Brian Swartzlander and Ed Lynch Jr. cash in! Alex Ferree repeats for third win, Wayne Carbo breaks the ice! Sarver, PA (July 25, 2008) On the night designated to honor the memory of longtime car owner Joe Pitkavish, Brian Swartzlander cashed in on extra money made possible by lap sponsors and extra money added to the Ferrante Motor Cars DIRTcar Modified purse by Joe’s grandson Jimmie Pitkavish. Ed Lynch Jr. also cashed in on some extra winnings by capturing the Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprint feature as the ERacer’s Bonus Buck Driver. In other competition Reigning Track Champion and current Budweiser Points Leader Alex Ferree picked up his third feature win of the season in the Friedman’s Freshmarkets UMP DIRTcar Super Late Models, while Wayne Carbo checkered his first Advance Auto Parts UMP DIRTcar Street Stock feature of 2008.
In Memory of Joe Pitkavish, longtime car owner of the great Blackie Watt, among others, the Ferrante Motor Cars DIRTcar Modifieds took to the track first with an extra five laps and more than $2000 extra on the line. The deck was certainly stacked against Brian Swartzlander, (most recent winner, current Bud Points leader and Reigning Track Champion), as the 19 car field rolled to the green flag. By virtue of his win last week, Swartzlander (#83 of Leechburg) started in row six along with July 11 feature winner Jim Weller Jr. (#31 of Hubbard, OH). Tom Winkle and Phil Evans Jr. started on the front row and drag raced down the front stretch. Winkle (#28 of Mars) took the lead through turns one & two and led the first eight circuits. A couple of cautions slowed those first eight laps, allowing Swartzlander to pick off positions under green and close up to the leaders on restarts. By lap eight, Swartzlander had made his way to second and started inside Winkle, who chose to restart on the outside. Swartzlander took the lead when the race went green and never looked back, leading each of the final 22 laps and collecting over $3000 in purse and lap monies, including a $1000 bonus for leading halfway by Blackburn’s Medical Equipment Supply.
In Sheetz Victory Lane, Brian shared a touching moment with Dani Rocco, (a guest of the speedway last night whom is in failing health). Dani, clad in an autographed Brian Swartzlander shirt she received from Brian earlier in the night, got her picture taken with Brian, a big hug and then finally Brian’s first place trophy. Needless to say, it was a moment Dani will never forget and reaffirmed Brian’s place as one of the true gentlemen of our sport! The win moves Swartzlander (60 wins) just one win behind Blackie Watt (61 wins) for third all time on the Ferrante Modified Career Wins List!
The real battle in this 30-lapper was behind Swartzlander where Jeremiah Shindecker, Kevin Bolland, Tom Winkle, Del Rougeux Jr., Phil Evans Jr. and Jr. McGinley slugged it out for top five finishing positions. After the checkered flag waved, it was Shingledecker (#37MD of Polk) and Bolland (#777 of New Brighton) in Sheetz Victory Lane with Swartzlander as the top three all received trophies in memory of Joe Pitkavish on behalf of Nick Petrishen of Nick Chevrolet in Tarentum. Tom Winkle (#28 of Mars) and Del Rougeux Jr., (#20D of Frenchville) who spun off turn three on lap three), rounded out the top five. Phil Evans Jr., J.R. McGinley, Mike Turner, Carl Murdick and Dave Reges finished seventh through tenth. Two-time Track Champion Dave Murdick (#61 of Slippery Rock) picked up the $100 “bonus” nobody wants to win as the “Hard Luck Award” winner after being taken off the track on hook. But “Double Duty Dave” was not finished on this night! Heat races were captured by Jim Weller Jr. and Phil Evans Jr.
The Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprints pushed off next with ERacer’s Bonus Bucks driver Ed Lynch Jr. on the outside pole. Lynch (#2L of Apollo) was selected in the weekly random contest which accumulates at $100 each week until somebody wins. When the Apollo Rocket starts on the front row, there’s usually not much the rest of field can do but race for second. That held true tonight, but not before Gary Rankin (#16 of Renfrew) led the opening lap after blasting off the bottom of turn four at the drop of the green flag and holding off Lynch for almost two full laps! However, as the leaders entered turns three & four, Rankin went low and Lynch hammered the top cushion and took the lead at the stripe. Under green flag conditions Lynch would stretch his lead to a full straightaway at times, but a handful of cautions gave the rest of the front runners a glimmer of hope. In the end, however, it was the Lynch Team celebrating their fourth win of the season and 93rd career win.
As it was behind Swartzlander, the race to watch in the CTT Sprints was for second as Brian Ellenberger (#20E of Butler) and Bud Points Leader Bob Felmlee (#6F of Seneca) battled wheel-to-wheel for the majority of the race. When the dust settled, Ellenberger had prevailed for second. Meanwhile, Two-time Reigning Track Champion and last week’s thrilling feature winner Kevin Schaeffer executed another white flag pass, this time to beat Felmlee to the flag stand for third. Felmlee finished fourth, followed by Scott Bonnell (#3B of Fairview) who recorded his first top five finish of the season. Bonnell also checkered his heat race, as did Rod George. Carl Bower finished sixth to match his best finish of the season. Jack Sodeman Jr. continues to run well and finished seventh. Mike Lutz, Rod George and Scott Priester rounded out the CTT top ten.
The Friedman’s Freshmarkets UMP DIRTcar Super Late Models rolled onto the speedway third tonight. After three weeks of caution-riddled features, the late model drivers actually did some green flag racing this week. The race started auspiciously similar to the three previous features, as it took three times to get the first lap in the books. On the second lap one restart, Mike Blose, (who is locked into Tuesday Night’s Firecracker 100 A-Main), took the lead from the outside and led the first three laps. Front row starter Chuck Kennedy (#6A of Mars) took the lead from the low groove exiting turn two on lap four and would lead the next four laps, before giving way to the #4 car of Alex Ferree. Ferree (#4 of Saxonburg), last week’s feature winner, started from the customary 12th spot on the grid, but masterfully worked his way into third by lap five. When the caution flew on lap eight, Ferree had advanced to second and restarted alongside leader Chuck Kennedy. Kennedy chose the inside, as the low groove exiting turn four had been a launching strip on restarts all night, but Ferree, (like Lynch did a race earlier), hammered the top cushion in turns three & four and took the lead at the flag stand. Ferree officially led the rest of the way, but not without challenge! “Double Duty” Dave Murdick, (piloting the Pitkavish Racing #1J), wowed the Pitkavish family watching from the press box by coming from 13th on the grid to second by lap 16. A caution on lap 19 put Murdick beside leader Alex Ferree on the restart. Murdick brought the Pitkavish family to their feet by taking the lead at the restart, through turns one & two and then down the back straightaway. But the car simply would not turn through three & four and the A-Train zipped around the outside and back into the lead for good. The win gives Alex Ferree three for the season, the most of any late model driver, and twelve wins in the past two seasons.
Murdick fended off a late charge from two-time feature winner John Mollick (#4J of Toronto, OH) who finished third. “The Juice” Davey Johnson (#1DJ of Strusburg, OH) finished fourth in the final Firecracker 100 tune-up. Bob Wearing Jr. (#11W of Renfrew) scored his first top five of season by finishing fifth. Mike Blose, Sam Stile, Chuck Sarver, Gary Lyle and Boom Briggs rounded out the top ten. Heat races were won by Boom Briggs, Mike Blose and Alex Ferree.
The only new feature winner last night was Wayne Carbo in the always competitive Advance Auto Parts UMP DIRTcar Street Stocks. Carbo (#54 of Saxonburg) has seven top five finishes this season and has finished in the top three each of the last three weeks. Last night he sealed the deal and picked up his first win of the season. In typical Street Stock fashion, the win did not come easy for Carbo. Polesitter and birthday boy Bryan Shaffer (#77 of New Castle) started on the pole and led the first two circuits. Carbo pulled alongside Shaffer on lap three and they raced door-to-door down the back straightaway. But Carbo used that magical high groove in turns three & four to motor past Shaffer and into the lead at the stripe. Carbo survived a handful of restarts and the advances of both Bob Lipinski and Bob Egley to cruise into Sheetz Victory Lane.
SS Chassis builder Chris Schneider strapped into the #20J of Jim Fosnaught, who was having vision problems, for the 20-lap feature. Since Fosnaught had qualified the car during heat race action, Schneider had to tail the field. By the time the checkered flew, Schneider had passed the entire field except for Carbo to finish a most impressive second! Bob Lipinski (#55L of Pittsburgh) finished third for the third time this season and has taken the mantle from Carbo as the “driver most likely to pick up his first feature win of the season” in the division. Shawn Thorn (#12 of Murrysville) is also overdue for a win this season and finished fourth. Three-time winner Bob Egley (#30 of Kittanning) rounded out the top five. Pat Hanley, Bryan Shaffer, Dave “Brew” Baker, Ty Jeuther and Jason Fosnaught rounded out the Advance Auto Stocks top ten. The ninth place finish is Ty Jeuther’s best finish of the season. Last week’s feature winner Jason Fosnaught (#J19 of Creighton) had raced his way from 12th to third, but slid off the top cushion exiting turn two late in the race and could only recover to finish tenth. Three drivers who are vying for the dreaded Hard Luck Award; Terry Young (#28Y of Butler), Paul Schreckengost (#3S of Creighton) and Eric Piotrowski (#7 of Cranberry Twp.) all had top five runs going at different parts of the feature, but all succumbed to the gremlins and finished 18th, 20th and 21st respectively. Heat races were captured by Paul Schreckengost and Bob Lipinski.
Join us this Tuesday July 29 as the World of Outlaws Late Model drivers are joined by the best Late Model racers in the country for the Finale of the 2nd Annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com. Then next Friday Night is another Fast Friday of Fab Four Racing on Flynn Tire Night. Before the racing action begins, please stop by the Central Blood Bank mobile donation unit and give life by donating blood in memory of Rosalie Bolland and Sandra Winkle. For more details about these events or to buy Firecracker 100 tickets, log on to www.Lernerville.com.
Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprints (25 Laps)
Heat Race Winners: Scott Bonnell, Rod George
- (2L) Ed Lynch Jr., Apollo
- (20E) Brian Ellenberger, Butler
- (9) Kevin Schaeffer, Kittanning
- (6F) Bob Felmlee, Seneca
- (3B) Scott Bonnell, Fairview
- (10) Carl Bowser, Sarver
- (23JR) Jack Sodeman Jr., N. Jackson OH
- (8) Mike Lutz, Mercer
- (4) Rod George, Kittanning
- (11) Scott Priester, Rimersburg
- (16) Gary Rankin, Renfrew
- (98) Dan Shetler, Johnstown
- (56) Ralph Spithaler, Evans City
- (45) Todd Bauer, Clarion
- (08) Dan Kuriger, Freedom
- (15) Charlie Holben, Cabot
- (33) Brent Matus, Wampum
- (4K) Bill Kiley, Cabot
- (6) Shelia Rankin, Renfrew
- (4C) Paul Kish, Poland OH
- (96) Lindsay Enscoe, Petrolia
- (3J) Bud Watt, Wildwood
- (29E) Brent Ellenberger, Butler
Friedman’s Freshmarkets UMP DIRTcar Super Late Models (25 Laps)
DNS: (38) Corey Ruffo, Mercer
- (4) Alex Ferree, Saxonburg
- (1J) Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock
- (4J) John Mollick, Toronto OH
- (1DJ) Dave Johnson, Strusburg OH
- (11W) Bob Wearing Jr., Renfrew
- (5) Mike Blose, New Bethlehem
- (2S) Sam Stile, Charleroi
- (88) Chuck Sarver, West Sunburry
- (10) Gary Lyle, Hyde Park
- (99B) Bo Briggs, Bear Lake
- (1C) Lynn Geisler, Cranberry Twp.
- (38R) Nick Reges, Butler
- (23) Tony Burke, Sarver
- (7X) Herman Bertolini, Creighton
- (6A) Chuck Kennedy, Mars
- (28C) Clate Copeman, Greensburg
- (72) Michael Norris, Sarver
- (66) Todd Bachman, Natrona Heights
- (15K) Ray Kroll Sr., Renfrew
- (111D) Brian Swartzlander, Leechburg
- (1) Jim Morey Unknown
- (29) Ken Schaltenbrand, Sarver
DNS: (37MD) Jeremiah Shingledecker, Polk
DNS: (72B) Jim Kurpakus, Leechburg
Heat Race Winners: Rich “Boom” Briggs, Mike Blose, Alex Ferree
Ferrante Motor Cars DIRTcar Modifieds (30 Laps)
Heat Race Winners: Jim Weller Jr., Phil Evans Jr.
- (83) Brian Swartzlander, Leechburg
- (37MD) Jeremiah Shingledecker, Polk
- (777) Kevin Bolland, New Brighton
- (28) Tom Winkle, Mars
- (20D) Del Rougeux Jr., Frenchville
- (38) Phil Evans Jr., Greensburg
- (66) J.R. McGinley, Fairmount City
- (96) Mike Turner, Butler
- (6) Carl Murdick, Butler
- (27R) Dave Reges, Butler
- (72) Mike Miller, Chicora
- (5) Brian Sadler, McKean
- (11R) Brad Rapp, Shippenville
- (12T) Tim Doran, New Castle
- (29E) Erik Martin, Evans City
- (61) Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock
- (31) Jim Weller Jr., Hubbard OH
- (X) Jeremy Paup, Polk
- (45) Steve Feder, Butler
Advance Auto Parts UMP DIRTcar Street Stocks (20 Laps)
Heat Race Winners: Paul Schreckengost, Bob Lipinski
- (54) Wayne Carbo, Saxonburg
- (20J) Chris Schneider, Creighton
- (55L) Bob Lipinski, Pittsburgh
- (12) Shawn Thorn, Murrysville
- (30) Bob Egley, Kittanning
- (380) Pat Hanley, Monroeville
- (77S) Bryan Shaffer, New Castle
- (2) Dave “Brew” Baker, Elderton
- (57) Try Jeuther, Valencia
- (J19) Jason Fosnaught, Creighton
- (33X) Greg Beach, Chicora
- (48) Kevin Haas, Sarver
- (1) Randy Hanovick, Mars
- (9R) Roger Stivenson, Freeport
- (02) Joseph Heinl, Prospect
- (8BALL) Jody Schnur, Butler
- (78) John Watson, Apollo
- (28Y) Terry Young, Butler
- (15K) Matthew Keith, Franklin
- (3S) Paul Schreckengost, Creighton
- (7) Eric Piotrowski, Cranberry Twp.
- (25) Brett McDonald, Saxonburg
Car Count Total: 88
Sprint: 23, Late Model: 25, Modified: 19, Street Stock: 21
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director