Steel City Stampede Flashback – Inaugural Event highlighted by thrilling upset of Apollo Rocket
Sarver, PA (October 3, 2012) With three weeks remaining until the Fourth Annual DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede, let’s take a quick trip in the (not so) way back machine to three years ago and the Inaugural event. Rain kicked back the schedule a day with heats being contested on Saturday and features running Sunday afternoon in front of a beautiful fall foliage back drop off the back straightaway!
Heat race winners read like a who’s who of Lernerville Speedway current and all time greats with Ed Lynch Jr., Rod George, John Flinner, Brian Swartzlander, Dave Hess Jr. (albeit in a UMP Modified) and Joe Kelley all taking the checkers on Saturday Night. In all, 173 cars filled the pits across 8 divisions of racing!
Despite taking the lead from the outside pole at the green flag, All Time Ti22 Sprint feature wins leader Ed Lynch Jr. would not add to his Hall of Fame resume at the Inaugural Stampede as Ohio young gun Cole Duncan stole the win away. Lynch led the entire race on a super slick track and all evidence suggested that a green-white-checkered restart was nothing more than a formality, but Duncan found some traction in turns three & four, dove under Lynch on the restart and slid through turns one & two, taking Lynch’s line and lead away. And then the same super slick conditions that made Duncan’s pass improbable made it impossible for Lynch to pass him back. Duncan held on to score one of the biggest upsets in recent history and secure the Steel City Stampede Belt Buckle and Plate; the unique pair of “trophies” awarded to all DIRTcar Round Up feature winners. Lynch chased Duncan to the checkers followed by Mike Lutz, Jack Sodeman Jr. and Scott Bonnell.
The Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar/BRP Tour Modifieds feature saw Del Rougeux Jr. drive past outside polesitter and early leader Brian Swartzlander and then hold off a hard-charging Jeremiah Shingledecker to score the $2,000 win. Shingledecker, having just been crowned 2009 Track Champion two months earlier, tried one last time to steal the win away coming to the checkered flag, but his dive to the bottom of turn four opened the door around the top for Super DIRTcar Series star Alan Johnson to steal away second. Johnson was subbing for Kevin Bolland; whom at the time was suspended from the BRP Modified Tour. Rex King Sr. was crowned 2009 BRP Champion after crossing the finish line in fifth behind Rougeux, Johnson, Shingledecker and Joe Crawford.
Like fellow Lernerville Hall of Famers Ed Lynch Jr. and Brian Swartzlander, starting the outside pole was a cruel tease of missed opportunity for Saturday night heat race winner John Flinner. But while his peers took and then lost the lead of the race, Flinner didn’t even see the green flag; the victim of ignition box issues that prevented the iconic John Johnson #48 from even firing. With the accomplished veteran in the pits, the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models feature was left in the capable hands of up and coming drivers Matt Lux, Russell King, Gregg Satterlee, Dave Hess Jr. and Jared Miley. While well established now in 2012, these stars were still on the rise in 2009 and they put on one whale of a show. While Lux led early, King, Satterlee, Hess and Miley battled for second and repeatedly swapped positions two through five. As the leaders were coming to the white flag, Bobby Marrieta spun and brought out the caution. While Lux rocketed out to a quick lead on the restart, Jared Miley reeled him in and made a last ditch effort coming to the checkered flag, but couldn’t find enough traction to pass Lux. For Lux, the $2,000 win reversed an otherwise frustrating season at the Action Track, while Jared Miley settled for second followed by Satterlee, King and Hess. Since that race, however, Dave Hess Jr. and Jared Miley have combined to win 20 features (10 apiece) and the past three Track Championships! One of those 10 wins for Miley was during the Second Annual Steel City Stampede.
Since the Inaugural running of the Steel City Stampede, the name Holtgraver has become synonymous with victory at the Action Track, but it was Danny’s cousin Josh that was the first to carry the Holtgraver name to Sheetz Victory Lane in the UMP Pro Late Models. Josh jumped out to the early lead only to see Super Late Model star Gregg Satterlee take the lead. But Holtgraver took the lead back from Satterlee on lap 11 and held off the late advances of Ricky Meglaye and Dan Karalagas to score the win.
Then a rookie of the year contender, Cory McPherson led the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman/Stock feature to the green flag, but his first feature win would have to wait as regional stock car star Rusty Martz took the lead mid-race and cruised to victory. Martz has made a habit of winning the “Open Rules” Sportsman/Stock races; the Sportsman/Stock Spectacular during Autumn-Motive Fest and the Steel City Stampede.
Other feature winners at the Inaugural DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede were Randy Hall in the UMP Mods, Lee Lehnerd in the 4-Cylinders and Mikey Hay in the Mod Lites. While they don’t race all three nights like the other divisions, the Steel City Stampede is always brought to the final checkered flag of the season by the Enduros and Brent Truitt scored the $1,000 win at the Inaugural Stampede.
Next week we’ll flashback to the record breaking, history making Second Annual DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede, as we draw nearer to the Fourth Annual DIRTcar Round Up Steel City on Thursday-Friday-Saturday, October 25-26-27. Since its inception, the Stampede has expanded to 10 divisions and the FASTRAK Northeast Late Models and UEMS Modifieds have joined the BRP Modifieds as co-sanctioning bodies for the event! For more details about the Fourth Annual DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede, log on to www.Lernerville.com
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director