Brandon Spithaler continues family tradition with first feature win
Norris crushes the Lates, Williamson rolls on in Diehl Mods
2011 Champ Miller back on top in Pic-A-Part Sportsman
Sarver, PA (May 31, 2013) The “people” of Peoples TWP came out in droves for their debut as event sponsor Friday night. Over 500 people filled the pre-race tent and pavilion for a catered dinner and then helped pack the stands for a thrilling night of Fab Four Racing! Peoples TWP Night also included the Dollar Energy Auction which raised over $500 to help local families in need. And when compounded with Peoples’ matching the donations of “The Finest Race Fans in the World!” dollar for dollar, the total jumped to over $1000!
Despite the August-like feel of the afternoon and evening, the Action Track lived up to its nickname Friday night as the Peoples TWP DIRTcar Sprints thrilled their new sponsors with lap times in the 13 second range; Jack Sodeman Jr. actually turned laps in the high 12 second range during heat race action. Brent Matus and Dan Kuriger brought the field to green, but it was third-starting Brandon Spithaler taking the lead low through the bottom of turns one & two and down the back stretch on the opening lap. Only a lap three caution for Sheldon Haudenschild slowed the 25-lap pulse-pounder as he slid of the tops of turn three & four.
In open air and in lapped traffic, Brandon Spithaler was flat out dominant, leading all 25 laps to secure his first career Peoples TWP DIRTcar Sprint feature win; carrying on a proud family tradition of winning at Lernerville. Brandon is the second cousin of Racin’ Ralphie Spithaler, (owner of 38 Lernerville feature wins – 27 in Sprints, 11 in Modifieds), and grandson of School Bus fan favorites Frank and Rosie Spithaler, (both have won races in the Cow Patty bus). Spithaler, who entered the event tied for the Bud Points lead with Eric Williams, stands alone atop the standings with a four point lead over Jack Sodeman Jr.
Brandon Matus was a man on the mission too! Waiting all season for a fast track upon which to let it rip, Matus had his elbows up and was hammerdown. Matus spent much of the race battling with Jack Sodeman Jr. as they made their way to the front and once he cleared Sodeman, Matus set his sights on Spithaler. He appeared to be reeling him in as the laps ticked away, but the fast pace of the race and a lack of cautions & restarts didn’t give Matus much of a chance to catch, (much less pass), Spithaler. Sodeman, like Matus, was bad fast, but ran out of laps and settled for third. Carl Bowser came from ninth on the starting grid to finish fourth ahead of recent Mercer feature winner Scott Priester who ran most of the race in second. Sheldon Haudenschild put on a show coming from the tail of the field after an early race caution to finish sixth; there’s no doubt he’s got a little “Wild Child” in him like his daddy! Brent Matus, Eric Williams, Daryl Stimeling and Chris Best rounded out the Peoples TWP Top Ten. Rod George made his 2013 Lernerville debut in the Chappell #8 car, but broke in his heat and scratched for the feature. Brandon Matus and Jack Sodeman Jr. took the checkered flag in heat race action earlier in the evening.
Michael Norris, aka “The Crusher”, lived up to his nickname by crushing the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Model feature, leading the final 21 laps after passing polesitter and early leader Mike Pegher Jr. Norris won his first Lernerville feature last August on Championship Night and has been knocking on the door to his second all season. Unfortunately, Norris went up in smoke on the back straightaway coming to the checkered flag and then up in a quick burst of flames at the flagstand; so his victory might have been a costly one.
Norris’s flame job wasn’t the wildest part of the end of the feature though, as Bryan Force and Jared Miley got tied up with the lapped and heavily damaged car of Sam Eichelberger. In a quick and violent chain of events, Force barrel rolled to a stop short of the flagstand with Eichelberger and Miley stopped tangled together behind him. The last lap, last turn wreck cost Miley (14th
) and Force (15th
) top ten finishes.
Between Norris’s flameout and Forces’ tumble, Alex Ferree (second) and John Garvin Jr. (third) chased Norris to the checkered flag. After battling with Garvin for most of the race, Jammin’ John Mollick scored his best finish of the season in fourth. Brian Swartzlander rounded out the Precise Top Five ahead of Denton Boyer, Chris Rhodes, Dan Angelicchio, Ken Schaltenbrand and Chuck Sarver. Miley, Pegher and Norris notched heat race wins. John Garvin Jr. leads the Budweiser Points after four weeks of Fab Four Racing with a three-point lead over Norris.
Canadian Sensation Mat Williamson entered Peoples TWP Night as the Budweiser Points leader in the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Modifieds with two wins to his credit. He drove back across the border tonight still atop the Bud Points and with a third win in the bag! Front row mates Frank Guidace and Jeff Schaffer each led a lap at the start of the race before Williams rocketed past on lap three from third on the starting grid. Multiple-time Former Track Champion Dave Murdick gave Williamson a run for his money mid-race, but a series of cautions killed whatever momentum Murdick was able to muster. Williams regained the lead on lap 18 and never looked back on the way to his third win in four races.
Murdick held off a late charge from Brian Swartzlander, (who started 12th
on the grid and then slid off the back straightaway early in the race), to finish second. Swartzlander finished third after battling several laps with Brad Rapp who finished fourth. Early leader Jeff Schaffer finished fifth, while Rex King Sr., Mike Turner, Rodney Beltz, Tom Glenn and Eric Gabany rounded out the Precise Top Ten. Cautions and gremlins claimed a lot of the front runners as Steve Feder, Tom Winkle, Rex King Jr. and Jeremiah Shingledecker were all in the DNF category for the night. Swartzlander, Shaffer and King Jr. all scored heat race wins.
Once again, the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman put on a whale of the show from start to finish with the top six to eight cars racing under a proverbial blanket for most of the 20-lap feature. Pat Hanley finally debuted a super sharp new car and led 10 the first 11 laps; giving up one lap to Ryan Moyer charging hard on the bottom groove. But after a runner-up finish to Corey McPherson last week, Miller wouldn’t be denied this week! After dispatching Moyer for second, Miller pulled up to the back bumper of Hanley on lap 13, dove under him entering turn three on lap 14 and powered into the lead exiting turn four. Once out front, Miller pulled away to score his first of the season.
Pat Hanley chased him to the finish, but had to settle for second place in his 2013 debut. Joe Kelley scored his first podium finish of the season in third ahead of Bud Points leader Corey McPherson (fourth) and Jim Fosnaught (fifth). AJ Flick, Joey Zambotti, Terry Young, Ryan Moyer and Brett McDonald rounded out the Pic-A-Part Top Ten. Heat race wins were claimed by Miller, Flick and Fosnaught.
Fab Four Racing returns next Friday, July 7 on Class of 2013 Night; all high school and college graduates will be admitted free with a copy of their diploma. Then June really heats up with Holiday Races with Fireworks on #1 Cochran Fan Appreciation Night on June 14, the Fab Four Racing Mid-Season Championships on June 21 and the 7th
Annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com
on June 27-28-29.
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director