Flick and Rudolph Score First 2020 Wins at Tri-City Raceway Park
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Franklin, PA) Third generation race car driver A.J. Flick started in seventh position, and drove to his first win of the year in the Shawgo Real Estate Sprint Cars, during round number five of “Sunday Thunder” at the all new Tri-City Raceway Park. Also on Sunday, July 26th, New York superstar Erik Rudolph won a special event for the “Outlawed Small Block Modified Tour,” which was the series’ season opening event. Curtis J. Bish was victorious in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stock division of racing, and Mark Lawernce won in his first visit to Tri-City in the 4-Your-Car-Connection Mini Stock division.
Veteran Gary Kreiss, Jr. started the on the pole position for the 25-lap Shawgo Real Estate Sprint Car feature race. A winner in three different levels of Sprint Car racing, Kriess swapped the lead with Dan Kuriger on the first lap. Kuriger, who has had two very impressive drives at Tri-City this season, launched from the outside of row number one. Kriess maintained the lead with Kuriger in striking distance during the early stages of the race. A.J. Flick, a three-time Lernerville Speedway Champion, started the event in the seventh position, but climbed into third place early on. With lapped traffic as a factor all race long, Flick grabbed second position, as Kriess was extending his margin to a comfortable lead. After a mid-race restart, Kriess again accelerated to a lead of several car lengths over Flick. When lapped traffic was again present, Flick made a thrilling move, positioning himself three-wide with Kriess and a lapped car in turn three. Using the lapped car as a “pick” in turn four, Flick stole the lead while Kriess made contact with the outside wall on the front straight, and continued. Sye Lynch started the race in tenth place, but surged in the later laps, passing Kuriger for third, and Kriess for second. During the final two laps, Lynch was able to close the gap to leader Flick, and provide late race drama. When the checkered flag was displayed, Flick won for the first time in his career at Tri-City; his first overall win of the 2020 season. Lynch placed a close second, with the previous event winner Carl Bowser claiming third position after gaining spots in the closing laps. The top three finishers started the race in seventh, tenth, and eighth positions respectively. Kriess crossed the finish line in fourth spot, after leading the most laps. Point standings leader Brandon Spithaler, the only repeat winner in the Sprint Car division this year, placed fifth. In victory lane Flick, of Apollo, PA, praised the track crew for the smooth racing surface and admitted: “It’s great to cross Tri-City off my bucket list,” (as he has won at several speedways across Pennsylvania and Ohio). Jeremy Kornbau, Leyton Wagner, and Spithaler won the preliminary heat races earlier in the evening. Jack Sodeman, Jr. was the Big Daddy’s Roll & Smoke BBQ Hard Charger of the race, as he started in 17th position and finished seventh.
“The Outlawed Small Block Modified Tour” visited Tri-City for the series’ 2020 season opener on Sunday; a 20-lap race with increased prize money on the line. The winner of Tri-City’s opening night Modified race, Kyle Fink started the race from the pole position. Former Tri-City Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker was alongside Fink on row one, when the green flag was displayed. Shingledecker, also a Champion in Modified touring series racing, grabbed the early lead and pulled away from the field. Among the New York invaders in competition, was Erik Rudolph, a nationally renowned driver who wins in several different forms of racing each year. Rudolph started in seventh position, and passed heat race winner Lonnie Riggs, Tri-City point standings leader Tom Holden, and Fink, among others, to advance to second position before the midpoint of the race. Shingledecker was enjoying considerable distance between himself and all other competitors, when Rudolph began to gain. Clocking lap times of two to three tenths-of- a-second per lap faster than the leader, Rudolph used the lowest available lane of the speedway to complete his ascent to the top. Diving under Shingledecker to grab the lead, Rudolph cruised to his first Small Block Modified win at Tri-City, with a flawless handling car. Rudolph had won in Big Block Modified racing at Tri-City in the past, and completed a perfect weekend sweep. The Empire State superstar won on PA tracks Friday night, Saturday night, and at Tri-City on Sunday. Rudolph also won his heat race. Hustling in the final laps of the race, veteran Kevin Hoffman snagged the second position at the finish line, relegating Shingledecker to third place. Fink and Riggs completed the top five.
After a lengthy side-by-side battle with his brother, Curtis J. Bish scored his first Tri-City victory of 2020 in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stock division of racing. The Bish brothers raced door to door, making light contact early in the race, and showing a fierce family competitive gene. Curt Bish, Jr. started outside of row one, to grab the lead from previous winner Rod Laskey, who launched from the pole position. During a multi-car battle for third place, two-time winner Josh Seippel spun after contact, hitting the outside wall in turn three, violently. He was uninjured. Jackson Humanic started in seventh place, and advanced to second spot in the closing laps. Humanic threatened Curtis J. Bish’s lead more than once before the conclusion of the event. When the checkered flag waved, Curtis J. Bish was victorious after starting the race in sixth place, and winning his heat race, to start the night. Humanic finished second, with Curt Bish, Jr. third, heat race winner Laskey fourth, and Blaze Myers the fifth place finisher. The race served as a tune-up for next Sunday’s Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Series event, offering a huge payout for drivers in a highly anticipated special event.
A first time visitor to Tri-City Speedway parked in victory lane after the 12-lap 4-Your-Car-Connection Mini Stock division feature race. Mark Lawrence won his heat race earlier in the night, then inherited the lead when Dalton Speer suffered a flat tire in the middle stages of the feature race. Lawrence held off rookie Hemi Kineston first, and fought off a late race challenge by Chad Greelely to score the win. Lawrence plans to compete more often at Tri-City after sweeping the heat and feature races. Greely continues to show the speed needed to win, but earned second position at the finish line. Dalton Speer rallied after the pit stop to place third, ahead of James Buchanan, the fourth place finisher. Dillon Speer, who entered the night undefeated, with four wins in the four events of 2020, placed a memorable fifth. Using a backup car, following mechanical problems in his heat race, Speer maintained the top spot in the point standings after his ride caught fire during the feature race. The flames were extinguished under a “red flag” condition, and Speer continued to race – restarting at the tail of the field. Speer still earned a “top five” position with his charred machine, after taking the initial green flag in eleventh spot.
Next week, on August 2nd, “Sunday Thunder” round number six will offer four exciting divisions of racing. The Shawgo Real Estate Sprint Cars, the 358-cubic-inch-engine Modifieds, and the 4-Your-Car-Connection Mini Stocks will all be in action. The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Pro Stocks will battle with the traveling drivers from the region, as the tour known as the “Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Series” makes a visit on Sunday. For more information visit www.TriCityRacewayPark.com
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