SOUTH AMHERST — Ed Kerman had not won a feature race at Lorain County Speedway since 2004.
In a race marred with caution flags and wrecks that came within seconds of going over the allotted time limit, Kerman jumped out to an early lead and survived to win the 40-lap Pure Stocks feature, which awarded a $500 winner-take-all prize.
The Pure Stocks feature headlined Saturday night’s action at the Lorain County Speedway, which drew its largest crowd of the season at just over 1,000 fans.
“I think I got lucky,” Kerman said. “We were beating and banging in the beginning, but once the field got spread out, we found our groove. All the caution flags hurt me, and every time we’d take off, the car would bobble a little bit and I kept seeing Bobby (Justice) behind me.
“I was worried about both Bobby and Ryan (Chapman). They weren’t going to make it easy for me. They’re fast.”
The race got off to a slow start with three caution flags and a red flag following a three-car pileup within the first six laps of the race. The red flag caused a 20-minute delay as the cars of Lorain’s Mike Chapman Sr. and Dale Furrer were towed off the track and the surface was cleaned of debris.
Elyria’s Jason Hilton stayed out on the track.
Kerman, who started ninth out of 13 cars, roared out to the lead on a restart and opened up a two-second lead before the red-flag accident. Despite all the holdups, Kerman maintained his lead and held off Elyria’s Justice for the victory. Lorain’s Chapman finished third.
“He did a great job, and even though I was rooting for Bobby, my name is on this car, too,” said Larry Justice, who not only owns Kerman’s car but also sponsored the 40-lap feature. “We try to help them anyway we can, and I’m proud of Eddie. He deserved it, and he ran a really good race.”
Points leader Carl Smith of the Elyria finished fourth.
The Ohio Stocks race had a bit of a controversial finish when the top-three drivers wrecked with two laps to go. When the dust settled, Columbia Station’s Jerry Karl – the series leader – won his seventh feature race of the season with a last-lap pass of Shaun Winters.
Karl did some great driving to move up from the 15th spot all the way to the second-place spot before a caution came out on the 19th lap, setting up a dash to the finish between Winters, Karl and Matt Wilson.
Winters, Karl and Wilson were three-wide crossing the line going into the second-to-last lap, but they all tapped each other causing a spinout on the first turn. After much deliberation, Wilson was charged with the caution and was sent to the back of the field.
Winters held the lead on the restart, but Karl got in the inside of Winters on the last lap and passed him on the second turn.
“I don’t know what to say,” Karl said. “I just got to thank Shaun for racing me cleanly on the last lap. I did not expect him to race me cleanly on that last lap. That was a respectful way of driving and I can’t thank him enough.
“I got caught up in traffic early in the race and chipped away at it. I went over the hill (on the wreck) but I got my tires dried off and got back at it. I just can’t believe I got it done. Shaun’s one of the best drivers out here, and I used one (heck) of a move to get it done.”
Winters led from the fifth lap until the finale.
John Fade finished third. Wilson, who is second in points, wound up in eighth.
Joey Quinn led the 30-lap Modified feature wire-to-wire, holding off a hard-charging T.J. Stineman from LaGrange on a green-white-checkered finish to claim his first feature win of the season.
“We were down for a while (this season), but we got a new motor and I knew it was going to be a heater,” Quinn said. “I’ve got to thank Jeff Fade for aiding us with the set-up, Tigh Shaffer for giving me a lot of advice, and my family and all the crew for getting me here. They all earned this win.
“I hope I was able to put on a good show for all the fans. I appreciate all of their support.”
The Modified feature was also marred by three caution flags before one official lap was recorded.
In the final feature race (Chargers) of the evening, Wellington’s John McKee — the top qualifier — passed Joey Wyckoff with seven laps to go and held on for his first feature win in two years.
Contact Dan Gilles at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOP QUALIFER: Ryan Chapman (Lorain) 16.682.
DASH: 1. Bobby Justice (Elyria), 2. Ed Kerman, 3. Chapman, 4. Carl Smith (Elyria).
HEAT 1: 1. Bobby Schramm (Wellington), 2. Mike Chapman Sr. (Lorain), 3. Dale Furrer, 4. Dominic Alessandro, 5. Steve Blevins, 6. Mike Mathes, 7. Michelle Alexander.
HEAT 2: 1. Jason Hilton (Elyria), 2. Chapman, 3. Smith, 4. Kerman, 5. Justice, 6. Luther Hurley.
FEATURE (40 laps, 13 cars): 1. Kerman, 2. Justice, 3. R. Chapman, 4. C. Smith, 5. Hilton, 6. Justin Alexander, 7. Alessandro, 8. Blevins, 9. Schramm, 10. Mathes, 11. Furrer, 12. M. Chapman, 13. Hurley.
TOP QUALIFER: Aaron Prater 15.853.
DASH: 1. Jerry Karl (Columbia Station), 2. Prater, 3. Shaun Winters, 4. Roland Shepherd.
HEAT 1: 1. Matt Wilson, 2. Jim Auxier, 3. John Ambrose, 4. Clayton Karl (Columbia Station), 5. Je. Karl, 6. Prater, 7. Shepherd, 8. Justin Phillips, 9. Jeff Fade Jr., 10. Winters.
HEAT 2: 1. Andy McCall, 2. Mike Strah, 3. John Beamon, 4. Justin Hamilton, 5. Ken Price, 6. John Karl (Columbia Station), 7, Randy Weddell, 8. John Rossi, 9. Jeremie Hummrich.
FEATURE (25 laps, 19 cars): 1. Je. Karl, 2. Winters, 3. Fade, 4. Jo. Karl, 5. Prater.
TOP QUALIFER: Stacey Gerken (LaGrange) 14.926.
DASH: 1. Mark Smith (Grafton), 2. Mike Lawson (Grafton), 3. T.J. Stineman (LaGrange), 4. Gerken.
HEAT 1: 1. Dennis McIntyre, 2. Andy Hoskinson (Elyria), 3. Joey Quinn, 4. Chuck Phillips, 5. Steve Jones (Amherst), 6. Craig Phillips, 7, Jim Gabbert, 8. Ryan Cypher.
HEAT 2: 1. Chad Duensing (Wellington), 2. Lawson, 3. Copen, 4. Stineman, 5. Gerken, 6. John Bartlome (Lorain), 7. Smith.
FEATURE (30 laps, 15 cars): 1. Quinn, 2. Stineman, 3. McIntyre, 4. M. Smith, 5. Bartlome.
TOP QUALIFER: John McKee (Wellington) 18.468.
DASH: 1. Ryan Smith (Elyria), 2. Mike McDonald, 3. Kevin McCall (North Ridgeville), 4. McKee.
HEAT 1: 1. Sean Shaffer (Columbia Station), 2. Mark Fisher (Vermilion), 3. Dave Wallincheck (Elyria), 4. J.J. Teague, 5. Jason McCracken (Lorain), 6. Dave Cole, 7. Jim Tiffin, 8. Amber Hilton (Elyria).
HEAT 2: 1. Joey Wyckoff, 2. Jesse Houghton (LaGrange), 3. Dan Smith (Wellington), 4. Zack Miller, 5. McKee, 6. McCall, 7. McDonald, 8. Corey Phillips (Lorain), 9. R. Smith.
FEATURE (20 laps, 17 cars): 1. McKee, 2. Wyckoff, 3. McDonald, 4. D. Smith, 5. McCall.