There is not much of a better feeling in this world than to be at the track on a beautiful race night with the sun on your shoulders and a beer in your hand.
And for those that can appreciate that sentiment, Friday night was your kind of night at the action track. On a picture perfect weather night with a good crowd in attendance, Jeremiah Shingledecker and Jared Miley collected their first wins of the season while Carl Bowser and Corey McPherson found their way back to victory lane.
The night was a model of efficiency too as over 80 cars finished up the complete program in a mere two hours and twenty minutes, and a few new faces graced the pits for the first time in 2014.
Mike Lutz and Dan Shetler brought a field of 18 sprints to the green flag in the most action packed feature of the night. Lutz and Billy Dietrich emerged from the early laps to take early control of the race while behind them, Brandon Matus started making his move forward.
Matus seemed married to the top side in the early going, to the point of almost going out of the ball park on the backstretch on a couple of occasions, but he kept his momentum and his focus, and the plan worked as he moved to challenge Lutz on lap 10 switched grooves to the low side and got around him to take the lead on lap 11.
Meanwhile, Carl Bowser had been patiently following Matus the whole time and as the leader caught the bulk of the lapped traffic, Bowser began picking up fractions of a second per lap on Matus. Those small gains added up to Bowser being in the right place at the right time as he skillfully picked the opportune moment to make the pass for the lead and eventual win on lap 23 when he used the high side to overtake Matus. Jack Sodeman Jr was able to snag a podium finish while Eric Williams charged from 10th to fourth.
It was Bowser's 11th career Lernerville win and second of the season.
"We used all of it up and then some tonight" Bowser said. "I thought I was going for a ride on the front straight away, I hit the wall so hard. So I kind of took it easy for a half a lap and everything felt fine so I figured I'd get back after it. I went and tried the bottom in three and four and I got up behind him (Matus) and he was on the top and I was on the bottom but I knew that wasn't the place I wanted to be so I kept hammering on the top and waited for him to make a mistake."
1. Carl Bowser
2. Brandon Matus
3. Jack Sodeman Jr
4. Eric Williams
5. Mike Lutz
6. Billy Dietrich
7. AJ Flick
8. Dan Shetler
9. Brent Matus
10. Bill Kiley
|Jeremiah Shingledecker Made a Statement With His on Win Friday Night|
Shingledecker was good all over throughout 25 laps and he had to be as both Kings, Brian Swartzlander, Dave Murdick and last week's winner Mat Williamson were all in hot pursuit. But Shingledecker worked the lapped traffic with confidence and patience while stretching his lead to more than four seconds.
The rest of the pack still lent some great racing for position behind the leader as Swartzlander and Rex King Sr and eventually King Jr would get close enough to battle for second which Swartzlander was able to defend once he got there.
Jim Weller Jr who'd been having a terrific start to his season at Sharon made a rare appearance and though he started 7th, he found himself mired in a mid pack battle which saw Williamson, Brad Rapp and Tom Winkle overtake him.
"I had a few people say (did you know how big your lead was) but I didn't " Shingledecker said. "We got lucky and started on the front row and it went green to checkered. It's one of those things where you can't really see behind you so you push it every lap. The lapped traffic played pretty well into my hands I think, we didn't struggle too much getting around them tonight."
The win was Shingledecker's 16th of his career and comes to him as an early birthday present as he celebrates his 37th birthday this coming week.
1. Jeremiah Shingledecker
2. Brian Swartzlander
3. Rex King Sr
4. Rex King Jr
5. Mat Willimson
6. Dave Murdick
7. Brad Rapp
8. Tom Winkle
9. Jim Weller Jr
10. Steve Feder
As convincing as Shingledecker's performance was, Jared Miley's late model performance might have been even more so. With World of Outlaw late model tour regulars Chub Frank and Boom Briggs in the house, and a rare appearance from Brandon Burgoon, not to mention two guys that know their way around the place pretty good in Alex Ferree and Russ King, Miley's performance may end up being the most impressive win of the year so far.
But it wasn't who he beat on the way to the checkered flag, it was how. Miley started up front along John Garvin Jr and proceeded to build a seven-plus second lead on the rest of the field while moving through lapped traffic in a full late model field.
Kenny Schaltenbrand rode around the bottom in classic Schaltenbrand style and fought hard to hold on to a hard second position for the majority of the race, but Frank chipped away at Schaltenbrand's defense lap by lap and eased past on 19.
With Miley comfortably out front, Ferree and King emerged into the fray from further back in the pack but seemingly ran out of laps to run down Frank or Miley who by the end of the race could have been eating a burger and fries on the way to the checkered flag, he was that dominant on the evening.
1. Jared Miley
2. Chub Frank
3. Alex Ferree
4. Russ King
5. Ken Schaltenbrand
6. Mike Norris
7. John Garvin Jr
8. Boom Briggs
9. Garrett Krummert
10. Gary Lyle
Corey McPherson may have been the most fortunate man on the premises Friday night. Not only did he collect another win, but had his marriage proposal accepted in victory lane!
It really doesn't get much better than that, to win a race and receive such great news, but to earn the first part, he'd have to put and keep the other 19 cars taking the green behind him.
He made the first part of that equation happen on lap 3 when he used the top side to get around Rob Shook to take a lead that he would never get back.
Tim Bish stopped by on this particular Friday and went backward before he went forward starting fifth, falling back to seventh and eventually getting by Shook towards the end of the race to take a strong second place. Last week's winner, Jim Fosnaught charged from his 10th place starting position to fourth in twenty laps with only one restart, but McPherson was never seriously challenged once he took the lead.
1. Corey McPherson
2. Tim Bish
3. Rob Shook
4. Jim Fosnaught
5. Mike Miller
6. Aaron Easler
7. Joe Kelley
8. Mark Sanders
9. Terry Young
10. Pat Hanley