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Dutch Davies and Jake Ayers win first career Lernerville features, Mike Lutz wins first race in 10 years, Brian Swartzlander no stranger to Victory Lane! 8.10

Dutch Davies and Jake Ayers win first career Lernerville features, Mike Lutz wins first race in 10 years, Brian Swartzlander no stranger to Victory Lane!


By Eric J. Westendorf


Sarver, PA (August 10, 2007) Oh what a night at the Action Track!  Dutch Davies won his first career Lernerville Feature.  Jake Ayers won his first career feature anywhere.  Mike Lutz won at Lernerville Speedway for the first time in 10 years driving Martha Dionise’s #15 Sprint car which has not been in Victory Lane at Lernerville Speedway in 19 years!  Brian Swarztlander won his sixth feature of the year on three tires!  Oh Yeah!  It was that kind of Friday Night!!!!

A day after the 4/10 Sarver oval received a deluge of rain, the Friedman’s Freshmarkets Late Models stormed onto the track first with Rick Strong, (#S1 of Chamberville), taking the lead on the opening lap, and the two ensuing restarts.  Dutch Davies, (#40 of Warren), took command of the race on the back straightaway on lap two restart and masterfully worked lapped traffic on his way to Victory Lane for the very first time at Lernerville Speedway.  Davies has had a roller coaster season at Lernerville running strong early in the year, but having some bad luck and missing a few races recently.  Davies didn’t miss anything tonight, except for the Frisbee from All State Career he autographed and threw that didn’t clear the fence on the front straightaway.  Otherwise, he was spot on all night long, winning his heat, then dominating the 25 lap feature.  “Awesome” Alex Ferree, (#4 of Saxonburg), charged to a strong second place finish from his familiar 12th place starting position.  Despite the strong run, Ferree never seriously challenged Davies for the lead.  Sam Stile, (#2S of Charleroi), whom chased Dutch Davies in second place for the first half of the feature, finished the race in third place.  Gary Lyle, (#10 of Hyde Park), and Lynn Geisler, (#1C of Cranberry Twp.), rounded out the top five.  Davies, Strong, and Dave Hess Jr., (#44 of Waterford), won their respective heat races.  Alex Ferree had already clinched the Budweiser Points Championship entering tonight’s racing action.


You may be wondering how a big block modified wins, much less runs on three tires.  Truth be told, the right rear tire was on the car for 24 and a half laps, it was that last half a lap that the car ran on three tires.  Brian Swartzlander’s right rear blew exiting turn two and began to shred as he tried to keep it straight down the back straightaway.  Navigating turns three and four was even trickier.  Second place driver and early leader, Jim Weller Jr., (#31 of Hubbard, OH), drew right up to the back bumper of Swartzlander, (#83 of Leechburg), then dove underneath him and nearly beat him to the line.  Swartzlander trailed Weller for the first 13 laps of the 25 lap feature.  He used the bottom of turns one and two to motor past Weller and had built a rather comfortable lead before the tire blew on the last lap.  Swartzlander’s win was the sixth of the season in the Ferrante Motor Cars Modifieds.  “Double Duty” Dave Murdick, (#61 of Slippery Rock), ran in third place behind Swartzlander and Weller for the last 22 laps and was scored third when the checkered flag flew.  Newcomer Rusty Smith, (#R2 of Bethlehem), fared very well for his first time at the speedway by finishing fourth.  Championship contender Del Rouguex Jr., (#20D of Frenchville), recorded his 11th top five finish of the season by finishing fifth.  He remains within striking distance of Brian Swartzlander for the Budweiser Points Championship.  Last week’s feature winner Jeremiah Shingledecker, (#37MD of Stoneboro), broke a rocker arm in the heat race and did not start the feature.  Heat race victors were Tom Winkle, (#28 of Mars), and J.R. McGinley, (#66 of Fairmount City).


A kinder, gentler field of Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks rolled onto the track third tonight.  “The Road Warrior” Jake Ayers, (#4 of Elkton, MD) has, by all accounts had a rotten season.  But a year of hard luck, broken motors and broken parts goes out the window when you drive around the track with the checkered flag and climb out of your car in Victory Lane for the first time.  Ayers erased all the gremlins that have haunted him this season with a dominant win in arguably the most competitive division at the speedway.  Many of the pure stocks features have seen three and four car battles for the lead, but not tonight.  Ayers took the lead on lap nine, one lap after the final restart of the 15 lap feature and drove away from the field.  The three and four car battles were a safe distance behind him, and their side-by-side racing allowed Ayers to cruise to his first career feature win since driving go-karts as a kid.  Behind Ayers was a Stover’s Net Connections Hard Charger bonanza as many of the cars that started up front faded or were involved in early cautions.  Other top runners started further back in the field as a result of not qualifying for the pill redraw after the heat races.  Last week’s feature winner Bob Lipinski, (#55 of Pittsburgh), came from 14th to finish second.  Wayne Carbo, (#54 of Saxonburg), came from 10th to finish third.  Greg Beach, (#33X of Chicora), came from 18th to finish fourth.  Joe Kelley, (#66 of Greensburg), finished fifth after running many laps in third place.  Heat races were won by Bob Egley, (#30 of Kittanning), Terry Young, (#28Y of Butler) and Paul Schreckengost, (#3S of Creighton).  Bud Points leader Mike Pegher Jr., (#09 of Wexford), pulled into the pits during a lap one caution, lost several laps, but returned to the track to finish 15th, seven laps down.


Tonight’s main event was a blast from the past as Mike Lutz drove the Martha Dionise #15 Sprint Car to Victory Lane for the first time since 1988 when Jerry Matus won his last race in the legendary car.  The win was Lutz’s first Lernerville win since 1997.  It was fitting that this momentous occasion occurred on Nostalgia Night with Jerry Matus in attendance as the Lernerville Speedway honored 35 drivers of days gone by.  Lutz won his heat race, as did Brent Matus, (#33 of Wampum), oddly enough the son of Jerry Matus.  Lutz started on the pole, was fast, smooth and led every lap of the 25 lap feature.  He was never seriously challenged for the lead until Rod George, (#4 of Kittanning), got around Charlie Holben for second.  George made a few attempts at the lead, but finished second as Lutz would simply not be denied the win.  It was “Purple Rain in Victory Lane” as a jubilant owner, driver, family and crew celebrated a long awaited return to Victory Lane.   “Chargin’ Charlie” Holben, (#42 of Cabot), had his best finish and strongest drive of the year by finishing third.  Brian Ellenberger, (#20E of Butler), and new Budweiser Points Leader Kevin Schaeffer, (#9S of Kittanning) rounded out the top five for the Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprint Cars.  Heat races were claimed by Lutz and Matus as mentioned above.


This weekend is, of course, Knoxville Nationals weekend.  Local drivers Ed Lynch Jr., Bob Felmlee, and former track champion, turned World of Outlaws regular Tim Shaffer are all racing in the event.  Details will be reported later in the weekend regarding how they fare in the Super Bowl of Sprint Car Racing!  The action from the famed Knoxville Raceway will be broadcast live on SPEED starting at 10:00p.m.


Next week will feature back-to-back nights of action at the Action Track!  Thursday is the long-awaited #1 Cochran Stars of NASCAR Night featuring Tony Stewart and Kenny Schrader racing their Dirt Late Models against the region’s best Late Model drivers.  The $3000-to-win late model feature will be supported by the UMP Modifieds.  Tickets can be purchased in advance by contacting the speedway office at (724) 353-1511 or for more details log on to www.lernerville.com.  Then Friday Night will be the next to last Fab Four Racing event with three of the Budweiser Points Championships still being hotly contested.  Kevin Schaeffer, Rod George and Ed Lynch Jr. are battling for the crown in the Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprint Cars.  Brian Swartzlander and Del Rougeux Jr. are vying for the championship in the Ferrante Motor Cars, with Dave Murdick still alive in third.  Mike Pegher Jr. leads the Bud Points in the Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks, with Bob Egley and two-time defending track champion Butch Lambert hot on his tail.  Jason Fosnaught, Greg Beach and Bob Lipinski are all still within striking distance but will need a lot of help to catch the top three.  Alex Ferree has locked up the championship in the Friedman’s Freshmarkets Late Models.



Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprints Feature (25 Laps)

1.       (15)     Mike Lutz, Mercer

2.       (4)       Rod George, Kittanning

3.       (42G)  Charlie Holben, Cabot

4.       (20E)   Brian Ellenberger, Butler

5.       (9)       Kevin Schaeffer, Kittanning

6.       (10)     Carl Bowser, Kittanning

7.       (08)     Dan Kuriger, Freedom

8.       (60)     Jody Keegan, Fremont, OH

9.       (33)     Brent Matus, Wampum

10.    (51)     Jason Pisani, Pittsburgh

11.    (59)     Terry Bowser, Kittanning

12.    (4K)     Bill Kiley, Cabot

13.    (76)     Davey Jones, Warrendale

14.    (7)      Rich Reinhart, Freedom

15.    (3)       Joe Butera, Wampum

16.    (96)     Lindsay Enscoe, Petrolia

17.    (16)     Gary Rankin, Renfrew

18.    (24S)   Brian Steinman, Lucinda

19.    (25)     Mike Shearer, Freeport

20.    (98)     Dan Shelter, Johnstown

21.    (11)     Scott Priester, Rimersburg                                                                

Heat Race Winners: Mike Lutz, Brent Matus


Friedman’s Freshmarkets Late Models Feature (25 Laps)

1.      (40)         Dutch Davies, Warren

2.      (4)           Alex Ferree, Saxonburg

3.      (2S)         Sam Stile, Charleroi

4.      (10)         Gary Lyle, Hyde Park

5.      (1C)         Lynn Geisler, Cranberry Twp.

6.      (22)         Greg Satterlee, Rochester Mills

7.      (H1)        Jared Miley, South Park

8.      (29)         Ken Schaltenbrand, Sarver

9.      (44)         Dave Hess Jr., Waterford

10.  (4J)          John Mollick, Toronto, OH

11.  (NO7)     Jason Dupont, Cyclone

12.  (J4)          John Garvin Jr., Sarver

13.  (1J)          Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock

14.  (97)         Ben Satterlee, Rochester Mills

15.  (66)         Todd Bachman, Natrona Heights

16.  (88)         Chuck Sarver, West Sunbury

17.  (3)           Dan Swartzlander, Freeport

18.  (S1)         Rich Strong, Chamberville

19.  (11W)     Bob Wearing Jr., Renfrew

20.  (15K)      Ray Kroll, Sr. Renfrew

21.  (5)           Mike Blose, Dayton

22.  (64K)      Keith Barbara, South Park

23.  (7X)         Herman Bertolini, Creighton

24.  (38R)      Nick Reges, Buter

25.  (97)         Ben Satterlee, Rochester Mills

26.  (21)         Matt Lux, Franklin, DNS      

Heat Race Winners: Dutch Davies, Rich Strong, Dave Hess Jr.


Ferrante Motor Cars Modifieds Feature (25 Laps)

1.       (83) Brian Swartzlander, Leechburg

2.       (31) Jim Weller Jr., Hubbard, OH

3.       (61) Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock

4.       (R2) Rusty Smith, Bethlehem

5.       (20D)      Del Rougeux Jr., Frenchville

6.       (Z)   Butch Tittle, Saylorsburg

7.       (66) JR McGinley, Fairmount City

8.       (13JR)     Chanda Leibold, Franklin

9.       (28) Tom Winkle, Mars

10.    (38) Phil Evans, Greensburg

11.    (17M)     Skip Moore, Jackson Center

12.    (6)   Carl Murdick, Butler

13.    (96) Mike Turner, Butler

14.    (34) John Durci, Sarver

15.    (12T)       Tim Doran, New Castle

16.    (2)   Mark Flick, Markle

17.    (8F) Doug Fleeger, Butler

18.    (73MD)Travis Shingledecker, Stoneboro

19.    (27R)      Dave Reges, Butler

20.    (37MD)Jeremiah Shingledecker, Stoneboro, DNS          

Heat Race Winners: Tom Winkle, JR McGinley

Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks Feature (15 Laps)

1.      (4)           Jake Ayers, Elkton, MD

2.      (55)         Bob Lipinski, Pittsburgh

3.      (54)         Wayne Carbo, Saxonburg

4.      (33X)      Greg Beach, Chicora

5.      (66)         Joe Kelley, Greensburg

6.      (28Y)       Terry Young, Butler

7.      (27)         Butch Lambert, Mars

8.      (30)         Bob Egley, Kittanning

9.      (J19)       Jason Fosnaught, Creighton

10.  (8C)         Fred Casagni, Vandergrift

11.  (17R)      Stan Riggle, Ford City

12.  (25)         Brett McDonald, Saxonburg

13.  (13M)     Mark Marshall, Portersville

14.  (9)           Mike Cuppett, Uniontown

15.  (09)         Mike Pegher Jr., Wexford

16.  (52B)      Bill Shippeck, Gibsonia

17.  (7)           Eric Piotrowski, Cranberry Twp.

18.  (5)           Don McClure, Sarver

19.  (29)         Mike Gilliland, Portersville

20.  (17X)      Josh Bertolini, Creighton

21.  (1) Randy Hanovick, Mars

22.  (2) Dave Baker, Eldeton

23.  (3S) Paul Schrecekengost, Creighton

24.  (02) Joseph Heinl, Prospect

25.  (20J)         Jim Fosnaught, Bairdford                   

Heat Race Winners: Bob Egley, Terry Young, Paul Schreckengost

Stover’s Net Connection Hard Charger: Fred Casagni


Car Counts:

Total: 93

Sprints: 21

Late Models: 25 

Modifieds: 20

Pure Stocks: 27


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