The busiest month of racing in tour history kicked off over the weekend for the Rick's Trucks & Equipment BOSS sprints. Friday night found 32 cars signed in for action at the Legendary Lernerville Speedway near Sarver, Pennsylvania and Harrison, Ohio's Justin Owen scored his first career sprint car win in dramatic fashion aboard the Fischesser / FOR Racing car #4J. Last night, Russiaville, Indiana driver Dustin Smith reminded everyone of why he is a past BOSS champion as he put the Gagliardi #77 on the ragged edge at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway and sped away to win over a 26 car field.
Four heat races kicked off the action at Lernerville on Friday. Tour regulars Cooper Clouse and Cody Gardner won the first two heat races. Lernerville regular Jack Sodeman Jr. snared the win in heat 3. Defending BOSS champion Shawn Westerfeld picked up the fourth and final heat race. A 16 car B-Main was a family affair as Brandon Matus held off the charge from his dad, Brent Matus, to score the win.
The 25 lap A-Main found Westerfeld and Arnie Kent on the front row with Cody Gardner and Dustin Smith in row 2. Carmen Perigo and Sodeman made up the third row. At the drop of the green flag, Westerfeld immediately took command and opened up a big lead as the race ran clean and green for the first 14 laps. Behind Westerfeld, a great 4 way battle between Perigo, Kent, Smith and Sodeman had the fans on the edge of their seats. The early man on the move though was Owen who was up from 11th to 6th. Just as Westerfeld began to lap the back of the field, Andy Feil rolled to a stop in turn 1.
With 11 laps to go and a lapped car in between, Westerfeld was able to once again pull away from Perigo as Owen made his way into the top 5. A few laps later, Owen slid past Smith to take over the 4th spot on lap 17. Another caution flew for a stopped Gale Ruth Jr in turn 4.
On the restart, Jack Sodeman Jr was able to slingshot from 3rd to battle side by side with Westerfeld for the lead, but before a lap could be completed, contact sent Steve Little into the inside wall bringing out the 3rd caution of the race. Back under green, Westerfeld again flexed his muscle and pulled away leaving Sodeman and Perigo to battle for 2nd. Owen and Smith were in a war for 4th and meanwhile, local driver A.J. Flick began to fins his wingless groove and entered the fray. In the final circuits, Owen began to find his edge getting away from Smith and past Sodeman for 3rd.
Working lap #22 the race's only red flag appeared when 3 time BOSS winner Cooper Clouse jumped the berm in turn 3 and took a vicious ride in a nasty series of flips that saw him land hard on top of the concrete wall before going over it. Clouse was transported to a nearby hospital with a concussion and other minor injuries but was released at 10 am Saturday morning.
With 3 laps remaining, the final restart found Westerefeld in the lead over Perigo, Owen, Smith and Sodeman with Flick sitting in 6th. Perigo got a great inside run to steal the lead from Westerfeld on the backstretch. Westerfeld tried to cross over and the pair made contact off of turn 4 coming to complete lap 23. Workin lap 24, Sodeman literally went from 4th to 2nd in turn 1 and 2 but slid high into the slick allowing Westerfeld to pull back up on Perigo's rear bumper. That's when Justin Owen who decided he'd had enough of watching the lead battle threw the monster slide job from 3rd to 1st entering turn 3. Coming to the white flag, Owen, Westerfeld and Perigo were literally 3 wide for the lead with Sodeman, Flick and Smith almost 3 wide behind them. Using momentum off the top of 4, Owen powered to the lead completing lap 24, but Perigo got under him to lead down the backstretch into 3. But the determined Owen found the juice to throw one last slider past Perigo to steal the win with Flick showing patience in the final laps to find the holes to snake through for second place over Perigo, Sodeman, Westerfeld, and Smith. Cody Gardner, Dan Shetler, Michael Fischesser and Brandon Matus rounded out the top 10.
On Saturday, the tour moved on to Matt Miley's Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway where 26 cars signed in for battle including Cooper Clouse who strapped into Joe Biasi's backup car to bravely tackle the "Monster Half Mile" despite sporting some obvious injuries from a night prior.
The three heat races were won by Beau Stewart, Dustin Smith and Mike Miller. Promoter Matt Miley and the BOSS series teamed up to start all 26 entries in the main event which found a pair of #27 cars on the front row of Beau Stewart and Zach Morrow. When the green flag flew, it was Morrow racing out to set the early pace with Westerfeld in tow but unlike Lernerville, all the trouble came early in the 20 lap main event. Working lap #2, Rick Holley who was having a great run, got into the wall in turn 1. Thankfully the car ground to a slow speed against the wall before Holley executed a single flip.
On the restart, Morrow again jumped out to a lead running on the ragged edge just inches from the wall as Westerfeld and Smith waged a torrid battle for second. Just a few laps later, Morrow got a little too close to the unforgiving PPMS wall and took one of the hardest and most vicious flips in tour history completely destroying his car, but Morrow escaped unhurt.
On the restart, Westerfeld now held command over Smith, Stewart, Perigo and Owen. One final caution for a Davey Jones Spin would set up a long green flag run to the finish. Dustin Smith on 4 American Racer tires and Shawn Westerfeld on 4 Hoosier Race tires put on a high speed duel sliding across the wide and slick PPMS that had the fans on the edge of their seats. Working lap #9, Smith was finally able to slide across Westerefeld in turn 3-4 and get to the top groove and take the lead for good. Over the final 11 circuits, Smith rode the high line to perfection in the Lou Gagliardi, Dom's Gulf #77 stretching his lead and picking up the win over Westerfeld and a hard charging Cody Gardner who blazed a trail from 13th to 3rd. Justin Owen completed a great weekend running fourth while Ohio winged invader Beau Stewart ran 5th. Rounding out the top 10 were Chad Wilson, Mike Miller, Gale Ruth Jr, Michael Fischesser and Carmen Perigo.
The Rick's Trucks and Equipment BOSS tour now moves on to another exciting doubleheader next weekend. The traveling band of real outlaw racers will make their first ever appearance at Attica Raceway Park on Friday, July 8th. The next night, they will roll into Waynesfield Raceway Park to tackle the tough regular racers there on the bullring quarter mile oval. Watch for details on those shows announced on Monday.
BOSS Always Thanks our Sponsors for their great help - and the following bonus awards are provided at each event.
Rick's Truck & Equipment ; Kenton, Ohio (Title Sponsor)
Heat Race Sponsors
Buckeye Machine and Fab ; Forest, Ohio
Lias Tire / American Racer ; Indiana, PA
Hoosier Racing Tire ; Lakeville, IN
Superior Bearing and Supply ; Bradenton, FL
FAST Signs ; Dayton, OH
The Bridge Restaurant ; Sidney, OH (Hard Charger $50)
Apple Metal Polishing ; Eldorodo, OH (Lucky Pill Draw $50)
Hochstetler Truck & Auto Repair ; Ashland, OH (Perseverance Award $50)
J F Construction ; Bucyrus, OH (Hard Luck Award $50)
A Plus Automatic Transmission ; Mansfield, OH (Steel Block Award $50)
McMillin Apiaries ; Wampum, PA (Sweet Move Award $25)
Hoosier Race Tire - Free Tire to highest finisher on all 4 Hoosiers
American Racer Tire - Free Tire to highest finisher on all 4 American Racers
Also a big thank you to Cowen Truck Lines of Perrysville, Ohio for the free water and Gatorade cooler for BOSS drivers and teams!
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