Good things happen to good people; Ferree wins Hoffman Memorial
Brandon Matus climbs the fence, Dave Murdick roof dances
Bacchus repeats in Vintage Mods, Miller wins fourth of 2013
Sarver, PA (August 18, 2013) Often times when you do good things for others, good things happen for you in return. On Friday, August 16, during Lernerville’s Annual Nostalgia Night car-owner Joe Corado and driver Alex Ferree let Bobby Hoffman jump behind the wheel of the #10 Late Model and take a Victory Lap to secure his Hall of Famer father Dave Hoffman’s unfulfilled 300th career win while the Hoffman family watched on in Victory Lane. Dave’s daughter Saundi, a former area track flagperson, gave Bobby the green and then the commemorative 300-win checkered flag that she had made for her father while he was pursuing his 300th career win. Just a few short hours later, Alex Ferree drove that same #10 Late Model back into Sheetz Victory Lane after winning the $1,700-to-win Dave Hoffman Memorial for the Precise Late Models; an extra $300 added to the winner’s share of the purse by Dave’s wife Mary in his loving memory.
For the second race in a row, the Peoples TWP Sprints went 25-straight laps without a caution flag and this time it was Brandon Matus scoring the runaway victory. Dave Murdick was equally as dominant in winning the Diehl Mods feature and Mike Miller capped the night by scoring his fourth Pic-A-Part Sportsman win of the season. Between the Fab Four Racing features, Paul Baccus drove his #7A Vintage Modified to Sheetz Victory Lane for a second consecutive year while celebrating with 60th birthday. John Garvin Jr. and Garrett Krummert led the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models to the green flag and Krummert rocketed around the top of turns one & two into the lead down the back straightaway. He proceeded to lead, (by a full straightaway at times), the first 20 laps of the 25-lap Dave Hoffman Memorial, but a pair of cautions mid and late race allowed the field to reel in Krummert. On lap 21, Krummert slid up and dug into the cushion in turn two, which allowed a prowling Alex Ferree to slide under and past him for the lead. Last week’s feature winner Russ King was riding a Rocket-ship again this week and chased Ferree to the checkered flag after starting tenth on the grid. But once out front, Ferree was just too strong and too determined to win in honor of the Hoffman family. Ferree’s third win of the season was the 22nd of his Lernerville career; passing his father (Ed Ferree) for seventh on the all time Late Model wins list.
King settled for second, while Jared Miley and Mike Pegher Jr. also got around Krummert in the closing laps for third and fourth respectively. Krummert fought an under-powered and thus ill-handling car home to a disappointing fifth place finish. His luck improved Saturday Night, however, as he picked up the win at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio; a track he has won at in the past. Positions six through ten went to Brian Swartzlander, Chuck Sarver, Ken Schaltenbrand, Todd Bachman and Doug Eck. Polesitter John Garvin’s #J4 went up in smoke, rolled to a stop mid-race and was subsequently pushed to the pits scored 15th. Ron Davies took a wild ride into the catch fence between turn four and the pit grandstands during heat race action. Despite the violent wreck, Ron walked into the ambulance under his own power and was released from the hospital Saturday after being evaluated overnight. We wish Ron a full and speedy recovery. Late Model heat races were won by Russ King and Alex Ferree. With a perfect 40-point night, Ferree rolls into the final two weeks of the season with a 25-point lead over Defending Track Champion Jared Miley and 38-point lead over a suddenly struggling John Garvin Jr. The good news for John Garvin Jr. is that up until Friday Night, Brandon Matus had been struggling through an almost insufferable streak of mid-summer bad luck, but 25-laps of green flag domination later and all of that struggling is a distant memory! The third generation star jumped out to a quick lead at the drop of the green flag from the outside pole and went wire-to-wire in the caution-free Peoples TWP DIRTcar Sprint feature to score his second career feature win at the Action Track. Immediately upon climbing out of the car, Matus ran across the track and climbed the fence in celebration. He returned to Sheetz Victory Lane where he was joined by his Hall of Fame grandfather Jerry Matus. This is the second consecutive Peoples TWP Sprint feature that went caution-free and was won by a driver that released brand new t-shirts as Carl Bowser did the same thing on August 2. The question now is, who will put in a rush order with our friends at Classic Ink to score next Friday’s feature win? There is a chance, however, that this is just a coincidence!
Recent feature winner Mike Lutz drove the McMillin #5M to a second place finish after starting on the front row inside Matus and Rod George joined them on the podium in third. Just three weeks after an awkward flip and landing resulted in two fractured vertabrae, Jack Sodeman Jr. returned to action to score a fourth place finish ahead of Daryl Stimeling. Carl Bowser, Brandon Spithaler, Scott Priester, Brent Matus and Gary Rankin rounded out the Peoples TWP Top Ten. Sodeman, George and Bowser scored heat race wins. The chase for the 2013 Budweiser Track Title remains a four-horse race with Brandon Spithaler (342) leading Brandon Matus (336), Carl Bowser (325) and Eric Williams (316). Williams slammed the wall hard after jumping the cushion in turn four during heat race competition. Despite a badly bent car and having the wind knocked out of him, “Turkey” was able to get the car together to take the green flag for the feature, but completed just one lap before rolling pitside scored in 20th. As mentioned above, Paul Bacchus won the Western PA Vintage Modified race for the second straight year as part of the Nostalgia Night festivities. On behalf of Lernerville Speedway General Manager Gary Risch Jr. and Nostalgia Night coordinator Don Gamble, we’d like to thank Jim Kirkwood, Paul Bacchus and the other nine competitors for their presence and participation in Nostlagia Night!
The modern-day Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Modifieds rolled onto the track next with Dave Murdick and Brad Rapp leading the field to green. Murdick dropped the hammer when flagman Todd Beichner dropped the green flag and he stretched his lead to a full straightaway in just four short laps as Rapp was joined by Jeremiah Shingledecker and Budweiser Points leader Mat Williamson in the battle for second. A mid-race caution slowed the high speed freight train, but it only delayed the inevitable as Murdick drove away with his second feature win of 2013. His 28th win ties Murdick for eighth all time with the late Dick Rankin; a 2013 inductee into the Lernerville Speedway Hall of Fame.
Shingledecker and Williamson joined Murdick on the podium after dispatching Rapp. Rex King Jr. battled Brian Swartzlander early in the race for a position within the top five, but drove away from him after the mid-race restart and eventually got around Rapp for fourth. Rapp’s first feature win will have to wait at least another week as he settled for a strong top five finish ahead of Brian Swartzlander, Rex King Sr., Steve Feder, Mike Turner and Carl Murdick. Brian Swartzlander and Rex King Sr. were victorious during heat race action. Mat Williamson can clinch his first Lernerville Speedway Track Championship next Friday as he carries a 53-point cushion over Seven-Time and Defending Track Champion Brian Swartzlander. Dave Murdick and Jeremiah Shingledecker remain in the hunt mathematically, but both are over 60-points behind the Canadian Sensation. Good Guy Pat Hanley took the early lead from the pole of the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman feature, but All Time division wins leader and Seven-Time Track Champion Joe Kelley was on the hunt for his first feature win of the season. Kelley was once again riding the low groove around both sets of turns and drove off turn four to the lead on lap four. But while Kelley led, Mike Miller and Defending Track Champion Corey McPherson were thundering around the tops of the turns and reeling in Kelley lap by lap. After a mid-race caution, Miller drove past Kelley on the front straightaway to take the lead and he never looked back on the way to his fourth feature win of the season and third in the past four races.
Corey McPherson stayed right in Miller’s wake the whole way to the checkered flag; crossing the finish line just 0.324 seconds behind in second place. Kelley had to settle for another podium finish, while AJ Flick fought an ill-handling car to a fourth place finish. Chris Schneider finished in fifth ahead of Pat Hanley, Wayne Carbo, Rob Shook, Brett McDonald and Rookie of the Year contender Joey Zambotti. Heat races were checkered by Mike Miller, Corey McPherson, Jeff Bronisziewski and AJ Flick. Jim Fosnaught won the B-Main after having been black flagged for contact with Bob Egley coming to the checkered flag during the final lap and turn of the third heat race. Fosnaught’s bad luck would continue in the feature as he was collected by another front stretch, multi-car pileup on lap two; these are becoming far to frequent in the middle/back of the pack in the opening laps of the Pic-A-Part Sportsman features. Despite his fourth feature win of the season, Miller remains more than a full night’s worth of points behind AJ Flick and Corey McPherson as they battle for the coveted 2013 Budweiser Track Championship. McPherson chipped away four more points from Flick’s lead and now just six points separate them heading into the final two nights of the Fab Four Racing season. Next Friday’s Fab Four Racing program will be preceded by MRO Injured Driver’s Benefit Auction. Drivers are asked and encouraged to donate any parts, memorabilia or t-shirts that can be auctioned or raffled off during the pre-race event. Tickets will most likely be sold throughout heat race competition. More details will follow mid-week. Contact: Lernerville Speedway Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director (724) 664-1075 /
Photos Courtesy of John Stivason/Stivason Photos