16 year old Brandon Matus wins his first Ti22 Sprint feature Robbie Blair invades the Action Track and wins Precise Lates feature Shingledecker wins third, McPherson wins second August 5, 2011 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE By Mike Leone
(Sarver, PA)…On a balmy and humid Friday night, Lernerville Speedway spun off the “Fab Four” program in three hours. It was a night filled with various storylines as two drivers picked up their first wins and two others made return trips to Sheetz Victory Lane.
Celebrating with wins on ARCH Fan Club of Hagerstown, Maryland were Brandon Matus-Ti22 Performance DIRTcar 410 Sprint Cars, Robbie Blair-Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Super Late Models, Jeremiah Shingledecker-Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, and Corey McPherson-Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman. Boundary Systems/CREO and GBG, Inc. held their corporate nights.
August 5, 2011 will be a night Brandon Matus will never forget. The fourth generation racer became the third Matus to win a Sprint Car feature at Lernerville joining his grandfather Jerry and father Brent. The Wampum, Pa. driver held off a swarm of some of the region’s top Sprint Cars in a furious final laps that saw Scott Priester and Brian Ellenberger throw everything but the kitchen sink at the soon to be 17-year-old first time feature winner! Matus became the 10th different Sprint Car winner in 12 races in 2011!
“I’m worn out,” expressed Matus as his father Brent and grandfather Jerry joined him in victory lane. “This is unbelievable! I didn’t think it would come this soon. I don’t even know what to say, and had no idea what was going on behind me. Every night we’ve done well the cautions always kill me, but I don’t know if they helped or hurt me tonight. This certainly wasn’t all me; I have to thank my crew for getting me here.”
Kevin Schaeffer and Brandon Matus led the 21-car field to green. The duo traded slide jobs the first two laps, with Schaeffer leading the first and Matus the second, while Priester looked on in third. Rod George, who has scored multiple wins at Mercer Raceway Park and won the inaugural Sprint race at Dog Hollow Speedway last month, looked to be on a mission for his first Lernerville win. George started in 10th and passed four cars on the opening lap then made a great move to pass both Eric Williams and Brandon Spithaler for fourth on lap two.
George quickly progressed forward driving under Priester for third down the backstretch of lap four. George ran down fellow Kittanning, Pa. racer, Kevin Schaeffer, and made the pass for second on lap six. Matus had a half-straightaway lead on George by the time the veteran made his way to second. It looked like this might be the night for George as he ran down Matus, but on lap eight lost power as rear-end woes would end his night.
Back under green flag conditions, Matus continued to set the pace, while Priester put the heat on Schaeffer. Priester drove under Schaeffer in turns one and two on lap 10 and for the next two circuits would race side-by-side, but Schaeffer was able to hold on. Tenth starting Carl Bowser and 13th starting Ellenberger made their way forward and joined the fray making it a five-car race for the lead at the halfway point! A double 360-spin by Aussie Luke Bowey in turn four and flip by Brian Steinman in turn two delayed action with 15 laps scored.
When green replaced yellow, Priester finally made the pass of Schaeffer for second. Ellenberger took fourth from Bowser on lap 18 and third from Schaeffer on lap 20; meanwhile, up front, Priester turned up the wick as he pulled even with Matus on laps 20-22. Ellenberger then caught Priester and Matus. It was three-wide racing off turn four for the lead on lap 23 as Matus hung on before the final stoppage of the event occurred for Schaeffer.
The last two laps under green were breathtaking. Ellenberger had a head of steam as he got past Priester for second with the white flag waving. Matus was able to block Ellenberger’s advances as he protected the bottom in turns one and two and then three and four. Ellenberger tried a last ditch effort flying to the cushion in turn four. Matus though had the momentum and bite off the bottom as he nipped the two-time winner by 0.133 seconds in his father’s Matus Service Center/FullyInjected.com-sponsored #13.
Bowser, another two-time winner this season, snuck by Priester on the final lap for the third position. Priester, who looked like he might pull out the win, dropped to a disappointing fourth as Andy McKisson rounded out the top five after starting 11th. Sixth through 10th were Spithaler, Williams, Brent Matus, Pete Landram, and Bowey. Heat victories went to Bowey and Schaeffer.
It’s been quite the two nights for the Blair Family. On Thursday night, Robbie Blair won the $3,500 United Late Model Series event at McKean County Raceway, while his son Max captured the FASTRAK Late Model portion. On Friday night, Blair made a surprise first “regular show” appearance of the season and it paid off taking home the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Super Late Model main after starting 11th in the 25-lap affair. While Robbie won for the second straight night, son Max kept pace winning a couple hours north at Raceway 7.
“I don’t know what to say,” stated the 40-year-old Centerville, Pa. veteran. “My stuff is good right now. The track is pretty racey. You could run top, middle, bottom- you can’t ask for anything more than that. I thought I was running him (Jared Miley) down, but I knew that restart was going to be the decider. I have to thank my crew and everyone for pitching in the last couple days. This has been a total group effort.”
Mike Pegher, Jr. blasted to the early lead, while fourth starting Jared Miley passed both Brian Swartzlander and Chuck Sarver for second on lap one. Miley caught up to Pegher on lap four as the two pulled away. The battle was on for third as Swartzlander was trying to keep sixth starting Gregg Satterlee and eighth starting Rick “Boom” Briggs at bay. On lap nine, Miley shot to the inside of Pegher in turn one as Pegher shredded a tire bringing out the first caution. It was a heartbreaking end for Pegher, who was in search of his first career Lernerville Super Late Model win after dominating the Pure Stock and Pro Late ranks for many years at the track.
Blair had made it up to sixth, but got a tremendous restart passing John Garvin, Jr., Briggs, and Satterlee all on lap nine for third! One lap later, Blair drove under Swartzlander in turn two for second and set his sights on Miley. Satterlee followed taking third from Swartzlander on lap 11.
On lap 18, Miley made a great move in lapped traffic slipping past both Jayme Beck and newcomer Marc Sallack. It looked like this may have been the move of the race as Miley began to check out. Blair now was trying to hold off Satterlee and Briggs for second as the battle intensified on lap 20 before Beck came to halt bringing out the second and final caution.
And oh what a break it was for Blair as it erased Miley’s near two-second lead and put him side-by-side with the leader on the restart! Miley chose the outside, but Blair was able to make the winning pass when racing resumed and led the final five laps for his first checkered flag at Lernerville since a year ago June in the “Uncle Sam 30” for the non-qualifiers at the “Firecracker 100”. Blair became the ninth different Late Model winner of 2011 in his Specialty Products/Moody & Son Welding/Lakeside Lanes/Bossard Sales & Service/Equicross North Division/Head West Outfitters-sponsored #W11.
Miley was 0.815 seconds back in second as he still has been unable to find Sheetz Victory Lane in 2011. Briggs and Dave Hess, Jr. both were able to pass Satterlee following the last restart and finished third and fourth respectively. Hess came all the way from 21st after having to start last due to his three straight wins. Satterlee dropped to fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Swartzlander, Garvin, Davey Johnson, Matt Lux, and Sarver. Topping the heats over the 21-car field were Blair and Lux.
Start Jeremiah Shingledecker on the pole and it’s going to be tough sailing for the rest of his competitors. Shingledecker didn’t disappoint his fans as he wired the 25-lap Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Big-Block Modified feature leading from green-to-checkered for his third win of the season.
“If you don’t win from the pole you’re going to be made fun of all week,” quipped the Polk, Pa. driver. “I’m dedicating this victory to ‘Grandad’ Jim Wheeler who passed away last week. He just recently turned 80 years old and was a big race fan. This one’s for him!”
Shingledecker raced to the initial lead, while outside pole-sitter Brad Rapp slipped off the track in turns one and two allowing Brian Swartzlander, Dean Pearson, Tom Winkle, and Steve Feder to move by. Shingledecker’s only serious challenge came from Swartzlander when he pulled alongside of the leader running the bottom of the speedway on laps five, six, and seven.
Shingledecker then began to pull away on lap eight. Twelfth starting Dave Murdick, who entered the night leading the division with three wins, was on the move taking fifth from Pearson on lap seven and fourth from Kevin Hoffman on lap 10. Following a spin by Feder to bring action to a halt with 13 laps completed, Murdick made the pass of Winkle for third. Kevin Bolland meanwhile had worked his way into contention from the 13th starting spot as he cracked the top five on lap 14 dropping Hoffman back a spot.
Shingledecker began to pull away again on lap 18, while Murdick pressured Swartzlander for second and the battle picked up for fourth with Winkle trying to hold off Bolland and Hoffman. Shingledecker had a straightaway lead when he caught lapped traffic on the final lap. Shingledecker’s only scare came right before the checkered flag when he made contact trying to lap Carl Murdick. Shingledecker still took the checkered flag by a margin of 3.588 seconds for his 13th career win at the track in the Village Auto/Steve’s Teez-sponsored #37MD.
Swartzlander edged Murdick for second. Bolland got past Winkle on the final lap to place fourth and dropped Winkle to fifth. Completing the top 10 were Hoffman, Rapp, Phil Evans, Jr., Mike Turner, and Feder. Heat wins were captured by Shingledecker and Winkle over the 17-car field.
In the Millerstown Pic-A-Part 20 lapper for the DIRTcar Sportsman, it was the youngster Corey McPherson holding off a bevy of veterans that reads like a who’s who of racers in the annals of Lernerville Sportsman history. McPherson beat out Chris Schneider, Scott Bochek, and the division’s all-time winner Joe Kelley for his second career win!
“It was like that the last time I won,” described the 23-year-old Tarentum, Pa. racer when asked about the six cautions that slowed his run to the finish. “We changed the setup this week. I wasn’t sure if I would like it. I like the outside, but the car worked good down low.”
McPherson raced past Jim Fosnaught at the start of the event with Rob Shook and Pat Hanley in tow. Tenth starting Mike Miller was on the prowl as he passed Shook and then Hanley on lap three for third. Miller drove under Fosnaught in turn four for second on lap four. By the time Miller got to second, McPherson had a half-straightaway lead advantage before a caution for Fosnaught’s spin with five laps scored.
After his win last Friday night, Joe Kelley was working his way forward from 12th. Kelley passed Shook for third on lap 10, while McPherson pulled away on lap 11. Kelley ran down Miller and was all over the two-time winner before a caution for Gib Overly, Jr. with 12 laps completed. Miller’s night would come to an end when he slowed back under green flag conditions necessitating the final caution of the event.
When racing resumed, Schneider made the move to take third as he passed both Shook and Bochek then edged ahead of Kelley one lap later for second. Bochek, who was driving the GM 602 crate engine #55 normally driven by Schneider, drove around Kelley for third on lap 15. Schneider and Bochek would battle side-by-side in the final laps, while McPherson held on for the victory by 1.538 seconds in his #c33.
Schneider, who was behind the wheel of the Brian Lockhart #89L, was able to edge Bochek for second. Kelley was fourth over 18th starting A.J. Flick, who had a great run to garner the fifth position. Spots sixth through tenth went to Shook, Brett McDonald, Wayne Carbo who somehow didn’t flip after riding the frontstretch fence, Mark Sanders, and Scott Bowman. The three heat races over the 24-car field were split between Miller, Schneider, and Carbo.
Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprint Feature (25 Laps)
NLC (16) Gary Rankin, Renfrew
- (13) Brandon Matus, Wampum
- (20E) Brian Ellenberger, Butler
- (10) Carl Bowser, Sarver
- (11) Scott Priester, Rimersburg
- (0) Andy McKisson, Strattanville
- (22B) Brandon Spithaler, Evans City
- (7W) Eric Williams, Greenville
- (33) Brent Matus, Wampum
- (44) Pete Landram, Jeanette
- (55AU) Luke Bowey, Australia
- (16M) Jim Morris, Fowler, OH
- (9) Kevin Schaeffer, Kittanning
- (4K) Bill Kiley, Cabot
- (6) Sheila Rankin, Renfrew
- (B6) Bobbi Rankin, Renfrew
- (24S) Brian Steinman, Lucinda
- (4) Rod George, Kittanning
- (21) Jack Whitmore, Brookfield, OH
- (08) Dan Kuriger, New Brighton
- (76) Davey Jones, Baden
National Guard Heat Race Winners: Luke Bower, Kevin Schaeffer
Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models Feature (25 Laps)
National Guard Heat Race Winners: Robbie Blair, Matt Lux
- (W11) Robbie Blair, Centerville
- (H1) Jared Miley, South Park
- (99B) Boom Briggs, Bear Lake
- (44) Dave Hess Jr., Waterford
- (22) Gregg Satterlee, Rochester Mills
- (111) Brian Swartzlander, Leechburg
- (J4) John Garvin, Sarver
- (1J) Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock
- (21) Matt Lux, Franklin
- (88) Chuck Sarver, West Sunburry
- (2J) Mike Johnson, Imperial
- (5) Mike Blose, Dayton
- (27) Jeff Jones, Zelienople
- (15K) Ray Kroll Sr., Renfrew
- (92) Jayme Beck, Jeanette
- (17B) Marc Sallack, Punxsutawney
- (03) Doug Eck, Corry
- (91) Tommy Beck, Murrysville
- (3) Dan Swartzlander, Freeport
- (1C) Mike Pegher Jr., Cranberry Twp.
- (29) Ken Schaltenbrand, Sarver
Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modified Feature (25 Laps)
National Guard Heat Race Winners: Jeremiah Shingledecker, Tom Winkle
- (37MD) Jeremiah Shingledecker, Polk
- (83) Brian Swartzlander, Leechburg
- (61) Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock
- (777) Kevin Bolland, New Brighton
- (28) Tom Winkle, Mars
- (17H) Kevin Hoffman, Franklin
- (11R) Brad Rapp, Shippenville
- (38) Phil Evans, Greensburg
- (96) Mike Turner, Butler
- (45) Steve Feder, Butler
- (29E) Erik Martin, Evans City
- (8J) Dean Pearson, Harrisville
- (6) Carl Murdick, Butler
- (88) Shawn Fleeger, Butler
- (71B) Don Brown, Butler
- (96B) Bob Warren, Harrisville
- (27R) Dave Reges, Butler
Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman Feature (20 Laps)
DNS (07) Jamey Hayden, New Kensington
- (C33) Corey McPherson, Tarentum
- (89L) Chris Schneider, Springdale
- (55) Scott Bochek, Cheswick
- (66) Joe Kelley, Mt. Pleasant
- (2) A.J. Flick, Apollo
- (53) Rob Shook, Creighton
- (25) Brett McDonald, Saxonburg
- (54) Wayne Carbo, Saxonburg
- (32) Mark Sanders, Lowellville, OH
- (19) Scott Bowman, Murrysville
- (20J) Jim Fosnaught, Bairdford
- (21) Jeff Miller, Natrona Hgts.
- (28Y) Terry Young, Butler
- (1) Randy Hanovick, Mars
- (380) Pat Hanley, Monroeville
- (57) Troy Jeuther, Valencia
- (55S) Dr. Bob Lipinski, Valencia
- (29B) Scott Byers, Butler
- (81) Mike Miller, Chicora
- (41) Gib Overly Jr.
- (3S) Paul Schreckengost, Creighton
- (30) Bob Egley, Kittanning
- (33X) Greg Beach, Chicora
National Guard Heat Race Winners: Mike Miller, Brian Lockhart, Wayne Carbo
Car Count Total: 83
Ti22 Performance DIRTcar Sprints: 21
Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models: 21
Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modifieds: 17
Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman: 24
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director