When last we left off, Dan Shetler managed his first Lernerville win since 2006, Mike Norris and Mat Williamson made their presence felt in a big way, and rain washed away the last feature of the night. This coming Friday night, the scene gets reset as four fields of drivers get ready to do battle at The Action Track as another week of Fab Four Racing Fueled by Turner’s Premium Iced Tea gets underway.
It’s been nearly three weeks since we’ve seen action at all, so let’s take a look at the first two weeks of action last completed on April, 28, and have a preview of the week to come.
Peoples Natural Gas DIRTcar Sprints
Following Central PA invader Logan Wagner’s opening night victory, all eyes have turned to Shetler as one of the fastest cars to emerge from the weekly competitors in the early going. He took home the honors in week two having received some good fortune as the laps wound down. But he managed an impressive top five finish in ASCoC action at Bedford Speedway two nights later. It’s been a great start to the 2017 campaign for Shetler who looks to be a player in the championship chase this season.
“I guess the key has been keeping a positive mindset,” Shetler said recently. “We had a fast car last year but also had our share of bad luck and part failures. Sometimes that puts you in a bad place mentally before you even get to the track, you’re always wondering what’s going to go wrong this week. We worked hard over the winter paying attention to every detail on the car and now we show up confident that we have a fast car that can finish up front every night. Now we just need mother nature to cooperate so we can get back to racing.”
Shetler is currently tied after two races with 2016 champion Jack Sodeman Jr. who could be primed for a win as well as 2015 champion AJ Flick who remains just two markers back of the leaders. They’ll all be in action as well as former champion Carl Bowser who takes a break from his Central PA schedule to race this Friday night.
So far in 2017, the Sprints have been coming out as evidenced by car counts of 31 and 26 in their first two appearances and this Friday may yet again come close to the mark.
Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models
Last season Michael Norris had some bad luck in the early the season and had to play catch up in the standings for much of the year. He did so but fell just short of the mark. This year he’s on top of the standings going into the second week of action for the Late Models following his opening night win, and if he can remain consistent, should be a factor in the title chase this year.
Behind him, multi time champion Alex Ferree and 2016 winner Russ King are poised to strike. Both have been active in the early part of the year and both appear to be as fast as ever while Matt Lux looks to keep making progress with a new car while overcoming some bad luck to start the year. Lux comes into Friday with some momentum following a second place run at Wayne County Speedway last weekend and should be in the hunt for a podium spot.
With the annual Firecracker 100 on the horizon, expect any number of invading drivers stopping by for extra seat time, and perhaps a big name or two in the mix with the World of Outlaw Late Models having the weekend off.
Diehl Automotive DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds
Mat Williamson stands to start the season off in grand fashion with three straight wins. The first two were a bit harder than they looked though as Brian Swartzlander has been close to breaking up the streak coming up just one last short the last time the Modifieds were in action. Still though, Williamson has lost nothing over the off season and might if anything, look a little better.
“We worked hard this off season to come out strong,” Williamson said. “A lot of it has to do with how hard we’ve worked. We hit on something opening night and haven’t looked back.”
Swartzlander stands a good chance to break up the “Mat-trick”, but so does 2014 champion Rex King Jr who’s also in search of his first Lernerville win of the season. Behind them, two-time champion Jeremiah Shingledecker has crossed the line fourth in each of the first two races while Rick Regalski has come out of the box with a strong start and currently lies fifth in the standings.
Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar/Rush Pro Stocks
The Pro Stocks run twice on Friday as they make up their held over feature from April 28 and will take the track for feature number one before action begins. It’ll be a unique set of circumstances as they have to deal with surface conditions they don’t normally get a chance to race on. Defending champion and opening night winner Corey McPherson will be ready to go and believes that it’ll be possible to win both features.
“I definitely think it’s possible to win both races,” McPherson said. “I think there are going to be a lot of variables that factor in, having a double feature night. The track is most likely going to have a low groove and be very tacky which will allow for the cars to be a lot faster with the extra grip. A racers IQ will definitely be tested because just surviving one race to make it to the second will be tough for a lot of people. My crew chief, Julian Poirer said we will do everything in our power to make the best setup calls and prep a lot, but none of that will guarantee a win. We just have to bring our ‘A’ game.”
Behind McPherson, Joey Zambotti and Tyler Dietz are currently tied for second with 40 points apiece after one feature and two nights of heats while Steve D’Apolito and Terry Young round out the top five coming into the night.
Friday night is Armed Forces Night and all active military personnel will be admitted free with their military ID while ladies will also be admitted free as we hold over our Mother’s Night promotion from last Friday. We look forward to seeing everyone there!
Pits open at 4 PM, Grandstands at 5 PM and racing starts at 7:30 PM sharp.