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Lernerville Speedway Awards Banquet Recap

Lernerville Speedway Awards Banquet Recap

2009 Champions and Award Winners honored

Eight Legends Inducted in Hall of Fame!


Sarver, PA (March 1, 2010) The 2010 Lernerville Speedway Preseason took the green flag Saturday night with the Annual Awards Banquet at the Butler Days Inn before a capacity crowd of almost 400 drivers, crews, car owners, media members, fans and track officials & employees.  The Annual Awards Banquet pays tribute to the previous season’s Track Champions, top ten in Budweiser Points, a variety of award winners, and in a tradition started last year, a new class of Hall of Famers.  Walt Wimer and the All Stars Late Model Series were also on hand to give out awards.


Lernerville Speedway Announcer Dow Carnahan started the festivities by handing out the traditional Lernerville Awards.  In what eventually became a running joke between Dow Carnahan and Joe Kelley, the Sportsman division was recognized first, though they usually fall into the “save the best for last” category on Friday Nights!  The first driver recognized on the night of Legends and Stars, was Randy Hanovick. 


Hanovick was awarded the Most Improved Driver award for the Advance Auto Parts DIRTcar Sportsman division.  Randy could not make his way to the stage due to his ongoing recovery from double hip replacement surgery during the off season, but was thrilled to be honored as the most improved driver in the most competitive division of Fab Four Racing.  Other Most Improved Driver Award winners were Steve Feder in the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modifieds, John Garvin Jr. in the Friedman’s Freshmarkets DIRTcar Late Models and Dan Kuriger in the Commercial Truck & Trailer DIRTcar Sprints.


Up and coming Late Model driver Michael Norris won the Hard Luck Award.  


2009 Sportsman Track Champion Bob Lipinski fittingly won the Sportsmanship Award.  The ARCH Fan Club awarded Sportsmanship Awards to Kevin Schaeffer and Jeremiah Shingledecker.


Advance Auto Parts DIRTcar Sportsman driver Corey McPherson won the Lernerville Speedway Rookie of the Year Award.


Flagman Greg Wheeling won the Craig Fleming Lernerville Appreciation Award.  Greg filled in as assistant flagman for Michael “Moose” Polena; whom continues to recovery from an unfortunate on track incident at Challenger Speedway at the end of the 2008 season.


The Bob Cochran Sponsorship Award was given to Bill Mahan and UnWired Inc. 


The Bill Steinbach Media Award was given to longtime Sprint Car media hound and the new Editor of Area Auto Racing News Jerry Reigle.  Jerry tirelessly covers racing in general, but especially Sprint Car racing throughout the state of Pennsylvania.


The Grover Clasper Award was given to Marsha Schempp.  Marsha has courageously battled cancer and other health issues in recent years, but can be found at the ticket windows, souvenir trailer and basically doing whatever needs done around the track every Friday Night during the Fab Four Racing Season! 


The Milestone in Racing Award was given to Lynch Racing.  The list of accomplishments of Ed Lynch Sr., Jean Lynch and Ed Lynch Jr. is nearly unparalleled in Western Pennsylvania!  During the 2009 season, Ed Lynch Jr. joined the Lernerville Century Club by winning his 100th Lernerville Feature.


The Golden Award was given to Jim Laidlaw.  Jim works tirelessly to keep the speedway grounds clean, safe and ready to host the Greatest Fans in the World!


In a long standing Lernerville Awards Banquet tradition, first time feature winners were presented with checkered flags.  2009 first time winners included Jack Sodeman Jr., Terry Young, Ryan Moyer and Randy Hanovick.


Pastor Bill Beck of Motor Racing Outreach was on hand to give the Invocation, despite the fact that his wife Judy is still hospitalized, recovering from back surgery and subsequent infection.  Brother Bill stated that Judy is improving but has a long way to go.  She felt the Lernerville Banquet was important enough for him to leave her side for the first day since October 13.  To know that Bill and Judy think enough of the speedway, it’s drivers, fans and sponsors to take a day out of their long and winding road to recovery is truly humbling.  We greatly appreciated Bill’s presence and pray for Judy’s continued recovery! 


A first class buffet dinner was followed by the recognition and introduction of 2009 Divisional and Corporate Sponsors; #1 Cochran, Glassmere Fuels, Diehl Auto Group, ERacers, Sheetz, Hooser Tire Mid-Atlantic, Advance Auto Parts, The Hot Dog Guys, National Guard and Valvoline.  Representatives from Racing Clubs, Local Tracks, Regional Touring Series and Media Members included Vicki Emig and Mike Leone from Mercer Raceway Park, The Miley Family from Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, Jack and Jean Coley from the Twin State Auto Racing Club, Bob McWilliams of the Pittsburgh Circle Track Club and Guy Webb, Owen Fritz and Jason Shank of the All Stars.  Media Members Carol Gamble, Don Gamble, Walt Wimer, Tom Zuck, Jim Zufall, Lou Long, Cory Stivason, Dan & Linda Fennell, Chuck Bollinger, Bud Daum, Charlie Moorehead, Tommy Hein and DJ Johnson were on hand and cover Lernerville better than any track in the country!


Rappin’ on Racin’ and Trackside Live host Don Gamble took the stage next to announce and honor the 2009 Class of the Lernerville Speedway Hall of Fame.  The Inaugural Class of Don Martin, Bob Wearing Sr., Lou Blaney, Blackie Watt and Dick Swartzlander was joined by 2009 Inductees Ed and Jean Lynch, Herb Scott, Dick Bailey, Earl Bauman, Pee Wee Flick, Dave Hoffman and Ralph Quarterson.  A new section of Lernerville.com will be open soon and will include complete biographies of these legendary drivers and track officials.


Following the Hall of Fame Induction, track official and National Guardsman Ron Ehrman handed out awards for the National Guard Heat Race Challenge.  Joe Kelley won the Heat Race Challenge with a staggering 10 heat race wins.  He was presented with $400 and prizes from the National Guard.  Also recognized were Ed Lynch Jr. (second with eight wins) and Bob Felmlee and Brian Swartzlander (tied for third with seven wins each).


After the National Guard presentation, awards for 2009 Budweiser Track Champions and Top Ten in points for all four divisions were given out.


As mentioned above, the Advance Auto Parts DIRTcar Sportsman division was honored first.  Shawn Thorn’s sponsors “The Hot Dog Guys” accepted the ninth place plaque on his behalf.  Also on hand to accept their hardware and thank their family, crew and sponsors were Corey McPherson (eighth), Ryan Moyer (seventh), Jim Fosnaught (sixth), Pat Hanley (fourth) and Joe Kelley (second). 


Seated at the head table for the first time in his career was 2009 Budweiser Track Champion Bob Lipinski and his girlfriend Jamie.  Bob is truly a throwback to the “good old days” of racing, as he builds all of his own stuff; from the chassis to the engine and everything in between!  And what would a Lipinski celebration be without his trademark neon green?  This time the neon green was adorned on his shoes!


Representing the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modifieds and accepting their hardware for finishing in the top ten of Bud Points were Steve Feder (tenth), Mike Turner (eighth), Dave Murdick (fourth) and Kevin Bolland (second).  Dow Carnahan also announced that Kevin Bolland will be inducted into the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame in April for his contributions to the local racing community.  Kevin announced that he will be making an announcement about the team’s plans for the 2010 season on their website www.KevinBolland.com in the near future!



Also sitting at the head table for the first time was Diehl Mods Track Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker and his wife Lex.  Jeremiah pulled of one of the most memorable championship moments in the history of Lernerville Speedway by winning the feature and claiming the title despite entering the night third in points behind future Hall of Famers Brian Swartzlander and Kevin Bolland.  Jeremiah also created a memorable moment during the banquet by presenting his father and brother with championship jackets for their priceless roles in the team’s championship run.


Accepting their plaques and representing the Friedman’s Freshmarkets DIRTcar Late Models were drivers Gregg Satterlee (tenth), Jared Miley (ninth), Todd Bachman (seventh), Doug Horton (sixth), John Garvin Jr. (fourth), Dave Murdick (third) and Lynn Geisler (second).  Lynn once again gave some playful ribbing to Alex Ferree, now a three-time Track Champion!


As mentioned above, last night was Alex’s third straight time at the head table as Track Champion of the Friedman’s Freshmarkets DIRTcar Late Model division.  But despite joining the elite company of Dave Hoffman, Lynn Geisler and John Flinner as the only drivers to win three straight championships in the division, Alex joked that at his current rate, it would take him 100 years to catch Lynn Geisler’s lofty win totals!! Alex was once again flanked by his girlfriend Brenda.


The Commercial Truck & Trailer DIRTcar Sprint Car division was represented by drivers Carl Bowser (sixth), Bob Felmlee (fifth), Jack Sodeman Jr. (his niece Taylor accepted on his behalf), Kevin Schaeffer (third) and Ed Lynch Jr. (second).



Rod George and his wife Jackie graced the head table for the third time at the Lernerville Awards Banquet.  The future Hall of Famer also won Track Championships in 1986 and 2002!


Walt Wimer took the stage next to present his #1 Cochran Cavalcade Awards.  On hand to accept their awards were Rod George (his fourth Sprint Car title), Jeremiah Shingledecker (winning his first Mods title), Robbie Blair (five time Late Model Champ) and Max Blair (two time Limited/Crate Late Model Champ).  Walt also presented the prestigious Western PA Rookie of the Year Award to Crate Late Model driver Joe Martin.  Martin, a long time crew member for Mike Blose, burst onto the scene and won his first feature at Mercer Raceway Park during his rookie campaign.


After the Cavalcade Awards, All Stars President Guy Webb took the stage to present trophies to the top six drivers from the Inaugural Season of the All Stars Late Model Series.  Webb commented, as multiple drivers had earlier, about the important role of family in the Lernerville Banquet and the local racing community in general!  He also commended Lernerville Speedway General Manager Gary Risch Jr. for welcoming the inaugural event of the newly formed All Star Late Model Series during the 2009 season and for excelling in a thankless job of following in the footsteps of the Legendary Don Martin.  Dow Carnahan and ASLMS Series Director Jason Shank then recognized and presented trophies to All Star drivers Jared Miley (sixth), Jared Hawkins (fifth), Coleby Frye (fourth), Rod Conley (third), Boom Briggs (second) and All Stars Champion Robbie Blair.



Lernerville Speedway General Manager Gary Risch Jr. threw the checkered flag on the formal portion of the Annual Awards Banquet with his closing comments.  He started by thanking outgoing and longtime division sponsors Commercial Truck & Trailer and Friedman’s Freshmarkets and followed by announcing that Ti22 Performance (Sprints), Integra Shocks (Late Models) and Charapp 28 (Sportsman) will be new division sponsors for the 2010 season.  Car Mate Trailers has also joined the Lernerville Speedway as a marketing partner for the 2010 season. 


Risch announced that the Twin 30s format of the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup was a raving success with sprint car fans nationwide and will be back for the 2010 season.  He also formally announced a format change for the 4th Annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com from a two-day show, to an exciting three-day format.  The three-day Firecracker weekend will feature complete $6000-to-win shows on Thursday & Friday and the $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100 A-Main plus the $3000-to-win Uncle Sam 30 on Saturday Night.


Also back on the 2010 schedule, are the DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede, the wildly successful Mid-Season Championships (complete with guaranteed starting spots in the Firecracker and Silver Cup), two shows each for the All Stars Sprints and Late Models, dates for the BRP Modified Tour and the UFO-sanctioned Lunarville 33.  Finally, Risch announced the creation of the 10-date DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series, featuring $2000-to-win, $9500 total purses, three of which will be hosted at Lernerville Speedway, including the finale at the DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede.  He closed by thanking everyone who plays a part in the Lernerville Speedway family; from track officials and employees, to the drivers, crews, sponsors and of course, the Greatest Fans in the World!


The 2010 Lernerville Speedway Preseason continues this weekend at the Clearview Mall in Butler, PA for the first of two Mall Car Shows.  The cars will be on display from the beginning of business hours on Thursday until the mall closes Saturday Night.  The always popular Fan Favorite Contest will be posted at www.Lernerville.com, along with photos by Cory Stivason for those who cannot attend!


Contact: Lernerville Speedway                      

Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director

(724) 664-1075 · This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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