John Flinner flashes Hall of Fame Brilliance, Dominates All Star Late Model Series Showdown in Sarvertown! Tommy Beck exceeds even his own expectations to finish second Zimmerman and Johnson outrun and outlast competition in DIRTcar Pro Lates and UMP Modifieds features Sarver, PA (May 1, 2011) The Showdown in Sarvertown played out more like an episode of Man vs. Nature, as John Flinner refused to let rough, but extremely fast track conditions stop him from scoring his 41st career Late Model win at Lernerville Speedway and cashing a $5,000 big check from the O’Reilly All Star Late Model Series; and on Friday Night the track was the only thing that could’ve stopped the future Hall of Famer as he nearly lapped the entire field!
Early in the night, before the ruts came into the equation, the 43 Super Late Models in action put the Late Model track record to the test, as Tim Dohm, Eddie Carrier Jr. and Rob Blair were all less than three-tenths of a second off Darrell Lanigan’s record of 15.092 seconds. Dohm later turned a lap at 14.922 seconds during his heat race that was below Lanigan’s track record. Lernerville Management is still looking into whether or not Dohm’s lap will be recognized as the Official Late Model Track Record, as previous track records were established only by way of time trial results. But whether it becomes “official” or not, that’s a wicked fast lap for dirt late model; wicked fast!
The first heat race looked like the first five rows of an All Star A-Main with a loaded field of drivers! Dohm took the checkers, while Rob Blair, Lynn Geisler and John Flinner took the high speed freight train directly to the Showdown A-Main. Late model great Donnie Moran and local star Jared Miley were relegated to the B-Main, though both would later qualify for the A-Main.
The second heat race started in wild fashion as NY Big Block Modified star Dale Planck went for a wild barrel roll off the top of the back stretch, coming to a rough landing on the backside of turn three. Though shaken, Planck walked away from his mangled mount. Boom Briggs led another loaded heat race field to the checkers, followed by Chad Valone, Jacob Hawkins and Defending Lernerville Speedway Track Champion Dave Hess Jr.
Davey Johnson and John Garvin Jr. won the third and fourth heats respectively, with Eddie Carrier Jr., Keith Barbara, Mike Knight, Gregg Satterlee, Tommy Beck and Jacob Hawkins also transferring out of the heats. Donnie Moran and Bryan Force ran away with their respective B-Mains from the pole positions, while John Mollick, Russell King, Dave Murdick and Devin Moran also moved on to the A-Main. Jared Miley and Greg Oaks filled the 24-car field as All Star provisionals.
Carrier and Briggs brought the star-studded grid to the green flag with Carrier taking the early lead. By lap four, the fast but rough racing surface claimed front runners Blair, Hess and Dohm among others. When the green flag came back out Boom Briggs, John Flinner and Tommy Beck looked like rodeo cowboys flying around the bottom of the track, using the ruts to actually propel them around the turns and down the straightaways. Briggs took the lead from Carrier on lap six and led the next five circuits.
On lap 11, Flinner dove low under Briggs in turns three & four, bounced up into the air but never lifted. Briggs checked up just enough to avoid heavy contact with Flinner but also allowing the five-time Lernerville Champion to take the lead.
In a mid-week interview, Flinner actually lamented, “Considering my history with big shows at Lernerville, I’d be thrilled to make the race!” Oh he made the race alright! Over the next 29 laps, Flinner made the 2011 Showdown in Sarvertown a memorable one as he thrilled the crowd with an amazing display of endurance and racing prowess as he nearly lapped the entire field en route to a $5,000 payday and his 41st career Late Model win at the Action Track.
Asphalt racing convert Tommy Beck wasn’t far behind Flinner on the lap five restart and took second away from Briggs on the next lap. Beck actually started to reel in Flinner as they approached lapped traffic, but Flinner would soon pull away. Beck ran a strong race to finished second, but nearly got lapped himself! Beck also had modest expectations entering the race, stating, “As I'm starting my first season focusing on the dirt late model, races such as the Showdown in Sarvertown are a great opportunity to run for an increased purse and see how I stack-up to some of the best regional teams.” After Friday night’s performance, it looks like Beck stacks up pretty favorably with the local late model elite!
Speaking of local late model elite, Gregg Satterlee avoided the early carnage and turned in a strong podium finish. Early leader Boom Briggs finished fourth ahead of rising star Bryan Force. Force was making his Super Late Model debut at the Action Track; making his top five finish that much more impressive! The O’Reilly All Star top ten rounded out with Chad Valone, Russell King, Jared Miley, Donnie Moran and Davey Johnson.
The DIRTcar Pro Late Model field was also loaded as the three regional FASTRAK tracks all canceled earlier in the day. 2010 Western PA Rookie of the Year Billy Stile, Shawn Jett and Rick Strickler won their respective heat races. 14-year old West Virginia wild child Ryan Montgomery took the early lead after Stile broke on the opening lap. Steve Dixon came from eighth on the starting grid and took the lead on lap 16. But on lap 22, Dixon and Kyle Zimmerman made contact battling for the lead. Dixon retired a lap later, while Zimmerman went on to claim the feature win.
Zimmerman, son of former super late model driver Keith Zimmerman, was thrilled to take the checkers in Sheetz Victory Lane. Montgomery held on to finish second, while super late model veterans Mike Blose and Doug Horton finished third and fourth respectively ahead of former multi-time Pure Stock Track Champion Butch Lambert. Mike Pegher Jr.’s #1 Cochran Pro Late Model did not take the green flag for the feature after breaking a wheel in heat race competition.
The UMP Modifieds brought the Showdown in Sarvertown to a dramatic close as West Virginia driver (sensing a trend?) Kenny Johnson inherited the lead from Shawn Shingledecker on lap 13 and cruised to Sheetz Victory Lane. Shingledecker led the first seven laps from the pole before giving way to Johnson. Shingledecker briefly regained the lead in turns one & two before sailing off the backside of turn two. He would recover to finish third behind Johnson and second place finisher Bruce Dreistadt. Clayton Kennedy and Jonathan Taylor rounded out the UMP top five. UMP Modified heats were won by Dan Davies and Deana Groves.
Deana Groves was just one of three ladies competing in the Showdown in Sarvertown. Deana was joined by fellow UMP Mod pilot Kari Gasser and Super Late Model driver Jayme Beck.
Fab Four Racing is back next Friday, May 6 as we celebrate Ladies Night and bring attention to Breast Cancer Awareness. All ladies will be admitted FREE into the grandstands before 7:00 and eligible for dozens of door prizes. We will also once again be accepting $5 donations to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in return for $5 coupons for Fab Four Racing on Friday, April 13.
All Star Late Models Showdown in Sarvertown A-Main (40 Laps)
Heat Race Winners: Tim Dohm, Boom Briggs, Davey Johnson, John Garvin Jr.
- (4T8) John Flinner
- (91) Tommy Beck
- (22S) Gregg Satterlee
- (99B) Boom Briggs
- (31) Bryan Force
- (2V) Chad Valone
- (56K) Russell King
- (H1) Jared Miley
- (99) Donnie Moran
- (47) Davey Johnson
- (99) Devin Moran
- (1C) Lynn Geisler
- (28) Eddie Carrier Jr.
- (37) Jared Hawkins
- (J4) John Garvin
- (4J) John Mollick
- (6T) Tim Dohm
- (W11) Robbie Blair
- (44H) Dave Hess Jr.
- (9K) Mike Knight
- (20H) Jacob Hawkins
- (1J) Dave Murdick
- (17) Keith Barbara
- (22) Greg Oaks
DIRTcar Pro Late Models Feature (25 Laps)
Heat Race Winners: Jett, Stile, Strickler
- (Z17) Kyle Zimmerman, Albion
- (12) Ryan Montgomery, Fairmont, WV
- (5B) Mike Blose, Dayton
- (50C) Doug Horton, Bruceton Mills
- (27) Butch Lambert, Mars
- (48) Rick Strickler, Morgantown, WV
- (38L) Mike Laughard
- (99) Rob Marhefka, Windber
- (100) Bud Watson, Conneaut
- (55S) Chris Schneider, Creighton
- (X) Dusty Hammer, Clarksburg, WV
- (50) Steve Dixon, Smethport
- (1) Kyle Lukon, Burgettstown
- (21R) Randy Kerns, Grafton, WV
- (03) T.J. Downs, Albion, NY
- (B1D) John Volpe, Lakewood, NY
- (55) Joe Martin, Ringgold
- (OO) Josh Holtgraver, Pittsburgh
- (15) Mark Moats Jr., Hookstown
- (14) Daniel Angelicchio, Greensburg
- (137) Shawn Jett, Harrisville, WV
- (8) Daniel Hill, Greenwood, WV
- NLC: (51) Billy Stile III, Charleroi
UMP Modifieds Feature (20 Laps)
DNS: (44H) Dave Hess Jr., Waterford
- (1J) Kenny Johnson, Mineral Wells, WV
- (18) Bruce Dreistadt, West Mifflin
- (54S) Shawn Shingledecker, Polk
- (9)Clayton Kennedy, Mars
- (5) Jonathan Taylor, Saltsburg
- (GRS2) Deana Groves, Morgantown
- (0K) Kari Gasser, Girard, OH
- (56X) Tom Powell, Belpry, OH
- (4) Shane Crotty, Corey
- (31) Jim Weller, Hubbard, OH
- (007) Duane Clay, Warren, OH
- (71D) Dan Davies, Warren
- (38C) Josh Cramer, Latrobe
National Guard Heat Race Winners: Dan Davies, Deana Groves
Car Count Total: 84
All Star Late Model Series: 43
DIRTcar Pro Late Models: 26
UMP Modifieds: 13
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director