ABBOTTSTOWN, Pa. – In perhaps the shocker of the week so far, red-hot Anthony Macri saw his momentum come to a screeching halt when he missed Saturday’s PA Speedweek feature at Lincoln Speedway.
Macri, who had won three of his last four sprint car starts entering the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial at the three-eighths-mile dirt track, started off the night solidly by timing in ninth-quick in his qualifying flight.
However, things quickly went downhill from there.
Macri ended up a disappointing eighth in his heat race, spinning out on lap one while racing for one of the top-five transfer spots, relegating him to the B-main with his familiar No. 39m sprint car.
Things didn’t get any better in that 12-lap contest, either, as Macri came up one spot short of making the main event – finishing fifth when the top four moved into the 30-lap, $9,200-to-win feature.
Saturday’s DNQ likely eliminates Macri from a shot at the PA Speedweek championship, though if he were to go on a hot streak during the second half of the week, hope might not be completely lost.
Macri started the day Saturday tied for fifth in the standings and fourth among the drivers planning to run the full Speedweek. He ended it outside the top 10 and now has nearly 200 points to make up.
The good news for Macri is that he’s got a pair of races at Port Royal Speedway – where he’s won his last three races, including one against the All Star Circuit of Champions – coming up during the second half of the week, offering a good shot at making up ground against the field.
Winning a race during PA Speedweek comes with a 25-point bonus over second place, with the points dropping by five per position from there.
If Macri can grab a few wins, a Speedweek title might not be out of the question.
– It’s been quiet so far, but Ryan Smith has put together a nice early Speedweek run for himself, with finishes of fifth at Williams Grove Speedway and eighth Saturday night at Lincoln to this point.
Piloting the Heffner Racing No. 72 sprinter, Smith is trying to carry on the Speedweek legacy of the late Greg Hodnett, who captured the title in the week-long mini-series five times (2002, ’09-’10, ’13 and ’18).
Hodnett ranks third in terms of all-time PA Speedweek feature victories, with 26 trophies, but Smith is surprisingly still seeking his first career Speedweek win.
Smith’s best Speedweek result is second place, earned June 29, 2016 at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway, when he came in behind Pennsylvania Posse kingpin Lance Dewease.
– Danny Dietrich put himself in an exclusive category with his Kevin Gobrecht Memorial win on Saturday night at Lincoln, becoming just the fifth driver in PA Speedweek history to reach double-digit victories.
Dietrich’s score, worth $9,200, was the 10th of his PA Speedweek career and puts him just one behind Stevie Smith for fourth on the all-time list. The Black Bandit earned 11 victories in his Speedweek career.
Fred Rahmer is the all-time Speedweek wins leader with 30, followed by Lance Dewease and Hodnett.
– Speaking of Dewease, though he’s not racing Sunday’s event at Selinsgrove Speedway, he’ll have a shot to tie Rahmer’s all-time victory mark later in the week when he returns with the No. 69k.
Dewease picked up his 29th career PA Speedweek win during Friday’s opener at Williams Grove Speedway. It was also his record-extending 99th career win at the half-mile Mechanicsburg oval.
– Sammy Swindell, making his second start of the week at the wheel of the No. 1 Hoddick family entry, bounced back from mechanical trouble at Williams Grove to make the feature at Lincoln.
Swindell finished a middle-of-the-road 13th, but that was a far cry from missing the feature altogether, like he did Friday night. He’ll race Sunday for the Hoddicks before jumping into the Swindell SpeedLab No. 39 for son Kevin starting Monday night and completing the week in that ride.
– Heavy hitters continued to be found on the outside looking in when it came to the feature lineup Saturday night, proving the continued depth of the PA Speedweek field.
Fifty-one cars attempted to qualify at Lincoln, with non-winged ace Robert Ballou, Macri, and father-and-son duo Logan Wagner and Mike Wagner all missing the big show at the three-eighths-mile oval.
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