Smith Uses All His Fuel to Win at Lernerville By Richard Day SARVER, PA (September 26) -- Stevie Smith and his ...
Smith Uses All His Fuel to Win at Lernerville
By Richard Day
SARVER, PA (September 26) -- Stevie Smith and his #19 Ingersoll- Rand Black Bandit were good to the last drop Tuesday in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' Beacon CarQuest race at Lernerville Speedway.
"It was pretty close; I ran out of fuel on the last lap," Smith admitted after pulling out his fifth victory of the season. "It's been a long time -- too long -- since I've been here (in victory lane). My dad (Steve Smith) and Devin (Deluzio) do a great job with these cars, and RPM Engines out of Phoenix builds good motors. Maybe this is what we need to get going again." The $10,000 victory was Smith's first since the Iowa Ethanol Classic at Knoxville Raceway July 1st. He led the first 14 laps from the pole before falling behind Swindell, then regained first place with 5 3/4 laps remaining to end Sammy's two-feature winning streak at Lernerville. "I just tried to run in there on the top as hard as I could and see if I could get around him," Smith said of the winning pass. "Without traffic, it's better when you're leading. I didn't know if I was going to get another shot at him. I was actually faster in the open. He was hugging the bottom. Sammy's won here so often; he does a great job at this track." Swindell really wanted to sweep the 2000 events at Lernerville Speedway for CHANNELLOCK, which is based in nearby Meadville. "It would have been nice (to win all three races at Lernerville), especially since this is our sponsor's home track of sorts," Sammy said. "We'd been running the bottom, but we had such a long (27th-lap) yellow that the dew got on it (the track) and it got greasy. I saw we only had five laps left, and wasn't sure if the top was going to be a little better. If it was, that's where he was going to stay. I killed him in traffic, but the caution left him with open track." Smith, the ninth-fastest qualifier in the 42-car field, won the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race. He earned the right to start the 35- lap main event on the pole by winning his ninth CHANNELLOCK Dash of the year. Smith burst into the lead as the green fell in the "A" Feature. Mark Kinser, who started outside the second row, was in second place -- 15 car-lengths behind Stevie -- when he entered lapped traffic during lap five. A seventh-lap caution period for Byron Reed's mechanical malfunction opened the track ahead of the leaders. Jac Haudenschild lost fifth place when he hit the front-straightaway wall and flipped on the ensuing restart. The fetchOmatic crew -- Ricky Warner, Todd Devnich and Billie Gaulle -- repaired the #22 Maxim's front axle quickly, allowing "The Wild Child" to restart the race. Smith raced away from the field again when the green flag replaced the red and had a comfortable, eight-car-length advantage when he caught the back-markers during the 12th lap. Swindell, who broke Kinser's string of four straight Don Martin Silver Cup victories in July, passed Mark for second place with an inside move through turns three and four the next time around. Sammy kept his #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth in the low groove to take the lead from Smith in the second corner half a lap later. Donny Schatz and Danny Lasoski passed Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser deep in turn four for fourth and fifth place, respectively, during the 19th and 20th laps. An engine problem in the #11H Vivarin Eagle caused "B" Feature winner Tim Shaffer to slow on the front stretch late in the 27th lap. Greg Hodnett bumped Shaffer, but kept going to retain 12th place. Smith regained the lead early in lap 30, riding the rim around Swindell between the first and second corners. Schatz lost fourth place the next time around when he collided with Johnny Herrera on the front straightaway, taking the leaders out of lapped traffic again. Swindell was unable to keep pace with Smith when the race resumed and was seven car-lengths behind when he took the checkered flag. Mark Kinser finished in third place, ahead of Lasoski, 12th- starting Andy Hillenburg, Joey Saldana, Steve Kinser, Schatz, Herrera and Kenny Jacobs. Mark Kinser received the Vivarin Fast-Time Award for pacing the qualifying session for the 22nd time this year. His 145.009-m.p.h. lap around the semi-banked, 1/2-mile oval sliced .03 seconds off the single-lap record he set at Lernerville Speedway May 16th. Fuel line problems in the #21W Pepsi Avenger kept 2000 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Danny Wood from lining up outside the fifth row. He started at the rear of the field and passed nine cars to finish 17th. WoO