On a night that saw several late models run laps quicker than Rick Eckert’s track record it was familiar faces who grabbed the checkered flag on Friday albeit their first wins of 2014. Cool and wet conditions throughout the week produced a fast racing surface that did have a few rough spots in the turns which was to be expected.
The late models were first to take the track for their feature with Mike Pegher, Jr and John Garvin leading the field of 21 cars to green. Garvin was able to get the jump for the lead, but Todd Bachman spun on the opening lap and Tommy Beck was also involved bringing out the first yellow flag.
Once the field got back to green it was Garvin again who got the jump and he pulled out from the rest of the field. As he started to get into lapped traffic Alex Ferree was able to get around Pegher for 2nd and Russ King who started 10th was able to get by the number 1 Cochran Automotive car to move into third. Garvin continued to enjoy a nice lead until Jared Miley made contact with Sam Eichelberger who was trying to get to the infield. Miley slowed to a stop to bring out the yellow on lap 13.
When the field returned to green the race took a huge turn when Garvin hit a rut in turn one and spun off the track between turns one and two bringing out the yellow.
Ferree inherited the lead and led the field back to green, but the caution would fly again when Doug Glessner hit a rut in turn two and got airborne collecting Michael Norris. Both cars were done for the evening.
On the next restart Brian Swartzlander and Garrett Krummert were able to get by Pegher for third and fourth. The caution would fly again on lap 16 for Gary Lyle who blew a right rear tire. A yellow would quickly slow the field again right after the cars took the green when Chuck Sarver’s car broke running fifth.
A debris caution slowed the field on lap 18 and when the field returned to racing Feree got a good jump to keep the lead on King. As the cars took the white flag Garvin and Pegher made contact on the front straightaway causing both cars to hit hard into the wall bringing out a red flag. Garvin was shaken up from the accident, but did walk away. Pegher was ok too, but both cars suffered severe damage.
Ferree survived another restart and was able to pick up the victory. King finished second, followed by 14th starting Krummert, Brian Swartzlander and Kenny Schaltenbrand. Nine cars finished the feature.
1. Alex Ferree, Saxonburg 2. Russ King, Bristolville, OH, 3. Garrett Krummert, New Castle, 4. Brian Swartzlander Leechburg, 5. Kenny Schaltenbrand, Sarver 6. Doug Eck, Corry 7. Dan Swartzlander, Sarver, 8. Brandon Wearing, Renfrew, 9. Bo Lockwood, Brookville, 10. John Garvin, Jr, Sarver.
Heat winners, King, Miley, Feree.
The Modifieds were next in the program with Tom Winkle and Rex King, Jr sharing the front row. King, Jr was able to get the lead on the start and fourth starting Mat Williamson quickly moved into second. Williamson’s fortunes quickly turned sour though as his car would roll to a stop on lap 2.
King, Jr got back to the lead on the restart while his dad eighth starting Rex King, Sr moved into second. Trouble struck on lap 5 when Tommy Marshall lost a wheel on the front stretch and flew up in the air. Fortunately the car landed back on the three wheels it still had on the car and did not roll over.
The 156 car of King, Jr roared back into the lead on the restart with his father in tow. Brian Swartzlander moved by Winkle into third and challenged King, Sr for second until his car suffered a mechanical issue sending him to the pits on lap 15.
King, Jr would extend his lead to a straightaway and pick up the win over his dad, Dave Murdick, Winkle and Brad Rapp.
When asked about his father running behind him by Dow Carnahan in victory lane, King, Jr joked with the track announcer saying “I don’t need to worry about him, He’s getting old.”
1. Rex King, Jr Bristolville, OH, 2. Rex King, Sr, Bristolville, OH, 3. Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock, 4. Tommy Winkle, Mars, 5. Brad Rapp, Shippenville 6. Jim Rasey, Southington, OH, 7. Tom Glenn, Barkeyville, 8. Steve Feder, Butler, 9. Rick Regalski, Slippery Rock, 10. Bob Warren, Slippery Rock.
Hear Winners, Rapp, Mat Williamson
The Sprints were up next and it was a pair of Brandon’s Matus and Spithaler who had the front row.
Matus took the lead from the pole position and motored away, but a hard flip in turn three by Bob McMillin and Charlie Cornelius brought out a red flag on lap one. Both drivers were alright, and Cornelius despite wing damage continued in the race.
Matus again would get the lead with Spithaler and Carl Bowser following suit. Bowser passed Spithaler a few laps into the race and set his sights on the 13 car.
As both encountered lapped traffic Bowser got beside Matus, but the driver known as the Wheelman, slid past two lapped cars running side by side to keep the lead. Bowser continued to put the pressure on and was able to find his way by on lap 13. A lap later Dan Shetler would spin to a stop on the backstretch.
When the field returned to green Bowser powered away from the field. Matus would experience mechanical trouble that would force him to the pits.
Bowser on an absolute rail was able to pull out to a huge lead en route to a victory over Cole Duncan, Brandon Spithaler, Jack Sodeman, Jr and Eric Williams.
1. Carl Bowser, Sarver, 2. Cole Duncan, Lockbourne, OH, 3. Brandon Spithaler, Evans City, 4. Jack Sodeman, Jr, North Jackson, OH, 5. Eric Williams, Greenville, 6. Jared Zimbardi, Bradford, 7. Cory Good, Smicksburg 8. Mike Lutz, Wampum, 9. Dan Shetler, Johnstown, 10. Brent Matus, Wampum.
Heat Winners, Carl Bowser, Brandon Matus, Dan Shetler.
The Sportsman feature capped off the evening with Rob Shook and Wayne Carbo on the front row. Shook took the early lead and was able to pull to about a five carlength lead over the field in the early stages of the race. Corey McPherson quickly moved his way by Carbo to get into second and started to run down Shook.
At about the midway point of the race McPherson was able to get around Shook in lapped traffic to take the lead.
While McPherson was able to set sail in front the racing was fierce in the middle of the top five as Mark Sanders and Joe Kelley dueled it out for third with Kelley forging ahead to get the spot.
The race ran caution free as McPherson cruised to victory over Shook, Kelley, Sanders and Jim Fosnaught.
1. Corey McPherson, Tarentum, 2. Rob Shook, Creighton, 3. Joe Kelley, Mt. Pleasant, 4. Mark Sanders, Lowellville, OH, 5. Jim Fosnaught, Bairdford, 6. Wayne Carbo, Saxonburg, 7. Bob Egley, Kittanning, 8. Joe Zambotti, Kittanning, 9. Terry Young, Butler, 10. Aaron Easler, Butler.
Heat Winners, McPherson, Sanders, Brett Mcdonald
Next week the All Star Circuit of Champions make their annual visit to the Sarver oval with $5,000 on the line for the Sprint Cars. Rush Crates and Mods will be on the card as well.