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Thanks to the crew for working over 200+ hours to get the Boundary Systems/CREO, Bicknell Racing Products, Bolland Machine, Cintas, Budisak Boys, Bilstein #777 back in the winners circle after the crash at Eriez Speedway!
The fine folks from Diehl Auto Group were on hand as the program’s weekly sponsor and they were almost treated to a career first Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Big Block Modified feature win for young gun Steve Feder. Feder took the lead from the pole at the drop of the green flag and held off future Hall of Famer Kevin Bolland for 24 laps with the best run of his career in a caution-free race. But as the leaders approached turn one on the final lap, Feder hesitated for a fraction of a second as a pair of lapped cars raced side-by-side ahead of them and Bolland pounced, taking the bottom and the lead. Feder could only chase Bolland to the checkered flag and wait to fulfill his dream of scoring that sacred career first feature win at the Action Track. For Bolland, it was his second win of the season and 55th of his Lernerville career. The win was made all the more impressive by the 200+ man hours of labor required to get the #777 ready for action after a nasty wreck with Dave Murdick at the BRP Modified Tour opener at Eriez Speedway last Sunday Night.
Feder had to settle for a career best finish of second ahead of All Time wins leader Brian Swartzlander in third, Dave Murdick in fourth and NY invader Brian Weaver in fifth. Mike Turner, Dean Pearson, Eric Gabany, Carl Murdick and Phil Evans Jr. rounded out the Diehl Top Ten. Bolland and Swartzlander claimed heat race victories.
For the second feature in a row, Defending Track Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker was claimed by the gremlins as he broke on lap 21 exiting turn four running third and rolled into the infield; officially scored with a DNF in 16th.
Kevin Bolland takes the checkered flag - StivasonPhotos.com
The Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Big Block Modifieds rumbled onto the Action Track next with veteran Dean Pearson and Mike Turner on the front row. Pearson jumped out to an early lead, but Kevin Bolland was on the move! After starting seventh, Bolland found himself on the same hot seat Satterlee did. And true to form from the outside of row two, Bolland powered to the lead down the backstretch to lead lap three. All Time Modified wins leader Brian Swartzlander came to second two laps later and while he kept Bolland in sight, he was never really able to mount a serious challenge as Kevin Bolland won his second race of the season and 53rd of his prestigious career at Lernerville Speedway.
Brian Swartzlander workin' the turn - StivasonPhotos.com
Swartzlander chased Bolland the whole way to the checkered flag to finish second ahead of Jeremiah Shingledecker in third. This trio has pulled away from the pack in the Budweiser point standings with just five points separating the three of them. Shingledecker leads with 148, followed by Bolland with 144 and Swartzlander with 143.
Early leader Dean Pearson turned in his best finish of the season in fourth ahead of last week’s feature winner Dave Murdick in fifth. Brad Rapp, Jeff Schaffer, Carl Murdick, Steve Feder and Jim Weller Jr. rounded out the Diehl top ten. Bolland and Shingledecker checkered National Guard Heat Races.
Extreme Pyrotechnics Fireworks - StivasonPhotos.com
By Thomas Zuck, FOR THE TRIBUNE-REVIEW
With a little luck, the BRP Modified Tour for Big Blocks will open its 2011 season tonight at Lernerville Speedway. It might take more than luck because the weather has decimated the start of the local racing season.
"It would just be nice to get some laps on the new car," said Jeremiah Shingledecker, Lernerville's 2009 V-8 Modified champion. "That's really what we want to do. This car is a 2011 Bicknell and the old one was a 2010, so there is some stuff we have to work on. We can't really complain about the old car because it won a lot of races."
It did not win the 2010 BRP Modified Tour. That distinction belongs to Rex King Sr. Dave Murdick finished second and Shingledecker was third. Murdick won Lernerville's BRP race last May, and Chad Homan won the race during last year's season-ending Steel City Stampede.
"The motor in this thing is one we broke out about halfway through last season, and it's a great motor," Shingledecker said. "We are hoping to get a few wins under our belt and make a run at the BRP championship."
The BRP Tour began in 1998. Locally, there are a lot of special events for Sprint Cars and Late Models, as well as the national and regional touring events.
The BRP Tour will follow the Lernerville race with events at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, Tri-City Speedway, Mercer Raceway Park. In Ohio: Expo and Sharon Speedways, and West Virginia Motor Speedway. There are 14 races scheduled in 2011.
"The BRP is definitely a good thing," Shingledecker said. "It's not a lot of extra money every night, but the point fund at the end of the year is nice. It's also nice to do a little traveling around."
Drivers are looking to collect from the point fund. For winning the 2010 championship, King's share of the point fund was worth $5,350 in cash and prizes. Since 2000, the point fund has been at least $20,000 each season.
Kevin Bolland is one of the region's most successful V-8 Modified drivers, and he is hoping to get his share of the point fund.
"I think the big thing is the end of the year with the point fund," said Bolland, a three-time Lernerville champion. "We have never won the BRP championship. But we had three (second-place finishes) in a row. For a while, we were not even chasing the tour because there were some things we did not agree with. Now, they have some new management, so we are going to give it a run." Bolland would like to do more traveling, but there are budget constraints that limit how effective a driver can be at different tracks. "In Western Pa., this is all we have as extra for Modifieds and these cars are expensive to run, so every little bit helps," Bolland said. "The travel really doesn't bother us. We love those bigger shows, but our budget really doesn't allow us to do as much as we'd like. We don't have two cars, so that makes it hard to go run a big show and then come back and run a point race."
The slow start to the season hasn't been fun, but Bolland is not allowing that to impact his preparation for the race.
"It's just racing to us," Bolland said. "You set up all winter long to get ready for that first night and if you get rained out, it doesn't matter because you are still ready. Then, you just try to get better prepared."
The delays have not bothered Bolland. But drivers such as Phil Evans is anxious to get started.
"It's difficult to go out there when you are just trying to learn the car, especially with a bunch of guys like in a BRP race," Evans said. "Once you get the car right, it should not be too hard each week. But until we get it to where I am comfortable, we have a lot of work to do.
"I am a little rusty from last year and this is a whole new car. Everything is different. It's a new Bicknell. I planned on running last year but things didn't work out. It's a 2010, so we are starting fresh. We've only had one night on it. I am just going to run Lernerville until I get it figured out and get comfortable in the car."
Lernerville Speedway Press Release
Bolland entered last night with a comfortable lead in the Budweiser Points in the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modified division, but had three drivers within striking distance and standing between he and his third Track Championship. He mathematically eliminated Defending Track Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker and Del Rougeux Jr. after National Guard Heat Races were completed. As the Diehl Mods rolled onto the Action Track for the first feature of Championship Night, Bolland needed to finish just 17th or higher to clinch the title over longtime nemesis Brian Swartzlander. But Bolland wasn’t resting on his laurels nor simply counting down the laps. Instead, he was up on the wheel and heavy on the gas, as there are less possibilities of finding misfortune the more cars that are behind you!
Polesitter Jeremiah Shingledecker took the quick lead at the drop of the green flag and led the first 21 circuits. Bolland started seventh but quickly made his way to the front where he challenged Del Rougeux Jr. for second place on lap three. They swapped second place several times over the next 20 laps, but a late race caution set the table for Bolland to win the Track Championship in style! With four laps to go, Bolland took the lead from Shingledecker around the topside of turns one & two on the lap 22 restart. Once out front, Bolland would not be caught and he scored his 51st Lernerville Speedway Modified Victory and third Modified Track Championship.
Shingledecker held on to finish second. Brian Swartzlander saw his title hopes shredded on lap six when he rolled to a stop on the front stretch after contact with Dean Pearson shredded his left rear tire. Swartzlander charged back through the field to finish third in the race and second in the Budweiser Point Standings. Dave Murdick finished fourth, while J.R. McGinley ran a very strong race to finish fifth. Carl Murdick, Mark Frankhouser, Mike Turner, Jeff Schaffer and Steve Feder rounded out the Diehl Top Ten. Swartzlander and Murdick won National Guard Heat Races.
Final Points Results:
Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar
Pos # Modifieds Pts
1 777 Kevin Bolland 457
2 83 Brian Swartzlander 433
3 37 Jer. Shingledecker 426
4 20D Del Rougeux Jr. 424
5 61 Dave Murdick 408
6 96 Mike Turner 331
7 8J Dean Pearson 321
8 6 Carl Murdick 285
9 45 Steve Feder 273
10 88 Shawn Fleeger 244
11 29E Erik Martin 166
12 71D Don Brown 155
13 31 Jim Weller Jr. 149
14 28 Tom Winkle 145
15 74 Kevin Green 96
16 O3 Mark Frankhouser 84
17 27R Dave Reges 66
18 11R Brad Rapp 60
19 66 J.R. McGinley 58
20 65 Rex King Sr. 57
21 35H Haines/T.S'decker 52
22 333 Ron Eperthener Jr. 49
23 165 Rex King Jr. 48
24 17M Skip Moore 40
25 75 Jeff Miller 37
26 73 Mike Miller 35
27 11B Brian Bailes 34
28 516 Gary Smoker 29
29 10 Jeff Schaffer 22
30 66F Kyle Fink 21
31 69 Tommy Mattocks 21
32 71 Randy Chronister 16
Lernerville Speedway Press Release
After the dust settled from an exciting DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series feature won by Defending Track Champion Rod George, Kevin Bolland, Chub Frank and Bob Egley each visited Sheetz Victory Lane during the second Fast Friday of Fab Four Racing.
The Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds feature rolled off with Steve Feder and Kevin Bolland on the front row. Bolland entered the event as the co-points leader along with Opening Night feature winner Brian Swartzlander. When the green flag waved, Bolland jumped out to a quick lead, while leadfooted Del Rougeux Jr. gave chase.
Despite Rougeux’s best efforts and a few laps of three wide racing when Brian Swartzlander joined the leaders, Bolland led every lap to secure his 48th career feature win at Lernerville Speedway. In the process, Bolland took sole possession of the Budweiser Points lead.
The battles behind Bolland for positions two through five were extremely competitive. Rougeux spent most of the race in second place, save for a few laps mid-race when Brian Swartzlander challenged for the lead. However on lap 14, Swartzlander entered turn one a little too hot and jumped the cushion, allowing Bolland and Rougeux to pull away. Rougeux finished second ahead of Dave Murdick (third) and Defending Track Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker (fourth). Swartzlander recovered to score another top five finish and sits second in points, trailing Bolland by nine points. The ever-improving Mike Turner had a great run and scored a solid sixth place finish ahead of veterans Dean Pearson (seventh), Jim Weller (eighth) and Carl Murdick (ninth), while Mark Frankhouser rounded out the Diehl Top Ten. Heat races were checkered Bolland and Dave Murdick.
Lernerville Speedway Press Release
2009 has been the year of hot streaks, from Ed Lynch Jr. to Gregg Satterlee and Bob Lipinski, now Kevin Bolland has joined the crew with four straight wins in eight calendar days! Bolland’s streak started last Friday at Lernerville, continued with BRP wins at PPMS and Tri-City last weekend, and again tonight during the BRP Modified Tour race at Lernerville Speedway. After pulling the #1 pill on the front straightway water bottle redraw ceremony, Bolland (#777 of New Brighton) jumped out to the early lead but Jeremiah Shingledecker gave chase, while Rex King Sr. and Jim Weller Jr. battled for third. Shingledecker (#37MD of Polk) passed Bolland on lap six exiting the low side of turn four and led the next seven laps until a caution slowed the field for the first time. Bolland regained the lead on the lap 13 restart, endured a bevy of restarts from the mid-point of the race on, but never looked back on his way to Sheetz Victory Lane for the second straight week, third time of the season. He led 23 of the 30 lap BRP Modified Tour/Diehl Auto Group DIRT Modified feature.
Kevin Bolland #777 pacing the field in a four-wide salute to the fans - Stivason Photos
While Bolland certainly did not run away with the win, the real race was behind him for second place. Jeremiah Shingledecker ran second most of the race but upstart youngster Rex King Jr. (#165 of Bristolville, OH) slid under Shingledecker in turns one & two to take second place on the back straightaway with two to go. One more caution slowed the field, but King Jr. (a.k.a. “Cooter&rdquo crossed the stripe second behind Bolland. Dave Murdick (#61 of Slippery Rock) used the final restart to pass Shingledecker for third. Shingledecker finished fourth, followed by Rex King Sr. (#65 of Bristolville, OH) who rounded out the BRP Top Five. The rest of the top ten went to Jeff Hoffman in sixth, Mark Flick in seventh, Del Rougeux Jr. in eighth, Brad Rap in ninth and Dean Pearson in tenth. Mike Turner (#96 of Butler) won the B-Main, as Gary Smoker, Steve Feder and Tommy Mattocks also transferred into the 30 lap BRP/Diehl Modified Feature. Heat races winners were Rex King Sr., Rex King Jr., Jim Weller Jr. and Tom Winkle.
Defending Lernerville Track Champion and BRP Modified Tour Champion Brian Swartzlander missed last night’s feature event as the result of a nasty accident at PPMS last weekend, but hopes to be back behind the wheel of his familiar #83 in two weeks when the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modifieds return to the schedule after a hiatus next week for the O’Reilly All Star Sprint Show. We certainly wish Brian Swartzlander a quick and complete recovery!
Lernerville Speedway Press Release
The Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modifieds rumbled onto the speedway next with most of the big hitters in rows three through six. Dean Pearson jumped into the lead on the opening lap from the second row, then his second starting row make Phil Evans Jr. took the lead. After an early DNF in last week’s feature, Kevin Bolland was on a mission last night. On the lap three restart, Bolland (#777 of New Brighton) looked like he was shot out of a cannon, moving up one spot on each of the next three laps before taking the lead from Evans (#38 of Greensburg) on lap six. Once in front, Bolland stretched his lead to almost half a straightaway until a caution slowed the field on laps 12 and 16 allowing Two-time Defending Track Champion Brian Swartzlander to restart alongside the leader. By lap 21, Bolland had stretched his lead almost a half straightaway again and appeared to be on cruise control with Sheetz Victory Lane in sight; but one final caution provided a green-white-checkered restart. Bolland, however, would not be denied the victory and held off Swartzlander and a hard charging Dave Murdick to take his second feature win of the season at Lernerville Speedway.
Despite the win, Bolland did not make up much ground in the Bud Points chase, as Brian Swartzlander (#83 of Leechburg), Dave Murdick (#61 of Slippery Rock), Jeremiah Shingledecker (#37MD of Polk) and Del Rougeux Jr. (#20D of Frenchville) rounded out the top five. The Bud Points chase in the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modifieds is the closest of any of the Fab Four Divisions and these five drivers are separated by just 15 points from first to fifth! Finishing positions six through ten went to Tom Winkle, Jim Weller Jr., Phil Evans Jr., Mike Turner and Mike Miller. Heat race victors were Swartzlander and Murdick. Up next for the Diehl Mods is next week’s BRP race.