GREAT FALLS, Mont. – It wasn’t as dominate a performance as the night before, but Brock Lemley’s run of success with the Peterson Racing team continued Saturday when he took the checkered flag in the Big Sky Sprint Tour event at Electric City Speedway for the second time in as many nights.
Since teaming up with the Great Falls, Mont.-based team last year, the Bellingham, Wash. driver has now won the main event seven times in nine starts aboard the Peterson Racing No. 23n Ostrich-powered Rocket.
Lemley started the 25-lap feature race inside the second row and got into the second position on the start, trailing Canadian visitor Dennis MacEachern of Edson, Alberta. Out in the open, Lemley kept pace with MacEachern’s very strong car but could not make any move on him. It was when they reached slower traffic that Lemley was able challenge MacEachern for the lead.
Lemley at one point made a pass around Turns 3 and 4 of the 3/10-mile clay oval as they worked their way through traffic, but the yellow flag had come out for a spin by Joe Perry in Turn 1, negating Lemley’s pass and returning the lead position to MacEachern. Later on Lemley closed in again but a red flag for a wild wreck by Chris Roberts again cleared the track for MacEachern and another yellow flag after that did the same thing.
With just three laps left as they were again working their way around slower cars, MacEachern made his only mistake of the night and Lemley pounced. In Turns 1 and 2 MacEachern got loose trying to pass a slower car and slid up the track a little, far enough off the preferred bottom groove that it allowed Lemley scoot by below him.
“It was a very satisfying win,” Lemley said afterward. “I didn’t know how far we were in to it when I took the lead, seeing the white flag right after. The track was more hooked up on the bottom than it was (Friday). Just get on the bottom and hold on.
“The car was awesome again,” Lemley said about his car, which he’ll be piloting in Montana for much of this season. “It’s fun. It’s pure fun to come race with (the team). There are a lot of good cars out here. It’s not a cakewalk. It’ll be fun.”
For MacEachern, a former Alberta feature winner looking for his first victory in Montana, it was a bit of déjà vu as he lost a race at Electric City Speedway in similar fashion last year.
“It’s a little disappointing. I just got caught up in traffic. That’s when it pays to be in second place (on the track),” said MacEachern, who was otherwise pleased with his night in general aboard the Tammy & Keith Sommerville No. 3 Shark-powered Schnee. “We’ll take (the finish) and the track record back home to Canada.”
MacEachern finished second in his heat race but during that race he ran a lap in 11.95 seconds, the quickest trip ever taken by a sprint car around Electric City Speedway.
Pole-sitter Jerry Brey of Billings finished third aboard the Rick Rogers No. 17j Wesmar-powered Eagle. Defending Big Sky Sprint Tour champion Trever Kirkland of Helena, Mont. took fourth place in the Bob & Cogie Back No. 37 Shark-powered JEI after starting seventh. Lethbridge, Alberta visitor Kelly Miller came from the 11th starting position to finish fifth in the KDM Motorsports No. 44 AMS-powered Schnee. David Hoiness, Phil Dietz, Joe Perry, Casey Adams and the 16th starting Jerry Brown rounded out the Top 10.
Dietz, out of Laurel, Mont. won the evening’s first heat race over MacEachern and Hoiness. A wreck-marred second heat race saw Josh Ostermiller and Sean MacDonell go for wild flips in separate incidents, ending their nights early. Joe Ramaker of Boise, Idaho took the checkered flag in that heat race over Brey and Perry after starting fifth. Lemley won the final heat race over Kirkland and Adams.
The Big Sky Sprint Tour’s next races are Friday, June 8th at Gallatin Speedway in Belgrade, Montana and Saturday, June 9th at Electric City Speedway. More information on the Big Sky Sprints can be found online at http://www.bigskysprints.com.
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Big Sky Sprints
Electric City Speedway
Great Falls, MT
May 19, 2012
Heat 1 (10 laps): 1. 72 Phil Dietz, 2. 3 Dennis MacEachern, 3. 27dd David Hoiness, 4. 1x Vernon Hill, 5. 35 Chip Roe, 6. 38 Jerry Brown, 7. 22 Chris Roberts.
Heat 2 (10 laps): 1. 98 Joe Ramaker, 2. 17j Jerry Brey, 3. 28 Joe Perry, 4. 20 Cody Brown, 5. 31 Colton Akerstrom, 6. 9 Sean MacDonell, 7. 12 Josh Ostermiller.
Heat 3 (10 laps): 1. 23n Brock Lemley, 2. 37 Trever Kirkland, 3. 12a Casey Adams, 4. 44 Kelly Miller, 5. 1 Bill Boyce, 6. 21 Calvin Fitch.
Feature (25 laps): 1. 23n Brock Lemley, 2. 3 Dennis MacEachern, 3. 17j Jerry Brey, 4. 37 Trever Kirkland, 5. 44 Kelly Miller, 6. 27dd David Hoiness, 7. 72 Phil Dietz, 8. 28 Joe Perry, 9. 12a Casey Adams, 10. 38 Jerry Brown, 11. 1 Bill Boyce, 12. 1x Vernon Hill, 13. 35 Chip Roe, 14. 21 Calvin Fitch, 15. 98 Joe Ramaker, 16. 31 Colton Akerstrom, 17. 20 Cody Brown, 18. 22 Chris Roberts, DNS – 9 Sean MacDonell, 12 Josh Ostermiller.