YORK, Pa. — A couple of headlines coming out of the 32nd Annual Pennsylvania Speedweek, it was an historic week for one driver, PA has the top two winningest drivers in the country and oh yeah, some Pa Outlaws sweep the weekend in Cedar Lake.
But let’s beginning where it all started, 10-days ago. The 2022 Pennsylvania Speedweek started with Anthony Macri dominating both Williams Grove and Lincoln Speedway, last Friday and Saturday. Moving his win count to 14 on the season.
Sunday unfortunately was rained out at BAPS and I hope you had as much fun as All-Star driver Justin Peck.
“..got the pool set up and everything. We were just drinking beer and watched the USAC race and went to bed a little earlier. So, it was a relaxing day to be honest with you," said Peck.
Back to Lincoln for the fourth night, NASCARs Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson in town, hoping to steal the posse’s money. C-bell coming off a win with Swindell during Ohio Speedweek.
“We had a couple really good days and a couple not so good days so we’re trying to build on that and trying to get a little more consistent.“
Larson started on the pole and just when you think 'yung money' might run away with it, the 'Myerstown Missile', literally has a missile strapped to his car, as Brent Marks moved up from starting 13th. Then, as Larson slid up the track, the No. 19 took the lead on lap 19 to win the second race at Lincoln.
“We started the night out really bad. You know, these guys just keep working so hard to try and over come that and that’s what brings us consistency is that hard work," said Marks.
But, that wouldn't be the last we heard from Marks. Tuesday at Grandview, Rico Abreu’s first race of PA Speedweek, he wired the field for the feature win.
To the speed palace on Wednesday as we reach the halfway point of the 10-day grueling stretch. It's pretty cool when the 'Buckeye Bullet,' Dave Blaney makes an appearance during Pennsylvania Speedweek at Port Royal.
Larson and Macri, the only two drivers to claim the knockout bonus for wins their heats from starting fourth.
No surprise here, Macri is on the pole for the third time this week.
In in the A-Main, Marks quickly took the lead from Macri but a double whammy for the 'Concrete kid', he blows up in the 360 heat race and now ended his night with nine laps to go when his 39M burst into a white cloud of smoke.
During the caution laps, Larson’s right rear was getting soft and losing air. He brought out the caution four-laps later.
Marks gets pressured by the Wagner’s, Logan and Mike but is able to hold them off for his second win of Speedweek. That win moved him to the Speedweek points leader.
Down to Hagerstown for night number seven. Luck of the draw and really showing speed in the AL No. 19T, Tanner Thorson started on the pole with some seasoned sprint car drivers surrounding him. It doesn’t take long for Larson to do what he does best. He took the lead away with a run coming out of turn two.
Eight laps left, Marks made up a huge gap and to pass Larson as Marks wins back-to-back nights.
Back to the Grove for the Mitch Smith Memorial. The storms missed the race track as other tracks weren't as lucky.
TJ Stutts set the fast time but it’s Marks that picked the pole to lead the field to green.
Ten laps down, battling for 10th and three wide coming out of four, Danny Dietrich maked Deven Borden react and hit Lance Dewease. Dewease went right into the inside guardrail, after they spent all night trying to get that car going, Dewease’s night ended early.
Skip to the final lap, Marks missed his mark in one and two. Macri was coming on strong. They were side-by-side in three and four, but Marks held his line to make it three in a row for Marks.
Night number six, Deven Borden racing in honor of Greg Hodnett.
A different legend on the pole and showing up all the young guns, was Mike Wagner. But, a guy we’ve been talking about all week, Marks split Mike Wagner and Ryan Timms to take the lead on the first lap.
Mike Walter, Justin Whittle and Dylan Norris bring out the caution just seven laps in and that brought out an open red for crews to fill up on fuel and make adjustments.
Then, just passed halfway, the bad luck continued at port when Macri’s right rear exploded, which possibly, also causes his fuel leak. His night ends with 14-to-go.
In the final corner, Logan Wagner threw a hail Mary as Marks writes his name in the record books and becomes the first driver to win four Pa Speedweek races in a row.
“I just put it up against the fence and held it wide open and tried to get to the lead there and it worked out. After doing that, I was just able to control my own race and all the yellows fell at the right time for us," said Marks.
But, can Marks historic run continue at the finale at Selinsgrove? There's bonus money on the line for Marks; an extra $5,000 for finishing in the top ten every single night and $6,000 for winning the Speedweek title. So, he has the potential to take home over $21,000 Sunday night.
Marks had the fastest time in qualifying, picked the third starting position as Steve Buckwalter started on the pole.
Marks wanted to make it five in a row but Buckwalter would lead the first lap.
A few laps later, Marks got the run he needed on the inside to take the lead away from Buckwalter.
Eight laps later, Buckwatler’s night done after coming to a stop in turn four.
Marks doesn't run away with it, Danny Dietrich is there on the high side. It’s like déjà vu from last year with these two battling it out at the finale.
Two sticks in the air, Marks got his nose in front of Dietrich at the line. Dietrich returned the favor and carried more speed up top to make an easy pass.
Dietrich won his only race of Speedweek. As he was pulling in to victory lane, his car was spitting steam, overheating. Marks cliniched his first Pa Speedweek title.
“It’s fun racing with him, he’s real clean, keeps us on our toes. Keeps us racing hard," said Dietrich.
“I been trying for many years (to win a Speedweek title) and just something always came up that prevented us from winning it. So, we were really close last year and got into a couple wrecks on Friday night at Williams Grove and lost the points lead and came back strong and lost by ten points or something. To turn around and dominate this year, and win it. Just feels really special. Man, really wanted to win that race tonight but just came up short there tonight," said Marks.
Five feature wins, a championship and a record of wins in a row, isn’t too shabby.
We’ve talked a lot about Pa Speedweek, but how about some drivers from Pa sweeping the weekend in Cedar Lake, Wisconsin.
Friday night, Shark Racing has both of their drivers in the dash. Coming to 13-left in the feature, Jacob Allen loving the low line, he got Donny Schatz for the lead. On the final lap, Brad Sweet hit the cushion as Allen picked up his third win this year and snaps Sweet's six race win streak.
Saturday night, a long time coming for the 'Jonestown Jet.' Its been 1,807 days since Brock Zearfoss won an Outlaw feature.
Sweet chose the outside, Zearfoss on the inside and stole the lead with 15-left. He ran away with it to end a 169-race drought and win his first feature as a full-time outlaw.