Mercer, PA (September 26, 2015): Eric Gabany rode the rim to take the lead, and then he coasted to victory in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified portion of the 16th Annual Little Guys Nationals. The win on nighttwo was worth $2,000 to the local favorite who concentrated on racing with the Big Block Modifieds for most of the 2015 season. A total of 209 cars in eight divisions came through the back gate this night.
Andy Priest got some redemption in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, as he held the lead from start to finish to get the win.
Chris Schneider celebrated his birthday at Mercer Raceway Park, taking his second straight victory in the Precise Racing Products Open Stock Car first feature event. Other winners in that division were Shawn Hooks and Leigh Wheeler.
Also gracing victory lane were Steve Haefke (Econo Modifieds), Tim Callahan (Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks), Brandon Fredericks (270 Micro Sprints), Mark Marcucci (Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites), and Roman Jones (Junior Sprint Cars).
J.R. MCGinley had the pole position, and was looking to sweep the Approved Toilet Rentals features during the Little Guys Nationals. He grabbed the lead and began to pull away from Ricky Richner, one of several New York driver on hand. Behind them, the action was furious. Eric Gabany went to the cushion, a place that few others dared to go, and he rolled up to second on the third circuit. Ron Cartwright also made some strong moves to take fourth, with Kenny Willis the man in the middle.
A quick caution slowed Gabany’s charge, but only briefly. When the green flag waved again, Gabany rode the high side, and he nosed ahead of McGinley just as the yellow light flickered on. The second time was the charm for the Mercer pilot. This time, he came charging off turn two with a substantial lead over McGinley, who was now under attack from Garrett Krummert.
While Gabany stretched his lead over McGinley, Kyle Fink clawed his way towards the front. By the tenth round, he was third and threatening McGinley. He gained the second spot on lap 14. By then, it seemed as though Gabany’s lead was insurmountable, but Fink kept chopping away at it. The fans had to be wondering, could Fink run him down?
Gabany ‘s lead kept shrinking bit by bit as the laps wound down. Fink reached his back bumper entering the final turn on the final lap. Fink gave Gabany a gentle nudge, but it was not enough to loosen up Gabany. He powered off the corner to get the win.
Fink was second, with McGinley holding on for third. Krummert was fourth, with Willis in fifth. Jimmy Holden was never a factor in the contest, but he did manage to place sixth. Bob Krull cracked the top ten this night, ahead of fellow New Yorkers Cartwright and Richner. Taking tenth was Rob Curtis, whose car owner, Larry Riffe, spent the late afternoon and early evening hours in a local hospital.
The preliminaries belonged to Curtis, Jimmy Holden, and Nick Joy. The B Main victor was Sid Unversagt, Jr.
In the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warrior finale, Andy Priest grabbed control at the start, but he was pressured by Brandon Matus. Matus drew close near the halfway mark, but once Priest got to lapped traffic he was able to get some breathing room. Priest’s run to the checkers was interrupted by a hard flip by teenager Tyler Denochick on the fronts stretch. Denochick was unhurt in the wild ride.
Priest brought the filed down to the green very slowly for the restart after thee scary crash. While that did not affect the lead cars, the cars in the middle of the pack were on the throttle looking to pick up some positions. That led to a jumble of cars, with one spinning into the infield. Unfortunately, five cars were eliminated from action: Greg Dobrosky, Devin Litwiler, Jacob Gomola, Rob Felix, and Adam Kekich.
Priest gassed it up on the final restart, and pulled out to a three car length advantage over Matus.
After the restart, Cody Bova was a man on a mission, The track champion rode the cushion into third, and he was looking for more. Matus was up to the challenge, and kept the second spot to himself.
At the finish, it was Priest, Matus, Bova, Jimmy Seger, and George Hobaugh in the top five. Next to cross were Mike Miller, George Englert, Evan Kornbau, Andy Feil, and Ken Rossey.
The heat winnners were Denochick, Hobaugh, and Kekich. Rob Felix topped the B Main.
In the first feature for the Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars, Tim Bish and Brent Johnson brought the field to the green. But it was a talented group of drivers them. Chris Schneider jumped to the third spot on the opening lap, and he improved one position each lap thereafter. Once out front, Schneider was the class of the field for the second consecutive night.
While Schneider held control the rest of the way, there was an intense battle for second between Brent Johnson and Curtis J. Bish. They swapped the spot a couple of times, but it was Johnson who held it for the final laps. Bish was third, with Andy Buckley and Ryan Newman getting the other top five positions.
A couple of cautions, including one on the final lap, bunched the racers and led to some fierce side by side action over the final circuits. Fans saw three-wide action in turns three and four as the racers went at it for a coveted top ten finish.
Earning those other top ten positions were Rusty Moore, Mike Miller, Tim Bish, Randy Wyant, and Pat Fielding.
There were five heats this night, with the victories going to Bish, Jason Fosnaught, Schneider, Bobby Whitling, and Newman. There were no B Mains, as all competitors got to run a feature event under the Little Guys Nationals format.
In the second feature for the Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars, Shawn Hooks took the early lead and he survived a number of stoppages alongthe way to the win. There was a nine-car pile-up in turn four in the early going, and a other lesser skirmishes. William Hurrelbrink rode second the entire way, Track champion Ryan Moyer raced up to third. Bobby Heim and Brett McDonald were fourth and fifth. Josh Seippel, Dave McMannus, Dave Potter, Gary Luzier, and Justin Forsyth completed the top ten.
The final feature for this division, and the final race of the night, Leigh Wheeler topped Jake Simmons. Dillon Kinneston, Travis Creech, Mark Hopkins, Bill Slade, Tim Burns, Ray Reynolds, Dennis Clark, Mike Dobrick, and Andy Thompson.
Steve Heafke survived a marathon run in the Econo Modifieds. Joshua Ferry was second, and Ty Rhoades placed third. Josh Miller and Todd Canto were next. Butch Lambert came back from one of the scrapes to take sixth. Jeff Mendale, Tyler Frankenberry, Junior Mchling, and James Myers completed the top ten. Derek Dellinger, Ryan Fraley, and Brad Blackshear took the heats. Todd Canter topped the B Main.
In the Mini Stocks, Trooper TIm Callahan was back atthe controls of his potent machine. He started on the front row, and was never headed. Shane Shook made a valliant run late in the race, but came up short. Placing third in the contest presented by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles was Mike McConnell. Fourth went to Alan Perry. Bruce Milbert led Matthew Rubright, and Isaac Paden to the finish. Chip Ritchey, Paul Koffler, Jr., Tyler Fulton, and Josh Ehrenberg did not start the event. The heat winner was Callahan. There was no B Main.
Brandon Fredericks wired the field in the 270 Micro Sprint feature. He was chased across the finish line by Sean McAndrew. Luke Kroboth was third, with Jeffrey Weaver, and Brandon Hawkins next in line. Jeff Haefke, Brian Marriott, Todd Reusser, Lee Lehnerd, and Tim Eakin wrapped up the top ten positions. The heats belonged to Dave Hawkins, Marriott, Brandon Fredericks, and Steve Dunmire. Robert Garvey and Weaver topped their respective B Mains.
Mark Marcucci capped a tremendous season in the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites with yet another victory at the Park. Jeff Teeters came back from a spin while leading the event to take second. Rod Jones was third, ahead of the West Virginia duo of Mitch and Matt Ward. Aaron Meister, Kacy Campbell, Alan Dellinger, Shawn Sliter and Tiffany WIlliams completed the top ten. The preliminaries were scored by Doug Jones, Marcucci, and Jason Darocha. There was no B Main.
Roman Jones broke away from a four car battle for the lead on lap seven and led the rest of the way to get his second straight Junior Sprint Car race during the Little Giys Nationals. Jones had to fight off a pack of cars chasing him on the final lap though to seal the deal. Taking second was Chase Matheny. Ayden Cipriano and Jordan Simmons were part of that group that crossed the line almost in unison. Fifth went to the early leader, Samuel Darby. Braden Tucke, Charlie Biskup, Jordan Dye, Mike Lutz, Jr., Austin Cavanaugh, and Mason Canter were the other finishers. The heat went to Cipriano.
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Eric Gabany, Kyle Fink, J.R. McGinley, Garrett Krummert, Kenny Willis, Jimmy Holden, Bob Krull, Ron Cartwright, Jr., Rick Richner, Rob Curtis, Lonny Riggs, Brian Schaffer, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Rick Regalski, Steve Schumacher, Nick Jay, John Smith, Sid Unversagt, Jr., Kyle Holden, Tommy Kristyak. DNQ: Eric Martin, Shawn Fleeger, Kole Holden, Eric Beggs, Kevin Green, Rich Whitney, Max Smoker.
Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Andy Priest, Brandon Matus, Cody Bova, Jimmy Seger, George Hobaugh, Mike Miller, George Englert, Evan Kornbau, Andy Feil, Ken Rossey, Alex Paden, Brent Matus, Greg Dobrosky, Devin Litwiler, Jacob Gomola, Rob Felix, Adam Kekich, Tyler Denochick, Michael Bauer, Darin Gallagher. DNQ: Bob McMillin, Vinny Daugherty, Jacob Bova, Dan Bennett, Ralph Engel, Jr.
Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars Feature 1: Chris Schneider, Brent Johnson, Curtis J. Bish, Andy Buckley, Ryan Newman, Rusty Moore, Mike Miller, Tim Bish, Randy Wyant, Pat Fielding, Brandon Wearing, Jackson Humanic, Tim Deutsch, Bob McCann, Bill Phillips, Jason Fosnaught, Bobby Whitling, Steve Burns, Jr., Mike Clark, Joe Stajnrajh.
Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars Feature 2: Shawn Hooks, William Hurrelbrink, Ryan Moyer, Bobby Heim, Brett McDonald, Josh Seippel, Dave McMannus, Dave Potter, Gary Luzier, Justin Forsyth, Bryan Mitchell, Bob Schwartzmiller, Shane Smith, Neil Tristani, Bobby Seigel, David Baker, Gary Fisher, Eric Piotrowski, Jamie Duncan, Aaron Easler.
Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars Feature 3: Leigh Wheeler topped Jake Simmons. Dillon Kinneston, Travis Creech, Mark Hopkins, Bill Slade, Tim Burns, Ray Reynolds, Dennis Clark, Mike Dobrick, Andy Thompson, Troy DeZarn (DNS).
Econo Modifieds: Steve Heafke, Joshua Ferry, Ty Rhoades, Josh Miller, Todd Canter, Butch Lambert, Jeff Mendale, Tyler Frankenberry, Junior Mchling, James Myers, Cameron Nastaski, Buzz Seitz, Jamie Sharba, Brad Blackshear, Eric Reinwald, Derek Dellinger, Dennis Dellinger, Keith Felicity, Ryan Fraley, Haley Lapcevich. DNQ: Ray Gregory, Randy Doolin, Eddie Harris, Justin Lapcevich.
Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: TIm Callahan, Shane Shook, Mike McConnell, Alan Perry, Bruce Milbert, Matthew Rubright, Isaac Paden. DNS: Chip Ritchey, Paul Koffler, Jr., Tyler Fulton, Josh Ehrenberg.
270 Micro Sprints: Brandon Fredericks, Sean McAndrew, Luke Kroboth, Jeffrey Weaver, Brandon Hawkins, Jeff Haefke, Brian Marriott, Todd Reusser, Lee Lehnerd, Tim Eakin, Robert Garvey, C.J. Davis, Bryce Craft, Skeetz Hackenbrach, Dave Hawkins, Brian Borawiec, Scott Hawkins, Steve Dunmire, Todd Sampson, J.J. Metheney. DNQ: Brett Brunkeuhber, Rick Francis, Jason Callender, Zachary Lennox, Peter Ries, Mike Kerr, Chris Kennedy, Ryan Fredericks, Wesley Libert, John Sampson, Anthony Pasquerella, John Walker, Brian Forester, Shawn Freeland, Craig Cummings, Kyle Colwell.
Rock Concrete Modified Lites: Mark Marcucci, Jeff Teeters, Rod Jones, Mitch Ward, Matt Ward, Aaron Meister, Kacy Campbell, Alan Dellinger, Shawn Sliter, Tiffany WIlliams, Shane Webb, Rob Misener, Anthony Cavicchia, Josh Sliter, Vivian Jones, Glenn Teeter, Doug Jones, Kelly Teeters, Jason Darocha, Jim Gump, Mark Beveridge, Josh Christopher (DNS).
Junior Sprints: Roman Jones, Chase Matheny, Ayden Cipriano, Jordan Simmons, Samuel Darby, Braden Tucke, Charlie Biskup, Jordan Dye, Mike Lutz, Jr., Austin Cavanaugh, Mason Canter.