A driver takes the lead Friday, July 4, 2014, at Lernerville Speedway. Photo by Nick Mitrakos | Valley News Dispatch
By Thomas Zuck| Friday, July 4, 2014, 11:57 p.m.
After last week's World of Outlaws event, Lernerville Speedway took another break from the weekly show to host the RUSH Crate Late Model Touring Series, RUSH Sportsman Mods and the Buckeye Outlaws Sprint Series (BOSS) as part of the Bill Emig Memorial Wild Card Weekend.
The BOSS cars were up first, and that 25-lap race did not disappoint. Logan Hupp of Columbus, Ind., held off a trio of challengers to score the first BOSS Wingless Sprint victory of his career.
Hupp crossed the finish line .013 seconds in front of Dustin Smith of Russiaville, Ind. Mike Miller of Wapakoneta, Ohio, finished third; Lernerville regular Jack Sodeman Jr. of North Jackson, Ohio, was fourth; and Tony Beaber of Gibsonburg, Ohio, rounded out the top five.
“The beginning of the race was clear sailing,” Hupp said. “And once you get into a rhythm, things are pretty easy. Then that caution came out, and it was hard to get back to it. But any win is good and especially at a place like this.”
Hupp was in control of the race after he took the lead from Sodeman on Lap 4. At that point, Lernerville regular Brandon Spithaler, the track's defending 410-winged Sprint Car champion, was third.
As Hupp built his lead, Spithaler and Sodeman battled. The only caution of the night came with 18 laps completed. Spithaler, who finished second in BOSS points last season, was second when the caution came out.
During the caution, his right rear tire went down, so after his crew changed the tire, he had to restart at the back of the field.
After the restart, the top four drivers dueled and traded the lead numerous times in the time it took to complete one lap.
The most dramatic came just as the leaders exited Turn 4 on Lap 23 when Smith grabbed the lead. It was a lead he could not hold as Hupp used the same move to retake the lead and win the race.
“That caution gave me a chance to adjust my shocks, and that really allowed me to get the car onto the track,” Smith said. “I really made a mistake on the last lap because after the white flag. I changed my line going into Turn 1, and Logan (Hupp) took advantage of it. But to come from seventh to finish second, and to have the lead, is pretty good.”
For Hupp, the opening at the start of the final lap could not have come at a better spot in the track.
“(Turns 1 and 2) here are very much like my home track in Indiana, Lawrenceburg Speedway, in that it's banked more than in Turns 3 and 4,” Hupp said. “I knew he was better in Turns 1 and 2, so I could not let him get too far in front of me because I was also better in Turns 3 and 4. I just kept digging.”
Chad McClellan of Stoystown won his second tour race of the year by holding off a challenge from series points leader Ryan Montgomery of Fairmont, W.Va., who finished second.
The drive of the night came from Alan Dellinger, who started 20th and finished fourth. In the final feature of the night, David Conant Jr. of New York, took the checkered flag in the Sportsman Modified feature.
On Saturday night, the RUSH divisions will be at Sharon Speedway for the final night of the Emig Memorial, and the BOSS Sprints will be at America's Motorsports Park in Clearfield.
On Wednesday, the Late Models will be at Expo Speedway (Ohio), then July 12 at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.
The Crate Late Models were first on the track with three heat races. The winners were Singleton, John Waters and Dennis Lunger Jr.
The first heat was the closest of the three with Singleton's margin of victory over McClellan at 0.745 seconds. Singleton has been the driver to beat of late and entered the night searching for his fourth consecutive series victory.
Singleton's three straight touring wins came June 7 at Roaring Knob, June 20 at Potomac Speedway (Md.) and June 21 at Winchester Speedway (Va.).
In the Wingless Sprints, Spithaler rolled his car off the top of Turn 2. The track crew pushed the car to the pits, and it was in good enough shape to take part in the first heat, where Spithaler finished second behind Hupp. Beaber won the second heat, and Miller won the third.
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