Rick’s Racing Roundup: Western Pennsylvania Speedweek Set to Kick Off Tonight
It’s the busiest time in racing for local sprint car teams and fans as the annual Western Pennsylvania Speedweek takes center stage this week. The first of five straight nights of racing will get started this Wednesday, June 1st, at Michael’s Mercer Raceway.
(PHOTO: Ryan Smith will look to repeat last year’s success during Speedweek. Photo by Rick Rarer of SprintCarNews.com.)
Jack Sodeman, Jr. picked up the win this past Saturday over Franklin’s Bob Felmlee where Mercer had their first 410 sprint car race of the season.
The new racing surface at Mercer received good reviews from drivers and everyone is looking forward to this Wednesday’s Speedweek opener at the Mercer oval. All of western Pennsylvania’s top sprint cars are expected to be in attendance this week, along with a few invaders. Last year central Pa invader Ryan Smith won two of the three races and was crowned Speedweek champion.
Fellow central Pa driver Bradley Howard scored the other win while Mother Nature washed out the other two shows. Smith and Howard are expected to be back this season to defend their wins and championship. Local drivers Sye Lynch, Jack Sodeman, Bob Felmlee, Aj Flick, and a host of others are hoping to change that. Racing is slated to get underway at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at Mercer Raceway.
After Mercer, the action moves to the “Monster Half Mile” of Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway on Thursday night. Pittsburgh also completed their first sprint car race of 2022 this past Saturday night where George Hobaugh scored his first win of the season. Hobaugh is another driver expected to compete during all five nights of Speedweek.
Friday night action turns to Lernerville Speedway where Speedweek will be part of the regular Fab 4 racing program. Last year, Lernerville had the highest car count of the week at just under forty. Last year’s winner Ryan Smith will look to repeat at the Sarver oval this Friday.
Night four of Western Pennsylvania Speedweek travels just a couple of miles across the border to Sharon Speedway in nearby Hartford, Ohio. Joining the sprint cars Saturday will be the RUSH wingless sprint cars and RUSH limited modifieds with racing slated for 7:00 p.m. Ryan Smith will again look to repeat after winning last year’s event there.
Sunday’s Speedweek finale will move to Venango county at Tri-City Raceway where the Speedweek champion will be crowned and receive the three thousand dollars winners share of the 11,000 dollar point fund. Sunday will be the first race of 2022 for Tri-City and will find the RUSH sprints, 358 modifieds and mini stocks rounding out the card.
This year’s Speedweek is shaping up to be an action packed five nights of great racing you won’t want to miss. It is only 242 miles round trip to all five tracks, which is great news with today’s gas and diesel prices. You can find out more info and updates throughout the week at www.westernpaspeedweek.com and on Facebook and twitter.
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