Reigning champion Blair captures All Star opener
SARVER, Pa. (April 30) — Reigning series champion Robbie Blair of Titusville, Pa., got his O'Reilly All Star Series season off to a solid start Friday at Lernerville Speedway with a $5,000 victory in the Showdown at Sarvertown.
Blair, who started sixth, got to the front by the fourth lap and spent the middle stages of the 50-lapper trying to regain the lead from Boom Briggs of Bear Lake, Pa., the winner of last year's series opener at Lernerville. | Slideshow
After Blair dispatched of Briggs, Dave Hess Jr. of Waterford, Pa., turned up the heat in the closing laps, but Blair turned him back and raced to the checkered flag for his second career victory on the series, which is beginning its second season.
The ninth-starting Hess settled for second with polesitter Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa., in third. Briggs, who led the most laps, was fourth and 12th-starting Jared Miley of South Park, Pa., rounded out the top five in the series opener. Matt Lux of Franklin, Pa., battled among the top five before an overheating car forced him out.
Davey Johnson of Latrobe, Pa., started outside the front row and led the first lap, but Blair was out front by lap four and led nine circuits until Briggs took command on lap 13. The Briggs-Blair battle continued up front for several laps while Hess, Miley and others worked their way toward the front.
On a restart with 12 laps remaining, Blair worked past Briggs, who ended up losing two more spots the rest of the way. Hess went to work on Blair, pulling alongside and being credited with leading a lap late before Blair edged back ahead to complete his victory.
Notes: Blair's Draime-powered Rocket Chassis is sponsored by Specialty Products, Moody & Son Welding and EquiCross. ... Blair's fast qualifying time was just one-thousandth of a tick off Darrell Lanigan's 15.072-second track record for Late Models. ... Blair's daughter Niki is the series trophy queen and posed in victory lane with her father along with Mandy Golec, Miss Lernerville. ... Late Model runner-up Dave Hess Jr. won the modified feature. ... Jared Hawkins took hard charger honors with his 22nd-to-ninth run. ... Among drivers failing to make the main event: Bump Hedman, David Scott, Doug Eck and John Mollick (scratched from time trails). ... Mike Pegher Jr. won the Crate Late Model feature. ... Saturday's O'Reilly All Star event at K-C Raceway was rained out and will be rescheduled, the series said.
Showdown in Sarvertown: (1) Robbie Blair, (2) Dave Hess Jr., (3) Jason Covert, (4) Boom Briggs, (5) Jared Miley, (6) Dick Barton, (7) Mike Knight, (8) Alex Ferree, (9) Jared Hawkins, (10) Greg Oakes, (11) Jason Dupont, (12) Dave Murdick, (13) Lynn Geisler, (14) Chad Valone, (15) Gregg Satterlee, (16) Rod Conley, (17) Doug Horton, (18) Denton Boyer, (19) Mike Johnson, (20) John Garvin Jr., (21) Matt Lux, (22) Vic Coffey, (23) Keith Barbara, (24) Davey Johnson, (25) Brian Swartzlander. Fast qualifier (among 38 cars): Blair, 15.073 seconds. Heat race winners: Blair, Briggs, D. Johnson, Coffey. Consolation winners: Horton, Barton.