Lynch (Lernerville) and Sodeman (Mercer) cash in on DIRTcar Challenge paydays! Lynch extends DIRTcar CSS Points lead
Sarver, PA (August 2, 2010) The DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series continued this weekend at Lernerville Speedway and Mercer Raceway Park. Ed Lynch Jr. dominated the 25-lap DIRTcar CSS feature for the the Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprints at Lernerville Speedway, then took second Saturday Night at Mercer. Jack Sodeman Jr., whom continues to have a banner year in the ultra-competitive Western PA 410 Sprint ranks, captured his first career feature at Mercer Raceway Park Saturday Night.
A big crowd came out to see the 26-car Sprint Car field highlight an all around great night of racing at Don Martin’s Lernerville Speedway. When the dust settled and checkered flag waved, it was Ed Lynch Jr. (Ti22 Performance/DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series), Dave Hess Jr. (DIRTcar Late Models) and Dave Murdick (Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modifieds) in Sheetz Victory Lane for the fourth time each this season. In the process, Lynch picked up $2,000 for his dominant green-to-checker victory. But Lynch wasn’t the only driver to cash in on a bigger payday! Bob Egley was the ERacer’s Bonus Bucks driver for the week and he used a last lap, last turn pass to win the Charapp Route 28 DIRTcar Sportsman Feature.
With a full field of cars and $2,000 on the line for the 25-lap feature winner, the Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprints pushed off first with All Time Wins Leader Ed Lynch Jr. on the pole, flanked by Ti22 Performance’s Brian Ellenberger. Lynch jumped out to a quick lead when the green flag waved, but Ellenberger was in hot pursuit. By lap five, the leadfooted leaders were already into lapped traffic and Ellenberger was right in Lynch’s wake waiting for the slightest mistake; a mistake that never came! Despite heavy lapped traffic and several restarts, Lynch would not be denied his fourth win of the season and a $2,000 payday. The win was Lynch’s 105th career win at the Action Track and catapulted him into the Budweiser Points lead.
From Sheetz Victory Lane, Lynch admitted “It was an advantage starting up front! From the pill draw, to the cautions, all the breaks went our way tonight!” When asked about taking the points lead with the Knoxville Nationals looming, The Apollo Rocket proudly stated, “We’d love to win another championship, but I like to go out there and represent the track, the fans and the competitors. And I’m sure they’d all love to go to Knoxville too!”
After chasing Lynch for 20 laps, Ellenberger had his hands full with heavy pressure from Jack Sodeman Jr. during the closing laps. Ellenberger and Sodeman exchanged second place back and forth as Lynch cruised away to victory. Their battle for second also allowed Defending Track Champion Rod George to join the mix. When the checkers flew, Sodeman crossed the stripe second ahead of George in third and Ellenberger in fourth. Despite finishing fourth on the track, Ellenberger did not cross the scales and was disqualified to the last car on the lead lap. Andy McKisson charged from tenth on the starting grid to fifth by lap four, but could not progress past the leaders and was scored in fourth. Dan Kuriger had another strong run to finish fifth. The Ti22/DIRTcar CSS Top Ten rounded out with Danny Holtgraver, Carl Bowser (from 19th), Bob Felmlee, Kevin Schaeffer and Todd Bauer. National Guard Heat Races were claimed by Holtgraver, Sodeman and Lynch.
After 16 years and some 80 Sprint Car races, the Mercer curse is finally over for Jack Sodeman, Jr. The second generation driver captured his first ever win at the track and more importantly notched his career best seventh win of the season on the circuit, which came in the 25-lap, $2,000 to-win DIRTcar Challenge Series event. Sodeman became the amazing ninth different winner in 11 races this season at Mercer!
“The only thing that saved me is that the old man isn’t still out there or I probably wouldn’t win anything,” stated the 33-year-old North Jackson, Ohio driver when asked about his father. “He’d be kicking my butt. He was a monster at this place for sure. Anytime he would come here he’d be pretty tough. Sometimes luck is with you, sometimes not. Like I said many, many times I’d rather be lucky than good any day. Today the luck fell our way.”
Jason Dolick rocketed into the lead from the pole position with Brent Matus and fifth starting Ed Lynch, Jr. in tow. Sodeman started from sixth and used the outside to move forward taking fourth from Andy Priest and then snuck around Lynch off turn four for third all on lap five. Following a caution for a tangle between Jimmy Light, Aaron Shaffer, and Carl Bowser, Sodeman went to the outside of Matus to grab second on lap six.
It didn’t take long for Sodeman to run down Dolick as he was on the leader on lap seven. Sodeman would make the winning move going to the outside and around Dolick off turn four on lap eighth. After working Matus for eight laps, Lynch finally got around him on lap nine. Matus lost two more spots when Bob Felmlee and Danny Holtgraver took over fourth and fifth on laps 12 and 13 respectively.
Lynch was able to clear Dolick going down the backstretch for second on lap 14 and found himself a straightaway behind Sodeman. Felmlee and Holtgraver next dropped Dolick back two spots when they took over third and fourth on laps 15 and 17 respectively.
As the laps wound down, Lynch wasn’t able to make up much ground on Sodeman as it was a reversal from Friday night’s DIRTcar Challenge event at Lernerville Speedway where Lynch topped Sodeman for the $2,000 victory. Sodeman’s win came in the Unwired, Inc./Economy Tooling/Ti22 Performance-sponsored #23Jr and also earned a Goodyear Tire certificate.
Lynch’s runner-up was his fourth this year to go along with two victories. Point leader Felmlee came from eighth to finish third and was a random Goodyear Tire certificate winner. Holtgraver battled from 10th to finish fourth with Andy McKisson completing the top five. Priest brought Martha Dionise’s #15 home in sixth. Rod George raced from 14th to finish seventh and earned the Goodyear Tire hard charger certificate. Dolick dropped to eighth over Eric Williams and Pete Miller III. Heat winners over the season-high 26-car field were Sodeman, Russ Sansosti, and Brian Steinman, who won the other random Goodyear Tire certificate.
The DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series rolls on to Hartford, OH for the second and final time at Sharon Speedway on Saturday, August 21. Mike Lutz won the July 7 Lou Blaney Memorial Classic to the tune of $3600! Ed Lynch Jr. leads the DIRTcar CSS points heading into the event.
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director
Co-Written by Mike Leone, Mercer PR Director