Lernerville Speedway

    Action Track Recap- Flick Defends Home Turf in Jean Lynch Classic; Norris Tops Lates; King Jr. Dominates Big Blocks; Schneider Wins Thriller


    Lernerville Speedway

    Action Track Recap- Flick Defends Home Turf in Jean Lynch Classic; Norris Tops Lates; King Jr. Dominates Big Blocks; Schneider Wins Thriller

    Jason Brown Photo

    Sarver, PA (June 1, 2024) A perfect, chamber of commerce type of night was placed perfectly in the 2024 schedule as drivers and fans came out en masse for the annual appearance from the Schaffer Oil Western Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek, which this season carried on the annual Jean Lynch Classic Sprint Car race, carrying the tradition which honored the local and national racing media pioneer, over from its former home at East Bay Raceway Park. A Western Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek record 46 Sprint Cars rolled into the pits on Friday night and combined with cars from the Precise Racing Products Late Models, Diehl Automotive Big Block Modifieds and Millerstown Pic-A-Part Pro Stocks, led to a whopping 108 cars ready to do battle.

    AJ Flick put on a performance that will be talked about for quite some time as he once again took the honors as the Speedweek night winner, but did so in a fashion that saw him charge forward from the mid pack, passing three National Sprint Car Hall of Fame members in the process en route to the win. Meanwhile, Michael Norris was doing Michael Norris things in the Precise Racing Products Late Model main event, taking his third feature win in four attempts. Rex King Jr. refused to be caught in the Diehl Automotive Big Block Modified feature, leading from the green flag to the checkered for his first weekly win of 2024. And, in Millerstown Pic-A-Part Pro Stock action, Christian Schneider sent a statement to the division front runners with his second feature win of the season.”

    Flick Charges to Jean Lynch Classic Victory

    AJ Flick had conquered the Western Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek field in each of the last two years and went into Friday night looking for a third straight win. However, the circumstances he found himself in were completely different. Flick faced fields of 35 and 30 cars in each of his previous triumphs and perhaps a more limited number of top invaders. On this night, he faced as tough a 46 car field as can be found in the tri state area and would have to come from a 10th starting spot in 30 laps to extend his streak.

    In an appropriate plot twist, Sye Lynch, grandson of the honored Jean Lynch started on the pole alongside a very unique invader in the form of Jordan Poirier, an Empire Super Sprint (360ci) star that had traveled down from Quebec and performed very well during preliminary action in his first career start at The Action Track. When the green flag waved, Lynch took the lead coming out of turn two on the opening lap and went straight to work trying to put space between himself and Poirier. Meanwhile, the red hot Brandon Spithaler who started 12th on the grid slipped off the backstretch as he gathered himself together, losing only a spot or two in the process. Out front, Lynch started stacking distance between himself and Poirier and Tim Shaffer running third as Jeremy Weaver and Zane Devault rounded out the top five in the early going.

    With five laps down, Flick had managed to make his way around Mark Smith, and Dale Blaney, rising to the seventh spot where he began challenging Carl Bowser for sixth. Lynch caught the tail of lapped traffic with six laps in, which turned into heavy lapped traffic just two laps later as Poirier and Shaffer began to shave time off Lynch’s lead while Flick had moved up to the fifth spot with 10 laps in the books. Flick slid underneath Shaffer for the fourth spot and then around Devault for third with 12 laps down and set his sights on the leaders while Lynch had a 1.7 second advantage over Poirier.

    All action came to a halt when Jack Sodeman Jr. rolled to a stop on the backstretch with 14 laps down and when action resumed, Poirier found himself on a mission to take the lead as he quickly dove to the bottom of turn one and then up in front of Lynch to take the lead. Lynch tried to slide Poirier back in turns three and four but came up just short. Meanwhile, just past the halfway point, Flick was on Lynch’s tail tank as he prepared to make the successful move for the second spot down the backstretch with 13 laps to go. All eyes were on the two front runners as 10 laps remained and Poirier maintained 1.2 second advantage. Poirier then found himself just about ready to enter lapped traffic in turns one and two when Flick charged to the bottom of turn one and came up with the lead coming out of turn two, with five laps remaining. Poirier stayed close for a pair of laps before Flick turned on the afterburner in lapped traffic en route to a post checkered flag victory donut on the front stretch and a $4,000 payday.

    “I mean Lynch is more synonymous with this place than my last name is,” Flick said in Terry Bowser Excavating Victory Lane. “Everybody here knows how hard Sye was going to drive to try to win this race. He’s a phenomenal driver with a phenomenal crew and great partners but you could see at the end that Sye was fading a bit and I was hoping we would stay in lapped traffic there when the caution came out on lap 14. I was surprised that Jordan charged out there and how good he was in the clean air and it took me a lot to try to get back by him. When he passed Sye I knew I was going to do everything I could to keep this thing in Apollo. Quite honestly I didn’t know if we could get it done with the nine names in front of me and Spithaler behind us.”

    Peoples Natural Gas Sprint Car Feature- Western PA Sprint Speedweek $4,000-to-win- ‘Jean Lynch Classic’: (Finish-Name-[Start]) 1. 2-AJ Flick[10]; 2. 28-Jordan Poirier[2]; 3. 49X-Tim Shaffer[4]; 4. 10-Dave Blaney[8]; 5. 42-Sye Lynch[1]; 6. 22-Brandon Spithaler[12]; 7. M1-Mark Smith[9]; 8. 32B-Dale Blaney[19]; 9. 4-Zane DeVault[6]; 10. 5-Jeremy Weaver[3]; 11. 11-Carl Bowser[5]; 12. 29P-Dan Shetler[13]; 13. 20B-Cody Bova[17]; 14. 23-Lance Moss[11]; 15. 11J-David Kalb[22]; 16. 5K-Adam Kekich[20]; 17. 7NY-Matt Farnham[21]; 18. 29-Logan McCandless[14]; 19. 46-Michael Bauer[18]; 20. 2P-Ricky Peterson[7]; 21. 17-Dylan Norris[23]; 22. 23JR-Jack Sodeman Jr[24]; 23. V60-Jordyn Charge[15]; 24. 13-Brandon Matus[16]

    Norris Tames Precise Lates Once Again

    If Michael Norris’s start to the 2024 season is any indication, the upcoming Firecracker 100 field should take immediate note. He’s got the fastest car at Lernerville thus far in not only the weekly fields, but most likely whatever national field will call The Action Track home during the upcoming three day speed festival. Norris started the 25 lap Precise Racing Products Late Model main event third on the grid with all time great Chub Frank on the pole and former track champion Ken Schaltenbrand alongside him on the front row.
    Schaltenbrand quickly assumed the lead coming out of turn two on the opening lap with Frank trying to stay close on the bottom and Norris behind both of them figuring out his preferred groove. Jon Lee and Mike Duritsky Jr. rounded out the top five in the early laps as Schaltenbrand maintained a slim advantage over Frank. Norris then began taking serious looks to the outside of Frank with seven laps in the books, making the pass for the second spot at the flag stand, then took the lead just seconds later when he dove below Schaltenbrand going into turn one, completing two passes in less than half a lap in taking the lead.
    Frank and Schaltenbrand then battled hard for the second spot, allowing Norris to drive away near the halfway point as he found himself in lapped traffic.

    Norris moved through the lappers at his leisure, moving the car through all three available grooves in doing so while putting more distance between himself and the field while Frank made his way past Schaltenbrand for the second spot. Seventh starting Colton Flinner then started making moves towards the front, passing Dan Angelecchio for fourth with eight laps left and then Schaltenbrand for third with five to go. Norris seemed to be on cruise control with a four second lead over Frank, but his restart skills would get a test as Tyler Wyant brought out the yellow flag on the white flag lap, setting up a green, white, checkered finish. Norris selected to restart on the bottom and regained a huge part of his original advantage while Flinner eclipsed Frank for the runner up spot.

    “We tried a lot of different stuff tonight,” Norris said. “I have to thank Mark Richards and Brian Dougherty, we kind of all put our heads together there. It was pretty good but we were trying to get better when it gets really slick so we tried something different tonight.”

    Precise Racing Products Feature: (Finish-Name-[Start]) 1. 72-Michael Norris[3]; 2. 48-Colton Flinner[7]; 3. 1*-Chub Frank[1]; 4. 77-Tyler Dietz[9]; 5. 29-Ken Schaltenbrand[2]; 6. 75-Jared Miley[19]; 7. 14-Dan Angelicchio[5]; 8. 5L-Jon Lee[4]; 9. 1C-Alex Ferree[8]; 10. 40-Michael Duritsky Jr[6]; 11. 10-John Garvin Jr[18]; 12. 12B-Andy Boozel[12]; 13. 9-Levi Yetter[14]; 14. 10L-Gary Lyle[13]; 15. 1L-Logan Jaquay[16]; 16. 10K-Zachary Kane[15]; 17. 75D-RJ Dallape[17]; 18. 57-Matt Tifft[20]; 19. 10C-Ryan Christoff[10]; 20. (DNF) 24-Tyler Wyant[11

    King Jr. Dominates Diehl Auto Big Blocks

    Sometimes starting on the pole can draw competitors a map of where the speed is on the track that they can use to their advantage in a 25 lap race. But on Friday night, the field was not quite fast enough to use that map on Rex King Jr. as it seemingly evaporated in his wake as King put on a dominant performance en route to his first weekly win of the 2024 season.
    King was joined on the front row by Will Thomas and when the action unfolded, King bolted out unchallenged to the early lead followed by Thomas, Dave Murdick, Steve Feder and Rick Regalski. Feder made his way around Murdick for the third spot just two laps in and went to work trying to run down the front runners. With five laps down, points leader Garrett Krummert was making slow progress to the front from his eighth starting spot as he made his way to the fifth spot, but then became bogged down behind Dave Murdick as he spent several laps working both high and low to take the fourth spot away.

    King then found himself in lapped traffic with 10 laps down, but moved with precision and purpose, leaving comfortable grooves to make his way around the pieces that came his way with ease. With 10 laps to go, King had amassed a full straightway advantage over Thomas and Feder. However, the yellow flag waved for a spunout Macey Adamik, bringing up a double file restart with four laps remaining. When action resumed, King selected the bottom of the speedway and when the green flag waved, King wasted no time at all resuming the lead while behind him Thomas held off a last minute challenge from Murdick and Krummert who came home third and fourth respectively.

    “We were pretty good,” King said. “When you start on the pole you’re supposed to win and we haven’t done that in the last three races here. Luckily we got it done tonight. The car was good. We changed a couple of shocks and some stuff and I got a little bit better driving too. You know when it’s fast around the top like the last couple weeks it’s been, and the track crew’s been fighting rain every other day it seems like so I don’t blame them for it but when it slows down like this it may be a little bit more of our style.”

    Diehl Automotive Feature: (Finish-Name-[Start]) 1. 165-Rex King Jr[1]; 2. 9-Will Thomas[2]; 3. 61-Dave Murdick[3]; 4. 29-Garrett Krummert[8]; 5. 45-Steve Feder[4]; 6. 11R-Brad Rapp[6]; 7. 37MD-Jeremiah Shingledecker[10]; 8. 13-Rick Regalski Jr[5]; 9. JD57-Jordan Ehrenberg[7]; 10. 5C-Ayden Cipriano[14]; 11. 18JR-Mike Dougherty Jr[13]; 12. 35-Steve Slater[16]; 13. 20P-Mike Kinney[12]; 14. 60-Tom Holden[9]; 15. 10-Chelsie Gallagher[15]; 16. 6-Lenny Leibold[18]; 17. 64-Rodney Beltz[11]; 18. (DNF) 8M-Macey Adamik[17]

    Schneider Takes Second Millerstown Pro Stock Win of 2024

    Christian Schneider started from the pole alongside Brett Hutira in the 20-lap Millerstown Pic-A-Part Pro Stock feature and Schneider asserted himself in command of the field from the get go with Hutira and Joey Zambotti in tow. Making their way forward though were a formidable chase pack consisting of Tyler Schneider, Chase Lambert and Cody Koteles plus an oncoming Tyler Dietz who made his way to the fifth spot with five laps down. Mike Difrancesca slowed on the fronstretch bring all forward progress to a halt and when action resumed, Schneider once again bolted out to the lead with Hutira running second while Dietz, Zambotti and Tyler Schneider went three wide for the spot behind him.

    Dietz emerged from the battle with the third spot in hand and quickly went to work on Hutira, making the pass for the second spot less than half a lap later. Chris Schneider then emerged in the top four as he ran down Hutira for third at the halfway mark while out front, Christian had a two second advantage. Dietz and Schneider then began to reel in the leader, knocking a second off the leader’s advantage with five laps remaining. Dietz, nestled in his traditional bottom groove, was moving up fast on Christian Schineider’s back bumper until the yellow came out for a Tom Robertson spin with four laps to go. Schneider elected to start on the bottom and jumped back out to the lead as Dietz crossed under with three laps to go looking for a bead on taking the lead. Schneider wouldn’t have any of it though, and made his way to the bottom first, taking away Dietz’s preferred line when the action slowed for Jason Fosnaught with two laps left. Dietz threw everything but the kitchen sink as Christian Schneider in the waning laps but came up short at Schneider took his second win of the season.

    “Oh my god my heart was pounding when Dietz was there,” Schneider remarked. “He almost got me. I didn’t know where to run. When you start on the pole you have no clue where to go. I seen him over my shoulder and then just blocked him. “

    Millerstown Pic-A-Part Feature: (Finish-Name-[Start]) 1. 56-Christian Schneider[1]; 2. 00-Tyler Dietz[9]; 3. 55S-Chris Schneider[10]; 4. 4-Brett Hutira[2]; 5. 1K-Cody Koteles[6]; 6. 27-Jacob Dietz[11]; 7. 155-Tyler Schneider[5]; 8. 26-Mike Bordt[8]; 9. 22-Chase Lambert[4]; 10. 77H-Heath Close[13]; 11. 948-Joey Zambotti III[3]; 12. 79-Tommy Dembowski[14]; 13. 00L-Cole Miller[19]; 14. 68-John Peterman Jr[16]; 15. 25-Jason Fosnaught[7]; 16. 7A-Tom Robertson[15]; 17. 57-Jeff Hay[17]; 18. 9-Mike DiFrancesca[18]; 19. (DNS) 99T-Theo Baumgartner; 20. (DNS) 72B-Jim Kurpakus

    Submitted By: Gary Heeman

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