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Mike Marlar knew he wanted to do something special for World of Outlaws Late Model Series race announcer Rick Eshelman after hearing of the recent death of Eshelman's girlfriend Sandy Holt. That moment came in Victory Lane Friday evening at Ransomville Speedway. Following Marlar's triumph in Friday's Late Model 50 at Ransomville, Marlar surprised Eshelman by giving him …

Despite being a Georgia native, Shane Clanton will feel right at home when the World of Outlaws Late Models visit Stateline Speedway in Busti on Thursday and then Ransomville Speedway on Friday. Clanton is the son-in-law of retired Warren, Pa., driver Ron Davies. For many years, Davies enjoyed success at local tracks, including Stateline and Little Valley Speedway. "…

Sports

Driver: Dave Heitzhaus. Age: 60. Hometown: Strykersville. Division: Late Models/ROC Late Models. Lowdown: Heitzhaus is best known by his racing nickname, "The Strykersville Flash." His long and distinguished career began in the Holland Speedway Challenger class in 1983. He next advanced to the Limited Modifieds at Holland in 1985 and had much success. In 1989, …

Driver: A.J. Hessler Age: 45 Hometown: Kenmore Division: NYPA Midgets/Traveling Series Lowdown: Hessler is the son of the late longtime TQ official, car owner, driver and builder, Art Hessler. The elder Hessler crewed for the late driver Jim Hurtubise in the 1959 and 1960 Indy 500. A.J. is the brother of veteran TQ Midget scorer Liz Hessler. A.J. began his …

Sports

Getting behind the wheel of a drag racing vehicle and successfully meeting the many challenges that the sport presents can be difficult at best. For William Balser III those challenges are even far greater than for most. Despite medical issues that are most difficult, one way or another, Balser finds a way to step into his Junior Dragster each week to compete at Lancaster …

Lancaster: IHRA Drag Racing-VIP Night, Friday, 5 p.m.; Thursday Stock Car Thunder, Thursday, 7 p.m. Hillside: Street Stock 50, Saturday, 4 p.m. Ransomville: Pit Crew Contest, Friday, 7:15 p.m. Freedom: $600-to-win Mini Stocks, Friday, 7:30 p.m. Genesee: GRIT Sportsman Series, Thursday, 7 p.m. Wyoming County: Kid's Day, Saturday, 7:05 p.m. Stateline: Tony …

Local News

Lawn burnouts, infield doughnuts and a fight during Wednesday night racing at Lancaster Speedway sparked officials to revamp its policy and substantially increase the admission. And if the problems persist, "grudge racing" will be discontinued. The Grudge Racing/Cruise Night combination at the Gunnville Road facility routinely attracted hundreds of fans and drivers. …

When Mark Sammut crossed the finish line this past Saturday at Lancaster Speedway to emerge victorious in the International Supermodified Association 50-lap headliner, it brought back memories for veteran fans of a time years ago when Sammut once collected checkered flags at the Gunnville Road facility in the TQ Midget ranks. While Sammut hails from across the border in…

Driver: Ken Maltby. Age: 59. Hometown: West Seneca. Division: Street Stocks: Lancaster/Hillside. Lowdown: Maltby is the son of a former racer, the late Floyd Maltby. Ken is the father of par- time 4-Cylinder racers Nikki Maltby (age 36) and Michele Russo (26) and father-law of 4-Cylinder competitor Ben Russo. Floyd began racing in 1959, the same year Ken was bo…

When Trent Stephens looks back on his big victory last season when the International Supermodified Association paid it's first visit to Lancaster Speedway since 2003,  the Ohio driver remembers that the biggest challenge was not only getting to the checkered flag first but more so, just getting to Lancaster at all. Thankfully on that day his race car ran much better tha…

Sports

Lancaster: Drags: Buffalo Street Outlaws, Friday, 5 p.m.; Stock Cars: ISMA Supermodifieds, Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Hillside: SST Modified Spring Slam 50, Friday, 7:30 p.m. Ransomville: Patriot Sprint Tour, Friday, 7:15 p.m. Freedom: Outlaw Modifieds, Friday, 7:30 p.m. Genesee: $2,000-to-win RUSH Crate Late Models, Saturday, 6 p.m. Stateline: $8,000-to-win Super …

For the last few seasons and for a variety of reasons, many in the local racing community have felt that the state of local dirt track Super Late Model racing has been in decline. If you are of that mindset Max Blair begs to differ with you. Blair has been the most successful Super Late Model driver locally in recent years winning races and championships along the way. …

Construction and Growth

Robert Staebell eased slowly into retirement after 38 years with National Fuel, but behind the wheel of his torrid-red Dodge Charger, this grandfather is all about horsepower. "Jordan tells me all the time that he blames me for his love of speed," said Staebell, 73, as he waited to race his 27-year-old grandson on opening night of Grudge Drags at Lancaster National Spee…

History was made this past Friday evening when the first green flags of a new season were thrown in the small Southern Erie County hamlet of Holland. While race engines have been heard at the high-banked asphalt oval that has been located there for nearly 60 years, this was the first races to be conduced at The Track at Hillside. For those who may be confused, The Track…