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Lernerville Speedway

Sarver PA...July 23, 1999 
     The only thing hotter than the 96 degree weather was the competition at Don Martin’s Lernerville Speedway; beating the heat and the opposition were the ensuing drivers: Agip Motor Oil Sprints- Ralph Spithaler, Evans City; Friedman’s Market/Bi-Lo Foods Late Models- Nick Jones, Pittsburgh; Ferrante Oldsmobile Modifieds- Lou Blaney, Hartford, Ohio, and Dingbat’s Restaurant Pure Stocks- Bruce Milbert, Cranberry Township.  It was Friedmans Supermarkets/Bi-Lo Foods Night.  Twin State Fan Club and National Sprint Car Association were at the Speedway.
     “Racin” Ralph Spithaler had $1,000 reasons to smile after capturing the Agip Motor Oil Sprint feature; He received Estel Harp’s ERACER’S Bonus Bucks Prize.  It took three tries to complete one lap of the main event; the first caution event was for Gary Kreiss’ #55 racer that caromed off the front wall across oncoming traffic, and damaged the wing of Jimmy Hawley.  Mike Shearer, Scott Priester, and Matt Wingard’s racers were collected in the melee.  No one was injured.  The second yellow flag was thrown for Kevin Schaeffer whose racer spun in turn two and the third was for Tommy Marshall’s #15 that slowed in turn one.  From outside the first row, Davey Jones took command with Ralph Spithaler’s Baker& Associates #56S coming from fifth to run second.  Riding the high line, Spithaler overtook Jones on lap six.  By lap nine Ed Lynch, Jr. passed Jones, dropping him to third and set sail for Spithaler.  On lap 13 Eric Smith’s racer caught the apron on turn four and the last caution was thrown. Spithaler restarted the race, checked out and Lynch’s #2L was without brakes and unable to reel in the mighty Spithaler.  Spithaler narrowed the gap to 14 points with leader Hawley.  Three through ten went to Jones, Roger Bennett, Priester, Charlie Holben, Gary McCann, Bill Kiley, Robert Altmeyer and Hawley.  Lynch and McCann won preliminary events.
     Nick Jones “motored” to his first 1999 20 lap Friedman’s Supermarkets Bi-Lo Food Late Model main using his new “power plant.”  Not having run most of the season, Jones modestly said, “I’m a little rusty tonight, I couldn’t even find victory lane for awhile!”  With Jones starting in eighth, Ken Schaltenbrand led for two circuits.  On lap three Ben Miley took the reins from Schaltenbrand and Jones was sixth.  Three cautions events occurred on lap four as Jones moved into fifth.  Lap five it was Miley leading, followed by Schaltenbrand, Dave Norton and Jones.  After the race was stopped for the fifth time on lap 8, Jones passed Norton for third.  The last caution event on lap ten was for William Reges.  On the restart Jones moved into second dropping Schaltenbrand to third.  Lap sixteen Jones used the turn three cushion to power to the front spot keeping Miley at bay to the checker with Schaltenbrand third.  Norton’s fourth place finish keeps him 14 digits ahead of Gary Lyle in the point chase.  Places five through ten went to Bill Knepper, Bob Puz, Bob Wearing, Sr., Keith Zimmerman, Dan Swartzlander and Lyle.  Norton and Lyle won the heat races.
     Lou Blaney is “back” in the 20 lap Ferrante Oldsmobile victory lane for the fifth time this season after taking a week’s hiatus.  Having had his back injured in a race at Mercer, Blaney was unable to race for a week.  The resilient Blaney returned and defeated Jim Weller adding #66 to the all time Modified Record Book.  George Hobaugh was in charge for eleven laps while Blaney’s Troy Allen Chevrolet #10 began its ascent from twelfth.  It was Hobaugh, Swartzlander, Weller and Blaney at this point.  On lap twelve a strange occurrence happened in turn four, Hobaugh, Swartzlander and Weller came together like the initial break in a game of pool.  The results were Swartzlander bouncing into the lead, followed Weller, Blaney and Hobaugh in fourth.  The next lap Blaney moved into second and a strong chase began.  With two laps to go a caution flag waved for Rodney Beltz and Lonny Riggs.  Running low, Blaney and Swartzlander raced hard into turn two and they connected with Swartzlander recovering to finish fourth.  Blaney went on to win with point leader Weller in the runner-up position, and Hobaugh in third.  Fifth through ten was taken by Skip Deane, Josh Skarzenski, Mike Sutton, Randy Snider, Frank Gudiace and Carl Murdick.  Skarzenski and Sutton won the prelims.
     Bruce Milbert moved into the 15 lap Dingbat’s Restaurant victory lane for the first time this season, becoming the all-time Pure Stock winner with 27.  Looking like he had the money banked, Dave Harbaugh guided the field for twelve laps when his left rear tire went flat and he was forced to pit during a caution event.  Milbert inherited the lead, keeping it to the stripe, with Scott Bochek in hot pursuit.  The third place finish of Joe Kelley passed his point lead over Bochek by 27.  Four through ten went to Chris Schneider, Herman Bertolini, Harold Reges, Jeff Walters, Tom Tuite, Bob Lipinski and Lonnie Hoffman.  Harbaugh, Kelley and Bochek were the heat winners.  Mike Faas won the B-Main.
     Advanced Auto Parts collected donations for the Diabetes Fund.  They donated three 2½ ton jacks to raffle winners.  Knoch High School Hockey sold chances on a “quad.”  Butler Life Steps also were at the speedway. 

Lernerville Speedway Race Results
Date: July 23, 1999
(Click Here for Press Release)

Ferrante Oldsmobile V-8 Modified Feature:
1. Lou Blaney, Hartford, OH
2. Jim Weller, Hubbard, OH
3. George Hobaugh, Karns City
4. Brian Swartzlander, Leechburg
5. Skip Deane, Freedom
6. Josh Skarzenski, Erie
7. Mike Sutton, Evans City
8. Randy Smider, Greenville
9. Frank Guidace, Mercer
10. Carl Murdick, Butler
11. Steve Young, Grove City
12. Lonny Riggs, Volant
13. Rodney Beltz, Ellwood City
14. Steve Solari, Bradford Woods
15. Gregg McCandless, Mercer

Feature Race Notes:       Started: 12
Wins: 5        Laps: 20
Lap Leaders:  Hobaugh 1-10, Swartzlander 11-18,
                         Blaney 19-20
Modified Qualifying Race Winners:
1st Heat: Josh Skarzenski, Erie
2nd Heat: Mike Sutton, Evans City

Friedman's Market/Bi-Lo Foods
Late Model Feature:
1. Nick Jones, Pittsburgh
2. Ben Miley, Venetia
3. Ken Schaltenbrand, Sarver
4. Dave Norton, Shinglehouse
5. Bill Knepper, Clinton
6. Bob Puz, Rural Ridge
7. Bob Wearing, Sr., Callery
8. Keith Zimmerman, Titusville
9. Dan Swartzlander, Freeport
10. Gary Lyle, Hyde Park
11. Bob Bertges, Pittsburgh
12. Jeff Henry, Renfrew
13. Tony Burke, Sarver
14. Mark Booth, West Newton
15. William Reges, Butler

Feature Race Notes:       Started: 8
Wins: 1        Laps: 20
Lap Leaders:   Schaltenbrand 1-2, Miley 3-15,
                        Jones 16-20
Late Model Qualifying Race Winners:
1st Heat: Dave Norton, Shinglehouse
2nd Heat: Gary Lyle, Hyde Park

Agip Motor Oil Sprint Feature:
1. Ralph Spithaler, Evans City
2. Ed Lynch, Jr., Apollo
3. Davey Jones, Warrendale
4. Roger Bennett, Evans City
5. Scott Priester, Rimersburg
6. Charlie Holben, Cabot
7. Gary McCann, New Castle
8. Bill Kiley, Cabot
9. Robert Altmeyer, Kittanning
10. Jimmy Hawley, West Middlesex
11. Matt Wingard, Johnstown
12. Kevin Andrusky, Hermitage
13. Brent Matus, Wampum
14. Eric Smith, Sarver
15. Bob Walters, Pittsburgh

Feature Race Notes:       Started: 5
Wins: 2        Laps: 20
Lap Leaders: Jones 1-5, Spithaler 6-20

Sprint Qualifying Race Winners:
1st Heat: Ed Lynch, Jr., Apollo
2nd Heat: Gary McCann, New Castle

Dingbats Restaurant Pure Stock Feature:
1. Bruce Milbert, Cranberry Twp.
2. Scott Bochek, Cheswick
3. Joe Kelley, Mt. Pleasant
4. Chris Schneider, Tarentum
5. Herman Bertolini, Creighton
6. Harold Reges, Butler
7. Jeff Walters, Evans City
8. Tom Tuite, West Sunbury
9. Bob Lipinski, Pittsburgh
10. Lonnie Hoffman, McKeesport
11. Dave Harbaugh, Ellwood City
12. Robert Kosecki, Leechburg
13. Butch Lambert, Mars
14. Jeff Stepp, Cheswick
15. Greg Beach, Chicora

Feature Race Notes:       Started: 3
Wins: 1        Laps: 15
Lap Leaders: Harbaugh 1-12, Milbert 13-15

Pure Stock Qualifying Race Winners:
1st Heat: Dave Harbaugh, Ellwood City
2nd Heat: Joe Kelley, Mt. Pleasant
3rd Heat: Scott Bochek, Cheswick
B-Main: Mike Faas, Creighton