posted May 17, 2002 10:11 AM
Stevie Smith used "Vivarin" to wake up the WoO Competition at Lernerville
Stevie Smith dominated the Pennzoil World of Outlaws' 35-lap
"Commonwealth Clash" A-Feature, Wednesday night, at Don Martin's Lernerville
Speedway, capturing his first big win of 2002. Smith, a New Oxford
Pennsylvania native, driving his Vivarin sponsored #11, took the lead from
pole sitter Joey Saldana on lap 7. Using the low line, Smith came from third
to literally "wake up" the competition by driving a superb race and
remaining untouchable the distance to collect the $10,000 prize money.
Smith said, "I didn't have any idea how big of a lead I had...I was just
running hard, because with these guys you never know who's coming up on you!"
He further stated, "We've been kind of struggling lately, we made some good
decisions on the car tonight. Things really went our way and the Good Year
tires were really working great! Maybe this will get us started on the right
Joey Saldana broke the Lernerville track record of 12.413 set by Mark
Kinser, September 26, 2000 with a 12.334. Saldana drew the inversion pill for
the O' Reilly Auto Parts Dashes, which set him on the pole for the feature.
A little dejected, Saldana said, " He (Smith) just tightened the car up and
we left ours a little loose. Saldana further said about Smith, " He could run
down there around the bottom, and we just couldn't run with him…whoever
guesses right wins the races."
At the beginning of the race night, Randy Hannagan changed engines after
warm ups, missed his spot in time trials, and therefore, only took one timed
lap. Steve Kinser lost an engine after the second time trial lap and also
changed power plants before the heat races started. During the feature's
parade lap, the "black cloud" continued to plague Hannagan as he stopped on
the front stretch with throttle problems bringing out the initial caution.
On the restart, again before the field completed the first lap, Donny Schatz
rolled his Sprint in turn two. When the race finally started, Saldana got the
"jump" off turn four to take the lead over Jac Haudenschild with Smith in
third. On lap four, Smith used the low grove of turn three to make his move,
passing Haudenschild for second. Approaching lapped traffic the next lap,
Saldana had a seven-car length lead shortened as he diced through the
passageways. On lap seven, Smith took the lead from Saldana in turn two, once
again by running that "sweet" low line.
On lap ten, Brian Paulus spun his #28 Sprint in turn 2, causing the third
yellow flagged event. On the restart, as Smith and Saldana paced the field to
a green, Haudenschild's #5 slowed and drifted over the top of the speedway,
causing the last caution. He exited the speedway and it was later reported
that he had broken a camshaft. Smith and Saldana continued to run ahead of
the pack with Smith increasing his distance to more than a ½ lap lead over
Saldana at the checkered flag. In victory circle Smith said, "Ron Beaman,
from Vivarin, is here tonight, and it's great to get a win for those
him…without them we probably wouldn't be here!"
Mark Kinser won the battle for third relegating Daryn Pittman to fourth
and Lernerville's 1993 Track Champion Tim Shaffer to fifth. Later Mark
Kinser, winner of five coveted July Silver Cup events said, "They had a lot
of bad weather around here, and I'm in awe that Lernerville does such a good
job keeping it good. I've been to places where they have had that much rain,
and the track would be a minefield. It was not a typical Outlaw track." Sixth
through ninth place went to Paul McMahon, Johnny Herrera, Brad Furr, and
Craig Dollansky. Starting 18th and finishing tenth, Steve Kinser said,
"Stevie was good tonight. You know, Stevie has not had a great year. I'm not
shocked, but I'm surprised. Stevie is a very confident driver and very good
one, but he "spanked" the field tonight!"
Apollo's Ed Lynch Jr was the top local finisher in 14th, but wasn't happy
with his decision on set up. Especially after he won his heat race in front
of Dale Blaney, Mark Kinser and the reigning WoO Champ Danny Lasoski. "I
missed the set up for the A-Main," Lynch said. "My tires grew, and I didn't
have enough stagger, and the car was too tight the whole time. I changed
tires and stagger, and it kept going the other way. Really, I would have been
better if I hadn't done anything." Also winning heat races were Kenny Jacobs,
Haudenschild, and Johnny Herrera. Lernerville September 2001 WoO victor Danny
Wood checkered the B-Main.
Lernerville's provisional starters were Sarver's Mike Kaminski who placed
24th and Brent Matus from Wampum in 19th. Gary Kriess, 23rd, and Ralph
Spithaler, 22nd, each earned a spot in the feature with their performance in
There were three former Lernerville Champions in the race, Shaffer, Dale
Blaney and Ed Lynch Jr.
Lernerville's next WoO show is July 23rd. This will be the Don Martin
Memorial Silver Cup XI Race. We are celebrating 35 years at the track with
the Martin family, and therefore, paying $35,000 to the winner