Rod George captures $2,000 DIRTcar CSS Feature #1 Ellenberger and Blaney fly the Ti22 colors to top five finishes DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series Race Report 4.23
Sarver, PA (April 23, 2010) The debut of the DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series brought in two of the area’s finest traveling locals to support their sponsor, which also sponsors the DIRTcar Sprint division at Lernerville Speedway. Ti22 Performance burst onto the national sprint scene last year with a complete line of titanium racing components for sprint cars. In 2010, they became the title sponsor of the DIRTcar Sprint division at Lernerville Speedway and a the primary sponsor of former Lernerville Track Champion Dale Blaney who predominantly runs the All Stars Sprint Circuit, and they still sponsor Brian Ellenberger on the World of Outlaws Series and Jack Sodeman Jr. at Lernerville Speedway.
Last night, all the Ti22 stars aligned to make for a thrilling 25-lap feature in the first of ten races in the newly created DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series. But when the checkered flag waved, it was Defending Track Champion Rod George celebrating the $2,000 conquest in Sheetz Victory Lane.
Sodeman started on the front row alongside Gary Rankin and took the lead at the drop of the green flag. In his wake was a bevy of open wheeled fury as George, Ed Lynch Jr., Ellenberger and Blaney battled for position as they made their way to the front. Despite the talent behind him, Sodeman appeared to be solidly in command of the race for the first 15 circuits. But on the lap 16 restart, he slowed exiting turn two instead of blasting down the back straightaway and rolled to a stop just short of pit road. He rolled pitside during the caution and did not return.
George inherited the lead but had the Ti22 Crew breathing down his neck as the green flag dropped. But as George tore into an open race track, Ellenberger and Blaney battled each other, allowing George to motor away with the 41st feature win of his career at Lernerville Speedway and the first ever DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series feature.
George sits atop the DIRTcar CSS Point Standings with 40 points and essentially takes over the Bud Points lead, as when the Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprints next take to the Action Track on Friday May 7, Brian Ellenberger will be in competition under the Outlaws banner at Eldora Speedway.
In addition to the $2,000 DIRTcar CSS payday, George also picked up $40 from the National Guard Heat Race Challenge, while the fan that pulled his pill walked away from Sheetz Victory Lane with a new pair of National Guard issue work boots!
Ellenberger and Blaney battled each other for most of the race. During the early and middle stages of the race, they battled for third as George tried to track down Sodeman and then when George inherited the lead, they battled for second. As they crossed the finish line, it was Outlaws regular Ellenberger taking second, while All Star Blaney captured third.
Carl Bowser had a strong run coming from eighth on the starting grid to finish fourth ahead of Charlie Holben. Holben’s top five finish is made all the more impressive by the fact that an early race mishap sent him to the tail of the field! Bob Felmlee was the collateral damage in Holben’s early spin, but he too came the whole way through the field to finish sixth. All Time wins leader Ed Lynch Jr. can certainly empathize with Felmlee as he was collected by a spinning Sheila Rankin in turns three & four on lap 12. Lynch fought back through the field to finish seventh.
Rising star Danny Holtgraver started third and ran a handful of laps right behind the big guys in the top five before settling in behind Felmlee and Lynch to score a solid eighth place finish. Mercer Raceway Park regular Eric “Turkey” Williams scored an impressive ninth place finish in a rare Lernerville appearance, while Lernerville veteran Brent Matus rounded out the Ti22 Top Ten. Heat races were checkered by George, Lynch and Blaney.
The DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series will be back in action next Sunday May 2 at Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, PA with another $2,000-to-win show. As mentioned above, Rod George heads to the track where he has claimed four Track Championships and is the All Time Wins leader (in the Sprint division) with 48 wins as the DIRTcar CSS points leader.
To view the entire 10-race 2010 DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series schedule and current Point Standings, log on to Lernerville.com and click the DIRTcar CSS link.
Ti22 Performance/DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series Feature: (25 Laps)
National Guard Heat Race Winners: Rod George, Ed Lynch Jr., Dale Blaney
- (4) Rod George, Kittanning
- (22) Brian Ellenberger, Butler
- (2) Dale Blaney, Fowler, OH
- (10) Carl Bowser, Sarver
- (42G) Charlie Holben, Cabot
- (6F) Bob Felmlee, Franklin
- (2L) Ed Lynch Jr., Apollo
- (D4) Danny Holtgraver, Pittsburgh
- (7) Eric Williams, Greenville
- (33) Brent Matus, Wampum
- (3) Pete Miller III, Port Vue
- (57) Gary Edwards, Brookfield, OH
- (96) Lindsay Enscoe, Petrolia
- (97S) Aaron Shaffer, Oak Park, IL
- (13) Brandon Matus, Wampum
- (44) Pete Landrum, Export
- (21) Jack Whitmore, Columbiana, OH
- (70X) Mike Bertolini, Creighton
- (23JR) Jack Sodeman Jr., N. Jackson, OH
- (6) Shelia Rankin, Renfrew
- (16) Gary Rankin, Renfrew
- (9) Kevin Schaeffer, Kittanning
- (B6) Bobbi Rankin, Renfrew
Contact: Lernerville Speedway/DIRTcar CSS
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director