Canadian Sensation breathes new life into Diehl Mods division Mat Williamson rides a hot start to his first career Lernerville Title Fab Four Racing Season Review/DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede Preview
Sarver, PA (October 17, 2013) The Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds has been dominated by the “Usual Suspects” for the better part of a decade; Brian Swartzlander, Dave Murdick, Jeremiah Shingledecker and previously Kevin Bolland and Del Rougeux. But that all changed in 2013 with what began as a Canadian Invasion on Championship Night 2012 and ended with Mat Williamson standing in Sheetz Victory Lane a year later as the 2013 Track Championship after winning his fifth feature of the season.
Williamson made the weekly tow across the border from Canada on a weekly basis and started the season with back-to-back feature wins and three of the first four in the Diehl Mods; quickly turning the Canadian Invasion into a Canadian Sensation! While the “Usual Suspects” had to go back to the drawing board, Williamson stood in Sheetz Victory Lane and graciously accepted his accolades with the class and humility of the future Hall of Famers he was beating on a weekly basis! Through it all, Williamson became the youngest Modified Track Champion in the 40+ history of Lernerville Speedway on the strength of five feature wins, five heat race wins and being the only driver in any division to finish in the top five of every feature he started!
In most seasons and in most divisions, Brian Swartzlander’s 2013 campaign would have been enough to secure his record-breaking eighth Track Championship. But with four feature wins, three heat race wins, 10 top fives and 12 top tens, Swartzlander finished second in the standings to Williamson. The four feature wins however, bumped his career total to 81, (already the All Time division wins leader), and now sits just three wins on the All Time, All Divisions wins list behind Hall of Famer Blackie Watt.
Dave Murdick also continued to climb the All Time Diehl Mods Wins list with two feature wins on the season to bring his Lernerville career total to 28; tying the late, great Dick Rankin. Fellow “Usual Suspect” Jeremiah Shingledecker finished fourth in points behind Murdick and picked up his 15th career feature win on Friday, June 21’s Mid-Season Championship. Shingledecker’s Mid-Season Championship locks him into the $3,000-to-win BRP Modified Tour Finale during next weekend’s Steel City Stampede.
Rising star Brad Rapp turned in a solid top five finish in the Budweiser Point Standings, but still hasn’t rolled the #11R into Sheetz Victory Lane. Rex King Jr., however, did make his first trip to Sheetz Victory Lane this season; joining his father Rex King Sr. and brother Russell King as Lernerville feature winners. Affectionately known as “Cooter”, King Jr. and his father Rex King Sr., were far more frequent competitors in 2013 than they have been in the past and they along with Williamson were welcome additions to the division this season. Both Kings finished in the top ten in points, as did Steve Feder, Mike Turner and living legend Carl Murdick who has been a weekly competitor since the track opened in 1968! It’s safe to say that no man has turned more laps in competition around the Action Track than Carl Murdick!
Despite all of their accolades, none of these drivers has won a Steel City Stampede belt buckle yet! Del Rougeux Jr. won the inaugural event back in 2009, while northern invaders Chad Homan (2010) and Chad Brachmann (2011/2012) have swept the past three events. Of the top ten drivers in the Budweiser Points standings for 2013, Rex King Sr. came the closest to winning this event; having lost to Chad Homan by a nose in 2010 after heavy contact coming to the checkers.
The Diehl/BRP Modifieds will headline the 5th Annual DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede along with the Peoples TWP DIRTcar Sprints and Precise/ULMS Lates Models; each running for $3,000 to win. The RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series, Millerstown Pic-A-Part Sportsman/Stocks, UEMS/UMP Modifieds, 305 Sprints, 4-Cylinders and Mod Lites will also be in action all three nights on Thursday-Friday-Saturday, October 24-25-26 and Saturday Night will be capped with the third and final $1,000-to-win Enduro 100 of the 2013 season.