The best of the best among the area winged sprints were on display at Lernerville Speedway Friday night. And when the smoke cleared, Dale Blaney found his way to victory lane with the All Stars for the first time in 2015, passing a strong running Cody Darrah in the middle portion of the 30 lap $5,000 to win feature.
"Tonight, the track really reminded me of the way it was for the Don Martin last year," Blaney said. "We came from 17th to 3rd in that race, and my car's always been good in the slick and I've made a ton of laps around this place when it's like this so I just tried to not use up what I had early, and it worked out tonight."
The local contingent of drivers put up a good fight for the home team as Eric Williams turned in a brilliant performance and started on the pole of the amain and Ed Lynch Jr overcame difficulty in his heat race, won the last chance showdown and rallied for a top ten finish. And central PA based All Star driver Ryan Smith got a little help from his friends when he suffered a breakdown on the way to Lernerville, but was able to reach the track in time to tag the back of the the B-main where he charged up to fifth place and was able to use a provisional to guarantee a spot in the feature.
In other action, Jared Miley won his first race of the season at the action track, besting the field of RUSH Late Models, While Jason Fosnaught returned to victory lane for the first time in several years winning a hard fought five car battle in the sportsman stocks. And in the RUSH Modifieds, Adam Hilton made the long haul from Buffalo, NY worth it once again, collecting his first victory of 2015.
All Star Sprints:
Local standout Eric "Turkey" Williams converted a strong heat performance into a dash victory and led the field to green. Alongside him was last week's Weikert Memorial winner, Cody Darrah. When the green flag opened the action, Darrah and third starting Dale Blaney quickly made their way around Williams but before they could put space between them and the rest of the field, Dan Kuriger brought the caution flag out with a turn one spin on lap 2.
On the restart, Darrah began to take advantage of the traction that the high side provided while Blaney worked down low. And after another set of cautions for Jack Soderman Jr and Jared Zimbardi, Darrah and Blaney opened up a lengthy gap. Behind them, Sheldon Haudenschield and Greg Wilson, from deep in the field, began making their way to the front in a hurry without much in the way of lapped traffic to use.
Lapped traffic did enter the equation on lap 10 as Darrah moved to the bottom to slice through one piece of traffic after another as Blaney followed, closing the gap between them a little more each lap until the 16th circuit when Blaney was able to overtake the leader on the high side.
Blaney had not much in the way of clean air to work with upon taking the lead as cars were scattered in front of him, but he managed to keep Darrah at bay until the final caution of the race halted the action on lap 24 as Danny Smith and Brandon Matus both pushed off the track in the backstretch entering turn three.
|Pat Miller Photo|
Blaney had to survive one last restart on lap 25 and could not be reeled in by Darrah as the gap between the two widened over the final five laps. Haudenschield rounded out the podium with a strong run, coming from ninth starting spot to finish third while Greg Wilson earned the hard charger honors, coming from 20th to earn a fourth place finish.
Blaney's win tied him with Sammy Swindell and Steve Kinser on the all time Lernerville winner's list at 17.
"We've had to throw a lot of stuff together really quick this year," Blaney said regarding his new team. "So it's kind of not been the best of circumstances just yet, but when I roll my car out of the hauler I know it's as good as anybody's so I'm really happy to get a win for everybody."
The All Star Sprints take to the track Saturday night at Mercer Raceway Park.
1. Dale Blaney
2. Cody Darrah
3. Sheldon Haudenschield
4. Greg Wilson
5. Danny Holtgraver
6. Cole Duncah
7. Chad Kenemah
8. Ed Lynch Jr
9. Eric Williams
10. AJ Flick
|Pat Miller Photo|
RUSH Late Models
Jared Miley garnered his second crate late model victory in as many weeks on Friday night, besting a field of 21 over the course of 20 laps. Will Thomas and John Waters brought the field to green with Thomas sprinting out to the early lead.
|Pat Miller Photo|
But Waters wouldn't go away, as he found a way around Thomas on lap six. The two then battled for the lead while behind them Miley waited to make his move. He did so on lap 11 and never looked back to take the victory. Sportsman stock standout Corey McPherson made his Lernerville crate late model debut and acquitted himself well moving up four spots to come home sixth, while Thomas and Randy Hall rounded out the podium.
1. Jared Miley
2. Will Thomas
3. Randy Hall
4. John Waters
5. Russ Byler
6. Corey McPherson
7. Joe Martin
8. Josh Double
9. Chad McClellan
10. Lon Emerick
|Jason Fosnaught returned to Victory Lane Friday night|
Pat Miller Photo
The first two races of the 2015 season hadn't exactly gone Jim Fosnaught's way. The defending champion had been in the wrong place at the wrong time in both previous races.
But on Friday night, his luck seemed to have turned around as he started on the poll and jumped out to the early lead. Behind him a swarm of five cars lurked on his tail for the majority of 20 laps. And although the names changed in the chasing pack, the five remained ready to strike, setting the table for the most exciting race of the evening.
The first few laps saw Mike Miller, Bob Egley, Joe Zanbotti and Joe Kelly all making attempts to chase down Fosnaught with Miller being the closest to overtaking him. Fosnaught took to the low side of the speedway looking for traction while Miller ran the top shelf until lap five when the two inexplicably switched lines.
Miller came within a hair of taking the lead when the caution flag flew on lap eight as Wayne Carbo went over the banking in turn three.
|Pat Miller Photo|
On the ensuing restart, week 1 winner Terry Young and Jason Fosnaught, substituting for Brett McDonald, joined the pack behind Jim, and despite all the jockeying for position, the leader was not able to gain a second's worth of separation.
As the laps wound down, the pack eventually hunted and passed Fosnaught, and doing the passing, was none other than Jim's brother's Jason who took the lead on lap 17 as Terry Young managed to emerge from the pack to finish second while Corey McPherson charged from the 11th starting spot to third.
1. Jason Fosnaught
2. Terry Young
3. Corey McPherson
4. Mike Miller
5. Jim Fosnaught
6. Joe Kelley
7. Bob Egley
8. Wayne Carbo
9. Aaron Easler
10. Joe Zambotti
|Gary Heeman Photo|
RUSH Sportsman Modifieds
Adam Hilton made the long two once again to Lernerville Speedway Friday night, but to claim yet another victory in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, he'd have to overcome second starting Chelsie Kriegisch, who vaulted out the the early lead in the 12 lap feature.
Pole sitter Jerry Schaffer lost the lied to Kriegisch on the opening lap and then got pushed to third when Hilton made his way around him on lap three.
|Pat Miller Photo|
Hilton then passed Kriegisch for the lead on lap four and never looked back. Behind him, Larry Kugel charged forward from his sixth starting spot to make his way around both Kriegisch and Shaffer to come home second.
1. Adam Hilton
2. Larry Kugel
3. Chelsie Kriegisch
4. Jerry Schaffer
5. Kole Holden
6. Will Schaffer
For our full photo gallery of the evening from Pat Miller, Click Here:
To see the full field rundown of Friday night's action, Click Here:
Fab Four racing action returns to the action track next Friday night as Jared Miley, Mat Williamson, Ed Lynch Jr and Corey McPherson look to retain their leads in the Budweiser points battles.