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George Scores First for Chappell in 410 Sprints
by Lou Long
Guidace, Bauer, Moore, Pfeuffer and Haylett Winners Too.
Mercer, PA (June 8, 2013): The Kittanning Comet, Rod George, survived a last lap restart to score his first win at Mercer Raceway Park in the 410 Sprint owned by Jim Chappell. Carl Bowser came up a few car lengths short in the race sponsored by Luxaire Heating & Cooling and New Wilmington Motors.
Frankie Guidace dominated the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified program. Points leader Michael Bauer roared to his second victory in the Bonnell's Collision Center Outlaw Sprint Warriors. Trusty Rusty Moore captured his fourth win out of five races for the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars. It was his third consecutive win. Starting twelfth was no impediment to Shane Pfeuffer, who scored his second consecutive victory in the Modified Lites, presented by Big Daddy's Speed Center and Rock Concrete. Ed Haylett narrowly defeated his good friend Wally Stearns in the Mini Stock feature run under the twin banners of Eperthener's Auto Wrecking and Ray's Racing Collectibles.
Bowser and George paced the field for the start of the 25 lapper offered by Luxaire Heating & Cooling and New Wilmington Motors. George got the advantage over his younger foe and dropped to the inside as they entered turn one. Bowser fought back on the outside coming off turn two, but George surged ahead traveling down the back chute. Once out front, George opened up a commanding lead. He was ale to outdistance Bowser again when racing resumed following a brief caution on lap eight.
In the middle stages of the race, Brandon Matus began to advance through the field. He took third on lap 16, bringing Eric Williams along into fourth. With George way out front, Matus started reeling in Bowser. Bowser and Matus got a scare entering turn three on lap 19 when they reacted quickly to avoid a major impact with the car of Chris Best, who was sitting sideways in the racing groove.
George held serve on the restart, while Matus continued to pressure Bowser for second. As the final laps clicked off the scoreboard, George reached the slower cars on the track. That enabled Bowser to narrow the lead. Bowser may have had a shot at the veteran in traffic, but a caution with just one lap remaining gave George a clean track.
George won the one lap dash for the cash. Bowser crossed in second. Brandon Matus surrendered his third spot when the rear end failed on the final circuit. Jack Sodeman, Jr. benefited from that misfortune, as did Eric Williams.
Dan Kuriger finished sixth, ahead of points leader Scott Priester. Jimmy Seger was seventh, despite a smoking engine in the final few rounds. Adam Anderson, Jason Dolick, and Chris Best were next in the finishing order. Brandon Matus was scored in twelfth.
George and Williams took the preliminaries.
Frankie Guidace passed early leader Lonny Riggs following a third lap restart in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. Riggs ran second until lap 11, when his mount faltered on the backstretch.
That turned second over to Jeff Schaffer, who was locked in a duel with Jimmy Holden.
Guidace cruised to the win, with Holden taking second from Schaffer. Kyle Fink was a close fourth. J.R. McGinley was back in his familiar 66 this night, and he finished in the fifth position. Recent high school graduates Max Smoker and Makayla Guidace were sixth and seventh.
Kyle Holden, who was making his first 358 Modifed start at Mercer, was scored in eighth, although he was no longer on the track at the end of the race, as were Richard Whitney and Clyde Gumpp.
The heat wins were scored by Frankie Guidace and Schaffer.
Michael Bauer triumphed in the Bonnell's Collision Center Outlaw Sprint Warriors, despite having his nose wing come loose with two laps remaining. Rob Felix led the early going, but Bauer was pressing him for the lead after several rounds of the track. Felix kept his advantage by timing his passes of lapped cars. When the leaders got back into clean air, Bauer was able to sweep past Felix as they raced through the third turn.
Felix maintained second, ahead of another high school graduate, Andy Feil. They got together coming through the fourth turn on lap 18 as they closed on the lapped car of Harold Braden, Jr. That put Chris Matthews into second, a position that he held to the checkers.
Joe McEwen was fourth and last week's winner, Mike Miller, was fifth.
C.J. Jones, Jacob Lagestee Tyler Graves, Andy Feil and Thomas Sanders completed the top ten.
McEwen and Bauer topped the heats.
Pat Fielding invaded the Park for the first time in the 2103 season and led the opening five laps of the Precise Racing Products Stock Car feature event. However, two-time and defending champion Rusty Moore chased him down for the lead on lap 6. Moore went to the outside of turns three and four to make the winning pass.
Andy Thompson and Curtis Bish used a lap nine restart to overtake Fielding. Bish challenged Thompson in several more restarts, but he could not grab the second spot. Brandon Johnston passed Fielding coming off turn four on the final lap to take fourth. Johnston had pitted early in the event to remove some damaged sheet metal.
Chargin' Charlie McMillen topped Garrett Calvert for sixth. Shawn Smith, Leigh Wheeler and Michael Tonkinson were given credit for positions seven through ten based on laps completed.
Moore also won the single heat race for the Stock Cars.
Shene Pfeuffer blasted from twelfth to fifth on the first lap pf the Modified Lite feature, which was presented by Big Daddy's Speed Center and Rock Concrete. He reached third on lap three. Before the field could complete another lap, there was a caution, which put Pfeuffer on the tail of Teeters for the restart, a preferred position at the Park.
Pfeuffer rode into turn one right behind Teeters, passing Cody Bova for second. Pfeuffer wanted the lead, however, and he dove low entering turn three. Teeters moved down a bit to try to hold the position, resulting in slight contact between the leaders as they came off the fourth corner. Teeters spun, and then did a barrel role on the frontstretch. Teeters tried to restart the event, but the damage sent him pitside instead.
Pfeuffer maintained control on the ensuing restart. Braden Dellinger slipped past Cody Bova for second, but Pfeuffer had a substantial lead. That was wiped away by another caution with 11 laps in the books.
With Pfeuffer on the rail and Dellinger on the outsdie, they raced into the first turn. Pfeuffer powered off turn two with the lead and he was never headed over teh remaining four laps.
Behind Pfeuffer and Dellinger were Cody Bova, Jacob Davrocha and Tom Kline.
Brian Kaszubski, Matthew Kain, Bill Stivason, Josh Deems and Mike Flockerzi completed the top ten.
Pfeuffer and Teeters were triumphant in their heat races.
Wally Stearns led most of the way in the Eperthener's Auto Wrecking/Ray's Racing Collectibles Mini Stock race that was marred by a high number of cautions. Ed Haylett raced up to the second spot in his new ride, and closed in on his pal. They raced side by side for a couple of laps. When the white flag was displayed, Haylett had a slight advantage. Stearns made a major charge on on the outside of turns three and four on the final lap, but Haylett was up to the task.
Haylett, Stearns and Steve Longwell, Sr. took the top three spots. Points leader Jamey Lee and Joel Wisser were next. Rudy Troples was sixth. John Shannon was scored in seventh after dropping from the action due to a steering failure. Mike McConnell, Shane Smith and Josh Eakman were credited with positions seven through ten.
Alex Paden and Lee prevailed in their heats.
Next week, the speedway will welcome Scott Bonnell and company for the annual Auto Racers for Kids Charity event. This will be the fourth visit of the charitable foundation to the friendly confines of the Park. Previous wins in this special race went to Jack Sodeman, Jr., Brian Ellenberger and Danny Holtgraver. All of the track's regular divisions will see action. There will be no points or handicapping for any class and no registration fees will be charged.
Luxaire Heating & Cooling/New Wilmington Motors 410 Sprints: Rod George, Carl Bowser, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Eric Williams, Dan Kuriger, Scott Priester, Jimmy Seger, Adam Anderson, Jason Dolick, Chris Best, Brent Matus, Brandon Matus, Bob McMillin, Gale Ruth, Jr., John McCracken Adam kekich, Bill Jones, Jr., Mike Flynn, Andrew Palker.
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Frankie Guidace, Jimmy Holden, Jeff Schaffer, Kyle Fink, J.R. McGinley, Max Smoker, Makayla Guidace, Kyle Holden, Richard Whitney, Clyde Gumpp, Lonny Riggs, Shawn Fleeger, Andy Paden (DNS).
Bonnell's Collision Center Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Michael Bauer, Chris Matthews, Joe McEwen, Mike Miller, C.J. Jones, Jacob Lagestee, Tyler Graves, Andy Feil, Thomas Sanders, Chad Matthews, Rob Felix, Harold Braden, Jr., Cody Braden, Greg Dobrosky, Jim Morris, Jacob Gomola, Eric Williams.
Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Rusty Moore, Andy Thompson, Curtis Bish, Brandon Johnston, Pat Fielding, Charlie McMillen, Garrett Calvert, Shawn Smith, Leigh Wheeler, Michael Tonkinson.
Big Daddy's Speed Center/Rock Concrete Modified Lites: Shane Pfeuffer, Braden Dellinger, Cody Bova, Jacob Davrocha, Tom Kline, Brian Kaszubski, Matthew Kain, Bill Stivason, Josh Deems, Mike Flockerzi, Jason Johnston, Paul Smith, Jacob Bova, Cory Webb, Chris Logan Loghan, Jeff Teeters, Andrew Bruce, Darrin Gallagher, Jordie McClaine.
Eperthener's Auto Wrecking/Ray's Racing Collectibles Stocks: Ed Haylett, Wally Stearns, Steve Longwell, Sr., Jamey Lee, Joel Wisser, Rudy Troples, John Shannon, Mike McConnell, Shane Smith, Josh Eakman, Leo Hanlon, Alex Paden, Pete Blazak, Matt Cwynar, Patricia Riffe, Tyler Fulton.