Sodeman Hustles to First Win of Season at Mercer Raceway Park

Gallagher, Kristyak, Burns, Webb and Thompson also Prevail

Jack Sodeman, Jr. survived a seven-car wreck on the initial green flag and went on to win the feature for the 4 Your Car Connection and World of Wheels 410 Sprint Cars on a busy night at Mercer Raceway Park. In addition to celebrating Christmas in July, and Herr’s Meet Your Heroes Night, there were fireworks courtesy of Pizza Joe’s. It was Sodeman’s first win of the season at the Park.

Also taking wins were Sodeman’s protege, Darin Gallagher, in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Tommy Kristyak in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, Tim Burns in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, Shane Webb in the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites, and Mike Thompson in the Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks.

Sodeman said that the opening lap skirmish may have worked to his advantage. “I think that gave me a little bit more of an incentive to do well.” He was put on the hot seat by starting towards the rear when the race resumed, but it did not take him long to get to he front. “I didn’t know exactly how it was going to turn out, but the car was really good, it hooked the bottom and we just chose everything right tonight.” Sodeman also noted that he got a boost from Lady Luck when leader Eric Williams spun while lapping another car. “The luck came our way tonight. It sucks for Turkey (Williams), he had a good car and I think we would have had a heck of a race.” Sodeman continued, “we had about eight laps left there, we might have been able to run him down and put on a show for the fans, but, unfortunately, he just got caught up in lapped traffic.”

Eric Williams was ready to take his new ride, the Jim Chappel 8 recently vacated by former track champion Rod George, to victory. He jumped out to a quick advantage over Adam Kekich, but the fast start was vacated by a seven-car wreck in the middle of the pack. The involved drivers included Sodeman, last week’s winner, Brandon Matus, his dad, Brent, Zach Morrow, John McCracken, Jr., Paul Kish, and Dennis Wagner, who toppled his Sprinter. Wagner was unhurt, but could not continue, and neither did the Matus teammates. All others were able to rejoin the fray.

Williams repeated his powerful drive off turn four to take the lead over Kekich, Sodeman, A.J. Flick, and Dan Kuriger. Williams dominated the early stages of the race. But, Sodeman took second by lap five, and he was getting quicker as the race wore on.

Nonetheless, Williams led through the first 18 laps, which were run under the green. While he was attempting to pass a lapper on the inside of turns three and four, Williams got too close to at ute tire positioned on the inside berm. Williams made contact with the tire, and did a 360, as he desperately tried to keep his car moving to avoid a yellow. Unfortunately, the car struck another tire as it came back around, and WIlliams was done for the evening.

That handed the lead over to Sodeman, with Kekich, Kuriger, and Flick in tow. Jimmy Morris and Mike Miller were batting for positions in the top five, with Michael Bauer looking on.

Sodeman completed the last seven laps without incident. Kekich began to close in in the final rounds, but he ran out of time to make a serious bid for the win. Flick rallied for at third place finish, ahead of Morris and Miller. Bauer was sixth and John McCracken, Jr. placed seventh. Kuriger and Morrow were next, based on laps completed. Williams was credited with the tenth spot, also on laps completed.

The heat winners were Flick and Bauer. There was no B Main.

In the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Darin Gallagher raced out to an early lead that he would never surrender. George Hobaugh, a frequent winner in the class, could not challenge the former Modified Lite track champion. Greg Dobrosky ran a consistent race to get third. Alex Paden closed fast to get the fourth spot. Andy Feil placed fifth.

George Englert, Darren Pifer, Cody Bova, Evan Kornbau, and Devin Litwiler rounded out the top ten.

The heat winners were Mark Rossey and Hobaugh. There was no B Main.

Tommy Kristyak led wire to wire to get his second triumph of the season in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. He withstood an early challenge from J.R. McGinley, and, although he surrendered the lead briefly to Rob Curtis following a restart, when the field came back to the scoring loop, Kristyak was back out front. Lonny Riggs climbed to second, with Kyle Fink in third. Curtis held on for fourth, one spot ahead of Jeff Schaffer, Jr.

Shayne Izzo, Kyle Holden, Kevin Green, and Terry Young were the final finishers. McGinley was awarded tenth based on laps completed.

The preliminaries belonged to Kristyak and Jimmy Holden, who was an early retiree. There was no B Main.

In the Precise Racing products Stock Cars, Tim Burns was the winner. Bobby Heim raced into second, but could not overhaul the fleet Burns machine. Andy Thompson was third. Early leader Pat Fielding held on for fourth. Garrett Calvert was fifth, despite being involved in a pair of cautions. Joe Stajnrajh crossed before Charlie Baptiste. Scott Byers was eighth, Points leader Ryan Moyer was ninth, based on laps completed, and newcomer Matt Lozowski was tenth. Gary Miller, Jr. and Moyer topped the qualifications. There was no B Main.

Shane Webb held off Jacob Bova and a hard-charging Mark Marcucci for the win in the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites. It was looking like Kenny Meadows and Marcucci would battle for the win, but Meadows spun with a little help from his friend, sending them both to the tail for the restart. Bill Stivason was fourth and Meadows came back for fifth. Dusty Frantz and Shane Pfeuffer were next. Glenn Teeter was unable to start the feature after flipping in his heat. He was unhurt. The heat winner was Marcucci. There was no B Main.

Michael Tompson copped his third Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stock feature in a row. He assumed command one lap after early leader Tyler Fulton came up lame following a lap 6 restart. Steve Longwell, Jr. led the one lap in between. Adam Reseigh crossed in second, but failed post-race tech. That moved Adam Perry up in the running order. Officially placing third was Steve Longwell, Jr. His father, Steve Sr. was fourth, and Shane Shook was fifth. Todd Kougher, Ed Haylett, Rudy Troples, Karlee Longwell, and Tyler Fulton were sixth through tenth. The heat wins went to Perry and Thompson. There was no B Main.

Next week, there will be bicycle races for the children, courtesy of Ray’s Racing Collectibles and Approved Toilet Rentals. Helmets will be required for all participants. The action on the oval will be a Saturday Night Live! racing event.

4 Your Car Connection/World of Wheels 410 Sprint Cars: Jack Sodeman, Jr., Adam Kekich, A.J. Flick, Jimmy Morris, Mike Miller, Michael Bauer, John McCracken, Jr., Dan Kuriger, Zach Morrow, Eric Williams, Gale Ruth, Jr., Paul Kish, Brent Matus, Dennis Wagner, Brandon Matus, Scott Priester (DNS).

Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Darin Gallagher, George Hobaugh, Greg Dobrosky, Alex Paden, Andy Feil, George Englert, Darren Pifer, Cody Bova, Evan Kornbau, Devin Litwiler, Brandon Matus, Joe McEwen, Mike Miller, Mark Rossey, Ken Rossey, Gary Kriess, Bobby Siegel, Kotie Kirkbride, Mike Marano, II (DNS).

Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Tommy Kristyak, Lonny Riggs, Kyle Fink, Rob Curtis, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Shayne Izzo, Kyle Holden, Kevin Green, Terry Young, J.R. McGinley, Brian Schaffer, Jimmy Holden, Rich Whitney, Sid Unverzagt, Jr.

Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Tim Burns, Bobby Heim, Andy Thompson, Pat Fielding, Garrett Calvert, Joe Stajnrajh, Charlie Baptiste. Scott Byers, Ryan Moyer, Matt Lozowski, Gary Miller, Jr., Curtis J. Bish, Chris Myers.

Rock Concrete Modified Lites: Shane Webb, Jacob Bova, Mark Marcucci, Bill Stivason Kenny Meadows, Dusty Frantz, Shane Pfeuffer, Glenn Teeter (DNS).

Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing COllectibles Mini Stocks: Michael Tompson, Adam Perry, Steve Longwell, Jr., Steve Longwell, Sr., Shane Shook, Todd Kougher, Ed Haylett, Rudy Troples, Karlee Longwell, Tyler Fulton, Mike McConnell, Adam Reseigh (DQ).

Matus and Holden Hold Serve as Mercer Mid-Season Champions

Bova, Bish, Thompson, and Marcucci also Win

CodyBovaIt was a good night to be a points leader at Mercer Raceway Park. In four of the six classes, the points leader solidified his hold on his respective championship contest by capturing a feature event. So, it was Brandon Matus (4 Your Car Connection and World of Wheels 410 Sprint Cars), Jimmy Holden (Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds), Michael Thompson (Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks), and Mark Marcucci (Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites) who padded their points leads. Cody Bova (Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors), and Curtis J. Bish (Precise Racing Products Stock Cars) also earned Midseason Championships. Bova dedicated the win to his mother, Sherri, who is an eleven year survivor of cancer, as this was the track’s benefit race for the American Cancer Society.

“I can’t complain, I started on the pole, especially here you’ve got to take advantage,” Matus said. “We’ve been having an up and down year, and I can’t seem to get going anywhere else, but I’ve been good at Mercer this year, so I’ll take that.” Matus had a challenge early from his friend, Scott Priester, and Matus explained how he was able to hold him off. “I heard him in three and four, and I just kinda washed up the track to use the whole track, and he never lifted.”

As the 410 Sprint Car points leader entering this night of action, Brandon Matus got the pole position for the 4 Your Car Connection and World of Wheels finale when he transferred from his heat race. Next to him was defending track champion, Eric Williams. They got off to an early advantage over Jack Sodeman, Jr., Scott Priester, Dan Kuriger, Jimmy Morris, and A.J. Flick. Priester was showing lots of power early, as he rocketed into the second position.

Priester was closing rapidly on the leader when he slid off the edge of the track going down the back stretch on the third lap. While Priester lost a lot of ground, he maintained second position. It all became a moot point when a three-car tangle slowed the pace and allowed him to close back up to the rear bumper of Matus’ red machine. George Hobaugh, Mike Miller, and Eric L. Williams were involved. Nobody was injured, but only Hobaugh was able to continue.

On the restart, Matus jumped out ahead of Priester and he continued to pour it on. In the long green flag period that followed, Matus built a commanding lead of more than a full straightaway. Priester held the second position, but he was under attack from Williams and Sodeman near the end of that run. A caution bunched things up again with 21 laps completed. The caution was for former track regular, Jimmy Light, who was paying a rare visit to the area.

Matus completed the four lap dash to the checkered flag without incident. Williams climbed into second on lap 23, bringing Sodeman along for good measure. Priester slid up to the frontstretch wall in his desperate attempt to regain the lost positions. Although he did make contact with the concrete, he was able to keep his car moving and brought it home in one piece in the fourth spot. Dan Kuriger crossed right behind him.

Positions six through ten went to A.J. Flick, who did run as high as fifth in the middle stages of the contest, Adam Kekich, who came from 14th on the grid, Brandon Spithaler, Jimmy Morris, and Ohio invader Jimmy Colvin.

The preliminaries belonged to Williams and Brandon Matus. There was no B Main.

Jimmy “the Jet” Holden romped to victory in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified go, which went non-stop. Lonny Riggs took second, ahead of Kyle Fink, J.R. McGinley, and Sid Unverzagt, Jr. Shayne Izzo, Brian Schaffer, Kyle Holden, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., and Tommy Kristyak completed the top ten. Rich Whitney and Izzo won their respective heats. There was no B Main.

In the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Cody Bova followed points leader George Hobaugh, Jr. for the first fifteen laps. Bova moved ahead the next go round, and he kept control the rest of the way. Hobaugh held on for second. Evan Kornbau, Alex Paden, and Mike Miller completed the top five. Brandon Spithaler, Darren Pifer, Mike Marano, II, Andy Feil, and Devin Litwiler were next. Darin Gallagher had a sure top five finish vanish in the final laps, as his right rear tire began to go down. Gallagher and Marano topped their respective heats. There was no B Main.

Curtis J. Bish returned to the speedway and demonstrated the winning form in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars. However, points leader Ryan Moyer made things interesting on the last lap, as he pulled along side Bish in the final corners. The margin of victory was a scant 0.037 seconds! Tim Burns was a close third. Pat Fielding was fourth, with Bobby Heim in fifth. Gary Miller, Jr. faded to sixth. Andy Thompson, Terry Wheeler, Joe Stajnrajh, and Dennis Clark were the remaining finishers. Fielding and Moyer were top qualifiers. There was no B Main.

Michael Thompson registered the win in the Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks. He was pressured early by Tyler Fulton, and did surrender the lead to him briefly. However, soon after Thompson took the lead away, Fulton retired from action. Steve Longwell, Sr., George Settlemeyer, Rudy Troples, and Todd Kougher held positions two through five. Shane Shook and Karlee Longwell were the final racers to finish. Fulton, Jordan Ehrenberg, and Todd Hanlon were scored in eighth through tenth based on laps completed. Fulton and Thompson topped the first round action. There was no B Main.

Mark Marcucci led wire to wire in the non-stop Modified Lite race presented by Rock Concrete Supply. Shane Webb started and finished second. Jason Darocha, Jacob Bova, Bill Stivason, Glenn Teeters, and Dusty Frantz were the other runners. Levi Spinnewebber was unable to make the call for the nightcap. Marcucci also scored in the heat race.

Next weekend, the speedway will celebrate Christmas in July. There will be extra money available for the racers and gifts for the children.

4 Your Car Connection/World of Wheels 410 Sprint Cars: Brandon Matus,Eric Williams, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Scott Priester, Dan Kuriger, A.J. Flick, Adam Kekich, Brandon Spithaler, Jimmy Morris, Jimmy Colvin, Brent Matus, Michael Bauer, Paul Kish, Gale Ruth, Sr., John McCracken, Jr., Jimmy Light, George Hobaugh, Jr., Mike Miller, Eric L. Williams.

Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Jimmy Holden, Lonny Riggs, Kyle Fink, J.R. McGinley, Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Shayne Izzo, Brian Schaffer, Kyle Holden, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Tommy Kristyak, Rich Whitney, Kevin Green, Eric Martin (DNS).

Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Cody Bova, George Hobaugh, Jr., Evan Kornbau, Alex Paden, Mike Miller, Brandon Spithaler, Darren Pifer, Mike Marano, II, Andy Feil, Devin Litwiler, Darin Gallagher, George Englert, Kotie Kirkbride, Tim Callahan, Bob McMillin (DNS).

Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Curtis J. Bish, Ryan Moyer, Tim Burns, Pat Fielding, Bobby Heim, Gary Miller, Jr., Andy Thompson, Terry Wheeler, Joe Stajnrajh, Dennis Clark,Garrett Calvert.

Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Michael Thompson, Steve Longwell, Sr., George Settlemeyer, Rudy Troples, Todd Kougher, Shane Shook, Karlee Longwell, Tyler Fulton, Jordan Ehrenberg, Todd Hanlon, James Tasker.

Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites: Mark Marcucci, Shane Webb, Jason Darocha, Jacob Bova, Bill Stivason, Glenn Teeters, Dusty Frantz, Levi Spinnewebber (DNS).

Victory Puts Holden Atop 358 Mod Standings Again at Mercer Raceway Park

Marano Gets Career First, Moyer Nabs Second, Marcucci and Thompson Also Score

Defending track champion JImmy Holden scored the easy win in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, at Mercer Raceway Park and, in the process, regained the points lead. Mike Marano, II earned his first career win in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors with a bold move in turn three following a lap 18 restart.

Ryan Moyer returned to victory lane for the second time in a row in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars. Mark Marcucci dominated the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites, and Michael Thompson scored again in the Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks.

“We made some changes to the car between the heat and the feature,” said the happy 358 Modified winner, Jimmy Holden. “Some, I can talk about, some, I can’t” he added with a sly grin. What he did admit to doing was to tighten up his car. “I guess I like it tighter.” Whatever other speed secrets he was keeping to himself sure did the trick.

Kyle Fink used the pole position to gain the advantage at the start of the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. Brian Schaffer ran a steady second, ahead of Jimmy Holden, Tommy Kristyak, and Jeff Schaffer, Jr. By lap five, Holden worked his way into second, and he was chopping away at the lead Fink had built up.

Holden made his winning move inside turn one, with eight laps down. From there, he was able to stretch his advantage over Fink. Fink held second through the lap ten restart, but lost it soon thereafter to Lonny Riggs, who methodically moved ahead from deep in the pack.

Riggs started to close in on Holden but there were not enough laps remaining to allow him to catch the leader. Holden flashed across the line several car lengths ahead of Riggs. Fink held on for third. Sid Unverzagt, Jr. raced up to the fourth position. Jeff Schaffer, Jr. took fifth.

Kyle Holden led the next group across the line. Brian Schaffer was seventh. Clyde Gumpp, Kevin Green, and Shayne Izzo were next. Tommy Kristyak ran the final two laps of the race with a deflating left rear tire, and faded from the top five to eleventh.

The heat winners were Riggs and Jimmy Holden. There was no B Main. The points leader entering the event, J.R. McGinley was unable to complete a lap. Alan Reibold crashed in his maiden voyage and was unable to start the feature event. He was unhurt.

Mike Marano, II made his changes on the track, rather than in the pits, to get his first career feature win in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors. After following veteran Joe McEwen for several laps, Marano switched from the outside line to the inside after the critical lap 18 restart. For Marano, it was vindication after having a rocky start to his career. “At the beginning of the second year, I got second degree burns, and I missed some races, then, I had a series of engine problems and other breakdowns,” he explained. “But, this was all worth it,” he exclaimed.

In the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, it looked as though former track champion Joe McEwen was finally going to go to victory lane with his car powered by a GM 602 Crate Engine. He jumped out to the lead and kept top runner George Hobaugh, Jr. at bay until Hobaugh went a little high entering the first turn. Hobaugh flipped several times and his bid for the win was over. He was unhurt.

That gave Mike Marano the second position and he chased McEwen furiously. McEwen ran the low side and Marano the high side, and the fans were cheering both on. A spin by Alex Paden set up a two-lap dash for the win, and Marano was ready. Boy, was he ready.

Marano switched things up on the veteran McEwen. Instead of rolling into turn three on the high side, as he had done repeatedly before, Marano dove to the inside. He drove right through a weeping spring. The car stuck, and he came out of the corner with the lead.

Marano raced to the checkers ahead of McEwen. Andy Feil turned in a steady run for third. Mike Miller came back from a weekend of misfortune to get fourth. C.J. Jones came from deep in the pack to get fifth.

Darin Gallagher, Gary Kriess, Devin Litwiler, Terry Young, and Cody Bova were the sixth through tenth place finishers this night.

Gallagher and Young took the preliminaries. There was no B Main.

In the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites, David Innes grabbed the early lead, but Mark Marcucci wasted little time overhauling him going down the backstretch to lead lap four.Innes was trying to mount a counterattack when the caution was displayed. Despite two cracks at Marcucci on successive restarts, Innes was unable to regain the lead. However, Levi Spinnewebber was working his way forward. He took over second with twelve laps completed. He got his turn at Marcucci, But when he retired under a lap 12 caution, that gave Innes another try. Marcucci was up to the task. Innes held off Keith Smith for second. Shane Webb was fourth, and Jason Johnson rounded out the top five. Anthony Cavicchia was sixth. Vivian Jones was the last car to complete the distance. Levi Spinnewebber, Rod Jones, and Glenn Teeters were scored in eighth through tenth based on laps completed. Heat winners were Marcucci and Smith. There was no B Main.

In the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, Pat Fielding and Shawn Smith paced the field for the start. They held command at the beginning of the race, with Curt L. Bish running in the third spot. However, it was Moyer who was making the most headway in the early going. He took advantage of a restart on lap five to move into the second spot. Another restart put him on Fielding’s flank, and the rest, they say, is history. Moyer blasted ahead and he led the rest of the way. Gary Miller, Jr. had a shot at Moyer on a lap ten restart, but he could not muster up enough power to get past. At the checkers, it was Moyer, Miller, and Bish. Fielding held on for fourth. Joe Stajnrajh was fifth. Charlie Baptiste, Zach Myer, Garrett Calvert, Shawn Smith, and Andy Thompson were the remaining finishers. Smith took the heat. There was no B Main.

Michael Thompson took the lead from Steve Longwell, Jr. after a thrilling side by side battle early in the Mini Stock race presented by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. Longwell fell back into a contest with Tyler Fulton and Tim Callahan, who was back racing his mini stock due to slow parts delivery for his Outlaw Sprint Warrior. The three swapped positions numerous times over the second half of the race. Ultimately, it was Longwell who would prevail over Callahan and Fulton for second. Steve Longwell, Sr. was fifth. Jordan Ehreneberg, Matt Pegher, Shane Shook, Tim McAnnich, and Jamie Tasker completed the top ten. The heats winners were Callahan and Fulton. There was no B Main.

Next week will be the make-up date for the Mid-Season Championships. Double points will be on the line and racers who earn the coveted transfer spots through heat racing will get to line-up for the features based upon their points standings.

Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Jimmy Holden, Lonny Riggs, Kyle Fink, Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Kyle Holden, Brian Schaffer, Clyde Gumpp, Kevin Green, Shayne Izzo, Tommy Kristyak, Rich Whitney, J.R. McGinley, Alan Reibold (DNS).

Bonnell’s Rod SHop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Mike Marano, II, Joe McEwen, Andy Feil, Mike Miller, C.J. Jones, Darin Gallagher, Gary Kriess, Devin Litwiler, Terry Young, Cody Bova, Darren Pifer, George Englert, Alex Paden, ZGeorge Hobaugh, Jr., Evan Kornbau.

Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites: Mark Marcucci, David Innis, Keith Smith, Shane Webb, Jason Johnson, Anthony Cavicchia, Vivian Jones, Levi Spinnewebber, Rod Jones, Glenn Teeters, Doug Jones, Josh Christopher, Jacob Bova (DNS), Bill Stivason (DNS).

Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Ryan Moyer, Gary Miller, Jr., Curt Bish, Pat Fielding, Joe Stajnrajh, Charlie Baptiste, Zach Myer, Garrett Calvert, Shawn Smith, Andy Thompson.

Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Michael Thompson, Steve Longwell, Jr., Tim Callahan, Tyler Fulton, Steve Longwell, Sr., Jordan Ehreneberg, Matt Pegher, Shane Shook, Tim McAnnich, Jamie Tasker, Karlee Longwell, Matthew Rubright, Rudy Troples, Todd Kougher, Ed Haylett, Mike Derr, Russ Grossman (DNS), Todd Hanlon (DNS).

Flyin’ Ryan Smith Victorious in All Stars at Mercer Raceway Park

Also winning were Mark Rossey, Ryan Moyer, and JR McGinley

Ryan Smith

Photo courtesy of DB3 Imaging

Ryan Smith flew to victory on the second night of UNOH All Stars Circuit of Champions at Mercer Raceway, Park. It was his first career win at the tricky oval, and second All Stars triumph of the season for the Kunkeltown Kid.

Since rolling out a new car, Smith has been getting faster each outing. “We caught some breaks there in the heat race, we timed good, and the car was good right out of the box.” Then, he noted, “the track came to me with the water, the top came in.”

Smith had to fend off the All Stars kingpin, Dale Blaney, in the closing laps. “If we could have stayed in traffic a little longer, I might have had a chance,” Blaney said. “But he was running the same line that I was down there in one and two, and I started to work the bottom a little bit in three and four, but I just couldn’t get going after the yellow.”

Another Ryan, Moyer that is, was the first-time winner in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars. He capitalized upon some late rate skirmishes to move to the front in the closing laps. Mark Rossey also earned his first career score in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors. Rossey regained the the lead when Mike Miller tangled with a lapped car before the halfway mark in the contest. J.R. McGinley was a thousand dollars richer after the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified feature. He out dueled Lonny Riggs and Kyle Fink after a lap 11 restart to grab the lead.

Lee Jacobs hoped that lightning would strike again at the Park, as he led the opening lap of the feature event. However, Parker Price-Miller had another idea. He drove by Jacobs on the second lap and he immediately opened up a lead of several car lengths. Ryan Smith worked his way into third, with Bale Blaney and Andrew Palker in tow.

With Price-Miller out front, Smith moved into second on lap six, and he began to close in on the leader while they sliced through traffic.Jacobs continued to hold the third position, ahead of Blaney, Palker, and Greg Wilson.

Blaney then flexed some muscle, taking the third spot with a dozen laps in the books. As Price-Miller and Smith wove through traffic, Blaney started to reel them in. At the halfway mark, Price-Miller’s lead was vanishing, and Blaney was eating into Smith’s advantage as well.

Smith assumed command just past the halfway mark, and now Blaney was hounding the teen from Kokomo, IN. On lap 19, Price-Miller’s impressive run came to an end, as he pulled above the cushion and stopped in turn two. That put Blaney on the tail of Smith. Cody Darrah was on the move before the caution, and he lined up in third for the final restart of the event.

Smith got away cleanly, and led the last seven laps without incident. Blaney held off Darrah for the second spot. Wilson slipped by Jacobs in the final rounds. Palker crossed in sixth, with Chad Kemenah, Sheldon Haudenschild, Danny Holtgraver, and Jack Sodeman, Jr. completing the top ten. Haudenschild was awarded the hard charger for the night.

The evening’s fastest qualifier was Caleb Helms, who turned the speedway in 13.728 seconds. Heat wins went to Dale Blaney, Greg Wilson, Parker Price-Miller, and Andy McKisson. McKisson blew his engine as he crossed the finish line, so he was a scratch for the feature event. Lee Jacobs won the dash. Tim Shaffer captured the B Main.

In the Bonnel’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Mark Rossey grabbed the initial lead despite heavy challenges from Mike Marano, II, and Mike Miller on the opening lap. Rossey raced out to a comfortable lead, but Miller quickly cut into it as the laps clicked off. Miller made his move inside turn one to grab the lead with six laps completed. Miller then began to pull away from Rossey, but misfortune struck just a few circuits later. Miller tangled with a lapper between turns three and four, and his night was over. That put Rossey back on the point for the restart, and he held control the rest of the way. Marano held off a furious charge by Jake Gomola in the closing laps to maintain the second spot. George Hobaugh was fourth, and Evan Kornbau fifth. Darin Gallagher, Greg Dobrosky, Andy Feil, George Englert, and Darren Pifer rounded out the top ten. Gallagher, Dobrosky, and Kornbau copped the preliminaries. There was no B Main.

Ryan Moyer drove to victory in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars. The early stages of the race were dominated by Tim Burns, who started on the pole. Leigh Wheeler ran second until he lost the engine in his machine bringing out the first caution. That moved Curtis J. Bish to the front row, along with Burns. The pair tangled as they raced through the first turn on the restart. Bish spun, collecting two others in the process, and Burns pitted for repairs. They both resumed racing at the rear of the field. That put Pat Fielding out front, but he soon surrendered the lead to Moyer. Meanwhile, Burns and Bish were moving forward, but on the final lap of the contest, Bish turned Burns as they fought for position on the backstretch. The race concluded with Moyer taking the win, ahead of Gary Miller, Jr., Fielding, Joe Stajnrajh, and Burns. Jesse Brock, Charlie Baptiste, Dennis Clark, Wheeler, and Andy Thompson. Bish was disqualified for his part in the incident on the final lap. Pat Fielding and Tim Burns controlled the qualifiers. There was no B Main.

J.R. McGinley prevailed in the nightcap for the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. Following a lap 11 restart, he took the lead away from Lonny Riggs, who led from the outset. Riggs kept Kyle Fink at bay. However, late in the race, Jimmy Holden began to move ahead. He worked past Fink and Riggs in the final rounds. Jeff Schaffer, Jr. turned in a creditable run for the fifth spot. Shayne Izzo, Rob Curtis, Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Kyle Holden, and Brian Schaffer were the next five finishers. Unverzagt and McGinley topped the heats. There was no B Main.

All Stars Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars: Ryan Smith, Dale Blaney, Cody Darrah, Greg Wilson, Lee Jacobs, Andrew Palker, Chad Kemenah, Sheldon Haudenschild, Danny Holtgraver, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Caleb Helms, Tim Shaffer, Adam Kekich, Dan Kuriger, Rod George, A.J. Flick, Carl Bowser, Dan Shetler, Sye Lynch, Parker Price-Miller, Brandon Matus, Travis Philo, Scott Priester, Dennis Wagner.

Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: J.R. McGinley, Jimmy Holden, Lonnny Riggs, Kyle Fink, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Shayne Izzo, Rob Curtis, Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Kyle Holden, Brian Schaffer, Clyde Gumpp, Josh Deems, Richard Whitney, Tommy Krystyak, Max Smoker, Terry Young, Kevin Green.

Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Mark Rossey, Mike Marano, II, Jake Gomola, George Hobaugh, Evan Kornbau, Darin Gallagher, Greg Dobrosky, Andy Feil, George Englert, Darren Pifer, Alex Paden, Joe McEwen, Terry Young, Cody Bova, Devin Litwiler, Kyle Colwell, Jacob Bova, Ken Rossey, Bobby Siegel, Mike Miller, Jeff Taylor, Mike Lutz (DNS).

Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Ryan Moyer, Gary Miller, Jr., Pat Fielding, Joe Stajnrajh, Tim Burns, Jesse Brock, Charlie Baptiste, Dennis Clark, Leigh Wheeler, Andy Thompson, Shawn Smith, David Rice, Bill Bannick, Jr., Curtis J. Bish (DQ).

Jacobs Beats the Rain and All Stars at Mercer Raceway Park

Englert, Schwartzmiller, and Fink also claim checkers

Lee Jacobs

Photo courtesy of DB3 Imaging

Lee Jacobs beat the rain and a stout field of UNOH All Stars Circuit of Champion Sprint Cars on night number one at Mercer Raceway Park. Before a red flag for Caleb Helms’ flip in turn one, Jacobs used the high line through turns one and two to take second. On the restart, he used the same maneuver to pass Sheldon Haudenschild for the lead. Jacobs then held off a fast-closing Chad Kemenah for his third career win with the series.

George Englert, last year’s Rock Concrete Modified Lite champion, scored his career first win in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors. He survived a rain delay and a second red flag for a flip by fourth place runner Cody Bova to earn the victory. Bob Schwartzmiller wired the field in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars. Kyle Fink did the same in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds.

“I was kinda struggling, missing spots on the track,” Jacobs lamented about his recent performances. “Tonight, I don’t know if I found my balls or what I did, but I put it back on the high side, where I need to be, and it really hooked up.” Jacobs was appreciative of car owner Johnny Lewis sticking by him through the rough times, but he was especially happy for his cousins, as three of them were turning wrenches for him this night. “We haven’t had a great year, but it was really neat to win with them helping out tonight.”

Rod George led Kody Kinser on the first lap, with Jacobs, track points leader Brandon Matus, and series points leader Dale Blaney in tow. George held sway for the first five laps of the contest, but Sheldon Haudenschild soon cracked the top five and he was closing in on the leaders. By the fifth lap, he was second, and the fans were starting to wonder if the “Mild Child” would carry his success from the recent Ohio Sprint Speedweek over the border to the Keystone State. They got their answer, as he swept by George on the backstretch to take the lead with six rounds in the books.

Haudenschild began to open a lead, but a spin by Andrew Palker brought him back to the rest of the field. George still ran second, but now he had Jacobs right on his tail. Blaney had advanced to fourth, and Kemenah was fifth at the stoppage.

When racing resumed, Haudenschild jumped out front, with George a ways back in second. A three-car battle for third heated up amongst Jacobs, Blaney, and Kemenah. Behind them, Danny Holtgraver was fighting off Tim Shaffer, who came from fifteenth on the grid.

Another caution slowed the pace, due to A.J. Flick’s car coming to a halt at the turn three exit from the speedway. In the brief interlude before the two-car crash involving Helms and Travis Philo, Jacobs mad his move into second.

While the racers were waiting for the clean-up to finish, Haudenschild’s left rear tire began to lose some air. He was able to restart, and he tried valiantly to maintain his advantage. But, Jacobs was not to be denied. He pulled even with Haudenschild as they raced through the first two turns, and he pulled ahead as they ran down the back chute.

With Jacobs out front, Haudenschild began to fade. His night came to an end two laps shy of the checkers, when the left rear tire finally let go. That put George back into second, but he was unable to hold that spot. Kemenah blasted by on the restart, and he took off after Jacobs. Kemenah was able to cut the margin to a car length or two, but he did not have enough time to mount a serious challenge for the win.

At the finish, it was Jacobs over Kemenah. George was the top local driver, in third. Tim Shaffer came all the way up to fourth. Darrah was fifth. Holtgraver, Blaney, Ryan Smith, Brandon Matus, and Greg Wilson completed the top ten.

Shaffer was the hard charger. Holtgraver turned the evening’s fastest time trial, 13.556. The heat winners were Brandon Matus, Helms, Haudenschild, and Kemenah. George took the dash, and Parker Price-Miller led the way in the B Main.

Big George Englert topped the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors for the first time since moving up from the Rock Concrete Modified Lites. He led the entire 20 lap distance, although his run to victory was punctuated by two red flags. Evan Kornbau turned in am impressive run, taking second. After missing several weeks of action, Joe McEwen returned to finish third in his crate engined racer. Fourth went to Alex Paden, and fifth to Darin Gallagher.

Sixth through tenth belonged to Tyler Denochick, Mike Marano, II, Darren Pifer, Kotie Kirkbride, and Jacob Bova, in his Warriors debut. The heat winners were Cody Bova and Kornbau. There was no B Main.

Bob Schwartzmiller led the entire fifteen laps in the Precise Racing Products Sock Cars. It was just his third start of the season. Taking second was Tim Burns, who flew American flags on the roof of his machine in celebration of Independence Day. Third went to Curtis J. Bish, fourth to Andy Thompson, and fifth to Rob Shook. In positions six through ten, it was Gary Miller, Jr., Andy Buckley, Ryan Newman, Mark Peck, Jr., and Charlie Baptiste. The final runner was Leigh Wheeler. Heats went to Burns and Buckley. There was no B Main.

Kyle Fink dominated the Approved Toilet Rentals finale for the 358 Modifieds. Jimmy Holden ran second most of the way, but blew his engine on the final lap. That moved J.R. McGinley into second. Brian Schaffer had a career best third. Rich Whitney recovered from an early spin to get fourth, ahead of high school student Kyle Holden. Shane Izzo placed sixth. Max Smoker, Clyde Gumpp, Jimmy Holden (based on laps completed), and Jeff Schaffer, Jr. completed the top ten. Preliminaries went to Jimmy Holden and Whitney. There was no B Main.

All Stars Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars: Lee Jacobs, Chad Kemenah, Rod George, Tim Shaffer, Cody Darrah, Danny Holtgraver, Dale Blaney, Ryan Smith, Brandon Matus, Greg Wilson, Adam Kekich, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Kody Kinser, Brent Matus, Carl Bowser, Dan Shetler, Sheldon Haudenschild, Travis Philo, Caleb Helms, Andrew Palker, A.J. Flick, Scott Priester, Parker Price-Miller, Danny Smith. DNQ: John McCracken, Jr., Michael Bauer, Andy McKisson, Dennis Wagner, Dan Kuriger, Eric Williams, Francis Sesco, Jimmy Morris, Sye Lynch.

Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: George Englert, Evan Kornbau, Joe McEwen, Alex Paden, Darin Gallagher, Tyler Denochick, Mike Marano, II, Darren Pifer, Kotie Kirkbride, Jacob Bova, Greg Dobrosky.

Precise Racing products Stock Cars: Bob Schwartzmiller, Tim Burns, Curtis J. Bish, Andy Thompson, Rob Shook, Gary Miller, Jr., Andy Buckley, Ryan Newman, Mark Peck, Jr., Charlie Baptiste, Leigh Wheeler.

Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Kyle Fink , J.R. McGinley, Brian Schaffer, Rich Whitney, Kyle Holden, Shane Izzo, Max Smoker, Clyde Gumpp, Jimmy Holden, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Kevin Green, Dillon Barr, Sidney Unverzagt, Jr., Lonnie Riggs.