*Photos By Pat Miller
There was a little bit of everything on display at Lernerville on a beautiful if chilly Friday evening. A few wayward members of the World ofOutlaws late models put in an appearance and were bested by one Russ King. A more physical type of affair in the Diehl Automotive Group Modifieds saw Garrett Krummert take his first ever Lernerville victory. And a very racy surface greeted the drivers on hand as evidenced by three feature winners who came from 9th or further back at the start of their features to win including Carl Bowser, King and sportsman stock winner Corey McPherson.
World of Outlaw tour regulars Darrell Lanigan, Chub Frank and Boom Briggs stopped in to pay a visit on Friday night at the action track, perhaps to gain a little more seat time in preparation for next month’s Firecracker 100. However if any of them had the notion of coming out of the night with an easy victory, they were wrong on this particular evening.
Frank drew the pole for the 25 lap main event and bolted out to the early lead with Lanigan close behind him in the early going as well as a pack of local drivers including Michael Norris, Alex Ferree and Brian Swartzlander. Frank started approaching lapped traffic on lap five which allowed Lanigan to close in while behind them, Russ King starting mounting a forward charge.
An early pair of caution flags around the halfway mark would stall the forward momentum for the front runners, and shortly after a lap 11 restart, King and Ferree would find their way around Norris to take over the third and fourth positions. Norris had battled hard for much of the race, and had actually overtaken Lanigan for a brief period before succumbing to King and Ferree.
Meanwhile, Frank and Lanigan were setting a torrid pace with the latter gaining ground on the leader until another caution on lap 19 slowed the action. On the ensuing restart, Ferree and King were engaged in a hard fought battle for third with the laps counting down as Lanigan would attempt to dive underneath Frank on lap 22 in an effort to take the lead, but Frank would hang on for the meantime.
King then let it all hang out in an effort to go for the win, first picking off Lanigan on lap 22 then on lap 23, King threw a breathtaking slide job on Frank in turn two and made it stick, keeping enough momentum to stay ahead of Frank going down the backstretch. King never looked back the rest of the way, and found himself in victory lane for the third time in 2015.
“It was hard to get it going with all the cautions tonight,” King remarked. “I knew our stuff was really good tonight, our car is just really awesome and we get so much traction here at Lernerville, to get by and pass Chub was really special, he’s taught me a lot through the years.”
1. Russ King
2. Chub Frank
3. Darrell Lanigan
4. Alex Ferree
5. MIke Pegher Jr
6. Jared Miley
7. Kenny Schaltenbrand
8. Boom Briggs
9. John Mollick
10. Michael Norris
The gloves came off somewhere in the middle of the modified feature and when the dust settled, a steadily improving driver put an exclamation point on his first career win at Lernerville.
Jeff Miller and Shawn Fleeger started on the front row of the main event, but it was Rex King Sr who got out to the early lead putting a half a straightaway between himself and Fleeger in the early going. Jim Rasey, making his first Lernerville appearance of the season, brought out the first caution for a spin on lap four. And on the following restart. both Mat Williamson and Rex King Jr got good jumps and found themselves in the top five.
By lap 11, King Sr was getting reeled in by Krummert and Williamson with lapped traffic starting to become a factor. The top three were within a second of each other and primed for a battle for the win. On lap 14, King Jr got around Krummert to take the third spot as the second running Williamson managed to squeeze through some very tight spaces to keep King Sr in his sights while Krummert made his way back around King Jr on lap 17.
With his car finally in clean air, King Sr tried to put Williamson behind him for good, but the points leader and last week’s winner ran King Sr down and looked to make the pass for the win on lap 21. Williamson’s attempted pass came with a great deal of contact that sent King Sr into a spin, causing damage to both cars in the process as the caution flag waved for the last time in the main event.
The last four laps saw a wild finish with a series of slide jobs that were slightly more than contact free to say the least. Krummert found a way to throw such a slide job on Williamson on lap 22 which put him in the lead and helped King Jr find his way around to retake the second spot which Williamson would eventually earn back. Behind them, Dave Murdick and Brian Swartzlander would come from further back in the field to grab the third and fourth spots as the checkered flag waved.
Krummert stood in victory lane for the first time in his career at the action track, and it was a hard earned victory to say the least.
“I figured we had one shot, he (Williamson) left the bottom open and he slid me earlier so I figured I’d get him back,” said Krummert. “We bought this car two weeks before the season opened and haven’t changed a thing, it’s been awesome.”
1. Garrett Krummert
2. Mat Williamson
3. Dave Murdick
4. Brian Swartzlander
5. Rex King Jr
6. Mike Turner
7. Shawn Fleeger
8. Jim Rasey
9. Tom Winkle
10. Steve Feder
Carl Bowser won for the second time in three weeks, and it would not be an easy victory to say the least. Bowser charged forward from his 9th starting spot without much in the way of cautions and restarts in the win, and had to rundown a formidable trio in Brandon Matus, AJ Flick and Ed Lynch Jr.
Lynch Jr and Scott Priester would lead the field to the green flag, but it would take an early restart in the first few circuits before Bowser’s assualt on the field began. Once the racing resumed, Lynch Jr, Priester and Flick all made for the topside of the speedway and would remain in the top three positions for the first eight laps.
Behind them, Matus and Bowser started picking up the pace, each climbing into the top on lap nine, and they would make up significant ground on the front three when they both got a stroke of good luck on lap 12 when the caution flag waved for Ryan Fredericks.
On the ensuing restart, Bowser powered around Flick to take the second spot while Jack Sodeman Jr began a forward progression of his own, climbing from 11th to the top five in the middle portion of the feature.
Meanwhile, Lynch Jr was looking at a good deal of lapped traffic in front of him, and on lap 18, Bowser was able to rocket around him to take the lead which he would never relinquish despite some late pressure from Flick who would make one last ditch effort in the last set of turns in an attempt to steal the victory. The move would come up short though, and Flick found himself in familiar territory at the end of 25 laps with his fourth second place finish of the season.
“Hats off to the track crew,” Bowser said in victory lane. “That’s a really good track when you get two good grooves like that it made for some great side by side racing. When I got into traffic I knew I was slowing down and there were so many of them and I was so good up top that I didn’t want to come down. It’s been feast or famine this year, we’re either here in victory lane or we’re in the pits with 10 laps to go, but I think we’ve really got this thing figured out now.”
1. Carl Bowser
2. AJ Flick
3. Ed Lynch Jr
4. Jack Sodeman Jr
5. Brandon Spithaler
6. Brandon Matus
7. Scott Priester
8. Dan Kuriger
9. Brent Matus
10. Dan Shetler
Wayne Carbo was so close, but yet so far away. The veteran driver was well on his way to a win in the sportsman stocks when a late race caution and restart led to heartbreak city.
Brett McDonald and Joey Zambotti made up the front row for the start of the 20 lap main event. A pair of early cautions kept the momentum down in the first two laps. But, when the dust settled, Mcdonald, Wayne Carbo and Terry Young found themselves battling for the early lead. Carbo emerged from the threepack with a brief lead in the early laps while perenniel favorites Corey McPherson and Jim Fosnaught made their forwart charge filling in positions three and four.
Carbo maintained the advantage and showed no intent of slowing down as he approached lapped traffic at the midway point of the feature. Carbo was smooth in dispatching one lapped car behind him after another, but when Terry Young cleared the pack, the race for the lead was on. Young was set to overtake Carbo for the lead on lap 14 as he appeared to pass Carbo as the caution flag waved, however Carbo retained the top spot. Meanwhile, Corey McPherson had managed to climb from his 11th starting spot to fourth with a precious two laps remaining.
On the ensuing restart. Fosnaught and Joe Kelley entered the equation as well as Bob Egley while Carbo maintained a slim advantage. But the hotly contested battle for positions behind him helped him gain seperation, and he looked to be on his way to victory lane when the caution came out on lap 18.
On the following restart McPherson got a great jump and made his way past Carbo to take his third win of the season going away. Behind them, Jim Fosnaught moved into a podium spot while Egley and last week’s winner Joe Kelley rounded out the top five.
“Whenever I saw all of those guys running the low side, I saw the cushion was open and I decided to go for it,” McPherson said. “Whenever there’s a cushion you just have to find a way to be able to turn on it and we were able to do that. I think that’s the fastest way around the track.
1. Corey McPherson
2. Wayne Carbo
3. Jim Fosnaught
4. Bob Egley
5. Joe Kelley
6. Brett McDonald
7. Joey Zambotti
8. Mike MIller
9. Scott Byers
10. Aaron Easler