Eric Williams joins 2012 Class of First Time Feature Winners
Miley puts exclamation point of 2012 Title run
Swartzlander wins feature, reels in seventh championship
AJ Flick runs away from field as McPherson nears first championship
Sarver, PA (August 20, 2012) With dozens of scouts and our friends from the Pittsburgh Circle Track Club on hand, Fab Four Racing came to the white flag on the season as the Budweiser Track Championship Chase nears an end. Both Kevin Schaeffer (fifth) and Rod George (second) scored top five finishes as Eric Williams scored his career first feature win in the Ti22 Sprints. Brian Swartzlander took a hug step towards securing his seventh Track Championship by checkering his fourth Diehl Mods feature of 2012 and the 76th of his career at the Action Track. Jared Miley put an exclamation mark on his 2012 Budweiser Track Championship by winning his Fab Four leading sixth feature in the Precise Late Models. And AJ Flick brought the night to a close with a popular win in the Pic-A-Part Sportsman as both Corey McPherson (third) and Jim Fosnaught (fifth) recorded top fives to keep their title hopes alive heading into Championship Night next Friday, August 24.
Eric Williams entered Friday night’s Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprint feature third in points with a pair of heat race wins and a pair of second place finishes to his credit. But after crossing the scales, he finally got to make one last left-hand turn; into Sheetz Victory Lane as the latest first time feature winner of the 2012 Fab Four Racing Season. Central PA visitor Daryl Stimeling took the quick lead as the green flag waved, but it was evident early that Williams was riding a rocket ship as he quickly made his way to the front. Stimeling led the first four laps, trading slide jobs in the turns and drag racing down the straight-aways with Pete Miller III for the first five laps. Miller took the lead officially on lap five, only to see Williams rocket around the top of turn two on lap six. Miller drew back even to Williams on the back stretch, but Williams again rocket around the top of turn four this time and into the lead for good. By lap seven, Williams had a healthy lead and championship contender Rod George had moved back Miller for second. August 3 feature winner Jack Sodeman Jr. broke and came to a stop at the top of turn three on lap 10 to slow the race for the first time.
The initial restart was called back, but Williams got a great jump on the second restart as George and Miller battled for second. Once clear of Miller on lap 12, George reeled in and passed Williams on the back straightaway. George and Williams unofficially swapped the lead, as Williams was better in one & two, but George would draw even on the back and pass him in three & four. However, as they entered turns one & two on lap 14, Williams took George’s line away and blocked his passing lane as they exited turn two. This time, Williams was at the point for good and even lapped traffic couldn’t keep him from taking his first checkered flag at the Action Track. Williams’ Ti22 Sprint feature win is the second of his career, as he scored a feature winner at Mercer Raceway Park earlier this season.
Rod George kept his Budweiser Track Championship hopes alive with a strong second place finish, while Pete Miller III crossed the stripe third after a thrilling and spirited battle with Brandon Matus in the closing laps for third; though Matus faded in the final few laps to sixth. Early leader Daryl Stimeling ran in the top five the entire race and finished fourth ahead of Budweiser Points leader Kevin Schaeffer in fifth. Following Matus across the stripe to round out the Ti22 Top Ten were Australian Marty Perovich, Scott Priester, Carl Bowser and Brandon Matus. Kevin Schaeffer and Marty “Muscles” Perovich scored heat race victories.
Heading into Fab Four Racing Championship Night next Friday, August 24, incumbent Budweiser Points leader Kevin Schaeffer carries a 424-408 lead over fellow former three-time Track Champion Rod George. All other drivers in the Ti22 Sprint division have been mathematically eliminated from title contention.
The Chase for the Budweiser Track Championship in the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Big Block Modifieds was a three-car battle entering Friday Night’s 25-lap feature with All Time division wins leader Brian Swartzlander carrying a 12 point lead over Dave Murdick, with Jeremiah Shingledecker just 12 points behind Murdick. But after scoring his fourth win of the season and 76th of his Action Track career, Swartzlander will roll into Championship night with a 29 and 30 point lead over Shingledecker and Murdick; all but securing his seventh Track Championship. But the getting there wasn’t easy!
Defending Track Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker led the field to the green flag and led 19 of the first 20 laps. Brad Rapp used a lap six restart to pass Steve Feder for second and the lap 11 restart to briefly take the lead from Shingledecker. The lap 11 restart was brought about after title contender Dave Murdick slowed with what he thought was an overheating engine. But the engine cooled under caution so he rejoin the field, only to retire two laps later; a post race inspection by his crew revealed a loose radiator cap to be the culprit. On the track, Rapp used the low groove in turns one & two to duck under Shingledecker on the restart to take the lead, only to see Shingledecker drive back around him the following lap with the red #83 of Swartzlander in tow. The leaders entered lapped traffic on lap 20 with Swartzlander all over Shingledecker. Swartzlander took a look under the black #37MD in turns one and two, and then rocketed off the bottom of turn four and into the lead at the flagstand to complete lap 21. Shingledecker gave chase, but Swartzlander cleared him in turns one & two and motored away to his fourth win of the season and into a comfortable points lead heading into Championship Night.
Shingledecker’s strong second place run moves him into second in the Budweiser point standings, but 29 points is probably too much to overcome in one night of Diehl Mods competition. Swartzlander will earn seven points (one in the heat, six in the feature) just for taking the green flag, meaning that Shingledecker will have the deck stacked against him to successfully defend his 2011 crown. Murdick, meanwhile was scored an unlucky 13th and enters Championship 30 points behind Swartzlander.
Rising stars Brad Rapp and Steve Feder continue to close the 2012 season strong; Rapp with another podium finish after crossing the stripe in third and Feder with another top five with a strong fourth place run. Rapp and Feder were also winners of their respective heat races. Small black ace Eric Gabany raced to a fifth place finish ahead of Mark Frankhouser, Skip Moore, Dean Pearson, Don Brown and Bob Warren to round out the Diehl Top Ten.
Jared Miley took the green flag of the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Model feature with the 2012 Budweiser Track Championship in the bag thanks to an 80+ point lead in the Budweiser standings, but still showed the field no mercy as he came from 11th on the starting grid to win his sixth feature of 2012. Steadily making his way to the front in the opening laps, Miley was second on lap eight after second place running Brian Swartzlander made a hard right off the top of turn two on the restart. Prior to that, Garrett Krummert appeared to be on his way to joining Eric Williams in the Class of 2012 First Time Feature Winners, but one mistake – sliding off the back stretch on lap 14 – was all it took to let Miley rocket past into the lead. Krummert fought back, but in doing so, went off the top of turn two just one lap later to bring out the caution. Miley restarted on the pole and quickly pulled away as Alex Ferree and Brian Swartzlander battled for second. As he has proved time and again in 2012, once in the lead, Miley is good as gold and he rolled the family owned #H1 into Sheetz Victory Lane for the sixth time this season and already the 15th time still in the early stages of his career.
Alex Ferree won the late race duel with Brian Swartzlander to finish second, while Doug Eck passed Swartzlander late for third; relegating Swartzlander to fourth. John Garvin Jr. rounded out the Precise Top Five ahead of Lynn Geisler, Bryan Force, Todd Bachman, Tony Burke and Shawn Schaltenbrand. Early leader Garrett Krummert was credited with 14th place. Todd Bachman and John Garvin Jr. took checkered flags in heat race competition.
While Corey McPherson and Jim Fosnaught chase the 2012 Budweiser Track Championship in the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman division, AJ Flick stole the show and ran away with his second feature win of the season in dominant fashion! Flick flanked Matt Keith to the green flag and quickly took the lead into turn one. A handful of cautions and subsequent restarts didn’t faze the third generation driver as he led all 20 laps to score the popular win.
While Flick cruised to a relatively unchallenged feature win, the battle for second was fiercely contested through lapped traffic in the closing laps between All Time division wins leader Joe Kelley, incumbent Budweiser Points leader Corey McPherson and 2008 Track Champion Bob Egley; crossing under the checkered flag in that order second through fourth. Title contender Jim Fosnaught chased that trio to the finish line in fifth. The Pic-A-Part Top Ten rounded out with Pat Hanley, Rob Shook, Paul Schreckengost, Brett McDonald and Terry Young. Defending Track Champion Mike Miller rolled into the pits before taking the green flag in hot laps and never returned to the track. Heat races were claimed by Corey McPherson, Paul Schreckengost and AJ Flick.
Corey McPherson rolls into Championship Night with a 27-point cushion thanks to his heat race win and podium finish in the feature. Fosnaught got collected in a wreck in his heat race, but salvaged a fifth place finish from 21st on the starting grid. 27 points isn’t an insurmountable lead, but Fosnaught will certainly have his work cut out for him if he hopes to wrest the title from the hungry hands of the Tarentum Terror!
Mindboggling as it may seem, the checkered flag will fall on the Fab Four Racing season this Friday, August 24 on Championship Night. As detailed above, Jared Miley has already clinched the Precise Late Model title, while Brian Swartzlander has to do little more than take the green flag in his heat and feature to seal the Diehl Mods Championship and join Joe Kelley as the only other seven-time Track Champion of a single division. Kevin Schaeffer leads Rod George by 16 points in the Ti22 Sprints and Corey McPherson leads Jim Fosnaught by 27 points in the Pic-A-Part Sportsman.
But the end of Fast Fridays of Fab Four Racing doesn’t mark the end of our racing season. The Lernerville post-season is chalk full of events starting with the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprints along with the 305 Sprint Warriors and Pic-A-Part Sportsman/Stocks on Friday, August 31 to kick off Labor Day Weekend. Then we shift gears into Saturdays in September starting with Autumn-Motive Fest 2012 featuring the Sportsman/Stock Spectacular on Saturday, September 8. “Back to School” Bus & Kids Bike races will follow on Saturday, September 15. The “Greatest Show on Dirt” returns to the Action Track on Saturday, September 22 as the World of Outlaws return for the Commonwealth Clash. Then after a month of darkness, we’ll bring the 2012 season to a close with the DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede on Thursday-Friday-Saturday, October 25-26-27 with three big nights of racing across 10 divisions! You can view, download and/or print the 2012 Lernerville Speedway schedule at Lernerville.com!
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director
(724) 664-1075 / email@example.com
Photos Courtesy of Frank Wilson