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The Story From Lernerville: Norris dominates to first of 2016, Sodeman & Williamson overcome mid-race mishaps to victory, Easler scores first career win.

Fab Four Racing fueled by Turner’s Premium Iced Teas returned to the Lernerville Speedway for another Friday night of racing.  While Michael Norris cruised to his first victory of 2016 in the Precise Late Models, Mat Williamson adverted a mid-race incident to record his sixth victory of the season in the Diehl Automotive Modifieds. Jack Sodeman Jr. scored the victory over a 31 car Peoples TWP Sprint Car field in the final tuneup prior to Tuesday’s Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup.  And in the Millerstown Pic-A-Part Sportsman nightcapper, Aaron Easler took full advantage of a late race restart to score his first career victory.

Precise Racing Late Models

Michael Norris has had his share of mechanical issues and misfortunes this season, but on this night everything came together for the Sarver driver.
Pat Miller Photo
Joe Martin advanced to the lead on the opening lap via the outside pole. But by lap 2, Norris already closed from the 5th starting position and took the lead away on the inside of Martin.  Norris quickly stretched the lead, while Martin slid high off turn 2 on lap 4, handing the runner up spot to Mike Pegher Jr.  A lap 5 caution for Jim Rasey slowed the early pace.  On the restart, Matt Lux  charged low by both Norris and Pegher to momentarily take the lead going down the backstretch.  Norris was able to cross back over to lead lap 6 at the flagstand before another caution was displayed.
 On this restart, Lux drove high on the cushion and would make contact with Martin, causing Lux to fall back several spots.  Meanwhile, Norris again raced out to the lead over Pegher, while Russell King and Alex Ferree made their way around Martin and began a battle for 3rd.  King, last week’s winner, was able to make his way around Ferree for 3rd on lap 11, while Norris stretched the advantage to nearly a straightaway over Pegher by halfway. 

As the laps counted down, Norris comfortably lead over Pegher, who began to feel pressure from King. Norris navigated some lap traffic in the closing laps, but otherwise went unchallenged the rest of the way to victory. “We’ve just had some misfortune here and there, but still I’d rather not be anywhere else on a Friday night, it’s just a dream come true,” Norris stated. 
Pat Miller Photo
King overtook Pegher with two laps to go to take the runner up spot. Pegher settled for 3rd and Martin shook off mid-race challenges from Ferree to finish 4th.
Top 10:
1. Michael Norris 
2. Russ King 
3. Mike Pegher Jr.
4. Joe Martin
5. Alex Ferree
6. Kenny Schaltenbrand
7. Matt Lux
8. Gary Lyle
9. Todd Bachman
10. Andrew Wylie

Diehl Automotive Group Modifieds

Mat Williamson had already made his way to victory lane five times this season, but capturing his sixth win would not come so easy.
Rex King Jr. and Randy Chrysler paced the sixteen car field to green, and it was King who advanced to the lead as Chrysler held chase. Dave Murdick and Garrett Krummert were able to break away to run 3rd and 4th, respectively, but a fierce battle took shape for the 5th spot between several drivers.  Williamson made quick work of the battle as his #6 machine went from 9th to 5th in one turn on lap 4. 
King began to extend his lead before Rodney Beltz brought out the caution on lap 7. Once again, King held the point, although he abruptly faced new challengers in the next two laps.  Williamson made his way into second, while last starting Erick Rudolph followed right behind to take 3rd.  
Pat Miller Photo
While King ran a higher line, Williamson had his car glued to the bottom and found traction to make the pass for the lead on lap 10 but a caution negated it.  Having seen where Williamson found this traction, King took the low groove on the restart, and it was a fight for the bottom for the top 3 heading into turn 1.  Rudolph drove in too hot and made contact with Williamson, sending him spinning up the track and making hard contact with Chrysler.  However, Williamson made a miraculous recovery to keep the car pointed in the right direction, while Chrysler and Krummert got the worst of the incident, as the caution was displayed.
On the following restart, this time, Williamson made his way to the outside of King and took the lead away with a strong run off the high side of turn 4.  By lap 14, Rudolph made his way around King to take 2nd.  Another caution was displayed on lap 17 for Tom Glenn. Williamson checked out once again on the restart, as he flawlessly  ran the top in turns 3 and 4, and the lower groove in 1 and 2 .  Rudolph began to fade in the closing laps and would barely held off King at the line to finish 2nd. 
“We started on the top and the lane was clear right to the bottom and Erick drove in so hard there if he didn’t hit me, he probably would have ended up in the cornfield”, Williamson expressed regarding the restart incident with Rudolph. “So it’s unnecessary, you don’t need to race like that and we certainly don’t. Everybody else here is great to race with. I’m just happy to be here”.
Pat Miller Photo 
Top 10:
1. Mat Williamson 
2. Erick Rudolph
3. Rex King Jr.
4. Dave Murdick
5. Jeremiah Shingledecker
6. Brian Swartzlander
7. Tom Winkle
8. Steve Feder
9. Michael Mareseca
10. JR McGinley

Peoples TWP Sprint Cars

Ralph Spithaler and Carl Bowser led the field to green, but it was third starting AJ Flick who took the lead on the opening lap.  And by just the third lap, Sodeman, who started 8th, already had his sights set on Flick after taking 2nd away from Bowser.  And on lap 5, Sodeman slid by Flick going into turn 1 to take the lead.  Sodeman stretched his lead over Flick in the following laps, and behind them Spithaler, Bowser and Dan Kuriger battled for 3rd.
Pat Miller Photo
Heading into lap traffic, Flick began to pressure Sodeman for the lead. As the two drove into turn 4 on lap 10, Sodeman had to check up for the spinning lap car of Clay Rinney, resulting in front wing damage for the #23JR. Flick took full advantage and drove back into the lead while Sodeman continued on in second. A caution for Australian Sean Zemunik on lap 13 slowed the field  and allowed the battle between the top two to again take shape on a clear track.
Sodeman kept pace with Flick on the restart and slowly bided his time on the slick surface.  He made his move to the low side of Flick heading into turn 1 once again and reclaimed the top spot on lap 20.  With a big lead in hand coming to the white flag, Sodeman avoided one last obstacle as another lap car spun in front of him.   Flick, Spithaler, Bowser and John Garvin Jr., who charged from 15th, completed the top five.  

Pat Miller Photo

Top 10:
1. Jack Sodeman Jr.
2. AJ Flick
3. Ralph Spithaler
4. Carl Bowser
5. John Garvin Jr.
6. Dan Kuriger
7. Darin Gallagher
8. Brandon Spithaler
9. Ralph Engle, Jr.
10. Dan Shetler

Millerstown Pic-A-Part Crate Sportsman

For the second straight occasion, a first time winner graced victory lane in the Sportsman division following Tyler Dietz’s victory last week.  Three straight cautions slowed the pace in the 20 lap feature.  Aaron Easler and Bob Egley battled for the lead early on, and it was Easler who led until another caution was displayed for Scott Byers and Dietz  on lap 6.  Easler remained in front running his preferred line around the bottom, while Egley started to look high for a way around.  Corey McPherson and Pat Hanley battled for third for several laps behind the leaders, while Egley closed right on the rear of Easler before another caution at the halfway point.
Pat Miller Photo
A similar battle for the lead ensued between Egley and Easer in the following laps, until Egley used the momentum around the high side to charge into the lead on lap 15.  Just one lap later, a three car spin in turn 4 again slowed the pace.  More problems transpired with just one more lap completed, as Terry Young and Jim Fosnaught tangled off turn 4 with 17 laps completed.
This set up one final restart, as Egley again took to the outer grove on the restart, leaving the bottom open for Easler.  This allowed Easler to slide up in front of Egley and retake the advantage heading down the backstretch. From there, Easler went unchallenged to record his first career Lernerville victory.  Paul Schreckengost made a last race charge on the inside to get by Egley for 2nd, while Egley, McPherson and Hanley completed the top 5.

Pat Miller Photo
Top 10:
1. Aaron Easler
2. Paul Schreckengost
3. Bob Egley
4. Corey McPherson
5. Pat Hanley
6. Brett McDonald
7. Tyler Dietz
8. Brandon Wearing
9. Jeff Miller
10. Jim Fosnaught



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