Smoker, Jones, Moore, Teeters and Paden also Score
Mercer, PA (June 15, 2013): Rod George captured the fourth annual Auto Racers for Kids Charity event held at Mercer Raceway Park. The $3,000 victory was his second straight for car owner Jim Chappel. With proceeds benefiting children's programs in northwestern Pennsylvania, a large crowd was in attendance. The program was made possible by Bonnell's Collision Center.
Gary Smoker withstood a furious three-car battle in the final laps to earn the win in the 358 Modified race. C.J. Jones led wire to wire in the Outlaw Sprint Warriors. Rusty Moore claimed yet another win in the Stock Cars. Jeff Teeters scored the win in the Modified Lites, while Alex Paden earned his first career win in the Mini Stocks.
Chris Best and Bob Howard paced the field to the start of the headline 410 Sprint Car event, hosted by Luxaire Heating & Cooling and New Wilmington Motors. Best surged ahead, and took the outside groove to lead the early going. Scott Priester used the inside line to apply pressure. Best maintained his advantage despite two interruptions for minor skirmishes. Meanwhile, George quietly moved ahead.
After the lap five restart, George slid past Priester and he closed in on Best. George used a strong inside move to overtake the leader just one lap later. Best, Priester and Carl Bowser continued to ride in formation through lap ten, when Priester ducked under Best to claim second. Shortly thereafter, Bowser moved into third.
By the midpoint of the race, Jack Sodeman, Jr. reached the top five. Sodeman had started thirteenth in the event, and he was looking for a rebound after crashing out of the race the night before at another area track. Another driver moving forward during the middle stages was Eric Wiliams, the defending track champion.
George led the way in a long green flag run to the checkers. Priester was able to close in on him as the veterans worked through lapped traffic, but he could not get close enough to make a bid for the win. Bowser, Sodeman and Williams completed the top five.
Brandon Spithaler was sixth, Best slavaged a seventh, after looking so good at the start of the race. Adam Kekich, Andrew Palker and Gale Ruth, Jr. were next across the line.
Arnie Kent earned $300 by winning the dash, presented by Hovis Auto Supply.
Dennis Wagner was unhurt when he flipped on the backstretch during his heat race.
Lonny Riggs beat Shawn Fleeger to turn one and he went on to lead the first thirteen laps of the 358 Modified race, offered by Approved Toilet Rentals. Smoker took third on lap three and kept the pressure on the leader. On lap fourteen, Smoker assumed the point, bringing Jeff Schaffer with him. Meanwhile, J.R. McGinley was working his way up from fourteenth on the grid. He bumped Riggs back another notch on lap fifteen, and would soon become part of the battle for the win.
A caution with fifteen laps down bunched the field up for the final stretch run. While no positions changed hands among the leaders at the scoring loop, at other points on the speedway, though, the first three spots were constantly changing. Smoker liked the outside, and he managed to get a full car length lead on Schaffer in the final circuit.
Smoker, Schaffer and McGinley grabbed the first three spots. Riggs was a close fourth. Jimmy Holden finished fifth, coming back from a spin on lap twelve. He was fifth at the time.
Kyle Fink crossed in sixth, after being part of the lead pack in the early going. Makayla Guidace was seventh, just ahead of Richard Whitney. Max Smoker and Eric Beggs were ninth and tenth.
C.J. Jones was the class of the field in the Bonnell's Collision Center Outlaw Sprint Warriors. Jason Scoville gave chase the entire way, but he could not mount a challenge to the high-flying Jones.
Jacob Gomola turned in a good performance, coming from ninth to third just a week after a bone-jarring crash in turn three. Michael Bauer and Mike Miller completed the top five.
Dalton Daniels, Jeffrey Goodman, Jimmy Morris, Shane Pfeuffer and Andy Feil were fifth through tenth. For Pfeuffer, it was his first start in the Outlaw Sprint Warrior owned and usually driven by his grandfather, Richard Lawson.
In the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, Rusty Moore remained the man to beat. Andy Thompson led the first six rounds while Moore worked from seventh to second. One lap after surrendering the lead to Moore, Thompson brought out the caution. That turned second place over to Brent Johnson, who was making his first start of the season at the Park. Johnson chased Moore to the checkers.
Bob Schwartzmiller took third on lap nine and held it the rest of the way. Brandon Johnston and Charlie McMillen rounded out he top five.
Bucky Buchanan, another newcomer, Ryan Moyer, Travis Walsh, Garrett Calvert were the next finishers. Thompson was awarded tenth, based upon laps completed.
Jeff Teeters finally got to victory lane at Mercer Raceway Park in the Big Daddy's Spped Center and Rock Concrete sponsored Modified Lites. After crashing from the lead in his last appearance, Teeters was dominant after taking command form Jason Darochna.
George Englert was the hard charger, coming from tenth to second. Mark Marcucci crossed in third, with Tyler Frankenberry and Glenn Teeter next in line.
Matt Cain, Chris Logan, Josh Deems, Josh Santee and Darin Gallagher completed the top ten.
It was a first-time winner, Alex Paden, in the Mini Stocks, flying the colors of Eperthener's Auto Wrecking and Ray's Racing Collectibles. The young driver wrestled the lead away from pole-sitter Ed Haylett. The veteran ran second until two laps to go, when a failing engindropped him to third. Pete Blazak took advantage of the misfortune to grab the position.
Caleb Hickok was fourth, with Steve Longwell besting his father for fifth. After the Longwells came Matt Cwynar, Leo Hanlon, Rudy Troples and Patricia Riffe.
Next week, Mercer Raceway Park will present the Mid-Season Championships! Racers will earn double points, so positions could change in the contests for the track crowns. Remember that coming up on July 6 will be the make-up date for the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars.
Luxaire Heating & Cooling/New Wilmington Motors Sprint Cars: Rod George, Scott Priester, Carl Bowser, Jack Sodeman, Jr. Eric Williams, Brandon Spithaler, Chris Best, Adam Kekich, Andrew Palker, Gale Ruth, Jr., Arnie Kent, Brent Matus, Mike Lutz, Bob Howard, Adam Anderson, Bob McMillin, John McCracken, Jr., Mike Flynn, Jimmy Seger, Brandon Matus, Craig Folmar, Dennis Wagner (DNS).
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Gary Smoker, Jeff Schaffer, J.R. McGinley, Lonny Riggs, Jimmy Holden, Kyle FInk, Makayla Guidace, Richard Whitney, Max Smoker, Eric Beggs, Dillon Barr, Shawn Fleeger, Frankie Guidace, Chad Gumpp, J.R. Baker, Matt Reeher.
Bonnell's Collision Center Outlaw Sprint Warriors: C.J. Jones, Jason Scoville, Jacob Gomola, Michael Bauer, Mike Miller, Dalton Daniels, Jeffrey Goodman, Jimmy Morris, Shane Pfeuffer, Andy Feil, Eric L. Williams, Cody Braden, Michael Marano, II, Joe McEwen (DNS).
Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Rusty Moore, Brent Johnson, Bob Schwartzmiller, Brandon Johnston, Charlie McMillen, Bucky Buchanan, Ryan Moyer, Travis Walsh, Garrett Calvert, Curtis J. Bish. DNS: Shawn Smith, Dillon Kinneston.
Big Daddy's Speed Center/Rock Concrete Modified Lites: Jeff Teeters, George Englert, Mark Marcucci, Tyler Frankenberry, Glenn Teeter. Matt Cain, Chris Logan, Josh Deems, Josh Santee, Darin Gallagher, Jason Darochna, John Harvey.
Eperthener's Auto Wrecking/Ray's Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Alex Paden, Pete Blazak, Ed Haylett, Caleb Hickok, Steve Longwell, Jr., Steve Longwell, Sr., Matt Cwynar, Leo Hanlon, Rudy Troples, Patricia Riffe, Josh Eakman, Tyler Fulton, Jamey Lee, Ryan Barrell, Shawn Shook, Evan Kornbau, Lucas Sprouse.