A Record 11 Local/Regional Racers make Firecracker 100 Matt Lux completes all 100 laps, finishes 13th Robbie Blair wins $3000 Uncle Sam 30 Sarver, PA (June 29, 2009) Jimmy Mars claimed Saturday night's 3rd Annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com at Lernerville Speedway, but the 28-car field included an event record 11 local/regional Late Model pilots, each taking home at least $2000 just for taking the green flag. When the checkered flag waved for Mars, Matt Lux and Jared Miley were still on the track. Matt Lux finished on the lead lap in 13th place, taking home $2700. Jared Miley spent multiple laps in the infield pit area during several stops, but finished the race under green flag conditions 10 laps down in 17th place.
A combination of circumstances created the perfect storm that allowed so many of the local and regional racers to advance to the big dance Saturday Night. During time trials, the track was slicker, and thus slower, than many of the teams anticipated. These track conditions gave more of an advantage to the local and regional drivers whom have more experience at the Action Track, as opposed to the big-money, big-horsepower teams. Then, the heats lined up directly by the results of time trials, thus putting the locals at the front of a few of the heat races. Another variable created by the unexpected track conditions for time trials was that some of the heats were loaded with local and regional drivers, while others were loaded with tour regulars and big show specialists. The B-Mains ended up being the same way.
Jared Miley was the quickest of the locals during qualifying, turning a lap of 18.028 seconds; good enough to be eighth quickest of a star studded 61-car field. 1990 Lernerville Track Champion Ron Davies, (now more of a regional, big race specialist), turned in the ninth quickest lap of qualifying with a time of 18.038 seconds. Other top 20 qualifiers were Matt Lux (11th), Doug Horton (12th) and Mike Blose (13th).
Heat race #1 was one of the World of Outlaws loaded heats, with Darrell Lanigan, Tim Fuller and Rick Eckert advancing. Last year’s Firecracker heat race hero Mike Blose had a stranglehold on the third and final transfer position all race, but Rick Eckert took the position in the final turn of the final lap.
Heat race #2 was more favorable for area drivers, especially after WoO LMS Sweeteners Plus teammates Vic Coffey and Tim McCreadie got together exiting turn four. McCreadie’s car flipped wildly, even making Wind Tunnel’s “Eye Candy” video highlight reel last night. Even before this incident, both Jared Miley and Coleby Frye were running in the top five, but when the checkered flag flew for Steve Francis, both Miley and Frye transferred into the A-Main, ahead of Earl Pearson Jr.; who would go on to finish third in the Firecracker 100.
Heat race #3 was loaded with big show specialists as previous Firecracker Champions Scott Bloomquist and Brian Birkhofer qualified into the A-Main along with 2009 Eldora Dream winner Jimmy Owens. Heat race #4 was another Outlaws loaded race with “Kid Rocket” Josh Richards, Brady Smith and Chub Frank advancing.
Heat race #5 consisted of eight Pennsylvania drivers in the 10-car field. Delaware sensation Jamie “The Jet” Lathroum, winner of a WoO LMS feature earlier this summer, took the checkers after Robbie Blair blew up while leading by a significant margin. Behind Blair, then Lathroum, was the best race of the night between Boom Briggs, Matt Lux, Dave Hess Jr. and Keith Barbara.
All four drivers are semi-regular competitors at Lernerville Speedway and all have won Fab Four Features in the Friedman’s Freshmarkets DIRTcar Late Models during the past two seasons, technically Boom Briggs won the Inaugural All Star 50 at Lernerville earlier this season. With Blair at the point for 11 laps, the race for the final transfer position was heated between Lux, Briggs and Hess. When Blair’s blown motor brought out the final caution of the race, Keith Barbara smelled blood in the water and passed both Lux and Hess coming to the checkered flag to transfer into the Firecracker 100 A-Main.
Heat race #6 saw Doug Horton drive the Bobby Lake Motorsports #46 to the checkered flag and into a guaranteed starting position for the Firecracker 100. Horton has been knocking on the door of a feature win at Lernerville Speedway all season and ran a flawless race to transfer ahead of Dale McDowell and eventual Firecracker 100 Champion Jimmy Mars.
So by virtue of the heat race accomplishments, Doug Horton, Jared Miley, Boom Briggs, Coleby Frye and Keith Barbara were all locked into $2000-to-start positions in the 3rd Annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com after the dust settled on the Action Track Friday Night; as were Gregg Satterlee and Alex Ferree via track provisionals.
Saturday Night started off with the C-Main. As mentioned above, Mid-Season Champion Gregg Satterlee knew that he had a guaranteed provisional and had a long road to hoe through the C, then a B-Main. He did not answer the bell for the C-Main, choosing instead to invoke his provisional instead of beating and banging his way through two consolation races.
Four drivers would transfer from the C to the B-Mains and only Robbie Blair and Dave Murdick transferred from the local contingent in the race; which also consisted of Michael Norris, Nick Reges, Jason Fosnaught, Todd Bachman, John Mollick and Ken Schaltenbrand.
B-Main #1 was of the local flavor with more than half of the field hailing from Western Pennsylvania/Eastern Ohio. Big hitters Vic Coffey, Brandon Kinzer and Eddie Carrier Jr. were in the mix, but in the end it was the trio of Mike Blose, Matt Lux and Dave Hess Jr., (all whom narrowly missed the transfer from the heats), moving on the Firecracker 100.
B-Main #2 was more of a “What’s that guy doing in the B-Main?” kind of field, as Earl Pearson Jr., Steve Shaver and Clint Smith transferred to the A-Main. Left on the outside looking in were Shane Clanton and Robbie Blair. Clanton would tail the A-Main via a World of Outlaws provisional, Robbie Blair was cast into the Uncle Sam 30.
One of the things that makes the Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com such a special event is the Uncle Sam 30; a non-qualifiers race that pays $3000-to-win. In most Crown Jewel events, you get in to the finale or you go home. At the Firecracker, everyone that does not transfer into the A-Main, gets a “last chance” to race for a substantial payday. Previous winners of the Uncle Sam 30 include Josh McGuire and Mike Knight.
This year, the Uncle Sam 30 belonged to Robbie Blair. Blair has never had much luck at Lernerville Speedway, but he was hitting on all cylinders during the Uncle Sam 30 and took home the $3000, the same amount Rick Eckert and Shane Clanton took home for top ten finishes in the Firecracker 100!
Despite Blair’s performance, the most impressive part of the Uncle Sam 30 from a local perspective was the run turned in by Dave Murdick. After a month layoff waiting for a new engine in the Pitkavish #1J, Murdick ran most of the 30-lap race in third place. He faded a bit late in the race, but still brought home a top five.
Other local and regional competitors in the Uncle Sam 30 included Ron Davies (8th), Lynn Geisler (10th), Gary Lyle (11th), Michael Norris (13th), Tony Burke (15th), Herman Bertolini (16th), Tony Musolino (17th), Todd Bachman (18th), Jason Fosnaught (19th), Nick Reges (20th) and Mike Knight (21st).
As mentioned above, 11 local/regional drivers started the 3rd Annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com, with Matt Lux finding the most success with a 13th place finish. Jared Miley was the only other local/regional driver to finish the race on the track, scored 10 laps down in 17th place.
Matt Lux’s performance Saturday Night in the 100-lap finale of the three-day World of Outlaws Late Model Series extravaganza at Lernerville Speedway can at least partially be contributed to his weeklong road trip with the WoO LMS the previous week on the Great Northern Tour. Lux races in true Outlaw style, picking and choosing races without regard for running at any specific track or sanctioning body for points. The seat time and experience he gained last week on the Great Northern Tour is invaluable and it showed all weekend.
Lux set the 11th quickest mark in time trials with a lap of 18.069 seconds. He started on the outside pole of heat race #5 and ran most of the race in or battling for the transfer, but contact with Dave Hess Jr. on the final lap allowed Keith Barbara to pass both of them at the stripe. Barbara’s last lap pass put Lux into the B-Main where he once again battled Dave Hess Jr. for the final transfer. This time, after Eddie Carrier Jr. dropped out late in the race, both Lux and Hess would advance to the big show! In the A-Main, Lux picked up a couple positions during each green flag session between the handful of cautions that slowed the early stages of the 100-lapper. He also gained positions during those cautions as other locals took advantage of the infield pit area to make adjustments to their cars. Lux chose, instead, to stay on the track and take advantage of track position. And while he was never in serious contention for the win, Lux finished all 100 laps and took home $2700 for his endurance and the 13th finishing position.
As mentioned above, Jared Miley was the only other local/regional driver still on the track when the checkers flew for Jimmy Mars. Miley was one of those whom took full advantage of the infield pit area to make adjustments, (and later repairs), to his car before returning to the track. As the laps ticked off and the going got tough, many of the local drivers chose to save their equipment for the coming weeks of Fab Four Racing, but Jared Miley and the H1 crew persevered and kept on racing despite being 10 laps down. Miley finished 17th and took home $2200.
Being a Rookie of the Year contender on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series doesn’t exactly make Russell King a local/regional driver anymore, but his roots are firmly planted in the Western PA/Eastern OH racing community. King has turned hundreds of laps at Lernerville Speedway during the early stages of his career, both in a Big Block Modified and more recently behind the wheel of a Super Late Model. Like Matt Lux, but to a much greater extent, Russell King has gained priceless seat time this year travelling the country with the WoO LMS. There is simply no better way to improve than to consistently race against the best in the business and that is exactly what he has spent this season doing. And while his qualifying efforts did not produce the desired results; King did earn an Outlaws provisional and completed 92 laps to be officially scored 16th before pulling off late in the race.
The rest of the local contingent dropped out or had mechanical failures earlier in the race; Coleby Frye finished 20th, Keith Barbara 21st, Mike Blose 22nd, Boom Briggs 23rd, Dave Hess Jr. 25th, Alex Ferree 26th, Gregg Satterlee 27th and Doug Horton 28th.
On behalf of the Lernerville Speedway management team, we are very happy for and proud of the local teams that defended and represented the track and local racing community so well during the Firecracker weekend! The experience will only make the Friedman’s Freshmarkets DIRTcar Late Model division that much more competitive during the remainder of the Fab Four Racing and Budweiser Points season.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com' (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (18) Jimmy Mars/100 $30,950
2. (1) Darrell Lanigan/100 $18,156
3. (20) Earl Pearson Jr./100 $8,000
4. (10) Brady Smith/100 $6,000
5. (2) Steve Francis/100 $5,325
6. (9) Brian Birkhofer/100 $4,500
7. (15) Jimmy Owens/100 $4,000
8. (6) Josh Richards/100 $3,500
9. (13) Rick Eckert/100 $3,000
10. (25) Shane Clanton/100 $3,000
11. (22) Steve Shaver/100 $2,800
12. (16) Chub Frank/100 $2,700
13. (21) Matt Lux/100 $2,700
14. (3) Jamie Lathroum/99 $2,500
15. (7) Tim Fuller/98 $2,400
16. (26) Russell King/92 $2,650
17. (8) Jared Miley/90 $2,200
18. (24) Clint Smith/73 $2,100
19. (12) Dale McDowell/66 $2,150
20. (14) Coleby Frye/64 $2,000
21. (17) Keith Barbara/51 $2,000
22. (19) Mike Blose/50 $2,000
23. (11) Rick Briggs/48 $2,000
24. (4) Scott Bloomquist/43 $2,000
25. (23) Dave Hess Jr./41 $2,000
26. (28) Alex Ferree/41 $2,000
27. (27) Gregg Satterlee/22 $2,000
28. (5) Doug Horton/19 $2,000
* Earnings include lap money and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 1 Hour, 5 Mins., 25.180 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.472 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 10 (Laps 5, 13, 15, 20, 23, 24, 27, 65, 76, 95)
Lap Leaders: Francis (1-9); Lanigan (10); Francis (11-12); Lanigan (13-93); Mars (94-100)
Provisional Starters: Clanton, King (WoO); Satterlee, Ferree (track)
Rookie of the Race: King ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks' Winner: Mars ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Chris Mars (Mars)
Top Local Finisher (in memory of Joe Pitkavish): Matt Lux ($100)
Hard Luck Award (courtesy Mr. Motorsports 2009 Alyssa Sharman): Dale McDowell ($100)
Hard Charger Award (courtesy Mr. Motorsports 2009 Alyssa Sharman): Jimmy Mars ($100)
Fast Time Award (courtesy R2C Competition Filters): Darrell Lanigan ($500)
Lap Money Awards: Lanigan ($2,606); Francis ($275); Mars ($250)
Top Ohio Finisher in Firecracker 100 (courtesy JMS Pro Photo): Russell King ($100)
Fastest Ohio Qualifier (courtesy JMS Pro Photo): John Mason ($25)
Ohio Driver Hard Luck (courtesy JMS Pro Photo): John Mollick ($50)
C-Main (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer to B-Mains): 1. Jordan Bland, 2. Robbie Blair, 3. Vic Coffey, 4. Dave Murdick, 5. Michael Norris, 6. Nick Reges, 7. Peter Mantha Jr., 8. Jason Fosnaught, 9. Todd Bachman, 10. John Mollick, 11. Tim McCreadie, 12. Ken Schaltenbrand, 13. Dustin Hapka (DNS) Gregg Satterlee
B-Main No. 1 (20 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Mike Blose, 2. Matt Lux, 3. Dave Hess Jr., 4. Vic Coffey, 5. Brandon Kinzer, 6. Brent Robinson, 7. Ron Davies, 8. Bump Hedman, 9. Greg Oakes, 10. Jordan Bland, 11. Lynn Geisler, 12. Eddie Carrier Jr., 13. Russell King, 14. Herman Bertolini, 15. Dan Stone, 16. John Mason
B-Main No. 2 (20 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Earl Pearson Jr., 2. Steve Shaver, 3. Clint Smith, 4. Shane Clanton, 5. Robbie Blair, 6. Austin Hubbard, 7. Tyler Reddick, 8. Mike Knight, 9. Gary Lyle, 10. Dave Murdick, 11. Tony Burke, 12. April Farmer, 13. Jeremy Miller, 14. Tony Musolino, 15. John Garvin, 16. Alex Ferree
Uncle Sam 30 Non-Qualifiers' Race Finish (30 laps): 1. Robbie Blair ($3,000); 2. Vic Coffey ($2,000); 3. Austin Hubbard ($1,500); 4. Dan Stone ($1,200); 5. Dave Murdick ($1,000); 6. Brandon Kinzer ($800); 7. Greg Oakes ($700); 8. Ron Davies ($600); 9. Bump Hedman ($500); 10. Lynn Geisler ($400); 11. Gary Lyle ($300); 12. Brent Robinson ($300); 13. Michael Norris ($300); 14. Tyler Reddick ($300); 15. Tony Burke ($300); 16. Herman Bertolini ($300); 17. Tony Musolino ($300); 18. Todd Bachman ($300); 19. Jason Fosnaught ($300); 20. Nick Reges ($300); 21. Mike Knight ($300); 22. April Farmer ($300)
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
* Arizona Sport Shirts ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in B-Mains): Michael Norris, Robbie Blair
* Armor All (case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main w/decal): Jimmy Mars
* Champ Pans ($50 product certificate to ‘Bonus Bucks' winner w/decal): Jimmy Mars
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to A-Main winner w/decal): Jimmy Mars
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to 10th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Shane Clanton
* Crane Cams ($100 product certificate to Heat 3 winner w/decal): Scott Bloomquist
* Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner w/decal): Mike Blose, Earl Pearson Jr.
* Fusion Energy ($50 cash award to Heat 2 winner w/decal): Steve Francis
* Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash award to fast qualifier w/decal): Darrell Lanigan
* Quarter-Master ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner w/decal): Jimmy Mars
* Quarter-Master ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Steve Francis
* Quarter-Master ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Tim Fuller
* Super Clean ‘Start of the Race' (one case of product): Darrell Lanigan
* VP Racing Fuels ‘Outside Looking In' Award (free 54-gallon drum of VP-113 or Late Model Plus racing fuel to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main if decal is displayed): Robbie Blair
* Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Jimmy Mars
2009 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of June 27 – 21 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/wins/top-5s/top-10s/earnings/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 5-11-16-$99,820-2819 (-0)
2. Steve Francis 5-12-17-$94,985-2813 (-6)
3. Darrell Lanigan 0-10-17-$95,106-2799 (-20)
4. Rick Eckert 2-8-15-$56,175-2771 (-48)
5. Shane Clanton 1-3-14-$57,300-2707 (-112)
6. Brady Smith 0-9-12-$53,365-2698 (-121)
7. Chub Frank 0-3-13-$43,130-2673 (-146)
8. Tim Fuller 0-5-10-$39,980-2671 (-148)
9. Clint Smith 0-1-8-$33,820-2549 (-270)
10. Russell King 0-0-2-$21,490-2204 (-615)
11. Jordan Bland 0-0-1-$22,990-2151 (-668)
12. Brent Robinson 0-0-1-$12,730-2087 (-732)
13. Vic Coffey 0-2-4-$23,900-2007 (-812)
14. Dustin Hapka 0-0-0-$9,610-1914 (-905)
15. Tyler Reddick 0-0-0-$5,575-1715 (-1104)
16. Austin Hubbard 0-2-4-$16,545-1544 (-1275)
17. Shannon Babb 1-4-7-$42,830-1470 (-1349)
18. Matt Lux 0-0-0-$10,640-1140 (-1679)
19. Dan Stone 0-1-1-$7,220-949 (-1870)
20. Dale McDowell 0-2-3-$14,550-829 (-1990)
FOLLOW THE ACTION ON TWITTER: Fans can now keep up-to-date with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series online and through text messages on cell phones via the Twitter, the internet's fast-growing social-networking and micro-blogging website. Updates are provided to Twitter ‘followers' of the WoO LMS throughout each race night, and fans also receive breaking news and interesting notes from the tour.
To sign-up as a WoO LMS ‘follower' on Twitter to receive updates anywhere at anytime, visit http://twitter.com/WoOLateModels.
LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can't get to a track to see the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, they can experience the excitement of the nation's premier tour live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.
To listen to the free audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Crane Cams (Official Valvetrain), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Fusion Energy Boost (Official Energy Boost), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser) and VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors Champ Pans, Eibach Springs, Hoosier Tires, Integra Shocks, Jake's Custom Golf Carts, Ohlins Shocks, Racing Electronics, Quarter Master and Wrisco Aluminum; Crane Cams Engine Builder's Challenge participants Cornett Racing Engines, Custom Race Engines and Pro Power Racing Engines; and Chassis Builder Challenge participants Rocket Chassis and Team Zero by Bloomquist.
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director