Sarver, PA (July 2, 2013) As always, the local and regional Late Model drivers came out in droves to support the three-day Firecracker 100 weekend and the results were a mixed bag! For some drivers, just being in competition is enough; to be part of the biggest Late Model racing weekend in Pennsylvania is a mission accomplished. For others, they want to measure themselves against the best Dirt Late Model drivers in the country and race into the A-Mains. But for guys like Gregg Satterlee, Dave Hess Jr. and Davey Johnson, they want to equal the feats of Ed Lynch Jr., Tim Shaffer and Dale Blaney in the Sprint Car division by defending their home turf and adding a World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main win at Lernerville Speedway to their resume. And while no local driver has conquered that mountain, Gregg Satterlee came the closest of any driver yet! Despite pitting mid-race to get new rubber for the second half of the race, Gregg Satterlee became the first local driver to score a top five finish in the 100-lap, $30,000-to-win Crown Jewel event with a crowd pleasing fourth place finish! The getting there wasn’t easy as Satterlee missed the transfer by one position because he twice had to go to the tail of his heat race and thus had to win his B-Main just to make the show! He also finished fifth in the second preliminary A-Main and won his heat race on Saturday afternoon after a disappointing start to the weekend of Thursday night. With a pair of top fives in his pocket, Satterlee took home almost $10,000 in purse and contingency awards. One of the all time greats in Western PA Late Model racing, Davey Johnson also scored a top five finish in a thrilling run during Thursday Night’s preliminary A-Main after winning one of the three B-Mains. “The Juice” started Saturday afternoon’s Preliminary round behind the proverbial eight-ball due to being disqualified during time trials because of his deck height; one of almost a dozen in violation. But he bounced back when it counted and finished second in his Saturday Night heat and finished 16th in the Firecracker 100 A-Main; the second highest finishing local driver. Russell King had a great weekend scoring both a preliminary A-Main top ten and then winning Saturday Night’s Uncle Sam 30 presented by Turner’s Premium Iced Teas. King made the A-Main in both preliminary rounds. He finished 20th on Thursday Night and a rousing eighth place finish Saturday afternoon after finishing second in both heat races. Saturday evening didn’t see King transfer into the A-Main, but he salvaged a strong finish to the night winning the Uncle Sam 30 presented by Turner’s Premium Iced Teas and the $3,000 that goes along with it! Dave Hess Jr. made the A-Main all three rounds, but posted 27th, 21st and 26th place finishes. He did, however, win his heat Thursday Night (while carrying the BigE GoPro camera that you can watch on our YouTube chanell), but had to pull off the track just 10 laps into the A-Main due to being out of tear offs and not wanting to chance tearing up his equipment with two rounds remaining in the weekend. He had to transfer through the B-Mains in both Saturday sessions; thrilling the crowd with a wild move in the final laps Saturday Night and making heavy contact with local rival Alex Ferree to mixed reviews from the crowd. Alex Ferree struggled through a round weekend starting on Thursday Night when he failed to transfer through his heat race and failing to answer the bell for the B-Main. On Saturday afternoon he missed the transfer from the heat by two positions and through his B-Main by one position. Then, as documented above, Ferree appeared to have second place in the bag of his Saturday Night B-Main, but heavy contact from Hess knocked him out of the transfer, into the pits and forcing him to cash in his Mid-Season Championship provisional to start the Firecracker 100 A-Main but pitted after taking the green flag scored in 28th. John Garvin Jr. had an up and down weekend, starting with a strong second place run in one of Thursday Night’s B-Mains and then an impressive 12th place run in Thursday Night’s preliminary A-Main. Saturday afternoon ended in an 11th place finish in one of the B-Mains. Saturday evening didn’t start much better, (finished sixth in his heat and pitted early in the B-Main), but he carried a track provisional due to being the Budweiser Points leader. After starting on the tail of the 28-car field, Garvin logged 31 laps and finished in 24th. Jared Miley also made Thursday Night’s preliminary A-Main after finishing second in his B-Main, but finished in 28th place. Miley was another of those DQed for a deck height violation during Saturday afternoon’s time trials and failed to qualify from his heat or B-Main. Miley also failed to qualify from his heat or B-Main into Saturday’s Firecracker A-Main and scored just a 23rd place finish in the Uncle Sam 30. Regional star Ron Davies qualified into both preliminary A-Mains on Thursday Night and Saturday afternoon; finishing 26th and 24th on the virtue of winning his B-Main on Thursday and finishing second in his heat on Saturday afternoon. He did not, however, qualify for either feature on Saturday Night. Boom Briggs had a rough start to the weekend by failing to qualify for Thursday Night’s preliminary A-Main, but recovered nicely on Saturday. In Saturday afternoon’s preliminary action, Briggs qualified directly into the A-Main after finishing third in his heat and raced to a 19th place finish in the A-Main. He then led most of the Uncle Sam 30 in a thrilling race with eventual winner Russ King. Boom made several valiant attempts to regain the lead late in the race, but had to settle for second. Dan Angellichio thrilled the crowd on Saturday afternoon with a late race pass on World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year contender Eric Wells to steal the final transfer into the preliminary A-Main. Despite finising 27th in a 28-car field, just making the race with a significant achievement for the ever improving local driver who could very well find himself in Sheetz Victory Lane before the season is over! Other local and regional drivers in competition during the Firecracker 100 weekend included Mike Pegher Jr., Ken Schaltenbrand, Michael Norris, Garrett Krummert, Todd Bachman, Jim Rasey, Chris Rhodes, Jason Rider, Tommy Beck, Tony Burke, Herman Bertolini, Derek Stefanick, Brandon Wearing and Jason Fosnaught. Thank you to all the local and regional drivers that supported this racing weekend by racing with us!
Firecracker 100 Local Perspective - Gregg Satterlee leads the way for the “home team”
Photos Courtesy of Jason Shank/JNJ Motorsports Media