Usual Suspects win on a Freaky Friday the 13th of Fab Four Racing
Miley & McPherson win fifth, Ellenberger & Murdick win fourth
Bolland & Swartzlander renew longstanding rivalry with last turn melee
Over $4500 donated for Cowboy Brian Steinman’s Recovery Fund
Sarver, PA (July 13, 2012) Freaky things happen of Friday the 13th, especially during Fab Four Racing! The night started off innocently enough as Don Gamble hosted dozens of drivers and over a dozen cars for the Annual Nostalgia Night/Old Timers Meeting. And between donations at the gates, to the drivers as they walked through the stands with their helmets, tips from the concession stand employees and Ed Ferree’s payout, the Lernerville Speedway family generously donated $4667.13 to the “Cowboy” Brian Steinman Recovery Fund! Even the heat races went off without much of a hitch, but once the green flag dropped on the first feature, things took a turn for the worse.
Defending Track Champion Carl Bowser started the run of freaky, bad luck on the first lap of the Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprint feature by jumping the cushion in turn four, hitting the wall and flipping past the flagstand. Brandon Matus’s #13 provided to be unlucky as he broke on lap seven while running fourth, Brandon Spithaler shredded & shed a right rear tire on lap 12, Jack Sodeman Jr. broke on the front straightaway running third and Andy McKisson spun in turn two, bicycled, stood the car up on the rear nerf bar and backflipped in front of most of the field on a restart while running fourth.
But it wasn’t all bad for the Ti22 Sprints, as Brian Ellenberger led all 25 laps on the way to his fourth feature win of the season in dominant fashion. Front row starting mate Eric “Turkey” Williams ran a fantastic race to tie his career best Lernerville feature finish in second, while last week’s feature winner Rod George was fast again tonight; coming from 10th on the grid to finish third. Scott Priester scored his second top five of the season, crossing the stripe fourth ahead of Budweiser Points leader Kevin Schaeffer in fifth. As Bud Points leader heading into Tuesday’s Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XXI Twin 30s, Schaeffer is now locked into the A-Mains by virtue of track provisional. The Ti22 Top Ten shook out with Brent Matus, Gale Ruth Sr., Bob McMillan, John McCracken Jr. and Jack Sodeman Jr. Heats were checkered by George and Schaeffer.
The Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models was a runaway as well as Jared Miley won the feature by half the length of the track over John Garvin Jr. after a handful of early race cautions. Friday the 13th Gremlins claimed Davey Johnson, John Mollick and Mike Johnson, while contact between Doug Eck and Chuck Sarver sent Sarver spinning in turn four which brought out a caution. On the restart, Garvin drag raced Miley down the front stretch, but Miley ripped around the cushion and rocketed into the lead down the backstretch and then checked out for his fifth feature win of the season.
John Garvin Jr. scored his division leading third runner-up finish ahead of Mike Pegher Jr. in third. Doug Eck finished fourth and Ken Schaltenbrand finished fifth. Brian Swartzlander, Jeff Jones, Ed Ferree (yes Ed, not Alex), Todd Bachman and Chuck Sarver rounded out the Precise Top Ten. Jared Miley and Brian Swartzlander scored heat race wins.
Speaking of Brian Swartzlander, he and Brad Rapp led the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Big Block Modifieds to the green flag with the All Time wins leader at the point after drag racing Rapp down the front and back straightaways. With Swartzlander out front, Bud points leader Dave Murdick (from 11th), Defending Track Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker (from eighth) and Kevin Bolland (from fifth) were all on the gas and making their way to the front. Bolland took second from Rapp on lap six, while Shingledecker and Murdick joined the mix for third. Bolland took the lead with a great restart on lap 12 after the race’s first caution. On the restart, the leaders, followed by Shingledecker and Murdick got strung out on an open race track, but Rapp was trying to hold off Steve Feder, Doug Fleeger and Dean Pearson in a fierce battle for fifth.
Swartzlander began to reel in Bolland with three laps to go, and tried to dive below him through turns one & two, but Bolland held the lead thundering down the back stretch. They were mired in heavy lapped traffic on lap 24 with Bolland on the bottom and Swartzlander trying to find a hole around the top. Temporarily clearing lapped traffic, Swartzlander used a slidejob in turns one & two to take the lead on the final lap. Bolland stayed on his tail and followed him into turns three & four; that’s where everything got a little bit crazy. As Swartzlander was coming off the cushion, Bolland was driving up to the cushion and the ensuing contact sent Swartzlander spinning as Bolland drove off to the flagstand.
The drama didn’t end there! Since the race ended the way it did; with the would-be, but disqualified winner taking the checkered flag accompanied by a yellow flag for the rest of the field, Track Officials determined that the race would resume with a green-white-checkered restart. Murdick assumed the lead, Swartzlander restarted from the tail since he brought out and stopped under caution and Bolland was sent to the pits for rough driving. Murdick – whom had also pulled into Sheetz Victory Lane behind Bolland thinking he had won the race due to the disqualification – was undaunted by the restart and drove away from Jeremiah Shingledecker to score his second win in a row and fourth of the season. The artist formerly known as Double Duty Dave, did his patented roof dance waving the checkered flag in victory and even added a new wrinkle with a front-side dismount to be interviewed by Speedway announcer Dow Carnahan.
Shingledecker, whom has battled gremlins most of the 2012 season, somehow avoided them on Friday the 13th and chased Murdick home for a strong second place finish. Brad Rapp turned in his best finish of the season, (despite being under siege the entire race), in third. Steve Feder finished fourth while Swartzlander salvaged a top five finish. The Diehl Top Ten rounded out with Dean Pearson, Bob Warren, Mark Frankhouser, Carl Murdick and Dave Reges. Feder and Rapp scored heat race wins.
By comparison, the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman feature was relatively normal; fewer cautions, no drama and a very typical finish as Corey McPherson ran away from an otherwise rock solid top five field. 2012 feature winners Paul Schreckengost and Terry Young brought the ultra-competitive field to the green flag and after a few attempts, the race got to some consecutive green flag laps with Young leading the way. On each attempt, Schreck and Young would drag race down the front stretch with Young taking the lead off the top of turn two, but on the lap three restart, all too frequent second or third place finisher Jim Fosnaught took advantage of this battle. On this restart, Schreck slid the whole way up into turn two to block Young’s momentum, but Fosnaught drove through the bottom and into the lead down the back straightaway. All Time division wins lead Joe Kelley, whom himself is also still looking for his first win of 2012, followed Fosnaught to moved into second place.
Unfortunately for Fosnaught and Kelley, the “Tarentum Terror” was also on his way to the front, along with Defending Track Champion Mike Miller. McPherson rocketed around the top of turns one & two and into the lead down the back straightaway on lap eight. Miller got around Fosnaught for second two laps later. A handful of cautions in the closing laps didn’t bother McPherson as time and again, he drove away from the field en route to his fifth win of the season to keep pace with Jared Miley for the overall Fab Four Racing wins lead.
Mike Miller had to fend off the hard-charging Fosnaught, even having to reclaim second from him on one of the final restarts to score his division leading fourth runner-up finish, while Fosnaught logged his seventh top three finish in third. Fourth place had to feel like a moral victory for Super Joe Kelley who’s struggling through a miserable 2012 campaign but looked a lot more like his old self Friday Night. Last week’s feature winner Rob Shook rounded out the Pic-A-Part Top Five ahead of Pat Hanley, Ryan Moyer, Bob Egley (who had to be happy just to finish a race after an even more miserable 2012 than Kelley is experiencing), Brett McDonald and Wayne Carbo. Heats were checkered by Fosnaught, McDonald and Shook.
Bookending Nostalgia Night, the Western PA Vintage Dirt Modifieds rolled onto the Action Track for a 12-lap feature with Paul Baccus taking the win, his first at Lernerville Speedway highlighting a 40-year career!
Next of the 2012 slate is the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XXI Twin 30s featuring the World of Outlaws this Tuesday, July 17! Advanced tickets can be purchased 24/7 on our website www.Lernerville.com by clicking the “Buy Tickets” tab on the right hand side of the page and include a FREE pit pass upgrade! Don’t miss your first chance of 2012 to see the “Greatest Show on Dirt” at The Action Track!
Following the Silver Cup, the top three divisions of Fab Four Racing will take a summer vacation as the ULMS Late Models roll into Sarvertown for a $2,500-to-win race and their UEMS Modified brothers will contend for $1,000-to-win. The Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman will still be in action with full Budweiser points on the line.
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director
(724) 664-1075 / email@example.com
Photos Courtesy of John Stivason/Stivason Photos