Rick’s Racing Roundup: Tony’ Stewart’s All-Star Circuit of Champions Visits Lernerville, Mercer Friday and Saturday

Series point leader Chad Kemenah will lead the All-Stars into western Pennsylvania this weekend
It is shaping up to be a big weekend in Western Pennsylvania for sprint car fans and drivers as Tony Stewart’s All-Star Circuit of Champions invade the area.

(Photo: Series point leader Chad Kemenah will lead the All-Stars into western Pennsylvania this weekend. Photo by Rick Rarer)

The traveling series will make their only visits of the season to Lernerville Speedway Friday and Mercer Raceway Park this Saturday. Led by defending champion Chad Kemenah the series currently boasts 17 full-time travelers.

There are lots of new faces with the All-Stars this season including 11 drivers battling for rookie of the year honors. Four former Western Pennsylvania regulars have joined the tour this season including veteran Brent Matus and his son Brandon Matus. Former Lernerville track champion Brandon Spithaler has also hit the road along with second-year driver John Garvin.

Having some struggles on the road early this season all four drivers are looking forward to returning to familiar ground this weekend. Sitting eighth in points, Brandon Matus is the highest of the local drivers in the current standings coming into this weekend. It has been a very competitive season so far as eight different drivers have visited victory lane in the 11 races run so far.

Friday at Lernerville the RUSH modifieds will make their return while the Race Saver 305 sprint cars will make their first visit to the track.

At Mercer Saturday the All-Stars will be joined by the 358 modifieds and the 305 sprint cars. Look for strong fields of sprint cars at both tracks each night with $5,000 going to the winner Friday and Saturday.

This past Friday Lernerville Speedway was able to complete all but one feature when rains hit the track.
Dan Shetler bested central Pa invader Jason Schultz in a thriller to win his first sprint car feature of the season. Mat Williamson continued his hot start to the season winning his second consecutive modified feature while Michael Norris bested the late model field for his first win of the season.

Rain would wipe out the sportsman feature before it could get underway setting up double features when they return on May 12.

Mercer Raceway Park, Sharon Speedway and Pittsburgh Motor Speedway all lost their Saturday night programs to rain over the weekend.

Thunder Mountain Speedway also battled the rain Friday night where Boom Briggs edged Max Blair in the rain-shortened ULMS late model feature.

This Friday the Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Series will take center stage at the Brookville oval as they battle for the$ 1,500 winner’s check. The late models, semi-lates, pure stocks, and fwd will also be on the card.

Tony Stewart returned to the wheel of his sprint car this past weekend racing with his All-Stars Friday at Williams Grove Speedway where he won his heat race and finished 10th in the feature event. Saturday he recorded an 18th place finish at Port Royal Speedway with the series.

Former NASCAR champion Tony Stewart raced his sprint car in central Pennsylvania with the All-Stars over the weekend

Former NASCAR champion Tony Stewart raced his sprint car in central Pennsylvania with the All-Stars over the weekend

Danny Holtgraver is scheduled to make his season debut this weekend with the All-Stars. He will be back behind the wheel of the family owned D4 after several seasons on the road for various car owners and mixed results. Holtgraver plans to run a limited schedule consisting of All-Star and World of Outlaw races in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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About Rick

Rick Rarer, a Franklin resident, is the owner of Racestud.com and SprintCarNews.com. He has been covering racing for 18 years, taking racing photos for 13 years, and has covered races at over 100 tracks in 15 states. Most recently, Rick won the Bill Steinbach Media Award at the Lernerville Speedway Annual Awards Banquet.

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