Jones, Thompson, Wagner, and Marcucci also Triumph
by Track News
Defending track champion Jimmy Holden scored his second win of the season in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds at Mercer Raceway Park. He used a lapped car to maximum advantage as he raced by Lonny Riggs in turns three and four on lap 17 and then he held off Riggs in a two lap run to the checkers.
Dennis Lunger cruised to the $1,500 win in the unsanctioned Crate Late Model go, while C.J. Jones prevailed in the Bonnell's Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors.
Mike Thompson led the way in the Mini Stocks, presented by Epertherner's Auto Wrecking and Ray's Racing Collectibles. Bryan Wagner topped the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, and Mark Marcucci won the nightcap for the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites.
Holden explained his winning move on Riggs, made with the assistance of a lapped car. "It would have been close, I think we were catching him, but as far as the timing went, its tough to say (if he would have been able to make the pass)." Holden was convinced that he had the better car. "Things just went our way tonight."
Riggs blasted out from the pole position to build a commanding lead. Young Kyle Holden, making his first start of the season, was impressive in the runner-up spot. Cousin Jimmy raced along in third, with Frankie Guidace and Kyle Fink rounding out the top five.
Jimmy Holden took second away from Kyle by lap 10, and he immediately went after Riggs. He steadily cut into the margin, and by lap 15, he was nipping on Riggs' heels. Holden made the winning move two laps later with a little help from a lapped car.
With Jimmy Holden out front, and Riggs in second, it looked as though the racers might make it all the way to the finish without any interruption. It was not to be, however, as the cars racing in positions three, four, and five, tangled with two lapped cars in the second corner. That ended the outstanding effort of Kyle Holden. Also eliminated was Frankie Guidace, who has had nothing but bad luck so far in 2015. The other top five car involved, Kyle Fink, was able to resume the action.
Jimmy Holden selected the inside line for the restart. While Riggs raced hard into turn one, he was unable to get his nose ahead again. Holden pulled away coming off turn two and led the rest of the way. Riggs was second, but veteran Tommy Kristyak used the restart to pick up valuable points in his quest for a track championship. Rob Curtis placed fourth. Last week's winner, J.R. McGinley was fifth.
Fink rebounded to sixth. JeffSchaffer, Jr. edged out Brian Schaffer for seventh. Sid Unversagt, Jr. was ninth, and Shayne Izzo was tenth, despite spinning in turn three on the final lap.
Rich Whitney and Frankie Guidace scored in their respective heat races. There was no B Main.
Lunger was happy to get the win, but disappointed that more of his brethren did not support the show. "We really love this place, we wish they had the Crate cars more often, but we understand that we won't get the chances to race here if the racers will not support the show." Lunger talked the race up the night before at another area track. "I tried to get cars, and I think we got a couple of them to come down," he said.
Bobby Whitling set the pace in the Crate Late Model feature event, with Dennis Lunger, Matt Latta, Alan Dellinger, and Joe Long holding spots in the top five. Dellinger tangled with Russ Byler in turn two on lap four, and both competitors were out of the race.
On the restart, Whitling rode the cushion, but he got a bit too wide in turn four, and that left the middle open for Lunger. Lunger drove by, and never looked back. One brief caution did bring him back to the rest of the field, but nobody could keep up with him over the remaining laps.
At the checkers, it was Lunger ahead of Matt Latta, Whitling, Khole Wanzer, and Long. Breyton Santee was the final finisher. Byler and Dellinger were scored in seventh and eighth based on laps completed.
Russ Byler topped the preliminary for the Crate Late Models. There was no B Main.
C.J. Jones was the surprise winner in the Bonnell's Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors. He was racing in fifth when an unusual set of events eliminated the first four cars on lap 14. Mark Rossey, Cody Bova, and Jeff Taylor were collected by a lapped car in turn four. Meanwhile, the leader, George Hobaugh, Jr., got together with another lapped car in turn three. That moved Jones to the front, and he delivered the win from there.
Mike Miller, Darin Gallagher, and Jake Gomola, other racers who benefited from the shuffles, were second through fourth. Bova made a daring run back through the field in the final six laps to take fifth.
Terry Young, subbing for his niece, Kotie Kirkbride, was sixth. Mike Marano, II was seventh. Hobaugh came back to eighth without the nose wing of his machine. Ninth belonged to Chris Matthews. George Englert was tenth.
Heat winners were Cody Bova and C.J. Jones. There was no B Main.
Mike Thompson was a last minute driver change in one of the Grossman's Garage Mini Stocks, but he made the most of the opportunity to drive the machine. He romped to the victory over Steve Longwell, Sr., Tyler Fulton, and Shane Shook. Steve Longwell, Jr. was fifth.
Ed Haylett made his return to the speedway a successful one, taking the sixth spot. Caleb Hickok, in the other Grossman car, was seventh. Rudy Troples was eighth after missing a few recent contests. Jordan Ehrenberg was ninth. Todd Kougher was unable to start the event.
Caleb Hickok was the Mini meister in the heat race. There was no B Main.
Bryan Wagner was the second substitute driver to go to victory lane this night. He was aboard the car normally driven Ryan Moyer. Wagner adapted quickly to the unfamiliar machine. He fought off an early challenge from Gary Miller, Jr. But, over the second half of the race, William Hurrelbrink was applying the pressure to Wagner.
Wagner kept his cool and drove to the win. Following Hurrelbrink to the finish was Tim Burns. Curtis J. Bish raced from twelfth to fourth. Rob Shook was fifth. Invader Jim Fosnaught was sixth. Miller took seventh. Mark Sander, Joe Stajnrajh and Leigh Wheeler completed the top ten.
Curtis J. Bish and Mark Sanders went green to checkers in their qualification runs. There was no B Main.
Mark Marcucci regained the winning ways in the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites. He was over a second ahead of Shane Pfeuffer at the finish. Bill Stivason turned in his best finish ever at the Park, a third, while early leader Shane Webb was fourth. Jacob Bova led Mike Flockerzi, Jason Johnson, and Glenn Teeters to the stripe.
Mark Marcucci loped to the win in his opening event. There was no B Main.
Next week will feature the Auto Racers for Kids charity event. Each of the Saturday Night Live! classes will race for extra cash and bragging rights. This event is made possible by Bonnell's Collision Center. All proceeds benefit disadvantaged youth in the region. Come out early, as there will be an auction of racing memorabilia held behind the stands to help raise funds for the needy children.
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Jimmy Holden, Lonny Riggs, Tommy Kristyak, Rob Curtis, J.R. McGinley, Kyle Fink, JeffSchaffer, Jr., Brian Schaffer, Sid Unversagt, Jr., Shayne Izzo, Kevin Green, Makayla Guidace, Kyle Holden, Frank Guidace, Rich Whitney, Clyde Gumpp (DNS).
Crate Late Models: Dennis Lunger, Matt Latta, Bobby Whitling, Khole Wanzer, Joe Long, Breyton Santee, Russ Byler, Alan Dellinger.
Bonnell's Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: C.J. Jones, Mike Miller, Darin Gallagher, Jake Gomola, Terry Young, Mike Marano, II, George Hobaugh, Jr., Chris Matthews, George Englert, Devin Litwiler, Tim Callahan, Mark Rossey, Jeff Taylor, Darren Pifer, Andy Feil, Andrew Fescemyer, Alex Paden (DNS).
Eperthener's Auto Wrecking/Ray's Racing Collectibles Minis Stocks: Mike Thompson, Steve Longwell, Sr., Tyler Fulton, Shane Shook, Steve Longwell, Jr., Ed Haylett, Caleb Hickok, Rudy Troples, Jordan Ehrenberg, Todd Kougher (DNS).
Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Bryan Wagner, William Hurrelbrink, Tim Burns, Curtis J. Bish, Rob Shook, Jim Fosnaught, Gary Miller, Jr., Mark Sanders, Joe Stajnrajh, Leigh Wheeler, Garrett Calvert, Dillon Kineston, Andy Thompson, Dennis Clark (DNS), Pat Fielding (DNS).
Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites: Mark Marcucci, Shane Pfeuffer, Bill Stivason, Shane Webb, Jacob Bova, Mike Flockerzi, Jason Johnson, Glenn Teeters.
Mercer, PA (May 23, 2015): Brandon Matus, the third generation racer from Wampum, PA, was the Mo Vaughn Transport B.O.S.S. winner at Mercer Raceway Park. He led another Mercer regular, Gale Ruth, Jr. to the finish. Taking third for the invaders was Mike Miller.
Other winners included J.R. McGinley in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. McGinley dedicated the win to the memory of his late mother, Pam, who recently succumbed to brain cancer. In the Bonnell's Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Cody Bova scored his second win of the season, holding off points leader George Hobaugh, Jr., in the process. Curtis J. Bish romped to the win in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, as did Tyler Fulton in the Mini Stocks presented by Eperthener's Auto Wrecking and Ray's Racing Collectibles.
Brandon Matus was unsure whether he was even going to come to the track tonight. He struggled in a winged 410 Sprint show at another area speedway the night before, and "I ran this race last year, and I really $uck*d." But, he got tips from several friends from other areas of the country where the Sprints regularly race without wings. "Some friends from Indiana gotta get the credit, because they set the car up for me." Hopefully, Matus saved the notes for next year's running of this race.
Andy Feil rode the cushion in turns one and two to take the early lead in the B.O.S.S. feature event. He was followed by Brandon Spithaler and Shawn Westerfield. Feil withstood Spithaler's challenges for the first three laps. However, on lap four, Feil spun in turn four. In the scramble that immediately followed, he collected Westerfield. Aaron Middaugh was also involved in the caution. He and Westerfield were able to continue, but Feil was done for the night.
That put local favorite Brandon Spithaler on the point for the restart, with teenager Cooper Clouse in second, Brandon Matus in third, and Gale Ruth, Jr. and Jack Sodeman, Jr. rounding out the top five. Soon after racing resumed, Matus rode the rim in turns one and two to take second from Clouse. Nonetheless, Spithaler still had a commanding lead.
A pair of cautions slowed the pace, the second one coming when Jack Sodeman spun after being struck from behind by Kirk Jeffries. Sodeman managed to keep his car moving, but several others spun. When the dust finally settled, Arnie Kent was sitting in the corner. His car was hit by Dustin Smith. While the cars were circulating under the yellow, Spithaler parked his car in turn two, the victim of an apparent blown radiator hose.
Matus thus inherited the lead, with Clouse, Ruth, Sodeman, and Miller right behind. Two laps after the green was displayed, Ruth moved into second, and he started to close the gap on Matus. Matus was up to the test, tough. Indeed, he maintained his advantage, despite two more brief interruptions before the checkers flew.
As the laps wound down, it seemed as though there would be a Mercer sweep of the top three positions. But, Sodeman got hung up on the cushion in turns one and two on lap 23, and then he made contact with another car. Sodeman lost valuable ground, but was able to keep moving to the finish.
Behind the home-town drivers, Matus and Ruth, was Miller, Clouse, and Kent Walters. Arnie Kent recovered from two mishaps to earn the sixth position. Chad Wilson led Sodeman to the stripe. Middaugh was ninth, and Bob McMillen tenth.
The heat winners for the B.O.S.S. Sprints were Gale Ruth, Jr., Shawn Westerfield, Brandon Spithaler, and Andy Feil. The B Main belonged to Chad Wilson.
J.R. McGinley registered an emotional win in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. McGinley jumped out to a big lead as the racers completed the first 17 laps without interruption. However, two more cautions slowed his trek to victory lane. "I got worried," he said about the rash of late-race cautions.
Little did he know that we would have to fend off a stiff challenge from Lonny Riggs to score the win. "I fired right here (pointing to turn four) and I could hear him right beside me and I wasn't going to give it up." But, on that final restart, Lonny Riggs mustered up the horsepower to move into the lead as he battled side by side with McGinley. McGinley fought back coming off the second corner and there was slight contact between the two as they raced toward turn three. "I thought that I was going to get pushed out of first again," McGinley explained. He was referring to a similar skirmish that he had with Jimmy Holden the last time out, when Holden went on to victory. Both drivers kept control of their mounts, but Riggs pushed high entering the corner, and McGinley hugged the bottom to take command. "We rode each other fairly hard, and he pushed hard into three and four and that gave me the bottom to get it."
McGinley thus powered off turn four to the popular triumph. Tommy Kristyak followed him into the second spot. Riggs recovered to take third. Kyle Fink was fourth and Richard Whitney crossed in fifth, after racing second for the first 17 rounds.
Jimmy Holden, Clyde Gumpp, Brian Schaffer, Max Smoker, and Frank Guidace completed the top ten.
Jimmy Holden and Tommy Kristyak prevailed in their respective heats. There was no B Main.
In the Bonnell's Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, C.J. Jones raced out front until Cody Bova swept by him just before the halfway mark. Evan Kornbau was turning in an impressive performance until he slipped off the edge of the backstretch with 14 laps completed. A number of other racers checked up, and that caused a four-car tangle in the second corner.
Bova led the rest of the way to earn the win. Hobaugh came back from an early race incident to take the second spot. Jones held on for third. Darren Pifer passed Rob Felix late in the contest for fourth. Kotie Kirkbride was sixth, Mark Rossey, Devin Litwiler, Chris Matthews, and Tim Callahan completed the top ten.
Preliminaries went to George Hobaugh and Darren Pifer. There was no B Main.
In the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, Curtis J. Bish drove to a convincing win. Along the way, he had to avoid contact with a lapped car, but, other than that, there was no stopping his ride to victory. Ryan Moyer fought off Gary Miller, Jr. for second. Tim Burns and Dillon Kinneston were fourth and fifth.
Andy Thompson, Pat Fielding, Curt Bish, Dennis Clark, and Joe Stajnrajh completed the top ten.
Tim Burns and Curtis J. Bish copped their qualifiers. There was no B Main.
Tyler Fulton was just as dominant in the nightcap for the Eperthener's Auto Wrecking and Ray's Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks. Steve Longwell, Sr. came through the field for second. Shane Shook, Patrick Hanlon, and Todd Kougher were the remaining finishers. The balance of the field was scored in this order based on laps completed: Roger Wigton, Josh Ehrenberg, Caleb Hickok, and Jordan Ehrenberg. Steve Longwell, Jr. was unable to start the event.
Jordan Ehrenberg scored in the only heat for the Mini Stocks. There was no B Main.
Next week, Mercer Raceway Park will present a triple-header of Sprint Cars. Joining the regular 4 Your Car Connection and World of Wheels 410 Sprints and the Bonnell's Rod Shops Outlaw Sprint Warriors will be the Patriot Sprint Tour 360 Sprint Cars. Also on the card will be the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds and the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites.
B.O.S.S. Sprint Cars: Brandon Matus, Gale Ruth, Jr., Mike Miller, Cooper Clouse, Kent Walters, Arnie Kent, Chad Wilson, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Aaron Middaugh, Bob McMillen, Jake Gomola, Brent Matus, Kirk Jeffries, Michael Fischesser, Cody Gardner, Shawn Westerfield, Justin Owen, Chuck WIlson, Brandon Spithaler, Dustin Smith, Andy Feil, Davey Jones.
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: J.R. McGinley, Tommy Kristyak, Lonny Riggs, Kyle Fink, Richard Whitney, Jimmy Holden, Clyde Gumpp, Brian Schaffer, Max Smoker, Frank Guidace, Makayla Guidace, Sid Unversagt, Jr., Jeff Schaffer, Tommy Holden, Rob Curtis, Shayne Izzo (DNS
Bonnell's Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Cody Bova, George Hobaugh, Jr., C.J. Jones, Darren Pifer, Rob Felix, Kotie Kirkbride, Mark Rossey, Devin Litwiler, Chris Matthews, Tim Callahan, Evan Kornbau, Mike Marano, II, Greg Dobrosky, Alex Paden, Darin Gallagher, George Englert (DNS), Ken Rossey (DNS).
Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Curtis J. Bish, Ryan Moyer, Gary Miller, Jr., Tim Burns, Dillon Kinneston, Andy Thompson, Pat Fielding, Curt Bish, Dennis Clark, Joe Stajnrajh, Mark Sanders, Terry Wheeler, Garrett Calvert, Michael Tonkinson (DNS), Jacob Billyk (DNS), David Baker (DNS).
Eperthener's Auto Wrecking/Ray's Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Tyler Fulton, Steve Longwell, Sr., Shane Shook, Patrick Hanlon, Todd Kougher, Roger Wigton, Josh Ehrenberg, Caleb Hickok, Jordan Ehrenberg, Steve Longwell, Jr. (DNS).
Callahan, Hobaugh, Meister, and Hooks also Prevail
by Track News
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).
Brandon 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.
The 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.
In 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
George Hobaugh, Tim Burns, and Jason Darocha also victorious
by Lou Long
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.
Kemenah 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.