ROUGH NIGHT FOR LOCAL DRIVERS AT COMMONWEALTH CLASH
Sarver, PA (May 15, 2007) The Commonwealth Clash proved to be a rough night for local drivers looking to defend their home track. On a night that saw the triumphant return of "The King" Steve Kinser to the Action Track after a year away with the failed National Sprint Tour (NST), local drivers did not fair as well.
All-time Lernerville Speedway Sprint Car feature wins leader Ed Lynch Jr. had an uncharacteristically bad night. Lynch typically qualifies well and usually transfers directly through to the A-main from his heat race. Tonight, however, Lynch qualified with a time of 13.442 ranking him 33rd quick out of 46 cars, which resulted in a poor starting position (ninth) in the heat race. He advanced two spots to finish seventh, two spots out of the final A-main qualifying position. The combination of his time trial and heat race results, Lynch started 13th in the B-main. The J&J Chassis, Commercial Truck & Trailer/Howard Concrete Pumping #2L came to life in the B-main.
With only the top four advancing into the A-main, Lynch made a valiant charged through the field and was running fifth the last few laps of the B-main. He made a pass that nearly resulted in a fourth place finish, but got beat across the line by Zach Chappell and Chad Hillier. Chappell advanced to the A-Main. Leading the Budweiser Point Standings in the Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprints resulted in Lynch securing a track provisional. Starting 26th on a loaded field of the finest sprint car racers in the country, Lynch had a long, hard road to travel. He started the race in true "Apollo Rocket" form, running as high as 16th place at one point. Two cautions later Lynch was once again at the tail of the field, and eventually dropped out of the race for good on lap 18. He officially finished 26th.
Bob Felmlee's night started out incredibly promising qualifying second quick with a time of 12.990 seconds. The heat race inversion placed Felmlee in fourth place to start the second heat race. Amidst a stacked field of cars, he held on to finish fifth and qualify both for the Crane Cams Dash and directly into the First Commonwealth Bank Clash A-main. By random pill pull, Felmlee started seventh in the dash. His 10th place finish placed him in the 10th starting position for the feature. What ever Felmlee had working in his World of Wheels Maxim #6F, had gone away by feature time. He remained in around the top 12-15 the first 10 laps of the race, but stopped off of turn two during a caution and was sent to the back of the pack. From the back, Felmlee never pushed the issue and seemed content to hold his line and save his equipment for the local racing scene. He finished the race, in the 23rd position.
Reigning Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprint Track Champion Kevin Schaeffer qualified 26th quick with a time of 13.328 seconds. Schaeffer started his True Image Tattoo Maxim Chassis #9S in the seventh starting position in the second heat race. His ninth place heat finish landed him in the B-main where he started eighth, and undisclosed handling problems resulted in a 14th place finish. He declined a track provisional that would have placed him in the A-main, choosing instead to save his equipment for local racing.
Carl Bowser piloted his Bowser Excavating Maxim #10 to 35th quick time of 13.464 seconds. His time set him in the ninth starting position of the third heat, where he improved one position to finish eighth. Starting on the outside pole of the C-main, Bowser battled wheel to wheel with former All Star Champion Chad Kemenah, and led laps two through six. Lapped traffic slowed Bowser's pace, and Kemenah passed him on lap seven and cruised on to the C-Main victory. Despite a furious charge by Brian Paulus, Bowser transferred to the B-main by finishing second in the C-main. The transfer forced him to start dead last, 16th on the field of the B-main. Bowser finished the race on the track and was scored 13th.
Brian Ellenberger, who is a frequent visitor, but not a weekly competitor, faired well throughout the course of the evening. He qualified 13th quick with a time of 13.193 seconds, and then transferred directly through to the A-main by finishing fifth in his heat race. Starting 17th in the feature, Ellenberger was officially credited with a 22nd place finish after being involved in a caution that said him to the rear of the field.
Last but least, Gary Rankin, currently fourth in Lernerville/Budweiser Points, was the beneficiary of Kevin Schaeffer's decision to decline the track provisional. Rankin's 14.247-second qualifying effort was 39th quick, resulting in a 10th place starting position in the third heat. He would improve one spot to finish ninth, but was relegated to the C-main, where he started fifth, finished fourth. The second track provisional had Rankin tailing the field of 28 of the best sprint car drivers in the country. He managed to avoid the attrition the other local drivers suffered and finished the race in the 24th position.
In other racing action, the UMP Modifieds were on hand for their second date on the 2007 Lernerville Schedule. April 17th winner Dave Hess Jr. was not present, opening the door for a new winner. A solid field of 20 cars came out for the opportunity to run the Action Track. In heat race action, Carmen Perigo Jr (#114) of Stoystown, PA won the first heat race from his third place starting position. He moved into first place on the first lap and never relinquished the lead. In heat two, Junior Nolan (#13) of St. Clairsville, OH also took the lead on the first lap from a third place starting spot, and led the entire eight lap heat race, enduring multiple cautions.
After a lengthy layoff for the completion of World of Outlaws competition, the UMP Modifieds took the track for their A-main feature event. Dave Groves (#17J) of Morgantown, WV took the lead on lap two and appeared to be on his way to Victory Lane. Randy Hall (#10) from Olean, NY had other ideas. From his 11th place starting position, Hall quickly made his way to the front, taking fifth on lap two, and second on lap five. Coming off of turn four, Hall finally got around Groves after 15 laps to take the checkers and thus bringing the night's racing action to a close. Hall's UMP win was the second feature win for a New York State Modified driver at Lernerville this season. Chad Brachmann, a Big Block Modified driver from New York, won the Ferrante Motor Cars Modified feature on opening night back on March 30.
Up next at the Action Track is another Fab Four racing event this Friday May 18. Friday is Military Appreciation Night. The fine folks from Operation Troop Appreciation will be on hand to entertain and interact with the National City Kid's Club. They will also be accepting donations and selling camouflage wristbands with proceeds going to care packages sent to troops overseas.
The next special event at the Lernerville Speedway will feature the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars and UMP Modifieds on Tuesday June 5th. Also rapidly approaching are the two signature events of the Action Track. The Inaugural Firecracker 100 and Uncle Sam 30 for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series will go down on June 29th & 30th. Followed by the Cleveland Brothers Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XVI for the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars on July 17. Announced last night during the Commonwealth Clash, Kasey Kahne will be on hand to handle Grand Marshall duties for the Silver Cup XVI. Tickets for both the Firecracker 100 and Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XVI are on sale now. Log on to www.lernerville.com
or contact the track office at (724) 353-1511 for more details.
World of Outlaws A-Main (35 Laps)
1. (11) Steve Kinser, Bloomington, IN
2. (9) Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN
3. (14) Jason Meyers, Clovis, CA
4. (6) Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa
5. (83) Danny Lasoski, Dover, MO
6. (7) Craig Dollansky, Elk River, MN
7. (19) Stevie Smith, New Oxford
8 (R19) Jason Solwold, Mt. Vernon, WA
9. (15) Donny Shcatz, fargo, ND
10. (2) Tim Kaeding, San Jose, Ca
11. (15H) Sam Hafertepe, Sunnyvale, TX
12. (D1) Justin Henderson, Sioux Falls, SD
13. (4) Danny Smith, Danville, IN
14. (21) Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK
15. (1X) Randy Hannagan, San Jose, Ca
16. (20) Paul McMahon, Nashville, TN
17. (7S) Jason Sides, Bartlett, TN
18. (25) Lance DeWease, Fayetteville
19. (35) Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH
20. (8K) Zach Chappell, Talalla, OK
21. (24) Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA
22. (20E) Brian Ellenberger, Butler
23. (6F) Bob Felmlee, Franklin
24. (16) Gary Rankin, Renfrew
25. (10C) Jeremy Campbell, Monroe, MI
26. (2L) Ed Lynch Jr., Apollo
27. (5W) Lucas Wolfe, Mechanicsburg
28. (11D) Dion Hindi, Albuquerque, NM
World of Outlaws Dash
1. (11) Steve Kinser, Bloomington, IN
2. (15H) Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX
3. (6) Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa
4. (9) Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN
5. (D1) Justin Henderson, Sioux Falls, SD
6. (R19) Jason Solwold, Mt. Vernon, WA
7. (14) Jason Meyers, Clovis, CA
8. (7) Craig Dollansky, Elk River, MN
9. (19) Stevie Smith, New Oxford
10. (6F) Bob Felmlee, Oil City
World of Outlaws B-Main (Transferred to A-Main)
1. (4) Danny Smith, Danville, IN
2. (5W) Lucas Wolfe, Mechanicsburg
3. (11D) Dion Hindi, Albuquerque, NM
4. (8K) Zach Chappell, Talalla, OK
World of Outlaws C-Main (Transferred to B-Main)
1. (3X) Chad Kemenah, Findlay, OH
2. (10) Carl Bowser, Sarver
First Commonwealth Bank Clash Time Trial Top Ten
1. (14) Jason Meyers, Clovis, CA 12.959
2. (6F) Bob Felmlee, Oil City 12.990
3. (83) Danny Lasoski, Dover, MO 13.013
4. (21) Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK 13.020
5. (11D) Dion Hindi, Albuquerque, NM 13.034
6. (20) Paul McMahon, Nashville, TN 13.056
7. (10C) Jeremy Campbell, Monroe, MI 13.096
8. (11) Steve Kinser, Bloomington, IN 13.106
9. (9) Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN 13.114
10. (R19) Jason Solwold, Mt. Vernon, WA 13.123
Heat Races Winners
Justin Henderson, Jason Solwold, Tim Shaffer, Steve Kinser
UMP Modified Feature Top 10 (20 Laps)
1. Randy Hall, Olean, NY
2. Dave Groves, Morgantown, WV
3. Carmen Perigo Jr., Stoystown
4. Scott Stiffler, Farmdale, OH
5. Bobby Powell, Meadville
6. Dave Willoughby, Warren, OH
7. Fred Bratchie, Valencia
8. Chuck Kennedy, Mars
9. JE Stalder, Martins Ferry, OH
10. Chris Basich, Adena, OH
UMP Heat Race Winners: Carmen Perigo Jr., Junior Nolan