John Garvin Jr. maintains hold on points lead while scoring first win of 2013
Eric Williams wins a spirited battle over Carl Bowser; three reds mar feature
Repeat winners Brian Swartzlander and Corey McPherson dominate from pole to checkers
Sarver, PA (June 16, 2013) The Fab Four features on either side of the Holiday Races fireworks display were more like hand-to-hand combat between a pair of drivers than they were between an entire field of cars trying to get to Sheetz Victory Lane. Though he dominated the Precise Late Model feature, John Garvin Jr. had brief but serious challenge from Michael Norris midrace. Eric Williams won a furious battle with Carl Bowser through lapped traffic and had to endure three red flag sessions to score his first win of the season. After another incredible fireworks show from the folks at Legendary Entertainment, Brian Swartzlander and Corey McPherson led their respective features from green-to-checkers, but had to fend off the advances of Mat Williamson and AJ Flick to seal the deal.
John Garvin Jr. entered Friday night as the Budweiser Points leader on the strength of finishing all five Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Model features in the top five, but none have been as the winner; until Friday Night. Garvin quickly jumped from the second row at the drop of the green flag into the lead on the second lap and was relatively unchallenged except for several laps midrace. During those laps, May 31 feature winner Michael Norris reeled in and pursued Garvin through lapped traffic, but ultimately ended up a victim of said lapped traffic after spinning while trying to split a pair of lapped cars exiting turn four. Norris spun to a stop in front of Victory Lane and thus dashing any chances he had of driving into it! Garvin maintained the lead on the restart and cruised to his first win of the season; giving his father and former driver John Garvin Sr. a priceless gift to start Father’s Day weekend.
Not to be lost in Garvin’s win and Norris’s midrace charge was the incredible run by Jason Rider. Rider has become a Lernerville regular over the past year and half, but this was by far his best drive and finish in the ultra-competitive Super Late Model division. If he continues to run this well as the season rolls on, there’s a very good chance you’ll see the #76 in Sheetz Victory Lane by the end of 2013! Another serious contender to make his first trip to Sheetz Victory Lane before season’s end is Dan Angelicchio. He was well on his way to his best finish of the season, but rolled pitside late in the race after running in the top five for the first half of it.
Former multiple-time Track Champion Alex Ferree rounded out the podium with a third place finish ahead of Modified convert Jim Rasey in fourth and Denton Boyer in fifth. Positions six through ten went to Ken Schaltendbrand, Michael Norris, Chris Rhodes, Todd Bachman and Doug Eck. Lynn Geisler had a disappointing “finish” to #1 Cochran Fan Appreciation Night; retiring on lap five with mechanical issues. Heat races were checkered by John Garvin Jr. and Todd Bachman.
Driving with heavy hearts already due to the recent and tragic passing of Jason Leffler during a mid-week Sprint Car race in Bridgeport, NJ, the stars of the Peoples TWP DIRTcar Sprints had to hold their breath three times as Jack Sodeman Jr., Dennis Wagner and Dan Kuriger all brought out red flags, (and thankfully all walked away okay), in an otherwise thrilling 25-lap feature. 2011 Track Champion Carl Bowser took the lead from the pole, but second row starters Eric Williams and Brandon Matus quickly gave chase. After the race was stopped for the first time on lap six for Sodeman’s nasty end-over-end flip, Eric Williams used the restart to challenge and pass Carl Bowser on lap 14 as they thrilled the crowd ripping through lapped traffic as they battled for the lead. Red flags again on laps 22 and 25 tested the mettle of Williams, but he held off Bowser to score his first win of the season and chip away at third-place finishing Brandon Spithaler’s Budweiser points lead.
When the checkered flag waved, only Bowser, Spithaler and Daryl Stimeling were on the lead lap. Scott Priester, Brandon Matus, Brent Matus, Gary Rankin, Charlie Cornelius and Jim Shuster rounded out the Peoples Top Ten. Brandon Matus and Carl Bowser were victorious in heat race competition.
After the first two features, our fire-breathing friends from Legendary Entertainment lit up the sky with another pulse-pounding display of pyrotechnic mastery; otherwise known as “fireworks”. As the lights were coming back up, Jack Crowell of #1 Cochran showed off and talked about several new cars available at their Monroeville, Allegheny Valley or Robinson locations as they paraded around the Action Track.
Brian Swartzlander drew the pole for the 25-lap Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Modified feature and led all 25-laps on his way to Lernerville feature win #79. Three contenders tangled on the second lap, as Dave Murdick and Rex King Sr. spun and got hooked together in turn four and last week’s feature winner Rex King Jr. spun to a stop to avoid plowing into the tangled duo. Budweiser Points leader and three-time feature winner Mat Williamson meticulously made his way to the front from eighth on the grid; taking fourth on lap 12, third on lap 13 and into second on lap 15. Williamson tried to run down Swartzlander and had a great chance to steal another win on a Green-White-Checkered- restart, but Swartzlander had a great restart and went on to score his second feature win of the season.
Williamson actually finished fourth after being split high and low entering turn three coming to the checkered flag by Brad Rapp (finished second) and Jeremiah Shingledecker (finished third) due to suffering a flat left-rear tire. Chris Haines, who ran several laps in the top three, scored his best career Lernerville feature finish in fifth ahead of Steve Feder, Rex King Jr., Eric Gabany, Jeff Schaeffer and Rex King Sr. After making his way back to the front, Dave Murdick went off the top of turn three late in the race to finish 14th
. Heat races were won by Rex King Jr. and Jeremiah Shingledecker.
Corey McPherson also started on the pole, led all 25-laps and held off a spirited challenge to score the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman feature. McPherson drove away from the field in the early stages of the race, but mid and late race cautions allowed AJ Flick to challenge McPherson for the lead, however, McPherson was up to the challenge and rolled the GM Performance 604 Crate-powered #C33 into Sheetz Victory Lane for the third time this season; tying Mat Williamson with the most feature wins this season.
Last week’s feature winner AJ Flick had to start 12th
, but was on rails again Friday Night, making his way through the field to challenge McPherson mid-race. Behind Flick in second was Mike Miller with another strong run to the podium in third. Joe Kelley showed his championship savvy by recovering from an otherwise brutal night to finish fourth; Kelley sustained heavy damage during the heat race and had to run the B-Main just to start the A-Main in 19th
. Also in the “Tough Luck/Hard Charger” category was Jim Fosnaught who came from the B-Main to round out the Pic-A-Part Top Five ahead of Chris Schneider, Paul Schreckengost, Pat Hanley, Bob Egley and Mark Sanders. Pat Hanley, Corey McPherson and Chris Schneider won heat races and Jim Fosnaught won the B-Main.
Next Friday, June 21 is the biggest Fast Friday of Fab Four Racing as all four divisions will be racing not only for wins and Budweiser Points, but also for “big ticket” track provisionals; the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup for the Peoples TWP Sprints, the Firecracker 100 for the Precise Late Models, the Kodiak Graham Memorial during the Steel City Stampede for the Diehl Mods and the Sportsman/Stock Spectacular during Autumn-Motive Fest 2013 for the Pic-A-Part Sportsman.
Then the month of June will come to a dramatic close with a three-day race weekend on Thursday-Friday-Saturday, June 27-28-29 with the 7th
Annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com
featuring and sanctioned by the World of Outlaws Late Model Series. Tickets for the Firecracker 100 are available 24/7 at Lernerville.com
by clicking the “Buy Tickets” icon or by calling the speedway office Monday-Friday at (724) 353-1511 during normal business hours. All advance three-day tickets include FREE pit pass upgrades for Thursday & Friday Nights and are priced at just $69! Three-day tickets for kids 10 & under are just $19!!
Photos courtesy of John Stivason/Stivason Photos