It’s Zearfoss At Lebanon Valley

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Brock Zearfoss in victory lane. (Dick Ayers photo)
Brock Zearfoss in victory lane. (Dick Ayers photo)

W. LEBANON, N.Y. — Brock Zearfoss led Sunday night’s Ollie’s Bargain Center All Star Circuit of Champions feature flag to flag on a night that saw the high banks of the half-mile Lebanon Valley Speedway littered with trashed sprint cars.

Davey Franek was a distant second in the finale of the New York swing, with Danny Dietrich, Gerald McIntyre and Corey Eliason rounding out the top five.

“It’s never easy,” offered Zearfoss. “But we were quick tonight. It was just one of those deals where everything comes together for you.”

Zearfoss blasted off from the pole on the initial break and had a comfortable lead when the first yellow, on lap three, brought him back to the field.  The turn one melee left Tony Stewart and Paul McMahan needing repairs before returning and fast-timer Lucas Wolfe with a trashed race car after hitting the turn-one wall a ton and flipping down to the infield.

With order restored, Zearfoss once again flew away from his pursuers as Justin Peck and Dietrich swapped fourth position back and forth behind him.  By lap five he had a full turn lead over Franek, point leader Aaron Reutzel and Justin Peck and by lap 12 he’d run down the backmarkers.

But Zearfoss lost his advantage once again on lap 16, as Reutzal had a run on Franek into turns three and four with Peck trying to follow him when the trio ran out of room. Peck went around while Reutzal blasted the wall before flipping hard at the top of the frontstretch to draw another red flag.

“I didn’t miss that mess by much,” said Dietrich.  “I dove low and hit the berm trying to get away.  Something is bent, because the car was never right after that!”

Franek escaped to remain runner up for the restart, with Dietrich advancing to third. Zearfoss was long gone again once the green returned, with the remainder of the field settling into single file behind him. They ran that way to the finish, with Stewart, Justin Barger, Greg Wilson, McMahon and Dale Blaney comprising the second five.

Franek, among the best in the 360 division in the Northeast, was happy but not overjoyed by his runner-up finish, saying, “Second is tough. You always want to win. But this is only my second or third start with the 410’s, so we’ll take it. This place is so fast that it’s really tough to pass, but overall we were really good.”

Brock Zearfoss at Lebanon Valley Speedway. (Dick Ayers photo)
Brock Zearfoss at Lebanon Valley Speedway. (Dick Ayers photo)

Blaney’s finishing position was notable in that he’d caught the turn two wall in hot laps, nearly ripping the rear end out of his McGhee Motorsports car and necessitating the use of his backup car. His crew rapidly installed an engine, swapped Blaney’s seat and various other parts onto the spare and he was ready for his heat.

The first heat was also tough on race cars, as Wolfe jumped the cushion on the start and hit the turn one wall, necessitating both a new front axle and a new rear end. Then, midway in the qualifier, Skyler Gee took a hard flip in turn four, trashing his ride in the process.

Zearfoss, Dietrich and Franek shared heat wins as the 19-car field qualified, with Zearfoss adding to a near perfect night with a convincing score in the dash.

The finish:

Feature (25 Laps): 1. 70-Brock Zearfoss [1]; 2. 28F-Davey Franek [2]; 3. 48-Danny Dietrich [5]; 4. O7-Gerard McIntyre [10]; 5. 26-Cory Eliason [11]; 6. 14-Tony Stewart [7]; 7. 5-Justin Barger [9]; 8. W20-Greg Wilson [12]; 9. 13-Paul McMahan [3]; 10. 11-Dale Blaney [13]; 11. 90-Jordan Givler [15]; 12. 40-George Hobaugh [8]; 13. 87-Aaron Reutzel [4]; 14. 70X-Justin Peck [6]; 15. IO7-Mark Coldren [17]; 16. 91-Scott Holcomb [18]; 17. 55-Darren Schott [19]; 18. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [16]; 19. 87jb-Jim Bob [20]; 20. 99-Skylar Gee [14] Lap Leaders: Brock Zearfoss [1-25]

 

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