Shingledecker pulls upset, wins Track Championship! Ferree, George and Lipinski hold serve, clinch Titles Lynch, Satterlee and Kelley Victorious
Sarver, PA (August 28, 2009) The checkered flag has fallen on another season of Fab Four Racing at Lernerville Speedway. The meteorologists and message board Doubting Thomases said we’d never get the program in. But undaunted by the forecast, Lernerville Speedway General Manager Gary Risch Jr. pledged to do everything within his power to ensure that the 2009 Track Championships would be settled on the track, not by the hand of Mother Nature. Chad, Dan, Jared and the rest of the Lernerville Track Crew got to work early in the afternoon and the skies cleared to provide a fantastic night of racing on a terrific racing surface. By the time the Annual Lernerville Corn Roast started, four drivers had been crowned 2009 Budweiser Track Champions. Rod George and Alex Ferree clinched their third career titles, while Jeremiah Shingledecker and Bob Lipinski claimed their career first Lernerville/Budweiser Track Championships.
The night started with the Friedman’s Freshmarkets DIRTcar Late Models as Chuck Sarver and Kenny Schaltenbrand paced the field on the front row. As the field rolled to the green flag, Two-Time Defending Track Champion Alex Ferree had a 15 point lead over Five-Time Track Champion Lynn Geisler. Kenny Schaltenbrand took the lead as Donnie Gallagher waved the green flag, led the first 19 laps and appeared to be on his way to his second feature win in the three weeks. Unfortunately for Lynn Geisler, the title hunt would come to an end far earlier than the race itself. On lap seven, Geisler limped into the pits with a flat tire, ending his bid for his sixth career Lernerville Track Championship. Geisler’s misfortune was to Ferree’s benefit, as he himself would find misfortune on lap 20 when he got caught up in an accident and had to be towed off the track.
With the championship contenders in the pits, all of the attention was turned towards the final five laps of the 25-lap feature. On the lap 20 restart, Schaltenbrand nearly got freight trained by the other front runners and Davey Murdick took the lead, but a pileup in turns one & two brought out another caution before the lap was counted. The second lap 20 restart was better for Schaltenbrand, but had the same result. Murdick took the lead as Schaltenbrand and Gregg Satterlee battled for second. Murdick stretched out a slight lead, but Satterlee quickly closed the gap after clearing Schaltenbrand in turn four. Coming to the white flag, Satterlee tried a wicked slide job under Murdick for the lead in turns three & four, but cleared him just enough to create heavy contact between them. Somehow both drivers straightened up and rocketed down the front straightaway. Murdick tried to retake the lead in one & two, but was too tight and slid up the track in turn two allowing Satterlee to pull away to his division leading fifth feature win of 2009.
With his longtime Modified sponsor Armstrong on hand as the weekly sponsor of Fab Four Racing, Murdick matched his career and season best finish in Jimmie Pitkavish’s late model to score second. Schaltenbrand held off Doug Horton for third, while Gary Lyle crossed the stripe in fifth. John Garvin Jr. finished sixth, followed by Todd Bachman, Jim Detman, Chuck Sarver and Mike Norris. Heat race winners were Gregg Satterlee and Doug Horton.
Despite finishing a disappointing 11th, Alex Ferree clinched his third consecutive Track Championship after Lynn Geisler’s flat tire and DNF on lap seven. Much to the surprise of Alex Ferree, his car was towed to the front stretch for the championship presentation. Ferree joins the elite company of Dave Hoffman, Lynn Geisler and John Flinner as the only Late Model Track Champions to win three consecutive titles.
The Commercial Truck & Trailer DIRTcar Sprints were pushed off second with Ed Lynch Jr. starting on the pole. With all due respect to the rest of the drivers in the CTT Sprints, it’s pretty much a given that everyone is running for second when Lynch starts on the pole. It turned out that the rest of the field was running just to stay on the lead lap! The Apollo Rocket blasted into orbit at the green flag and didn’t stop until the checkered flag waved for his eighth win of the 2009 season. With a total elapsed time of six minutes and 8.738 seconds, Lynch established a new 25-lap track record and lapped the whole way up to Dan Kuriger in sixth place. Despite the dominant performance, Bob Felmlee finished just a tick over two seconds behind him in second and Rod George claimed the 2009 Track Championship. Lynch’s eighth win of 2009 is also 102nd of his storied career.
By all accounts, Bob Felmlee turned the second fastest 25-lap session in track history, but on this night, it was only good enough for second place. Rod George needed only to finish in the top 15 to clinch the championship, but wanting to leave nothing to chance, George went out and ran another strong race to finish third. Young gun Danny Holtgraver closed the season with a great run to match his best finish of the season in fourth. Outgoing Track Champion Kevin Schaeffer scored another top five finish; his tenth of the season. The rest of the CTT Top Ten included Dan Kuriger, Jack Sodeman Jr., Scott Bonnell, Carl Bowser and Dan Shetler. Felmlee and Schaeffer checkered the heat races.
For Rod George, the 2009 Track Championship is his third at Lernerville Speedway. The first came back in 1986 before he hit the road and travelled for quite a few years in Central PA and with the All Stars Circuit of Champions. He also won the 2002 Track Championship. It’s hard to tell how many more titles he would have won if not for travelling for so many years.
As the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modifieds rumbled onto the Action Track, Swartzlander held a nine point margin over second place Kevin Bolland and 13 points over third place Jeremiah Shingledecker. And with the first two Track Championships being claimed by the points leader entering the night, it seemed inevitable that Brian Swartzlander would clinch his seventh Track Championship. But inevitable was not in the cards! After a disappointing finish to the late model feature, Dave Murdick took the green flag from the pole and took the early lead. Swartzlander’s championship thoughts got a slap in the face on lap three when he got some help spinning in turns one and two while running fifth. Staring down the rest of the field while facing the wrong way in turn two, Swartzlander took what appeared to be light contact on the right front with the 29D car of Dustin Martin. Swartzlander rolled into the pits to assess the damage, but returned to tail the field. Apparently the damage was significant as he spun again in turn two just two laps later and was drilled by Dustin Martin, knocking him out of the race and the title hunt. Swartzlander’s surprising DNF left the 2009 Track Championship up for grabs between Bolland and Shingledecker.
By lap five, Shingledecker had wrestled the lead away from Murdick, while Bolland restarted lap six in sixth place. In order to at least enjoy a share of the championship, Bolland needed to finish two spots behind Shingledecker. That scenario became more of a reality on the lap 11 restart as Murdick took the lead, relegating Shingledecker to second. Meanwhile, Bolland got around Skip Moore for fifth. By lap 15, Shingledecker took the lead back for the final time, but Bolland could not get around Dean Pearson who ran strong all night long! As the race progressed, Murdick had trouble keeping his Armstrong sponsored mount on the top cushion of turns three & four. He was faster than Shingledecker in turns one & two, but bounced around the cushion in turns three & four, losing significant ground on each lap. Perhaps trying to find a smoother line around the top of three & four, Murdick jumped the cushion coming to the white flag, allowing Shingledecker to pull away to a thrilling win of the race and to steal away the 2009 Track Championship!
Lost in the excitement of Swartzlander’s shocking DNF and Shingledecker’s thrilling double victory, was that veterans Tom Winkle and Dean Pearson recorded their best finishes of 2009. Winkle was in the right place at the right time and seized second place after Murdick jumped the cushion coming to the white flag, while Pearson held off a hard-charging and highly motivated Kevin Bolland to finish third. Despite his best efforts, Bolland could never find a clean way around the cagey veteran Pearson and had to settle for fourth place in the race and second place in the 2009 Budweiser Point Standings instead of using the “chrome horn” to move Pearson out of the way to take a shot at the title. Del Rougeux Jr. finally avoided the gremlins after a brutal few weeks to round out the Diehl Top Five. The rest of the top ten shook out with Dave Murdick, Skip Moore, Erik Martin, Steve Feder and Jeff Miller. Bolland and Pearson were triumphant in heat race action
Bob Lipinski basically had to just take the green flag to secure his long awaited Track Championship, but “The Polish Prince” is a racer and treated the 20-lap feature the way he does any other Fast Friday; as an opportunity to score another win. With an extra $1000 on the line courtesy of E-racer’s Bonus Bucks, Lipinski had his “Mean Green Machine” in the top five by lap four, but it was Ryan Moyer leading the early portion of the race. Moyer started on the pole and held back Joe Kelley and Bob Egley to lead the first seven laps. Championship dark horse contender Joe Kelley passed Moyer on lap eight and did everything in his power to give himself a chance at his seventh Track Championship, but Lipinski had already locked up the title. Unaware of the point standings from his cockpit, Lipinski had no way of knowing for sure that he had locked up the title, so when he had heavy contact with Paul Schreckengost in turn two, his heart had to have skipped a beat, if only for a fraction of a second. Lipinski watched on from the infield as Kelley secured his fifth feature win of 2009, maximizing his point production in the process, but Lipinski’s 15th place finish netted him 11 points, enough to beat out Kelley by six points. For Kelley, his fifth win of the season was the 32nd of his career at Lernerville Speedway. Earlier in the evening, Kelley received the National Guard Heat Race Challenge Championship Trophy for leading all Fab Four drivers with 10 heat race wins. He will also receive $400 from the Guard.
Outgoing Track Champion Bob Egley chased Kelley across the stripe to finish second after nearly being knocked out of contention earlier in the race after heavy contact with Kevin Haas on the front straightaway. The contact knocked Haas into the wall and out of the race, but Egley drove away and recovered to finish second. Shawn Thorn saved his best for last and finished a season high third. Wayne Carbo finished fourth ahead of Jeff Walters in fifth. Pat Hanley, Jim Fosnaught, Terry Young, Ryan Moyer and Brett McDonald rounded out the top ten. Heat races were claimed by Lipinski and Moyer.
Lipinski’s 2009 Track Championship is all the more impressive when you realize that he builds all of his own equipment! Most of his competitors use some combination of SS Chassis and Ingram Engines, but not Lipinski! He’s a do-it-yourselfer and a throwback to a simpler time in racing!
So that’s it! Another Fab Four Racing season in the books! Congratulations to 2009 Track Champions Rod George, Alex Ferree, Jeremiah Shingledecker and Bob Lipinski; as well as every driver who won a feature in 2009, every heat race winner and every competitor who took to the Action Track in 2009 seeking glory and living the dream! Thanks to all of the crews, sponsors, families, fans, media members and track employees & personnel who made 2009 Fab Four Racing another fantastic season! Please join us next week as the O’Reilly All Stars roll into Sarvertown for the first ever “Dual in the Dirt” as both the Late Model Series and Circuit of Champions Sprints invade the Action Track for Labor Day kickoff doubleheader! And don’t forget to buy tickets for the Y108 ThrillBilly Country Bash by logging on to our website www.Lernerville.com or by calling 1-888-71TICKETS.
Commercial Truck & Trailer DIRTcar Sprint Feature: (25 Laps)
Heat Race Winners: Bob Felmlee, Kevin Schaeffer
- (2L) Ed Lynch Jr., Apollo
- (6F) Bob Felmlee, Seneca
- (4) Rod George, Kittanning
- (D4) Danny Holtgraver, Pittsburgh
- (9) Kevin Schaeffer, Kittanning
- (08) Dan Kuriger, Freedom
- (23JR) Jack Sodeman Jr., NJOH
- (3B) Scott Bonnell, Fairview
- (10) Carl Bowser, Sarver
- (7K) Dan Shetler, Windber
- (56) Ralph Spithaler, Evans City
- (16) Gary Rankin, Renfrew
- (3) Pete Miller III, Port Vue
- (33) Brent Matus, Wampum
- (96) Lindsay Enscoe, Petrolia
- (43) Garrett Krummert, New Castle
- (3J) Brandon Matus, Wampum
- (6) Shelia Rankin, Renfrew
- (11) Scott Priester, Rimersburg
- (45) Todd Bauer, Clarion
- DNS: (15) Charlie Holben, Cabot
2009 Track Champion – Rod George
Friedman’s Freshmarkets DIRTcar Late Model Feature: (25 Laps)
Heat Race Winners: Gregg Satterlee, Doug Horton
- (22) Greg Satterlee, Rochester Mills
- (1J) Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock
- (29) Ken Schaltenbrand, Sarver
- (46) Doug Horton, Bruceton Mills WV.
- (10) Gary Lyle, Hyde Park
- (J4) John Garvin Jr., Sarver
- (66) Todd Bachman, Natrona Heights
- (111) Jim Detman, Leechburg
- (88) Chuck Sarver, West Sunburry
- (72) Michael Norris, Sarver
- (4) Alex Ferree, Saxonburg
- (23) Tony Burke, Sarver
- (1C) Lynn Geisler, Cranberry Twp.
- (14) Clint Hayes, Sarver
2009 Track Champion – Alex Ferree
Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modified Feature: (25 Laps)
Heat Race Winners: Kevin Bolland, Dean Pearson
- (37MD) Jeremiah Shingledecker, Polk
- (28) Tom Winkle, Mars
- (8J) Dean Pearson, Harrisville
- (777) Kevin Bolland, New Brighton
- (20D) Del Rougeux Jr., Frenchville
- (61) Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock
- (17M) Skip Moore, Jackson Center
- (29E) Erik Martin, Evans City
- (45) Steve Feder, Butler
- (75) Jeff Miller, Sarver
- (72) Mike Miller, Chicora
- (6) Carl Murdick, Butler
- (27R) Dave Reges, Butler
- (88) Shawn Fleeger, Butler
- (96) Mike Turner, Butler
- (5) Brian Sadler, McKean
- (83) Brian Swartzlander, Leechburg
- (29D) Dustin Martin, Evans City
2009 Track Champion – Jeremiah Shingledecker
Advanced Auto Parts DIRTcar Sportsman Feature: (20 Laps)
Heat Race Winners: Bob Lipinski, Ryan Moyer
- (66) Joe Kelley, Mt. Pleasant
- (30) Bob Egley, Kittanning
- (12) Shawn Thorn, Vandergrift
- (54) Wayne Carbo, Saxonburg
- (35) Jeff Walters, Evans City
- (380) Pat Hanley, Monroeville
- (20J) Jim Fosnaught, Bairdford
- (28Y) Terry Young, Butler
- (13X) Ryan Moyer, Portersville
- (25) Brett McDonald, Saxonburg
- (1) Randy Hanovick, Mars
- (29B) Scott Byers, Butler
- (74) Paul Petrovich, Gibsonia
- (3S) Paul Schreckengost, Creighton
- (55L) Bob Lipinski, Pittsburgh
- (48) Kevin Haas, Sarver
- (3C) Barry Faris, Uniontown
- (90) Mike Duritsky, Masontown
- (87) Mike Miller, Chicora
- (7) Eric Piotrowski, Cranberry Twp.
- (C33) Corey McPherson, Tarentum
- (78) John Watson, Apollo
2009 Track Champion – Bob Lipinski
Car Count Total: 74
Commercial Truck & Trailer DIRTcar Sprints: 21
Friedman’s Freshmarkets DIRTcar Late Models: 14
Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modifieds: 17
Advanced Auto Parts DIRTcar Sportsman: 22
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director
All Photos Courtesy of Stivason Photos