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Mother Nature Holds Off For 68th Season Opener

Mother Nature worked in the favor of The Penn Can Speedway on Friday night as the 68th Season Opener was upon race fans, drivers and track employees. 88 cars across 6 divisions ready to hit the track. On the card were the Stafursky Paving Modifieds, Eric Hines Trucking LLC 602 Crate Sportsman, Factory Stocks, A&E Tire and Auto Service Center 600cc Modifieds, Gary’s U-Pull It 4 Cylinders, and Limited Sportsman. It was a night filled with battles, fast cars and a great start to the 2023 racing Season.

The Stafursky Paving Modifieds held a strong field of 22 cars right to take the green flag for their 40 lap feature. Frank Yankowski would lead the field from the pole with Dan Vauter to his outside. As the green flag dropped, Yankowski would gain the early lead over Vauter as Alex Tonkin wasted no time in making moves as he quickly took the lowside to get around last year’s track champion Kevin Hartnett. The race would come to a slow halt on lap 2, as Hartnett would spin between turns 3 and 4. Unfortunately, some cars were caught up in the spin and those cars included Darwin Greene Sr., Brian Malcom, Matt Soblechi, John Michael Phillips, and George Kostelansky. Malcolm’s night would come to an early end as he would need a tow off the track and Soblechi would also not return. Yankowski and Vauter would lead the field to the restart and Yankowski would gain the top spot while battles would start right off the start. Danny Creeden would take to the low side of Alex Stanton to move into third. Alex Tonkin would follow Creeden like a shadow to move around Stanton to slide into fourth place. Hartnett would make the lowside work to gain ground and moved up to fifteenth around Travis Brockner. Creeden would maneuver to the inside of Vauter to claim second to start chasing down Yankowski. Lap 7 would see the second caution of the feature as Stanton would come to a stop along the front stretch and would need help heading to the pits. Yankowski would elect the outside for the restart putting Creeden to his inside. Out of turn 4, fans would see a new race leader with Creeden getting a good start. Lap 9 Vauter would slow bringing out another yellow and as the field gathered to take the green another yellow would fly as Yankowski would spin along the back stretch. Creeden would be sent to the rear of the field for contact with Yankowski.

Alex Tonkin would become the new race leader with his brother Brett Tonkin alongside him for the restart. Alex would gain the lead out of turn four, but the battles were far from over as Brad Szulewski would look to the outside of Hartnett to attempt to claim third but would be unable to obtain the spot. Lap 11 would see another caution as Hartnett would slow and head pit side, but would return. The Tonkin brothers would lead the field to the green, but Alex would gain the upper hand. The lead would not last as a red flag would come up for a multi car pile up in turn 2. The field would get straightened up and the Tonkin brothers would once again lead the field. Alex would take the lead while shuffling would occur right behind him with Creeden taking over fifth place from Darwin Greene Sr. Szulewski would battle with Alan Rudalvage for third but wouldn’t be able to make the pass. Creeden would be a man on a mission as he battled hard with Brett Tonkin for second, ultimately Creeden would claim second and would start to hunt down Alex Tonkin. Lap 20 fans would see Alex Tonkin catching the tail end of the field. Alex Tonkin would hold off Creeden to take the checkered flag followed by Brett Tonkin, Alan Rudalvage and Kevin Hartnett rounding out the top 5.

Alex was excited about claiming the opening night of the season at the Penn Can Speedway. He stated that the cautions were a nice break and gave him time to get in the headspace. The car started coming in better and better as the night went along and was thankful that it did as he had the feeling that Creeden was right behind him. He would like to thank his sponsors: Stafursky’s Auto Part, Stafursky’s Paving Company, 5 Star Equipment, Mariotti Building Products, HigFab Chassi, and Pat Morris at Morris Performance. He would also like to thank his dad and Mike Demiamovic for all their hard work on the car.

Eric Hines Trucking LLC 602 Crate Sportsman had a strong field of 20 cars and Adam Mudge and Mike Nagel Jr would lead the field to the green flag out of turn four. Nagel Jr would gain the early lead, but no laps would be complete as Mike Schane would spin in turn one. The field would restack with Mudge and Nagel Jr. on the front row once again and off of turn four Nagel Jr. would take the lead and moves would be quickly made. Ray Leonard would look to the inside of Alex Konopka and Mudge to move into second. Lap 2 would see a red flag for Dave Leyshon would flip along the back stretch and cars would get together to avoid the wreck. After, all drivers were checked on and it was announced that all drivers were ok. The track crew removed the damaged cars and the field was in their proper places. Nagel Jr. would be on the pole with Leonard to his inside. Nagel Jr. would gain the early lead and would start pulling away. Kolyn Schane would try to look outside Leonard for second, but would be unable to claim the spot. Konopka found an excellent groove as he used the inside lane to pass Mudge and Kolyn Schane to move into third. Tommy Groover used the same line as Konopka and made his way into seventh to get around Brandon Oleski. Groover tried to move inside of Tyler Peet to claim sixth, but would be unable to make it stick. Mudge would try to make his move to gain fourth over Kolyn Schane, but would be unable to make it work. On lap 12 Nagel Jr. would catch up to the tail end of the field and Leonard was right behind him maneuvering lapped traffic. Mike Schane was making his way up through the pack to move up to fourth. The checkered flag would fall and Mike Nagel Jr would claim the win followed by Leonard, Konopka, Mike Schane and Kolyn Shane rounded out the top five.

Mike Nagel Jr claimed the first win of the year at the Penn Can Speedway and couldn’t be more happy about it. He was disappointed about the start of the race because he really needed to get more heat in his tires, but was glad to hear everyone was ok. When asked about Leonard gaining on him, he said he couldn’t really tell where he was and was just focusing on hitting his marks. He would like to thank Woodframe Structures LLC, NEP, Snake Creek Marine Inc. and car owner Dakota Gajewski.

There were 14 cars on hand for the Factory Stock Tommy Boy 25 lap feature and Kyle Spoor and Kevin MacDonald would lead the field to green. MacDonald would gain the upper hand off of turn four as Rich Green would look inside of Derren Davies to claim seventh. Lap one would see the first yellow of the feature with Rich Sharpsteen slowing along the front stretch before heading pit side. MacDonald would select the outside line for the restart with Spoor to his inside. Once the green dropped, MacDonald would take the early lead but Charlie Gilbert would be a man on a mission as he made the outside line work and made his way around Eric Beach and MacDonald to claim first. Lap 2 would bring a yellow as Brad Chilson would spin between turns one and two resulting in debris in turn 2. Charlie Gilbert would select the inside lane with MacDonald to his outside. Charlie Gilbert in the 28 would gain the early lead while Beach would battle with MacDonald but would be unable to take the second place spot. Green would look to the outside of Beach to maneuver his way into third and the two would battle back and forth with each other, but Green would maintain his hold on the third place spot. Charlie Gilbert would start to catch the tail end of the field, but the yellow would come out for Adam Gilbert spinning in turn 2. Upon the restart, Charlie Gilbert would select the outside lane once again placing MacDonald to his inside. Charlie Gilbert would gain the upper hand but it would not last long as Beach made the inside lane work to his advantage and slipped under MacDonald and Charlie Gilbert to take the lead.

Lap 11 brought a caution as Charlie Gilbert would come to a stop in turn 3 for a flat tire and would head pit side for a replacement before returning to the rear of the field. Beach would choose the high line for the restart with Green to the lowside. Green would jump to the early lead while Jordan Towner would try to work his way around Beach to claim second, but would be unable to make the position change. Beach was battling hard with Green for first and the two would battle hard for first, but Green would still hold on to the lead and begin to catch the rear of the field. Using this to his advantage, Beach would go low to slide into first over Green. The momentum would slow for a bit as a caution would come on lap 16 for debris in turn 1. Beach would lead the field in a single file restart and Charlie Gilbert was making his presence known as he quickly maneuvered his way up to fourth. Green would make his way from the back to battle with Charlie Gilbert for fourth, the two would battle hard with each other and Green would gain the position. Beach would go on to claim the win followed by Towner, Green, Kevin Welch and Charlie Gilbert would round out the top 5.

This was Eric Beach’s first race since he ran and won since 2017 and he was ecstatic about claiming the win. Beach claims he wasn’t sure if he was going to even race Friday night as the car was fighting with him before even getting to the track, but has decided he will become a regular at The Penn Can Speedway this season. This win meant a lot to Beach as he was battling with Green and ended up winning was a pleasant surprise. He said “I was biding my time and watching others to see where the marks were to hit and where to get around them”. Beach also stated that the track was to his liking as he prefers it slippery and rough and the cautions were helping with his starts. He would like to thank his sponsors: Fred’s Refuse, KH Stone, 3 Lakes Stone and Beach Industries. He would also like to thank Austin and Chelsea Manzer and Jett and Loura Beach for all their help and support.

A&E Tire and Auto Service Center 600cc Modifieds had a field of 13 cars on hand for the 20 lap main event. Jared Green and Jack Sherwood would lead the field on the front row. Out of turn 4 Green would take the early lead as Chuck Lohmeyer would quickly look to the inside of Sherwood to claim second and Bumps Scutt would follow his shadow as he slid past Sherwood to move into third. Lohmeyer would take the lead over Green before the first caution would come out for a spun around Sherwood. Sherwood would join the rest of the pack as Brenton Payne would be sent to the back for contact with Sherwood. Lohmeyer and Green would lead the field out of turn 4 with Lohmeyer gaining the top spot. Scutt would go inside of Green to claim second and Larry Furman would use the same lane to make his way into fourth over Jeff Baldwin. The field would spread out a bit, but would come back together for a lap five caution for Philp Burns coming to a stopping turn 3. Off the restart, Lohmeyer would gain the lead over Scutt. Baldwin would look to the outside of Green to try and claim third and further back Ethan Johnson would fend off Sherwood to maintain hold on to seventh, but Payne would be on the move to gain back lost spots. Payne would claim sixth over Johnson and further forward Furman would go door to door with Green for fifth with Green claiming fifth. Lohmeyer would catch the tail of the field and Scutt was on his tail. Lohmeyer would take the checkered flag followed by Scutt, Baldwin, Darwin Greene Jr., and Payne rounded out the top 5.

Gary’s U- Pull It 4 Cylinder Division has 14 cars gearing to go for their first feature of the season. Josh Wilder would start on the pole with 2023 Track Champion Tim Vandemark to his outside. Vandemark would gain the early lead while Jeff Sterling and Chris Yob would battle for fourth with Jeff Sterling claiming the spot. One lap would be counted before Mike Abbott would come to a stop in turn 4 bringing out the yellow. Vandemark would select the inside lane for the restart with Wilder to his outside. Wilder would gain the early lead while Jeff Sterling, Vandemark and Rich Wagner would go three wide for second. Vandemark would hold the second place spot briefly before heading pit side leaving Jeff Sterling in second to hunt down Wilder. Yob and Wagner would battle each other over third, but Wagner would keep the claim on the position. By lap 5,Wilder had caught the rear of the field, but the yellow would come out for a slow moving Bryant Beach who would head pit side and not return. For the restart, Wilder would select the high side with Jeff Sterling to his inside and out of turn 4 Wilder would take the lead. Yob would try to battle with Wagner, but would not be able to claim the spot as a yellow would come on lap 10 for debris on the track. Wagner would lead the field in a single file restart and battles would follow. Wagner and Yob would fight hard for the third place spot with Wagner winning the position using the high line. Jeff Sterling would make his move around Wilder to claim the lead. Jeff Sterling would go on to claim the first checkered flag of the season followed by Wagner, Wilder, Yob, and Collin Mills would round out the top 5.

The Limited Sportsman would have 3 cars ready to race for the first feature of the 2023 season. Amanda Scholtisek and Derrick Shaffer would lead the cars to the green flag. Scholtisek and Shaffer would battle door to door off of turn 4 all the way to turn 3 where Shaffer would gain the top spot. Charlie Towner would look to the inside of Scholtisek to make his way into second place, but Scholtisek would not give up easily as she would try to claim the spot back using the high side. Shaffer would get loose in turn 4 collecting Towner with him leaving Scholtisek to take the top spot. Scholtisek and Towner would be the front row coming off the restart and would battle door to door into turn one where Towner would inch his way into first. Shaffer would then step to challenge Scholtisek for second by looking to the inside and would be able to hit the marks to claim it. Towner would go on to claim the win followed by Shaffer and Scholtisek. Towner was happy with the win even though the car is not at 100% yet, but can not wait to see what he can do once it is dialed in. He also looks forward to the challenges that the season will bring and what he can be able to do with his new ride. He would like to thank his sponsors: Nate Shay Racing, Tanner Mechanical, Glover Boxers Farm, Scentsy by Lisa White and Red Barrel Carburetors.

Penn Can Speedway is in full swing now that the season has officially begun and will be racing Friday nights starting at 7 p.m and Karts will be racing on Sundays. Be sure to follow our Facebook page: The Penn Can Speedway to stay up to date on all that is happening at the track. Our next race will be May 12th and it is our Mother’s Day Special, mom’s admission will be $5 and we will be having powder puff races.

Stafursky Paving Modifieds


2.) 16X-Danny Creeden 3.) 27K-Brett Tonkin 4.) 145-Alan Rudalavage 5.) 5-Kevin Hartnett 6.) 14Z-Brad Szulewski 7.) 72-Nick Petrilak 8.) 1-Darwin Greene Sr. 9.) 23JR-John Michael Phillips 10.) 52B-Brandon Fritsch 11.) 73-Casey Plummer 12.) KP1-Doug Polhamus 13.) 88-Alan Komar 14.) 17-George Kostelansky 15.) 484-Travis Brockner 16.) 127-Frank Yankowski 17.) 280-Justin Holland 18.) 84Y-Brian Franko 19.) 85-Dan Vauter 20.) 117-Alex Stanton 21.) 119-Brian Malcolm 22.) 66-Matt Soblechi

Erik Hines Trucking LLC 602 Crate Sportsman


2.) 3R-Ray Leonard 3.) 14K-Alex Konopka 4.) 197-Mike Schane 5.) 10K-Kolyn Schane 6.) 711-Tyler Peet 7.) 7R-Tommy Groover 8.) 30+-Brandon Oleski 9.) 117-Adam Mudge 10.) 88S-Michael Samony 11.) 44-Jim O’Hara 12.) 00-Brad Burman 13.) 32-Eddie Kudrako 14.) 11-Brett Wooster 15.) 26-Brad Weaver 16.) 3D-Dave Leyshon 17.) 16-Ned Fitch 18.) 61-Dave Rosa 19.) 72-Josh Fedo 20.) 711X-Ralph Mele

Factory Stock Tommy Boy 25


2.) 9J-Jordan Towner 3.) 57ND-Rich Green 4.) 10-Kevin Welch 5.) 28-Charlie Gilbert 6.) 23B-Brad Chilson 7.) 919-Jeremie Hale Jr. 8.) 28X-Adam Gilbert 9.) 27M-Kevin MacDonald 10.) 23S-Kyle Spoor 11.) 3-CJ Swanson 12.) 19-Derren Davies 13.) 35H-Justin Slezak 14.) 83-Rich Sharpsteen DNS: 1X-Daniel Stevens

A&E Tire and Auto Service Center 600cc Modifieds


2.) 108*-Bumps Scutt 3.) 17-Jeff Baldwin 4.) 1JR-Darwin Green Jr 5.) 11-Brenton Payne 6.) 217-Larry Furman 7.) 999-Ethan Johnson 8.) 117-Jeffrey Martin 9.) 67-Tori Straway 10.) 30NN-Nate Oropallo 11.) 607-Jack Sherwood 12.) 99K-Phil Burns 13.) 1-Jared Green DNS: 21-Scott Beach

Gary’s U-Pull It 4 Cylinders


2.) 8W-Rich Wagner 3.) 5-Josh Wilder 4.) 24Y-Chris Yob 5.) 23-Collin Mills 6.) 71-Rob Sterling 7.) 21MJ-Mike Jenks 8.) 22-Davd Benson 9.) 354-Andy Bolles 10.) 27M-Mike Abbott 11.) 77-Brian Salmini 12.) 5L-Bryant Beach 13.) 107-Tim Vandemark 14.) 944-Jeremy Trunzo

Limited Sportsman


2.) 225-Derrick Schaffer 3.) 88A-Amanda Scholtisek

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