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Bolland Takes Modified Tour Thriller; Felmlee Survives in Sprints; Moore, Griffin and Gillette also Win
by Lou Long
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Lou Long (412-760-9755)
Mercer, PA (June 25, 2011): Kevin Bolland made a daring last lap pass of leader Brian Swartzlander and went on to win the thrilling BRP/Hoosier Tire Modified Tour race presented by All Metals Recycling of Rochester, PA. Bob Felmlee survived a marathon run in the Luxaire Heating & Cooling 410 Sprints, Rusty Moore charged to his third consecutive win in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, and Guy Griffin returned to victory lane in the ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors. Tim Gillette captured the Kaboom 100 Enduro.
"The traffic is always tought at Mercer, you just have to wait your turn," Bolland said. On several occasions, the traffic thwarted Bolland's ability to pass race leader Brian Swartzlander. However, in the final analysis, a lapped car figured prominently into his winning pass.
When the field was circulating under the final caution, Bolland said to himself, "I have 11 more laps, let's get this project done." At that moment, he was sitting third behind Swartzlander and Frank Guidace. Shortly after the race resumed, Bolland regained second position and he was rapidly closing on Swartzlander.
"I had to wait for the lap traffic to play in because Brian had the bottom end tied up for several laps." Bolland explained that he kept trying the high side in turns one and two, "but every time I got a run on him, it seemed like a lapped car fell in front of me and I couldn't capitalize again." He kept working at it, though, and eventually he used the traffic to his advantage.
Although Swartzlander led from the start, he could not shake loose from Bolland. Bolland kept switching lines as the duo diced for the lead. When they approached heavy lapped traffic near the midpoint of the race, Bolland made his first bid for the lead. He dropped to the inside lane coming off turn two and Swartzlander remained in the middle groove. They swept past a pair of lapped cars in an astounding four-wide formation on the backstretch. Swartzlander entered turn three with the lead, as Bolland had to burp the throttle to set the car for the corner.
Bolland continued to apply the pressure until the race was slowed for its second caution. On the restart, track favorite Frank Guidace powered into second with his potent 358 Modified, and the fans were sensing that an upset could be in the making. No Approved Toilet Rental 358 Modified had ever beaten the Big Blocks at Mercer and Guidace wanted to be the first. He closed in on Swartzlander on several occasions, but he could never pull alongside the leader.
Meanwhile, Bolland regrouped and began to work on Guidace for second. Bolland went to the outside and took the position away as they raced through turns one and two on lap 21. Bolland once again took up the chase for the lead.
With the laps winding down, the leaders again found themselves in heavy lapped traffic. That gave Bolland the opportunity to challenge for the win. As the leaders came charging off turn four to take the white flag, Bolland squeezed between Swartzlander and a lapped car. At the scoring loop, Bolland had the lead by a narrow margin. The pair cleared the lapped car and they raced hard into turn one. There was contact. Swartzlander slid high, but kept moving despite suffering some damage to his car. Bolland managed to keep his car straight and pulled away for the win.
Swartzlander took the checkers in second. Eric Gabany, driving another Mercer 358, made a strong move on the outside in the final laps and climbed up to third. Guidace held on for fourth, followed by Dave Murdick.
Jeremiah Shingledecker finished sixth. Rex King, Sr. crossed in seventh, snapping a two-year streak of top five finishes with the BRP/Hoosier Tire Modified Tour. His son, Rex King, Jr., grabbed eighth. Brad Rapp climbed all of the way to ninth after starting in row eleven. Kevin Hoffman completed the top ten.
The Luxaire Heating and Cooling 410 Sprint Car race was a marathon affair, as four red flags and numerous yellows slowed the action. Bob Felmlee, the division's point leader, survived to take his first win of the 2011 season.
Jimmy Light jumped into the early lead and looked like he would capture his first win. However, Felmlee took advantage of a mid-race restart to grab the lead as the cars rounded the first turn. Light fought back, but he could not overtake the veteran.
The next restart proved to be Light's undoing. Felmlee went extremely low as he approached the cone in turn four and he caught the inside berm. He slid across Light's, nose, shearing off the left front wheel in the process. Light limped into the first turn, with the rest of the field descending upon him. Third-place runner Brandon Spithaler had nowhere to go, and he clipped the tail of Light's disabled racer. Spithaler flipped and a number of other cars piled in. Fortunately, no driver was hurt in the melee.
Felmlee got away cleanly on the restart and led the remainder of the race. Brandon Matus finished a career-best second. Rod George, Jason Dolick, and Chris Shuttleworth all came from deep in the pack to crack the top five.
Chris Best, Aaron Shaffer, Steve Collins, Brent Matus and John McCracken, Jr. completed the top ten.
Goodyear Tire certificates were awarded to Felmlee (winner), Shuttleworth (hard charger), Collins (last car lead lap), Lindsay Enscoe (random) and Shaffer (random).
In the ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Rob Felix led the first lap but gave way to Guy Griffin on lap two. Felix flipped in turn one three laps later. He was unhurt, but his car was heavily damaged. Griffin then cruised to the easy win over Dennis Wagner, Jimmy Morris, Jeff Taylor and harold Bradin. Justin Whitesell was credited with sixth and Felix seventh.
Tim Gillette displayed his mastery of the enduro, speeding to the win in the Kaboom 100. He led the first ten laps, but surrendered the lead to Brian Rydbam. Dakota Papsun was next to lead the race. He came to an abrupt halt on the backstretch on lap 45, putting Gillette back on the point. Gillette, Harry Wolfe and John W. Confer were the only drivers to complete the century grind. Joe Philip and Brian Watkins wer fourth and fifth, several laps in arears. Troy Lehnortt, Brian Sprague, Brian Rydbam, Tyrell Beary and Eelyr Wickham finished sixth through tenth.
BRP/Hoosier Tire Modified Tour: 1. Kevin Bolland (777); 2. Brian Swartzlander (83); 3. Eric Gabany (3E); 4. Frank Guidace (1G); 5. Dave Murdick (61); 6. Jeremiah Shingledecker (37MD); 7. Rex King, Sr. (65); 8. Rex King, Jr. (165); 9. Brad Rapp (11R); 10. Kevin Hoffman (17H); 11. Jimmy Holden (28H); 12. Tommy Kristyak (26Z); 13. John Buchanan (44B); 14. Mark Frankhouser (03); 15. Mike Turner (96); 16. Tommy Mattocks (69); 17. Shannon Whaley (44W); 18. Carl Murdick (6); 19. Shawn Fleeger (88); 20. Scott Strock (15); 21. Don Brown (71B); 22. Howard Duff (812); 23. Kyle Fink (66F); 24. Skip Moore (17M); 25. Chris Haines (35H); 26. Rod Jones (820). DNQ: Kevin Green, Rich Whitney, Brian Weaver, Dave Reges, Donny Minor. Heat wins: Swartzlander, Gabany, Bolland. B Main win: Rapp.
Luxaire Heating & Cooling 410 Sprint Cars: 1. Bob Felmlee (6); 2. Brandon Matus (13); 3. Rod George (4); 4. Jason Dolick (D12); 5. Chris Shuttleworth (11); 6. Chris Best (66); 7. Aaron Shaffer (97S); 8. Steve Collins (67); 9. Brent Matus (33); 10. John McCracken, Jr. (79); 11. Todd Bauer (45); 12. A.J. Albrecht (7x); 13. Gale Ruth, Jr. (1R); 14. Jimmy Light (23); 15. Brandon Spithaler (22S); 16. Lindsay Enscoe (96); 17. Scott Priester (15); 18. Jeff Taylor (17T); 19. Vern Wasson (5); 20. Shawn Minor (3M); 21. Adam Kekich (5K); 22. Eric Williams (7). DNS: Dan Kuriger, Adam Anderson, John McCracken and Francis Sesco.
Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: 1. Rusty Moore (17M); Russ Byler (06R); 3. Terry Wheeler (2W); 4. Dan Lewis (64); 5. Ryan Moyer (13X); 6. Marty Warren (05); 7. Bobby Heim (92); 8. Brandon Johnston (14J); 9. Tony Spaghetti (97); 10. Mark Sanders (32); 11. Bucky Buchanan (93B); 12. Darrin Hyde (4); 13. Andy Thompson (7); 14. Bob Schwartzmiller (28S).
ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors: 1. Guy Griffin 911); 2. Dennis Wagner (38); 3. Jimmy Morris (16); 4. Jeff Taylor (17T); 5. Harold bradin (9); 6. Justin Whitesell (17); 8. Rob Felix (21).
Kaboom 100 Enduro: 1. Tim Gillette (2); 2. Harry Wolfe (18); 3. John W. Confer (14); 4. Joe Philip (6); 5. Brian Watkins (5); 6. Troy Lehnortt (8); 7. Brian Sprague (21); 8. Brian Rydbam (1); 9. Tyrell Beary (19); 10. Eelyr Wickham (16); 11. Garrett Schreffler (10); 12. Dean Schreffler (10); 13. Brad Shaffer (4); 14. Tyler Wickham (17); 15. Ed Papsun (12); 16. William Shurrelbrihu (7); 17. Dakota Papsun (11); 18. Phil Kapcewich (20); 19. Justin Dailey (15); 20. Wally Naletko (13); 21. Randy Shaffer (3).
Join us again at Mercer Raceway Park on July 2 and July 9 for Saturday Night Live racing featuring the Luxaire Heating & Cooling 410 Sprint Cars, the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, the ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors, the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, the BigDaddy's Speed Center Modified Lites and the Big Dog R/C Center Mini Stocks. Ticket prices will be $12 for Adults, $10 for Seniors 60+, $5 for Students (9-15), free for Children (8 and under), $25 Family Pass (mom and/or dad, plus up to four children), and $25 Pit Pass.
Remember that the July 2 American Patriot race will include the Fireworks Spectacular presented by Walt's of Mercer Plaza and Joe's Pizza. Veterans and scouts will be admitted free for that event.
Gates will open at 4, with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:00.