SARVER, PA (September 25, 2021): David Gravel made a dominant move on the lap 23 restart to earn his second consecutive Commonwealth Clash for the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series at Lernerville Speedway. The victory was Gravel’s tenth of the season, which now includes two clean sweeps.
“Wayne (Johnson) gave me a big old chop job at the start there. (Brad) Sweet tried to do the same thing down there (gesturing toward turn three), but once I got in front I got my elbows up and I knew I just had an eleven lap run to the finish.”
Gravel added that there was superior grip down off turn four, which he used to his best opportunity. “I got a bad jump (on the restart), but I had a crazy amount of drive on Brad.”
Sweet, who finished second, had a similar observation. “I probably made a mistake (taking the inside line) on that restart. I was spinning my wheels. I tried to get down to block his move but I didn’t make it. I thought that I had a car capable of winning, butt he driver didn’t get the job done.”
Gravel and Wayne Johnson paced the start of the 35 lap affair. Donny Schatz and Sweet occupied row two, with Brock Zearfoss and James McFadden in row three. Sheldon Haudenschild and Carson Macedo were in the fourth row, with Kraig Kinser and Jacob Allen lined up in row five. Row six belonged to Logan Schchart, who replaced a motor after his heat race, and track champion A.J. Flick.
Johnson clawed his way to the front at the drop of the green and, surprisingly, he started to gain some separation on Gravel in the opening laps. However, on the second round of the speedway, the red flag was displayed. First-time visitor Marcus Dumesny flipped out over turn two. He was unhurt, but the damage to his car prevented his return to action.
Johnson again prevailed over Gravel on the restart. Sweet settled into third, followed by Schatz, McFadden, Haudenschild, and Macedo.
Sweet navigated his way past Gravel in traffic on lap twelve and he immediately went after Johnson. He made the pass for the lead low in three and four with thirteen laps in the books.
Sweet began to slip away from Johnson, who was under attack from Gravel. By lap 17, Gravel was in second, and Johnson began to fade from that point on.
Flick ended his run with a broken rear axle in turn one with twenty-two laps complete. At the time, he was the highest placing Lernerville regular.
On the restart, Sweet did lose some momentum coming down the front stretch. Gravel was up on the rim, and when Sweet slid across his lane, he turned under the leader. Gravel had tremendous forward bite and the lead duo entered turn three side by side.
Sweet tried to get low to block Gravel’s bonzai move, but he could not get down low enough or soon enough. Gravel squeezed through on the inside and used the moisture in turn four to propel himself into the lead.
Gravel completed the remaining laps without complication. His margin of victory was 1.478 seconds. Sweet held on for second, with Schatz coming home third.
Schatz was surprised by the top dominance throughout the feature event. “I was really good on the top, I thought that it would go away, but it just kept getting better.”
McFadden and Haudenschild were fourth and fifth, respectively. Macedo, Allen, Schuchart, Kasey Kahne, and Johnson completed the top ten.
Brandon Spithaler was the highest finishing local racer, crossing in the thirteenth position.
David Gravel, Wayne Johnson, Brad Sweet, and Donny Schatz won their heat races. The B Main victor was MIchael Bauer. Gravel won the Dash and he was also the evening’s fastest qualifier in the 34 car field. His time was 12.416.
In the twenty lapper for the Allegheny Sprint Tour, Logan McCandless scored his first career victory at Lernerville Speedway. He drove by early leader Jarrett Rosencrance nine laps into the contest.
Rosencrance and Steve Cousins brought the 305 Sprints to their green flag. Rob Felix and McCandless were in row two, with Roman Jones and Tyler Cochran in the third. It took two tries to get the race going, but when the laps started counting, it was Rosencrance leading McCandless, Cousins, and Steve Kennawell.
McCandless rolled the outside of turns three and four to grab the lead just before midway. His pace was slowed one more time for Greg Dobrosky’s trip out over the turn two bank. Dobrosky was unhurt, and he was able to resume the race.
McCandless led the remainder of the race, with Rosencrance maintaining second. Jeff Weaver came up for third, followed by Kennawell and Cousins. Kyle Colwell, Jr., Rob Felix, Scott Frack, Jake Gomola, and Tyler Cochran completed the top ten.
“We’ve had some speed here, we have five wins at Mercer this year,” McCandless said. He anticipates devoting most of his energies in 2022 to racing a 410 Sprint.
Jake Gomola and Jeff Weaver were the Allegheny Sprint Tour heat winners.
Lernerville Speedway will close out its season October 14-16 with the Steel City Stampede.
All Star Circuit of Champions returning to Lernerville Speedway for 2-events including Don Martin Memorial
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.
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.”
Western PA Speedweek to return in 2022
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.
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.
Lernerville Speedway not on World of Outlaws schedule in 2022
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.
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.