Flinner scores All Star victory at Lernerville
By Jason ShankDirtonDirt.com correspondent
SARVER, Pa. (April 29) – John Flinner of Zelienople, Pa., dominated Friday night’s Showdown in Sarvertown at Lernerville Speedway, leading the final 29 laps on his way to claiming his 41st victory at the famed western Pennsylvania oval. The veteran driver earned $5,000 in the O’Reilly All Star Late Model Series event. | Slideshow
Flinner quickly advanced forward from the 13th starting position, taking the lead from Boom Briggs of Bear Lake, Pa., on lap 11. Once out front, Flinner never looked back, lapping up to the second-place car in the 40-lap feature that was shortened from 50 laps because of rough track conditions.
“That was probably (the roughest) track I’ve ever run on,” the five-time Lernerville Speedway champion said in victory lane. “I was thinking when we went out that this would be a C.J. Rayburn (Chassis) type race track but with Brian Daugherty of Integra Shocks showed up at the last minute and had me do some off the wall stuff to put on the right rear, he said, I’m telling you it’ll work and it’s like who cares, I’m starting so far back, it was pretty awesome, that’s what made it.”
After polesitter Eddie Carrier Jr., of Salt Rock, W.Va., led early, Briggs took the lead on the sixth lap while asphalt convert Tommy Beck of Murrysville, Pa., battled with Carrier for second.
Briggs led until lap eleven when Flinner pulled a slide job in turn four, a move Briggs was none too happy with.
“John Flinner had the fastest car here tonight because he was able to get through the holes better than anybody,” Briggs said. “I don’t really appreciate getting run over but, that’s racing. Flinner and the No. 91 car (Beck) were just better through the rough than I was."
Once Flinner captured the lead from Briggs, Beck made his way into second and the two began to pull away from the field. Flinner mastered the rough speedway and stretched his lead over Beck to well over a straightaway.
As the laps ticked away, cars slowly headed pit side as seven cars crossed the finish line while only the top two cars finished on the lead lap.
“I was always taught to race until the race was over,” Flinner joked in victory lane. “Uncle John (car owner Johnny Johnson) would have said ‘Hammer-down, whatever it takes.”
Gregg Satterlee of Rochester Mills, Pa., finished third with Briggs and Brian Force of Indiana, Pa., rounding out the top five finishers.
Notes: Flinner drives a Johnny Johnson owned Rocket Chassis sponsored by John’s Towing, River Salvage and Flinner Signs and Decals. ... The victory was the first of Flinner’s career with the All Star Series. ... Lernerville hosted night one of a two-race weekend for the O'Reilly ASLMS... Action resumes Saturday night with a $4,000-to-win event at K-C Raceway in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Showdown in Sarvertown: (1) John Flinner, (2) Tom Beck, (3) Gregg Satterlee, (4) Boom Briggs, (5) Brian Force, (6) Chad Valone, (7) Russell King, (8) Jared Miley, (9) Donnie Moran, (10) Davey Johnson, (11) Devin Moran, (12) Lynn Geisler, (13) Eddie Carrier Jr., (14) Jared Hawkins, (15) John Garvin Jr., (16) John Mollick, (17) Tim Dohm, (18) Robbie Blair, (19) Dave Hess Jr., (20) Mike Knight, (21) Jacob Hawkins, (22) Dave Murdick, (23) Keith Barbara, (24) Greg Oakes. Fast qualifier (among 43 cars): Dohm, 15.311 seconds. Heat race winners: Dohm, Briggs, Johnson, Garvin. Consolation race winners: Moran, Force.