SARVER, Pa. – Opening night 2013 was a mixed bag of results at Lernerville Speedway as four drivers celebrated the new campaign in Sheetz Victory Lane, while others left in anger and frustration.
For Jack Sodeman Jr. in the Peoples TWP Sprints, Dave Hess Jr. in the Precise Late Models, Mat Williamson in the Diehl Mods and Bob Egley in the Pic-A-Part Sportsman, Opening Night wins were the perfect way to kick start a run at the Budweiser Track Championships.
For guys like Carl Bowser and Mike Pegher, (whose engines failed them before they logged a single lap in competition), or guys like Brian Ellenberger, Brian Swartzlander or Jim Fosnaught, (who watched helplessly as the opportunity to stand in Sheetz Victory Lane was yanked out from under them), Opening Night ended far differently than their hopes and intentions.
Feature action started with the debut of the newly renamed Peoples TWP DIRTcar Sprints with Brian Ellenberger and Eric Turkey Williams leading the 21 car field (three drivers scratched from the B-Main, so the remaining six transferred automatically) to the first green flag of 2013.
Ellenberger jumped out to the early lead and pulled away as the battle for second through fifth was heated between Williams, Jack Sodeman Jr., Brandon Matus and Brandon Spithaler. The young Brandons got together at the end of the front straightaway on lap eight, resulting in Matus having to ride a tow truck back to the pits.
Back under green flag conditions, Ellenberger had to take evasive action on lap 14 to miss a spinning Bill Kiley in the apex of turns three & four. Ellenberger jumped the cushion, got sideways and bicycled, but never came to a stop and thus retained his lead. However, coming to the flag stand to complete the first lap after the restart, sparks flew from under the rearend of the Classic Ink #20E and the car slowed dramatically.