Shaffer and Blaney sprint to Top Five finishes at Commonwealth Clash Lynch, Holtgraver, Ellenberger, Bowser and Priest qualify for A-Main
Sarver, PA (September 28, 2010) Donny Schatz scored his fourth career World of Outlaws A-Main win Saturday Night during the Commonwealth Clash, but Tim Shaffer and Dale Blaney thrilled the home crowd with the solid performances local fans have come to expect from the former Track Champions.
Shaffer, the 1993 Track Champion, started the night by setting quick time during time trials with a lap of 12.844 seconds, but failed to transfer to the A-Main through his heat race. A broken drive shaft in the heat saddled him in the Last Chance Showdown along with some pretty stout competition, including Jac Haudenschild (whom flipped in his heat), Brian Ellenberger and Chad Kemenah.
Shaffer dominated the Last Chance Showdown, leading wire-to-wire to advance to the A-Main. Starting 12th, Shaffer quickly jumped to eighth on the first lap, then battled with Danny Lasoski and Jason Meyers for the next 22 laps. He made his next big leap forward on lap 24 when he passed both Lasoski and Meyers (and Steve Kinser after a 360 between turns three & four), to move into the top five.
The caution flag waved for the final time on lap 28 and Shaffer jumped on the opportunity to make one more big move on the restart. Shaffer flew around the top of turns one and two, then rocketed down the back straightaway. Entering turn three, Shaffer brought the hometown crowd to their feet as he split Craig Dollansky and Dale Blaney to take third place in thrilling fashion. When the checkered flag waved for Donny Schatz, then Paul McMahan in second, Shaffer followed close behind in third place.
Just behind Shaffer was 1991 Lernerville Speedway Track Champion Dale Blaney in fourth place. Blaney set the third quickest lap in time trials, stopping the clock at 12.900 seconds. He went on to qualify directly into the A-Main and Dash by finishing fourth in his heat. He finished third in the high speed freight train that was the Dash, which slotted him third on the starting grid for the 35-lap Commonwealth Clash A-Main. He ran third for most of the feature, but settled for a strong fourth place finish after Shaffer’s aforementioned late race pass.
The rest of the Lernerville Locals had less success in the A-Main, but All Time Wins leader Ed Lynch Jr., 2010 Track Champion Danny Holtgraver, Ti22 pilot Brian Ellenberger, Carl Bowser and Andy Priest all qualified for “The Greatest Show in Dirt”.
“The Apollo Rocket” Ed Lynch Jr. has a World of Outlaws A-Main win at the Action Track on his Hall of Fame resume; winning the 2002 Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup. But a second Outlaws win was not in the cards during the Commonwealth Clash. Lynch turned in the sixth quickest lap during time trials, then finished fifth in his heat to qualify directly into the A-Main.
During the early stages of the Commonwealth Clash A-Main, as he has for most of the 2010 season, Lynch fell victim to the gremlins again on lap 10 when he shredded the left rear tire and cut the power steering line. Lynch rolled pitside and finished the feature scored in 24th, and then watched the remainder of the event from the infield.
2010 Track Champion Danny Holtgraver suffered from a slow start, both in time trials and then again in the feature. Usually a very solid qualifier, Holtgraver turned only the 21st quickest lap of the 32-car field during time trials. But a strong run in the heat race saw Holtgraver transfer directly into the A-Main, finishing fourth ahead of Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award points leader Ben Gregg.
His disappointing qualifying result put Holtgraver towards the tail of the talented 24-car field for the A-Main. Starting 22nd, Holtgraver’s tires didn’t respond quickly enough and early leader Paul McMahan put him a lap down. By the time the car and tires came to him, the cars he passed were on a different lap and he finished scored officially in 20th.
Andy Priest (16th quick) and Carl Bowser (24th quick) both transferred directly into the Clash A-Main from the fourth and final heat race, beating former and multiple time All Star Champion Chad Kemenah. Priest ran a great heat race, trading slide jobs with both Jason Meyers and Kerry Madsen for second and third places, before settling for fourth. During the feature, Priest stayed on the lead lap for 20 circuits, but rolled pitside on lap 21 and finished 23rd. Carl Bowser finished the race on the track and finished 21st, but was a few laps down when the checkered flag waved.
2009 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner Brian Ellenberger finished between Bowser and Priest in 22nd place. The Ti22 Ace turned the 18th quickest lap in time trials, but was mired in a stacked heat race that included Craig Dollansky, Danny Lasoski, Donny Schatz and Ed Lynch Jr. After finishing seventh in his heat, Ellenberger ran a strong race in the “Last Chance Showdown”, finishing second to Tim Shaffer. But after starting 17th in the feature, Ellenberger never seemed to get going and rolled into the infield on lap 30.
Also in competition during the Commonwealth Clash were Lernerville regulars Bob Felmlee, Kevin Schaeffer, Brandon Matus, Lindsay Enscoe, Davey Jones and Bill Kiley, as well as regional star Mike Lutz. Felmlee’s engine sounded sour during hot laps and never seemed to run right the rest of the night. Lutz, winner of the 2010 Lou Blaney Classic at Sharon Speedway, finished one spot out of the transfer in both his heat race and the Last Chance Showdown. Lutz appeared to have a line to pass Haudenschild late in the Last Chance Showdown, but “The Wild Child” wildly took the line away from Lutz and moved on, while Lutz had to call it a night. Brent Matus brought the Wampum Warrior team to the speedway, but had to sit out with kidney stones.
The Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprints will be back in action in just three and a half short weeks for the $3,000-to-win DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 21, 22 and 23. The Steel City Stampede will also be the final event of the 2010 DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series. Bob Felmlee leads the point standings heading into the event, but Lynch, Holtgraver and George are all within nine points of the lead!
The DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede will also feature $3,000-to-win features for the DIRTcar Super Late Models and Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds; $1,000-to-win features for the Charapp Route 28 DIRTcar Sportsman/Stock, Pro Late Models and UMP Modifieds; $500-to-win features for the Mod Lites and 4 Cylinders, an exhibition of the Mini Late Models and a $1,000-to-win, 100-lap Enduro! Three nights, TEN DIVISIONS of High Speed Action! For more information about the DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede, log on to www.Lernerville.com!
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director