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Firecracker 100 Weekend At Lernerville Speedway Opens With Spectacular Friday-Night Qualifying Program 6.27

Firecracker 100 Weekend At Lernerville Speedway Opens With Spectacular Friday-Night Qualifying Program


SARVER, PA – June 27, 2008 – If Friday night’s qualifying program at Lernerville Speedway is any indication, the second annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com is going to be a show to remember.


Western Pennsylvania’s blockbuster $150,000 World of Outlaws Late Model Series event opened in spectacular fashion on Friday, with a 62-car field providing fans an endless supply of action during six breathtaking heat races.


Side-by-side battles for the lead. Last-lap drama. A storybook comeback from near-disaster by a local hotshoe. Emotions boiling over.


Yes, the preliminary night had it all, setting the stage for Saturday night’s $40,000-to-win Firecracker 100.


The most thrilling heat-race victory was authored by 20-year-old WoO LMS sensation Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who went to the outside of the four-tenths-mile oval to pull off a three-wide pass for the lead on lap 12 of the fourth 15-lap qualifier.


As if a daredevil move to assume command wasn’t exciting enough, the two drivers Richards sailed by for the lead added even more luster to his performance. He overtook dirt Late Model legends Donnie Moran of Dresden, Ohio, and Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., in one deft sweep.


“I knew the only chance I had to start up front (in the Firecracker 100) was if I won the heat, so I got my elbows up and drove as hard as I could,” said Richards, aware that the six heat winners will redraw on Saturday for the top-six starting spots in the 100-lapper. “I didn’t get off to a very good start, but I kept packing the top (groove) during the cautions and I kept getting better and better up there.


“The top has always been my preferred line around this place, so I knew I could make it work. I just had to get it done.”


Bloomquist, who won last year’s inaugural Firecracker 100, tumbled to a fifth-place finish after losing the lead to Richards’ Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket. He’ll have to run a B-Main on Saturday night to make the feature.


Dramatic heat-race competition actually began with the first prelim, when WoO LMS regular Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., passed upstart Coleby Frye of Dover, Pa., on the final lap to emerge triumphant. Frye fell one lap short of an upset, flag-to-flag victory, settling for second when he left the door open for Clanton by bumping the homestretch wall with the white flag waving.


The sixth heat was another barnburner, with Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, winning over Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., following a side-by-side duel that raged for virtually the entire distance.


Other heat victors included defending WoO LMS champion Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., who dominated the second prelim; Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla.; and WoO LMS points leader Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who enters the weekend hot off a tour victory on Wednesday night at Big Diamond Raceway in Minersville, Pa.


The drive of the night was turned in by Mike Blose of New Bethlehem, Pa., who became the darling of the crowd with an amazing rally in the second heat.


Blose, 50, was bidding for the third and final transfer spot on lap nine of the heat when contact with Brandon Kinzer of Allen, Ky., sent him spinning wildly over the third-turn bank at a high rate of speed. A red flag was thrown after he disappeared from the fans’ view, but moments later he drove his car back onto the racing surface and decided to continue racing.


With the fans cheering his every move, Blose slid by Keith Barbara of South Park, Pa., and Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., on the 13th lap to snare a third-place finish and transfer to the Firecracker 100. He had started the heat from the last spot after being disqualified from his time-trial run because his car weighed in 18 pounds light.


“I’m too damn old for this,” Blose smiled amid a large crowd of well-wishers at his trailer following the night’s action. “When I went over the bank backwards, I was thinking, Man, this is gonna hurt! But the car stayed on its wheels and all we bent was a left-front tie-rod and a wheel.


“I guess we finally lucked into something,” added Blose, who credited WoO LMS star Chub Frank with providing him valuable setup help.


The close-quarters racing got a little too tight during the third heat, resulting in a confrontation between John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., and Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis. After Blankenship rubbed his way past Mars for third place on lap 12, Mars retaliated by running into the left-rear corner of Blankenship’s car and spinning the WoO LMS regular between turns three and four.


As the angry Mars retired to the pit area, Blankenship restarted at the rear of the field and limped to an eighth-place finish.


Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., piloted his Bowyer Dirt Motorsports Rocket to the fastest lap in time trials, roaring around the finely-manicured track in 15.228 seconds. He went on to finish third in the first heat while trailing smoke from an apparent oil overflow.


The Firecracker 100 weekend continues on Saturday with a full day of activities, starting at 12 noon with a driver/fan horseshoe tournament, ‘Best Burger’ and ‘Best Banner’ contests, a ‘weenie roast’ and music by Sarah Wilson. A driver autograph session is scheduled for underneath the grandstand from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed by B-Mains, the $3,000-to-win Uncle Sam 30 for non-qualifiers and the main event — the $40,000-to-win Firecracker 100.


Pit gates open at 3 p.m., with hot laps at 6:45 p.m. and opening ceremonies at 7:30 p.m.


For more information on this weekend’s event, visit www.lernerville.com and www.worldofoutlaws.com.


Contact: World Racing Group
Kevin Kovac, World of Outlaws Late Model Series P.R. Director
704-254-7929 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.




Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):


1. 18-Shannon Babb/Moweaqua, IL 15.228

2. 15-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 15.229

3. 21-Billy Moyer/Batesville, AR 15.307

4. 0-Scott Bloomquist/Mooresburg, TN 15.416

5. 19T-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 15.449

6. 15b-Brian Birkhofer/Muscatine, IA 15.462

7. F1-Coleby Frye/Dover, PA 15.493

8. 43A-Jason Covert/York Haven, PA 15.504

9. 44p-Earl Pearson Jr./Jacksonville, FL 15.523

10. 4J-John Mollick/Toronto, OH 15.545

11. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 15.553

12. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 15.577

13. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 15.577

14. 20-Jimmy Owens/Newport, TN 15.578

15. 28M-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 15.590

16. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 15.630

17. 24M-Jeremy Miller/Gettysburg, PA 15.636

18. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA 15.652

19. 9k-Mike Knight/Ripley, NY 15.665

20. 28-Eddie Carrier Jr./Salt Rock, WV 15.666

21. 23-John Blankenship/Williamson, WV 15.699

22. 44M-Chris Madden/Gray Court, SC 15.702

23. w11-Robbie Blair/Titusville, PA 15.707

24. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 15.721

25. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 15.732

26. 18K-Brandon Kinzer/Allen, KY 15.733

27. 22-Gregg Satterlee/Rochester Mills, PA 15.742

28. 99-Donnie Moran/Dresden, OH 15.765

29. 1L-Dane Laraway/Irwin, PA 15.819

30. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 15.830

31. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 15.844

32. 17M-Mike Marlar/Winfield, TN 15.856

33. 1c-Lynn Geisler/Cranberry Twp., PA 15.869

34. 21L-Matt Lux/Franklin, PA 15.879

35. 1J-Davey Johnson/Latrobe, PA 15.902

36. 44H-Dave Hess Jr./Waterford, PA 15.911

37. 34-Josh McGuire/Ashland, KY 15.914

38. H1-Jared Miley/South Park, PA 15.914

39. 3-David Scott/Garland, PA 15.926

40. 21d-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 15.941

41. 07R-Brent Rhebergen/Clymer, NY 15.948

42. 04-Bob Close/Eldred, PA 15.969

43. 4-Alex Ferree/Saxonburg, PA 16.008

44. 17-Keith Barbara/South Park, PA 16.026

45. 2V-Chad Valone/Warren, PA 16.051

46. 27J-Danny Johnson/Phelps, NY 16.056

47. 32c-Vic Coffey/Leicester, NY 16.072

48. 10-Gary Lyle/Hyde Park, PA 16.155

49. 46-Doug Horton/Bruceton Mills, WV 16.173

50. 66-Todd Bachman/Natrona Heights, PA 16.179

51. 28c-Clate Copeman/Greensburg, PA 16.188

52. 29s-Ken Schaltenbrand/Sarver, PA 16.209

53. 40-Dutch Davies/Warren, PA 16.247

54. 18s-Sean Beardsley/Central Square, NY 16.316

55. 48-John Flinner/Zelionople, PA 16.346

56. 23T-Tony Burke/Sarver, PA 16.520

57. 6A-Chuck Kennedy/Mars, PA 16.638

58. 38R-Nick Reges/Butler, PA 16.837

59. 21T-Tony Musolino/Scott Twp., PA 17.036

60. 0s-Ryan Scott/Garland, PA 17.381

61. 8A-Joe Isabell/Pennellville, NY N/T

62. 5-Mike Blose/New Bethlehem, PA DQ (light)


Heat No. 1 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Clanton, Frye, Babb, Horton, Eckert, Knight, Flinner, McGuire, Ferree, Isabell, King


Heat No. 2 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Francis, Kinzer, Blose, Owens, Barbara, Burke, Bachman, Carrier, Covert, Marlar, Miley


Heat No. 3 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Pearson, Moyer, Satterlee, D. Scott, Copeman, Kennedy, Valone, Blankenship, Mars, Geisler


Heat No. 4 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Richards, Moran, Madden, Lux, Bloomquist, Stone, Mollick, Danny Johnson, Reges, Schaltenbrand


Heat No. 5 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Lanigan, Fuller, Miller, Davey Johnson, Dutch Davies, Blair, Rhebergen, Coffey, Laraway (DNS) Musolino


Heat No. 6 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Birkhofer, Frank, McCreadie, Ron Davies, Hess, Clint Smith, Lyle, Beardsley, R. Scott (DNS) Close


LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, they can experience the excitement of the nation’s premier tour live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.


To listen to the free audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.


Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail 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..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by several sponsors and partners, including Advance Auto Parts – the official auto parts store of the WoO LMS – and contingency sponsors Wrisco Industries, Chicken Hawk Racing, Crane Cams, Ohlins Shocks, Quarter-Master, Eibach Springs, Integra Shocks, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts, Qwikliner and SuperClean.



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