Lernerville this Friday for the annual Fan Appreciation Night with the always popular fireworks presented by #1 Cochran Automotive.

Saturday night Speedweek would move just across the border to Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio where another season-high car count filled the pit area. Thirty-eight sprint cars were on hand looking for the 3,500 dollar top prize. Fans were not disappointed as Ryan Smith and Carl Bowser battled hard for the win which saw Smith edge Bowser to make it two Speedweek wins in a row and the first-ever at Sharon.

In the RUSH wingless sprints, Nolan Groves scored his first career win with the series all the way from his twelfth starting spot.

“This is too unreal to believe right now,” expressed the 17-year-old Sugar Grove, Pa. winner. “I’m at a loss for words.  I can’t thank everyone enough.  Once I figured out the line the car liked, it was pretty fast.”  

Sharon Speedway returns to action this Saturday with the Steel Valley Pro Stock Nationals which will pay 10,000 dollars to the winner!   

Bradley Howard scored his first career 410 win Sunday at Tri-City. Photo by Rick Rarer.

Bradley Howard scored his first career 410 win Sunday at Tri-City. Photo by Rick Rarer.

Western PA Speedweek would come to a close Sunday night at Tri-City Raceway and crown the newest Speedweek champion. To say the final Speedweek feature was a wild one would be an understatement. When the dust settled it was Bradley Howard scoring his first-ever 410 sprint car win and completing a central Pennsylvania sweep of the weekend. The popular win came over Ohio’s Lee Jacobs and Ryan Smith who would clinch his first Speedweek title with his third-place finish.

Plans for Western Pennsylvania Speedweek 2021 are already in the works as nothing but praise was heard from drivers and fans for Tyler Beichner and his crew for their work this past week. Tri-City will be back in action this Sunday with another regular four division show highlighted by the 410 sprint cars and 358 modifieds.

After rain washed out the event a week earlier the BRP Modified Tour returned to Hummingbird Speedway this past Saturday where Garrett Krummert picked up the win over Brad Rapp and early leader Rex King Jr. This Saturday Hummingbird will have a special memorial race for the semi lates honoring Al Conner with the winner getting 2,500 dollars.

Michael’s Mercer Raceway will also return to action this Saturday with Twin State Night. Big block modifieds will highlight the cars along with the 305 sprint cars, limited modifieds, and mini stocks.

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