Eyler and Mollick win first Lernerville Features, Champs Swartzlander and Pegher double up! Sarver, PA (May 23, 2008) For Rob Eyler and John Mollick it was a night of firsts, for Brian Swartzlander and Mike Pegher Jr. it was business as usual. Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprint Car driver Rob Eyler and Friedman’s Freshmarkets UMP DIRTcar Super Late Models driver John Mollick visited Sheetz Victory Lane for the first time at Lernerville Speedway. Meanwhile Reigning Track Champions Brian Swartzlander (Ferrante Motor Cars DIRTcar Modifieds) and Mike Pegher Jr. (Advance Auto Parts UMP DIRTcar Street Stocks) each picked up their second feature wins of the season, well sort of!
Rob Eyler scored an emotional, inspired career first Lernerville win in the Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprint Feature. With the recent death of his sister adding extra motivation, Eyler picked up his first Lernerville feature win in commanding fashion by leading the last 10 laps of a very eventful 25-lap feature. He started fourth alongside Rod George and was engaged is some exciting three and four car battles as Danny Shetler led the opening 14 laps. Bud Points Leader Bob Felmlee took the lead from Shetler on the front straightaway of lap 15. Felmlee’s lead was short-lived as Eyler powered past Felmlee on the back straightaway just one lap later. Eyler endured a handful of restarts, including two extended red flag periods, and simply would not be denied the opportunity to honor his recently deceased sister with an emotional trip to Sheetz Victory Lane with his family and crew.
Rod George spent most of the race in second place behind Shetler and Eyler, but never really took a serious look at taking the lead. He did, however, run a smart race, especially in lapped traffic, and finished in second position. In the process George made up a lot of ground in the Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprint Car Budweiser Point Standings as incoming points leader Bob Felmlee pitted late in the race and had to restart at the back of the field. Felmlee managed to salvage a ninth place finish, but will most likely maintain only a narrow margin over George thanks to his heat race win. Brian Ellenberger came on strong in the closing laps to finish third. Early leader Danny Shetler survived the on track carnage to score his first top five of the season with a fourth place finish. Two-time Reigning Track Champion Kevin Schaeffer raced home fifth. Carl Bowser, Brent Matus, Scott Priester, Bob Felmlee and Scott Bonnell rounded out the top ten. Matus, Felmlee and Jack Sodeman Jr. won heat races.
Two lengthy red flag segments slowed the CTT Sprint feature as Ralph Spithaler flipped in turns one & two on lap 17, also ending the night for Dale Blaney, (behind the wheel of the Rudzik #94), and heat race winner Jack Sodeman Jr. Three circuits later on lap 20 Terry Bowser and Mike Kaminski collided resulting in horrific flips. All three cars left on the hook, but thankfully all three drivers got out of the cars under their own power.
In case you were wondering, Ed Lynch Jr. made the tow to the DIRT Track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the Keystone Cup Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series event. He set the second quick time of the night, but had a steering problem in the dash, and only took the green for the feature, officially scored last in 24th. PA Posse driver, turned O’Reilly All Star regular Lance DeWease picked up the feature win!
“Jammin’” John Mollick also picked up his first career Lernerville Feature in commanding fashion. Mollick used a few early restarts to his advantage and took the lead from Gregg Satterlee at the flagstand on lap six. The battle up front was fast and furious between Mollick, Satterlee, Doug Horton, Alex Ferree, Sammy Stile and John Flinner. But regardless of the jockeying of positions two through six, nobody had anything for John Mollick who was clearly the class of the field. Mollick’s most serious challenge came from the most recent feature winner John Flinner in the middle stages of the race. On the second lap 18 restart, Mollick chose the outside starting position, giving Flinner the pole position. But like he did on every other restart, Mollick opened up a lead, pulled away from the fierce battles for second and maneuvered expertly through lapped traffic on his way to his first career Lernerville Speedway feature win.
Early leaders Doug Horton and Gregg Satterlee finished second and third; outlasting John Flinner and Sammy Stile who rounded out the top five. As mentioned above, Flinner had advanced into the catbird seat in the middle stages of the race, but bobbled just enough in turn four to give up the spot and slide back to fifth. Reigning Track Champion Alex Ferree ended up the biggest loser of the six car battle up front as he suffered a flat right rear in the closing laps. After a quick pit stop, Ferree returned to the track, but could only salvage a 15th place finish. Brian Swartzlander was behind the wheel of the Osmer Racing #6A subbing for Chuck Kennedy and ran a smooth race along with fellow Modified pilot Dave Murdick driving the Pitkavish Racing #1J. Swartzlander and Murdick finished sixth and seventh respectively in Friedman’s Late Model competition. Smooth Operators Gary Lyle and Lynn Geisler scored top ten finishes with eight and ninth place finishes, with Mike Johnson’s blacked out #2J rounding out the top ten. Newcomer Colby Frey, Doug Horton, Gregg Satterlee and John Garvin Jr. claimed heat race wins. John Flinner won the B-Main on his way to another Top Five finish!
Mike Pegher Jr. has had a relatively rough start to the 2008 season, especially when compared to his red hot start to the 2007 season, (in which he won the Track Championship in the Advance Auto Parts UMP DIRTcar Street Stock Division). Pegher didn’t seem to have any problems tonight, however, as he won both his heat race and the 15 lap Advance Street Stock Feature. Pegher started sixth but was running third by lap three and in the lead on lap eight. He led the rest of the way in a quick, clean race to capture his first feature win of the season in the division. This, however, was not Pegher’s first win at Lernerville this season. He picked up the UMP DIRTcar Pro Late Model feature win Tuesday Night May 13 during the First Commonwealth Bank Clash. Pegher is the only driver at Lernerville Speedway this season to win feature events in two different divisions!
Hard Charging Jason Fosnaught chased Pegher across the stripe for an impressive second place finish. Early leaders Joe Kelley and Bryan Shaffer followed close behind in third and fourth, while Bob Lipinski scored another top five finish. Ryan Moyer, (whom like Bryan Shaffer), continues to impress early on this season, finished with a strong sixth place run. Bob Egley finished seventh. Jim Fosnaught, who picked up his first career Lernerville heat race win earlier in the evening, scored his third top ten finish of the season with an eighth place finish. By rule, last week’s feature winner Greg Beach had to start 12th and with the competitive field in front of him was only able to advance three spots to finish ninth. Stan “The Man” Riggle raced home tenth for his third top ten of the season. Bryan Shaffer, Mike Pegher Jr. and Jim Fosnaught picked up heat race wins. Matt Wagner took the checkers in the B-Main.
Brian Swartzlander wrapped up the Action Packed Evening with his 56th career Lernerville feature win in the Ferrante Motor Cars DIRTcar Modifieds. Swartzlander took the lead on the opening lap from outside of row two and led every circuit of the 35-lap feature. Dave Murdick was in Swartzlander’s proverbial rearview mirror for the first half of the feature but his engine went sour as the race went on and it finally gave out during a caution of lap 22, leaving Murdick officially scored in 20th. Tom Winkle gave chase late but failed to take advantage when Swartzlander bicycled the car on its right side in turns one & two on the lap 22 restart. Winkle checked up just enough to avoid contact with Swartzlander, but the move inevitably allowed Swartzlander to retain the lead and continue on to Sheetz Victory Lane for win number 56.
Tom Winkle followed Swartzlander home in second place, his best finish of the season. Kevin Bolland won the most recent feature in the Ferrante Mods, and as such started 12th on the field. Bolland patiently made his way to the front and when the checkers flew, he crossed the line third. Matt Baker had a strong run, racing door-to-door with Bolland for several laps before finishing fourth. In a correction of last night’s Quick Results, it was veteran Tim Doran, not Mark Flick, who rounded out the top five. Flick did however finish right behind Doran in sixth. Phil Evans Jr. had his best finish of the season in seventh. Mercer Small Block Modified regular Eric Gabany recovered from an early spin to finish eighth. The rest of the top ten shook out with Dwayne Clay and long time modified driver Rodney Beltz. Del Rougeux Jr., Kevin Bolland and Tim Doran won their respective heat races.
A handful of regular Ferrante Motor Cars DIRTcar Modified competitors got roughed up last night before and during the feature. Former Two-time Track Champion (1997 & 1999) Jim Weller Jr. and Mercer Small Black Champion Garrett Krummert were involved in a violent series of flips in turn four in heat race action; neither driver answered the bell for the feature. Eric Gabany’s spin on lap four of the feature collected Del Rougeux Jr., (who entered the night second in Bud Points) and Jeremiah Shingledecker, (who despite entering the night fourth in Bud Points has to be an early favorite for the dreaded Hard Luck Award). Rougeux left the track and did not return, officially scored in the 26th position. Shingledecker continued, but retired to the pits after another caution mid race, scored 22nd.
Tonight’s field of 28 Ferrante Modifieds was the biggest of the season as many Mercer Raceway Park regulars made the tow to Sarvertown without a race this weekend at Mercer. Next week the BRP/Hoosier Tires Modified Tour 08 rolls into town for the first of two shows at the Action Track. Expect another big crowd of Modifieds including the King family and Ron Smoker. There is no increase for admission for this show, regular Fab Four pricing will be in effect! For more details about this and other upcoming shows, log on to Lernerville.com. While you’re there, click on the “Gallery” link to view Track Photographer Cory Stivason’s photos from last night’s action packed event.
313 N. Pike Road Sarver, PA 16055
Phone (724) 353-1511 Fax (724) 353-2650
Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprints (25 Laps)
NLC: (16) Gary Rankin, Renfrew
- (5A) Rob Eyler, Franklin
- (4) Rod George, Kittanning
- (20E) Brian Ellenberger, Butler
- (98) Dan Shetler, Johnstown
- (9) Kevin Schaeffer, Kittanning
- (10) Carl Bowser, Sarver
- (33) Brent Matus, Wampum
- (11) Scott Priester, Rimersburg
- (6F) Bob Felmlee, Seneca
- (3B) Scott Bonnell, Fairview
- (15) Charlie Holben, Cabot
- (45) Todd Bauer, Clarion
- (29E) Brent Ellenberger, Butler
- (3T) John Schuyler, Ashville NY
- (97) Todd King, Sheboygan Falls, WI
- (96) Lindsay Enscoe, Petrolia
- (3J) Joe Butera, Wampum
- (4K) Bill Kiley, Cabot
- (6) Sheila Rankin, Renfrew
- (59) Terry Bowser, Sarver
- (8K) Mike Kaminski, Ford City
- (94) Dale Blaney, Fowler OH
- (56) Ralph Spithaler, Evans City
- (08) Dan Kuriger, Freedom
DNS: (24S) Brian Steinman, Lucinda
Heat Race Winners: Brent Matus, Bob Felmlee, Jack Sodeman Jr.
Friedman’s Freshmarkets UMP DIRTcar Super Late Models(25 Laps)
1. (4J) John Mollick, Toronto OH
2. (46) Doug Horton, Uniontown
3. (22) Greg Satterlee, Rochester Mills
4. (48) John Flinner, Zelienople
5. (2S) Sam Stile, Charleroi
6. (6A) Brian Swartzlander, Leechburg
7. (1J) Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock
8. (10) Gary Lyle, Hyde Park
9. (1C) Lynn Geisler, Cranberry Twp.
10. (2J) Mike Johnson, Imperial
11. (0) Ron Delano Jr. Stoystown
12. (H1) Jared Miley, South Park
13. (21) Matt Lux, Franklin
14. (11W) Bob Wearing Jr., Renfrew
15. (4) Alex Ferree, Saxonburg
16. (J4) John Garvin Jr., Sarver
17. (88) Chuck Sarver, West Sunburry
18. (72) Michael Norris, Sarver
19. (111D) Jim Detman, Leechburg
20. (66) Todd Bachman, Natrona Heights
21. (5) Alan Dellinger, New Bethlehem
22. (1L) Dane Laraway, Irwin
23. (119) Chad McClelland
24. (F1) Colby Frye, Dover DE
Heat Race Winners: Colby Frey, Doug Horton, Gregg Satterlee, John Garvin Jr.
B-Main Winner: John Flinner
Ferrante Motor Cars DIRTcar Modifieds(25 Laps)
1. (83) Brain Swartzlander, Leechburg
2. (28) Tom Winkle, Mars
3. (777) Kevin Bolland, New Brighton
4. (18B) Matt Baker, Lucinda
5. (12T) Tim Doran, New Castle
6. (2) Mark Flick, Apollo
7. (38) Phil Evans Jr., Greensburg
8. (3) Erik Gabany, Mercer
9. (007) Dwayne Clay, Mineral Ridge OH
10. (64) Rodney Beltz, Ellwood City
11. (17H) Kevin Hoffman, Franklin
12. (6) Carl Murdick, Butler
13. (66) J.R. McGinley, Fairmount City
14. (45) Steve Feder, Butler
15. (72) Mike Miller, Chicora
16. (96) Mike Turner, Butler
17. (74) Kevin Green, New Castle
18. (8F) Doug Fleeger, Butler
19. (5) Brian Sadler, Erie
20. (61) Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock
21. (69X) Dennis Slater, Butler
22. (37MD) Jeremiah Shingledecker
23. (X) Jeremy Paup, Polk
24. (29E) Erik Martin, Evans City
25. (69) Tom Mattocks, Franklin
26. (20D) Del Rougeux Jr., Frenchville
DNS: (29) Garrett Krummert, New Castle
DNS: (31) Jim Weller Jr., Hubbard OH
Heat Race Winners: Del Rougeux Jr., Kevin Bolland, Tim Doran
Advance Auto Parts UMP DIRTcar Street Stocks(15 Laps)
1. (09) Mike Pegher Jr., Wexford
2. (J19) Jason Fosnaught, Creighton
3. (66) Joe Kelly, Mt. Pleasant
4. (77S) Bryan Shaffer, New Castle
5. (55L) Bob Lipinski, Pittsburgh
6. (13X) Ryan Moyer, Harmony
7. (30) Bob Egley, Kittanning
8. (20J) Jim Fosnaught, Bairdford
9. (33X) Greg Beach, Chicora
10. (17R) Stan Riggle, Ford City
11. (380) Pat Hanley, Monroeville
12. (54) Wayne Carbo, Saxonburg
13. (28Y) Terry Young, Butler
14. (12X) Matt Wagner, New Wilmington
15. (7) Eric Piotrowski, Cranberry Twp.
16. (15K) Matthew Keith, Franklin
17. (3S) Paul Schreckengost, Creighton
18. (2) Dave “Brew” Baker, Elderton
19. (24) Mike Gilliland, Portersville
20. (25) Brett McDonald, Saxonburg
21. (1) Randy Hanovick, Mars
22. (12) Shawn Thorn, Murrysville
23. (13M) Mark Marshall, Portersville
DNS: (5) Don McClure, Sarver
Heat Race Winners: Bryan Shaffer, Mike Pegher Jr., Jim Fosnaught
B-Main Winner: Matt Wagner
Car Count Total: 118
Late Model: 33
Street Stock: 30
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director