Saxonburg driver claims emotional victory at Lernerville
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The two men most influential in Alex Ferree's racing career played a part in his winning the Dave Hoffman Memorial on Friday night at Lernerville Speedway.
“Dave (Hoffman) was pretty big for our family,” said Ferree of Saxonburg. “Dave helped teach me what I know about setup and how to drive this car. And tonight I passed my dad in wins here. So this race means more to me than the points championship.”
Ferree's victory is his 22nd at Lernerville and puts him one in front of his father Ed.
Hoffman, a four-time Lernerville Late Model champion who died this past winter, had 19 career victories at the track.
In fact, it was Ferree's car that was used before the night's races by Bobby Hoffman to drive a victory lap that would have given his father his symbolic 300th career victory.
Russell King started the feature in the 10th spot and finished second, Jared Miley was third, Mike Pegher Jr. fourth and Garrett Krummert fifth.
Krummert led the first 20 laps, but after the restart on Lap 13 Ferree gradually cut into the lead. Coming out of Turn 2, Krummert made a mistake and Ferree took the lead.
“We've been fast the past five weeks,” Krummert said. “It always seems like this, at least lately, either the car breaks or the driver makes a mistake. I just missed it going into Turn 1, and that led to it coming out of 2.”
Ferree did not hesitate to say how Krummert's bobble influenced the race.
“If (Krummert) had not make a mistake, I probably wouldn't have passed him,” Ferree said. “Getting to someone and passing them is completely different.”
Miley appreciated the significance of the Hoffman Memorial.
“We were just kind of riding around out there tonight,” Miley said. “I'm just glad we finished. Our car was too tight tonight. The track looked drier than it was, so I am happy with a third.
“You do put more meaning to races like this,” Miley added. “Especially when you are old enough to remember the person that the night is for. And I remember Dave Hoffman.”
Miley will race Saturday in the Red Miley Rumble at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. That race honors Miley's uncle, Red, with a special Late Model race.
Just a few weeks ago John Garvin Jr. was leading the championship race, but Friday night he had yet another issue, this time a broken motor. And now, with just two points races left in the season, he is in unfamiliar territory.
“It's pretty frustrating,” said Garvin, who finished second to Miley in last season's championship. “I'm not really sure how to come back and win the championship. I don't know how to do that yet. I have never been that good and then had to do this.”
In other action, Wampum's Brandon Matus, who turned 19 last week, won his second career Sprint Car feature. Dave Murdick of Slippery Rock won his 28th career V-8 Modified feature and second of the season. Murdick's victory broke a tie with Dick Rankin on Lernerville's all-time Modified list.
Chicora's Mike Miller won his fourth Sportsman Stock feature of the season. Miller, the 2011 track champion, has won three of the past four features. Paul Bacchus, on his 60th birthday, won the Nostalgia Night feature.
The night started out with three accidents. The first came in the first heat of the night when Late Model driver Ron Davies slammed into the catch fence off Turn 3. His car went airborne, started to roll and ended upside-down in the fence.
Davies got out of the car and appeared for the most part unharmed. He was taken to the hospital for evaluation.
The second incident occurred during the second Sprint Car heat when Eric Williams slammed sideways into the wall over the top of Turn 4. Williams was shaken up but exited the car under his own power and was taken via ambulance for evaluation.
The other accident took place in the third Sprint Car heat race when Charlie Cornelius rolled his car through Turn 3 and into Turn 4. He also exited the car under his own power, but all three drivers were done for the evening.
Thomas Zuck is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police officer reported wounded in New Florence; suspect at-large
- Thomas Jefferson captures 6th WPIAL title
- Central Catholic wins 5th WPIAL football title
- Zatkoff’s, Malkin’s heroics not enough as Oilers down Penguins in shootout
- Four downs: Steelers might still be Adams’ best bet
- WPIAL Class AAA notes: Title games draw 16,500 to Heinz Field
- Steelers find success vs. NFC
- Aliquippa wins 16th WPIAL title, ends South Fayette’s 44-game winning streak
- Funding highway bill atop Rep. Shuster’s agenda
- Steelers notebook: Brown downplays possible matchup against Seahawks’ Sherman
- Robert Morris defeats Mississippi Valley State for 1st victory of season