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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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Dirt Racing

All Star Circuit of Champions returning to Lernerville Speedway for 2-events including Don Martin Memorial

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SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) is returning to Lernerville Speedway in 2022 for two nights of action including the Don Martin Memorial XXXI.

The All-Stars will make their first appearance at ‘The Action Track’ on Friday, April 29.  The appearance will mark the series return to Lernerville for the first time since 2019 as COVID-19 cancelled their 2020 appearance and rain washed out this year’s visit.

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On July 6th the All-Stars will return for the $25,000-to-win ‘Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XXXI’, one of the most prestigious Sprint Car events in the history of the sport.

“We’re very excited to bring in the All-Stars and their thrilling brand of high-level Sprint Car racing” said Lernerville Speedway General Manager Mike Lysakowski said in a statement. “I have always been a fan of the All-Stars and for 2022, we had more freedom in choosing a date for this year’s Silver Cup. We believe we have chosen a date that is very conducive to bringing both national and regional Sprint Car aces to Lernerville.”

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Dirt Racing

Western PA Speedweek to return in 2022

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SHIPPENVILLE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Western PA Speedweek is returning for 2022 following a successful reboot earlier this year.

The five consecutive nights of winged 410 Sprint Car action will see the best regional drivers vying for an A-Main feature purse that is increasing to $14,000 with $3,000 going to the winner each night and a $300 minimum to start!

The action takes place Wednesday, June 1st through Sunday, June 5th at Michael’s Mercer Raceway (Mercer, PA), Thunder Mountain Speedway (Brookville, PA), Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA), Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH) and Tri-City Raceway Park (Franklin, PA), with the round-trip total clocking in at exactly 259 miles from beginning to end.

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The group time trial format used last season was extremely popular with both drivers and fans alike, and will also be utilized again in 2022.

Ryan Smith of Fleetwood, PA is the defending Speedweek Champion after winning two features and a podium in three events in 2021.

 

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Dirt Racing

Lernerville Speedway not on World of Outlaws schedule in 2022

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SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Lernerville Speedway, a fixture on the World of Outlaws tour since their inception in 1978, is not on the Outlaws schedule for 2022.  The fate of the Don Martin Silver Cup is unknown at this time.

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Lernerville officials were planning for two NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car events as well as a World of Outlaws Late Model event for 2022 and were shocked and surprised when the schedule was released on Monday.

Pittsburgh Racing Now has reached out to World Racing Group, the parent company of the World of Outlaws, for comment but have not received a response as of publication.

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