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Robbie Blair avenges NASCAR Night near win, Murdick, George and Pegher no strangers to Victory Lane. 8.17

Robbie Blair avenges NASCAR Night near win, Murdick, George and Pegher no strangers to Victory Lane.


By Eric J. Westendorf


August 17, 2007 (Sarver, PA) Less than 24 hours after the lights went down on #1 Cochran Stars of NASCAR Night, the “Fab Four” divisions were back in action for another Fast Friday.  The air temperature and humidity were much more comfortable than last night, but the action on the track was like a blazing inferno.


The Ferrante Motor Cars Modifieds rumbled onto the track to start the festivities.  Dave Murdick, (#61 of Slippery Rock), started on the pole and led the first six laps of the 25 lap A-main feature event.  Murdick lost the lead on the lap seven restart to Tom Winkle, (#28 from Mars).  Winkle led the next six circuits before giving way to Del Rougeux Jr., (#20D of Frenchville), following another caution on lap 13.  Rougeux restarted in fourth, but was in the lead when he came past the flag stand.  Murdick and Rougeux swapped the lead two more times, with Murdick taking command for good on lap 16 exiting turn two and thundering down the back straightway.  The win was the second of the season for Murdick who has been driving two cars the past few weeks, also piloting the Pitkavish #1 Late Model.  Budweiser Points leader Brian Swartzlander, (#83 of Leechburg), started the race in 12th by virtue of last week’s feature win, and slowly, but surely made his way to the front.  He passed Rougeux on the high side exiting turn four to finish second coming to the checkered flag.  Rougeux had to settle for third but in doing so remained in striking distance of the Bud Points Championship.  Reigning Track Champion Kevin Bolland, (#777 of New Brighton), came from his ninth place starting position to fifth place on the opening lap, and ran as high as third, but eventually finished fourth.  Winkle, who led six laps in the middle of the race never recovered after the lap 13 caution, and was scored in fifth place.  Heat race winners were Rougeux and Swartzlander.


The Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprint Cars pushed off second with CT&T Boss Orren Zook on hand for their annual Commercial Truck & Trailer Night.  Carl Bowser started on the inside pole and appeared to be on the way to his first victory of the season.  The Sarver driver, nicknamed “The Boggsville Bullett” paced the field for 22 laps in his #10 Maxim Chassis, but succumbed to Budweiser Championship contender Rod George on lap 23.  George, (#4 of Kittanning), used a Bonsai move in turns three and four to dive below Bowser who had been masterfully blocking and staying in front of George for multiple laps.  George’s wild pass resulted in slight contact with the wall on the front straightaway, then he bounced back into Bowser as they raced down the front straightaway.  Despite his best efforts Bowser was not able to regain the lead and George pulled into Lernerville Victory Lane for the 5th time this season.  The win was the 33rd career Lernerville win for the “Kittanning Comet”.  Bowser had his best run of the season and was credited with second place.  Reigning Track Champion and current Bud Points leader Kevin Schaeffer, (#9 of Kittanning), ran a solid race and finished in third.  Scott Priester, (#11 of Rimersburg), fared much better this week than last; last week Priester got the car upside down in both the heat and the feature.  He kept it on four wheels this week and finished fourth.  Jack Sodeman Jr., (#23 of Butler), also had his best run of the season to round out the top five.  Heat races were claimed by George, Lynch and Priester.


Last week’s Commercial Truck & Trailer feature winner Mike Lutz, (#15 of Mercer), had an early and disappointing finish to the night when he and Terry Bowser, (#59 of Sarver), got together over the cushion in turns three and four.  He was officially scored in 13th position.  Ed Lynch Jr., (#2L of Apollo), started twelfth by virtue of his win two weeks ago and absence last weekend to race in Knoxville.  Lynch uncharacteristically spun in turn one on lap three and had to tail the field.  The car never seemed to run right after that, as Lynch was repeatedly stuck behind slower traffic on a hard, slick track that was very tough to pass on.  He finished the race in eighth place and remains a championship contender, though a long shot over 30 points behind leader Kevin Schaeffer.


Current Budweiser Points leader Mike Pegher Jr. rode the “Thunder Pumpkin” to Victory Lane for the third time this season, but it wasn’t an easy win by any stretch of the imagination.  Pegher, (#09 from Wexford), like Murdick and Bowser before him, started on the pole and led the opening laps before giving way to Paul Schreckengost on lap five.  Pegher retook the lead for good on lap seven, and survived a few more cautions to win the race and add top his points lead.  Joe Kelley, (#66 of Greensburg), Wayne Carbo,(#54 of Saxonburg) and Paul Schreckengost, (#3S of Creighton) were breathing down Pegher’s neck all 15 laps.  They finished in that order from second to fourth, but swapped the positions multiple times between each other before the checkered flag flew.  Greg Beach, (#33X of Chicora) rounded out the top five.   Last week’s feature winner “The Road Warrior” Jake Ayers slowed on the lap four restart and never seemed to get in gear.  He finished the feature in 13th place.  Ayers did however, win his heat race, as did Beach and Schreckengost.


Less than 24 hours after a disappointing end to the 35 lap feature on #1 Cochran Stars of NASCAR Night, Robbie Blair won the 25 lap Friedman’s Freshmarkets Late Models feature.  Blair, (#WON11 of Centerville), led late in the race last night before being overtaken by World of Outlaws driver Chub Frank, who claimed the $3000 payday.  Blair would not be denied tonight however.  Starting from the sixth position, Blair patiently made his way to the front, taking the lead for the first time on lap 13 from Lynn Geisler.  Geisler, (#1C of Cranberry Twp,) had overtaken early leader Rodney Phillips, (#1P of Punxsutawney) just five laps before.  Both Geisler and Phillips had disappointing finishes, Geisler faded late in the race and was scored seventh, while Phillips slowed on the back straight away on lap 20, finishing in 24th place.  Dave Hess Jr., (#44 of Waterford), raced both Late Models and UMP Modifieds last night, (winning the 15 lap UMP race).  Tonight he just drove the late model, but fared much better than his 15th place finish last night, by finishing second to Blair tonight.  Sammy Stile, (#2S of Charleroi), finished third, followed by Jared Miley, (#H1 of South Park), in fourth and 2007 Track Champion Alex Ferree, (#4 of Saxonburg), in fifth.  Blair, Hess and Mike Johnson, (#2J of Imperial), won their respective heat races.


Next Friday August 24 will be the final night of the Budweiser Points Challenge for all the Fab Four Divisions.  Only Alex Ferree has wrapped up a title in the Friedman’s Freshmarkets Late Models.  The other three divisions, (Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprints, Ferrante Motor Cars Modifieds, and Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks), are still up for grabs with one night of racing remaining.  The following Friday, August 31, will be a twin bill of MACS Late Models and All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars for the Sonia Bullis Memorial.  Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks will also be in action for a non-points cash & carry race.  Log on to our website, www.lernerville.com for more details about these upcoming events as the 2007 season winds to a close!



Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprints Feature (25 Laps)

1.                  (4)     Rod George, Kittanning

2.                  (10)   Carl Bowser, Sarver

3.                  (9)     Kevin Schaeffer, Kittanning

4.                  (11)   Scott Priester, Rimersburg

5.                  (23)   Jack Sodeman Jr., Butler

6.                  (56)   Ralph Spithaler Jr., Evans City

7.                  (0)     Andy McKisson, Strattonville

8.                  (2L)  Ed Lynch Jr., Apollo

9.                  42G) Charlie Holben, Cabot

10.              (33)   Brent Matus, Wampum

11.              (08)   Dam Kuriger, Freedom

12.              (98)   Dan Shetler, Johnstown

13.              (15)   Mike Lutz, Mercer

14.              (25)   Mike Shearer, Freeport

15.              (51)   Jason Pisani, Pittsburgh

16.              (4K)  Bill Kiley, Cabot

17.              (76)   Davey Jones, Warrendale

18.              (6)     Shelia Rankin, Renfrew

19.              (3)     Joe Butera, Wampum

20.              (D4)  Dan Holtgraver, Pittsburgh

21.              (59)   Terry Bowser, Saver

22.              (16)   Gary Rankin, Renfrew

23.              (7)     Rick Reinhart, Freedom

Heat Race Winners: Scott Priester, Ed Lynch Jr., Rod George


Friedman’s Freshmarkets Late Models Feature (25 Laps)

  1. (W11)  Robbie Blair, Titusville
  2. (44)      Dave Hess Jr., Waterford
  3. (2S)      Sam Stile, Charleroi
  4. (H1)     Jared Miley, South Park
  5. (4)        Alex Ferree, Saxonburg
  6. (22)      Greg Satterlee, Rochester Mills
  7. (1C)     Lynn Geisler, Cranberry Twp.
  8. (4J)      John Mollick, Toronto, OH
  9. (10)      Gary Lyle, Hyde Park
  10. (29)      Ken Schaltenbrand, Sarver
  11. (2J)      Mike Johnson, Imperial
  12. (119)    Chad McClellan, Stoystown
  13. (88)      Chuck Sarver, West Sunbury
  14. (11W)  Bob Wearing Jr., Renfrew
  15. (01)      Doug Ricotta, Warsaw, NY
  16. (1J)      Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock
  17. (97)      Ben Satterlee, Rochester Mills
  18. (66)      Todd Bachman, Natrona Heights
  19. (7X)     Herman Bertolini, Creighton
  20. (111D) Jim Detman, Leechburg
  21. (J4)      John Garvin Jr., Sarver
  22. (55S)    Chris Schneider, Creighton
  23. (3)        Dan Swartzlander, Sarver
  24. (1P)      Rod Phillips, Punsuxtawney
  25. (79)      Dave Satterlee, Rochester Mills
  26. (9K)     Mike Knight, Ripley, NY, DNS
  27. (21)      Matt Lux, Franklin, DNS        
Heat Race Winners: Dave Hess Jr., Robbie Blair, Mike Johnson

Ferrante Motor Cars Modifieds Feature (25 Laps)

1.      (61)      Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock

2.      (83)      Brain Swartzlander, Leechburg

3.      (20D)   Del Rougeux Jr., Frenchville

4.      (777)    Kevin Bolland, New Brighton

5.      (28)      Tom Winkle, Mars

6.      (37MD)Jeremiah Shingledecker, Stoneboro

7.      (66)      JR McGinley, Fairmount City

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

9.      (38)      Phil Evans, Greensburg

10.  (96)      Mike Turner, Butler

11.  (34)      John Durci, Sarver

12.  (6)  Carl Murdick, Butler

13.  (8F)      Doug Fleeger, Butler

14.  (71)      Randy Chronister, Slippery Rock

15.  (45)      Steve Feder, Butler

16.  (17M)  Skip Moore, Jackson Center 

Heat Race Winners: Del Rougeux Jr. , Brian Swartzlander

Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks Feature (15 Laps)

  1. (09)      Mike Pegher Jr., Wexford
  2. (66)      Joe Kelley, Greensburg
  3. (54)      Wayne Carbo, Saxonburg
  4. (3S)      Paul Schreckengost, Creighton
  5. (33X)   Greg Beach, Chicora
  6. (J19)    Jason Fosnaught, Creighton
  7. (28Y)   Terry Young, Butler
  8. (27)      Butch Lambert, Mars
  9. (55L)   Bob Lipinski, Pittsburgh
  10. (12)      Shawn Thorn, Murrysville
  11. (13X)   Ryan Moyer, Harmony
  12. (380)    Pat Hanley, Monroeville
  13. (4)        Jake Ayers, Elkton, MD
  14. (20J)    Jim Fosnaught, Bairdford
  15. (30)      Stan Riggle, Ford City
  16. (7)        Eric Piotrowski, Cranberry Twp.
  17. (5)        Don McClure, Sarver
  18. (98)      Carl Keller, Arnold
  19. (77)      Bryan Shaffer, New Castle
  20. (84R)   Todd Puz, Natrona Heights
  21. (25)      Brett McDonald, Saxonburg
  22. (52B)   William Shipock, Gibsonia
  23. (29)      Mike Gilliland, Portersville
  24. (17X)   Josh Bertolini, Creighton
  25. (02)      Joseph Heinl, Prospect, DNS
  26. (42)      Doug Johnson, Freeport, DNS
Heat Race Winners: Jake Ayers, Paul Schreckengost, Greg Beach

Stover’s Net Connection Hard Charger: Don McClure

Car Counts:

Total: 90

Sprints: 23

Late Models: 26 

Modifieds: 16

Pure Stocks: 25


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