It 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).