Lernerville Speedway

    Action Track Recap; King Jr. Tops Big Blocks; Spithaler Holds Off Shaffer; Norris Makes it Three in a Row; Schneider Bests Pro Stocks


    Lernerville Speedway

    Action Track Recap; King Jr. Tops Big Blocks; Spithaler Holds Off Shaffer; Norris Makes it Three in a Row; Schneider Bests Pro Stocks

    Jason Brown Photo

    Sarver, PA (June 15, 2024) Mother Nature spared The Action Track on Friday night as numerous showers and thunderstorms in the area missed the speedway grounds altogether with abundant sunshine overtaking the evening hours. On the track, the annual Fab4 Racing Mid-Season Championship Night took center stage as tickets to 2024 marquee events such as Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XXXIII and the Firecracker 100 were punched by each of the four feature winners. Rex King Jr. atoned for his abnormal early exit from last Friday’s Diehl Automotive Big Block Modified main event, by taking his second win in three weeks on Friday night while Brandon Spithaler was able to hold off National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Tim Shaffer in the final laps en route to his third victory of the season and a starting spot in Silver Cup XXXIII. Michael Norris and rookie Super Late Model sensation Bam Bam Brock Pinkerous were set to battle for the win in the Precise Racing Products Late Model feature until contact between the two sent Norris to the lead and eventual feature victory, a win which gave him an automatic qualifier to next week’s Firecracker 100 presented by Big River Steel. And for the second week in a row, Chris Schneider closed out the night of racing with a feature victory in Millerstown Pic-A-Part Pro Stock action.

    King Jr Collects Second Win of Season In Dominant Fashion

    Last week’s DNF placed Rex King Jr over 20 points behind standings leader Garrett Krummert. It was a hole to dig out of sure enough for the defending track champion. And on Friday night, King found a shovel and started digging his way upward with authority, coming from his 10th starting spot to another victory in the 25-lap Diehl Automotive Big Block Modified main event.

    Veteran pilot Steve Feder started on the pole flanked on the outside by Rick Regalski and when the green flag waved, Regalski had managed to capture the lead at the flagstand as seventh starting Krummert and King started to make their way forward in the early going. Former four time track champion Jeremiah Shingledecker managed his way past Feder for the second spot in the early going and Eric Gabany, driving the familiar number 35 normally driven by Steve Slater, was right in the top five mix as well. Shingledecker, Krummert and Regalski then found themselves three wide for the lead in turns three and four and three laps down with Krummert emerging from the battle on the bottom side to take the lead. Regalski then drove off the back stretch, throwing himself out of contention while King made his way around Feder for the fourth spot.

    Out front, Krummert began to stack car lengths between himself and second running Shingledecker, using the bottom side in all four corners to keep his momentum consistent. All action slowed with eight laps down for a Lenny Leibold spin in turn two. When action resumed, King launched forward on the restart to take the second spot away from Shingledecker and set his sights on Krummert out front. King, working the top side of the speedway, then rocketed around Krummert with 10 laps down in a bid for the lead which lasted initially one set of turns as Krummert came right back with speed underneath to stay in the fight. Macey Adamik then found herself facing the wrong direction at the halfway point, halting all progress.

    At nearly the same time, Austin Eyler went over on his roof off of turn two, bringing out the red flag. When the race resumed, King edged Krummert to the flag stand to re-take the lead and this time he was able to gain separation as Krummert, Will Thomas, Gabany and Steve Feder now back into the top five, made up the chase pack as they ran. King opened up a two second lead with 10 laps to go. Krummert was able to close some of the gap as the white flag emerged, but King proved to be too strong for the second night in three weeks of racing.

    “It was pretty dominant up top for our car,” King said in Terry Bowser Excavating Victory Lane. “I know Garrett was really good on the bottom in one and two and I got by him, tried taking his line down there and he drove right back by me. It was fun, I love racing here but that top was a little too gnarly for me. I’m getting a bit older now but it was definitely a fun race.”

    Diehl Automotive Feature: (Finish-Name-[Start]) 1. 165-Rex King Jr[10]; 2. 29-Garrett Krummert[7]; 3. 35-Eric Gabany[6]; 4. 9-Will Thomas[11]; 5. 45-Steve Feder[1]; 6. 37MD-Jeremiah Shingledecker[3]; 7. 5C-Ayden Cipriano[4]; 8. 11R-Brad Rapp[14]; 9. 61-Dave Murdick[8]; 10. 13-Rick Regalski Jr[2]; 11. 20P-Mike Kinney[9]; 12. 75-Jeff Miller[13]; 13. 60-Tom Holden[15]; 14. 14S-Justin Shea[16]; 15. JD57-Jordan Ehrenberg[20]; 16. 10-Darin Gallagher[17]; 17. 6-Lenny Leibold[19]; 18. 8M-Macey Adamik[18]; 19. (DNF) 3K-Shawn Kozar[12]; 20. (DNF) 5A-Austin Eyler[5]

    Spithaler Holds Off Late Tim Shaffer Charge to Make it Three Wins on Season

    Brandon Spithaler continued his slick track mastery of The Action Track on Friday night, holding off an oncoming Tim Shaffer in the process, in a battle that went from a 2.2 second gap to wheel to wheel quite quickly in the waning laps.
    Spithaler brought the field to the green flag with Michael Bauer alongside on the front row and started making distance between himself and the field immediately while the fourth starting and red hot AJ Flick inexplicably slipped on the top of turn two, putting himself back to the eight spot not even a lap into the 25-lap Peoples Natural Gas main event. Action stopped for a Brent Matus spin with one lap down and when racing resumed, Tim Shaffer bolted right to the second spot past Brandon Matus and Michael Bauer. Sixth starting David Kalb also used the restart to make it to the fourth spot and began taking looks under Matus for third while out front, Spithaler was facing scattered lapped traffic in all grooves with eight laps in the books.

    Shaffer, who was making up some ground, lost his gains in the lappers, but all was equalized when Tommy Jasen brought out the yellow flag with ten laps down with a spin. When the green flag waved , Matus and Shaffer were wheel to wheel in a battle for second with Shaffer up top and Matus on the bottom. Shaffer would move ahead for good at the halfway point while Spithaler was starting to stack car lengths back to the second running Shaffer. Carl Bowser then found some grip and was able to move into the top five with seven laps left as Shaffer made his bid for the lead closing in to the point where his front wing was visible to Spithaler with both cars running up top on the cushion and lapped traffic in front.

    The opportunity seemed perfect for Shaffer when Spithaler oscillated slightly, moving down low coming out of turn four allowing Shaffer to draw nearly wheel to wheel for the lead down the front stretch. However, Spithaler was able to gather the car back together and slide back up to the top groove just ahead of Shaffer entering turn one to keep the lead.

    Shaffer stayed right on Spithaler’s tail tank and made another move with six laps to go in turn four but had to put the binders on to keep from disaster as Matus made an attempt to re-take the second spot with Shaffer gathering his car back before returning to his momentum on the top side. Matus and Shaffer battled side by side, allowing Spithaler some daylight up front. Shaffer cleared Matus with three to go and gave it one more try but came up short as Spithaler drove smoothly under the checkered flag to collect the win. Bauer would join the podium by winning a late battle with Matus for the third spot, his second straight podium finish. With the win, Spithaler garnered a guaranteed starting spot for the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup coming up in July.

    “I just got hung up in traffic there, I thought we were gonna lose it twice racing with Jasen,” Spithaler said. “It wasn’t his fault but we got squirrely and we touched once and that slowed us down for sure and then I saw Shaffer’s nose and then thought that I better hit my marks. I didn’t know if we drove back away or not. I’m finally starting to get this place straightened out when it gets icy so that’s good. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs the last two weeks but it feels great to be here in victory lane again.”

    Peoples Natural Gas Sprint Car Feature: (Finish-Name-Start) 1. 22-Brandon Spithaler[1]; 2. 49X-Tim Shaffer[5]; 3. 46-Michael Bauer[2]; 4. 11-Carl Bowser[7]; 5. 11J-David Kalb[6]; 6. 13-Brandon Matus[3]; 7. 2-AJ Flick[4]; 8. 08-Danny Kuriger[17]; 9. 29-Logan McCandless[8]; 10. 5E-Bobby Elliott[19]; 11. 35-Jared Zimbardi[16]; 12. 7-Aidan Borden[14]; 13. 3-John Jerich[20]; 14. 55*-Matt Sherlock[12]; 15. 05-Adam Herb[18]; 16. 3J-Jacob Begenwald[15]; 17. 33-Brent Matus[10]; 18. 12G-Tommy Jasen[13]; 19. (DNF) 24-Gale Ruth Jr[11]; 20. (DNF) 5-Jeremy Weaver[9]

    Norris Emerges Victorious Once Again in Late Models

    Michael Norris’s unbeaten streak at Lernerville now sits at four with the 18th annual Firecracker 100 presented by Big River Steel now squarely on his radar next week. Each of his five wins have come via different ways thus far with some coming as a result of total field domination, a well timed lucky break and another with savvy late race management. The win on this Friday night involved a bit of the stuff that will be talked about for a long time as a bit of contact changed the shape of the race in the final 10 laps.

    Wily veteran pilot Matt Lux, driving a backup Levi Yetter machine started on the pole of the Precise Racing Products Late Model main event alongside childhood prodigy ‘Bam Bam’ Brock Pinkerous. The 14 year old RUSH Late Model standout was making his first career Super Late Model Start and it was one that will certainly be memorable for him. Lux took the early race lead and was immediately stalked by Ken Schaltenbrand running the very bottom groove and Pinkerous up top. The three cars went three wide for the lead down the back on lap three as Pinkerous was able to take the lead by a very thin margin at the flag stand with Schaltenbrand, Lux and Norris directly behind.

    With six laps in the books Pinkerous had put some distance between himself and a brewing battle for the second spot between Schaltenbrand, Lux and Norris. With nine laps down, Norris got a run on Lux coming out of turn two and moved into the third spot. Pinkerous held a 1.8 second lead over Schaltenbrand as the halfway mark emerged as Norris closed in to take the second spot away with 12 laps to go. Norris trimmed the Pinkerous advantage to just under one second and began taking looks under Pinkerous at the flagstand with 10 laps left to go and plenty of lapped traffic in front of the leader. Then with nine laps left, the two leaders were wheel to wheel down the backstretch racing for the lead. Pinkerous ran in the high groove with Norris on the bottom side at the flagstand and entering turn one with eight to go when Pinkerous moved down from the top, most likely in an attempt to evade lapped cars running there, and the two leaders made contact with Pinkerous spinning out in the process.

    When action resumed, Norris quickly took command of the lead as Alex Ferree went from sixth to third while Tyler Dietz finished his charge from his 15th starting spot to fourth. Out front though, Norris seemingly put his machine on cruise control and rolled to yet another feature win, a victory that gave him an automatic starting spot in the Saturday night portion of the Firecracker 100.

    “Well we both went into three, I had a good run off the bottom and he had a good run on the top,” Norris said. “I tried to get slowed down in turn one and he started to come down from the top and he couldn’t see me. I hated to do that to him because I did it to him at the Stampede too. I feel terrible for Brock, he’s gonna be spanking me here pretty soon. He’s a young talent and I’ll go talk to him, it was a racing deal.”
    Precise Racing Products Feature: (Finish-Name-[Start]) 1. 72-Michael Norris[4]; 2. 29-Ken Schaltenbrand[3]; 3. 1C-Alex Ferree[6]; 4. 77-Tyler Dietz[15]; 5. 10-John Garvin Jr[5]; 6. 48-Colton Flinner[9]; 7. 12-Ryan Montgomery[7]; 8. 9*-Matt Lux[1]; 9. 184-Kyle Lukon[10]; 10. 75M-Jared Miley[12]; 11. 10L-Gary Lyle[11]; 12. 9-Levi Yetter[18]; 13. 75-RJ Dallape[13]; 14. 81-Mike Miller[19]; 15. 57-Matt Tifft[21]; 16. 555-Brock Pinkerous[2]; 17. 24-Tyler Wyant[8]; 18. 40-Michael Duritsky Jr[16]; 19. 11-Joshua Powell[20]; 20. 15-Kodie Checketts[17]; 21. (DNF) 27T-Tony White[14]

    Schneider Goes Back to Back in Pro Stocks

    Chris Schneider had been having problems starting from the pole in 2023, giving away several golden opportunities he failed to convert to victories. In 2024, he seems to have cured his ills as he once again started from the pole of the 20-lap Millerstown Pic-A-Part Pro Stock feature. Starting alongside six time track champion Corey McPherson, Schneider took command of the field from the get go McPherson stayed close using the bottom groove as his catalyst.
    Coming forward from his fourth starting spot was Jacob Dietz, a 2023 feature winner who had yet to find his own groove in 2024.

    Dietz had a fast running hot rod and was able to challenge McPherson for the second spot coming out of turn two with four laps down. McPherson clung to Dietz’s back bumper allowing Schneider the chance to stretch out some distance out front to the tune of 2.6 seconds. Schneider was about to face lapped traffic at the halfway point. Dietz would get another chance on a restart with 11 laps down as Curtis Bish Jr. hit the front stretch wall and lost a wheel. When action resumed, Schneider simply drove away from Dietz and the rest of his pursuers as points leader Christian Schneider started challenging for McPherson eventually taking the third spot away with one lap to go and nearly caught second running Dietz. But the night belonged to Schneider who made it back to back wins.

    “I really didn’t think anybody was there,” Schneider said. “When you’re on the pole you just have to pick a line and use the whole race track up. If you start number one you should win. If you don’t you look like a dummy and get yelled at. I really don’t like starting on the pole, I’d rather start sixth and make a race out of it, but you got to take it when you got it. Last year I lost the race from the pole three or four times and I went back to my notes from three years ago.”

    Millerstown Pic-A-Part Feature: (Finish-Name-[Start]) 1. 55S-Chris Schneider[1]; 2. 27-Jacob Dietz[4]; 3. 56-Christian Schneider[5]; 4. C33-Corey McPherson[2]; 5. 155-Tyler Schneider[9]; 6. 1K-Cody Koteles[7]; 7. 10-Nick Kocuba[3]; 8. 26-Mike Bordt[10]; 9. 72B-Jim Kurpakus[8]; 10. 68-John Peterman Jr[12]; 11. 7A-Tom Robertson[13]; 12. (DNF) 29-Curt Bish Jr[6]; 13. (DNS) 25-Brett McDonald

    Submitted By: Gary Heeman

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