AJ Flick chugs the Turner’s Tea and takes the Budweiser Points lead
Sodeman, Spithaler and Beaber carry on family traditions of Sprint Car success
Sarver, PA (July 5, 2013) Third generation star AJ Flick continues to show his championship prowess and after his second win of the season paired with Corey McPherson’s DNF after a first lap front stretch pile-up, he leads the Budweiser Point Standings by a single point over McPherson. Flick’s night started out with just about the worst possible pill draw with a 49 out of 50 pills. But he made short order of his heat race competition to pick up his Fab Four Racing-leading sixth heat race win. The Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman feature redraw was kinder to the 2-team as Flick started fifth and was ahead of the front-stretch pile up on what should have been the completion of lap one. The crash collected almost a dozen cars and included a rare red flag as Rookie of the Year contender Joey Zambotti’s car catapulted into the air before coming to a stop wheels down. Corey McPherson entered the event with a relatively comfortable 26-point lead after back-to-back wins, but that lead was erased by an early tow-truck ride to the pits. Pat Hanley, Bob Egley, Eric Piotrowski, Bob Egley, Stan Riggle, Brett McDonald, Mark Sanders, Brian Stivenson and Jake Simmons were all involved with varying degrees of damage.
Being that the entire field failed to complete the lap, there was a complete restart and All-Time division wins leader Joe Kelley took the early lead, but Jim Fosnaught charged around the top of turns one & two to take the lead on lap two. AJ Flick took second and made it a three-car battle for the lead on lap eight. Mike Miller joined the fray two laps later and grabbed second place with a great restart from the outside of the second row when Flick didn’t come to speed right away and fell back to fifth. Miller took the lead when Fosnaught jumped the cushion on unlucky lap 13 and the three leaders really diced it up on lap 14 as Kelley and Fosnaught both dove below Miller to make it a three-wide battle in turns one & two. A caution slowed the field a final time and gave Flick a shot at restart redemption.
As fate would have it, Flick restarted fourth, just as Miller had laps earlier. Flick made an incredible move entering turn three to dive to the bottom and into second place ahead of Kelley and Fosnaught. Kelley fought back, made it three-wide again for the lead off turn two and led lap 16 at the flagstand. Flick took the lead around the top of turns one & two only to see Kelley pass him back low in three & four to maintain the lead at the flagstand. But Flick took the lead for good on lap 18 around the top of turns one & two again and held off one last charge by Kelley coming to the white flag to score his second win of the season. In Sheetz Victory Lane, Flick claimed the Approved Toilet Rental checkered flag and might have started a new Lernerville Speedway tradition of chugging the Turner’s Premium Iced Tea to celebrate Indy 500 style! Kelley chased Flick to the checkered flag to his best finish of the season and seems to be on the cusp of returning to Sheetz Victory Lane in the near future to add to his All Time division win total. Jim Fosnaught also finished on the podium for his best feature finish of the season in third. Mike Miller finished fourth and Mark Sanders notched his second top five of 2013. The Pic-A-Part top ten rounded out with Paul Schreckengost, Rob Shook, Jake Simmons, Brett McDonald and Wayne Carbo. The feature podium trio of AJ Flick, Jim Fosnaught and Joe Kelley were also victorious in their respective heat races. The names Sodeman, Spithaler and Beaber have been in the Lernerville Sprint car race results for decades, but on Friday, July 5 the names were tied to a new generation and without their signature wings. 20-25 years ago the names were Johnny Beaber, Jack Sodeman and Ralph Spithaler, last night it was sons Tony Beaber and Jack Sodeman Jr. and cousin Brandon Spithaler. Beaber took the early lead from the inside of row two and set a blistering pace, but Sodeman and Spithaler gave chase from fourth and fifth on the grid.
Sodeman was all over Beaber on lap seven when a red flag came out for Steve Irwin in turn two. On the restart, Sodeman pulled even with Beaber exiting turn two and took the lead in turn four. Two laps later, Spithaler got around Beaber for second and the Budweiser Points leader Spithaler was on the prowl of his runner-up Sodeman as lightning off turn two and fireworks off turn three lit up the sky. Despite Spithaler’s best efforts on a lap 20 restart, Sodeman pulled away on an open track and scored his third win of the season; both at Lernerville Speedway and with the BOSS Wingless Sprint Series.
Brandon Spithaler raced home to a second place finish and Mike Miller (no, not the Sportsman driver) finished third. Earlier leader Tony Beaber finished fourth ahead of Kirk Jeffries in fifth, Chad Wilson in sixth and Aaron Middaugh in seventh. Hall of Famer Johnny Beaber made his long-awaited return to the Action Track where he dominated the sprint ranks in the 1980s with three Track Championships and 55 feature wins. Third generation star Brandon Matus came home ninth ahead of Gale Ruth Jr. in tenth. Michael Fischesser, Jack Sodeman Jr. and Aaron Middaugh scored BOSS Heat Race wins.
Photos Courtesy of John Stivason/Stivason Photos