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Lunger Jr., Frantz Cash In On Big Wins At The Bird
For Immediate Release
Saturday, June 8th, 2024
By: Steven Curry - Race Reporter
Reynoldsville- It was a big night of racing at Hummingbird Speedway on Saturday night with not one, but two specials headlining the evening. The Economod Mania Tour, organized by Alex Sullivan for all of the Economod drivers in the region, kicked off their 2024 schedule at the Bird with a $1,000/win special. The #71L of Dennis Lunger Jr. led 24 of the 25 laps on his way to picking up the win, his second career win at the Speedway, and collecting the $1,000 payout. The SCDRA Northeast Four-Cylinders were also in town for a 35-lap, $2,500/win special to make up for the May 25th rainout. The #114 of Josh Frantz continued his impressive start to the 2024 season, leading from green to checkers enroute to cashing in on the $2,500 payday. The win added Hummingbird to an already extensive list of tracks he has won at in the region so far this season including Lernerville, Marion Center, and Dog Hollow. Joining those two with trips to Dunlap Lawn & Garden Victory Lane included the #3xAA of Doug Surra in the Semi Late Models, the #13X of Kenny Schaffer in the Srock Contracting Super Late Models, and the #46 of Dustin Challingsworth in the Scaife's Automotive & Repair LLC. Pure Stocks. All of which notched their first wins of the year.
The Economod Mania Tour feature kicked off the night's racing action with a 25-lap, $1,000/win event. Dennis Lunger Jr. and Jacob Eucker headed a stout, 24-car field comprised of the best Economod drivers in the region. Lunger Jr. jumped out to the lead on the start and led lap 1 over Eucker and Garrett Calvert. Lunger Jr. led the way for the first 6 laps or so of the race before Eucker began to put the pressure on Lunger for the top spot. On lap 7, Eucker edged ahead of Lunger Jr. to lead the lap. One lap later, on lap 8, Lunger Jr. was able to retake the lead from Eucker. After a lap 9 caution, it was still Lunger Jr. leading the way over Eucker and Calvert. Eucker and Calvert swapped the second and third positions a couple of different times throughout the remaining 16 laps of the race, with Calvert taking the second spot for good with just two laps left. Besides the charge from Eucker early on in the race, no one had anything for Lunger Jr. as he began the 2024 Economod Mania Tour with a win along with collecting the $1,000 payout. The win was Lunger Jr.'s second career Economod win at the Bird. Calvert, Eucker, Dave Shagla, and Jarett Young rounded out the top 5. Shagla, Calvert, Jeremy Double, and Lunger Jr. won the heat races. 
Dan Smeal and Nick Loffredo led the Semi Late Models trackside for their 20-lap feature race. After a quick caution flag on the initial start, it was a three way battle for the lead on the restart between Smeal, Loffredo, and Ed Connor. At the line to complete the opening lap, it was still three-wide with Loffredo edging out Smeal and Connor for the top spot. The caution flag was displayed later that lap for a spin in turn 2. On what was ultimately the final restart of the race, it was Loffredo out to the lead as Smeal received pressure from both Connor and Doug Surra for second and third. As the field came around to complete lap 2, both Connor and Surra completed their respective passes on Smeal to move into the second and third positions. On lap 4, Surra was able to make a move on Connor for second and complete the pass as he now set his sights on Loffredo. Just one lap later, Surra used the momentum up on the highside to power past Loffredo and take the race lead. Connor followed Surra through into second as he used the highline as well to make the pass on Loffredo on lap 6. Surra began to extend his lead over Connor, Loffredo, and the rest of the field as the laps continued to click off. Surra went unchallenged the rest of the way enroute to his first win of the season, and his 26th career Semi Late Model victory at Hummingbird. The top 5 was completed by Connor, Loffredo, B.J. Hudson, and Smeal. Connor won the lone heat race.
The Srock Contracting Super Late Models were next on the card with former NASCAR driver Matt Tifft and Tony Musolino leading the field to the green flag for their 25-lap main. Musolino got the advantage initially on the start, but Tifft came back on the inside of turns 3 and 4 and got back ahead of Musolino to lead lap 1 with Tyler Wyant following behind them in third. Musolino slipped up a bit in turns 1 and 2 the following lap, allowing both Wyant and Kenny Schaffer to get past and move into second and third respectively. A couple of laps later, Wyant was able to look to the inside of Tifft for the lead and edge ahead of him to lead lap 4. The top two raced side-by-side for the next few laps with Wyant continuing to have the advantage before the caution flag was displayed on lap 7. Wyant jumped out to the lead on the restart as Schaffer battled Tifft for second. Schaffer completed the pass on outside of turns 3 and 4 to move into second behind Wyant. On lap 11, Musolino was able to work his way past Tifft for third behind Wyant and Schaffer. For the next 5 or 6 laps, Wyant and Schaffer had an epic battle for the top spot. Wyant running the inside, Schaffer the outside, racing hard, but clean as the laps continued to click away. Schaffer finally completed the pass for the lead on lap 16, and was able to overcome a couple late-race caution flags on his way to capturing his first checkered flag of the season. The win was Schaffer's first at the Bird since 2021. Schaffer was followed by Wyant, Musolino, Tifft, and Todd English. Schaffer and Wyant won the heat races.
Josh Frantz and Chris Anderson led a stout 24-car field of SCDRA Northeast Four-Cylinders into the 1/3-mile bullring for their 35-lap, $2,500/win special. Frantz got out to the lead on the start and led lap 1 over Anderson and Bruce Betres. Anderson began to experience some sort of mechanical issue on lap 2, which allowed Betres and AJ Hoffner to get by to move into second and third behind Frantz. The caution flag flew for Anderson later that lap as he had to take his car to the pit area and retire from the race. It was Frantz out front on the restart over Betres and Hoffner. Adam Pletcher was able to make the pass on Hoffner to move into third behind the leaders. On lap 5, Zach Lennox made the pass on Pletcher for the third spot. A handful of laps later, on lap 9, Lennox was able to use the highside to his advantage to make the pass on Betres for second. Lennox and Betres did race side-by-side for a number of laps as Frantz checked out on the field. The race stayed green until a lap 16 caution flag. While under caution, Betres took his car to the pit area, and thus retiring him from the event with some sort of issue. This moved Jesse Matney into third for the restart. The top 3 remained unchanged until lap 23 when Shawn Hadden made the pass on Matney for third. That happened just before second place Lennox suffered a broken tie rod going into turn 3 causing him to wreck hard into the outside wall. He thankfully walked away uninjured. The wreck moved Hadden to second and Matney back into third for the restart. Frantz led the way on the restart over Hadden as Matney was under attack from Reed Chapman for third. Chapman completed the pass to the inside of Matney for third on lap 24. The final caution flag of the race was displayed on lap 26 for Hadden slowing on the backstretch with a mechanical issue. The issue forced Hadden to retire, moving Chapman to second and Hoffner to third for the final restart. Frantz checked out on the final restart and never looked back on his way to completing a dominating performance leading all 35 laps and securing the $2,500 payday. Chapman, Hoffner, Tyler Watson, and Robbie Carroll rounded out the top 5. Josh Frantz, Chris Anderson, Bruce Betres, and Lennox won the heat races. Frantz was the fastest qualifier in Group Qualifying.
The Scaife's Automotive & Repair LLC. Pure Stocks concluded the evening with their 15-lap feature event. Dustin Challingsworth and Jenna Pfaff led the field of 17 to the green flag. Challingsworth jumped out to the lead on the start and led the opening lap as Dominic Marchiori made the pass on Pfaff for second. The caution flag was displayed on lap 4 for Pfaff experiencing a mechanical issue of some sort, forcing her to retire from the race. This moved Ashley Kilhoffer into the third spot for the restart behind Challingsworth and Marchiori. On lap 5 after the restart, Kilhoffer was able to make the pass on Marchiori for second behind Challingsworth. Kilhoffer and Marchiori swapped second and third a couple of times over the next few laps with Kilhoffer taking the second spot for good just before halfway. The top 3 ran that way until the final caution flag of the race was displayed on lap 10. On lap 11, Marchiori took his car pitside, moving last week's feature winner Jake Foradori into third behind Challingsworth and Kilhoffer. On the final lap, Kilhoffer went wide, allowing Foradori and Mitch Stiles to get past and move into second and third. No one had anything for Challingsworth as he notched his first win of the year over Foradori, Stiles, Andy Frey, and Kilhoffer. The win was Dustin's 21st career Pure Stock win at the Speedway. Josh Fields, Marchiori, and Pfaff won the heat races.
Speedway Notes: 113 cars packed the pit area for Week #2 of the 2024 season. That breaks down to: 30 Economods, 9 Semi Late Models, 13 Super Late Models, 42 SCDRA Northeast Four-Cylinders, and 19 Pure Stocks. We will be back in action this coming Saturday, June 15th, with a regular six-division program, headlined by a $1,000/win Pro Stock special. Joining the regular program will be the 358 Modifieds as they make their first visit to the Bird this season. More information regarding this weekend's racing action will be posted to the track's facebook page and website, so keep it tuned there for the latest. Gates open at 4:00 with racing beginning at 7:00. The Sub Hub Kids Club gets underway every Saturday night at 6pm by the pit gate entrance. It is a great place to take your kids to do some fun kids club activities as well as meet some drivers prior to racing getting started. For more information, call the track office at (814) 653-8400 or visit the tracks’ website at You can also follow the track on Facebook.
Economod Mania Tour
1st) #71L Dennis Lunger Jr.
2nd) #12C Garrett Calvert
3rd) #64 Jacob Eucker
4th) #6 Dave Shagla
5th) #21 Jarett Young
6th) #12* Brendan Warner
7th) #99E Zack Eller
8th) #7 Coleton Longwell
9th) #10 Eric Wilson
10th) #0 Dennis Asel
11th) #83 Jeremy Double
12th) #25 Casey Harmon
13th) #965 Andy Buckley
14th) #50 Bob McMillen
15th) #36 Cody Stronghart
16th) #26X Carter Bidwell
17th) #47S Gary Sullivan
18th) #X1 Mark Bell
19th) #27 Nate Arp
20th) #71A Don Watson
21st) #56 Bryan Wagner
22nd) #52 Zac Etzel
23rd) #29L Johnny Lindenpitz
24th) #20 Alex Siekkinen
DNQ: Emily Stoyer, Ed Vogel, Blake Joiner, Justin Cutshall, Buzz Seitz, and Branden Porter
Semi Late Models
1st) #3xAA Doug Surra
2nd) #27C Ed Connor
3rd) #9N Nick Loffredo
4th) #23 B.J. Hudson
5th) #44 Dan Smeal
6th) #113 Ben Ecelberger
7th) #68 Ron Laubscher
8th) #17 Deegen Watt
9th) #60 Jeremy Lippert
Srock Contracting Super Late Models
1st) #13X Kenny Schaffer
2nd) #24 Tyler Wyant
3rd) #36M Tony Musolino
4th) #57T Matt Tifft
5th) #711 Todd English
6th) #14 Clay Ruffo
7th) #1B Dwayne Brooks
8th) #75 Dennis Curry
9th) #3-D Bill Davis
10th) #67 Cody Lucas
11th) #36 Paul Kot
12th) #66N Orvis Newcome lll
13th) #217 Howard Fraley
SCDRA Northeast Four-Cylinders
1st) #114 Josh Frantz
2nd) #8X Reed Chapman
3rd) #H15 AJ Hoffner
4th) #H14 Tyler Watson
5th) #69 Robbie Carroll
6th) #64 Rusty Garlock
7th) #910 Travis Timko
8th) #21 Ricky Weaver
9th) #2B Donald Betres
10th) #03C Coty Maines
11th) #77 Tyler Gill
12th) #842 Brayden Seippel
13th) #916 Sam Regitz
14th) #3H Shawn Hadden
15th) #924 Jesse Matney
16th) #158 Camden Frantz
17th) #F6 Zach Lennox
18th) #8 Bruce Betres
19th) #15 Tiana Anderson
20th) #13 Adam Pletcher
21st) #11 Matthew Duvall
22nd) #36F Zack Frantz
23rd) #1 Ben Lehane
24th) #516 Chris Anderson
25th) #64F Travis Semple
DNQ: Justin Williamson, Corey Valade, Shawn Williamson, Anthony Sones, Steven Jacobs, Gary Claypoole Jr., Jimmy Moyer, Mark Wetzel Jr., Devon Trayer, Bruce Long, Timothy Dragar, Bryun Hackenberg, Andrew Murray, Matt Knight, Austin Fedder, Allen Robison, and Heidi Miller
Scaife's Automotive & Repair LLC. Pure Stocks
1st) #46 Dustin Challingsworth
2nd) #14 Jake Foradori
3rd) #54S Mitch Stiles
4th) #55X Andy Frey
5th) #50 Ashley Kilhoffer
6th) #37B Caleb Bloom
7th) #14C Cody Cassler
8th) #56K Renae Meyer
9th) #509 Ben Himes
10th) #4N Kim Nelson
11th) #150 Kyle Corah
12th) #01D Dominic Marchiori
13th) #211 Casey Wolfe
14th) #33 Jenna Pfaff
15th) #54 Wayne Truitt
16th) #22R Brandon Proudfoot
17th) #97W Cody Wolfe
18th) #88 Josh Fields
19th) #14M Paul Metz Jr.

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