Rodney Daye, Sr. passed away recently. He was 56 and very active and well known as a mechanic in the six cylinder modifieds at Mercer Raceway. His most recent accomplishment was wrenching the crate late model Frank Guidace won the track title with at Mercer.
Mercer, PA (February 2, 2014): The extended family of Mercer Raceway Park gathered at the Normandy Banquet Center to celebrate the 2013 racing season and to welcome in the new racing year. Taking top honors on the night were a pair of Sprint Car racers, as Jack Sodeman, Jr. and Michael Bauer added prestigious awards to their speedway accolades.
Sodeman, of North Jackson, OH, was the top dog in the 410 Sprint division, which is sponspored by Luxaire Heating & Cooling, Ralph Butch, Inc., and New Wilmington Motors. In addition to receiving the champion's mantle, Sodeman got the coveted Cavalcade Award for being the best 410 Sprint Car driver in the entire region. Sodeman garnered the track title on the last night of point racing, as he barely outdistanced the prior champion, Eric Williams. Both drivers are expected back to battle it out for the 2014 championship.
Bauer, the Clarion, PA college student, earned his first track championship in the Bonnell's Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors. Bauer picked up even more hardware than Sodeman for his accomplishments. Bauer was recognized by the speedway as the most improved driver. He, too, received a Cavalcade Award for being the outstanding Limited Sprint racer in the region. While Bauer plans to defend his title, he made no bones about his desire to move up to the more powerful 410 Sprints.
Once again, one of Mercer's favorite sons, Frankie Guidace, was the champion in the 358 Modified class, promoted by long-time benefactor, Approved Toilet Rentals. Guidace rebounded from a miserable 2012 season to reclaim the title. Joining him in the limelight was his daughter, Makayla, who was honored as the track's rookie of the year! Both of them will be back in action when the green flag drops for Saturday Night Live! action in April.