Davey Johnson and Corey McPherson dominate bookend features
Mat Williamson and Cap Henry seal the deal in the closing laps to win
Breast Cancer Awareness Night donations total $1162!
Sarver, PA (May 3, 2013) Friday Night’s features were ones of utter dominance or thrilling late race passes for the lead. Davey Johnson, easily a generation older than everyone in his proverbial rearview mirror, was absolutely dominant leading every lap of the Precise Late Model feature. Both Jim Weller Jr. in the Diehl Mods and Danny Holtgraver in the Peoples TWP Sprints looked to replicate Johnson’s feat, only to see victory slip away in the closing laps to Mat Williamson and Cap Henry respectively. Defending Pic-A-Part Sportsman Track Champion Corey McPherson bookended the night with another dominant performance to score his first win of 2013. But the biggest winners Friday Night were the generous fans who donated $1162 to Komen for the Cure; our biggest total to date! Thank you very sincerely to everyone that generously donated their hard-earned money to this noble cause!
The Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Model division is chock full of young, very talented and mostly second generation drivers, but it was seasoned veteran Davey Johnson they were all chasing and never did catch in the 25-lap feature. Johnson started on the pole alongside Mike Pegher Jr. in the #1 Cochran Late Model and when the green flag dropped, so did Davey Johnson’s heavy right foot. As the younger drivers behind him battled for positions two through ten, Johnson ran away with his second feature win in the past calendar year; having scored the win on June 15, 2012. Iconically nicknamed “The Juice” for a previous but long term sponsor Daily’s Juices, Davey Johnson ironically scored the first ever half gallon of Turner’s Premium Iced Tea in Sheetz Victory Lane; something every feature winner will receive for the rest of the season!
Opening Night feature winner Dave Hess Jr. roared from 10th on the starting grid to chase Johnson to the checkers and maintains the Budweiser Points lead. Heat race winner John Garvin Jr. chased Johnson for most of the race, but gave way to Hess late in the race and come home third ahead of a hard charging Russell King who started 15th. “The Crusher” Michael Norris turned in another solid outing and rounded out the Precise Top Five ahead of Alex Ferree, Jared Miley (who had to win the A-main just to make the feature!), Dan Angelicchio, Ken Schaltenbrand and John Mollick. Alex Ferree, Dan Angelicchio and John Garvin Jr. picked up heat race wins and Jared Miley won the B-Main.
Jim Weller Jr. is another seasoned veteran with no lack of experience pounding the clay on his way to Victory Lane and it looked like he was well on his way to Lernerville career feature win #35, but upstart Canadian invader Mat Williamson made his way from 10th on the starting grid as the defending feature winner. Williamson patiently made his way to the front after narrowly missing an early race pileup that collected Rex King Sr. & Jr., Dave Murdick and heat winner Mike Turner. All would continue, but only King Sr. looked “right” after the wreck. Williamson snuck by and continued his assault through the field until diving below Weller for the lead entering turn three on lap 22. Williamson would have to endure a pair of restarts, (both a caution and a red flag for the ill-handling #165 of Rex King Jr.), but backed up his Opening Night feature win with a second consecutive trip to Sheetz Victory Lane and a commemorative checkered flag courtesy of Approved Toilet Rentals; one such flag will be awarded every week to a random division.
Jim Weller came home second ahead of Defending Track Champion Brian Swartzlander and Jeremiah Shingledecker who were three-wide with Brad Rapp exiting turn two on the Green-White-Checkered restart. Rex King Sr. was on a mission late in the race and edged Rapp for fifth at the checkered flag. Rapp finished sixth ahead of Dave Murdick, Steve Feder, Mike Turner and Frank Guidace. As eluded above, after being involved in an early race wreck, Rex King Jr. sailed off the back stretch to bring out a caution on lap 23 and then flipped over turn one on the ensuing restart; one can only assume he had suspension damage from the wreck that reared its ugly head late in the race. Heat races were checkered by Brad Rapp and Mike Turner.
The All Star Circuit of Champions Sprints will be in town next Friday, May 10 and tour regulars Danny Holtgraver and Cap Henry took advantage of a week off from the tour to gear up for next week’s $5,000-to-win show. Both were on top of their game all night long; each scored dominant heat race wins and were the class of the feature field; though Brandon Matus and Brian Ellenberger kept them in sight throughout the race on a slick and tricky track. Holtgraver jumped out to the quick lead from the pole as Henry and Matus battled for second. Holtgraver made contrasting moves through the turns in open air; running the top of turns one & two and the bottom of three & four. Henry preferred the catfish line the whole way around the track, but lapped traffic in the closing laps forced both drivers to experiment with different lines. After leading relatively comfortably for the first 22 laps of the Peoples TWP DIRTcar Sprint feature, Holtgraver lost ground in lapped traffic and Henry closed to within three to four car lengths on lap 23. Henry tried a slide job in turns one & two only to see Holtgraver rocket off the top of turn to retake the lead down the back straightaway. Henry tried to get under Holtgraver in turn three, but was blocked and had to wait until turn one to try to slide under a rimriding Holtgraver. This time, Henry made the move stick, out-dragged the Former Track Champion down the back straightaway and employed his own block in three & four to secure his first Lernerville feature win!
Holtgraver finished second and will carry extra motivation into next Friday’s All Star race in addition to trying to defend the event he won last September at his home track. After battling with the third generation star, Brian Ellenberger snuck past Brandon Matus on the final lap in lapped traffic to finish third. Behind Matus in fourth was Australian Stuart Williams making his Lernerville debut a successful one with a solid fifth place run ahead of Fremont, OH’s Brian Smith, Eric Williams, Scott Priester, Jimmy Light and Dan Kuriger. Opening Night feature winner Jack Sodeman Jr. rolled pit side early in the race and finished officially scored in 19th; completing just two laps. Cap Henry, Jimmy Light and Danny Holtgraver claimed heat race wins and Adam Kekich won the B-Main.
Corey McPherson scored five feature wins en route to his 2012 Track Championship and entered Friday’s race the Budweiser Points leader after finishing second on Opening Night. There was no stopping McPherson this time as he led all 21 laps, but he did have stiff competition from AJ Flick who started 12th and quickly made his way to the front. But catching the leader and passing him are two different things. So while he did catch McPherson, he could not find a way around him. Even a caution on the final lap and the ensuing Green-White-Checkered restart did not faze McPherson on his way to Sheetz Victory Lane! Making the win even more impressive: Corey McPherson is riding a 604 crate powerplant under the #C33 this season!
AJ Flick raced home with an impressive second place finish from 12th on the starting grid. Brett McDonald finished on the podium for the first time in his career after a solid race from start to finish! Mike Miller finished in fourth after battling Jim Fosnaught for position most of the race. Fosnaught finished sixth behind PPMS star Jake “The Snake” Simmons. Mark Sanders, Joe Kelley, Rob Shook and Joey Zambotti rounded out the Pic-A-Part Top Ten. AJ Flick, Corey McPherson and Wayne Carbo scored heat race wins; Carbo appeared to have blown his motor on the final lap of the feature to bring out the caution that set up the aforementioned Green-White-Checkered restart.
As mentioned above, Fab Four Racing will be supplanted by the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprints next Friday Night and the RUSH Dirt Late Models will make the Lernerville Speedway debut. The Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman will be in action and there is some exciting news about that race that will be announced early next week! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @Lernerville for pre-race news through the week and rapid results on race nights!