Thanks to the crew for working over 200+ hours to get the Boundary Systems/CREO, Bicknell Racing Products, Bolland Machine, Cintas, Budisak Boys, Bilstein #777 back in the winners circle after the crash at Eriez Speedway!
The fine folks from Diehl Auto Group were on hand as the program’s weekly sponsor and they were almost treated to a career first Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Big Block Modified feature win for young gun Steve Feder. Feder took the lead from the pole at the drop of the green flag and held off future Hall of Famer Kevin Bolland for 24 laps with the best run of his career in a caution-free race. But as the leaders approached turn one on the final lap, Feder hesitated for a fraction of a second as a pair of lapped cars raced side-by-side ahead of them and Bolland pounced, taking the bottom and the lead. Feder could only chase Bolland to the checkered flag and wait to fulfill his dream of scoring that sacred career first feature win at the Action Track. For Bolland, it was his second win of the season and 55th of his Lernerville career. The win was made all the more impressive by the 200+ man hours of labor required to get the #777 ready for action after a nasty wreck with Dave Murdick at the BRP Modified Tour opener at Eriez Speedway last Sunday Night.
Feder had to settle for a career best finish of second ahead of All Time wins leader Brian Swartzlander in third, Dave Murdick in fourth and NY invader Brian Weaver in fifth. Mike Turner, Dean Pearson, Eric Gabany, Carl Murdick and Phil Evans Jr. rounded out the Diehl Top Ten. Bolland and Swartzlander claimed heat race victories.
For the second feature in a row, Defending Track Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker was claimed by the gremlins as he broke on lap 21 exiting turn four running third and rolled into the infield; officially scored with a DNF in 16th.
Kevin Bolland takes the checkered flag - StivasonPhotos.com
The Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Big Block Modifieds rumbled onto the Action Track next with veteran Dean Pearson and Mike Turner on the front row. Pearson jumped out to an early lead, but Kevin Bolland was on the move! After starting seventh, Bolland found himself on the same hot seat Satterlee did. And true to form from the outside of row two, Bolland powered to the lead down the backstretch to lead lap three. All Time Modified wins leader Brian Swartzlander came to second two laps later and while he kept Bolland in sight, he was never really able to mount a serious challenge as Kevin Bolland won his second race of the season and 53rd of his prestigious career at Lernerville Speedway.
Brian Swartzlander workin' the turn - StivasonPhotos.com
Swartzlander chased Bolland the whole way to the checkered flag to finish second ahead of Jeremiah Shingledecker in third. This trio has pulled away from the pack in the Budweiser point standings with just five points separating the three of them. Shingledecker leads with 148, followed by Bolland with 144 and Swartzlander with 143.
Early leader Dean Pearson turned in his best finish of the season in fourth ahead of last week’s feature winner Dave Murdick in fifth. Brad Rapp, Jeff Schaffer, Carl Murdick, Steve Feder and Jim Weller Jr. rounded out the Diehl top ten. Bolland and Shingledecker checkered National Guard Heat Races.
Extreme Pyrotechnics Fireworks - StivasonPhotos.com
Bolland entered last night with a comfortable lead in the Budweiser Points in the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Modified division, but had three drivers within striking distance and standing between he and his third Track Championship. He mathematically eliminated Defending Track Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker and Del Rougeux Jr. after National Guard Heat Races were completed. As the Diehl Mods rolled onto the Action Track for the first feature of Championship Night, Bolland needed to finish just 17th or higher to clinch the title over longtime nemesis Brian Swartzlander. But Bolland wasn’t resting on his laurels nor simply counting down the laps. Instead, he was up on the wheel and heavy on the gas, as there are less possibilities of finding misfortune the more cars that are behind you!
Polesitter Jeremiah Shingledecker took the quick lead at the drop of the green flag and led the first 21 circuits. Bolland started seventh but quickly made his way to the front where he challenged Del Rougeux Jr. for second place on lap three. They swapped second place several times over the next 20 laps, but a late race caution set the table for Bolland to win the Track Championship in style! With four laps to go, Bolland took the lead from Shingledecker around the topside of turns one & two on the lap 22 restart. Once out front, Bolland would not be caught and he scored his 51st Lernerville Speedway Modified Victory and third Modified Track Championship.
Shingledecker held on to finish second. Brian Swartzlander saw his title hopes shredded on lap six when he rolled to a stop on the front stretch after contact with Dean Pearson shredded his left rear tire. Swartzlander charged back through the field to finish third in the race and second in the Budweiser Point Standings. Dave Murdick finished fourth, while J.R. McGinley ran a very strong race to finish fifth. Carl Murdick, Mark Frankhouser, Mike Turner, Jeff Schaffer and Steve Feder rounded out the Diehl Top Ten. Swartzlander and Murdick won National Guard Heat Races.
Final Points Results:
Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Pos # Modifieds Pts 1 777 Kevin Bolland 457 2 83 Brian Swartzlander 433 3 37 Jer. Shingledecker 426 4 20D Del Rougeux Jr. 424 5 61 Dave Murdick 408 6 96 Mike Turner 331 7 8J Dean Pearson 321 8 6 Carl Murdick 285 9 45 Steve Feder 273 10 88 Shawn Fleeger 244 11 29E Erik Martin 166 12 71D Don Brown 155 13 31 Jim Weller Jr. 149 14 28 Tom Winkle 145 15 74 Kevin Green 96 16 O3 Mark Frankhouser 84 17 27R Dave Reges 66 18 11R Brad Rapp 60 19 66 J.R. McGinley 58 20 65 Rex King Sr. 57 21 35H Haines/T.S'decker 52 22 333 Ron Eperthener Jr. 49 23 165 Rex King Jr. 48 24 17M Skip Moore 40 25 75 Jeff Miller 37 26 73 Mike Miller 35 27 11B Brian Bailes 34 28 516 Gary Smoker 29 29 10 Jeff Schaffer 22 30 66F Kyle Fink 21 31 69 Tommy Mattocks 21 32 71 Randy Chronister 16
After the dust settled from an exciting DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series feature won by Defending Track Champion Rod George, Kevin Bolland, Chub Frank and Bob Egley each visited Sheetz Victory Lane during the second Fast Friday of Fab Four Racing.
The Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds feature rolled off with Steve Feder and Kevin Bolland on the front row. Bolland entered the event as the co-points leader along with Opening Night feature winner Brian Swartzlander. When the green flag waved, Bolland jumped out to a quick lead, while leadfooted Del Rougeux Jr. gave chase.
Despite Rougeux’s best efforts and a few laps of three wide racing when Brian Swartzlander joined the leaders, Bolland led every lap to secure his 48th career feature win at Lernerville Speedway. In the process, Bolland took sole possession of the Budweiser Points lead.
The battles behind Bolland for positions two through five were extremely competitive. Rougeux spent most of the race in second place, save for a few laps mid-race when Brian Swartzlander challenged for the lead. However on lap 14, Swartzlander entered turn one a little too hot and jumped the cushion, allowing Bolland and Rougeux to pull away. Rougeux finished second ahead of Dave Murdick (third) and Defending Track Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker (fourth). Swartzlander recovered to score another top five finish and sits second in points, trailing Bolland by nine points. The ever-improving Mike Turner had a great run and scored a solid sixth place finish ahead of veterans Dean Pearson (seventh), Jim Weller (eighth) and Carl Murdick (ninth), while Mark Frankhouser rounded out the Diehl Top Ten. Heat races were checkered Bolland and Dave Murdick.
The mass e-mailing was as blunt as it was surprising. In November, Kevin Bolland and his team sent out a notice that read that they were having a garage sale to empty the team's racing garage, a garage that has helped him win more than 100 V-8 Modified features — 47 at Lernerville Speedway — and eight track championships.
"We did have a big garage sale, and sold off a bunch of extra stuff we have accumulated over the years," Bolland said. "We had thoughts of getting a Late Model ride and after, I guess, 27 years running the Modified, we had a lot of stuff that was sitting around that was still good equipment."
Bolland's success on the track has not gone unnoticed. Later this month, he will become the first person associated with auto racing inducted into the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held April 18 at Fez in Hopewell Township.
"We had some inquiries from people about running their Late Model, but I don't want to just drive a Late Model," Bolland said. "I want to be in a car that is capable of being a top contender. I know it will take a little time, but I feel we bring enough to the table and have had enough success in the Modified that we could do it."
The bad economy that's still plaguing the country did not spare the local racing community. No matter what division, track or traveling series in which a driver wants to take part, economics dictate what a team can do each season. And the fact that Bolland has spent his entire auto racing career in a Modified makes it tougher.
"Things didn't pan out the way we had hoped to have happen," Bolland said. "When you look at it, it's really silly to be sitting here in Pennsylvania and not in New York, which is the home of Big Block Modified racing. It really is too expensive to run a Modified for what we get paid in this part of the country.
"As it stands right now, we are planning on running the Modified, but we will not be running for points anywhere. To do that, you have to commit to being there every night, and I just don't think right now that it is worth it for us. At Tri-City and Lernerville, we were second in points and I think we took home $1,000 for second from Lernerville and $1,100 from Tri-City. That was the check we got from the point funds.
"When you look at costs right now, there is a lot more than that," Bolland added. "I said to my guys that I could just take a night off and save myself $1,000 in wear and tear on the car. To run at one of these big shows, you have to run fast and run hard. When I do go to one of those big shows, I have to have equal or better equipment than the rest of the field."
That is one of the reasons Bolland and his team began to consider the Late Models, that and the amount of success the team has had makes this another challenge.
"The motor program in Late Models is a big-buck deal, but I feel our team brings a lot to the table. We have run both the Big Block and the smaller blocks in the Modified, so we can do it. In our Modified racing, we have primarily run the Big Block. I've never set foot in a Late Model, though, but we'd go for the Super Late Models."
Lernerville is the only track in the United State that runs the big three — Sprint Cars, Super Late Models and Big Block Modifieds — on a weekly basis and even though the track has a terrific Modified history, the Late Models have been the hot division for the past several seasons.
"I am not really sure what is the future of the local racing scene for the Modifieds," Bolland said. "I know that people can see me as a villain if that is what helps drive people to the stands, but they can't actually make me be a villain. We are certainly not getting out of racing, and we will be in the Big Block Modifieds this season, and not until someone wants to bring along a good Late Model package that we think can work."
There is another issue that has been subject to much misinformation since last season's running of Super DIRT Week at Syracuse. The issue is still not resolved but one aspect of the fallout is certain, according to a representative of Modified Tour Inc., Bolland has been given a lifetime ban from serving as the tour's representative at Super DIRT Week.
That does not mean Bolland is banned from Syracuse, just that he can't represent Modified Tour Inc. with its spot in the show. Bolland did not run for the Modified Tour championship last season, so he might again pick and choose which series races he wants to attend. The same is true in picking and choosing what local races he wants to attend.
"You know if we want to go up to New York and race in a couple of big shows and then not have to run back home and worry about points at a track, we will do that," Bolland said. "But we like to run locally, too, because our fans are always looking for us. Probably as many love me as hate me."
Kevin Bolland #777 pacing the field in a four-wide salute to the fans - Stivason Photos
When you’re hot, you’re hot, and nobody is hotter than Kevin Bolland on the BRP/Hoosier Tire Modified Tour. The veteran driver from New Brighton, PA scored his third Tour win in a row and fourth overall. The skien started at Lernerville Speedway last week and continued there on Friday. Sandwiched in between were wins at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway and Tri-City Speedway.
Although Bolland would lead 24 of the 30 laps, he did not have an easy time of it. Because the Mods caught yellow fever, Jeremiah Shingledecker and company had many opportunities to overtake him. Ironically, it was a yellow flag that set up Bolland’s winning move. After that, he was up to the task each time. Bolland credited his good starts to the powerful engine prepared in his father’s shop. “That Bolland Machine horsepower; we work on cam shaft design and we’ve come up with a good combination; the thing pulls off the corners.”
Lady luck smiled on Bolland once again, as he drew a front row starting spot for the 30 lap feature. However, the current DIRTcar Western Regional points leader, Jeremiah Shingledecker, would flank him. At the drop of the green, Bolland surged to the outside lane and grabbed the early lead over Shingledecker and Rex King, Sr.
Shingledecker stayed close, and snuck by Bolland on the inside in turn three on lap six. He would lead for six circuits. However, when the aution waived for the first of two cautions charged to Jeremy Paup, Bolland got another chance to flex his muscle. He drove around Shingledecker coming off turn four and grabbed the lead for good as the duo swept through the first and second turns. King Sr. remained in third, followed by Dave Murdick and Jim Weller, Jr.
Despite several more interruptions for minor skirmishes, the lead quintet continued to run in formation until lap 19. On that lap. Rex King, Jr. entered the top five. He came from eleventh on the starting grid. Behind him was Del Rougeux, Jr., the Modified Tour points leader entering this race. Rougeux came from deep in the pack, twentieth.
While still running sixth, Rougeux pitted to replace a flat right front tire during a caution on lap 26. At that time, Bolland still led Shingledecker. But, King Jr. was now in third. King, Sr. held down fourth and D. Murdick rounded out the top five.
The leaders again stayed in position through a couple more cautions. Behind them, drivers were swapping positions. Like Rougeux before him, Brad Rapp also came from deep in the pack to crack the top ten. He held the sixth spot through the final several restarts. However, he gave back a few spots on the final lap. Rapp’s teammate, Kevin Hoffman, was one driver who benefitted from Rapp’s misfortune, as Hoffman gained several positions in the final laps.
Bolland took the checkers, followed by the fast-closing King Jr. D. Murdick climbed to third. Shingledecker and King Sr. rounded out the top five.
Kevin Hoffman, Mark Flick, Rougeux, Rapp and Dean Pearson completed the top ten.
Heats were won by King, Jr., King, Sr., Weller and Tom Winkle.
The B Main was captured by Mike Turner.
The Red Bear Hand Cleaner “Clean Move of the Race Award” was conferred on Rex King, Jr. for his charge from eleventh to second.
The next BRP/Hoosier Tire Modified Tour event will be on Sunday, June 28, 2009, at Eriez Speedway, Hammett, PA.
For more information check our website at www.modifiedtourinc.com.
The BRP Modified Tour ‘09 would like to thank the following series sponsors: Bicknell Racing Products, Hoosier Race Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Bilstein Shocks, Keizer Racing Wheels, Ray’s Racing Collectibles, Approved Toilet Rentals, Inc., Hall’s Safety Equipment, Engles Trucking, Big Daddy’s Speed Center, King Brothers Feed and Supply, Oyler Action Photos, McCool’s Signs and Graphics, Hometown Pharmacy, Wedge Motorsports, Red Bear Hand Cleaner, Motorsports World, and Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP.
The Modified Tour, Inc. racing series is a non-profit organization established to give the V-8 Modifieds in the Western Pennsylvania area the opportunity to compete for higher purses and for a seasonal point fund. Started in 1998 by Tim Engles, Lon and Pam Baker, and Randy Myers, the Modified Tour has had great success at bringing the local cars together at the area racetracks.
Official Order of Finish: BRP/Hoosier Race Tire Modified Tour (Round 4): Lernerville Speedway: 30 Laps: May 29, 2009
1. Kevin Bolland $1,300; 2. Rex King, Jr. $870; 3. Dave Murdick $650; 4. Jeremiah Shingledecker $550; 5. Rex King, Sr. $500; 6. Kevin Hoffman $420; 7. Mark Flick $400; 8. Del Rougeux, Jr. $380; 9. Brad Rapp $360; 10. Dean Pearson $330; 11. Tom Winkle $320; 12. Jim Weller, Jr. $310; 13. Tommy Mattocks $300; 14. Gary Smoker $290; 15. Jeff Miller $280; 16. Chris Dye $260; 17. Carl Murdick $240; 18. Steve Feder $230; 19. Gene Kirila $220; 20. Mike Turner $200; 21. Jim Rasey $200; 22. Joe Crawford $200; 23. Jeremy Paup $200; 24. Mike Miller $200; 25. Garrett Krummert $200; 26. Carl Weatherby $200.
DNQ (all $100): Mark Frankhouser, Ron Eperthener, Ryan Hall, Eric Martin, Rick Ryder, Bryan Sadler, Shawn Fleeger, Rodney Beltz.