The Story From Lernerville: Shingledecker Wins Thriller; Bowser Spins To Win; Norris Inches Closer to Title; McPherson Rules Pro Stocks

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John Stivason/Stivason Photos

Sarver, PA (August 19, 2017) It was just what the doctor ordered. Beautiful skies surrounded Lernerville Speedway on Friday night, and the racing on the track produced two very memorable moments that resulted in victories from drivers who had yet to make an appearance in victory lane in 2017. While at the same time, two drivers that have consistently been the class of the field all season, demonstrated their dominance once again. It was a great night to chase away the misery that comes with three straight weeks of rain outs.

Carl Bowser looked to have victory firmly within his grasp until a late race spin nearly cost him a sure feature win in the 25 lap Peoples Natural Gas Sprint main event. However, he was able to shrug off the momentary setback and rain away from the field on his way to victory lane.  Jeremiah Shingledecker’s performance in holding off a late charging Mat Williamson in the Diehl Automotive DIRTcar Big Block Modified feature may just be remembered for years to come as the veteran pilot managed to get add another win to his career total.  Michael Norris put the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models behind him with authority and Corey McPherson came through the field like a knife through warm butter yet again has he collected his sixth win of the season, and another track championship as well.

 

Shingledecker Bests Williamson In Duel To The Finish

Jeremiah Shingledecker almost always does one thing every season. He finds victory at Lernerville at least once every year. But with the rain shortened season coming to and end, and no end to Mat Williamson’s grip on the weekly field in sight, it appeared this might be the year to see his personal streak come to an end.  It would take a monumental effort, even with Williamson starting 10th on the field, to keep the points leader out of victory lane. And it was exactly what Shingledecker came up with on Friday night as he secured at least one feature victory for the 9th time in the past 10 seasons.

Shingledecker and Michael Turner led the field to the green flag and Williamson wasted no time at all in making forward progress, gaining four positions on the opening lap. Two early cautions, one for Garrett Krummert who went off the top of the banking in turns three and four, and one for Colton Walters who spun in turn four, reset the field early in the 25 lap main event.  On the second restart, Williamson made his way underneath Turner for the fourth spot while out front, Shingledecker, Brian Swartzlander and John Mollick separated themselves from the rest of the pack, creating a high speed freight train on the top side of the speedway in the early going.

 

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John Stivason/Stivason Photos

Williamson looked to be on the verge of watching his three race winning streak come to and end as he seemingly gained no ground on third running Mollick as the race crept up on the halfway mark and was in need of a caution. His hopes were answered with 11 laps down when Tom Glenn slowed on the speedway.  On the restart, Williamson looked as if he had a new lease on life as he made up the center of a three wide battle for the lead with Shingledecker and Swartzlander. Shingledecker held on to the lead though and did not look like he had any intention of giving it up as he consistently found good bite and momentum coming out of turn two all race long.

Meanwhile, Williamson was able to make his way around Swartzlander for the second spot and began to hunt Shingledecker for the lead as he lurked on the cushion, waiting for a mistake from the race leader to capitalize on. Mollick then began to take looks underneath Swartzlander for the third spot with 10 laps remaining.  The battle for third allowed Shingledecker and Williamson to break away and make it a two car race. The leaders ran nose to tail, and then door to door on lap 18 as it appeared Williamson was making his way underneath Shingledecker in a bid for the lead.

However, Shingledecker was able to power down the back stretch with authority and was able to stave off Williamson’s attempt. Williamson kept taking looks on the low side in the waning laps, but Shingledecker proved to be too strong to overcome on this night as he used two lapped cars to keep Williamson at bay while at the same time, hitting his marks at a near perfect rate as he crossed the finish line first while Brian Swartzlander rounded out the podium and Mollick, who looked impressive in only his third time in a Big Block Modified, came home fourth.

“Mat almost had me there a couple of times, the car was a little too tight and I was bobbling a little bit myself, he raced me really clean,” Shingledecker said. “As many races as he’s won this year I was happy to beat him under green laps. He’s been very fast and that kind of says a little bit about what we’re doing, improving ourselves.”

Top 10:

  1. Jeremiah Shingledecker
  2. Mat Williamson
  3. Brian Swartzlander
  4. John Mollick
  5. Dave Murdick
  6. Rodney Beltz
  7. Rick Regalski
  8. Mike Turner
  9. Jeff Miller
  10. Colton Walters

Bowser Dominates Sprint Car Field

To say Carl Bowser was dominant on Friday night may be a total understatement. Especially when you consider that he was able to spin 360 degrees on the front stretch while keeping the lead and was able to extend leads twice in heavy lapped traffic. Bowser led all 25 laps and was never seriously challenged en route to his first victory of the season. He was fast, his command of lapped traffic was smooth, and on this night, appeared to racing in another world altogether.

Gary Kreiss Jr. brought the field to the green flag with Bowser alongside him on the front row as Bowser made straight for the top of the speedway and to the early lead. Cory Good brought out the first caution with a spin in turn four, and when action resumed, Bowser timed the green flag perfectly and bolted out to a lengthy advantage over Kreiss, AJ Flick and Dan Shetler.  Flick and Shetler who came into the night just five points apart in the season standings kept an epic battle for position going for most of the race. And while Bowser put a full straight away between himself and second running Kreiss while in heavy lapped traffic, Shetler crept up on Flick lap by lay until he was able to slide underneath the points leader for the third spot on lap six.  Shetler then set his sights on Kreiss, but could gain no forward movement as the spinning car of Pete Landram brought out the caution flag on lap eight.

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John Stivason/Stivason Photos

On the ensuing restart, Bowser once again made his way up top while Kreiss held off Shetler with another round of lapped traffic coming in to play on lap 12. Bowser kept stretching out his advantage, moving in all three grooves to make his way past the lapped cars and looked to have the race completely under his command when on lap 16, he and Davey Jones made contact as both cars spun. Bowser was somehow able to keep going however which kept him in the lead as the caution flag fell for Jones.

When action resumed, Bowser left the field behind as Shetler took looks underneath Kreis for the second spot. Behind them, Sye Lynch and Dan Kuriger became locked in a battle for fifth. Lynch was able to make his way underneath Kuriger for the position while Flick began moving in on Shetler with a sense of urgency. Flick made the pass in the waning laps to wind up on the podium, but the night belonged to Bowser who turned in one of the most dominant performances of the season.

“I have to thank Tom and Fran Chiapelli for giving me the opportunity to drive this car,” Bowser said. “We’ve been working really hard, we’ve been getting a lot faster, the results haven’t showed it but I think we’re headed in the right direction and tonight showed that.”

 

Top 10:

  1. Carl Bowser
  2. Gary Kreiss Jr.
  3. AJ Flick
  4. Sye Lynch
  5. Dan Shetler
  6. Dan Kuriger
  7. George Hobaugh
  8. Ralph Spithaler Jr.
  9. Darren Pifer
  10. Jimmy Morris

Norris Inches Closer To Title With Fifth Victory

It doesn’t seem to matter where he starts, or who is in the field, Michael Norris is a great bet to win on any night and is putting the finishing touches on a season to remember. And Friday night was no exception for Norris, who seemingly used all three grooves and hit his marks with precision all race long as he put the field of Late Models behind him and never looked back.

Alex Ferree and Clayton Kennedy started on the front row and while Ferree jumped out to the early lead, he would find himself being chased by third starting Kenny Schaltenbrand who made his way around Kennedy with ease and stalked the leader. Ferree and Schaltenbrand gained early separation from third running Gary Lyle while Clay Ruffo took up the fourth spot.

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John Stivason/Stivason Photos

Meanwhile, Norris was making his way through the field with a sense of urgency, tempered with the right amount of patience, making his way up to the fifth spot from ninth in the first six laps. Out front, Ferree was making a clean getaway from Schaltenbrand until a caution slowed progress with eight laps in the books when Ruffo went over the banking in turns three and four and made hard contact with the retaining wall.

Ferree elected to restart on the bottom of the speedway, and when action resumed, Norris dove underneath Schaltenbrand in turn two, making the pass stick for good coming out of turn four.  Norris then made his way to Ferree’s back bumper as the two ran nose to tail. With 11 laps down, the two leaders made contact as Ferree jumped the cushion ever so slightly in turn four, enabling Norris to take command just as he crossed the flag stand on lap 13.  Norris found himself almost immediately in lapped traffic, but was able to make his way around with no slowdown of momentum. Once clear of the lappers, Norris found himself in clean air and looked to be on his way to victory lane until one more caution for a Jon Hodgkiss spin on lap 24, setting up a green, white, checkered finish.

Norris elected to start up high on the final restart and easily cruised to his fifth victory of the season.

“The first couple laps I was just trying to let it play out,” Norris said. “I knew the top was there and I hadn’t got a good clean run at it and I got it there and it felt pretty good. I knew it would be tough to get by Alex, he would have had to make a mistake and he did and I got into him a little bit. But if he would have done that to me, I would have understood. He races me awesome.”

Top 10

  1. Michael Norris
  2. Alex Ferree
  3. Kenny Schaltenbrand
  4. Gary Lyle
  5. Clayton Kennedy
  6. Ed Ferree
  7. Andrew Wylie
  8. Mike Miller
  9. Jon Hodgkiss
  10. Weston A. Phillis
  11. Clay Ruffo

McPherson Puts Exclamation Point On Season

In previous years, the Pro Stocks had the most competitive fields among the Fab 4 divisions. And although there are still a great number of drivers whom are capable of winning on many given night, Corey McPherson has made it a much more difficult main even to win over the past six seasons. And in 2017, he  has taken his game to another different level altogether by virtue of clinching his fifth track championship with his sixth victory of the season on Friday night.

Tyler Dietz and Brandon Wearing comprised the front row as the 20 lap feature took the green flag as the action spread three wide and in multiple layers behind them. Dietz assumed early control of the race with Joe Kelley and Noah Brunell locked in a battle for third spot behind them.  Jake Dietz brought out the first of many cautions with a spin with three laps in the books.  When action resumed, Dale Tuche spun in turn four barely a second before Wearing went over the banking in turn two, allowing Wearing to keep the second spot with four laps down.

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John Stivason/Stivason Photos

On the ensuing restart, McPherson and Joey Zambotti split Kelley and set their sights on third running Brunell as McPherson made his way around the action on the top side and began pursuit of Wearing for the second spot. Wearing and McPherson ran door to door in the battle for the position when the caution flag waved once again with six laps down. McPherson got a great jump on the restart and began taking looks underneath Dietz in turn four, then moved up to the top of the speedway in an attempt to wrest the lead away. But the caution flag waved once again for a Mike Bordt spin.  The yellow was displayed one more time just as McPherson had made a pass for the lead as Dietz kept electing the low side on the subsequent restarts.

Then, with nine laps down, McPherson powered to the outside of Dietz who later mishandled his car in turn two, allowing Zambotti and Wearing to make their way around him. Dietz would gather it back together and would get back around Zambotti and Wearing as the caution flag came out for a Mark Sanders spin with 12 laps down.

McPherson, who managed to peg virtually every restart the rest of the way, could not be caught the rest of the way while Aaron Easler’s bid to join the podium came up just short as Zambotti was able to beat him to the line by less than a car length.

“I’m not gonna lie, this feels really good, ” McPherson said. “These guys behind me here, they worked their asses off since we’ve started, especially this year. They gave me such a great car and to clinch it a night early, it’s a great feeling.

Top 10:

  1. Corey McPherson
  2. Tyler Dietz
  3. Joey Zambotti
  4. Aaron Easler
  5. Mark Sanders
  6. Terry Young
  7. Jim Fonaught
  8. Paul Schreckengost
  9. Brett McDonald
  10. Brandon Wearing

For full feature and heat results from last night: Click Here

The Fab4 Fueled By Turner’s Premium Iced Tea makes it’s final appearance of 2017 next Friday night.

 

 

 

 

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