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Danny Smith Invades Mercer, Picks Up Sprint Car Win
by Track News
Blazczak and Griffin Pull Hat-Tricks in the Mini Stocks and Outlaw Sprint Warriors; Holden, Moore and Gallagher Also Victorious
Mercer, PA (May 8, 2011) – Despite a rain-filled afternoon, Mercer Raceway Park was able to pull the track together and put on a great show for the fans with Pete Blazczak, Danny Smith, Jimmy Holden, Guy Griffin, Rusty Moore, and Darin Gallagher posting victories in the 122-car field.
The pits were packed to the gills with 34 sprint cars, and Chillicothe, OH native Danny Smith was the top ride when the checkered flag waved on the Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Car feature.
Second-place starter Rod George jumped into the lead, but Eric Williams quickly went to work on the veteran and gained the top position on lap 5. Williams and George battled for the lead while Smith worked his way to the front from his fifth place starting spot. Lapped traffic gave Smith the opportunity to take the lead away from Williams on lap 12 but the red flag waved on lap 16 for last week’s winner Jason Dolick as he took a nasty tumble. It was the last chance for George, who sat in second, to make a run at the former Outlaw, but the Kittanning, PA native faded quickly and Smith walked away the victor.
“I have never won here before,” Smith said. “This makes the 99th different speedway between here and Australia that I have a win at. Thanks to the fans for sticking around tonight. It has been a long night with the rain and all the delays but without you in the grandstands, we couldn’t have done it.”
Williams picked up second place over Bob Felmlee, and newcomers Broc Martin and Cole Duncan. Smith was not eligible for a Goodyear Tire certificate as he did not run four Goodyear tires. Tire certificates were earned by Brian Ellenberger (Hard Charger), Mike Linder (last car on the lead lap), Williams (random), Jimmy Light (random), and Dan Kuriger (random).
Pete Blazczak made it a hat-trick in the Big Dog R/C Mini Stocks, making a last lap move on Dan Bish for his third feature victory in three races. Blazczak bested Bish, Tim Callahan, Tim Gillette, and Jerry Batcher. Gillette, the pole sitter, lead the majority of the race but fell behind with three laps to go.
“I got new tires and it makes so much difference,” Blazczak described. “I just can’t believe it. I always thought people had big motors, but it’s the tires!”
Jimmy Holden won his second of the season in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds over Kyle Fink, Rob Curtis, Mike Stine, and Tom Holden. Holden took the lead from Fink on lap 8, but Fink didn’t back down. A lap 18 caution for J.R. McGinley and Chris Myers gave Fink a chance to make a final run at Holden, but the Tiona, PA native couldn’t be beat and held on for the win in the 20-lap feature.
“I can’t say enough about my crew – they work hard each and every week,” Holden said. “My Dad, my Mom…I have to wish her a happy Mother’s Day! I can’t say enough about how this car runs each and every week.”
Rusty Moore dominated a caution-filled Precise Racing Products stock car feature over a quick Bob McCann, Brian Wagner, Chad O’Brien, and Marty Warren for his second this season. Moore quickly charged to the front after starting in 12th position due to last week’s victory, taking the lead from Bob McCann on lap five. Pole sitter Terry Wheeler lead the first three laps of the 15-lap feature.
Guy Griffin made it three-in-a-row in the ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warrior division, having won every feature the class has run in 2011 with a win in the only completed feature at Sharon Speedway as well. Jeff Taylor grabbed the early lead from pole sitter Adam Anderson, and held off charges from fellow 410 sprint driver Mike Lutz. A caution on lap 13 wiped out Taylor’s lead and when he hooked the cushion on lap 14, Lutz took the opportunity to snag the lead.
Lutz didn’t have long before last week’s winner Guy Griffin caught the front of the pack and began challenging for the lead. Griffin and Lutz battled closely for the top position, making contact on the final circuit and sending Lutz into a nasty flip that would end his night. Griffin would go on to pick up the win over Jason Scoville in his first appearance, Skip Daugherty, Justin Whitesell and Jim Morris.
Darin Gallagher, a rookie out of Butler, PA, nabbed his first ever victory in the Big Daddy’s Speed Center Mod Lites over a tough 18-car field. Cody Bova was the early leader in the 15-lap feature, battling for the top position with Brian Miller in the first 10 laps. But a lap 10 caution slowed the field down and Gallagher was able to take the lead on the restart. Bova would spin one lap later and bring out the caution, giving Miller another shot at the lead. But Gallagher quickly pulled away from the field, grabbing his first victory over Miller, Andy Feil, Kotie Kirkbride and George Englert.
Join us next week on May 14 as the All Star Sprint Circuit of Champions visit Mercer Raceway Park for the first of two shows this season. The All Star Sprints will be joined by the Outlaw Warrior Sprints, Stars Mod Lites and Stock Cars. Fans will enjoy the lowest ASCOC ticket prices in the region at $19 for adults, $17 for seniors, $9 for students and kids 8 and under are free as always. Family passes are $38 and pit passes are $35.
Full Results:Big Dog R/C Mini Stocks (12 laps): 1. PETE BLAZCZAK (77) 2. Dan Bish (4x) 3. Tim Callahan (54) 4. Tim Gillette (43) 5. Jerry Batcher (7) 6. Mike McConnell (31) 7. Troy Lehnortt 8. Rudy Troples (28) 9. Carl Keller (98) 10. Steve Longwell, Sr. (16k) 11. Todd Gabriel (33G) 12. Chase Anthony (26) 13. Joel Wisser (15k) 14. Ed Haylett (8-Ball) 15. Wally Stearns (33) – DNS; Heat Race Winners: Tim Callahan, Troy Lehnortt
Luxaire Heating & Cooling 410 Sprint Cars (25 laps): 1. DANNY SMITH (4s) 2. Eric Williams (7) 3. Bob Felmlee (6) 4. Broc Martin (83m) 5. Cole Duncan (22) 6. Rod George (4) 7. Brian Ellenberger (ti22) 8. Brandon Spithaler (22s) 9. Adam Kekich (5K) 10. Chris Shuttleworth (11) 11. Rick Wilson (42) 12. Carl Bowser (10) 13. Shawn Minor (3w) 14. Jimmy Light (23) 15. Gale Ruth, Jr. (1R) 16. A.J. Albrecht (7x) 17. Mike Linder (312) 18. Dan Kuriger (08) 19. Mike Lutz (8) 20. Jack Sodeman, Jr. (23JR) 21. Danny Holtgraver (D4) 22. Jason Dolick (D12) 23. Aaron Shaffer (97s) 24. Scott Priester (15); DNQ – Dave Jones (76), Brandon Matus (13), Chris Smith (52), Lindsay Enscoe (96), John McCracken, Jr. (79), John McCracken, Sr. (63), Jeff Taylor (17T), Brent Matus (33), April Wilson (15aw), Brian Steinman (24s); Heat Race Winners: Eric Williams, A.J. Albrecht, Jack Sodeman, Jr; B-Main Winner: Carl Bowser
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds (20 laps): 1. JIMMY HOLDEN (28H) 2. Kyle Fink (66f) 3. Rob Curtis (88R) 4. Mike Stine (7s) 5. Tom Holden (15H) 6. Frank Guidace (1G) 7. Joe Crawford (67) 8. Matt Reeher (711) 9. Kevin Green (74) 10. Ron Eperthener (333) 11. J.R. McGinley (66) 12. Shawn Fleeger (88) 13. Chris Myers (1c) 14. Don Brown (71B) 15. Eric Gabany (3e) 16. Clyde Gumpp (51) 17. Dustin Martin (29D) 18. Rich Whitney (19w) 19. Rick Hall (B2) 20. Jeff Schaffer (14) 21. Jim Thompson (99) 22. Ryan Hall (B4) 23. Lonny Riggs (58) – DNS; Heat Race Winners: Jimmy Holden, J.R. McGinley
ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors (20 laps): 1. GUY GRIFFIN (11) 2. Jason Scoville (8D) 3. Skip Daugherty (27) 4. Justin Whitesell (17) 5. Jim Morris (16) 6. Mike Lutz (86) 7. Jeff Taylor (17t) 8. Jake Lagestee (72) 9. Rob Felix (21) 10. Mike Bauer (35) 11. Cory Thiess (30) 12. Adam Anderson (5B) 13. Chad Mathews (1) 14. Dennis Wagner (38); Heat Race Winners: Adam Anderson, Justin Whitesell
Precise Racing Products Stock Cars (15 laps): 1. RUSTY MOORE (17m) 2. Bob McCann (33) 3. Brian Wagner (56) 4. Chad O’Brien (77) 5. Marty Warren (05) 6. Terry Wheeler (2w) 7. Jim Flaherty (38spl) 8. Russ Byler (06R) 9. Darrin Hyde (4) 10. Tony Spaghetti (97) 11. Matt Wagner (12) 12. Brandon Johnston (14J) 13. Josh Seippel (84) 14. Travis Walsh (1) 15. Shawn Hooks (65) 16. Nate Arp (29) 17. Gary Miller (1M) 18. Dick Swartz (7s) – DNS; Heat Race Winners: Bob McCann, Russ Byler
Big Daddy’s Speed Center Mod Lites (15 laps): 1. DARIN GALLAGHER (12) 2. Brian Miller (726) 3. Andy Feil (08) 4. Kotie Kirkbride (97N) 5. George Englert (11x) 6. Ron Debolt (11) 7. Tom Kline (68) 8. Brian Kaxzubski (5) 9. Bill Johnson (7) 10. Andrew Bruce (70x7) 11. Cody Bova (20B) 12. Daniel Demyan (8D) 13. Matt Patterson (13M) 14. Roland Bollinger (765) 15. Jacob Bova (28J) 16. Mark Marcucci (8M) 17. Shane Pfeuffer (717) 18. Kurt Gray (5K);Heat Race Winners: Andy Feil, Matt Patterson
Upcoming Events: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.
5/21: Hovis Auto Night featuring Saturday Night Live with 410 Sprints, 358 Modifieds, Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Mod Lites, Stock Cars, Mini Stocks. Pits and grandstands open at 4:00pm. Hot Laps at 6:15pm. Racing at 7:00pm