Meadville Tribune

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August 13, 2013

THE PIT PASS: Crawford County trio leads FASTRAK Series stop at Raceway 7

MEADVILLE — The FASTRAK Northeast Touring Series had a doubleheader this past weekend with races held at Raceway 7 on Friday night and Mercer Raceway Park Saturday night.

At the Conneaut, Ohio track there was 19 cars vying for the 25-lap $1,500-to-win feature. Max Blair of Centerville started on the front row along with Matt Latta of Conneaut Lake. When the green flag dropped, Blair took off with the lead while Latta was close behind for second. By halfway, Blair had caught up with lapped traffic but didn’t have any trouble passing on his way for his fifth tour victory of the year. Latta was second, Mike Mitchell from Sagertown was third.

At Mercer on Saturday, Colton “The C-Man” Flinner of Allison Park led all 25 laps for the $1,500 payday. Flinner stated that he has been racing in the crate class for six years and has always wanted to win one of the tour races.

“And (Saturday) I did it. I’m speechless,” said the 19-year-old Flinner. “I couldn’t have ever dreamed of having a car that was set up so good that I could drive it anywhere on the track.”

 Flinner also stated that this win may not fully set in until later in the week, but for now he is certainly happy.

Some Crawford County drivers Flinner a chase. Blair got by Latta for second and looked to sweep the weekend’s series. But over the closing laps Flinner maintained his lead to take the checkered flag. Blair was second, Latta third and Springboro’s Chad Wright was fourth.

Sodeman reflects on Smoke’s injuries

I sat down with 410 Sprint car driver Jack Sodeman Jr. before the races started Saturday at Mercer. A couple weeks ago, Sodeman fractured a couple vertebrea after wrecking his ride during a heat race at Lernerville. He was back racing the following week. I asked how he was with his injuries and Sodeman stated that he was released from his doctor to race but he knows he has to be careful. He said he is happy to be there and looks forward to the rest of the season.

Sodeman also stated that two years ago he had a bad flip in a race and he suffered the same injuries as NASCAR’s Tony Stewart, who broke his right leg during a Sprint car race in Iowa last week and will be out indefinitely.

Sodeman stated the when he flipped his car the drive shaft broke and the drive shaft started slapping his legs, which ended up breaking one of his legs. He knows what Stewart is going through.

Some may wonder what the drive shaft injuries are all about. Well, in these types of open-wheel cars, the driver sits just above the drive shaft and the shaft goes between the legs to the transmission on some cars.

In the Sprints, there isn’t a transmission. It is an in-and-out gear in the rear end. In the Big Block Modifieds there is a tranny.

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