Don’t mess with Texas; Baughman wins Lernerville debut
King and Williamson extend points leads with feature wins
Tyler Dietz lived a boyhood dream with first career feature win
Sarver, PA (July 8, 2016) Mother Nature may have had other plans, but the racing gods were on the side of the Lernerville faithful Friday night as Fab Four racing returned after a brief hiatus. Odessa, TX native and Lucas Oil ASCS sprint car standout Josh Baughman graced the pits and the crowd with his presence and proved to be worth the price of admission as he kept the field behind for 23 of 25 laps in the Peoples Gas Dirt Car Sprints, while Russ King got out in front of the Precise Racing Products Late Models, and held off challenges from Matt Lux and Mike Pegher Jr to collect the feature win. In the Diehl Automotive Group Modifieds, Mat Williamson picked up one spot at a time in a methodical march to his fifth win of the season, and in the Millerstown Pic A Part Sportsman action, Tyler Dietz, who lost a heart breaker just one week before, managed to pull off his first career Lernerville feature victory.
Peoples Natural Gas DIRTcar Sprints
Josh Baughman made it look easy, and with the exception of a mid race challenge from Jack Sodeman Jr., it was. The Texas native made a stop at the action track for the first time, and found himself part of the front row alongside pole sitter and heat race winner Clay Riney. From the drop of the green flag, it was clear Baughman would be a formidable opponent for the field on hand as he made his way straight to the top of the speedway and stretched out an early multiple car length advantage.
Behind him, Dan Kuriger, Sodeman, and Sye Lynch started their forward charges, however all momentum was slowed when Andy Paden went of the track in turn two with three laps in the books. Once action resumed, Baughman went about his business of pounding the cushion while Sodeman made his way around Kuriger, and then set his sights on the leader. Seventh starting AJ Flick then entered the top five mix as both he and Carl Bowser began a furious battle for the fifth spot that saw several thrilling slide jobs apiece. With both drivers pressing hard for the position, Flick and Bowser made contact on the front stretch as Flick’s car began to do a wheel stand, causing Bowser to take evasive action. Both drivers pressed on however with Bowser moving quickly towards the front.
At the front of the pack, Sodeman amazingly chased down Baughman in lapped traffic and made a pass for the lead on lap eight. However, Baughman would get it back just two laps later just in the nick of time as the yellow flag waved one lap later when Cory Good and Paden both stopped on the track. On the ensuing restart, Baughman and Sodeman both got good jumps and gained separation from the rest of the pack as Bowser overtook Kuriger for the third spot when the dreaded red flag halted all progress on lap 16 as Darren Pifer’s car suffered a fire. Pifer climbed out of the car unharmed.
Baughman and Sodeman appeared ready to battle to the bitter end for the win once the race resumed, however Baughman’s restart was strong and he put distance between himself and Sodeman for good, as he encountered one last wave of lapped traffic in the waning laps that he picked through with ease en route to earning his first career victory in his first appearance at Lernerville.
- Josh Baughman
- Jack Sodeman Jr.
- Carl Bowser
- AJ Flick
- Dan Kuriger
- Brent Matus
- Scott Priester
- Dan Shetler
- Ralph Engel
- Clay Riney
Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models
Kenny Schaltenbrand and Matt Lux had been long overdue for a win, and from the outset of the late model feature, it completely looked like one of them would get it.
Gary Lyle brought the 16 car feature to the green flag and after a caution for a turn four tangle involving Josh Powell and Andrew Wylie with one lap in the books, Schaltenbrand bolted for the top shelf and found himself in early command of the race. However, Lux who started fourth on the grid followed right behind him and behind them, lurked one Russ King who had fallen back on the restart early on, but was able to make his way around both Lyle and Mike Pegher Jr. on lap four to take the third spot. The top two cars seemed to be headed to a duel to the finish when on lap nine, Lux went off the top of turn two bringing out the caution.
Once action resumed, Schaltenbrand did not get the start he was looking for and King did as he got a good jump and made his way around Schaltenbrand with relative ease, taking Pegher along with him as Schaltenbrand was relagted to third and switched preferred lines to the bottom groove.
With the top two separated from the rest of the pack, Alex Ferree entered the fray as a contender. Ferree had started tenth on the grid, but had picked up positions patiently and looked to make things more interesting for King and company. He was assisted by a lap 18 caution when Dan Swartzlander spun in turn four. On the restart, Pegher dove low to try to get underneath King but couldn’t come up with enough forward bite to make the bid for the lead happen while Ferree made his way around Schaltenbrand for the third spot. Pegher then slowed on lap 21, surrendering the second spot to Ferree, but with only four laps left and a sizable gap to close, he simply ran out of time to mount a serious challenge to King for the win.
- Russ King
- Alex Ferree
- Ken Schaltenbrand
- Joe Martin
- Doug Eck
- Andrew Wylie
- Gary Lyle
- Mike Miller
- Clayton Kennedy
- Bob Moore
Diehl Automotive DIRTcar Northeast Big Block Modifieds
It seems to matter not where Mat Williamson starts in the feature these days. He finds a way to get where he needs to no matter what. Coming off a Super DIRT Car two race week, and less than 24 hours removed from a race at Mohawk Raceway, Williamson traveled a bit more than his usual distance to grace the clay at Lernerville, and much to his delight, came out with his best performance of the week.
But it was no picnic for the Ontario native. Garrett Krummert started on the pole and commenced trading slide jobs for the lead with Jimmy Weller III from the drop of the green flag. After two early cautions, Weller resumed his pace at the top of the field while behind him Brian Swartzlander and Rex King Jr began creeping closer to the leader from their fifth and seventh starting spots respectively. After another caution for King who slowed in front of the field, and subsequent restart, Swartzlander, who had made what would have been the pass before the lead on the previous lap, made his way around Weller for good on lap seven, with Williamson now right behind him.
The two drivers engaged in a fierce battle for the lead, with both running upstairs and little lapped traffic to use. Swartzlander was unable to run away from Williamson, but kept him at bay, managing a small lead, but yet a lead that looked secure given the circumstances. The shape of the race appeared to change when with 14 laps in the books as Michael Maresca slowed to bring out the caution. However the face of the race remained the same as Swartzlander kept Williamson just barely behind him with both running nose to tail on the high side.
The final caution flag fell on lap 21 as Jeff Miller stopped after contact with Weller coming out of turn four, Swartzlander elected the low side on the restart which put Williamson upstairs, and once action resumed, Williamson rocketed around Swartzlander, turning his fastest lap of the race in the process, to put himself in front for good as he collected his fifth feature win of the season.
“I got a good restart there at the end,” Williamson said. “He (Swartzlander) had a really good car and if it wasn’t for that last caution I don’t know what I could have done, it was follow the leader towards the end and I didn’t have a way by him. I was certainly happy it was only 25 laps that’s for sure.”
- Mat Williamson
- Brian Swartzlander
- Garrett Krummert
- Rex King Jr.
- Tom Winkle
- JR McGinley
- Jimmy Weller III
- Bob Warren
- Steve Feder
- Rodney Beltz
Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar Sportsman
Just one week earlier, Tyler Dietz suffered a heart breaking loss at the hand of Bob Egley who snatched the victory in the waning laps. A week later, Dietz came back with the same strong effort, but was relentless in putting the field behind him for good. Dietz and Scott Byers made up the front row as the 20 lap feature made its way to the green flag. But it was Terry Young that jumped out to the early lead.
After several cautions in the early going, Young and Dietz found themselves running one and two and gaining separation from the rest of the field. Dietz looked completely comfortable running the bottom groove with Young upstairs in the early going, when Young got too high on lap six and lost his momentum in turn four. Dietz found himself with an open door, and he shut it tightly behind him, as he put distance between himself and a formidable pack of pursuers that included Aaron Easler, Joey Zambotti and Jim Fosnaught.
Dietz’s progress was slowed with ten laps to go as Brian Stivenson and Paul Schreckengost tangled in turn two. Once the race got back underway, Dietz checked out on the field, leaving no doubt as to who would be standing in victory lane, as behind him, Easler slid underneath Young to take over the second spot. Following closely behind him was Fosnaught who turned in his best performance of the season since his comeback started several weeks ago. He was able to get around Easler for second on lap 17, but this night belonged to Dietz whose performance was as dominant as any winner in the division so far in 2016.
“I grew up at this race track, I’ve been coming here since was five years old and my whole life I just wanted to be down here once,” an emotional Dietz said in victory lane. “All my heroes growing up were down here at some point, and I just wanted to get here.”
- Tyler Dietz
- Terry Young
- Joey Zambotti
- Corey McPherson
- Aaron Easler
- Bob Egley
- Terry Young
- Paul Schreckengost
- Scott Byers
- Jeff Miller
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director
(724) 664-1075 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Race Report provided courtesy of Gary Heeman / www.TheDirtNetwork.blogspot.com
Photos Courtesy of John Stivason/Stivason Photos