Guidace, Moore, Marcucci, Haylett and Shannon Win; Wagner Doubles
Media Contact: Lou Long (412-760-9755)
Mercer, PA (August 23, 2011): On Sprint Car Appreciation Night, Bob Felmlee took the win in the Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars, while Frank Guidace held the checkers in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. Meanwhile, Trusty Rusty Moore notched his twelfth win in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, Dennis Wagner scooped up a pair of wins in the ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Marc Marcucci defeated the Big Daddy Speed Center Modified Lites and Ed Haylett and John Shannon split the features for the Big Dog R/C Center Mini Stocks.
A full field of Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars were on hand to claim Goodyear Tire certificates, as the track tire supplier stepped up to show its appreciation to the racers who have so strongly supported Mercer Raceway Park thus far in the 2011 season. Each and every car that started the A Main got some free rubber, a value in excess of $200. Plus, the track still provided its five tire certificates, so several drivers got a pair of free tires.
Racin’ Ralphie Spithaler started on the pole, but when he pulled a wheelie on the initial start, it was the “Wheelman” who took charge of the event. The youngest member of the Matus racing clan, Brandon, led the first four laps, but the Flying One, Bob Felmlee, made a power move coming off the bottom of turn four to grab the lead with five down.
Felmlee continued to lead after the first caution as well, but the ‘Kittanning Comet’, Rod George, who is trailing Felmlee in the points race, moved into second place. As Felmlee was racing through lapped traffic, George began to close. Before he could make his move, though, a red flag stopped the action for a crash by Francis Sesco near the pit entrance off turn three.
The top three got away cleanly on the restart, but Jimmy Light made some strong moves to climb into fourth. His strong run came to a halt a few laps later, as he turned into the infield. The action was slowed again when Chris Shuttleworth backed his 360 Sprint off the top of turn four. The ensuing restart allowed the Aussie pilot, Marty ‘Muscles’ Perovich, to slip into fourth.
As the laps would down, Felmlee had a comfortable lead over George and Jason Dolick. Felmlee got a scare on the final lap, when Shuttleworth spun ahead of him in turn two. While that was going on, Kevin Andrusky struck the wall coming off the fourth corner, bringing out a red.
That put Felmlee on the point for a one lap dash for the cash. Rod George got a tremendous run on the restart, and he got under Felmlee in turn one. Felmlee rode the cushion back to the lead as they raced through the second turn.
Felmlee crossed ahead of George. Dolick finished behind the two points leaders. Perovich barely nipped Brandon Spithaler at the line for fourth.
Positions six through ten went to Cole Duncan in his first ride in the Jim Chapell 8 car, Brandon Matus, Ralph Spithaler, Brent Matus, and Scott Priester.
Additional Goodyear tire certificates were awarded to Felmlee as the winner, Brandon Spithaler as the hard charger, and Shawn Minor as the last car on the lead lap. Random certificates were given to Cole Duncan and Cowboy Brian Steinman.
In the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, Jeff Schaffer jumped out to an early lead over high flying Eric Gabany, while Jerry Schaffer rode in third. The man on the move, though, was Frank on the Gas Guidace, who entered the top five in the early going.
Gabany made the outside line work, as he drove past Jeff Schaffer as they ran through turn one on lap 5. Guidace continued his charge to the front, using the exact same move in the exact same spot to take second away from Shaffer one lap later. Guidace then began to close in on Gabany. Gabany led up to the first caution of the event.
However, Guidace seized control of the race on the restart and he stretched out his lead. Another caution interrupted the action and brought Guidace back to the rest of the field.
When the racing resumed, Rob Curtis started to flex some muscle on the bottom, and it looked like he may have something for Guidace. However, Guidace liked the cushion and he was able to open up a commanding lead as the laps clicked off.
Guidace claimed the win, which would tighten up his points battle with Jimmy the Jet Holden. Behind Guidace was Curtis, Gabany and Ron Eperthener. Fifth was Jeff Schaffer, one spot ahead of his brother, Jerry. Holden crossed in seventh. Mopar Matt Reeher, Rick Hall and Kevin Green completed the top ten.
In the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, points leader Trusty Rusty Moore started in his customary position number 12, and he ws gunning for his twelfth win of the season. While it looked as though numerology would not work in his favor, a late race caution gave him the opportunity to pass Curtis Bish.
Curtis Bish jumped out to the early lead, with veteran Bob McCann challenging on the outside. Moore passed a car or two, but he got a boost when several cars ahead of him tangled in turn two. He was able to avoid impact, and lined up in eighth for the restart.
While Bish led the way, Moore charged into fourth promptly after teh green was displayed. Within two laps, Moore was second and closing on the leader. A caution on lap five put them side by side for the restart. Bish sped away from Moore on the restart, but Moore remained within striking distance. Meanwhile Russ Byler worked into third, ahead of Joe Kelley.
Bish continued to lead the event, while Moore applied the pressure. Bish was up to the challenge, though, and he kept the winningest driver of 2011 at bay. A caution on lap 17 put Bish and Moore together again.
This time, they ran into turn one side by side, but Moore crossed over behind Bish and came off the bottom of turn two with the lead. Moore led the remaining three laps to earn the win, leaving him one short of the track record for most wins in a season. Bish finished a disappointing second, ahead of Russ Byler, Joe Kelley and Andy Thompson.
Jim Flaherty, Ryan Moyer, Terry Wheeler, Tim Burns and Chargin’ Charlie McMillen were sixth through tenth.
In the Big Daddy’s Speed Center Modified Lites, Shane Pfueffer grabbed the early lead, but points leader Darrin Gallagher followed him closely as they toured the perfectly manicured track.
On lap 10, Pfeufffer spun in front of the field, collecting several other racers. That gave the lead to Gallagher, but he was flanked by Marc Marcucci for the restart. Although Marcucci challenged for the lead, Gallagher was able to fend him off. Marcucci got a second chance with two laps remaining in the race. This time, he was able to overpower the younger driver.
Marcucci got the win, as Gallagher’s mount failed in the stretch run. Kotie Kirkbride took third, just ahead of Tom Kline and Bill Staivason. Other positions in the top ten went to Daniel Demyan, Jacob Bova, Pfeuffer, Andrew Bruce and Cody Bova.
The two remaining classes had double features on this night.
In the make-up feature for the Big Dog R/C Center Mini Stocks, points leader Pete Blazczak broke on the first lap and retired from the event. When the race did get going, Maria Nein jumped out to the lead. Steve Longwell, Jr. chased her down and, shortly after taking the lead, he began leaking fuel. While officials pondered his fate, a caution was displayed for debris on the speedway. When Longwell stopped on the frontstretch, the fuel leak was more pronounced, and he was sent to the pits. The second place runner, Dillon Kineston, also pitted, turning the lead over to Ed Haylett. Trooper Tim Callahan passed Haylett on the restart, but Haylett hung close. A few laps later, Haylett went low in turns one and two, snatching the lead away from Callahan. Haylett led the rest of the way to pick up his third win of the season. Moving into second in the final laps was young Tyler Fulton. Callahan held on for third. Steve Longwell, Sr. and Joel Wisser rounded out the top five. Positions six through ten went to Chase Anthony, Troy Lehnortt, Kineston, Longwell, Jr., and Michael Thompson.
In the regular feature for the class, Trooper Tim Callahen jumped out to an early lead, but the battle was raging for second place between Pete Blazczak and Steve Longwell, Sr. Callahan continued to lead through the middle stages of the race, but John Shannon, in just his second race of the season, powered past him on the outside of turns three and four. Shannon had a comfortable margin as the laps clicked off, but Callahan came roaring back in the final two circuits. Callahan tried to retake the lead as the duo rounded turns three and four. Callahan’s mount pushed up and into Shannon. Despite the contact, they were able to straighten their cars and they maintained their positions at the front of the field. On the final lap, Callahan tried the same move, but when his car pushed up again, Shannon was out of his reach. Shannon came off the corner with the lead and got the win. Following Callahan was Troy Lehnortt, Jay Blum and Joel Wisser. Sixth went to Steve Longwell, Sr. Wally Stearns got seventh, ahead of Ed Haylett, Maria Nevin and Chase Anthony.
Dennis Wagner doubled in the ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors. In the opening race, he cruised to an easy win over Justin Whitesell, points leader Guy Griffin, rookie Michael Bauer and Joel Trent. In the nightcap, Wagner inherited the lead when Jimmy Morris jumped the cushion and struck the concrete wall exiting turn four. Behind Wagner in the second feature was Griffin and Bauer. Jacob Lagestee and Jeff Goodman completed the top 5.
Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars: 1. Bob Felmlee (6); 2. Rod George (4); 3. Jason Dolick (D12); 4. Marty Perovich (17); 5. Brandon Spithaler (22S); 6. Cole Duncan (8); 7. Brandon Matus (13); 8. Ralph Spithaler (56); 9. Brent Matus (33); 10. Scott Priester (15); 11. Chris Best (66); 12. Adam Kekich (5K); 13. Shawn Minor (3M); 14. Kevin Andrusky (7A); 15. Chris Shuttleworth (11); 16. Aaron Shaffer (97S); 17. Jimmy Light (23); 18. John McCracken, Sr. (63); 19. Francis Sesco (2S); 20. Dennis Wagner (38); 21. Robert Van Tassel (69X); 22. Lindsay Enscoe (96); 23. Walt Tutak, Jr. (4B). DNS: Brian Steinman (24S). Heat winners: Brandon Spithaler, Brandon Matus and Perovich.
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: 1. Frank Guidace (1G); 2. Rob Curtis (88R); 3. Eric Gabany (3E); 4. Ron Eperthener, Jr. (333); 5. Jeff Schaffer (14); 6. Jerry Schaffer (4); 7. Jimmy Holden (28H); 8. Matt Reeher (711); 9. Rick Hall (B4); 10. Kevin Green (74); 11. Clyde Gumpp (51); 12. Scott Rodgers (55X); 13. Dave Murdick (77); 14. Jimmy Thompson (55); 15. Greg Unrue, Jr. (5); 16. Dustin Martin (29D); 17. Chirs Myers (1C); 18. Kyle Fink (66F); 19. Dan Fink (0). DNS: Lonnie Riggs (58). Heat winners: Eperthener, Holden.
Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: 1. Rusty Moore (17M); 2. Curtis Bish (29T); 3. Russ Byler (06R); 4. Joe Kelley (100); 5. Andy Thompson (7); 6. Jim Flaherty (38SPL); 7. Ryan Moyer (13X); 8. Terry Wheweler (2W); 9. Tim Burns (66); 10. Charlie McMillen (61M); 11. Dave Ferringer (02); 12. Brian Wagner (56); 13. Brandon Johnston (14J); 14. Chip Walsh (36); 15. Darrin Hyde (4); 16. Bob McCann (33); 17. Travis Walsh (1); 18. Matt Wagner (12); 19. Gary Miller (1M); 20. Derek Freedline (F3); 21. Will Aley (9). DNS: Bob Schwartzmiller (28S), Rodney Thoms. Heat winners: Hyde, Moore and Bish.
Big Daddy’s Speed Center Modified Lites: 1. Marc Marcucci (8M); 2. Darrin Gallagher (12); 3. Kotie Kirkbride (97N); 4. Tom Kline (68); 5. Bill Stivason (116); 6. Daniel Demyan (94); 7. Jacob Bova (28J); 8. Shane Pfeuffer (717); 9. Andrew Bruce (70×7); 10. Cody Bova (28B); 11. Andy Feil (08); 12. Taylor Smith (23TT); 13. Jeff Teeters (32). Heat winners: Teeters, Marcucci.
Big Dog R/C Center Mini Stocks (June 23 make-up feature): 1. Ed Haylett (8ball); 2. Tyler Fulton (409); 3. Tim Callahan (54); 4. Steve Longwell, Sr. (16K); 5. Joel Wisser (15K); 6. Chase Anthony (26); 7. Troy Lehnortt (46); 8. Dillon Kineston (19); 9. Steve Longwell, Jr. (17K); 10. Michael Thompson (82T); 11. Maria Nevin (9); 12. Rudy Troples (28); 13. Pete Blazczak (77).
Big Dog R/C Center Mini Stocks (regular feature): 1. John Shannon (14); 2. Tim Callahan (54); 3. Troy Lehnortt (46); 4. Jay Blum (14D); 5. Joel Wisser (15K); 6. Steve Longwel, Sr. (16K); 7. Wally Stearns (33); 8. Ed Haylett (8ball); 9. Maria Nevin (9); 10. Chase Anthony (26); 11. Pete Blazczak (77); 12. Michael Thompson (82T); 13. Anthony Shetter (33A); 14. Tyler Fulton (409); 15. Carl Keller (98); 16. Dillon Kineston (19). DNS: Josh Westlake (0), Mike McConnell (310, Rudy Troples (28), Steve Longwell, Jr. (17K). Heat winners: Haylett, Callahan.
ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors (June 23 make-up feature): 1. Dennis Wagner (38); 2. Justin Whitesell (17); 3. Guy Griffin (11); 4. Michael Bauer (35); 5. Joel Trent (10T).
ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors (regular feature): 1. Dennis Wagner (38); 2. Guy Griffin (11); 3. Michael Bauer (35); 4. Jacob Lagestee (72); 5. Jeff Goodman (14G); 6. Jim Morris (16); 7. Joel Trent (10T); 8. Harold Braden, Jr. (9); 9. Justin Whitesell (17). Heat winner: Morris.