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Biggest event in Lernerville history

The biggest event in Lernerville history starts tonight!

The Lucas Oil Super Late Models will race this evening and also Friday and Saturday. There will be three complete shows for the Lucas Oil Late Models when they make their Lernerville debut. It will be a $6,000 to win Thursday and Friday and a 100- lapper $50,000 to win on Saturday plus the Uncle Sam race paying $2,000 to the winner. The Bill Emig Memorial 100 Crate Late feature will pay a whopping $20,000 to win.

The Rush Crate cars will have practice and qualifying on Thursday, heat races and dash on Friday and B-Main and feature on Saturday. So, the Rush Crate program is spaced out over the three days while the Lucas Oil Super Lates have three complete programs.

Bill Emig was a racing icon noted for his famous #1 six-cylinder Ford race car that made its mark throughout western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and beyond from 1969 to his passing in 1990 at just 54. Seven outstanding drivers wheeled his cars to over 350 feature wins and numerous track championships, many against stout fields of V-8 powered cars.

Rush Promoter Vicki Emig has put together an outstanding program to honor her dad. He will be remembered at what will be the 32nd running of the "Bill Emig Memorial" presented by to the winner of the 50-lap RUSH Late Model Series feature along with a $5,000 custom designed championship diamond ring from D&V Jewelers boosting the winner's take to $25,000!

Last year’s event attracted 54 cars from 11 states for $10,000 to-win going to Mark Whitener.

Last year, Brandon Sheppard and Brandon Overton won the Firecracker early shows and Brandon Overton won the big money event!

Brandon Sheppard, (3,100 pts.) tops the Lucas Point list over Tim McCreadie (3,035pts.) by just 65 points this season.

Celebrating 25 years of racing in 2022 is Alex Ferree. He spent the first two years in a Go-Cart then moved on to Semi-Lates before driving a Late Model. He is looking forward to the Lucas Oil Late Model race.

“It is the biggest race in our area.The fact that the Crate Late Model pays $20,000 adds even more excitement,” Ferree said.

Alex is partners with the Late Model legend Lynn Geisler.

“We have been struggling for a top five finish and I am hopeful to find the right combination to compete for first or second,” Ferree said. “There are so many good local drivers, it’s going to be crazy. Between Miley winning a WoO show recently and then Norris is always a good contender. Dave Hess may come down from the North, Wyatt Scott and his new Affliction Chassis and Colton Flinner are all good competitors. Satterlee isn’t really a local anymore; he is a traveler and often wins wherever he goes on a regular basis.”

Jared Miley is partners with Joe Corrado.

“I am looking forward to this big show at Lernerville,” Miley said.

Their team is still excited after winning a recent career first WoO Show at Port Royal.

“We are going to try to do good here for the Lucas Oil show. That’s a lot of money, big money. A lot of good drivers will be here even for the Crate Late Models. We are going to try and use our experience to be competitive and consistent,” Miley said.

Miley isn’t superstitious and doesn’t carry any lucky charms.

“You could throw peanuts in my pit before a race and it wouldn’t bother me,” he said.

Defending track champion Colton Flinner ran with the Lucas Oil drivers for one year in 2016.

“I learned a lot in that time,” he said.

Since, he has become a seasoned driver. This year, he has garnered five feature races at Port Royal and two at Lernerville. His car is named the “Dream Machine.” Flinner first started racing go carts, then Crate Lates, before embarking to the Super Late Models. He has gained the confidence needed to be a winner.

“Our John Johnson cars are really good. I’ve gained experience. It’s all just coming together. Hopefully it just stays together,” Flinner said.

Mike Norris will drive the family owned #72 in the big Lucas “Firecracker” show.

“My family car has been pretty fortunate. We haven’t had to wait for many parts,” Norris said.

Butler’s Gary Henry builds his engines.

“I’ve had horrendous luck lately,” Norris said. “When we’re running good, you want to keep running, but it is the opposite when you are running bad, I don’t want to race. We’re saving our car for the races we feel good about. We want to race realistically.

We have been waiting for Todd Cerenza’ s #02 engine since last year so we have both ends of the spectrum covered.”

This is the other Super Late that Norris sometimes pilots.

“With Diesel fuel $6 a gallon and Lernerville 10 minutes away, we have been tuning up for the big show.” hhe said.

His brother-in-law, Nico Dibecco, owns Crate Late Model that Norris will drive at the “Firecracker” also.

“It is cool to keep our family together. I am, excited to go back and forth with crates to Super Lates but my heart is with the Super Lates. I’ve been blessed! I want to do well for all my supporters,” Norris said. “At my age I’m doing it for fun. I want to go to the tracks I Iike. Sometimes I’d have more fun sitting at home. You have to be lucky, good, and have all your ducks lined up in a row. It is a mental sport where you have to be confident too! I am hoping to get a Lucas signature on a big check!”

Flick still red-hot

A J Flick started driving Sprints in 2014. He went to a Donnie Krietz Sprint seminar. Fred Rahmer spoke at this event and told the drivers that it takes seven to eight years to gain enough experience to drive a sprint car, learn all the technical parts of setting it up and reading the track surfaces.

This is 2022 and Flick is one of the “hottest” drivers around. He has seven features to his credit this year. The “young lion” is already on the top-ten All-Time Lernerville Sprint win list. One more Sprint Championship and he will tie the late Lou Blaney for the most Lernerville Sprint titles, totaling six.

This future Hall of Fame driver has 27 Lernervillle victories on the All-Time-Win list placing him 10th! There are two other active drivers still competing that are high on this list, Carl Bowser with 28 and Jack Sodeman Jr with 23 wins.

No. 99 for Swartzlander

Last Friday, Brian Swartzlander captured his 99th V-8 Modified victory and now looks forward to the century mark! Drivers to reach that pinnacle in one division are as follows: Sprints-Ed Lynch Jr, 111; Super Late Models-Bob Wearing Jr, 117; Lynn Geisler,109.

Jonathon Davenport won the recent Eldora Million Super Late Model race over Chris Madden! The 50/50 was $96,000!

Carol Gamble is a racing columnist for the Butler Eagle.