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Blair Wins Night One of Lernerville Fircracker Amid Controversy

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Stivason Photos/Lernerville Speedway

SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now – June 25, 2020) – Max Blair was the winner of the opening round of the Firecracker weekend at Lernerville Speedway. His third career World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory was a controversial one. After losing the lead on the backstretch on what should have been the final lap of the race, Blair made contact with the new leader, Brandon Sheppard, in turn four with the checkered flag in sight. Sheppard was sent to the rear for the restart, and Blair inherited the lead for the green-white-checkers finish.

Blair acknowledged several mistakes in his post-race interview and he was contrite. “I definitely got into him. I feel terrible about it,” Blair confessed. “I’ll go see Mark (Richards, the owner of Sheppard’s Rocket house car) and apologize. I hope he’s ok with it.” Blair went on to explain that his mistakes began with his entry into turn one on the last lap. “It was a driver error getting pinned down there in one.” Blair was stuck behind a slower car and lost some momentum, thus enabling Sheppard to get a good run on him down the backstretch. That was where Sheppard gained the lead. Then, Blair drove hard into turn three and Sheppard appeared to slow down on the inside line leading to the contact in turn four.

Blair started the race in fifth position, but he quickly moved into third at the drop of the green. The polesitter, Cade Dillard, grabbed the lead and held control through the first 17 laps of the race. Michael Norris settled into second, but he got shuffled back a spot on a restart following a skirmish in turn one with two laps in the books. Norris’ hopes for a third WoO preliminary night victory at his home track vanished when his car drifted out over the lip of turn two with 14 laps in the books. Norris lost three positions in the process. He eventually faded to tenth in the final run-down.

Dillard and Blair were dicing for the lead as they approached lapped traffic. When Dillard gave up the high line, Blair was quick to pick it up and he used it to his advantage. Blair rode the rim in turns one and two to build momentum. He surged into the lead as the duo charged off turn two with 17 laps complete.

Blair seemed to have control of the race from that point on. Dillard continued in second but Sheppard moved into third when Norris jumped the cushion. In the final five laps of the race, Sheppard came to life and he passed Dillard with two or three laps remaining. Sheppard continued his charge and e grabbed the lead on the final lap when Blair “got pinned,” as he put it.

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Another driver making his presence known in the waning laps was Ricky Thornton. He climbed from sixth to third in the last five circuits. One must wonder what Thornton would have done had he not been disqualified from his heat race transfer due to illegal deck height. Thornton easily made the race through a B Main and he came from 23rd on the grid to get the podium finish.

At the checkers, it was Blair, Dillard, Thornton, Scott Bloomquist, and Chase Junghans. Chub Frank led Ashton Winger, Jason Covert, Mason Zeigler, and Norris to the finish line.

Heat winners were Blair, Norris, Sheppard, Bloomquist, Dillard, and Chris Madden. Zeigler, Russell King, and Thorton won their respective B Mains. Blair was the fastest qualifier on the night, topping Group A with a lap of 15.125 seconds. Bloomquist was best in Group B at 15.236.

Ricky Weiss was a late arrival due to problems with his tow rig. He arrived just as the B Mains were finishing. He used a provisional and a borrowed car to start the feature. He drove the Colton Flinner mount to a 21st place finish.

World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models Results:

  1. Max Blair
  2. Cade Dillard
  3. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  4. Scott Bloomquist
  5. Chase Junghans
  6. Chub Frank
  7. Ashton Winger
  8. Jason Covert
  9. Mason Ziegler
  10. Mike Norris
  11. Rick Eckert
  12. Chris Madden
  13. Alex Ferree
  14. Doug Drown
  15. Dan Stone
  16. Darrell Lanigan
  17. Shannon Babb
  18. Russ King
  19. Brent Larson
  20. Dennis Erb
  21. Ricky Weiss
  22. Brandon Sheppard
  23. Boom Briggs
  24. Pearson Williams
  25. Matt Cosner
  26. Colten Burdette
  27. Will Thomas
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Local Racing

Alex Ferree, Sye Lynch, Rex King Jr and Andrew Gordon claim wins at Lernerville

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SARVER, PA (September 3, 2021; Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Alex Ferree took the lead from the start and survived a late restart to pick up the win in Friday night’s Precise Racing Products Late Model Feature at Lernerville Speedway.

Ferree built up a lead of over 5-seconds when the caution flag flew on lap 23 due to a spin by Clayton Kennedy.  On the restart Colton Flinner tried to get the jump on Ferree but jumped the start three times and was moved back a row.  Logan Zarin moved up to the front row but did not have enough for Ferree, who picked up his second feature win at ‘The Action Track’.  Zarin finished second followed by Flinner.

“It’s tough racing here and the restarts can always throw a little wrench at you,” said Ferree. “Colton (Flinner) tried a couple different times and went a little early there, it just worked out in my favor at the end.”

Sye Lynch made it back-to-back wins at Lernerville after taking the Peoples Natural Gas Sprint feature.  Lynch started on the pole position led the first eleven laps.  On lap 12 A.J. Flick passed Lynch for the lead off turn two but two laps later Lynch’s slide job in turn 4 put him back out front.  Lap traffic thwarted Flick’s chance to get back around Lynch before the checkered flag.

“(A.J.) Flick drove a great race and got around me,” explained Lynch.  “I knew I had to run harder, it was one of those deals where you’re battling for the lead and working through lapped traffic, you just never know when is too hard or not hard enough.  It was a very tricky race, but the car was great all night long, we’ve been trying a bunch of things and it’s just clicking.”

Rex King Jr. came out victorious in the Diehl Automotive Big Block Modified feature.  Steve Feder led early while a furious battle was taking place behind him between King, Brian Swartzlander and Jeremiah Shingledecker.  The trio eventually caught Feder to make it a 4-car battle for the lead.  King was able to pass Feder for the lead on lap 18 and Shingledecker was able to grab 2nd on lap 22.

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“That was the most fun racing I’ve had here in a long time,” said King, Jr. “The only other time was when me and my dad (Rex King, Sr.) were battling here earlier in the year, and it was slick like that. The track was good, I think it was pretty racy, I seen Shingledecker passed a bunch of cars, I think dad passed a couple, it was a good race.”

Andrew Gordon started up front and held on following a late restart to win the Penn/Ohio Pro Stocks Feature.  Gordon was comfortably out front when the caution flag flew on lap 23 for Bobby Whitling, whose car slowed on front stretch.  Gordon got a great restart as Chase Lambert and Daryl Charlier battled for second place with Lambert prevailing when the checkered flag flew.

“This win is for my grandma up in the stands, she makes it to all the races, she’s been sick but on the (road to) recovery so, this one is for her,” said Gordon.

Precise Racing Products Feature: (1C) Alex Ferree, (1Z) Logan Zarin, (48) Colton Flinner, (29) Ken Schaltenbrand, (10) Gary Lyle, (91) Tommy Beck, (66) Todd Bachman, (9) Levi Yetter, (9K) Clayton Kennedy, (B1) Brandon Wearing, (26) Shawn Schaltenbrand, (11) Joshua Powell, (81) Mike Miller, (77) Tyler Dietz, (41) Tony Burke, (15*) Kelvin Kohan- Did Not Start

Peoples Natural Gas Feature: (42) Sye Lynch, (2) AJ Flick, (11) Carl Bowser, (23J) Jack Sodeman Jr., (46) Michael Bauer, (08) Dan Kuriger, (11J) David Kalb Jr., (12) Darin Gallagher, (40) George Hobaugh, (13) Brandon Matus, (33) Brent Matus, (55*) Matt Sherlock, (4K) Bill Kiley, (13B) Steve Bright, (29M) Logan McCandless- Did Not Start, (250) Jared McFarland- Did Not Start

Lernerville TV 35 – Diehl Automotive Feature: (165) Rex King Jr., (37MD) Jeremiah Shingledecker, (45) Steve Feder, (83) Brian Swartzlander, (61) Dave Murdick, (29) Garrett Krummert, (18) Colton Walters, (65) Rex King Sr., (4J) John Mollick, (32R) Chris Rudolph, (10) Chelsie Kriegisch, (35) Steve Slater, (22) Kevin Long, (56M) Jacob McElravy, (88) Shawn Fleeger, (64) Rodney Beltz- Did Not Start

Millerstown Pic-A-Part Feature ($3,500 to-win): (25G) Andrew Gordon, (22) Chase Lambert, (114) Daryl Charlier, (C33) Corey McPherson, (55) Chris Schneider, (63) Chris McGuire, (948) Joey Zambotti, (11B) Tim Bish, (45) Todd Weldon, (J19) Jason Fosnaught, (00X) Curt Bish Jr., (27) Jake Dietz, (10) Nick Kocuba, (81) Mike Miller, (0) Larry Kugel, (25) Brett McDonald, (84S) Josh Seippel, (26) Mike Bordt, (983) Zack Gustafson, (44) Jim Challingsworth, (4) Brett Hutira, (7W) Bobby Whitling, (29) Curtis J. Bish, (13J) Jordan Peters

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Local Racing

Sye Lynch Wins Lernerville Speedway Sprint Spectacular

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SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Sye Lynch survived contact with Tim Shaffer and held on to win Friday night’s $4,000 to-win Peoples Natural Gas Sprints Main Feature as part of Lernerville Speedway’s Sprint Spectacular.

Shaffer, who started 12th, passed Lynch for the lead on lap 28 but Lynch followed Shaffer down the backstretch and made a move to the inside to the lead back when contact sent Shaffer spinning and the caution flag flying.  Shaffer was sent to the rear as the caution car.

Lynch grabbed the lead on the restart and crossed the finish line followed by Carl Bowser in second and Jack Sodeman Jr. in third.

“I look up to him as a driver,” said Lynch. “We raced hard, misjudgment there in (turn) three and I own up to it. All race I drove hard, in a perfect world I would’ve loved to have won the race with no contact.”

Ruhlman Rules RUSH Sprints:

Chad Ruhlman grabbed the lead from the outside of the front row and never looked back taking the checkered flag in the 20-lap RUSH Sprint Car Series feature.  The win was Ruhlman’s 31st RUSH Sprint win.  Pole sitter John Mollick finished second followed by Rod George in third.

Three Rivers Karting

“I love everything about these cars (RUSH Sprints), they’re so much fun,” said Ruhlman. “This track tonight was right in my wheelhouse, I love the cushion right on the edge, it slicks up everywhere else. I just love this place.”

Dobrosky Takes Allegheny Sprint Tour 305’s:

Greg Dobrosky picked up his second Allegheny Sprint Tour win of 2021, holding off Steve Kenawell Jr. in the 305 feature. Kenawall Jr., came home second followed by Justin Clark in third.

“I think we could have run wherever we wanted to, I just tried to keep my momentum up around the top, that’s what you need to do when it’s this slick here,” explained Dobrosky.

Peoples Natural Gas Feature ($4,000 to-win): (42) Sye Lynch, (11) Carl Bowser, (23J) Jack Sodeman Jr., (6) Bob Felmlee, (22) Brandon Spithaler, (35) Jared Zimbardi, (40) George Hobaugh, (12) Darin Gallagher, (46) Michael Bauer, (08) Dan Kuriger, (C1) Clay Riney, (29M) Logan McCandless, (13) Brandon Matus, (33) Brent Matus, (28) Tim Shaffer, (7K) Dan Shetler, (55*) Matt Sherlock, (11J) David Kalb Jr., (2) AJ Flick, (4K) Bill Kiley, (21) Bryan Salisbury, (23) Darren Pifer- Did Not Start

RUSH Sprint Car Feature: (68) Chad Ruhlman, (14) John Mollick, (41) Rod George, (24) Gale Ruth Jr., (18) Arnie Kent, (43JR) Blaze Myers, (12) Ryan Frayley, (57) Tyler Newhart, (9J) Zach Morrow, (25) Nolan Groves, (40) Brad Church, (29) Brandon Shughart, (1T) Ricky Tucker, (62) Brian Cressley, (20) Jeff Metsger

Allegheny Sprint Tour 305 Sprint Car Feature: (88) Greg Dobrosky, (17K) Steve Kenawell Jr., (78) Justin Clark, (4J) Jake Gomola, (5) John Walp, (X7) Andy Cavanaugh, (16) Jim Morris, (21) Rob Felix, (56) Steve Cousins, (26) Ryan Lynn, (21C) Jarrett Cavalet, (20M) Vivian Jones, (25) Jarrett Rosencrance, (4G) Mike Hite, (34) D.J. Cassler, (80JR) Kyle Colwell, (12G) Tommy Jasen, (72) Mike Mathieson, (4B) Walt Tutak Jr., (82M) Roman Jones (DQ)

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410 Sprints Highlight Saturday Action At Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway

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IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – A full slate of action is on tap Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway as the 410 Sprint Cars take center stage on dirt’s ‘Monster Half Mile’.

In addition to the Sprint Cars, Saturday night’s racing card will also feature the RUSH Sportsman Modified Series, the RUSH Late Model Dirt Series, the Penn Ohio Pro Stock Series as well as the Hobby Stocks, 4-Cylinders and Young Guns.

Gates open at 5 p.m., with hot laps starting at 6 p.m., and the racing action beginning will at 7 p.m.

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For more information fans can visit the tracks website, www.ppms.com.

Last weekend, Monongahela’s Todd Weldon took home the checkered flag in the Wee Willie White Memorial in an intense battle with Nick Kocuba.

Cole Petrelle picked up his first career win in the RUSH Late Model Dirt Series. Petrelle passed Colton Flinner on lap six and survived a couple of late restarts to take home the checkered flag.

Kayla McManus also was a first time winner, grabbing the victory in the Hobby Stocks feature.

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