Lernerville Preview: Tickets Will Be Punched on Mid Season Championships Night

Cory Stivason/Stivason Photos

This Friday night, four guaranteed starting spots to some very big upcoming races will be on the line as the Fab Four Fueled by Turner’s Premium Iced Tea takes to the Action Track.  The Peoples Natural Gas DIRTcar Sprints feature winner will receive a spot in the World of Outlaws Don Martin Silver Cup in July while the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Model winner will be assured of a starting spot in the 11th Annual World of Outlaws Late Models Firecracker 100 next Saturday night.

The Diehl Automotive DIRTcar Big Block Modified main event winner will lock in to the Steel City Stampede/DIRTcar Round Up in October while the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar/RUSH Pro Stocks feature winner will earn a starting spot in the annual Autumn Motive Fest in September.

Presenting the evening of racing this week will be McCutcheon Enterprises Inc., who will have the familiar #83 Modified of 93 time feature winner and seven time track champion Brian Swartzlander available for viewing at the Pavilion pre-race.  Also, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, donations will be accepted for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as they work to cure Type-1 Diabetes. Donations will be accepted at the front gates.

Friday’s running order will see the Big Block Modifieds take the track first, followed by the Sprints, Late Models and Pro Stocks.

Peoples Natural Gas DIRTcar Sprints

Last time out, AJ Flick inherited the lead from Sye Lynch and then held off some stiff resistance from Dan Shetler and Carl Bowser en route to his first feature win of 2017 at Lernerville.  Flick leads the season standings to this point and has done so by being patient, consistent and fast week in and week out.  Shetler lies just 14 points behind with Jack Sodeman Jr. 24 points back.

Gary Kreiss Jr. has been running as fast as any of the top three at various points in the season to date and could be due for a win in his comeback season. He currently sits fourth in the standings coming into the weekend with three heat wins and three top five finishes thus far this year.

Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models

To say Michael Norris has been dominant this season so far may be an understatement. He’s been the class of the field through four feature events. The Sarver, PA native has taken three out of four main events.

Last Friday night, Norris came from deeper in the field, making a methodical march to the front in the first half of the main event before overtaking six time champion Alex Ferree in the waning moments for the victory.  Ferree currently finds himself 25 points behind in the standings, but has been in a position to win in three out of the four features thus far.  Mike Pegher Jr. occupies fourth place in the standings but has been faster every week and has battled for the win for two straight weeks and could be due for a win this Friday night.

Diehl Automotive DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds

So far, it’s been the Mat Williamson show so far in 2017. The St. Catharines, Ontario driver has claimed four of the first five feature wins, and in almost every way they can be won.  He’s dominated the field, pulled out close finishes at the end of races, and worked with precision through the field to this point.  Yet, he still lies only 13 markers ahead of Brian Swartzlander in the season standings.

Swartzlander has not finished off the podium so far and managed to take the victory two weeks ago in a classic battle with Williamson with both drivers racing clean and hard as has become the way of it between the two over the years.  Behind them, Dave Murdick resides in third place and looks to be getting faster each week as evidenced by his three straight, top five finishes of late.

Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar/RUSH Pro Stocks

The shape of the battle for supremacy among the Pro Stocks took a dramatic turn last Friday when Tyler Dietz suffered some unfortunate circumstances after he became involved in an early race tangle while points leader Corey McPherson rode the low groove to victory.  The win dashed Brett McDonald’s hopes of collecting his first career Lernerville feature victory as he led with a fairly wide margin at the halfway point when a caution reset the field and allowed McPherson to make the pass.  Paul Schreckengost managed an impressive third place finish making his way through the field with authority in the closing laps.

McPherson now enjoys a 29 point lead over second place Joey Zambotti, while Dietz sits just two points behind him.  McPherson leads the way with three feature wins thus far while Dietz and Aaron Easler tied behind him with one each coming into the weekend.

Pits will be open at 4 PM with grandstands opening at 5 PM and racing starting at 7:30 sharp.  Adult general admission is $14, $11 for seniors, $7 for students and children 10 and under are free.


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