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Mid-Season Championship Race Report 6.21 - Ferree & Garvin into the Firecracker!



Jack Sodeman Jr. dominates the Peoples TWP Sprint feature; locked into Silver Cup
Jeremiah Shingledecker bests Mat Williamson on a mid-race restart to score 1st win of 2013
Alex Ferree drives the A-Train into the Firecracker 100 A-Main with Precise Late Model Feature Win
Corey McPherson fights off Mike Miller; cruises to fourth Pic-A-Part Sportsman feature of the season

Sarver, PA (June 21, 2013) Friday Night’s Mid-Season Championships carried extra weight as track provisionals were on the line for all Fab Four divisions’ respective “big ticket” events on the 2013 schedule.  Mid-Season Champions Jack Sodeman Jr. is now locked into the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup in July, Jeremiah Shingledecker is locked into the Kodiak Graham Memorial at the DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede in October, Alex Ferree is locked into next weekend’s 7th Annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com, and Corey McPherson is locked into the Sportsman/Stock Spectacular during Autumn-Motive Fest 2013 in September.


Jack Sodeman Jr. ended last Friday Night’s feature upside on the back straightaway after a nasty flip.  He ended last night’s Mid-Season Championship in Sheetz Victory Lane with his patented wing dance!  Sodeman started alongside Budweiser Points leader Brandon Spithaler on the front row and they swapped the lead on the first couple laps, but once Sodeman took a clear lead on lap three, he drove away from Spithaler and the rest of the Peoples TWP DIRTcar Sprint field in a seven minute, 42 second romp from green straight to checkers.  Sodeman’s second win of the season locks him into the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XXII Twin 30s presented by GottaRace.com on Tuesday, July 16 by way of the Mid-Season Championship Track provisional.


While Sodeman was fun to watch deftly navigating lapped traffic, the real show in the Peoples TWP Sprint feature was the race behind him for second.  Brandon Spithaler engaged in a three-car dog fight with Carl Bowser and Brandon Matus for the entirety of the 25-lap feature, but when the checkered flag waved it was Sarver’s Carl Bowser in second place after passing both Brandon’s in the final five laps.  Spithaler finished in third and retains his Budweiser Points lead.  Brandon Matus ran another great race and finished fourth ahead of his father Brent who rounded out the Peoples TWP Top Five.  Spots six through ten went to heat race winner Scott Priester, Bob McMillin, Daryl Stimeling, Jim Shuster and Eric Williams.  Williams failed to qualify for the Mid-Season redraw due to retiring to the pits after he slid off the top of turn two running third in his heat race due to mechanical issues and had to start shotgun on the field for the feature.  Carl Bowser and Scott Priester scored heat race wins.

Budweiser Points leader and three-time feature winner Mat Williamson started on the outside pole along with Brad Rapp and took the early lead.  The conventional wisdom in the press box was that, like in the Sprint feature, the race was on for second.  But Jeremiah Shingledecker had other ideas!  The first glimpse of what was in store came on a lap six restart when Jeremiah Shingledecker made a great move in turns one & two to dive below Williamson and Rapp to take the lead down the back straightaway, but a caution before the lap was completed nullified the pass for the lead and Shingledecker was denied access to the same line on the second restart.  Shingledecker, however, took second from Rapp before the next caution waved and then had another great restart after a lap 11 caution before taking the lead from Williamson on lap 12.  Once out front, Shingledecker drove unchallenged to his first win of the season in a caution-free end to the race.  The winning decision actually came hours earlier when Shingledecker unloaded his “small block car” after evaluating track conditions upon arrival!


Williamson chased him to the checkered flag, but never posed a serious threat to retake the lead.  He did however, extend his lead in the Budweiser Points to 40 over second place Brian Swartzlander (who finished Friday’s feature in fifth) and 41 points over Shingldecker.  Eric Gabany, also the pilot of a “small block”, scored his best Fab Four finish in third; recall however, that Gabany won the “Small Block Showcase” at Lernerville in 2012.  Polesitter Brad Rapp finished in fourth ahead of Swartzlander.  Dave Murdick, Steve Feder, Rex King Jr., Rex King Sr. and Tom Winkle rounded out the Diehl Top Ten.  Swartzlander and Williamson were victorious in heat race action.

The Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models arguable had the most on the line Friday night with next weekend’s 7th Annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com looming large!  John Garvin Jr. entered the event with a comfortable lead in the Budweiser Points and thus the track provisional that comes along with it.  The other 22 drivers in competition, however, were racing for a coveted guaranteed spot in the Firecracker 100 A-Main.  Alex Ferree drew the pole for the 25-lap Mid-Season Championship feature and took the early lead through turns one & two.  And while Defending Track Champion Jared Miley got past Garvin for second on lap five, he was never able to mount a serious challenge to Ferree’s lead.  Ferree, a former Three-Time Champion, scored his first feature win of the season and the 20th of his career; just one fewer than his father Ed.  Congratulations to Alex, not only on his feature win and Firecracker provisional, but also for his recent engagement!


Jared Miley chased Ferree to the checkered flag to finish second ahead of Dave Hess Jr. in third.  Lynn Geisler had a strong run to finish fourth and Kenny Schaltenbrand, (sporting new skin on his familiar #29) finished fifth ahead of Russ King, John Garvin Jr., Brian Swartzlander, Michael Norris and Doug Eck.  Hess, Miley and Ferree all won their respective heat races and Chuck Sarver won the B-Main.

Superlatives are running short to describe Corey McPherson’s 2013 saeson, but starting on the front row, (instead of 12th due to modified line-up procedures for the Mid-Season Championships), McPherson launched into the lead at the drop of the green flag.  Despite the good start and early lead, it looked like McPherson might be resigned to the same fate that befell fellow three-time feature winner Mat Williamson, as Mike Miller took the lead from McPherson on lap 10.  But after drawing the pole for his heat and outside pole for the feature, the luck side of McPherson’s winning equation continued on lap 13 as Miller had to check up to avoid plowing into Pat Hanley after sliding up into the apex of turns one & two.  When Miller lifted, McPherson squirted under him to retake the lead.  Once out front, McPherson cruised to his Fab Four-leading fourth feature win of the season and the 11th of his still rising career.


AJ Flick scored another podium finish after having the opposite luck of McPherson by drawing 10th on the grid.  The third-generation Penn State student showed patience beyond his years by methodically making his way to the front and then passing Mike Miller in the closing laps to finish second.  Miller held on the finish third.   Brett McDonald turned in another top five finish, (his fourth of the season in seven races), in fourth ahead of Rob Shook in fifth; his best finish of 2013.  Mark Sanders, John McCann, Joey Zambotti, Wayne Carbo and Joe Kelley rounded out the Pic-A-Part Top Ten; Kelley came from the tail through the B-Main.  Heat races went to McPherson, Miller and Flick. Pat Hanley won the B-Main in a spirited battle with Joe Kelley.

The month of June will come to a dramatic close next weekend 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!!


Contact: Lernerville Speedway                 
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director
(724) 664-1075 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Photos courtesy of John Stivason/Stivason Photos

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