Williams and Holden Show Championship Form at Mercer Raceway Park

Callahan, Hobaugh, Meister, and Hooks also Prevail

On Pittsburgh Circle Track Club night at Mercer Raceway Park, a pair of defending divisional champions, Eric “Turkey” WIlliams (4 Your Car Connection and World of Wheels 410 Sprints) and Jimmy Holden (Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds) went to victory lane.

Also taking wins were Tim Callahan (Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks), George Hobaugh, Jr. (Bonnel’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors), Aaron Meister (Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites, and Shawn Hooks (Precise Racing Products Stock Cars).

eric williamsBrandon Matus blasted out to an early lead in the 410 Sprint feature, presented by 4 Your Car Connection and World of Wheels. Francis Sesco, the pole man, held second briefly, but Eric Williams and Jack Sodeman, Jr. quickly nudged him back a couple of spots in the running order. Matus could not get away from WIlliams and Sodeman as he began to work his way through traffic.

Sodeman just passed Williams moments before the race was halted on lap 12 due to an emergency in the pit area requiring the attention of the track medical crew. During that extended red, Williams gathered his thoughts. “My mind doesn’t always work too fast in these 25 lap races. I had a long time to think about it.”

On the restart, Matus and and Sodeman held their positions, However, the start was waived off when Joe Kubiniec brought his car to a stop in turn four. That gave Williams another shot at the leaders. This time, he showed that he clearly had the fastest car on the track, and the plan that he devised under the extended red worked to perfection the second time around.

“He (Sodeman) was real good on the bottom, so it was a pretty safe thing where he was going to go on the restart,” WIlliams said. He acknowledged that Sodeman had the edge the first time. “He drove away on that first restart but then we had that early caution, so I just thought we’d take it to the top and see what happens.” Williams concluded, “it stuck, and it worked, and now we’re here (in Victory Lane). Williams rode the cushion and passed both Sodeman and Matus to take the lead.

Williams pulled away over the next twelve laps for the easy win. On the final lap of the contest, Sodeman worked the inside line in turn one to take second from Matus. Rod George took fourth, ahead of Dan Kuriger. Earlier in the race, they had a spirited battle for fourth before George salted it away.

Carl Bowser finished sixth. Adam Kekich was seventh. Scott Priester slipped ahead of A.J. Flick, who made a remarkable save in turns three and four when he pulled a wheelie. Texas teen T.J. Michaels made his first appearance at the Park a memorable one with a solid tenth place run.

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

Jimmy “the Jet” Holden and early leader J.R. McGinley thrilled the fans with a side by side duel for the lead after a lap six restart. “Any time that you have a track like that where you can move positions and really race side by side, it’s a lot of fun,” Holden said. “We really had a good two, three lap run there side by side, and I think that’s what we come here for, and what the fans come for.” Their battle was so intense that they made slight contact fighting for the preferred line on the back stretch. “I think he wanted to come up, and I wanted to come down, I think it was about mutual, you know.” But, they gathered it up and kept on racing, much to the delight of the crowd.

J.R. McGinley and Frankie Guidace paced the field for the start of the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified feature event. Guidace rolled the top of turn one to take the lead, but he slid too high on the exit of the second corner, surrendering the lead to McGinley. Before McGinley could stretch his advantage, the caution was displayed for a spin by Eric Beggs in turn two.

On the restart, McGinley resumed the lead. but now Lonnie Riggs was giving chase.. Jimmy Holden was lurking in third, with Sid Unversagt, Jr., and Clyde Gumpp close behind. Kyle Fink had climbed from ninth to sixth in the early going.

Another caution on lap 5 for a four car skirmish between turns one and two shook up the running order in the top ten, as Richard Whitney, Tommy Kristyak, Shayne Izzo, and Clyde Gumpp came together.

The racers completed one more round before the third and final caution was displayed. for the disabled car of Kevin Green. During this stoppage, Riggs pulled off the track while still in the third position.

McGinley had the inside line, but Holden found some bite on the top of the track. The two ran side by side for a couple of laps before Holden took command. It was during this run that McGinley and Holden made slight contact while battling on the back chute. They both kept control of their cars, and no positions changed hands.

Holden led the rest of the way for his first win of the young season. McGinley held on for second, with Kyle Fink advancing to third. Tommy Kristyak rallied for fourth. Unversagt crossed in fifth. Tom Holden was sixth. Brian Schaffer, Shayne Izzo, Makayla Guidace, and Clyde Gumpp rounded out the top ten.

The heat winners were Shayne Izzo and Kyle Fink. There was no B Main.

In the Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks, Tim Callahan scored his second victory in his second car. With Callahan’s Outlaw Sprint Warrior sidelined indefinitely due to crash damage, he slipped behind the wheel of the car normally driven by Todd Hanlon. Callahan turned in a masterful performance to get the win.

Matt Rubright had the early lead, but Tyler Fulton chased him down. Callahan followed Fulton into second. Fulton retianed control after a restart, but Callahan grabbed the lead on the third round of the tricky oval.

Steve Longwell, Jr. displaced Fulton for second late in the race. Steve Longwell, Sr., and Russ Grossman were fourth and fifth. Rubright led the next group of five across the line. Trailing him were Shane Shook, Todd Kougher, John E. Gill, and Pete Blaczak.

Callahan and Fulton led the way in their heat races. There was no B Main.

George Hobaugh parlayed the pole position into a dominating win in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors. It was his second straight win in the Lockhart Motorsports 58. Taking second was Evan Kornbau, a career best finish for the young pilot. Cody Bova was third. Alex Paden registered a solid fourth place finish, with Greg Dobrosky taking fifth.

Mark Rossey, Darin Gallagher, George Englert, Ken Rossey, and Joe McEwen earned top ten finishes. C.J. Jones was the victim of circumstances. While running third, he was caught up in a spin by a lapped machine.

Tyler Denochik and Hobaugh copped the heat wins. There was no B Main.

Shane Webb led the first half of the Rock Concrete Supply Modiifed Lite feature. Shane Pfueffer, challenged midway through the race, and took the lead soon thereafter. Pfeuffer survived a couple of cautions. However, with one lap to go, the field was bunched back up by a caution, Pfeuffer was turned as he raced through turns one and two, That set off a wild scramble that collected several other cars.

Webb restarted on the point, with Aaron Meister beside him. They raced side by side for the final lap, with Meister getting the victory by a narrow margin. Mike Flockerzi was third. Keith Smith and Bill Stivason rounded out the top five.

Veronica Jones placed sixth. Jacob Bova returned to seventh after being caught up in the final caution. Mark Marcucci, Sr., Glenn Teeter, and Doug Jones were the next finishers.

The preliminaries belonged to Pfeuffer and Bova. There was no B Main.

The Precise Racing Poducts Stock Car finale was a thriller. Shawn Hooks and Tim Burns raced side by side for the final laps, with Hooks taking the win by less than a car length. Chris Schneider edged Bob Schwartzmiller for third. Bobby Heim was fifth.

Mark Sanders, Ryan Moyer, Andy Thompson, Gary Miller, Jr., and Brett McDonald had positions six through ten.
Pat Fielding and Bobby Heim topped the heats. There was no B Main.

Next week will be another Saturday Night Live! racing program. The Twin State Auto Racing Fan Club will be guests of the speedway. All club members in good standing will be admitted to the grandstands for free.

The month of May will close with two exciting Sprint a special events. The Mo Vaughn Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series rides into town with their traditional, non-wing Sprints on May 23. Then, May 30, there will be three, count ’em, three winged Sprint divisions in action. The Patriot Sprint Tour will bring in their 360 cubic inch Sprints. Also in action will be the track’s 4 Your Car Connection/World of Wheels 410 Sprints and the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors. You will not want to miss that one!

4 Your Car Connection/World of Wheels 410 Sprints: Eric WIlliams, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Brandon Matus, Rod George, Dan Kuriger, Carl Bowser, Adam Kekich, Scott Priester, A.J. Flick, T.J. Michaels, Jim Morris, Michael Bauer, John McCracken, Jr., Dennis Wagner, Brent Matus, Francis Sesco, Joe Kubiniec, Davey Jones, Gale Ruth, Jr. (DNS).

Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Jimmy Holden, J.R. McGinley, Kyle Fink, Tommy Kristyak, Sid Unversagt, Jr. , Tom Holden, Brian Schaffer, Shayne Izzo, Makayla Guidace, Clyde Gumpp, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Max Smoker, Eric Beggs, Chelsea Kriegisch, William Schaffer, Frank Guidace, Lonnie Riggs, Richard Whitney, Kevin Green.

Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Tim Callahan, Steve Longwell, Jr., Tyler Fulton, Steve Longwell, Sr., Russ Grossman, Matt Rubright, Shane Shook, Todd Kougher, John E. Gill, Pete Blazak, Jerry Batcher, Jordan Ehrenberg, Roger Wigton, Josh Rathbun (DNS), James Tasker (DNS).

Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: George Hobaugh, Evan Kornbau, Cody Bova, Alex Paden, Greg Dobrosky, Mark Rossey, Darin Gallagher, George Englert, Ken Rossey, and Joe McEwen, Chris Matthews, Andy Feil, Darren Pifer, Devin Litwiler, C.J. Jones, Tyler Denochik, Mike Marano, II, Kotie Kirkbride.

Rock Concrete Modified Lites: Aaron Meister, Shane Webb, Mike Flockerzi, Keith Smith, Bill Stivason, Veronica Jones, Jacob Bova, Mark Marcucci, Sr., Glenn Teeter, Doug Jones, Josh Christopher, Shane Pfeuffer, Jason Darocha, Dave Jones, Jason Johnson (DNS).

Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Shawn Hooks, Tim Burns, Chris Schneider, Bob Schwartzmiller, Bobby Heim, Mark Sanders, Ryan Moyer, Andy Thompson, Gary Miller, Jr., Brett McDonald, Curtis J. Bish, Terry Wheeler, Pat Fielding, Garrett Calvert, Dillon Kineston.

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.

Kekich Claims the Gelt at Mercer Raceway Park

Kristyak, Bova, Bish, Marcucci, and Longwell also Prevail

Mercer, PA (April 18, 2015): Adam Kekich roared to a $4,000 victory in the 410 Sprints presented by 4 Your Car Connection and World of Wheels on opening night at Mercer Raceway Park. The third generation driver from nearby Hermitage proudly carried the colors of his new sponsor, Bonell’s Rod Shop, which also happened to be the benefactor for all divisions on this special night. Joining Kekick in celebration were Tommy Kristyak (Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds), Cody Bova (Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors), Curtis J. Bish (Precise Racing Products Stock Cars), Mark Marcucci (Rock Concrete Modified Lites, and Steve Longwell, Jr. (Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks).

Kekich was enjoying the thrill of the chase, as he closed in on an old rival, Brandon Spithaler. “It was pretty cool racing with Spithaler like that again, we started in Karts the same year, and it seemed like either he was winning, or I was winning.” Their contest ended when Spithaler’s mount lost the right rear wheel just eleven laps into the fray. “It was a bummer that that had to happen, I would have liked to race with him a little bit more,” he added. Kekich noted “through traffic, we were a little bit better but Brandon was pretty good in the open air.” He added, “we were trying some new stuff and it was just coming on as the race went on, it just got better and better.”


The luck of the draw put Kekich on the pole with Brandon Spithaler by his side for the start of the first feature under the twin banners of 4 Your Car Connection and World of Wheels. Spithaler jumped out front, and he opened up a six car length advantage in no time flat. Spithaler seemed to be on cruise control, as he was seeking his fourth opening night victory at the Park. But, misfortune came his way when be lost the big right rear tire entering the first turn with 11 laps in the books. That handed the lead over to Kekich, who had closed in somewhat while the leaders were fighting their way through the lapped traffic.

Kekich sped away from good friend Brandon Matus when racing resumed. Matus had a slight margin over Dan Kuriger, but some heavy hitters were working their way to the front in a hurry. Jack Sodeman, Jr., driving the car of injured racer Jimmy Seeger, and defending track champion, Eric “Turkey” WIlliams, were on the march. They displaced New Yorker Todd Hoddick and Scott Priester. Meanwhile, Brent Matus was also starting to make some headway in the top ten.

Kekich pulled away as the laps wound down. On Lap 27, the second, and final, stoppage occurred when Davey Jones brought his mount to a halt in turn one. While the field was circulating under the yellow, Kuriger surrendered his top five position. Although that enabled Matus to close to his rear nerf bar, there was no doubt that Kekich was the star of the show.

Kekich led the last three laps to the finish without incident. Brandon Matus came home second., with Sodeman, Williams, and Hoddick completing the top five. Rod George, last year’s opening night winner, came across in sixth. Priester held off Outlaw Sprint Warrior graduate, Jimmy Morris, A.J. Flick, and Brent Matus.

The preliminaries belonged to Kekich and Spithaler. There was no B Main this night.

Veteran Tommy Kristyak drove his Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified to an emotional win. It was his first in over a decade a track that was his oyster back in the day. Kristyak won in every type of center-steered modified at the Park, including Six Cylinders, Sprortsmen Modifieds, Big Block Modifieds, and 358 Modifieds.

Kristyak chased newcomer Sid Unversagt, Jr. for the first five rounds of the contest. Then, he ducked to the inside to make the winning move. Kristyak had a comfortable margin through most of the race. but a caution with 19 down put Lonny Riggs right next to him for the restart. The yellow was for defending divisional champion Jimmy “the Jet” Holden, whose right rear tire shredded while he was in the top five.

Riggs had some troubles with the cushion when the green light flashed on again, and Kyle Fink slipped by for second. Frankie Guidace climbed into the top five, along with Clyde Gumpp, as Unversagt slipped back in the running order.

Unversagt held on for sixth, with New Yorker Ron Cartwright, Jr. next. Shayne Izzo, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., and Brian Schaffer rounded out the top ten.

Heat winners were Kristyak and Riggs. There was no B Main.

In the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warrior feature, Alex Paden set the early pace before spinning out of the lead. That handed the point to George Hobaugh, Jr., who was making his first start in the Lockhart 58. Hobaugh was doing his new owners proud for much of the race. However, the machine got looser and looser as the race wore on. That, plus some difficulties with lapped cars, allowed Bova to chase him down.

Meanwhile, all eyes were on Brandon Spithaler, who started the Skip Dougherty 27D last when Doughterty took ill after the heat races. Spithaler climbed all the way to fourth before retiring due to a mechanical woe.

Bova made a strong inside move as he and Hobaugh raced through turns one and two with 17 laps completed. Bova raced to the win, and Hobaugh maintained the second spot. Rob Felix was third, with Mod Lite graduate Darin Gallagher taking fourth. Mike Marano, II rallied for fifth.

Kotie Kirkbride was sixth, with Paden coming back through the pack to earn seventh. George Englert, the defending Modified Lite champion, was eighth in his first outing with a wing over his head. Evan Kornbaugh and C.J. Jones were ninth and tenth, respectively.

The heat victores went to Englert and Hobaugh. There was no B Main.

In the Precise Racing Product Stock Cars, Pat Fielding and Ryan Moyer traded the lead several times before Fielding assumed command following a mid-race restart. Curtis J. Bish worked his way into second, while Brett McDonald and Gary Miller also cracking the top five.

A number of cautions and one red flag interrupted the final third of the race. During one interlude, Bish passed Fielding and he led the way to the checkers. Fielding held second, with Moyer in third. Gary Miller came back to reclaim fifth. He had spun while racing fourth and fought back with just a few laps remaining. Travis Norman was fifth.
Garrett Calvert took sixth, ahead of Brett McDonald, Dennis Clark, Chris Haines, and Rob Bates.

Miller and Bish prevailed in their respective heats. There was no B Main.

In the Rock Concrete Modified Lites, Mark Marcucci briefly surrendered the lead to Jacob Bova when his car got loose coming through turn four. However, within a couple of laps, Marcucci had the corner figured out, and he raced past Bova once again. Marcucci stretched things out over the remaining laps of the event.

Following Marcucci and Bova to the checkers were Keith Smith, Glenn Teeter, and Jason Darocha. Aaron Meister, Jason Johnston, Bill Stivason, Shane Webb, and Mike Flockerzi were the next five finishers.

Marcucci and Bova were the tops in the heats. There was no B Main.

Former champion Steve Longwell, Jr. made a bold late race pass of Russ Grossman to take the win in the Mini Stocks presented by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. Grossman’s teammate, Caleb Hickok was a very close third. Steve Longwell, Sr. and Tyler Fulton were fourth and fifth.

Tim Callahan raced back to sixth after he forfeited the lead on the opening lap of the race. Callahan’s hood came up as he entered turn one. After minor repairs, Callahan was one of the fastest cars on the track, but he ran out of laps. Alan Perry, Rudy Troples, Josh Seippel, and Roger Wigton were the next finishers.

Heat winners were Perry and Callahan. There was no B Main.

Next week will be a Saturday Night Live! racing event and Pittsburgh Circle Track CLub night. Two weeks hence, the All Stars Circuit of Champions make their first of three appearances at the Park. Remember, too, that the May Flowers 150 Enduro and Full Bloom 25 will be held on Sunday, May 3.

4 Your Car Connection/World of Wheels 410 Sprint Cars: Adam Kekich, Brandon Matus, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Eric Williams, Todd Hoddick, Rod George, Scott Priester, Jimmy Morris, A.J. Flick, Brent Matus, Gale Ruth, Sr., Dan Kurriger, Francis Sesco, Davey Jones, Brandon Spithaler, John McCracken, Jr. (DNS), Michael Bauer (DNS).

Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Tommy Kristyak, Kyle Fink, Lonny Riggs, Frankie Guidace, Clyde Gumpp, Sid Unversagt, Jr., Ron Cartwright, Jr., Shayne Izzo, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Brian Schaffer, Max Smoker, Jimmy Holden, J.R. McGinley, Kevin Green, Jeremiah Shingledecker, Rich Whitney, Eric Gabany (DNS).

Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Cody Bova, George Hobaugh, Jr., Rob Felix, Darin Gallagher, Mike Marano, II, Kotie Kirkbride, Alex Paden, George Englert, Evan Kornbaugh, C.J. Jones, Mark Rossey, Devin Litwiler, Ken Rossey, Brandon Spithaler, Darrin Pifer, Jacob Gomola, Andrew Rescemyer, Joe McEwen, Andy Feil.

Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Curtis J. Bish, Pat Fielding, Ryan Moyer, Gary Miller, Travis Norman, Garrett Calvert, Brett McDonald, Dennis Clark, Chris Haines, Rob Bates, Jacob Billyk, Curt Bish, Jr., Andy Thompson, William Hurrelbrink, Chris Myers (DNS), Tim Burns (DNS).

Rock Concrete Modified Lites: Mark Marcucci, Jacob Bova, Keith Smith, Glenn Teeter, Jason Darocha, Aaron Meister, Jason Johnston, Bill Stivason, Shane Webb, Mike Flockerzi, Preston Roach, Shane Pfeuffer, Josh Christopher, Doug Jones (DNS).

Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Steve Longwell, Jr., Russ Grossman, Caleb Hickok, Steve Longwell, Sr., Tyler Fulton, Tim Callahan, Alan Perry, Rudy Troples, Josh Seippel, Roger Wigton, Shane Shook, Todd Kougher, Todd Hanlon, Andy Proper, Corey Reitz, and Joshua Rathburn (DNS).

Good Luck for Guidace in Little Guy Nationals

Bauer, Fosnaught, McCann, Haefke, Fraley, Ritchey, and Jones Victors Too

Mercer, PA (September 27, 2014): Frankie Guidace was in the right place at the right time in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified race presented by Holden Racing on night two of the 15th Annual Little Guy Nationals at Mercer Raceway Park. He was almost in the wrong place at the wrong time, though, as he avoided a first lap incident in turn one. Many laps after surviving that near disaster, Guidace acquired the lead when Randy Chrysler retired from the race just as the field was rolling away from a lap 22 stoppage. Michael Bauer was also the beneficiary of an on track incident that led to a controversial ruling that had track champion Jimmy Morris penalized for turning the leader, C.J. Jones, with just a pair of laps left in the race for the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors.

Jason Fosnaught and Bob McCann earned the victories in the pair of races for the Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars. Jeff Heafke made a late race pass for the victory in the Micros. Ryan Fraley got his second of the weekend for the Econo Modifieds. Brandon Ritchey earned the laurels in the Mini Stocks, offered by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. Rod Jones scored in the Baker Corp. Modified Lites.

The entire weekend of racing was courtesy of American Racer Tires.
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