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Curtis and Dolick Steal Nail-Biters in 358 Modified and 410 Sprint Divisions
by Track News
Blazczak, Moore, Fritter, and Griffin Victorious at Mercer Raceway Park
Mercer, PA (May 1, 2011) – Last night at Mercer Raceway Park, fans were treated to incredible racing action with 43 sprint cars and 22 modifieds, beautiful weather and family-friendly entertainment provided by the Mahoning Valley Scrappers! A packed house was on hand to see the 126 cars in the pits vie for top billing in each of the six divisions.
Winners for the Saturday Night Live Program were Rob Curtis (Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds), Jason Dolick (Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars), Pete Blazczak (Big Dog R/C Mini Stocks), Rusty Moore (Precise Racing Products Stock Cars), Tracy Fritter (Big Daddy’s Speed Center Mod Lites), and Guy Griffin (ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors).
Rob Curtis snagged his first victory of the 2011 season in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds from his seventh place starting position. Ron Eperthener took the early lead from his outside starting position, but Curtis quickly worked his way through the field, charging into the lead on lap six.
Eperthener and Lonny Riggs would challenge Curtis at different points during the race with Frank Guidace, the pole sitter, charging towards the front of the field late in the race. Curtis was able to prevail over the stout 22-car field, while Guidace pulled out a second place over Eperthener, Mike Stine and Riggs.
“These guys over here are tough and everybody’s on their game,” Curtis said. “We figured when we came over here we were going to have to be great right off the bat. This is a great way to start the season off for the Riffe-Curtis racing team.”
Jason Dolick also got his inaugural win of the season in a nail-biting Luxaire Heating & Cooling 410 Sprint Car feature, his first in a 410 at Mercer Raceway Park. Dolick, who started on the outside pole, quickly jumped into the lead. Dolick faced early challenges from Mike Lutz and Rod George, but it was Lutz who would snag the lead away from him on a lap 10 restart. Lutz pulled away from the field for another seven laps before getting tangled with a lap car and crashing off of turns three and four.
Dolick would take the lead back on lap 17, while a hot battle ensued behind him between Bob Felmlee and Carl Bowser for second and third place positions. Bowser snagged second position from Felmlee, but would face a late-race challenge from Brian Ellenberger. The #10 car tagged the wall on lap 24 and sustained steering damage, stopping Bowser just yards short of the finish line as the checkered flag waved. The hard luck for Bowser, who also suffered a hard flip in hot laps due to a failed steering component, allowed Ellenberger to pick up second place over Felmlee, Brandon Spithaler, and Jimmy Light as Dolick went on to take the win.
“It’s been a long time coming here,” Dolick said. “I love [the track improvements]. The track’s been in great shape so far this year.”
Dolick was ineligible for the Goodyear tire giveaway as he did not run Goodyears in the front tire positions. Free Goodyear tires went to Ellenberger (Hard Charger), Brian Steinman (last car on the lead lap), Bowser (random draw), Eric Williams (random draw), and Spithaler (random draw).
Dolick also credited Lutz for the #8 Jim Chappel-own car’s strong run, saying, “I’ve got to give credit to Mike Lutz. He had it won tonight. But I’ll take luck anytime.”
The Big Dog R/C Indoor Racing and Hobby Shop Mini Stock feature was up next, and Pete Blazczak would take home the win for his second victory of the season. The caution-filled race would be stopped on lap three for Steve Longwell, Jr., who suffered a terrifying turn four flip that would end his night. From that caution on, Blazczak bested the field convincingly despite a battling a hand injury throughout the night. Jerry Batcher, Dan Bish, Ed Haylett, and Troy Lehnortt picked up second through fifth places respectively.
Rusty Moore picked up the Precise Racing Products Stock Car feature victory for his first of the season over Curt Bish, last week’s winner Chad O’Brien, Brett McDonald and Jim Flaherty in another caution-filled feature. Moore grabbed the lead on lap 8 after a caution for a tangle between Brandon Johnston and Nate Arp, and faced challenges from Bish and O’Brien, but Moore was able to prevail for the win in the 15-lap feature.
Tracy Fritter was the winner of the Big Daddy’s Speed Center Mod Lites on his first visit to Mercer Raceway Park in 2011. Shane Pfeuffer, the third place starter, lead the field for the first few laps of the race, running head to head with Brian Woodhall who would eventually take the lead. But it wasn’t for long, as Fritter moved into the top position on a lap five restart and held on for the victory. Woodhall finished second over Darin Gallagher, in his first year with the Mod Lite class, Pfeuffer and Mark Marcucci.
The ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warrior Division saw an increase of cars as expected, showing the highest car count the region has seen for the class with 12 competitors. Guy Griffin joined Blazczak as the only 2011 repeat winner, advancing from his ninth place starting spot to take home the victory. Mike Lutz, Skip Daugherty, Adam Anderson and Justin Whitesell would collect second through fifth positions.
Next week, the Saturday Night Live program will be back in action with six rousing divisions of racing! Mercer Raceway Park will also host the Twin State Auto Racing Club with free grandstand admission for all Club members. Join us for another night of family fun!
Full Results:Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds (20 laps): 1. ROB CURTIS (88R) 2. Frank Guidace (1G) 3. Ron Eperthener (333) 4. Mike Stine (7s) 5. Lonny Riggs (58) 6. Kyle Fink (66F) 7. Tom Holden (15H) 8. Jimmy Holden (28H) 9. Matt Reeher (711) 10. Rick Hall (B2) 11. Brian Fink (77) 12. Eric Gabany (3e) 13. Dan Fink (0) 14. Jim Thompson (99) 15. Kevin Green (74) 16. Shawn Fleeger (88) 17. Chris Myers (1C) 18. Rich Whitney (19w) 19. Dustin Martin (29D) 20. Ryan Hall (B4) – DNS 21. Clyde Gumpp (51) – DNS 22. Don Brown (71B) – DNS; Heat Race Winners: Rob Curtis, Lonny Riggs.
Luxaire Heating & Cooling 410 Sprint Cars (25 laps): 1. JASON DOLICK (D12) 2. Brian Ellenberger (ti22) 3. Bob Felmlee (6) 4. Brandon Spithaler (22s) 5. Jimmy Light (23) 6. Eric Williams (7) 7. Adam Kekich (5k) 8. George Suprick III (87) 9. Vern Wasson (5) 10. Scott Priester (15) 11. Brent Matus (33) 12. Brandon Matus (13) 13. A.J. Albrecht (7x) 14. Shawn Minor (3m) 15. Brian Steinman (24s) 16. Carl Bowser (10) 17. April Wilson (15aw) 18. Lindsay Enscoe (96) 19. Craig Daniels (16) 20. Mike Lutz (8) 21. John Smith (25) 22. Rick Wilson (42aw) 23. Rod George (4) 24. Dave Jones (76); DNQ – Jeff Taylor (17t), Brad Knab (38), Chris Smith (52), Dan Kuriger (08), Gale Ruth, Jr. (1R), Chris Shuttleworth (11), John McCracken (79); Heat Race Winners: Rod George, Scott Priester, Mike Lutz; B-Main Winner: Vern Wasson.
Big Dog R/C Mini Stocks (12 laps): 1. PETE BLAZCZAK (77) 2. Jerry Batcher (7) 3. Dan Bish (4x) 4. Ed Haylett (8-ball) 5. Troy Lehnortt (46) 6. Michael Thompson (82T) 7. Rudy Troples (28) 8. Carl Keller (98) 9. Jeff Little (42) 10. Randy Beatty (27) 11. Chase Anthony (26) 12. Joel Wisser (15K) 13. Ryan Beatty (16) 14. Todd Gabriel (33G) 15. Steve Longwell, Jr. (17K) 16. Steve Longwell, Sr. (16K) 17. Tim Callahan (54) 18. Stacy Neubecker (5) – DNS 19. Mike McConnell (31) – DNS 20. Eric Rarer (3J) – DNS; Heat Race Winners: Mike McConnell, Tim Callahan.
Precise Racing Products Stock Cars (15 laps): 1. RUSTY MOORE (17M) 2. Curt Bish (29T) 3. Chad O’Brien (77) 4. Brett McDonald (25) 5. Jim Flaherty (38SPL) 6. Tony Spaghetti (97) 7. Darrin Hyde (4) 8. Brad Shaffer (77x) 9. Terry Young (28y) 10. Jim Fosnaught (20J) 11. Shawn Hooks (65) 12. Brandon Johnston (14J) 13. Brian Wagner (56) 14. Travis Walsh (1) 15. Bob McCann (33) 16. Russ Byler (06R) 17. Nate Arp (29) 18. Matt Wagner (12) 19. Marty Warren (05) 20. Scott Byers (29B) 21. Joe Kelley (100) 22. Terry Wheeler (2w) 23. Josh Seippel (84) 24. Gary Miller (1m) 25. Dan Lewis (64) – DNS; Heat Race Winners: Rusty Moore, Shawn Hooks and Chad O’Brien.
Big Daddy’s Speed Center Mod Lites (15 laps): 1. TRACY FRITTER (59) 2. Brian Woodhall (13M) 3. Darin Gallagher (12) 4. Shane Pfeuffer (717) 5. Mark Marcucci (8m) 6. Andy Feil (08) 7. Tom Kline (68) 8. Brian Miller (726) 9. Cody Bova (20B) 10. Mylan Markovich, Jr. (28M) 11. Andrew Bruce (70x7) 12. Kotie Kirkbride (97N) 13. Bill Stivason (116) 14. Brian Kaszubski (5) 15. Jacob Bova (28J) 16. Erik Smith (14E) – DNS; Heat Race Winners: Brian Woodhall, Tracy Fritter.
ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors (20 laps): 1. GUY GRIFFIN (11) 2. Mike Lutz (86) 3. Skip Daugherty (27) 4. Adam Anderson (5B) 5. Justin Whitesell (17) 6. Jeff Taylor (17T) 7. Rob Felix (21) 8. Chad Mathews (1) 9. Dennis Wagner (38) 10. Mike Bauer (35) 11. Jim Morris (16) 12. Jake Lagestee (72); Heat Race Winners: Guy Griffin, Dennis Wagner.
Upcoming Events:5/7: Saturday Night Live with 410 Sprints, 358 Modifieds, Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Mod Lites, Stock Cars, Mini Stocks. Twin State Auto Racing Club Night. Pits and grandstands open at 4:00pm. Hot Laps at 6:15pm. Racing at 7:00pm.
5/14: All Star Sprints Circuit of Champions $5,000-To-Win, Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Stars Mod Lites and Stock Cars. Pits and grandstands open at 4:00pm. Hot Laps at 6:15pm. Racing at 7:00pm.