Mad Max Stambaugh and Pair of New Yorkers Wins At Tri-City Raceway Park
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Franklin, PA) Former All-Star Circuit of Champions touring series Rookie of the Year, “Mad Max” Stambaugh was victorious in round number six of “Sunday Thunder” at the Tri-City Raceway Park, in the Shawgo Real Estate Sprint Car division of racing, on August 9th, 2020. New Yorkers Greg Martin (Modifieds), and Kevin Ruhlman (Crate Engine Wingless Sprints) were also divisional winners, celebrating in victory lane. Mark Lawrence won for the second time in the 4-Your-Car-Connection Mini Stock division of racing, and Vivian Jones scored a win in Mod Lite division racing.
Preliminary heat races for the Shawgo Real Estate Sprint Cars were won by Dan Kuriger, Jack Sodeman, Jr., and Max Stambaugh early in the evening. When the 25-lap feature race commenced, Stambaugh was on the pole position. Stambaugh, now a resident of Lima, OH, grabbed the early lead in his first visit to Tri-City. In the first five laps, “Mad Max” was challenged repeatedly by Dan Shetler. Shetler started third, and passed Sodeman immediately, for the runner up spot. As the lead duo approached lapped traffic, Stambaugh extended his lead slightly – occasionally racing three wide with cars at the back of the field. After a single file restart near the midpoint of the race, Shetler challenged again. On lap 12, Stambaugh and Shetler crossed the scoring line in a virtual dead heat, fighting for the lead. Shetler had two more restart opportunities later in the event, and was within striking distance of Stambaugh several times. At one point, Stambaugh’s lead was officially timed as .001 seconds – as narrow a lead as mathematically possible. Lapped cars worked to the leader’s advantage, and in the closing laps Stambaugh pulled away slightly. Recent winner Carl Bowser surged late in the event. After starting in tenth place, Bowser passed Sodeman, previous event winner A.J. Flick, and others to join a three car fight for second place. New York ace Justin Barger, started seventh and had a thrilling fight with Boswer and Shetler for the runner up position in the final three laps. When the checkered flag waved, Stambaugh steered the Seeling Motorsports #97 car to his first win on the Tri-City oval. Former Lernerville Speeday Champion, Bowser, placed second, and earned the Big Daddy’s Rolling Smoke BBQ Hard Charger award for gaining eight positions during the race. Shetler, the former Sharon Speedway Champion, claimed third place and Barger finished fourth in his first visit of the year. Flick crossed the finish line in fifth place.
Local favorite Kevin Hoffman led the first six laps of the Modified division’s 20 lap feature race. The veteran has competed in multiple divisions at his home track through the years, and was seeking a first win of the season. On lap six, Greg Martin made a pass for the lead. Martin, one of several New York invaders, is a former Champion of the Ransomville Speedway in the Empire State. Martin, making his second run of the year at Tri-City, put several car lengths between himself and Hoffman in the middle stages of the event. Multiple crashes and caution flags gave Hoffman several opportunities to lineup alongside leader Martin. But each time, Martin chose the outside lane and used the top of the surface perfectly. Former Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker started the race in 18th position, and raced into the top five, with half of the event complete. Once as high as fourth in the order, Shingledecker whipped the crowd into a frenzy, before dropping back, late in the race. Shingledecker still earned the Big Daddy’s Hard Charger award finishing sixth, with a gain of twelve positions. At the finish line, Martin scored his first Tri-City win, with Hoffman earning second place. Division point standings leader Tom Holden started sixth and climbed late in the race, finishing third. Opening night winner Kyle Fink placed fourth, and New York’s Steven Lewis, Jr. claimed fifth place. Martin and Hoffman also won the heat races.
The first ever Non-Wing Crate Engine Sprint Car race at Tri-City Racway Park was a crowd-pleasing success. Presented by Bruce Smith Construction, the 15 lap contest was completed without a caution flag. Shawn Smith, a former stock car racer at Tri-City, took the lead from a pole position starting berth. Smith ran away from a four car battle for second place early in the event. Nolan Groves, Gale Ruth, Jr., Arnie Kent, and Kevin Ruhlman diced for positions for several laps. After winning his heat race, Smith held a comfortable lead for most of the race. Ruhlman, a resident of Bemus Point, NY, is the son of one the division’s leading winners in the region, Chad Ruhlman. The Ruhlman prodigy separated himself from the other drivers vying for top five spots, when he pulled away in sole possession of second place. In the closing laps, Ruhlman gained on leader Smith, and pulled right up to the rear of Smith’s car on lap 13. Smith went to the outside groove in turn three, and Ruhlman went low. Making the winning pass in turn four, Ruhlman led only the white flag and checkered flag laps to claim his first Tri-City win, which was also the 17-year-old’s first career racing victory. Smith placed second, with heat race winner Ruth crossing the finish line third. Dave Hawkins started sixth and advanced late to place fourth, while former Tri-City winged Sprint Car Champ Kent finished fifth.
For the second week in a row Mark Lawrence won his heat and the 12-lap feature race for the 4-Your-Car-Connection Mini Stock division. Point standings leader Dillon Speer was in first place on lap eight, when his car suffered a mechanical problem, ending his race. Lawrence inherited the lead, and completed a three-night weekend sweep, winning all three races he entered at three different speedways. After several cars dropped out of the event, Dalton Speer claimed second place, with J.R. Shaner recovering from a caution flag incident to finish third. James Buchanan placed fourth and Chad Greeley drove a new car to the fifth position. Jesse Armstrong was also a heat race winner.
The second and final visit of the Mod Lite race cars to Tri-City in 2020, began with Vivian Jones winning her heat race. Starting from the pole position, Jones then led all 15 laps of the feature race. The former Mercer Raceway Champion made a Jones family sweep of the Tri-City races this season, as her younger brother was victorious in the first Mod Lite event of 2020. Vivin Jones held off Shane Webb the entire race, even after double file restarts. Webb finished second with Roman Jones claiming third place. Jason Gracey and Jeremy Paden completed the top five finishers.
Sunday, August 16th, Tri-City Raceway Park’s “Sunday Thunder” will include the Penn Ohio Pro-Stock Touring Series, as part of four division racing, along with the Shawgo Real Estate Sprint Cars, Modifieds, and 4-Your-Car-Connection Mini Stocks. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 6pm. For more information visit www.TriCityRacewayPark.com
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