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Russ King outslides Boom Briggs to $3,000 Uncle Sam 30 payday
Sarver, PA (July 2, 2013) Those that headed for the parking lot or their camper after Josh Richards’ dominant win in the wildly entertaining 7th Annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com missed another great show in the Uncle Sam 30 presented by Turner’s Premium Iced Tea. The non-qualifiers race is part of what makes the Firecracker 100 weekend a Crown Jewel event on the Dirt Late Model scene as even those that fail to qualify for the $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100 A-Main still have a chance to salvage a decent finish to the weekend!
Both Russ King and Boom Briggs experienced the roller coaster effect throughout the weekend; both making a preliminary A-Mains, but failing to make “The Big Show” on Saturday Night. They didn’t let that stand in their way of putting on a show Saturday night in the fog on a bad, fast Action Track!
Jared Miley was one driver looking to salvage a rough weekend, but his bad luck only continued on the opening lap when contact with Brian Tavenner resulted in a flat tire that ended his night. On the complete restart, Briggs jumped out to the early lead from the pole and King quickly slid under Tavenner to take second. By lap 10, King was reeling in Briggs as both tried to navigate heavy lapped traffic. Meanwhile, Mike Pegher Jr. (lap 10) and Dan Angellichio (lap 12) rolled pitside mid-race due in large part to the compromised visibility and lightning fast track conditions.
King made his first bid for the lead on lap 18, throwing a wicked slidejob on Briggs in turns one & two to take the lead, only to see Briggs throw one back at him in three & four to maintain the lead at the flagstand. King would take the lead free & clear entering turn one that same lap and Mason Zeigler made it a three-car nose-to-tail battle for the lead on lap 20.
As the fog thickened and the laps ticked away, the action got even more intense. Zeigler slid under Briggs in turn three but jumped the cushion to allow Briggs back to second as Sarver natives Michael Norris and Ken Schaltenbrand battled for fourth.
Briggs and King traded sliders again on lap 24 with Briggs taking the lead in one & two, only to see King slide back under him in turn three, but before he could cross back under, Briggs bounced hard off the cushion. He hit the cushion even harder on lap 25; bicycling and almost flipping over turn four to bring out a caution. But having to go to the tail on the restart ended up being a saving grace for Briggs!
King held the lead on the restart, but second place Mason Zeigler spun in front of the entire field collected everyone except Ken Schaltenbrand who never stopped moving through the carnage and Briggs who was far enough behind to be able to react without making contact with other drivers. Michael Norris, Jason Rider and Brian Havenner all had to stand on the breaks to avoid a massive pile-up.
On the second attempt to restart lap 25, Schaltenbrand didn’t come to speed and eventually rolled pitside, putting Briggs right back into second place with five to go! Briggs chased King the whole way to the checkered flag and made one more banzai attempt at the lead coming to the checkered flag only to bounce hard off the cushion again as King drove to a $3,000 payday.
The win is King’s first at Lernerville Speedway; a previous FASTRAK win a few years ago was stripped from King due to a failed tire inspection. King’s brother Rex King Jr. just scored his career first Lernerville feature win earlier this month in the Diehl Modifieds. Their father Rex King Sr. has several Lernerville feature wins and all three scored heat race wins on the same night earlier this season.
Briggs settled for a second place finish, while Jason Rider recovered from the late race calamity to score an impressive podium finish; his second podium finish in three features at the speedway (He finished second on Friday, June 14). Brian Tavenner survived a pair of collisions to finish fourth ahead of Todd Bachman in fifth. Local drivers Chris Rhodes (seventh) and Herman Bertolini (eighth) turned in top ten finishes.
The local and regional stars of the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models will take a vacation this weekend as the BOSS Wingless Sprints make their Lernerville debut, as will the RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series. To match the Wingless Sprints, the RUSH Dirt Late Models will “take the tops off” for the night in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. The Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman, (many of whom were in attendance for the three-day Firecracker 100 weekend), will be on the card as well.