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The Story From Lernerville- Sweet Powers Past Schatz and Co.For First Lernerville Win; Bartchy Tops 305 Sprints

Tommy Hein/Hein Brothers Photograpy

Fall arrived at Lernerville Speedway on Saturday night as crisp temperatures greeted a huge crowd on hand for the Commonwealth Clash. And those, combined with a lack of sunshine and recent rains helped produce a fast, racy surface much to the delight of those in attendance. Those same fans were also treated to an action packed main event that saw four different leaders, intense battles in lapped traffic and a late race restart with less than a handful of laps remaining to throw some late race drama into the mix. 

Brad Sweet had a fast car all night it’s driver picked the perfect time to make it go just a little faster when it mattered most on Saturday night at The Action track. Sweet moved forward from his fifth starting spot, reeling in and passing one driver ahead of him at a time including World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Cars points leader Donny Schatz en route to his first career victory at Lernerville Speedway.

“I struggled for the first few years of my career at this track, it’s nice to come here and be as fast we’ve been this year,” Sweet said in victory lane following his eighth win of the season.  The track was great, there were so many options of where to go in lapped traffic. You could rimride on that thin ledge or get going around the bottom,”

Daryn Pittman brought the field to the green flag in a main event that took a few tries to get rolling as early cautions involving Brent Marks, Justin Henderson, and Shane Stewart all brought out yellow flags in the first three laps. However, once momentum was established in the 35 lap main event, it set a stage for a classic showdown between Pittman, Tim Shaffer, Donny Schatz and Sweet as the four drivers battled for positions for the next thirty laps. 

Tommy Hein Photo

Pittman assumed early control of the field and held the lead early on, holding off front row mate Shaffer on the early restarts. The Aliquippa, PA native would his way around the leader with six laps in the books on a slide job in the first set of turns.  Meanwhile, Schatz and Sweet were swapping the third spot at will just behind the leaders. With Shaffer in lapped traffic, Schatz and Sweet began to close in with every lap while managing to find a way around Pittman. Schatz was able to pull the string on a pass for the lead on lap 22 as he slid Shaffer in turn one for the spot.

“If you’re off a little bit, it’s a ton on the track,” Shaffer said. “I couldn’t run the middle or top, and those guys could run the middle. They have their cars balanced very well, and that’s what we’re working towards going.”

With Schatz aiming for yet another tour win and with the lead in the second half of the race, the stage seemed set for him to claim another Commonwealth Clash title. However, Sweet started to find a bit more speed than Schatz as the laps clicked of in the final third of the main event and managed to pull to Schatz’s tail tank on lap 26 and wasted no time in making his way around on lap 28.

Rick Rarer Photo

Once out front, Sweet faced one more restart following a caution with 32 laps down, and left no doubt about whom had the fastest car on this night as he drove away from the field and towards Terry Bowser Excavating Victory Lane. Shaffer would round out the podium while Logan Schuchart completed a strong performance with a fourth place finish.  Hard charger honors went to Danny Dietrich who managed to climb from his 14th starting spot to a sixth place finish.

“I didn’t have much grip and I’m not going to use Brad up or run myself off the track,” Schatz said “Luckily, I have these guys behind me and we’ll have more grip next time we come back.” 

In Allegheny Sprint Tour action, Robbie Bartchy led the 20 lap main event early on, holding off strong challenges from Roger Irvine and Tyler Denochik only to succumb to a pass by Jeff Miller on lap 14. Miller looked to have the top spot locked up as he managed to stretch a sizable lead over Bartchy until he jumped the cushion with 18 laps down. Due to time constraints, officials made the decision to checker the main event at that point, giving the win to Bartchy.

World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Cars Main Event- 35 Laps

1. (49) Brad Sweet
2. (15) Donny Schatz
3. (49X) Tim Shaffer
4. (1S) Logan Schuchart
5. (9) Daryn Pittman
6. (48) Danny Dietrich
7. (18) Ian Madsen
8. (5) David Gravel
9. (21) Brian Brown
10. (W20) Greg Wilson
11. (17) Sheldon Haudenschild
12. (11K) Kraig Kinser
13. (35) Justin Henderson
14. (2) Shane Stewart
15. (11) Carl Bowser
16. (07) Gerard McIntyre
17. (7S) Jason Sides
18. (29) Dan Shetler
19. (C1) Clay Riney
20. (2L) Sye Lynch
21. (40) George Hobaugh
22. (08) Dan Kuriger
23. (1A) Jacob Allen
24. (19) Brent Marks

Allegheny Sprint Tour 305 Sprint Cars Main Event- 20 Laps

1. (29B) Robbie Bartchy
2. (6) Tyler Denochik
3. (26) Ryan Lynn
4. (00S) Jimmy Seger
5. (880) Drew Ritchey
6. (4J) Jacob Gomola
7. (83) Larry McVay
8. (12J) Jonathan Jones
9. (21) Chad Hill
10. (27) Vinny Dougherty
11. (22) George Frederick
12. (37) Pete Landram
13. (72) Dave Guss Jr. 
14. (X7) Andy Cavanaugh
15. (99) Ray Sheetz
16. (28) Brian Wright
17. (79W) Will Fleming
18. (41) Matthew Gardia
19. (7) Richard Lawson
20. (57J) Jeff Miller
21. (12) Roger Irvine
22. (88) Greg Dobrosky
23. (12H) Eric Husick-Did Not Start
24. (17K) Steve Kenawell Jr- Did Not Start 
25. (80J) Kyle Colwell- Did Not Start



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