No upset win, but much “Silver Lining” for local drivers!
Sarver, PA (July 16, 2008) Lernerville Speedway fans will never forget Tuesday July 26, 2002 when local racing icon Ed Lynch Jr. pulled off the ultimate upset by beating the World of Outlaws in the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup. There was no such “Joy in Mudville” last night in the Cleveland Brothers CAT Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XVII, but there were many “Silver Linings” for the regular Lernerville Speedway/Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprint Car drivers.
Though he was unsuccessful in capturing his second Silver Cup victory, Ed Lynch Jr. did set the 17th quick time (of a stout field of 47 cars) of the night with a lap of 14.057 seconds. His time saddled him fifth in the first heat race along with Diehl Toyota of Butler Fast Qualifier Chad Kemenah and eventual Silver Cup winner Steve Kinser. Finishing fourth in the loaded heat race transferred Lynch directly into the $40,000-to-win A-Main feature event. Lynch (#2L of Apollo) started the 40-lap feature 17th on the grid. Lynch was on the move forward but spun out in turns one & two on lap 18. He would rejoin the tail of the field and was on the move forward again, but locked up the brakes to avoid a flipping Sam Hefertepe Jr. in turn four. Lynch once again rejoined the tail of lead lap cars and eventually salvaged a 16th place finish.
Two-time defending Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprint Car Track Champion Kevin Schaeffer (#9 of Kittanning) had the best World of Outlaws experience of his career last night. Schaeffer turned in an impress qualifying effort of 13.997 seconds; good enough for 10th quick and the only local driver to turn a sub-14 second lap. His time set him third on the second heat race grid against two-time defending Outlaws and Silver Cup Champion Donny Schatz and 2008 First Commonwealth Bank Clash winner Jason Meyers. For the first time in his career, Kevin raced his way into a World of Outlaws feature event by finishing fifth in his heat race, holding off a hard-charging Bob Felmlee. Schaeffer started 13th on the field and was running a solid race, but retired to the pits on lap 18 during the caution brought out by Ed Lynch Jr.
The only other local driver to race into the Silver Cup main event was Rob Eyler (#5A of Franklin). Eyler, (winner of the May 23 CTT Sprint feature), saw his second checkered flag of the season by capturing the B-Main and transferring into the A-Main feature. Prior to his B-Main triumph, Eyler set the 20th quickest time with a lap of 14.243 seconds, resulting in a fifth place start in the fourth heat race. Eyler could not fend off the advances of PA Posse members Chad Layton and eventually finished eighth. But that was erased by his B-Main win which slotted him 19th on the Silver Cup A-Main field. Eyler was officially credited with a 28th place finish after completing just 10 laps.
Both Budweiser points leader Bob Felmlee (#6F of Seneca) and third place Rod George (#4G of Kittanning) used track provisionals to make the big dance after failing to qualify through their heat races. Felmlee qualified 22nd with a circuit timed at 14.280 seconds. After finishing one spot out of the transfer (sixth) in his heat race, Felmlee finished seventh in the B-Main, knowing full well that he had a guaranteed starting position by way of provisional. Rod George struggled early in the show by turning the 35th quickest lap of 14.889 seconds, then finishing eighth in his heat. Knowing that Kevin Schaeffer was already in the show and that he had the option of a provisional, George did not push the issue to get past Cory Good and Gary Rankin on a slick track in the C-Main. Starting 26th and 28th respectively, Felmlee and George advanced several spots to finish 21st and 22nd officially.
As mentioned above Cory Good (#X of Smicksburg) and Gary Rankin (#16 of Renfrew) raced their way from the C-Main into the B-Main, but neither was able to advance into the A-Main from there.
Butler-native and All Star regular Brian Ellenberger (#20E) turned in the 21st quickest time of night with a time of 14.256 seconds. But heartbreak ensued as Ellenberger finished one spot out of the transfer position both in his heat race (sixth) and in the B-Main (fifth).
Scott Bonnell (#3B of Fairview) turned in the 18th best lap during qualifying with a time of 14.173 seconds. Bonnell’s eight place heat race finish combined with his time resulted in a front row starting spot in the B-Main. He ran in the top four for much of the race, but succumbed to PA Posse veterans Stevie Smith and Fred Rahmer in the closing laps to miss out on a transfer spot into the A-Main.
Other locals racers in competition during the Silver Cup included Mike Lutz, Dan Kuriger, Charlie Holben, Jason Pisani, Dan Shetler, Brent Matus, Joe Butera, Bill Kiley, Carl Bowser, Lindsay Enscoe, Sheila Rankin and Paul Kish.
The Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprint Car drivers will be right back in action this Friday night for another Fab Four Show. This week’s Fab Four race is sponsored by West Hills/Pittsburgh East Nissan and will also feature Nostalgia Night. Approximately 50 drivers of days gone by are expected to be on hand, as well as several vintage and classic race cars from the rich 41 year history of Don Martin’s Lernerville Speedway. Come early to see, talk to and get autographs from your favorite drivers of yesteryear.
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director