Jim Weller Jr. wins a slugfest over Del Rougeux Jr. Rod George and Joe Kelley continue winning ways Gregg Satterlee becomes fifth different Late Model Winner
Sarver, PA (May 15, 2010) In this fast paced world we live in, regardless of whether it’s a good book or a DVRed sporting event, sometimes it just makes sense to skip to the end for the best part! Taking nothing away from Rod George’s breathtaking pass on Carl Bowser with two to go, Gregg Satterlee’s charge to the front past Hall of Famer Lynn Geisler, or Joe Kelley’s second straight win, the best part of Valvoline/Armed Forces/PCTC Night was the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modified feature in which Jim Weller Jr. and Del Rougeux Jr. thrilled the crowd with the best race of the year!
Rouguex started on the pole alongside small block ace Gary Smoker and jumped out to an early lead. Weller started ninth but caught a big break when Defending Track Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker got sideways in the apex of turns three and four, collecting Dean Pearson and Dave Murdick. By lap six, Weller had taken second from Kevin Bolland and set his sights on “Leadfoot” Del Rougeux. Rougeux was on the gas and looked like the car to beat. But seasoned veteran Jim Weller Jr. has faced and beaten the best Western PA has had to offer for years, decades actually, and was undaunted by the challenge of running down Rougeux. By lap seven, Weller was pounding the cushion in the turns and drag racing Rougeux down the straightaways.
What unfolded over the next 18 laps can only be described as a slugfest between Rougeux and Weller. Not just from lap to lap, but even within the same lap, Weller and Rougeux swapped the lead over and over again. Weller would use big runs off the top cushion of turns two and four to pull ahead, only to see Rougeux slide low through the next turn to steal back the lead. They split lapped cars high and low, each took turns stealing the others line when a slight lead and lapped traffic allowed. But despite the constant door-to-door and wheel-to-wheel action, neither driver compromised the integrity of the race by using the notorious “chrome horn”. As they approached the checkered flag, lapped traffic was still in play and ultimately cost Rougeux the win as he got held up just enough in turns three and four to allow Weller to pound the top cushion one last time and blast past Rougeux exiting turn four to steal the win! The pulse-pounding victory was Weller’s first at the Action Track since July 11, 2008 and the 34th of his proud career!
Del Rougeux Jr. crossed the stripe a disappointing, but most impressive second. Kevin Bolland recovered from an off night last weekend to finish where he started, in third. “Double Duty” Dave Murdick shook off the effects of the early caution to finish fourth ahead of last Friday’s feature winner Brian Swartzlander. Gary Smoker, Mike Turner, Chris Haines, Carl Murdick and Steve Feder rounded out the Diehl Top Ten. Haines, the 2007 Western PA Rookie of the Year, made his Lernerville Debut in a Big Block Modified; the same chassis, (and paint/decal scheme save the 5H of his #35H), that carried Shingledecker to the title last year. Del Rougeux Jr. and Dean Pearson won National Guard Heat Races.
Long before the Rougeux/Weller slugfest, Defending Track Champion Rod George thrilled the crowd with a classic slide job to steal a win away from Sarver’s own Carl Bowser in the Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprint feature. Bowser started on the front row and jumped out to a quick lead ahead of second row starters Charlie Holben and Danny Holtgraver. After starting sixth, George quickly dispatched Holtgraver and Holben to take second. A couple early cautions slowed the race, but from lap nine on, the race stayed green. Despite having to navigate heavy lapped traffic, Bowser seemed poised to claim his first feature of 2010. But with three laps to go, George dove full bore into turn three and slid ahead of Bowser exiting turn four to take the lead. Once out front, George is nearly impossible to reel back in! Bowser took one last shot exiting turn four coming to the checkered flag, but the “Kittanning Comet” rolled on towards Sheetz Victory Lane for the 42nd time in his illustrious career. The win was extra special for car owner Suzanne Stivason, whose husband Bill was celebrating his birthday!
A disappointed Carl Bowser scored a season best second place finish, a bittersweet accomplishment but it’s something to build on as the season unfolds! Ed Lynch Jr. came from eighth to finish third, another bittersweet feat for the all time division wins leader whom had already won three races by this time last year. Charlie Holben continues to shine with another great run to finish fourth in his own #42G. Pittsburgh Hotshoe Danny Holtgraver scored back-to-back top five finishes for the first time in his career at the Sarver Speedplant, despite fighting the affects of a broken wrist. The most impressive run of the night was turned in by “The Repo Man” Pete Miller III who chalked up a sixth place finish, the best of his blossoming career! The most impressive part of Miller’s finish was the guys that finish directly behind him; Jack Sodeman Jr. in seventh, Kevin Schaeffer in eighth, last week’s feature winner Bob Felmlee in ninth and Scott Priester in 10th. Beating any of those four guys would have been a major accomplishment; beating all four in the same night is fantastic! National Guard Heats were checkered by Sodeman and Felmlee.
Experience beat youthful exuberance in the Ti22 Sprints, so it made sense that Hall of Famer Lynn Geisler would show the bevy of young talent behind him the way to Sheetz Victory Lane in the DIRTcar Late Models. After all, Geisler has made that stop 108 times. Only Bob Wearing Sr. and Lou Blaney have more wins at the Action Track. For the first 18-20 laps, it appeared as though Geisler would score win #109, but Generation Now Superstar Gregg Satterlee had other plans! Starting 10th, Satterlee had his work cut out for him with Bud Points Leader Dave Hess Jr., Jared Miley, John Garvin Jr., Gary Lyle and Denton Boyer between he and Geisler. But Satterlee is one of the brightest young Late Model drivers in the country and has battled the best of the best all over the east coast the past couple seasons! By lap four Satterlee was engaged in a dogfight with Hess for third, then a few laps later for second. Geisler had to love the battle going on behind him, as it allowed him to pull away to a full straightaway lead by lap nine. A handful of cautions slowed the field and allowed Satterlee to restart alongside Geisler. The top cushion was the desired line through the turns, so Geisler chose to restart on the outside of the front row and the strategy proved correct on the first few restarts, but Satterlee finally found the right line with enough momentum to take the lead in turns one and two on the lap 21 restart. Geisler tried to battle back and pound the top cushion entering turn three, but incidental contact with Satterlee sent the Hall of Famer spinning off turn three and bringing out the caution. Geisler’s misfortune was Hess’s golden opportunity, but “The Truth” proved to be too strong and won his first feature of the 2010 Fab Four Racing season. Satterlee became the fifth different winner in five Late Model features this season.
Earlier in the evening, Gregg Satterlee was chosen as the National Guard Heat Race Challenge winner by a lucky fan. Satterlee pocketed an extra $50 from the National Guard and Judy Campbell, whose son leaves for the National Guard this week, won a National Guard Backpack and a ride in the National Guard Humvee!
Dave Hess Jr. maintains the lead in the Budweiser Point Standings with another heat race win and a solid second place finish in the feature; his sixth top five finish in six tries (five in the lates, plus a win in the UMP Mods). Jared Miley and Alex Ferree battled each other in the closing laps, with Miley prevailing for third. Behind Ferree in fourth was Sarver’s own John Garvin Jr. in fifth. Gary Lyle returned to the Action Track after engine woes Opening Night to finish sixth, while early leader Lynn Geisler recovered to finish seventh. Denton Boyer, Chuck Sarver and Todd Bachman rounded out the top ten! As mentioned above, Satterlee and Hess won their respective National Guard Heat Races.
The Charapp Route 28 DIRTcar Sportsman feature rolled onto the speedway third last night, a break from their usual “Main Event” status of bringing Fab Four Racing to a close. Eric Piotrowski and Shawn Thorn brought the field to the green flag with Thorn taking the early advantage. After problems in his heat race, last week’d feature winner Joe Kelley started 13th in the feature, but wasted little time making his way to the front. A handful of early cautions prevented the field from getting strung out and by lap six, Kelley got around an upstart Eric Piotrowski to take second place. Piotrowski enjoyed the best run of his career, battling Brett McDonald for third for the majority of the 20-lap feature. Ahead of Piotrowski and McDonald, Kelley was taking measure of Thorn and made his move on a lap nine restart. The first restart was called back as Kelley and Thorn played cat and mouse, with Kelley jumping the gun a bit. Thorn dropped the hammer first on the second restart, but Kelley still took the lead exiting turn two. Once out front, Kelley cruised to his 35th career Lernerville Feature Win and extended his lead in the Budweiser Point Standings.
Thorn slowed dramatically exiting turn four coming to the checkered flag and coasted to a disappointing fifth place finish. Former Track Champion Butch Lambert filled in for Jason Fosnaught (whom was attending a wedding in San Diego) in the Bill Seitz Racing #J19, and took advantage of Thorn’s late race heartbreak to take second. Terry Young had a fast car all night long and finished third, his best run of the season. Ryan Moyer also scored his best finish of the season in fourth. Brett McDonald (sixth) and Eric Piotrowski (seventh) had their best runs of the year. Mark Sander, Jim Fosnaught and Jim Bills rounded out the Charapp Top Ten. Bills scored the first top ten of his career. Wayne Carbo and Terry Young were National Guard Heat Race winners. Carbo continues to find bad luck, or vice versa. While running eighth and challenging the top five, Carbo was sent spinning off turn two. He rode to the pits on the business end of a tow truck.
Hopefully a relaxing Sunday afternoon at Kennywood Park for the Pittsburgh Circle Track Club’s Motorsports Day will be just the medicine the doctor ordered for Carbo’s terrible misfortune in the opening stages of the 2010 season! Along with Carbo’s #54 Charapp Route 28 DIRTcar Sportsman mount, the #1 Cochran Pace Truck and Diehl Auto Group Safety Truck will be on display at Kennywood on Sunday!
Next Friday May 21, the Diehl Mods will take center stage again as the BRP Modified Tour rolls into Sarvertown for their first race at the Action Track in 2010. The Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprints, DIRTcar Late Models and Charapp Route 28 DIRTcar Sportsman will also be in action on another Fast Friday of Fab Four Racing.
Ti22 Performance DIRTcar 410 Sprint Car Feature: (25 Laps)
Heat Race Winners: Jack Sodeman Jr., Bob Felmlee
- (4) Rod George, Kittanning
- (10) Carl Bowser, Sarver
- (2L) Ed Lynch Jr., Apollo
- (42G) Charlie Holben, Cabot
- (D4) Danny Holtgraver, Pittsburgh
- (3) Pete Miller III, Port Vue
- (23JR) Jack Sodeman Jr., N. Jackson OH.
- (9) Kevin Schaeffer, Kittanning
- (6F) Bob Felmlee, Franklin
- (11) Scott Priester, Rimersburg
- (33) Brent Matus, Wampum
- (96) Lindsay Enscoe, Petrolia
- (44) Pete Landram, Jeanette
- (6) Shelia Rankin, Renfrew
- (13) Brandon Matus, Wampum
- (21) Jack Whitmore, Brookfield OH.
- (16) Gary Rankin, Renfrew
- (70X) Mike Bertolini, Creighton
- (7) Eric Williams, Greenville
- (24S) Brian Steinman, Lucinda
- (3B) Scott Bonnell, Fairview
DIRTcar Late Models Feature: (25 Laps)
DNS: (72) Michael Norris, Sarver
- (22) Greg Satterlee, Rochester Mills
- (44) Dave Hess Jr., Waterford
- (H1) Jared Miley, South Park
- (4) Alex Ferree, Saxonburg
- (J4) John Garvin Jr., Sarver
- (10) Gary Lyle, Hyde Park
- (1C) Lynn Geisler, Cranberry twp.
- (56) Denton Boyer, Punxsutawney
- (88) Chuck Sarver, West Sunburry
- (66) Todd Bachman, Natrona Heights
- (3) Dan Swartzlander, Freeport
- (7X) Herman Bertolini, Creighton
- (1J) Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock
- (4J) John Mollick, Toronto OH.
- (111) Jim Detman, Leechburg
- (2J) Mike Johnson, Imperial
- (29) Ken Schaltenbrand, Sarver
- (29K) Garrett Krummert, New Castle
DNS: (23) Tony Burke, Sarver
Heat Race Winners: Gregg Satterlee, Dave Hess Jr.
Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modified Feature: (25 Laps)
Heat Race Winners: Del Rougeux Jr., Dean Pearson
- (31) Jim Weller Jr., Hubbard OH.
- (20D) Del Rougeux Jr., Frenchville
- (777) Kevin Bolland, New Brighton
- (61) Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock
- (83) Brian Swartzlander, Leechburg
- (516) Gary Smoker, Mercer
- (96) Mike Turner, Butler
- (35H) Chris Haines, Sandy Lake
- (6) Carl Murdick, Butler
- (45) Steve Feder, Butler
- (88) Shawn Fleeger, Butler
- (71B) Don Brown, Butler
- (37MD) Jeremiah Shingledecker, Polk
- (72) Mike Miller, Chicora
- (29E) Erik Martin, Evans City
- (8J) Dean Pearson, Harrisville
Charapp Route 28 DIRTcar Sportsman Feature: (20 Laps)
DQ: (55L) Bob Lipinski, Pittsburgh
- (66) Joe Kelley, Mt. Pleasant
- (J19) Butch Lambert, Mars
- (28Y) Terry Young, Butler
- (13X) Ryan Moyer, Portersville
- (12) Shawn Thorn, Vandergrift
- (25) Brett McDonald, Saxonburg
- (7) Eric Piotrowski, Cranberry Twp.
- (32) Mark Sanders, Lowellville OH.
- (20J) Jim Fosnaught, Bairdford
- (24) Jim Bills, Portersville
- (2) A.J. Flick, Apollo
- (57) Troy Jeuther, Valencia
- (21) Jeff Miller, Natrona Heights
- (29B) Scott Byers, Butler
- (8C) Fred Casagni, Vandergrift
- (30) Bob Egley, Kittanning
- (54) Wayne Carbo, Saxonburg
DNS: (3S) Paul Schreckengost, Creighton
DNS: (C33) Corey McPherson, Tarentum
Heat Race Winners: Wayne Carbo, Terry Young
Car Count Total: 76
Ti22 Performance DIRTcar 410 Sprint Cars: 21
DIRTcar Late Models: 20
Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modifieds: 16
Charapp Route 28 DIRTcar Sportsman: 19