Holtgraver continues dream season by winning DIRTcar CSS Title! Blaney wins $3,000 series finale at Steel City Stampede
Sarver, PA (October 23, 2010) In one short year, 20-year old Danny Holtgraver went from an up and coming local driver to Track and Regional Series Champion with features wins at every track in Western PA that hosts weekly Sprint Car Racing. True he had feature wins before 2010 at both Sharon Speedway and Mercer Raceway Park, but he hadn’t conquered the Action Track at historic Don Martin’s Lernerville Speedway, nor was he able to put together the consistent finishes to be a legitimate threat to win a Track Championship against the formidable trio of Ed Lynch Jr., Rod George and Bob Felmlee. But 2010 was truly Danny’s breakout season; winning features at Lernerville, Tri-City, Mercer and PPMS, the Lernerville Speedway Track Championship and finally the DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series.
Lynch, George and Felmlee will be a permanent fixture in multiple Hall of Fames when they decide to hang it up. Each driver has over 100 career feature wins and multiple Track Championships to their credit. And entering the series finale of the DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series contested during the DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede at Lernerville Speedway, Holtgraver was in a four driver battle with the Hall of Fame trio for the series title with just eight points between first and fourth place.
Felmlee entered the event as the points leader, followed closely by Holtgraver, Lynch and George respectively. Friday Night’s heat race action did little to settle the series points title as Felmlee, Holtgraver and Lynch were still just separated by four points, while George had lost ground, but was still well within striking distance.
Of the top three, Holtgraver had the best redraw for feature starting position, starting third ahead of Lynch in fifth and Felmlee in ninth. George started 13th after missing the redraw in his heat race. Holtgraver jumped into the lead on lap six and quickly began lapping cars; including both Felmlee (on lap 12) and George (on lap 15). During that time, Lynch had rolled pitside with a mechanical failure. With Lynch in the pits and Felmlee and George a lap down, Holtgraver had essentially clinched the championship. And though he was passed by eventual winner Dale Blaney on lap 17, he kept Blaney honest the whole way to the checkered flag, finishing a strong second to the regional traveling star.
The 2010 DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series title was just icing on the cake for the 2010 Lernerville Speedway Track Champion, who also finished second in points at Mercer Raceway Park and scored feature wins at Lernerville, Mercer, Tri-City and PPMS in 2010.
After finishing just outside the top five in the first four DIRTcar CSS races of the season, Holtgraver finished with fourth, first, third and second in the final four races of the series. His lone DIRTcar CSS feature win came at Tri-City Speedway during the Oil Region Labor Day Classic. He also won three heat races in the series on his way to the 2010 title.
Blaney’s $3,000 victory was his only win in three contested events with the DIRTcar CSS series, but his fourth feature win of the season at Lernerville Speedway. He also won Ti22 Sprint features during Fab Four Racing on May 21 and August 27, as well as the June 3 All Star Circuit of Champions A-Main.
Despite finishing a lap down in the Stampede A-Main, Bob Felmlee and Rod George finished seventh and eighth respectively. Felmlee finished second in series points despite not winning a single event in the eight race series. Instead, Felmlee rode a wave of consistency, finishing no worse than eighth in feature competition. He also checkered two heat races during the series. George won the Inaugural DIRTcar CSS feature at Lernerville Speedway on April 23 and recorded three top three finishes to go along with one heat race win.
Ed Lynch Jr.’s mechanical failure during the Stampede A-Main dropped him to fourth in the final point standings. His lone DIRTcar CSS feature win came at Lernerville Speedway on July 30, but he tied Holtgraver and Blaney for heat races wins with three.
Ti22 Performance’s Brian Ellenberger finished fifth in the DIRTcar CSS final point standings despite competing in just six of the eight contested races. On the strength of a feature win at Mercer Raceway Park during the Western PA Sprint Championship and three other top three finishes, he passed Jack Sodeman Jr. whom was parked for the year by the time the Stampede rolled into town in late October.
Sodeman finished sixth in the final DIRTcar CSS point standings and rivaled Danny Holtgraver for breakout driver of the year in the Western PA sprint ranks. Like Holtgraver, Sodeman won features at multiple tracks in Western PA, including Mercer Raceway Park where he won the DIRTcar CSS feature on July 31. He also scored feature wins at tracks across Ohio, including Sharon Speedway where he was the 2010 Track Champion.
The father-son combo of Brent and Brandon Matus finished seventh and eighth place in the final point standings. The Matuses, along with title contenders Holtgraver, Felmlee, George and Lynch, contested in all eight DIRTcar CSS races. Carl Bowser and Eric Williams rounded out the top ten.
Other series feature winners were Dave Blaney at Tri-City Speedway on July 4 and Mike Lutz at Sharon Speedway’s prestigious Lou Blaney Memorial Classic on July 7.
In all, 70 different drivers contested in the DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series’ eight events!
To see the race recaps from all eight DIRTcar CSS events and to view the complete 2010 point standings, log on to www.Lernerville.com and click the DIRTcar CSS link on the lefthand side of the page.
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director