A Special Place: Carlson and Mean 15 Head to Lernerville Sarver, PA--July 15, 2006 -- Lernerville Speedway is very near and dear to Mean 15 racer Brian Carlson's heart. He calls Linden, Ind. home now, but grew up in Western Pennsylvania, and ...
A Special Place: Carlson and Mean 15 Head to Lernerville
Sarver, PA--July 15, 2006 -- Lernerville Speedway is very near and dear to Mean 15 racer Brian Carlson's heart. He calls Linden, Ind. home now, but grew up in Western Pennsylvania, and attended countless races at the track. He remembers seeing some epic sprint car battles on the always fast track, and that helped fuel his passion for the sport.
When recalling his favorite things about Lernerville, one that always sticks out in his mind, is that he took his wife Sarah to the track on the couples very first date. They were married in 1987, and since have had two sons, A.J. and Seth. Sarah, who always shared her husbands love for racing, now serves as his crew chief as he competes night in and night out with the best sprint car drivers in the world.
On Tuesday, Carlson and the rest of the World of Outlaws will return to the Keystone state for the second time this season to battle the always tough Pennsylvania Posse, as they begin the "Month of Money." The Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway is on tap, with $30,000 waiting for the winner. The 15th Annual Silver Cup will pay a handsome $1,000 just to start the 40-lapper. The event is traditionally the biggest race on the calendar at the track, with large car counts and crowds expected.
For Carlson, it will be a homecoming of sorts, as he returns to a track that he not only enjoys racing on, but also the atmosphere and the ambiance. The always fast 4/10-mile high-banked oval produces some of the most thrilling racing the World of Outlaws will contest all season.
"The track has some great history and is very special to me," said Carlson. "I just have a lot of great memories of the track. The staff there does a great job of running things."
Though he has lived in Indiana for more than 20 years, he still has plenty of fond memories of Pennsylvania and stays in close contact with many people there. He always looks forward to returning to the tracks where as a youngster he sat in the stands and marveled over the skill and speed of sprint car drivers.
"I spent 17 years back there growing up," said Carlson, driver of the Lincoln Electric Maxim. "I have a lot of family and friends out there. Lernerville is one of the nicest tracks we go to with the World of Outlaws. It's always a good place to go to and I always look forward to it."
The event honors the legendary Don Martin who was the owner and promoter at Lernerville Speedway for many years. Martin is remembered for his many contributions to the sport, and also for his great appreciation for his local drivers that were loyal to him and the track.
"I think the one thing that stands out in my mind about Don Martin when I was growing up, was how Don supported his local racers," said Carlson. "He always brought in the traveling groups, but he always made sure the local guys were taken care of. The tradition continues with their local cars. It's a neat thing to do with the level of competition we have right now. These local guys need some incentive to come out and race with the big dogs. They can use that as a measuring stick to see how good they are. It's something that Don Martin started a long time ago, and he always supported his local guys."
Carlson knows that the fans in the stands will be pulling for their favorite local drives, and that helps fuel the rivalry between the World of Outlaws and the Pennsylvania Posse. It is that same reason why the crowds in Pennsylvania are usually the largest in any part of the country to see the winged warriors do battle.
"Anytime you talk about fans in sprint car racing, it is either East Coast or West Coast," Carlson said. "The people in Pennsylvania are probably more amped for their sprint car racing than anywhere in the country. They know their drivers, they know the locals, and they know the traveling guys. It's really nice to go out there and have knowledgeable fans that are in the stands and enjoy the show."
While many families take vacations and go to the beach, the Carlson's travel the highways and byways of America competing with the World of Outlaws. Brian along with his wife Sarah and sons Seth and A.J. are excited to visit Pennsylvania and catch up with many people that do not get to see very often.
"Every time we go up there, we get to spend some time with family," said Carlson. "We don't get to come up here much in the summer months. Many families have reunions and get togethers in the summer. Our family reunions are when we show up at Lernerville to race and everyone comes out."
The Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup will be the first of four night of intense racing in Pennsylvania for the World of Outlaws.
For ticket information about the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup visit www.dirtmotorsports.com/tracks/lernerville, or call the track at 724-353-1350 or the office at 724-353-151
On Wednesday reserved seats will for those over 17 years of age will be $37, while reserved tickets for seniors will be $34, and reserved tickets for those 11-16 years age will be $19, while children 10-under will be admitted free. General admission tickets for those over the age of 17 will be $35, with seniors being $32, those ages 11-16 will be $18 and children 10-under will be admitted free.