By Gary Thayer
Special to The Meadville Tribune
CONNEAUT, Ohio —
This weekend Raceway 7 hosted its final night of racing for the year. The Patriot 360 Sprint Tour was to race at the Route 7 track earlier this year but was rained out. The race was rescheduled for this past Friday and 17 sprinters showed up to race the 25 lap feature. This would be the first appearance of the Patriot Sprints at the track. Jared Zimbardi from Little Valley N.Y. qualified to start on the front row of the big race and led the entire event to take his third Patriot Sprint feature of the year. Zimbardi is now leading the Touring Series points. Justin Barger finished second.
Chad Wright of Springboro finished last week’s FASTRAK Late Models feature with enough points to claim the first championship of his young career. That was a good thing for Wright because he couldn’t fix his motor problems to even start this week’s feature. Kyle Zimmerman of Albion started the race on the front row and took off with the lead. By the halfway mark Zimmerman had a comfortable lead but Dave Airgood Jr. and Dennis Lunger were giving chase to Zimmerman. At the checkered flag the trio finished in that order. It was Zimmerman’s first feature win at the Conneaut track in a few years.
E-Mod driver Percy McDonald of Girard has not visited victory lane since 2009. Friday night, he finally broke through. Stating fourth, McDonald grabbed second place on lap one and was chasing leader Mike Kinney. And by lap 14, McDonald passed Kinney for the lead and went on for the win.
Albion’s Shawn Fawcett started on the front in the Street Stock 15-lap feature. At the halfway mark, Ed Bolyard started knocking on the back bumper of Fawcett and the duo raced side by side until Fawcett took the lead and went on for the win. This is Fawcett’s first win of the year at 7. Chris Withers claimed the track championship for the class.
Alan Atkinson won his second Econo Mod feature of the year at 7. Atkinson started on the front row and held off Steve Burns for the win.
The Mini Stocks had the last feature of the year and it took until the end of the race to find out who was the class champ in points. The feature win went to first time racer at Raceway 7 Pete Blaczak and the second place finisher was Jason Easler. The point championship went to Brad Cole.
Ferree wins another one at Lernerville
SARVER — Alex Ferree’s name has been mentioned in this column many times this year. Friday night down at Lernerville Speedway he showed his fellow racers why he is the track champion in the Super Late Models. The 10th starting Ferree drove his No. 10 under Jared Milley on lap 20 to win his fifth feature of the year at the track.
Canadian Mat Williamson started third in the DIRTcar Big Block Modified feature and grabbed second place on lap one. On lap seven Williamson took over the lead from Dave Murdick and cruised on for the win over Brian Swartzlander, who had a strong second place finish. This is Williamson’s fifth feature win of the year and he took home the points championship trophy.
Mike Lutz took off with the lead at the start of the 25-lap DIRTcar Sprints feature. By lap 10, Jumpin’ Jack Sodeman Jr. took over the top spot to go on for his fourth feature of the year at the ’Ville. Rod George finished second. At the end of the feature, Brandon Spithaler claimed his very first track championship of his career.
In the DIRTcar Sportsman class, defending 2012 track champ Corey McPherson defended his title quite well this season, claiming his seventh feature of the season on Friday.
Lernerville Speedway has closed out its Fab Four Racing for the year. For the next three weeks, the track will have special Saturday night programs.
RUSH Series comes to the ’Burgh
CARNEGIE — The RUSH Late Model Touring Series held its manufacturers night at Pittsburgh Motor Speedway Saturday night. Forty cars showed up for the 24-car, $1,500-to-win, 25-lap feature. West Virginia driver Ryan Montgomery had been the driver to beat late in the racing season. Montgomery took off with the lead from the front row. On lap 16 Montgomery and Josh Holtgraver came together and as a result both drivers pitted to replace flat tires. That gave the lead to Tommy Schirnhofer Jr. of Pittsburgh. Montgomery came back out from the tire change and started charging to the front. By the end of the feature Schirnhofer crossed the finish line 2.585 seconds in front of Montgomery’s second place finish. This is Schirnhofer’s first RUSH Touring Series win.
Next week, Eriez Speedway hosts its September Sweep two-day show. On Friday night the United Late Model Series will run for $3,000-to-win, The Challengers will race for $1,000-to-win and the FASTRAK Late Models, United E-Mods Series, Limited Late Models and Street Stocks are qualifying for Sunday’s features. On Sunday, the Super Late Models have a $5,000-to-win feature, the E-Mods have a $2,000-to-win feature, Street Stocks have a $1,000-to-win feature and the FASTRAK Late Models have a $5,000-to-win national event feature. The best-of-the-best drivers will be there.
Until next week, take your family to the races.