Mid-Season Championships thrill once more at Lernerville Speedway!
Sarver, PA (June 23, 2012) The Mid-Season Championships lived up to the hype again Friday night with the biggest car count of the season and incredible battles for the lead. With marquee event provisionals on the line for all Fab Four Racing divisions, the desire to take the checkered flag was at a fever pitch. Brian Swartzlander reclaimed an early lead that Steve Feder stole away to score his 74th career feature win in the Diehl Mods feature to lock into the Kodiak Memorial. Brian Ellenberger reeled in and then passed Defending Track Champion Carl Bowser in the Ti22 Sprints to secure a starting spot in the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup Twin 30s. Jared Miley scored his fourth Precise Late Model win of the season over John Garvin Jr. who had to settle for the peace of mind that he’s locked into next weekend’s Firecracker 100 $30,000-to-win A-Main along with Miley. The night came to a dramatic close as Corey McPherson held off a furious charge by Jim Fosnaught in another barnburner in the Pic-A-Part Sportsman feature to score his fourth win of 2012 and a starting spot in the Sportsman/Stock Spectacular.
Last week’s upset feature winner Dean Pearson seemed to have lady luck on his side again last night as the Mid-Season Championship redraw format put him on the pole instead of mired mid-pack per standard redraw procedures. But while Pearson led the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Big Block Modified field to the green flag, it was All Time division wins leader Brian Swartzlander diving low from the apex of turns one & two to the lead down the backstretch. Steve Feder, who continues to be a force to be reckoned with, used the same move on the lap six restart to take the lead. Kevin Bolland briefly took the lead on lap 13 after contact with Steve Feder in turn four, but lost the lead to a hard charging Brian Swartzlander as the leaders exited turn four to complete lap 15. The caution flag waved on lap 18 and Bolland was penalized for rough driving and lined up behind Feder on the restart.
Swartzlander appeared to be on his way to a sure victory, but a lapped car spun in turn four as he came to the checkered flag setting up the fabled Green-White-Checkered restart. Swartzlander, however, has been there/done that and was undaunted as he went on to extend his All Time division wins lead with 74 career markers. The win also locks Swartzlander into the Kodiak Memorial/BRP Modified Tour Finale at the DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede in October.
Jeremiah Shingledecker chased Swartzlander to the checkered flag for the second time in three weeks to finish second. Rex King Jr. used the two lap shoot out to his advantage with a great move in one & two on the restart to finish third ahead of Kevin Bolland and Brad Rapp. Last week’s feature winner Dean Pearson scored another solid finish in sixth, while Dave Murdick worked his way back from the tail (due to being penalized for rough driving after contact with Rex King Sr. sent King spinning down the back stretch) to finish seventh, ahead of Eric Gabany, Mike Turner and Rex King Sr. Steve Feder had to pit under caution mid-race and could only muster a 12th place finish after once again knocking on the door to his first feature win early in the race! Bolland and Feder won their respective heat races.
Like Pearson, the Mid-Season Championship redraw format put last week’s Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprint Car feature winner Brian Ellenberger on the pole, but as you can see on this YouTube video, Defending Track Champion Carl Bowser rocketed off the top of turn four to take the lead at the green flag. Bowser led the next 20 laps and appeared at mid-race to be on the way to his second feature win of the season, but the veteran Ellenberger masterfully worked lapped traffic and took the lead from Bowser on lap 21. Once at the point and after clearing lapped traffic, Ellenberger motored away to his second consecutive win; a feat that he also pulled off at last year’s Mid-Season Championship. His third win of 2012 also locks Ellenberger into a track provisional for the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup Twin 30s featuring the World of Outlaws Sprints on Tuesday, July 17. (Tickets are on sale 24/7 on our website www.Lernerville.com!)
Bowser held on to finish second ahead of third place finisher Rod George whom also used lapped traffic to reel him in late in the race. Jack Sodeman Jr. and Kevin Schaeffer scored Ti22 Top Five finishes. Andy McKisson had mechanical issues earlier in the evening which put him at the tail of the A-Main after scratching from his heat race, but roared to the front and finished sixth ahead of heat race winners Brent Matus in seventh and Eric Williams in eighth. Brandon Spithaler and Scott Priester capped the Ti22 Top Ten.
Last week’s feature winner Davey Johnson traded in his #1J mount for brother Mike’s #2J but jumped out to a quick lead on the backstretch after John Garvin Jr. won the drag race down the front stretch and into turns one & two. By lap eight, Garvin was all over Johnson and challenging for the lead, but this lead battle allowed Budweiser Points lead Jared Miley to reel the leaders in. Garvin took the lead from Johnson on the bottom of turns three & four on lap 11 and then Johnson would give up second five laps later to Miley who then began to reel in Garvin. Garvin held the lead on the restart, but Chuck Sarver came to rest in turn two on the following lap and rolled pitside along with Davey Johnson.
Jared Miley took the lead powering through the bottom of turns one & two on the ensuing restart, but a wreck on the front stretch brought out the red flag as Dave Hess Jr. and Alex Ferree got together exiting turn four and sending Ferree hard into the wall. The impact sent Ferree airborne and then was plowed from behind by Chris Schneider and Tommy Beck who had nowhere to go and no time to slow down as the top ten were all hard on the gas and running together just a lap into the restart. All would walk away from the accident, but Tommy Beck’s wife and mother reported Saturday morning that he suffered a leg injury that may have been masked by adrenaline in the immediacy of the aftermath of 21 laps of racing and the wreck.
When the race resumed, John Garvin Jr. battled a hard charging Boom Briggs on the restart which allowed Jared Miley to cruise home to the checkered flag and Sheetz Victory Lane for the fourth time this season and 13th time in his still blossoming Lernerville career; tying him for 13th on the All Time wins list with Dick Barton and Hall of Famer Dick Swartzlander.
Garvin’s disappointment with finishing second for the second time this season was tempered by the fact that his consistency has locked him into next weekend’s 6th Annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com’s $30,000-to-win A-Main by virtue of being second in Budweiser points entering the event. Boom Briggs finished third ahead of Dave Hess Jr. and Doug Eck. The Precise Top Ten shook out with Michael Norris, Coleby Frye, Mike Pegher Jr., Dan Swartzlander and Bryan Force. Heats were checkered by Garvin, Hess and Briggs.
Like Steve Feder and John Garvin Jr., Jim Fosnaught continues to knock on the door of his first career Fab Four feature win; yes Garvin won last October’s Steel City Stampede and Fosnaught won the non-winner’s race two years ago at the Sportsman/Stock Spectacular, but neither has a true Fab Four feature win. Fosnaught took the lead from Greg Beach on lap three and swapped the lead with McPherson several times mid-race, only to charge back to the lead on lap 16. McPherson and Fosnaught battled door-to-door the whole way to the checkered flag and even got into each other exiting turn four, but for the fourth time this season McPherson was first to the checkers and is locked into the Sportsman/Stock Spectacular at Autumn-Motive Fest 2012 in September.
Fosnaught would settle for his sixth top three finish of the season and the streets of Bairdford are safe for another week! Greg Beach continues to consistently finish in the top five and tied his best finish of the season in third. Pat Hanley charged to the front from 12th on the starting grid to finish fourth ahead of AJ Flick who found some moisture on the very bottom of the exit of turn two to make a late race charge to the top five. The Pic-A-Part Top Ten rounded out with Rob Shook, Mark Sanders, Brett McDonald (from 19th on the grid), last week’s feature winner Paul Schreckengost and Joe Kelley. Fosnaught, Flick and McPherson scored heat race wins.
With the Mid-Season Championships in the books, the Ti22 Sprints, Diehl Mods and Pic-A-Part Sportsman get a hard-earned week off as the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and the nation’s top Late Model drivers roll into Sarvertown next weekend for the 6th Annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com on June 28-29-30. Advance tickets remain on sale on our website www.Lernerville.com for just $69 for a three-day reserved seat ticket, FREE pit passes for Thursday & Friday Night and priority access to Saturday afternoon’s driver autograph session featuring every driver in competition!
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director
(724) 664-1075 / email@example.com
Photos Courtesy of John & Cory Stivason/Stivason Photos