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The Story From Lernerville; Ferree Goes Back To Back; Feder Stuns In First Career Victory; Mumaw Wires Sprints; McPherson Bests Stocks

Fireworks were on display at Lernerville Speedway Friday night. And as breathtaking as they were, they were matched in intensity by an evening of racing that played out before a near capacity crowd with several dramatic finishes. The evening produced a first time winner when veteran modified pilot Steve Feder pulled of last lap pass for the victory in the Diehl Automotive Modifieds, and a back to back winner in Alex Ferree who took home his second feature win in a row with a perfectly placed slide job at a critical time in the Precise Racing Products Late Models. Ohio invader Danny Mumaw made his first outing of the season a memorable one by edging AJ Flick in the Peoples Gas Dirt Car Sprints, and Corey McPherson ran away from the field in Millerstown Pic-A-Part Sportsman action.

Precise Racing Products Late Models

Michael Norris had been hit with virtually nothing but bad luck in the early part of the season. From bad pill draws, to mechanical gremlins, to simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But on this night, he found himself in possession of the pill that put him on the pole and early on, he looked unstoppable.

Norris and Doug Eck brought the field to the green flag, and immediately Norris made his presence known as he made straight for the cushion and in the first three laps had built up a sizable gab between himself and Eck. Behind them, a menacing pack of fast cars were charging forward which included Russ King, Matt Lux, and Mike Pegher Jr and also Michael Lake who had managed to climb from 12th to sixth in the first four laps.   Progress was then halted as two cautions slowed the pace in the early going. And on a lap six restart, the fortunes of Eck who’d been running a strong second and Pegher Jr were changed in an instant when Eck got sideways in turn two, and Todd Bachmann broke running down the backstretch leaving Pegher Jr. no place to go.

John Stivason Photo

On the subsequent restart, Lux got a great jump down low, but Norris found the momentum coming off of turn two on the high side and regained the lead.   Alex Ferree enjoyed a strong restart as well and made his way to the third spot while behind him Lake had difficulty with the turn four cushion which would dash his chances at moving forward into serious contention. By lap nine, the field had strung out with Norris still in the lead, but Lux found a way to catch up to his rear and commenced to battle for the lead.  By lap 12, with heavy lapped traffic coming into play, Ferree took a gamble and it paid off as he made a bold charge into turns three and four, finding a way to make his way around not only Lux, but just ahead of Norris too as he took the lead at the halfway point, completing the charge from his ninth place starting spot.

King then started working on Norris for the second spot which helped enable Ferree to stretch out a more comfortable lead. But by lap 17, Ferree was in heavy lapped traffic which he cleared with no issues as King was able to dive under Norris on lap 19 to wrest away the second position. However, neither King nor Norris were able to mount any type of serious threat down the stretch as Ferree took his 35th career Lernerville feature win.

“That was a lot of fun there tonight, I know a lot of other guys didn’t have a whole lot of fun, but I sure did,” Ferree said. “Hopefully we can keep going, I’ve got a long way to keep going to catch Lynn Geisler. I feel bad for Norris, he was good, he started up front and once we got into lapped traffic I just kind of pinned him in and I got lucky and it worked. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.”

Top 10:

1. Alex Ferree
2. Russ King
3. Michael Norris
4. Matt Lux
5. Michael Lake
6. Gary Lyle
7. Brandon Wearing
8. Matt Latta
9. Kevin Kohan
10. Mike Miller

Diehl Automotive Modifieds

From the start of the modified feature, most eyes were fixated on Mat Williamson and his attempt to take a fourth straight feature win starting from the very back of the pack.  But if they were focusing on Williamson too long, they missed out on one of the best feel good stories in recent Lernerville history, and one of the best races in recent history as well. Veteran modified driver Steve Feder had been so close to victory lane he could taste it over the years, but on this night, he not only round it, but resoundingly so in a performance that will be talked about for years to come.

Feder and Michael Maresca made up the front row and from the outset, Feder looked to have a strong car and the ability to put it wherever he wanted to with authority. Behind him Maresca looked to be in complete control of the second spot while Rex King Sr. and Brian Swartzlander eventually found their way forward to the third and fourth positions. By lap nine, Feder was encountering lapped traffic as Maresca followed through patiently behind him. Meanwhile, Swartzlander made contact with Shawn Kozaar on the front stretch which thwarted his forward progress and potential battle with King Sr. for third.

John Stivason Photo

By the halfway point, it was clear Feder and his car meant business, and were not in front by accident as he hit his marks consistently and with accuracy. It appeared he was well on his way to victory lane, even as a large pack of lapped cars were running just ahead of him, his lead never seemed contested or even precarious. But a Dave Reges flat tire on lap 22 brought out the yellow flag.

It was a caution that he never wanted to see, but it provided the moment which will be remembered for a very long time.  On the following restart, Feder elected the inside row, allowing Maresca to take the outside and all the momentum that comes with it as he took over the top spot. And to add insult to injury, King Sr. then started to make his way around Feder with less than two laps left. Feder’s moment was slipping away. But on the final green flag lap, he pulled off the move of the night when he went to the top side with authority in a last chance gasp that he pulled off as he made the cushion work for him. Feder drove a perfect final lap, which turned out the be the fastest lap of the race ironically enough,  and made his way around Maresca on the final set of turns and held on until he crossed the finish line first, for the first time in his Lernerville career.

“It’s so amazing, it’s been such a long time and we’ve been coming here a lot of years and we’ve been so close before,” an emotional Feder said in victory lane. “Right there at the end I thought I almost lost it and it was just like I can’t let this go. I just figured checkers or wreckers let’s go like hell on top. I got a little panicked maybe when we first started off on that last restart and i wondered if I should have taken the bottom or top, and after he (Maresca) got by I said we gotta go to the top, and we haven’t been there very much but I bet we can do it.”

Top 10:

1. Steve Feder
2. Michael Maresca
3. Mat Williamson
4. Rex King
5. Brian Swartzlander
6. JR McGinley
7. Rex King Jr.
8. Jimmmy Weller III
9. Kevin Bolland
10. Tom Winkle

Peoples Gas Dirt Car Sprints

Ohio native Danny Mumaw and central Pennyslvania’s Logan Wagner couldn’t resist the allure of fireworks, and a night at the action track. And so they made there way to the show to take on points leader Scott Priester and two time feature winner AJ Flick and company and wound up taking two of the three podium spots.

Mumaw started on the point alongside Davey Jones, and proceeded to check out early as Dan Shetler quickly made his way around Jones to take the second position. Jones then spun in front of the field in turn four on lap two and in miraculous fashion, avoided contact. On the ensuing restart, Shetler took a look underneath Mumaw for the lead, but the invader was too strong on the top side and he re-asserted himself as the leader while behind him, Shetler, Flick, Wagner and Alex Paden started jockeying for position.

John Stivason Photo

Mumaw then got into his first dose of lapped traffic on lap seven as Shetler drew closer running on the bottom, almost taking the lead from Mumaw on lap nine. The battle for the lead was just starting to get ramped up when Paden made contact down the front stretch and then somersaulted, landing on all four tires to bring out the red flag.    

Once action got back underway, Mumaw checked out once again as Flick set his sights on Shetler, while Wagner set his sights on Flick, attempting a slide job that came up just short in an attempt to take the third spot away from him. Following a caution on lap 14, Flick made his way past Shetler and also past Mumaw for a brief moment as a three car battle for the lead ensued, but by lap 17, Mumaw regained complete control and kept it the rest of the way en route to his first career Lernerville victory as he shut the door on Flick’s last lap slide job attempt.

“I’d been wanting to get here since the last time I was here and we got a little more help this year so hopefully we can make this a weekly thing for us,” Mumaw said. “I think it’s easier for me to carry momentum around the top, and I thought he (Flick) had me a couple of times and I lucked out getting around him in turn four, otherwise it would have been me chasing him.”

Top 10:

1. Danny Mumaw
2. AJ Flick
3. Logan Wagner
4. Brandon Matus
5. Dan Shetler
6. Brent Matus
7. Dan Kuriger
8. Jack Sodeman Jr.
9. Carl Bowser
10. John Garvin Jr.

Millerstown Pic-A-Part Sportsman

Fans in attendance were chomping at the bit when they saw the sportsman stock feature make it’s way onto the speedway as the two of the winning-est drivers in history started second and third on the grid in Joe Kelley and Corey McPherson.

Brandon Wearing set the pace for part of a lap, bringing the field to the green flag, but it didn’t take Kelley long to put himself in the lead with McPherson directly behind in the early going.  The battle then became delayed by a caution on lap three for a Sadie Siegel spin. Once action resumed, McPherson went to his office, also known as the top side of the speedway and began pounding the cushion, sometimes even going over it, to make his way around Kelley fo the lead.  Behind them, and running on the bottom were Aaron Easler and Tyler Dietz who made their way forward in the early going.

Pat Miller Photo

On lap five, Easler made his way around Wearing for good as both he and Dietz prepared to chase down the front runners. McPherson then found himself approaching lapped traffic on lap 10 which he dispensed of with a sence of immediacy. McPherson looked to be firmly in command when the caution flag waved again on lap 17 which re stacked the field with less than three laps to go. But on the following restart, McPherson got a great jump and went unchallenged the rest of the way en route to his third victory of the season. Kelley would slip over the banking on the back stretch on the final lap, allowing Joey Zambotti to finish his charge from his 9th starting spot to second place on the night.

“There was definitely more bite up top on the cushion it felt like and I just got my car dialed in up top,” McPherson said. “If you noticed on the restarts, I was actually up above the cushion where all the grip was, and I just got shot out of a cannon on the restart and it was great. It’s awesome, anybody that knows my crew knows that we started stocks knowing nothing. We had no family members or friends that were involved, we just got into it ourselves and this is where we’re at now, and my goal is to work towards Joe Kelley’s win total and top that.”

Top 10:

1. Corey McPherson
2. Joey Zambotti
3. Tyler Dietz
4. Terry Young
5. Aaron Easler
6. Brett McDonald
7. Pat Hanley
8. Brian Stivenson
9. Joe Kelley
10. Brandon Wearing



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