McMahan Wins the Knittel Memorial; Courtney Earns Ohio Speedweek Title

Paul McMahan. (Dan McFarland photo)

From Tyler Altmeyer

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (June 19, 2021) – In a wild and crazy turn of events, Nashville, Tennessee’s Paul McMahan proved to be the best in an epic game of survival of the fittest on Saturday night at Portsmouth Raceway Park, capping the 39th edition of Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Hercules Tires with the Dean Knittel Memorial title worth $17,554.

Snapping a FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 winless streak that dated back to June 15, 2018, McMahan’s Knittel Memorial campaign commenced from the outside of row six, slowly picking his way through the field while capitalizing on others’ misfortunes. In fact, each and every competitor who led a segment of the Speedweek finale, minus McMahan, suffered a blow that forced the driver to ultimately lose command.

Suffice it to say, McMahan’s patience proved to be just as valuable as his luck, keeping himself out of harm’s way while slowly progressing through the field. The now six-time All Star winner did not take control of the main event until the final circuit, as Danny Dietrich, who inherited the lead after Rico Abreu suffered from a flat right-rear tire on lap 26, ran out of fuel at the white flag.

“I think we were a third-place car. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good and we proved that tonight,” Paul McMahan said, driver of the CJB Motorsports/R.E. Pierson Construction/High Performance Lubricants/Nyce Crete and Landis/No. 5 sprint car. “It’s been a rough week but this makes the week worth it now. This is kinda unreal. I can’t thank my guys enough for all of their hard work the last seven or eight days. We finally got that win.”

Neptune City, New Jersey’s Kyle Reinhardt led the first six circuits before surrendering the lead to Rayce Rudeen Foundation Race champion, Zeb Wise. Wise, who started fourth, led lap seven before taking a backseat to Clauson Marshall Racing’s Tyler Courtney the very next circuit. Accidental contact between Reinhardt and Wise on lap 13 would send Wise hard into the turn three retaining wall; he would leave on the hook with Reinhardt forced to make repairs during the ensuing open red flag, restarting at the tail.

Meanwhile, Courtney, who led to that point, found some back luck of his own when his right-rear tire went flat directly following the open red, ultimately leaving the point to St. Helena, California’s Rico Abreu. Courtney would make the tire change in the work area and restart at the tail. It should be noted that Courtney would persevere and rally to finish fourth.

As mentioned, Abreu’s command would run thin on lap 26, a right-rear tire issue being the culprit.

With that said, in his first try as a full-time All Star Circuit of Champions competitor, Indianapolis, Indiana’s Tyler Courtney is the 2021 Ohio Sprint Speedweek champion, closing the eight-race turned seven-race campaign with 980 points, 32 more than second-place finisher, Danny Dietrich. Utilizing a run of five top-five finishes in seven Speedweek stops, Courtney finished no worse than 11th across the seven features, claiming a $5,000 championship payday for his efforts. Muskingum winner, Justin Peck, finished third in the Speedweek championship, followed by Cap Henry and Cory Eliason.

The All Star Circuit of Champions will enjoy a two-weekend break before returning to competition on Friday evening, July 9, at the Stateline Speedway in Busti, New York. The weekend will continue with back-to-back Sharon Speedway stops on Saturday and Sunday, July 10-11. The Sharon doubleheader, each awarding $6,000 top prizes, will feature the Lou Blaney Memorial and Justin Snyder’s Salute to the Troops programs in respective fashion. The Friday night Stateline visit will also award $6,000.

Floracing All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1
39th Ohio Sprint Speedweek
Portsmouth Raceway Park
Portsmouth, Ohio
Sunday, June 19, 2021

Dixie Vodka Qualifying
1. 7BC-Tyler Courtney, 12.602[4]
2. 10-Zeb Wise, 12.676[24]
3. 24-Rico Abreu, 12.694[30]
4. 13-Justin Peck, 12.720[12]
5. 101-Lachlan McHugh, 12.758[17]
6. 26-Cory Eliason, 12.779[28]
7. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg, 12.781[3]
8. 5-Paul McMahan, 12.792[13]
9. 11-Spencer Bayston, 12.824[14]
10. 22C-Cole Duncan, 12.834[19]
11. 48-Danny Dietrich, 12.836[1]
12. 17B-Bill Balog, 12.846[16]
13. 91-Kyle Reinhardt, 12.864[23]
14. 21BP-Brinton Marvel, 12.868[6]
15. 4-Cap Henry, 12.914[11]
16. 3C-Cale Conley, 12.938[18]
17. 28-Tim Shaffer, 12.976[5]
18. 22H-Jac Haudenschild, 12.981[2]
19. 07-Skylar Gee, 12.990[22]
20. 22B-Ryan Broughton, 13.000[26]
21. 11N-Harli White, 13.011[20]
22. 18-Cole Macedo, 13.034[21]
23. 21N-Frankie Nervo, 13.089[7]
24. 1-Nate Dussel, 13.136[34]
25. W20-Greg Wilson, 13.140[8]
26. 16-DJ Foos, 13.190[32]
27. 4X-Jimmy Stinson, 13.345[10]
28. 3J-Trey Jacobs, 13.449[35]
29. 25R-Jordan Ryan, 13.458[37]
30. 54-Danny Smith, 13.473[25]
31. 83X-Nate Reeser, 13.475[15]
32. 9W-Lance Webb, 13.614[27]
33. 1B-Keith Baxter, 13.767[31]
34. 4S-Tyler Street, 13.771[29]
35. 08-Brandon Conkel, 14.138[36]
36. 4CS-Chris Smalley, 15.930[33]
37. 84-Cale Stinson, [9]

Ford Performance Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. 48-Danny Dietrich[2]
2. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg[3]
3. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[4]
4. 21BP-Brinton Marvel[1]
5. 28-Tim Shaffer[5]
6. 22H-Jac Haudenschild[6]
7. W20-Greg Wilson[8]
8. 21N-Frankie Nervo[7]
9. 4X-Jimmy Stinson[9]
DNS: 84-Cale Stinson

All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 11-Spencer Bayston[1]
2. 5-Paul McMahan[2]
3. 101-Lachlan McHugh[3]
4. 4-Cap Henry[7]
5. 13-Justin Peck[4]
6. 17B-Bill Balog[6]
7. 22C-Cole Duncan[5]
8. 3C-Cale Conley[8]
9. 83X-Nate Reeser[9]

Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat Race #3 (8 Laps)
1. 91-Kyle Reinhardt[2]
2. 10-Zeb Wise[4]
3. 07-Skylar Gee[1]
4. 26-Cory Eliason[3]
5. 22B-Ryan Broughton[5]
6. 11N-Harli White[6]
7. 18-Cole Macedo[7]
8. 9W-Lance Webb[9]
9. 54-Danny Smith[8]

Mobil 1 Heat Race #4 (8 Laps)
1. 24-Rico Abreu[4]
2. 3J-Trey Jacobs[1]
3. 1-Nate Dussel[3]
4. 16-DJ Foos[2]
5. 25R-Jordan Ryan[5]
6. 1B-Keith Baxter[6]
7. 4S-Tyler Street[7]
8. 08-Brandon Conkel[8]
9. 4CS-Chris Smalley[9]

Kears Speed Shop Dash #1 (4 Laps)
1. 48-Danny Dietrich[1]
2. 11-Spencer Bayston[2]
3. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[5]
4. 26-Cory Eliason[4]
5. 13-Justin Peck[3]

Elliotts Custom Trailers and Carts Dash #2 (4 Laps)
1. 91-Kyle Reinhardt[2]
2. 10-Zeb Wise[3]
3. 24-Rico Abreu[1]
4. 1-Nate Dussel[4]
5. 101-Lachlan McHugh[5]

Classic Ink USA B-Main (12 Laps)
1. 17B-Bill Balog[2]
2. 22C-Cole Duncan[1]
3. 22H-Jac Haudenschild[3]
4. 11N-Harli White[4]
5. 18-Cole Macedo[6]
6. 1B-Keith Baxter[5]
7. 3C-Cale Conley[9]
8. W20-Greg Wilson[7]
9. 21N-Frankie Nervo[10]
10. 4S-Tyler Street[8]
11. 83X-Nate Reeser[15]
12. 08-Brandon Conkel[12]
13. 9W-Lance Webb[11]
14. 4X-Jimmy Stinson[13]
15. 54-Danny Smith[14]
DNS: 4CS-Chris Smalley

FloRacing A-Main (30 Laps)
1. 5-Paul McMahan[12]
2. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg[11]
3. 48-Danny Dietrich[1]
4. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[5]
5. 28-Tim Shaffer[18]
6. 4-Cap Henry[16]
7. 13-Justin Peck[9]
8. 101-Lachlan McHugh[10]
9. 26-Cory Eliason[7]
10. 22C-Cole Duncan[22]
11. 16-DJ Foos[17]
12. 1-Nate Dussel[8]
13. 21BP-Brinton Marvel[15]
14. 11N-Harli White[24]
15. 17B-Bill Balog[21]
16. 24-Rico Abreu[6]
17. 25R-Jordan Ryan[20]
18. 11-Spencer Bayston[3]
19. 22H-Jac Haudenschild[23]
20. 91-Kyle Reinhardt[2]
21. 10-Zeb Wise[4]
22. 22B-Ryan Broughton[19]
23. 54-Danny Smith[25]
24. 3J-Trey Jacobs[13]
25. 07-Skylar Gee[14]