Spithaler gets 1st career Attica 410 win; Markham earns late model thriller; Sabo nabs 1st career 305 sprint win


Friday, April 9, 2021

Contact: Brian Liskai



By Brian Liskai

ATTICA, Ohio – Renfrew, Pennsylvania’s Brandon Spithaler held of a charge the final two laps to score his first ever Attica Raceway Park 410 sprint win Friday, April 9 on Underground Utilities Inc. Night. In arguably the best late model feature ever at “Ohio’s Finest Racing” speed plant, Ashland, Ohio’s Ryan Markham edged Matt Irey and Rusty Schlenk for his second win of the season. Fremont, Ohio’s Zeth Sabo survived a late race restart to record his first ever 305 sprint win.

Spithaler, 29, held off a charging Cole Macedo after a caution with three laps to go to earn his $3,000 pay day in the 30 lap Callie’s Performance Products 410 Sprint feature.

“The last two or three restarts I knew he (Macedo) was back there but I didn’t see his nose until the end. Every restart I tried to take my time and get through one and two smooth. I knew I hung coming out of four the first lap through and I needed to make some speed and sure as shit I saw him. This feels great. We tend…whether it was a good idea or bad idea…we tend to only come here for the All Star shows and never come for a local show. There’s a strong field of cars out here in Ohio,” said Spithaler.

“I need to thank my new wife Nikita, Tom Burke, Dave for everything he does on the car, Tony, Dana, Travis, Ryan Prosser and his crew guys for helping out tonight and my sponsors Ravens Trailers, Superior Tank and Trailer…without Tom I wouldn’t be here…we couldn’t do it without him, Write Way VA, Tony Burke Trucking, Sugar Creek Towing…it’s a group effort,” added Spithaler, the 2013 Lernerville Speedway track champion.

For the entire 25 laps of the Propane.com/Dirt Nerds Podcast UMP Late Model feature, Markham, Schlenk and Irey battled nose to tail and three wide on several occasions. Markham, the track’s 2018 late model champion, led the first 14 laps before Schlenk edged ahead from laps 15-19 with Markham regaining the lead the final six laps. The final six laps also featured three wide racing for the lead and during the middle stages of the feature the lead trio were slicing and dicing through lapped traffic.

Markham’s win was the 18th of his career at Attica and places him third in the late model division’s all-time win list.

“I was having a little trouble breathing there. Something broke in the steering shaft…it was flopping up and down and the car was darting around. There’s no quit in me…we just keep going. Rusty and I…I kind of got in a little too hard down there and he gave me room…we had a hell of race and never touched each other. I want to thank Pam…it’s her birthday, my daughter Emma drew me that good pill tonight. Last year we were fast and didn’t have any luck go our way and this year we’re having a little luck and we’re fast and it’s paying off,” said Markham beside his B&B Drain Service, Beer Barrel Drive Thru, Clear Detail, AccuForce, Matco Tools by Jimmy, Innovative Graphics backed #5M.

Sabo, 18, took the lead on lap seven of the 25 lap Fremont Fence 305 Sprints feature and pulled away on several restarts, but one with just two laps to go had him nervous.

“I looked up on the scoreboard during that red and seen that 26 (Jamie Miller) sitting in third and I’m like man he’s coming. I can’t thank Rich Farmer, my dad and my crew enough for this. We’ve been wanting this so bad. We’ve been pretty good this season but something just clicked tonight. We finally did it!” said Sabo beside his NAPA of Fremont, BLT Farms, Kiser Sound backed #1H.

Nate Dussel and Spithaler brought the field to green for the 410 A-main with Dussel gaining the advantage over Spithaler, Macedo, Cap Henry, Jordan Ryan, Gary Taylor, John Ivy, Stuart Brubaker and Henry Malcuit. Dussel held a slim advantage over Spithaler while Macedo and Henry battled for third Spithaler got under Dussel for the lead on lap eight but Dussel returned the favor the next circuit as they prepared to race into heavy lapped traffic.

Spithaler used the traffic to retake the lead on lap 10 just before a caution flew for debris. On the restart Dussel encountered some sort of problem and fell back to fourth as Macedo and Henry went by. Dussel regained his composure and moved back into third on lap 13. At the half-way point Spithaler led Macedo, Dussel and Henry while tremendous battle ensued for fifth involving Brubaker, 14th starter Trey Jacobs and Malcuit.

Spithaler was able to put a little distance between himself and Macedo as they raced into lapped traffic with 10 circuits remaining. Spithaler survived a very close call with nine laps to go when a lapped car made contact and spun. When the green flew so did Spithaler, pulling to a commanding lead but a caution for Dussel with three laps to go gave Macedo the opportunity he needed.

On the restart Macedo dove under Spithaler as the two raced side by side to the white flag. Spithaler was able to keep his momentum and drove to the win over Macedo, Henry, Malcuit and Brubaker.

Markham and Casey Noonan brought the field to green for the UMP late model A-main but three caution flags early kept the field close with Markham leading Schlenk, Irey, Noonan, Doug Drown and Devin Shiels. Following the spat of cautions, the action for the lead immediately heated up involving Markham, Schlenk and Irey. Once heavy lapped traffic came into play by lap 11 the lead trio kept the crowd on their feet battling through the lapped cars.

Following a caution on lap 14, Schlenk pounced to take the lead but Markham and Irey stayed close and with six laps to go the trio were three wide all the way around the track. Markham drove around Schlenk back into the lead on lap 20 but Schlenk and Irey continued to race to his inside. Markham held on for the win over Irey who got around Schlenk on the last lap with Drown and Shiels rounding out the top five.

In the 305 A-main, Logan Riehl, last year’s rookie of the year, and Brandon Riehl brought the field to green with Logan gaining the advantage over Brandon with Sabo, Chris Verda, Kasey Ziebold and Steve Rando in pursuit. Following a caution with just two laps scored and another on the restart, Logan Riel would face a challenge from Sabo. Sabo drove into the lad following a restart on lap seven. Another caution on lap 10 wiped out a sizeable advantage for Sabo.

When the green flew again Sabo pulled away while Logan Riel had competition from Rando for the runner-up spot. Another caution on lap 18 wiped out another big lead for Sabo who was able to pull away again when the green flew while Logan Riel was fending off Rando and 11th starter Jamie Miller. Miller moved into third on lap 21 and when the race went red on lap 23 was poised to make a late race challenge.

Sabo hit his marks perfectly on the restart and drove to the win over Miller, Logan Riehl, Rando and Kody Brewer.

Attica Raceway Park will be back in action Friday, April 16. The track has opted to not utilize the April 17 rain date should it be needed.

Fans and race teams should visit www.atticaracewaypark.com or follow the track on Twitter @atticaracewyprk or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atticaracewaypark and Instagram at attica_raceway_park.

Continue reading