Teenager Michael Lake makes history with Late Model win
Williamson and Zambotti repeat, Sodeman dominates
Sarver, PA (May 27, 2016) Lernerville Speedway kicked off the Memorial Day race weekend with another Fab4 Fueled by Turner’s Friday on a summer-like evening. Mat Williamson made an impressive late race charge to repeat in the Modifieds on Diehl Automotive Night. Jack Sodeman Jr. claimed the Peoples Sprint feature in dominating fashion, while Michael Lake earned his first career Lernerville victory in the Precise Late Models. And in the nightcapper, Joey Zambotti scored his second win of the season in the Pic-A-Part Sportsman feature that saw many twists and turns.
Diehl Automotive DIRTcar Northeast Big Block Modifieds
Steve Feder and Rick Regalski led the 20 car field to green, but it was Rex King Jr. who advanced into the lead in the first corner from the third starting position. Garrett Krummert slid high off turn 3 to bring out the yellow after the opening lap was completed. On the restart, King rode the cushion to keep the top spot while Feder and Rodney Beltz held chase.
By lap 5, last week’s winner Mat Williamson had charged to the 5th position after passing both JR McGinley and Regalski. Williamson then caught Brian Swartzlander, and the two battled for 4th for several laps as both gained ground on 3rd place running Beltz. On lap 11, Williamson took two for one, as he charged past both Swartzlander and Beltz to move into 3rd. At the halfway point, King found himself in heavy lap traffic and would see his lead stabilize over Feder, who continued to run a strong race in 2nd.
The race remained caution free, as King continued to run out front, hammer down on the cushion. However, Williamson would make up significant ground running a lower groove, which allowed the St. Catharines, Ontario driver to take 2nd from Feder on lap 19. This left Williamson just six circuits to run down King, who begun to struggle to keep his earlier pace on the cushion in the subsequent laps.
And by lap 21, Williamson was within car lengths of King and closing quickly. On the following lap, King lost significant ground again going high in turns 1 and 2. Williamson capitalized and charged past on the inside to the take the top spot with just three laps to go.
“We had a good car tonight, but to be honest, I think he (King Jr.) hurt something later in the race, because it wasn’t like him”, Williamson said. “It was like he didn’t have power down the straightaways like he normally does. When it’s hammer down like this, it’s tough on motors, but it’s an amazing facility and we’re just happy to be here in victory lane. We have a great combination going on right now, and I just get in it and drive.”
King Jr and Feder settled for podium spots, while Swartzlander and Kevin Bolland scored top 5 finishes.
- Mat Williamson
- Rex King Jr.
- Steve Feder
- Brian Swartzlander
- Kevin Bolland
- JR McGinley
- Jeremiah Shingledecker
- Rodney Beltz
- Jimmy Weller
- Dave Murdick
Peoples Natural Gas DIRTcar Sprints
Jack Sodeman Jr. drew the pole position and would set the early pace over third starting Dan Shetler. In the early going, Shetler looked low to find a way to the lead, but Sodeman held strong on the cushion to remain out in front. Behind the two leaders, Brandon Matus and AJ Flick each quickly moved through the field. By lap 7, 9th starting Matus overtook Scott Priester to claim 3rd.
Sodeman extended his lead to near a straightaway by lap 10, but towards the halfway point, Shetler begun to chip away at the lead in lap traffic. Flick advanced to 4th from the 12th starting spot on lap 12 and set his sights on Matus in the following laps. The two battled side by side for several laps, but Matus held off Flick for the position. The red flag was then displayed on lap 15 for Brandon Spithaler, who went for a wild wide in turn 4.
On the restart, Sodeman raced out to a big advantage, while Flick charged past Matus to take 3rd and then would challenge Shetler for 2nd. Flick and Shetler exchanged sliders and battled hard for several laps for the runner up spot, allowing Sodeman to extend his lead. Flick was able to take 2nd from Shetler for good on lap 20. However, on lap 22, Flick slid off the backstretch and would retire from the event after making a strong charge through the field.
Sodeman went on to victory in convincing fashion, leading all 25 laps. “You just go as hard as you can every lap and those guys can battle for it behind me can do that every week, I’m getting to be an old man and need all the help I can get,” Sodeman remarked. “I have to dedicate this race to my mom first and foremost and of course Dow (Carnahan), It’s a bit weird being in victory lane not being interviewed by him. We miss him, but I’m sure he’s looking down on us.”
At the line, Shetler barely held off a Matus slider to claim the runner up spot. Priester drove back to 4th on the final restart, and Ralph Spithaler held off John Garvin Jr and Carl Bowser to come home in 5th.
- Jack Sodeman Jr.
- Dan Shetler
- Brandon Matus
- Scott Priester
- Ralph Spithaler
- John Garvin Jr.
- Carl Bowser
- Alex Paden
- Michael Bauer
- Clay Riney
Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models
After experiencing problems while being in contention last week, young Michael Lake again looked strong from the outside pole position. In the early laps, Lake battled with pole sitter Dan Swartzlander and by lap 4, Lake had taken the top spot away. Mike Pegher Jr, Swartzlander and Matt Lux were under a blanket for 2nd for several laps, while Alex Ferree and Russ King quickly entered the equation as well. Lake checked out running the cushion, while Lux finally was able to shake Pegher for 2nd by lap 9.
The first caution was displayed on lap 10 for Swartzlander, who spun at the end of the frontstretch. Lake chose the outside on the lap 10 restart and would shoot out to the lead. But the next lap, Lake drove off the top off turns 1 and 2 and appeared to surrender the lead and several positions as well. However, a caution was displayed for Tony Musolino who had spun in a separate incident, which allowed Lake to remain the leader.
Lake took full advantage of this break, as he again drove away to the lead on the restart, while Lux, Pegher, Ferree and King followed in the same groove. The field begun to string out and by lap 18, Lake was extending his lead in lap traffic. Pegher made a pass for 2nd on lap 22 but one last caution was displayed for Tom Bateman, negating the pass. Lake drove a flawless restart and won in impressive fashion over Lux and Pegher, while King took 4th away from Ferree on the final restart.
“Well I went to four wheel brakes because I had it on three and I wanted to see if I could drive it into the corner a little bit harder and I guess the brake line broke somewhere and I couldn’t slow down going into the corner and the 36 spun and I got my spot back,” Lake said in Dlubak Powder Coatings Victory Lane regarding his near misfortune.
- Michael Lake
- Matt Lux
- Mike Pegher Jr.
- Russ King
- Alex Ferree
- Kenny Schaltenbrand
- Dan Angelicchio
- Gary Lyle
- Chuck Sarver
- Ed Ferree
Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Crate Sportsman
Brett McDonald and Joey Zambotti brought the field to green in the 20 lap Sportsman feature. McDonald looked strong in the early going as he held the point until a caution slowed the pace on lap 3. On the restart, McDonald slid off the backstretch, handing the lead over to Zambotti. Another caution slowed the pace on the same lap as the field stacked up behind McDonald.
Terry Young utilized the restart to his advantage as he drove past Zambotti down the backstretch before another caution waved on lap 5. The following restart saw a three car battle for the lead with Young, Zambotti and Dietz. Young would win the battle using the momentum from the top side, while Dietz took 2nd from Zambotti. Young maintained a slim lead over Dietz before another yellow on lap 9. Once again, the restart saw a three wide battle for the lead as Zambotti regained second from Dietz but was unable to slide in front of Young for the lead.
Young looked in control of the race until lap 13, when the 28Y machine slid over the cushion in turn four, giving the lead back to Zambotti. Dietz continued his bid to catch Zambotti using the low to middle groove as the race entered the final laps. With just two to go, 4th place running Joe Kelley lost the handle in 1 and 2, setting up a two lap dash to settle it. Zambotti chose the outside on the restart, giving Dietz his preferred groove on the bottom. However, Zambotti jumped out to the lead and took the line Dietz had been running to pull away and take his second feature of the season. Young reclaimed 2nd at the finish line over Dietz, while Corey McPherson and Brian Stivenson round out the top five.
“After the night we had with our start in our heat race, I have to thank my guys,” Zambotti said following the victory. “We got tore up and we had to change the right front suspension and we didn’t have the best car tonight but we refused to lose.”
- Joey Zambotti
- Terry Young
- Tyler Dietz
- Corey McPherson
- Brian Stivenson
- Aaron Easler
- Paul Schrekengost
- Pat Hanley
- Noah Brunell
- Bob Egley
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director
(724) 664-1075 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Race Report provided courtesy of Trever Steele / www.TheDirtNetwork.blogspot.com
Photos Courtesy of John Stivason/Stivason Photos