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The Story From Lernerville; Lynch Survives Flick; King Holds Off Miley; King Jr and Young Reach Victory Lane

A rather gloomy morning gave way to crystal clear blue skies and warm temperatures for  opening night at Don Martin’s Lernerville Speedway as 83 cars turned took to the clay, many for the first time in 2015.

The recent spring rains helped to produce a very fast surface and action that was not for the feint of heart as several red flags waved throughout the four features.  And at the end of four features, familiar faces made their way to victory lane, disrupting a pair of upsets in the making in the Sprint and Modified features.






Sprints:

Brent Matus and Ralph Spithaler, who hadn’t made an appearance at the action track in quite some time, brought the opening feature of the night to the green flag, but it was Eric “Turkey” Williams that took the initial lead while AJ Flick vaulted to second in the early laps. 

Lurking behind them both was one Ed Lynch Jr who wasted no time getting making his presence known. The all time leading sprint feature winner in Lernerville history was flying from the get go and on lap six both he and Flick managed their way by Williams. From that point on, it was a two man battle for the win, and Flick who led the majority of the laps while Lynch looked content to be patient and wait for the perfect moment.

Pat Miller Photo



But Lynch’s patience almost wasn’t rewarded as Flick maneuvered through lapped traffic using the mid to high groove while he kept Lynch at bay. But as Flick was attempting to lap Brandon Matus, he jumped the cushion in turn two and managed to get into the marbles coming out of turn four on lap 22, opening the door for Lynch to make his way around.  Flick could not find a way to build up enough momentum to challenge Lynch for the lead once it was lost, but still came home a strong second.  Brandon Spithaler charged forward from his ninth starting spot to round out the podium.

Pat Miller Photo




Top 10: 

1. Ed Lynch Jr
2. AJ Flick
3. Brandon Spithaler
4. Eric Williams
5. Ralph Spithaler
6. Lee Jacobs
7. Brandon Matus
8. Brent Matus
9. Dan Shetler
10 Sye Lynch



Late Models:

For the second straight year, Russ King ruled the Late Models on opening night holding off Jared Miley and Alex Free. However this year, the Bristolville, OH native had to overcome a track that was starting to change and a revamped Kenny Schaltenbrand who had jumped out to the early lead looking strong in doing so.

Schaltenbrand lead Jared Miley in the early laps with King staying close in third until the caution flag waved on lap seven for Tony Musolino. Miley took the lead and stuck to the low side of the track while King was making great time up top.  Schaltenbrand would then drop out of the running on lap 11, suffering a mechanical issue which brought out the caution. 


Pat Miller Photo



On the ensuing restart, King put Miley behind him to take the lead, but Miley would stay close until a lap 21 caution brought the field together one last time. And out of nowhere the crowd saw 15th starting Alex Ferree who’d picked his way through the cautions and the rest of the field to become a player for the feature win.

Ferree would take second from Jared Miley with one lap to go, but neither could run down King who was the class of the field yet again on opening night.

Top 10:

1. Russ King
2. Alex Ferree
3. Jared Miley
4. Mike Pegher Jr
5. Doug Eck
6. Dan Swartzlander
7. Gary Lyle
8. Todd Bachman
9. Jim Kurpakas
10 Chris Rhodes



Modifieds:

In the wildest feature of the night, Rex King Jr survived the competition and the carnage to take the victory.  The 2014 track champion started on the pole and narrowly avoided disaster in the first set of turns as contact claimed Mat Williamson and Dave Murdick before lap 1 was in the books. 

Williamson would return, with a completely re-arranged right rear quarter panel as the race resumed as King Jr sprinted out to the early lead.  The action was halted on lap three when Carl Murdick flipped on his roof in turn two. Murdick was okay, and when the race resumed, King Jr was run down and passed by New York invader Justin Wright on lap 6.  Wright looked like he had the car to beat for the majority of race and maneuvered through the lapped traffic with ease as King Jr followed him through staying close to the leader.

Pat Miller Photo

Wright survived a restart and was back to pounding the cushion when Garrett Krummert brought out the yellow on lap 22.  King Jr then made his way around on the restart but could not get very far before the red flag flew again when Steve Feder took a wild ride on the front stretch, going airborne in the process.

Wright had one final chance, but couldn’t manage to get back around King Jr in the final two lap shootout.
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Behind all the action, Williamson came from the tail of the field following the opening lap melee to pass Brian Swartzlander in the waning laps for a hard fought podium finish.

1. Rex King Jr
2. Justin Wright
3. Mat Williamson
4. Brian Swartzlander
5. Mike Turner
6. Rex King Sr
7. Shawn Fleeger
8. Tom Winkle
9. Jeremiah Shingledecker
10. Jeff Miller

Stocks:

Terry Young pulled off a Rex King Jr in the sportsman stock division, garnering the opening night victory for a second year in a row.  But it would be no easy win for Young who came from his 9th starting spot to earn the victory.

Joey Zambotti and Mark Sanders led the field to green but it took less than two laps for Paul Schreckengost to take early control of the race.  Behind him, Brett McDonald and Bob Egley charged forward to second and third respectively.  The action stopped on lap 15 when rookie of the year Aaron Easler, Joe Kelley and 2014 champion Jim Fosnaught tangled in turn 2 to bring out the caution and set up a five lap dash to the checkered.

Pat Miller Photo



Young would not entertain any visions of a thrilling finish as he checked out and put an exclamation point on the night while Bob Egley snagged second away from Mike Miller as the laps wound down.

Top 10

1. Terry Young
2. Bob Egley
3. Mike Miller
4. Corey McPherson
5. Paul Schreckengost
6. Brett McDonald
7. Rob Shook
8. Joe Kelley
9. Wayne Carbo
10. Joe Zambotti

To Check out our own Pat Miller’s brilliant photo album from opening night click here

For the full field rundown courtesy of Lernerville.com click here

The Fab Four return next Friday night for round two at Lernerville Speedway. 

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