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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Joe Reilly Sportsman Summer Slam 75 at Lancaster on June 18

Mark Pennell (top) and Jayme Thompson during the first
race of the season - 4/30/16
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
Lancaster National Speedway's Sunoco Sportsman division will compete in their longest event of the season on Saturday, June 18, as the Joe Reilly Sportsman Summer Slam 75 presented by A-Verdi Storage Containers takes place. Joining the Sunoco Sportsman on the program will be the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks, Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders and the NYPA TQ Midgets. Racing starts at 6:30 p.m.

The 75-lap feature will pay $1,750 to the winner, with a minimum of $225 to take the green flag. First place will also receive a $150 bonus to bring the total top prize to $1,900. The runner-up will take home a total of $1,100 with $1,000 in purse money and a $100 bonus. The bonus money is part of a season-long program courtesy of the Petrie family. 

This year's Sportsman Summer Slam has special meaning as the race has been named in honor of championship winning crew chief Joe Reilly, who passed away suddenly before the 2016 season, and just months after helping Mark Pennell win the 2015 Sportsman track championship. Reilly was an integral member of the Thompson Racing team that fields Sportsman Modifieds for Pennell and Jayme Thompson and a 4-Cylinder for Chris Pennell. Reilly was the son-in-law of team owner Jim Thompson.

The Reilly and Thomspon families have put together a lap sponsorship program for the Sportsman Summer Slam 75 in Joe's memory and have collected more than $3,000 to date. All cars in the field will be eligible to earn lap money. Included in the lap money is a $100 bonus for the leader of lap 54 in honor of the car number used by the Thompson team. The last car on the lead lap on that lap will receive $54 as well. In keeping with the theme of the number 54, the fifth and fourth place finishers (5 & 4) will each receive a $100 bonus. 

With all the Sportsman laps sold, the Reillys and Thompsons are now collecting lap money for the Advance Auto Part Street Stock feature for that night. 

The Sunoco Sportsman division has had an exciting start to the 2016 season with large car counts and stacked fields. Leading the way is Race of Champions Modified Series regular, Patrick Emerling, who has won the last three Sportsman features. Additional front runners include Jake Lyon, Billy Burd, John Barber, Tommy Catalano, Neal Dietz, Jr. and defending track champion Mark Pennell. 

Teams competing in the Joe Reilly Sportsman Summer Slam 75 must pre-register on the Lancaster National Speedway website and pay a $30 entry fee. The entry fee increases to $50 starting June 12. Find out more at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com.

Information in this piece provided by Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway.

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