Gillette Masters Mercer Enduro, Callahan Mini Stock Winner

Tim GilletteThe May Flowers 150 was the new name given to the oft-postponed Enduro at Mercer Raceway Park, but it was a familiar name, Tim Gillette, who came away with the grand prize. Gillette inherited the lead when Tim Callahan’s machine suddenly slowed after picking up debris on the speedway. Gillette led over 120 laps on his way to victory.

Callahan would not go away empty handed this day. He was awarded the win in the Full Bloom 25 after apparent victor, Andy Proper failed a post-race technical inspection. That race featured the Mini Stocks presented by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles.

Callahan did not know of the officials’ final decision in the Mini Stock race when he rolled out onto the speedway for the Enduro. He had the pole position because he was the first racer to submit an entry of the annual event. As expected, he bolted out to an early advantage over RYan Boyd, Patrick Parlock, and Ronnie Boyd, Jr. Gillette was caught in traffic at the start, and hovered near the top five in the early going.

By lap 20, the cream rose to the top, and it became a two horse race between Callahan and Gillette. Greg Rockwell was in the third spot. The Boyd cars rounded out the top five.

However, misfortune soon struck Callahan. The rear control arm from another car got stuck in the front suspension of his car, and his pace slowed dramatically. He limped around for a couple of laps before pitting to have the debris removed. Callahan was able to return to the contest, several laps in arrears, and showed good speed again. His day ended some time later when a radiator hose dislodged and his car overheated.

Gillette ran a smooth and steady pace for the remainder of the race.

Before the halfway mark, a three car battle developed for the second spot. The contestants were George Settlemire, William Hurrrelbrink, and Brian Rydbom, who nearly missed the start of the race due to his late arrival. They continued to trade positions two through four for over forty laps! In the final third of the race, mechanical problems eliminated Settlemire and Hurrelbrink. Rydbom soldiered on, but his mount was slowing in the final stages of the race.

When the checkers fell, it was Gillette over Rydbom, and Larry Wagner, Jr. Chad Fry and the final starter, Jim Frank, completed the top five. Positions six through ten went to Dereck Frank, Terry Wheeler, Jr., Hurrelbrink, Rick Feely, and Steven Hill.

Sixty-one drivers started the race. There were three stoppages for safety issues, including a small fire in the pit area when transmission fluid leaked from a car that had retired from action. The fire was quickly suppressed. There were no injuries in any of the incidents.

Tim CallahanIn the Mini Stock Full Bloom 25, Eric Beggs jumped out to the early lead, but Callahan soon assumed command. Defending race winner, Tyler Fulton, moved into second, and he and Callahan put on an exciting show. Within a couple of laps, Proper joined the fray, making it a three car battle for the lead.

By lap 20, Fulton and Proper moved ahead of Callahan, and they started swapping the lead. With three laps to go, Proper was leading by a couple of car lengths. Fulton lost control when the right front wheel of his car broke, and he skid into the turn four wall, inflicting more damage on his car.

Proper took the checkers, with Callahan second, and Todd Kougher third. As noted, Proper was disqualified, moving the rest of the field up a notch.

May Flowers 150: Tim Gillette, Brian Rydbom, Larry Wagner, Jr., Chad Fry, Jim Frank, Dereck Frank, Terry Wheeler, Jr., William Hurrelbrink, Rick Feely, Steven Hill, Ryan Boyd, Nick Birkner, George Settlemire, Steveh Reeher, Ronnie Boyd, Jr., Jeff Manners, Cody Cooper, Justin Baily, Jason Shaw, Joshua Peebles, Tim Callahan, Greg Rockwell, Nick Steiger, James Hayer, Todd Hanlon, Curtis Phillips, Harry Schneider, Jason Easler, John Canter, II, Jacob Billyk, Don Peebles, Jeremiah Blystone, Shawn Lindemuth, Michael Nail, Skip Lindemuth, Thomas Wygant, Luke Rutsky, Aaron Hill, Tyler Palmer, Matthew Lydic, Jr., Rusty Cade, Randy Brazel, Bill Mellise, Craig Karns, Patrick Parlock, Pat Hanlon, Terry Feely, acob Bish, Dylan Jones, Paul Clypoole, Mike Palmer, Brad Shaffer, Isaac Paden, William Paden, John Canter, III. DNS: Josh Seippel, Barry Plowman, Pat Hanlon, II, Bill Henney, Daniele Panach, Matt Hill, Bobby Seigel.

Full Bloom 25: Tim Callahan, Todd Kougher, Jamie Tasker, Tyler Fulton, Greg Geibel, Rudy Troples, Eric Beggs, Andy Proper

Chad Kemenah Rolls to All Stars Win at Mercer Raceway Park

George Hobaugh, Tim Burns, and Jason Darocha also victorious

Former champion Chad Kemenah scored his first win of the season in the new UNOH All Stars Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series event held at Mercer Raceway Park. Kemenah is building confidence with his new team, and he’s ready to regain his winning form. “For years with the Outlaws, I got my (butt) kicked pretty hard, but I want to turn it around and start kicking.”

In other action, George Hobaugh, Jr. registered the win in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Tim Burns went wire to wire in the Precise Racing Products Open Stocks, and Jason Darocha withstood a rash of cautions to win the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lite nightcap.

Chad KemenahKemenah was able to pounce when leader Lee Jacobs brushed the front-stretch wall after he got hung up behind a slower car. “Sometimes, when you are leading, it ain’t the best place to be,” Kemenah explained.

Darrah, who put on a late race charge to take second in his first appearance at the Park, admitted that he was struggling earlier in the race. “I was having trouble with the top, and I started moving around and that helped me shake my car out.” He added, “I thought there for a minute that I had something for Chad, but he was so good on the bottom, and then he got through the lapped traffic, and I didn’t have a chance to get there.”

Jacobs noted that he “got into the wall with the right rear, and that’s what messed up my entry into one, and that’s when Chad was able to get around us.” While some would be disappointed with such a turn of events, Jacobs was pleased because his team had been struggling so far this season. “It was a big accomplishment for this team to qualify well, win the dash, and log a top three finish,” he said.

Lee Jacobs and Eric Williams had the fans on the edges of their seats, as they battled back and forth in the early stages of the main event. Jacobs held a slight advantage over the defending track champion. As the leaders got into lapped traffic, Jacobs was able to open a three car length lead over Williams. However, misfortune soon struck Williams. On lap 8, he spun in turn four as he tried the tricky outside groove to dispatch a lapper.

That put Kemenah into the second spot, with another local favorite, Jack Sodeman, Jr., right behind. Cody Darrah restarted in fourth, with Dale Blaney, Cole Duncan and Ed Lynch. Jr. in the mix.

Jacobs got away cleanly, but he could not shake free from Kemenah. With 16 laps down, Kemenah powered off turn two to take the lead from Jacobs, who got hung up behind a slower car. By now, Dale Blaney had worked his way into the third position. Meanwhile, Sodeman was keeping Darrah at bay.

While Kemenah and Jacobs led the way, Blaney, Sodeman, and Darrah hooked up in a three car battle for third. Darrah found the inside to his liking coming through turns one and two. On lap 22, he shot off the second turn, passing both Blaney and Jacobs.

Darrah then began to close in on Kemenah, but he simply ran out of laps. Kemenah swept under the checkers first, with Darrah just a couple of lengths back. Jacobs held on for third, one of his best outings of the season. Ed Lynch, Jr. scrambled up to the fourth spot in the final laps, with Sodeman getting fifth.

Blaney faded to sixth in the stretch run. Brandon Spithaler was seventh. Duncan, Greg Wilson, and Ryan Smith completed the top ten.

Jared Zimbardi, Dan Kuriger, Jack Sodeman, Jr., and Ed Lynch, Jr. prevailed in the heat races. Lee Jacobs took the Dash win. Parker Price-Miller copped the B Main.

Dale Blaney was the evening’s fastest qualifier, setting a new track record at 13.241. Blaney did not eclipse the record set by Erin Crocker, when the track was smaller and the cars raced without weight restrictions. Kuriger had the misfortune of withdrawing from the dash after drawing the pole. He was unable to start the A Main in his own car, but switched to the Davey Jones 76 to get his starting money.

George Hobaugh, Jr. drove the Lockhart 58 to a convincing victory in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors. Hobaugh is making the adjustment to being a helmet bag driver. He established a relationship with car owner Joe Lockhart last season when he was trying to help Lockhart sort out some engine problems. Hobaugh added, “things didn’t work out with his previous driver, and I just messaged him one day ‘what happened,’ and he asked me if I wanted to drive his car, and here I am.”

Chasing Hobaugh home were Brandon Spithaler, aboard the Skip Daugherty 27D machine, and Mark Rossey.

It was Ken Rossey who dominated the first half of the contest, however. Near the midpoint of the feature though, Ken Rossey closed in on lapped traffic, and his lead rapidly evaporated. Hobaugh was able to draw up on his rear nerf bar, bringing Mark Rossey along for good measure. The trio got ready for an exciting run through traffic, but a caution negated that.

When racing resumed with 11 laps complete, Hobaugh dropped to the inside entering turn one. He powered through the corners to take an advantage that he would never surrender.

Meanwhile, Brandon Spithaler was the man on the move. In just a few short laps, Spithaler advanced to second and he began to stalk the leader. A pair of cautions enabled him to close up to the rear of Hobaugh, but Spithaler could not take advantage of the opportunities.

Hobaugh held serve on the final two restarts, and dashed home to the win by several car lengths. Spithaler was second, with Mark Rossey, Andy Feil, and Ken Rossey rounding out the top five.
Darin Gallagher came across in sixth. Evan Kornbau, Joe McEwen, Rob Felix, and C.J. Jones were the next finishers.

Three heats were held for the 25 car field, with Mark Rossey, Darin Gallagher, and Chis Matthews getting the checkers. There was no B Main.

In The Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, 20 racers took the green flag, with Tim Burns leading the first lap over Terry Wheeler. Burns would maintain the advantage, while Wheeler hustled his new car in second. Rob Shook, Curtis J. Bish, and Gary Miller gave chase.

As the race went on, Bish got faster and faster. He took second, and closed in on Burns. However, he could not make a bid for the win. Following Burns and Bish across the finish line were Shook, Miller, and Mark Sanders.

William Hurrelbrink was sixth, with Wheeler edging out Brett McDonald. David Baker and Andy Thompson were ninth and tenth.

The heats went to Hurrelbrink and Bish, who came from tenth to get the win. There was no B Main.

Keith Smith led the way for much of the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lite finale. However, he relinquished the lead to Darocha with just a few circuits remaining. Shane Pfeuffer recovered from a couple of scrapes to get third. Doug Jones, Shane Webb, Jason Johnson, and Josh Christopher were the final finishers. Mike Flockerzi, Jacob Bova, and Preston Roach were placed in the top ten based on laps completed.

The pair of preliminaries went to Mark Marcucci and Pfeuffer. There was no B Main.

The upside down club inducted its first members for 2015. Andrew Fescemyer and Mike Marano, II, tumbled in their Outlaw Sprint Warriors, but neither racer was injured.

Mercer Raceway Park will be back in action Sunday afternoon with the May Flowers 150 Enduro and the Full Bloom 25 for the Mini Stocks. Saturday Night Live! racing will resume on May 9 and 16.

UNOH All Stars Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars: Chad Kemenah, Cody Darrah, Lee Jacobs, Ed Lynch, Jr., Jack Sodeman, Jr., Dale Blaney, Brandon Spithaler, Cole Duncan, Greg Wilson, Ryan Smith, Tim Shaffer, Jared Zimbardi, Sheldon Haudenschild, Paige Polyak, Danny Smith, Brandon Matus, Travis Philo, Parker Price-Miller, A.J. Flick, Danny Holtgraver, Adam Kekich, Andrew Palker, Caleb Helms, Eric Williams, Dan Kuriger, Scott Priester.

Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: George Hobaugh, Jr. Brandon Spithaler, Mark Rossey, Andy Feil, Ken Rossey, Darin Gallagher, Evan Kornbau, Joe McEwen, Rob Felix, C.J. Jones, Greg Dobroski, Devin Litwiler, Hunter McCracken, Mike Marano, II, George Englert, Jacob Gomola, Chris Matthews, Cody Bova, Kotie Kirkbride, Alex Paden, Tyler Denochik, Darren Pifer, Gary Kriess, Jr., Andrew Fescemyer (DNS), Tim Callahan (DNS).

Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars: Tim Burns, Curtis J. Bish, Rob Shook, Gary Miller, Jr., Mark Sanders, William Hurrelbrink, Terry Wheeler, Brett McDonald, David Baker, Andy Thompson, Pat Fielding, Travis Norman, Bill Banick, Jr., Curt Bish, Bill Phillips, Jr., Ray Reynolds, Garrett Calvert, Joe Stajnrajh, Jacob Billyk, Dennis Clark (DNS).

Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites: Jason Darocha, Keith Smith, Shane Pfeuffer, Doug Jones, Shane Webb, Jason Johnson, Preston Roach, Glenn Teeters, Mark Marcucci, Curtis Stivason, Anthony Cavicchia.

Remembering Gus Linder

He is most well-known for his time in the Mickey Banas number 69 sprint car

Sad to learn of the passing of all-time great Gus Linder.

The following recap of Gus’ great career comes from Don Gamble.

Remember When: Gus Linder – The Man in Black by Don Gamble 1990

In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, the Linder name was one of the biggest in racing in the entire country. This Linder, of course” was the late Dick Linder, 1955 Pittsburgh Racing Association Champion. However, in the early 1950’s, another Linder named Gus started to show up in the box scores. The younger of the two brothers, Gus, drove many racecars in his long career.

Some of the other men Gus drove for included Fred and Marion Palone, George Lauderbaugh, Jack Schuster, Larry Jackson, Joe Borandi, Joe Vilsack, Don Dickenson (Don the Carburetor Man), and John Boltey and Mickey Banas.

The first feature winning car Gus drove was the number 57 white Ford coupe owned by Fred Palone, brother of Marion Palone, who owned the famous V-2, which Dick made famous. As the Pittsburgh Racing Association got started in 1954, Gus was picked to drive Larry Jackson’s #15 Buick powered Ford coupe, and was very successful with this car. After a few seasons with the Jackson mount, Gus moved into the seat of the Joe Vilsack Buick powered Ford coupe, and he was on his way to making a big name for himself. Linder won the 1959 Tri-State Championship at Heidelberg driving for Vilsack. I first met Gus when I was a teenager and a go-fer at Vilsack’s Garage in Hazelwood PA. The team would let me ride in the race car while towing it to the speedway.

As the PRA changed over to late model cars in 1961, Gus Linder felt it was time to make a change. At this time, he joined forces with the late Mickey Banas and his #69 sprint car.

As the sprint cars were popular in Western PA., they were even much more popular in Central PA one of the hot beds of sprint car racing, Mickey and Gus started to travel more and more to the Central PA area to do their racing. In all reality, Gus was the biggest winner of any Western PA driver to race in Central Pennsylvania. The black Ford powered sprint car started winning at the famed Williams Grove, Lincoln, Port Royal, and Susquehanna Speedways. What made Gus so famous was the 289 cubic inch Ford engine running against an all Chevy powered field of cars.

Mickey Banas could make a Ford engine a feature winner when it was unheard of in sprint car racing. Then tragically, Mickey died at a very young age of cancer, and this great combination of Mickey, Gus and the Ford were never to be again. As Gus took over the car, he changed it to Chevy power. Gus owned the car and the number and color remained the same until his retirement. He took on Kimes Chevrolet as a sponsor, and he had mediocre success. However, the spirit just wasn’t there as it was with Mickey.

Things did not always go smoothly between Gus and Mickey, as Gus would be fired one week and re-hired the next week. It just wouldn’t work out for Gus or Mickey if Gus drove for anyone else or Mickey put another driver in the car. The team was together for fourteen years. As rocky as the relationship was, they always ended up back together.

Near the end of Gus’ career, his son decided to give driving a try, but he only ran for a few years. Gus just slowly ran less and less until he just quit driving altogether. Tracks where Gus competed included Ace High, Arden Downs, Blanket Hill, Butler, Canfield, Claridge, Clearfield, Clinton, Daytona, Greater Pittsburgh, Green Valley, Heidelberg, Jennerstown, Langhorne, Lernerville, Lincoln, Mercer, Mon-Duke, Morgantown, Motordrome, Port Royal, Selinsgrove, Sharon, South Park, Tri-City, Uniontown, and Williams Grove.

The man with the black helmet, black driver’s suit, and black racecar is no longer on the racing scene, but anyone who saw Gus Linder drive would never forget him. For over thirty years, the “Man in Black” gave his all to the sport of auto racing, and it is only fair that we don’t let the fans forget him. Gus was inducted into the PCTC Hall of Fame in 1991 along with Jim Bickerstaff and Whitey Lauderbaugh. Gus has some of his memorabilia on display at the Heinz History Center Sports Museum in Pittsburgh.

Mercer Raceway Park Welcomes New Sponsors and Announces Schedule Change

4 your can connection and world of wheelsMercer, PA (March 7, 2015): Mercer Raceway Park is pleased to announce the sponsors for the 410 Sprint Car division in 2015, and the names will be familiar to the Western Pennsylvania motorsports community. 4 Your Car Connection and World of Wheels will present the speedway’s headline class. “We are proud to have these firms join us at Mercer Raceway Park,” said speedway owner and promoter Bill Altman. “They have been part of the racing family for a long time, and we are looking forward to having them partner with us for years to come.”

4 Your Car Connection is engaged in sales and rentals of used vehicles, and it boasts a full service center and towing operation as well. 4 Your Car Connection is located at 7082 U.S. Highway 322, in Cranberry, PA. The store is open Monday through Saturday, and evening hours are available during the week. But, if you are planning to shop on Saturday, plan to arrive early, as the store does close in the afternoon, so everybody can head to the racetrack to enjoy the fun. Check the website, for additional information.

World of Wheels sells ATVs, motorcycles, dirt bikes, cruisers, generators, and more from its shop located at 2572 State Route 257, in Seneca, PA. It is an authorized sales and service center for Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda Power Equipment, and Toro. Check out for more information. Like 4 Your Car Connection, World of Wheels is open every Monday through Saturday. Evening hours are available during the week, but the shop does close early on Saturdays as well. You know that owner Bob Felmlee, a former Sprint Car champion at the Park, will want to be trackside to see his charges perform!

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January 28, 2015 by EldoraPR

Purchase Secures Future of Nation’s Oldest Winged Sprint Car Tour

Tony Stewart will be the new owner of the All Star Circuit of Champions in 2015.

UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions logoINDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 28, 2015) – Motorsports entrepreneur Tony Stewart has agreed to terms with Guy Webb, owner of the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series, to become the sole owner of the original winged sprint car tour.

The All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series is one of the oldest traveling sprint car organizations and is a staple of grassroots, open-wheel racing. The transaction between Webb and Stewart will proceed immediately.
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