Annual Awards Banquet ushers in exciting 2013 season
Pre-Season continues at the Clearview Mall Car Show this weekend
Sarver, PA (March 18, 2013) A new venue welcomed in the 2013 Lernerville Pre-Season as the Annual Awards Banquet made its debut at the Willow Tree/Comfort Inn & Suites RIDC Park along Route 28. With approximately 250 drivers, families, crew members, sponsors, media members and track officials & employees on hand, Master of Ceremonies Dow Carnahan recalled the achievements and accomplishments of the 2012 season by recognizing several special award winners, 2012 Track Champions & Budweiser Top Ten drivers in points and first time feature winners.
Special Awards started the evening before dinner was served, starting with the Most Improved Drivers from each division of Fab Four Racing; Eric Williams (Ti22 Sprints), Michael Norris (Precise Lates), Brad Rapp (Diehl Mods) and Brett McDonald (Pic-A-Part Sportsman). Former Track Champion Bob Egley won the least desirable award of the night, securing the Hard Luck hardware for his frustrating season of mechanical failures & DNFs.
Steve Lucas was awarded the Sportsmanship Award for lending Rod George his sprint car for the remainder of the season after Rod destroyed his chassis at Mercer Raceway Park mid-season. #1 Cochran Pace Truck driver Barry “The Wheel” Lucas accepted the award on his son’s behalf and remarked how proud he was that his son was willing and able to help the future Hall of Famer continue his 2012 season. Diehl Modified driver Bob Warren was named 2012 Lernerville Speedway Rookie of the Year and DIRTcar Late Model division sponsor Precise Racing Products was awarded the prestigious Bob Cochran Sponsorship Award. FullyInjected.com’s
Tyler Altmeyer was presented with the esteemed Bill Steinbach Media Award as he continues to revolutionize motorsports media using Social Networks and providing courtesy coverage and support for over a dozen local and regional racers across all major divisions of dirt track racing. Yours truly, Lernerville Speedway Public Relations Director Eric Westendorf, was bestowed the Keith Burke Appreciation Award.
Pastor Bill Beck accepted the Grover Clasper Award on behalf of injured driver “Cowboy” Brian Steinman who was injured in a horrific mid-season wreck and continues to work through physical therapy and rehabilitation. The Schaeffer Racing family was awarded the Milestone in Racing Award as they walk away from the sport with an impressive fourth Lernerville/Budweiser Track Championship in the Sprint division and mom Chris retires as head scorer. And finally, Bill & Candy Binkert of C&B Video and a million other large and small duties in and around the racing community received the Golden Award.
2012 First Time feature winners Eric Williams, Chuck Sarver, Mike Norris, Eric Gabany and Jim Fosnaught were all presented with checkered flags courtesy of VP Racing fuels; Pete Miller III and Dean Pearson were not in attendance.
After a lavish and delicious buffet dinner, Dow Carnahan recognized the 2012 Track Champions and Top Ten drivers of Budweiser Points from each division of Fab Four Racing. Brett McDonald, Mike Miller, AJ Flick, Jim Fosnaught and Track Champion Corey McPherson were on hand to represent the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman/Stock division, as were Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Big Block Modified stars Mark Frankhouser, Eric Gabany, Steve Feder, Dave Murdick, Jeremiah Shingledecker and Seven-Time Track Champion Brian Swartzlander. Chuck Sarver, Doug Eck, Lynn Geisler, Mike Pegher Jr., John Garvin Jr. and Track Champion Jared Miley represented the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models, and finally the Ti22 now Peoples TWP DIRTcar Sprints were represented by Brent & Brandon Matus, Cat Sodeman on behalf of her husband Jack Sodeman Jr., Carl Bowser, Eric Williams and retiring Four-Time Track Champion Kevin Schaeffer.
Local racing media icon Don Gamble took the podium to induct the Hall of Fame Class of 2013 and announced that his popular weekly show Rappin’ on Racin’ would begin its 30th
season this coming April! Father & Sons are at the heart of the illustrious 40+ year history of Don Martin’s Lernerville Speedway and Dick & Craig Rankin exude that and were inducted in the same class! The late Dick Rankin was a star in the Modified division; both behind the wheel of the Kodiak Graham’s car and his own iconic #66. Dick’s son Craig Rankin was one of the brightest stars in the Sprint car division during the glory days of the division in the late 80s and early 90s; an era that featured then rising stars Rod George, Ed Lynch Jr., Mark Cassella, Tim Shaffer, Dave & Dale Blaney, Jamie Smith and fellow inductee Jimmy Hawley; just to name a few.
Jimmy Hawley, whose father Vern, (a Hall of Famer in his own rights at other regional tracks), was his greatest inspiration, also cut his teeth in the late 80s/early 90s but was flat out the man to beat at the turn of the millennium in the Doc Crawford #CIII; winning dozens of races and three Track Championships in a four-year period of time.
Last, but certainly not least, Louis “Smokey” Schempp, a former driver and longtime Pit Steward at both Lernerville Speedway and Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway was inducted for his 55 years of service to the sport; though he did implore the Hall of Fame committee to recognize his beloved wife Marsha Schempp who has done any and everything needed behind the scenes to make both tracks run like well-oiled machines for as long as he has been working at them.
Walt Wimer presented 2010 Track Champion Danny Holtgraver with the prestigious Cavalcade Award for the Sprint division; in large part for his second place run in the first of the 30-lap Twin 30s at the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup and his $5,000 All Star Circuit of Champions win later in the season. Walt also recognized that Danny won the $10,000-to-win Ronald Laney Memorial to be crowned “King of the 360s” as East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, FL last month. Walt also announced Econo-Mod racer Casey Bowers as the 2012 Western PA Rookie of the Year.
Lernerville Speedway General Manager Gary Risch Jr. took the stage to bring the curtain down on another fabulous season of Fab Four Racing, Firecracker 100 & Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at The Action Track. Looking forward to the 2013 season, Gary welcomed Peoples TWP as the new DIRTcar Sprint Car division sponsor and announced the debut of the BOSS Wingless Sprints and the RUSH Dirt Late Model Series to the 2013 schedule, as well as a the renewal of the May race for the All Star Sprints and the return of the ULMS Late Models and UEMS Modifieds show that was rained out last July.
Of course, the 2013 schedule will begin with the finale of the DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede that was rained out last October. The Stampede finale is scheduled for Sunday, April 14 and will be preceded by the annual Test & Tune Practice Session the day before on Saturday, April 13. We’ll officially drop the green flag on the 2013 portion of the schedule with Fab Four Racing Opening Night on Friday, April 19.
or by calling the speedway office (724) 353-1511. Cars need to be moved into the mall at the end of the business day Wednesday Night before the respective shows.
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director