Hess pockets $2,000, stretches Budweiser Points Lead Swartzlander wins 72nd of career, Holtgraver wins first of 2011 Chris Schneider passes Mike Miller late for third win
July 15, 2011 (Sarver, PA) Weather was not an issue Friday Night, or as Don Gamble would say, “It’s a Chamber of Commerce Night at Lernerville Speedway!” Chad Alchier, Dan Bauman and crew provided an awesome racing surface for Dave Hess Jr., Brian Swartzlander, Danny Holtgraver and Chris Schneider to make their way back to Sheetz Victory Lane!
With $2,000 on the line in the DIRTcar Late Model Special, the battle for the lead was wild and wooly the first few laps! Polesitter Tommy Beck rocketed out to a quick lead at the drop of the green flag in his green #91 machine, but he got a little too high through turns three & four on lap two and spun out while leading the race. PPMS star Brandon Burgoon inherited the lead from Beck, but two restarts later he slid up the track and clipped Jared Miley who spun off turn two to bring out a caution. After a quick stop to the work area just inside the pit fence, Miley rolled back onto the Action Track to begin his assault on the field from the tail. Beck would lead the next two laps, but another caution put Hess on his outside for the lap restart. On the restart, Hess rocketed around the top of turns one & two, taking the lead down the backstretch.
Once at the point, Hess is nearly unstoppable, but as the laps clicked off, Jared Miley was making his way back to the front. He was back in the top five by lap six and into second by the lap 17 restart. By the time the white flag was out, Miley was challenging Hess for the win, but the Defending Track Champion and current Budweiser Points Leader withstood the challenge and checkered his fourth Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Model feature of 2011 to cash in a $2,000 payday!
Behind Miley in second was Dave Murdick in third, Burgoon in fourth, while Tommy Beck made lemonade with his early race lemons to round out the Precise top five. Spots six through ten went to Chuck Sarver, Tony Musolino, Garrett Krummert, Sean Puz and Jeff Jones. National Guard Heat Races were claimed by Lynn Geisler and Dave Hess Jr. Geisler rolled pitside on lap 12 of the feature for a DNF.
The Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Big Block Modifieds thundered onto the Action Track with Kevin Hoffman and Carl Murdick on the front row. Hoffman jumped out to a quick lead, but veteran Tom Winkle took the lead on lap four. Winkle would lead the next six laps before giving way to All Time Diehl Mods wins leader Brian Swartzlander. Like Hess, Swartzlander in nearly unstoppable with the lead, but Winkle made him earn win #72 of an eventual Hall of Fame career!
Winkle scored his best finish in quite a few years with an inspired second place run. Dave Murdick replicated his Late Model finish with a third place run. Kevin Bolland and Jeremiah Shingledecker finished fourth and fifth respectively. The Diehl top ten shook out with early leader Kevin Hoffman, Steve Feder, Phil Evans Jr., Dean Pearson and Carl Murdick. Heats were checkered by Hoffman and Bolland.
Third generation rising star Brandon Matus started on the pole and took an early lead in the Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprint feature. Career win #1 was not in the cards quite yet for “Willis”, as he’s affectionately known in the pits, but that day isn’t far off! If anyone knows the bittersweet feeling of being right on the cusp of that elusive first win it’s Defending Track Champion Danny Holtgraver. Holtgraver was in the exact same position this time last year; recording multiple top fives, but just coming up short of sealing the deal.
Holtgraver took advantage of a restart on lap three and zoomed past Matus exiting turn two. Only a handful of cautions kept Holtgraver in check, as he repeatedly pulled out to big leads under green flag conditions, winning by a full straightaway to take career win #2 and his first of 2011 at Lernerville Speedway. Coming off recent wins at both PPMS and Mercer, along with a month’s worth of experience on the road with the All Star Circuit of Champions, Holtgraver is poised to make some major waves Tuesday Night as the World of Outlaws, All Stars, FAST Flyers and PA Posse all descend on the Action Track for the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XX Twin 30s presented by GottaRace.com.
Andy McKisson also passed Matus on the lap three restart and scored a strong second place finish. Matus improved his best career feature finish with an impressive third place run ahead of Kevin Schaeffer and July 1 feature winner Carl Bowser. Brian Ellenberger was back behind the wheel of the #20E after parting company with division sponsor Ti22 this week. He appeared to break in turns one & two on lap 16 while running third, but was able to rejoin the tail of the field and recovered to score a sixth place finish ahead of Rod George, Scott Priester, Gale Ruth and Gary Rankin. Bowser and Priester won Ti22 Sprint features. Billy Eash returned to the Action Track after an 18 year hiatus!
The night concluded, as it always does, with the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman. And as usual, it was arguably the most competitive feature of the night. Like Brandon Matus, Jimmy Fosnaught is right on the brink of his first career win, but despite starting on the outside pole and leading the first lap, the stars didn’t align yet for Jimmy and incumbent points leader Mike Miller took the lead on lap two. Fosnaught and Miller raced side-by-side for two or three laps before Miller finally cleared Fosnaught and took the lead cleanly on lap five. Miller appeared to be on his way to feature win #3 of the season, but Chris Schneider was right there ready to pounce on even the slightest mistake by Miller. And though he didn’t make a glaring mistake, Miller opened the door just enough for Schneider to take the lead in turns three & four on lap 18. Two laps later Schneider took the checkers and made his third visit to Sheetz Victory Lane with a 602 GM Performance crate engine under the hood!
Miller chased Schneider home in second and extended his Bud points lead. Bob Egley finished third, followed by Wayne Carbo and Jim Fosnaught. The rest of the top ten rounded out with Corey McPherson, AJ Flick, Mark Sanders, Brett McDonald and Troy Jeuther. Heats went to Terry Young, Joe Kelley and Mark Sanders. July 1 feature winner Joe Kelley slowed suddenly on lap 16 while running third for a disappointing DNF in 16th place, just ahead of Rob Shook whom suffered, at the very least, a flat left front tire just a few laps earlier.
Up next is the biggest Sprint Car race of the season as the best Sprint Car drivers in the country roll into Sarvertown for the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XX Twin 30s presented by www.GottaRace.com! Donny Schatz is the Defending Silver Cup Champion, but Joey Saldana (Brad Doty Classic winner Tuesday Night at Limaland) and Tim Shaffer (winner of Friday Night’s “Knight Before the Royal” at Eldora) are also favorites entering the event; which is still the only place to see two 30-lap World of Outlaws A-Mains in one night! Tickets are still available for advance purchase on our website www.Lernerville.com by clicking the “Buy Tickets” icon.
Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprint Feature (25 Laps)
1. (D4) Danny Holtgraver, Pittsburgh
2. (O) Andy McKission, Strattanville
3. (13) Brandon Matus, Wampum
4. (9) Kevin Schaeffer, Kittanning
5. (10) Carl Bowser, Sarver
6. (20E) Brian Ellenberger, Butler
7. (4) Rod George, Kittanning
8. (11) Scott Priester, Rimersburg
9. (1R) Gale Ruth Sr., Pleasantville
10. (16) Gary Rankin, Renfrew
11. (24S) Brian Steinman, Lucinda
12. (33) Brent Matus, Wampum
13. (4K) Bill Kiley, Cabot
14. (6) Shelia Rankin, Renfrew
15. (B6) Bobbi Rankin, Renfrew
16. (3E) Billy Eash, Johnstown
17. (27) Skip Dougherty, Fairmont City
DNS: (08) Dan Kuriger, New Brighton
National Guard Heat Race Winners: Carl Bowser, Scott Priester
$2,000-to-win Precise DIRTcar Late Models Feature (25 Laps)
1. (44) Dave Hess Jr., Waterford
2. (H1) Jared Miley, South Park
3. (1J) Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock
4. (17) Brandon Burgoon, McDonald
5. (91) Tommy Beck, Murrysville
6. (88) Chuck Sarver, West Sunburry
7. (21M) Tony Musolino II, Pittsburgh
8. (29K) Garrett Krummert, New Castle
9. (33) Sean Puz, Springdale
10. (27) Jeff Jones, Zelienople
11. (92) Jayme Beck, Jeannette
12. (J4) John Garvin Jr., Sarver
13. (10) Gary Lyle, Leechburg
14. (03) Doug Eck, Corry
15. (15K) Ray Kroll Sr., Renfrew
16. (1C) Lynn Geisler, Cranberry Twp.
17. (4J) John Mollick, Toronto OH.
18. (111) Brian Swartzlander, Leechburg
19. (7X) Herman Bertolini, Creighton
20. (29) Ken Schaltenbrand, Sarver
National Guard Heat Race Winners: Lynn Geisler, Dave Hess Jr.
Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modified Feature (25 Laps)
1. (83) Brian Swartzlander, Leechburg
2. (28) Tom Winkle, Mars
3. (61) Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock
4. (777) Kevin Bolland, New Brighton
5. (37MD) Jeremiah Shingledecker, Polk
6. (17H) Kevin Hoffman, Franklin
7. (45) Steve Feder, Butler
8. (38) Phil Evans Jr., Greensburg
9. (8J) Dean Pearson, Harrisville
10. (6) Carl Murdick, Butler
11. (96) Mike Turner, Butler
12. (03) Mark Frankhouser, Philipsburg
13. (27R) Dave Reges, Butler
14. (88) Shawn Fleeger, Butler
15. (71B) Don Brown, Butler
National Guard Heat Race Winners: Kevin Hoffman, Kevin Bolland
Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman Feature (20 Laps)
1. (55) Chris Schneider, Springdale
2. (81) Mike Miller, Chicora
3. (30) Bob Egley, Kittanning
4. (54) Wayne Carbo, Saxonburg
5. (20J) Jim Fosnaught, Bairdford
6. (C33) Corey McPherson, Tarentum
7. (2) A.J. Flick, Apollo
8. (32) Mark Sanders, Lowellville
9. (25) Brett McDonald, Saxonburg
10. (57) Troy Jevther, Valencia
11. (528) Dwight Boice, Prospect
12. (3S) Paul Schreckengost, Creighton
13. (21) Jeff Miller, Natrona Heights
14. (39F)Tyler Fox, Pittsburgh
15. (12M) John McCann, Ford City
16. (66) Joe Kelley, Mt. Pleasant
17. (53) Rob Shook, Creighton
18. (28Y) Terry Young, Butler
19. (1) Randy Hanovick, Mars
20. (19) Scott Bowman, Murrysville
21. (24) Mike Gilliland, Portersville
22. (380) Pat Hanley, Monroeville
23. (29B) Scott Byers, Butler
DNS - (55S) Dr. Bob Lipinski, Pittsburgh
National Guard Heat Race Winners: Terry Young, Joe Kelley, Mark Sanders
Car Count Total: 61
Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprints: 18
Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models: 20
Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modifieds: 15
Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman: 28
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director