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Lernerville Speedway

Sarver, PA…July 2, 1999

    “Wishes” do come true at Don Martin’s Lernerville Speedway.  Before the races, the Ralph Spithaler crew hosted a Make-A-Wish party for nine “wish” children; Spithaler capped the evening by winning his first 1999 Agip Motor Oil Sprint feature.  Ben Miley also claimed his initial season victory in the Friedman’s Supermarkets/BiLo Foods Late Models.  Lou Blaney marked his 65th win in the Ferrante Oldsmobile Modified record book and Dave Harbaugh claimed his third Dingbat’s Restaurant Pure Stock Main event.  There was a forty-minute rain delay at the beginning of the race on WIX Filter/Auto Value/R&R Auto Parts Night.
     The “Blue Panther” of Ben Miley blew by Bobby Bertges on the last circuit of the 20 lap Friedman’s Supermarkets/Bi-Lo Foods Late Model main event.  Starting fourteenth, Miley’s #99 kept creeping through the field as William Reges guided the group for three circuits.  Two caution events occurred before one lap had been registered.  On lap four Jeff Henry took command, Reges was second, Bill Knepper third, Bobby Bertges fourth, and Miley now moved into tenth.  On lap five, the third yellow flag was thrown for the spinning car of Dave Norton and Miley’s “Panther” pounced into ninth.  Running a superb race, Henry continued to lead the field.  On lap nine Bergtes passed Reges for the second position as Miley claimed sixth.  On lap twelve, the last caution was for the Reges #38 that slipped over the lip in turn one.  Miley’s Old Allegheny Shops/Abriola Auto Parts #99 was now in fourth.  The next lap Bertges passed Henry for the lead.  Miley moved into third behind the twosome on lap 17.  Using the high groove, Miley made a strike at Henry, passing him on lap eighteen.  Bergtes stayed low on the last lap and Miley’s “Panther” made its attack on the cushion, passing Bertges for the big win.  In victory lane, Miley credited his crew for the win and said, “I knew I had a chance to win running the top line.”  Coming from the rear of the field, Norton nabbed third and the point lead.  Jeff Henry, Keith Zimmerman, Ken Schaltenbrand, Gary Lyle, Tony Burke, Bill Knepper, and Spanky Dougherty followed him.  Henry and Wally Stock won the prelims.  Early in the race, Art Osmer barrel rolled his racer over turn two.  He was not injured but his car prematurely had to pit.
     Ralph Spithaler had his wish come true, garnering his first Agip Motor Oil feature of the season, after the crew raised $2,910.07 in donations from the generous Lernerville fans for Make-A-Wish.  From the outside pole Spithaler’s Baker & Associates #56 soared around the Sarver over, leading from the green to the checker.  There were two early caution events on lap three but the race was uninterrupted after that.  Spithaler drove a flawless race, looking like a man possessed to win as he weaved through traffic to keep runner-up Jimmy Hawley at bay.  In victory lane, Spithaler’s radiator steamed over with perspiration.  Scott Priester was third. Coming from twelfth, Ed Lynch claimed fourth.  Five through ten went to Davey Jones, Troy Preston, Gary Kriess, Jamie Smith, Ralph Engel and Charlie Holben.  Kriess, Jones and Hawley won the heat races.
     It’s the will to win the makes ordinary men extraordinary and that is what Lou Blaney has.  He is the all time Modified leader with 65 victories and he recorded his fourth 20 lap Ferrante Modified win of the season.  Blaney came from twelfth to passer leader Jim Weller on lap thirteen and remained there to the checker.  In victory lane Blaney thanked his son Dave for giving him such a good racecar.  Carl Murdick’s third was his best run of the season.  Josh Skarzenski was fourth and was trailed by Rodney Beltz, Brian Swartzlander, Jeff Schaffer, Kevin Bolland, George Hobaugh, and Lonny Riggs.  Chetter Johnson and Blaney were the heat winners.  Weller is ahead of Blaney by three digits in the point’s race.
     Harbaugh “harnessed the horses” in the 14 lap Dingbat’s Restaurant Pure Stock main to capture his third win of the year.  Harbaugh rode by Scott Bochek on lap four and remained there to the checker.  With two laps to go, Bochek tangled with a lapped car and did not complete the race, moving Joe Kelley into the runner-up position.  On lap 14 the race was called due to the 30-minute time limit.  Bruce Milbert was third and was followed by Harold Reges, Jeff Walters, Randy Caldwell, Rick Burris, Roland Hall, Robert Kosecki, and Tommy Dembroski.  Dan Pfleuger, Bochek and Walters won the prelims.  Caldwell won the B-Main.

 

Lernerville Speedway Race Results
July 2, 1999

Friedman's Market/Bi-Lo Foods
Late Model Feature:
1.  Ben Miley, Venetia
2.  Bobby Bertges, Pittsburgh
3.  Dave Norton, Shinglehouse
4.  Jeff Henry, Butler
5.  Keith Zimmerman, Titusville
6.  Ken Schaltenbrand, Sarver
7.  Gary Lyle, Hyde Park
8.  Tony Burke, Sarver
9.  Bill Knepper, Clinton
10. Spanky Dougherty, Freeport
11. Scott Jenkins, Smithton
12. Lonnie Hoffman, McKeesport
13. Carl Bittner, Sarver
14. Chris Stewart, Avonmore
15. Mark Booth, West Newton

Feature Race Notes:       Started:  14
Wins: 1      Laps: 20

Lap Leaders:  Reges 1-3, Henry 4-13, Hoffman 14-19, Miley 20

Late Model Qualifying Race Winners:
1st Heat: Jeff Henry, Butler
2nd Heat: Wally Stock, Ruffsdale

Dingbat Restaurants
Pure Stock Feature:
1.  Dave Harbaugh, Ellwood City
2.  Joe Kelley, Mt. Pleasant
3.  Bruce Milbert, Cranberry Twp.
4.  Harold Reges, Butler
5.  Jeff Walters, Evans Citys
6.  Randy Caldwell, Sarver
7.  Rick Burris, Saxonburg
8.  Roland Hall, Cabot
9.  Robert Kosecki, Leechburg
10. Tommy Demboskski, Monroeville
11. Chris Schneider, Tarentum
12. Mike Turner, Butler
13. Scott Bochek, Cheswick
14. Kevin Haas, Sarver
15. Dan Pfleuger, Cabot

Feature Race Notes:       Started: 3
Wins: 3       Laps: 13
Lap Leaders:  Bocheck 1-3, Harbaugh 4-13

Pure Stock Qualifying Race Winners:
1st Heat: Dan Pfleuger, Cabot
2nd Heat: Scott Bocheck, Cheswick
3rd Heat: Jeff Walter, Evans City
B-Main:   Randy Caldwell, Sarver
 
Agip Motor Oil Sprint Feature:
1.  Ralph Spithaler, Evans City
2.  Jimmy Hawley, West Middlesex
3.  Scott Priester, Rimersburg
4.  Ed Lynch, Jr., Apollo
5.  Davey Jones, Warrendale
6.  Troy Preston, West Middlesex
7.  Gary Kriess, Connquesnessing
8.  Jamie Smith, Economy
9.  Ralph Engel, Sewickley
10. Charlie Holben, Cabot
11. Tommy Marshall, Beaver Falls
12. Kevin Schaeffer, Kittanning
13. Brent Matus, Wampum
14. Matt Wingard, Johnstown
15. Roger Bennett, Evans City

Feature Race Notes:       Started: 2
Wins: 1      Laps: 20
Lap Leaders:  Spithaler 1-20

Sprint Qualifying Race Winners:
1st Heat: Gary Kriess, Connquenessing
2nd Heat: Davey Jones, Warrendale
3rd Heat: Jimmy Hawley, West Middlesex

Ferrante Oldsmobile V-8 Modified Feature:
1.  Lou Blaney, Hartford, OH
2.  Jim Weller, Hubbard, OH
3.  Carl Murdick, Butler
4.  Josh Skarzenski, Erie
5.  Rodney Beltz, Ellwood City
6.  Brian Swartzlander, Allegheny Twp.
7.  Jeff Schaffer, Fombell
8.  Kevin Bolland, New Brighton
9.  George Hobaugh, Karns City
10. Lonny Riggs, Volant
11. Clyde Gumpp, Slippery Rock
12. Skip Deane, Freedom
13. Dave Murdick, Slippery Rock
14. Steve Solari, Bradford Woods
15. Randy Chronister, Slippery Rock

Feature Race Notes:       Started: 12
Wins: 4        Laps: 20
Lap Leaders:  Weller 1-12, Blaney 13-20

Modified Qualifying Race Winners:
1st Heat: Chetter Johnson, Penn Run
2nd Heat: Lou Blaney, Hartford, OH