Opening Night Race Report 4.20

Schaeffer steals win back from Holtgraver in Ti22 Sprints
Miley, Brachmann and McPherson score Opening Night wins

Sarver, PA (April 20, 2012) On a Chamber of Commerce Friday Night, a near capacity crowd was on hand for Lernerville Speedway’s Fab Four Racing Opening Night 2012.  93 cars filled the pits and thrilled the crowd as three of the Fab Four features came down to last lap/last turn barnburners with Kevin Schaeffer stealing a win back from Danny Holtgraver, Jared Miley holding of a late charge by World of Outlaws Late Model Series star Chub Frank and Corey McPherson outlast a hard charging Jim Fosnaught.  The only run away feature came in the Diehl Mods as NY star Chad Brachmann stole the show, but the race behind him for second was heated!

The Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprints got the show started with Cowboy Brian Steinman and Eric “Turkey” Williams on the front row.  A pair of cautions slowed the start of the race, but once the green flag waved it was Steinman jumping out to a quick lead.  Former Three-Time Track Champion and third place starting Kevin Schaeffer took the lead on lap three and quickly stretched it to a full straightaway as 2010 Track Champion Danny Holtgraver gave chase from sixth on the grid.  By lap 14, Holtgraver had cleared lapped traffic and started to reel in Schaeffer.  Disaster almost struck for Schaeffer on lap 22 as AJ Albrecht spun in front of him as he exited turn two.  Schaeffer checked up just enough for Holtgraver to rocket past on the bottom of turn two and into the lead, but a red flag (for Brian Ellenberger/Adam Anderson) on lap 24 brought the race to a halt.  Both Ellenberger and a tipped over Anderson were okay.

The green-white-checkered restart seemed like a recipe for success for the lead-footed Holtgraver, but it was Schaeffer that capitalized as he regained the lead high off turn two and down the back straightaway.  Holtgraver drew even entering turn three, but Schaeffer beat him to the white flag by a nose and held off one last charge by Holtgraver as the checkered waved to secure the Opening Night win.  Schaeffer’s 15th career Action Track win was his first since July of 2008; his last Championship season.

From Sheetz Victory Lane, Cool Kevin told PA Announcer Dow Carnahan, “Yeah, It’s been a long time!  The car was just really good tonight.” When asked about the spinning lapped car that cost him the lead and the restart with two to go, Schaeffer added “I just had to hope that I could get back around, have to keep patience, didn’t spin the tires giving it as good as shot as I could and it worked out tonight!”

Danny Holtgraver took home a strong second place finish in addition to a heat race win earlier in the evening.  Behind the battle for the lead, Jack Sodeman Jr. finished third on his long awaited return to the Action Track after a nasty accident ended his season early in 2011.  Brandon Matus ran a strong race to finish fourth ahead of Eric Williams.  Rod George brought the CIII back the Action Track with a sixth place finish, while Brian Steinman, Brandon Spithaler, Dan Kuriger and Pete Landram rounded out the Ti22 Top Ten.  Heat races were claimed by Holtgraver and Spithaler.

Bump Hedman jumped out to a quick lead from the outside pole of the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Model feature, but Jared Miley was on the move.  Miley passed Boom Briggs for second on lap four and Hedman for the lead exiting turn for on lap 10.  In the back of his mind, Miley had to know that World of Outlaws star Chub Frank was coming from 10th on the grid, but it was too little, too late and Miley held off a furious last lap charge by Chub to secure his 10th career Lernerville win.

Behind Chub Frank in second was Briggs in third, Hedman in fourth and Tony Musolino in fifth.  Sixth through tenth went to Steel City Stampede feature winner John Garvin Jr., Ron Davies, Ken Schaltenbrand, Doug Eck and Mike Johnson.  Heat races were checked by Eck, Musolino and Briggs.

Upstate New York is the unrivaled hotbed of Big Block Modified racing, so any time an Empire State driver invades our fine Commonwealth, it seems they remind us all just how strong they are.  Opening Night has long been an enticing event for Chad Brachmann; he won the 2007 lid lifter as well. 

Early on, it looked like All Time Modified wins leader Brian Swartzlander would add to his Hall of Fame resume with another Opening Night win in the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Big Block Modifieds, but Brachmann powered past Swartzlander at the flagstand to complete lap 10 and drove away with the win.

The race behind Brachmann was everything we’ve grown accustomed to as Swartzlander had his hands and proverbial rearview mirror full of Defending Track Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker, 2011 Opening Night feature winner Kevin Bolland and the Kings!  The checkered flag waved with that order, with Rex King Jr. beating his dad for fifth.  Dave Murdick finished sixth ahead of Mercer/358 regular Frank Guidace in seventh, Jim Weller Jr. in eighth, Mike Turner in ninth and Phil Evans Jr. in 10th.  Murdick and Brachman were heat race victors.

Finally, the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman feature took the track and after a rough starts to the first few laps, AJ Flick, Corey McPherson and Jim Fosnaught put on a great show for the lead.  Flick took the lead from the drop of the green flag before giving way to McPherson on lap five.  McPherson pulled away from the pack, but a lap 14 caution brought a hard charging Jimmy Fosnaught to his flank for the restart.  Fosnaught battled McPherson hard but clean for the final six laps, but couldn’t find a way around him for the lead.  Even a green-white-checkered restart couldn’t shake McPherson as he rocketed to a great restart and held on for the Opening Night win.

Fosnaught came to Sheetz Victory Lane to congratulate McPherson on a hard fought win.  Behind Fosnaught was early lead Flick in third, Wayne Carbo in fourth and Scott Byers with his first career Pic-A-Part Top Five.  Defending Track Champion Mike Miller, Bob Egley, Greg Beach, Ryan Moyer and All Time wins leader Joe Kelley rounded out the top ten.  Heats were claimed by Miller, Kelley and McPherson.

Join us again next Friday Night, April 27 for Silver Jacket Night and you might go home with a free ticket for the 21st edition of the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup, featuring the Twin 30s with the World of Outlaws!  Budweiser Points will be posted to the new & improved on Sunday!
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Contact: Lernerville Speedway                
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director
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