Rain doesn't extinguish Lernerville Firecracker

By Pam Baker

CLARION NEWS Racing correspondent

Lernerville Speedway held a three-day World of Outlaw Late Model event this past week and even though they had to dodge some rain, they were able to complete their program as scheduled.

On Thursday night of the Firecracker weekend, Max Blair appeared to have the win in the bag, but a last lap charge from Brandon Sheppard set the stage for a dramatic last set of turns as the two drivers battled hard for the win. After some contact as the result of both drivers putting it all on the line, Blair emerged victorious, taking his third career World of Outlaw victory. Sheppard spun his car in turn four bringing out the yellow flag, which sent him to the tail for the final restart. Cade Dillard wound up finishing second ahead Ricky Thornton, Jr., Scott Bloomquist and Chase Junghans.

On Friday night, Brandon Sheppard led from the drop of the green to the checkers at the end of 25-laps and picked up the $6,000 top prize money. Mike Norris finished second ahead of Scott Bloomquist in third. Cade Dillard finished fourth with Boom Briggs rounding out the top five.

Saturday night was the big event that featured 100-laps for $30,000 to win. Opportunity knocked on Saturday night at Lernerville Speedway and Cade Dillard answered to say the least. And he did so with a flawless performance that saw him hit every mark perfectly and never lost his nerve with lapped traffic or several late race restarts that saw drivers pull to his door, but not stay there very long to capture the win and the trophy. Podium finishes went to Max Blair in second and Darrell Lanigan in third. Fourth place was taken home by Dennis Erb, Jr. and local racer, Michael Norris rounded out the top five.

Also on Saturday night, the RUSH Crate Late Models were on hand and Max Blair took home the victory in that division. The 50-lap event went caution free and Blair took the lead away from Chub Frank on lap 20 and never looked back to get the win and the $10,000 top prize money. Frank finished second over Boom Briggs, Jeremy Wonderling and Chad Sines.

Coming up this Friday night at Lernerville Speedway will be the BRP Modified Tour will be on hand for their second race of the season. Along with the Big Block Modifieds will be the 410 and 305 Sprints and the Pro Stocks. Racing starts at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday night Hummingbird Speedway and Michaels Mercer Raceway Park had Mother Nature not act very kind to their tracks and cancelled the racing action at both speedways. However; Sharon Speedway was able to complete their program on Saturday night with the 410 Sprints on hand. Dave Blaney showed up at the track that he co-owns in a car that looked like one that his father, Lou Blaney raced years ago. The red and white paint scheme was a throwback to the days that Lou was winning on the local circuits. Dave Blaney not only had a cool looking car, but also took home the $3,000 and the win. Blaney jumped into the lead from the third starting position passing both Clarion, Pa's Michael Bauer and AJ Flick and led the entire 30-laps to get the checkers. Flick rode in the second position until the last lap when he jumped the cushion and ended up getting passed by George Hobaugh, Jr. on the last lap. Finishing behind Blaney, Hobaugh, Jr., and Flick were Brandon Spithaler and Carl Bowser. Michael Bauer finished sixth.

In the RUSH Wingless Sprint division Jeremy Weaver, driving the Ted Hull owned ride gave Cal Hull a wonderful 90th birthday present as he captured the feature win in style as he had a half-track lead over second place finisher Brandon Ruhlman. Third went to Brandon Blackshear followed by Zach Morrow and Andy Feil.

In RUSH Sportsman Modified action, Rex King, Jr. led the beginning of the feature before Chas Wolbert took the lead away from King, Jr. and went on to pick up his first of the 2020 season. Finishing in third behind Wolbert and King, Jr. was Friday night's winner at Raceway 7, Garrett Krummert followed by Robbie Kristyak and Tony Tagenhorst.

Dustin Dematta captured the first checkers of the season at Sharon Speedway in the Econo Mod division. Sixth starter, Matt Alexander finished second with Brian Toto, Mitchell Lam and Keith Felicetty rounding out the top five.

Sharon Speedway will not be racing on July Fourth, but will return on July 11 with an All Star Circuit of Champion Sprint Car race and the Lou Blaney Memorial for the BRP Modified Tour drivers.

On Sunday night, Tri City Speedway had a beautiful night for their show and a large crowd was on hand to see Carl Bowser cruise to victory in the 410 Sprint division. Bowser started on the pole for the event and jumped out to an early lead, but a red flag on lap four halted the action. New York's, Brad Knab brushed the outside wall, causing his car to flip and hit head on by Chase Methanay. Knab's chassis was split by the impact but neither driver was injured. When the race went back to green, Bowser once again took the lead and never looked back to pick up his first win of the season. Finishing second was George Hobaugh, Jr. followed by Jack Sodeman, Jr., AJ Flick and RJ Jacobs.

First time visitor to the track, Jimmy Holden was the class of the field in the 358 Modified feature. Starting on the pole position Holden took the lead at the drop of the green and survived two caution periods to pick up his first ever win at Tri City. Greg Martin made the trip from Ransomville, N.Y. to take home second ahead of Jeff Schafer, Jr., Nick Joy who also ventured down from New York and rounding out the top five was Kevin Hoffman.

Dillon Speer captured his third feature win in three races in the Mini Stock division. Speer started outside of row one and led the distance to pick up the win. Chad Greely finished second after starting fourth, and Dalton Speer placed third. Fourth went to Wayne Truitt with Johnny Bruce finishing fifth.

The final event of the night featured the Mod-Lites and Roman Jones added her name to the winners list picking up her first win of the season. Sister, Vivian Jones finished second. Shane Webb, Nathaniel Bale and Dusty Frantz finished third through fifth.

Coming up at Tri City July 5 will be the 410 Sprints, 358 Modifieds, Pro Stocks and Mini Stocks will also welcome the Junior Sprint car division to the program card. Gates will open at 4 p.m. with racing at 6 p.m. and there will also be a fireworks display after the five-division program.

Have a great week race fans and I hope to see you around the race tracks. I appreciate hearing from you and enjoy it a lot when I see people out and they tell me they read my column. Thanks everyone and have a very happy Independence Day weekend.