Rex King Jr. holds off Mat Williamson to score career first Diehl Mods win
Apollo doubleheader as Lynch & Flick score wins in Sprints & Sportsman
Mike Pegher Jr. pilots #1 Cochran Late Model to familiar end point
Sarver, PA (June 9, 2013) For the second straight week, the Action Track lived up to its nickname as Thursday’s soaking rains and Friday’s overcast, but humid conditions made for another fast, racy surface and the “Finest race fans in the world” were treated to another Fast Friday of Fab Four Racing. Rex King Jr. led wire-to-wire to notch his first career Lernerville feature win in the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Modifieds, but had to hold off a late charge by Budweiser Points leader Mat Williamson and a green-white-checkered restart to do so.
“The Apollo Rocket” Ed Lynch Jr. scored with 108th career, but was chased to the finish by a triumvirate of Peoples TWP DIRTcar Sprint stars. The #1 Cochran Late Model has now been to Sheetz Victory Lane 110 times, but the first 109 times were at the hands of Hall of Famer Lynn Geisler. This time it was former Pure Stock Champion and recent FASTRAK Late Model star Mike Pegher Jr. behind the wheel; fending off a hard-charging Jared Miley. AJ Flick, also hailing from Apollo, scored his first win of the season after a thrilling three-wide move on a late race restart to pass Chris Schneider and Joe Kelley.
Rex King Jr. has a pair of feature wins at nearby Sharon Speedway in 2013, but had yet to seal the deal the Lernerville Speedway in the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Modifieds. That all changed Friday Night as “Cooter”, (as he is affectionately known), endured a green-white-checkered restart and serious pressure from three-time feature winner and incumbent Bud Points leader Mat Williamson to roll his family owned #165 into Sheetz Victory Lane for the very first time. King started on the front row alongside his father, (a.k.a. the “Bandit”), and took the early leader as Dave Murdick jumped into second. King caught up to lapped traffic on the 12th circuit, but almost seemed to get better with cars to pass instead of running in open air. As Williamson got by Murdick for second on lap 22, King was flat out fearless in heavy lapped traffic. The checkered flag was in sight when a caution waved late in the race; setting up a green-white checkered restart. King was unfazed by the challenge and had a terrific restart to hold off Williamson and Murdick for his first career feature win and a commemorative checkered flag from Approved Toilet Rentals, a bag of Snyders of Berlin potato chips and big, cold Turner’s Premium Iced Tea.
Throughout the duration of the race, the battle for second was heated. Murdick got the jump on Rex King Sr. as the “Bandit” slid off the back straightaway on the to opening lap and thus giving the position to Murdick. By lap seven, Jeremiah Shingledecker was all over Murdick for the second spot, but then himself had to hold off Williamson for third. Williamson got by Shingledecker in lapped traffic mid-race and then battled Murdick for the second spot; taking it on lap 22. At the checkered flag it was Williamson, Murdick, King Sr. and Shingledecker in the Diehl Top Five. Brian Swartzlander finished sixth, ahead of Mike Turner, Chris Haines, Brad Rapp and Carl Murdick; Murdick just turned a spry 76 years old on Thursday! Happy Birthday Carl! Murdick and Shingledecker scored heat race wins earlier in the evening. Mat Williamson holds a 24-point lead of Dave Murdick atop the Bud Points in the Diehl Mods. Brian Swartzlander is 38 points behind Williamson in third.
A few weeks ago, Ed Lynch Jr. scored feature win #107 on a slow, slick race track. Friday Night, he showed his unrivaled versatility by winning on a fast, tacky track to score career feature win #108. “The Apollo Rocket” started on the fifth row alongside last week’s feature winner Brandon Spithaler and quickly made his way into three-way battle with Carl Bowser and Jack Sodeman Jr. for fifth as third-generation star Brandon Matus jumped out to the early lead after starting alongside his father Brent on the front row. As Lynch, Bowser and Sodeman battled for fifth, Eric Williams passed Matus for the lead on lap seven. Williams entered heavy lapped traffic on lap 10, but it was short lived as Dennis Wagner took a wild ride, violently flipped off the top of turns one & two. And on the ensuing restart, Scott Priester bicycled on the heavy cushion and flipped over two turn. Both drivers were okay and walked away from their suddenly mangled mounts.
Lynch restarted third and made quick work of Matus for second on lap 12 and then Williams for the lead on lap 13. In the past, the final 12 laps would have been an exercise in Lynch pulling away from the field and everyone else racing for second. But on an open track and even through lapped traffic, Williamson, Matus and Bowser travelled in a straight line with Williams never slipping more than four to five car lengths behind Lynch. But a win is a win, be it by a few car lengths or half the track and the Apollo Rocket landed in Sheetz Victory Lane for the 108th time; where he was eventually joined by his mother Jean Lynch whom was recently inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, IA.
With all due respect to the All Time division wins leader, the most impressive thing about the Peoples TWP Sprint feature was how Eric Williamson, Carl Bowser and Brandon Matus stayed right on the “Apollo Rocket” and chased him to the checkered flag; a few years ago Lynch would have ran away with a large margin of victory and that’s not a knock on Lynch, that’s a testament to how much these three have improved the past few seasons! Williams crossed the stripe second and Bowser got third after passing Matus who bobbled just enough to let Bowser past on lap 23. Bud Points leader Brandon Spithaler finished fifth ahead of Jack Sodeman Jr. who rides second in points; just five points separate the two. Brent Matus, Daryl Stimeling, Bob McMillan and Charlie Cornelius rounded out the Peoples TWP Top Ten. Lynch and Bowser picked up heat race wins.
Neither Mike Pegher Jr. nor the #1 Cochran Late Model are strangers to Sheetz Victory Lane, but Pegher drove the iconic #1 Cochran Late Model to Sheetz Victory Lane for the first time Friday Night in great battle over Defending Track Champion Jared Miley. Pegher had 11 feature wins during his brief but Championship career in the then Pure Stock division, (now referred to as the Sportsman division), and also has three crate/pro Late Model wins. Starting on the front row flanked by Doug Horton (subbing for Todd Bachman in the #66), Pegher took the early lead and never looked back. He did however, look to his left quite a few times to see Defending Track Champion Jared Miley all over his left rear and a few times even pulling even with him. It appeared as though Miley might have finally made a pass for the lead on lap 17, but a caution waved and made the point moot. Pegher held the lead on the restart and Miley tested him every lap; racing him very hard, but that much cleaner! Despite the furious challenge, Pegher scored his 15th career Lernerville feature win, but his first in the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Super Late Models. Car owner Lynn Geisler and longtime sponsor Jack Crowell of #1 Cochran joined Pegher in Sheetz Victory Lane.
Miley showed both class and respect, settling for second instead of using contact to steal away the win. Ken Schaltenbrand turned in his best finish of the season with a strong third place run, while the #J4 of John Garvin Jr. and #4J of John Mollick rounded out the top five ahead of Alex Ferree, Brian Swartzlander, Dan Angelicchio, Chuck Sarver and Chris Rhodes. Garvin and Swartzlander were heat race victors. Last week’s feature winner Michael Norris was a DNS after breaking in his heat. Another top five finish has John Garvin Jr. still atop the points by seven points over 2012 Champ Jared Miley.
AJ Flick brought a second feature win to Apollo, PA Friday Night, after making a thrilling three-wide pass for the lead late in the race underneath SS Chassis guru Chris Schneider and All Time division wins leader Joe Kelley to score a popular win in the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman. Earlier in the evening, Flick made an equally exciting last lap, last turn pass to score his Fab Four Racing-leading fourth heat race win of the season over Defending Track Champion and incumbent Bud Points leader Corey McPherson; the heat race and pass for the win were captured on the BigE GoPro Hero3 camera!
Schneider and Kelley battled for the lead most of the race, but settled for second and third place finishes. McPherson charged to fourth and maintains a 21-point lead over Flick. Brett McDonald continues his impressive start to the season with another top five finish ahead of Rob Shook in sixth, Mark Sanders in seventh and Jim Fosnaught in eighth. Joey Zambotti continues to impress during his rookie campaign with another top ten finish in ninth and Scott Byers rounded out the top ten. Flick was joined by Kelley and McDonald as heat race winners.
Next Friday night, June 14 is the most popular Fab Four Race of the season as June really heats up with Holiday Races with Fireworks on #1 Cochran Fan Appreciation Night. The Fab Four Racing Mid-Season Championships will follow on June 21 and the 7th Annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com will cap the month on June 27-28-29.