Lernerville Grand Preview; Third Time’s a Charm

Rick Rarer Photo

From Eric Westendorf/Track Announcer

Sarver, PA (May 10, 2021) In the 50+ year history of Don Martin’s Lernerville Speedway, 999 Sprint Car features have been contested and won by the biggest names in all of Sprint Car and even NASCAR history. However, Mother Nature has thus far been uncooperative allowing us to throw the green flag on feature #1000.

With the All Star race being rained out on April 30 and more recently Fab4 Racing being rained out on May 7, The Lernerville Grand presented by Alternative Power Sources is now scheduled for Friday, May 14 as part of Fab4 Racing Revved Up with the Marburger Farm Dairy. The biggest name associated with sprint car racing at Lernerville Speedway is Lynch. Ed LynchSr. was an inaugural class Lernerville Speedway Hall of Famer who had several wins in a sprint car, but most of his 57 career Lernerville wins came in a modified. Ed Lynch Sr. is the all-time division wins leader with 111 Action Track victories, as well as four-time track championships. Without a shadow of a doubt, the most memorable of all 999 features contested to this point came on July 23, 2002 when The Apollo Rocket finally prevailed over the World of Outlaws to score his long awaited first Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup. Third generation star Sye Lynch coincidentally is the most recent Sprint Car feature winner having scored the Opening Night checkers on April 23; aforementioned Sprint Car feature #999.

If Lynch is #1, Blaney could easily be considered 1B. Like Ed Lynch Sr., Lou Blaney was an inaugural class Hall of Famer who had more wins in a Modified (69) than a Sprint Car (49), but his 118 wins are second to only all times wins leader Bob Wearing Sr. and he won six Lernerville Sprint Car championships. But while Ed Lynch Jr. was racking up well over 100 feature wins on his home turf, Lou’s sons Dave and Dale went on to national Sprint Car acclaim. Dave is eighth all time in Outlaw wins with 94 and the 1995 series Championship. Dave also won the 1984 USAC Silver Crown Championship, the1997 Knoxville Nationals, is a two-time Kings Royal winner, and is seventh all time with 49 All Star wins.Despite all that success, Dave’s win totals were cut short due to a lengthy NASCAR career that took himoff the dirt for more than a decade. Dale, meanwhile, is the all-time All Star wins leader with 137 and asix-time series champion. Dale won the Kings Royal in 2000 and the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup in2015. Before hitting the road, Dale won the 1991 Lernerville Track Championship and is 15 th all-timewith 18 sprint car feature wins.

Two other sprint car drivers cut their teeth at The Action Track and went on to national acclaim. Brad Doty won the 1980 track championship before moving on to the World of Outlaws where he won the 1982 Rookie of the Year Award and was well on his way to being one of the all-time greats when a tragic accident cut his driving career short. In his post driving career, Brad has become one of the foremost announcers in Sprint Car racing and published a book about his career in the sport. Tim Shaffer won the1993 track championship before stepping onto the national stage where he won 27 World of Outlaw features including two Silver Cups (2005/2011) and the 2008 Knoxville Nationals. The “Steel City
Outlaw” also boasts an All Star career that includes 66 feature wins and four series championships. Shaffer continues to be a threat to win on any track, any time, with any series. He is currently the driver of the Heffner Racing #72 based in Central PA where he already has two feature wins this season at theFabulous Lincoln Speedway.

Thus far, we have established that Ed Lynch Jr. is the all-time wins leader with 111 and that LouBlaney scored 49. Between them is only the venerable Johnny Beaber; winner of 55 Lernerville SprintCar features and three track championships. Ralph Quarterson is fourth all time with 47 feature wins and Rod George is fifth with 45. The top ten winners list rounds out with Craig Rankin (31), Jimmy Hawley (30), Bob Felmlee (30), Ralph Spithaler (27) and Carl Bowser (27). Knocking on the door to the top ten and still in their prime are Jack Sodeman Jr. (24) and AJ Flick (22).

As mentioned above, despite racing a limited number of weekly races at the Action Track, Dale Blaney has 18 career feature wins. Right behind him are arguably the top two Sprint Car drivers of all time in Steve Kinser and Sammy Swindell whom each have 17 Lernerville feature wins on their legendary resumes.We’ve also acknowledged the six track championships won by Lou Blaney and the four won by Ed Lynch Jr. The only other drivers in their echelon are current, four-time defending track champion AJ Flick with his aforementioned 22 feature wins and Kevin Schaeffer who has 15 career Lernerville feature wins to go along with his four titles. A handful of drivers have won three track titles: Rod George, Jimmy Hawley, Johnny Beaber, Jerry Matus, and Ralph Quarterson. The following drivers have won two track titles: Jack Sodeman Jr., Carl Bowser, Jamie Smith, Mark Cassella, and Craig Rankin.

Lernerville Speedway has proudly hosted World of Outlaws Sprint Cars since 1979 including the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup which began in 1992; 2021 will be the 30 th running of the event. All tolled, 97 World of Outlaws Sprint Car features have been contested at Lernerville Speedway. Steve Kinser is the all time wins leader with 17, Sammy Swindell is second with 15 including the inaugural Don MartinMemorial Silver Cup, Donny Schatz has won nine including the most recent Silver Cup in 2020, Mark Kinser won eight and Stevie Smith won five. But the biggest moments in World of Outlaws action at Lernerville Speedway have the been the home track victories of Lynch, Shaffer and Blaney!

The Action Track has also been an annual stop for the All Star Circuit of Champions since 1989 for a total of 39 Lernerville features. Tim Shaffer leads all drivers with four All Star wins on his hometurf, while Dale Blaney won three, Ed Lynch Jr. won two, and Danny Holtgraver won one all to the pleasure of the home contingent.We mentioned earlier that Dave Blaney stepped into NASCAR after a successful Sprint Car racing career, but he’s not the only one to stop at Lernerville on his way to NASCAR. Others who have done so include Kasey Kahne who won an All Star race at Lernerville in 1999. More recently Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell have thrilled the fans with visits to The Action Track. Larson won the Don MartinMemorial Silver Cup in 2018. The Finest Race Fans in the World have also been thrilled by appearances by Tony Stewart over the years including his Silver Cup night feature win in 2012 during the “Twin 30s”era of the event.

Finally, it all began on a night in 1968 when Andy Phillips won the first ever Lernerville sprint carfeature; his one and only win. We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge and express our sincere gratitude to Rich Berry for compiling all the stats and bringing to our attention this off-season that 998sprint car races have been competed at The Action Track that allowed us to plan and host The Lernerville Grand presented by Alternative Power Sources. All this history over 50+ years and 999 feature events has set the stage for a thrilling PeoplesNatural Gas DIRTcar Sprint feature this Friday, May 14.

And while we hope the $1,000 bonus courtesy ofAlternative Power Sources goes to one of our local drivers, it will be fitting if they have to hold off aregional invader to do so. As part of the festivities for this momentous occasion, a handful of the drivers mentioned in this press release are scheduled to attend the event and sign autographs for fans in a pre-race gathering. T-shirts commemorating the event have been created and include the names of all 146 feature winners. They will be on sale at the Front Stretch Store and we’ve stocked up on silver markersfor fans to get autographs from their favorite current and retired drivers.Please plan to join us for this historic night this Friday, May 14 as part of Fab4 Racing Revved Up with Marburger. If for some reason you are not able to attend in person, you can watch online atLernerville.TV. This is a night you certainly not want to miss. So, somehow, someway, plan to join us inperson or online for a race 50+ years in the making, our 1000th Sprint Car feature; The Lernerville Grandpresented by Alternative Power Sources.

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