Lunger wins Lernerville finale; Pegher gets title
SARVER, Pa. (Oct. 26) — Dennis Lunger Jr. of Albion, Pa., inherited a $2,000 victory at Lernerville Speedway’s fifth annual Steel City Stampede on Saturday when apparent winner Jacob Hawkins of Fairmont, W.Va., was stripped of the victory on the Sweeney Chevrolet-Buick-GMC Rush Crate Late Model Series.
Hawkins took the checkers first, but his car was disqualified in postrace technical inspection because it had illegal merge collectors on the headers.
Lunger, who started 13th and rallied with a new powerplant after problems in Friday’s heat, was moved up to first after crossing the line second in the season finale.
"That car was just awesome tonight,” said Lunger, who became the 12th winner in 24 races on the first-year series. “I had to run right around the bottom, but we were going forward so I decided to just hold it down there and it was really good.”
Mike Pegher Jr. of Wexford, Pa., scored a runner-up finish that helped him overtake Chad Montgomery for the $5,000 tour championship. The 27-year-old won the title by three points after four runner-up finishes on Crate Late Model tours.
Chad Ruhlman of Bemus Point, N.Y., was third followed by Butch Lambert of Valencia, Pa., who had previously announced his retirement. Max Blair of Centerville, Pa., rounded out the top five.
Steel City Stampede: (1) Dennis Lunger Jr., (2) Mike Pegher Jr., (3) Chad Ruhlman, (4) Butch Lambert, (5) Max Blair, (6) John Waters, (7) Josh Holtgraver, (8) Ryan Montgomery, (9) Nico Dabecco, (10) Andrew Wylie, (11) Joe Martin, (12) Tommy Schirnhofer Jr., (13) Justin Lamb, (14) Will Thomas III, (15) Rocky Kugel, (16) Bobby Whitling, (17) Daryl Charlier, (18) Troy Swindell, (19) Jeremy Adamik, (20) Matt Glanden, (21) Wendell Pickney, (22) Cody Dawson, (23) Ron Smithley. Disqualified: Jacob Hawkins. Scratched: Bobby Rohrer. Heat race winners (among 30 cars): Pegher, Ruhlman, Blair. Dash winner: Lunger. Consolation winner: Dabecco.