Mercer, PA (June 5, 2011) – With looming rain on the horizon, Mercer Raceway Park made quick work of the program last night, crowning Cap Henry, Frank Guidace, Brian Miller, Pete Blazczak, Mike Lutz and Russ Byler the winners in six divisions of Saturday Night Live racing. The Pittsburgh Circle Track Club was also on hand to honor the winning drivers and provide giveaways for the many fans in the grandstands!
Mark Marcucci looked as if he had the Big Daddy’s Speed Center Mod Lite division all wrapped up, but it was hard-charger Brian Miller who took home the checkered flag after a thrilling last-lap pass! It was Miller’s first career win at Mercer Raceway Park.
“It’s exciting to win here at Mercer,” Miller said. “I definitely didn’t think I’d get this first win after starting eleventh.”
Marcucci grabbed the lead from Tom Kline in the first few laps of the race and looked as if he would go unchallenged, but Darin Gallagher and Miller, who started 10th and 11th, were quickly making their way through the field. By lap seven, the pair sat in second and third positions.
Miller got his chance to challenge Gallagher for second position on a lap nine restart. Gallagher retained the position, but not for long. Miller grabbed second place on lap 10 and got to work running down Marcucci. By the final circuit, Miller was right on Marcucci’s bumper and made a tight pass on the leader in the middle of turns three and four. Marcucci veered off-course, going over the cushion and coming to a halt.
“I didn’t think I could get Mark,” Miller said. “But he pushed up a little out of two and I tried to dive underneath him. I was just trying to run in harder.”
The final finish saw Gallagher picking up second place over Shane Pfeuffer, Cody Bova and Kline.
The Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds were up next, and there was no less action for the crowd as Frank Guidace picked up his second victory in a row over Ron Eperthener, Lonnie Riggs, Jimmy Holden and Jeff Schaffer.
Eperthener grabbed the lead from the outside pole at the beginning of the race from pole sitter Rick Hall, with Guidace and Riggs quickly settling into second position and third positions from their fourth and eighth place starting spots.
Guidace and Riggs were both able to get by Eperthener on lap 8, but the Grove City native wasn’t backing down. The first caution of the night came for Rick Hall on lap 16, giving Riggs and Eperthener another chance at the top position. Eperthener came back to pass Riggs on lap 17 and would retain second position for the remaining eight laps of the race.
Cap Henry had a very different experience in his second visit to Mercer Raceway Park, picking up the win in the Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Car division over Ed Lynch, Jr. in the Rudzik-owned #94 sprint car and Rod George. Henry was unable to qualify for the All Star Sprint Circuit of Champions race in his first visit on May 21, but he more than made up for it tonight!
Lynch shot out to an early lead from the pole position with Henry in second and Dan Kuriger in third position but the leaders reached the tail end of the field quickly, which would prove to be Lynch’s demise. As the two cars hit a wall of lap traffic, Henry dove to the inside of Lynch and was able to make the pass. He went on to win the 25-lap feature without further challenge.
Lynch would pick up second place over Rod George, Bob Felmlee and Jack Sodeman, Jr. Danny Holtgraver had a tough break, hitting the wall with two laps to go in the midst of a battle for third place and fell to sixth position.
The winners of the five Goodyear Tire Certificates were Henry, Brian Steinman (hard charger), Shawn Minor (last car on the lead lap), Adam Kekich (random) and Chris Best (random).
Pete Blazczak became the first driver this year to earn four victories with a win in the Big Dog R/C Mini Stock division over 2010 MRP Track Champion Wally Stearns and Troy Lehnortt. Blazczak prevailed in a race that saw five different leaders in 12 laps.
Stearns grabbed the lead off of the pole position, but outside pole sitter Jerry Batcher quickly went to work on the ever-cheerful Stearns and took the top spot in lap three. In only a few circuits, Tim Gillette and Tim Callahan had caught the leader and began to challenge for the lead. A lap seven scuffle between the top runners as Callahan made a pass for the lead, however, sent Callahan spinning into the infield and then to the pits with a blown engine and Batcher to the tail of the field with a rough driving penalty.
Gillette retained the lead, but Blazczak had moved into second position from his 12th place starting spot, and by lap 10 he had gained the lead from Gillette. Two laps later, he was crowned the leader over Stearns, Lehnortt, Steve Longwell, Jr and Jeff Little. Blazczak was able to pick up an extra $100 bonus courtesy of Kargo Quality Cars and Trucks in Mercer!
Mike Lutz led every circuit of the 15-lap ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warrior division after starting on the pole to pick up his third victory in a row in the new class. Jason Scoville had an impressive run, challenging Lutz to earn another runner-up finish in his second appearance at Mercer Raceway Park. Jeff Taylor would pick up third over Justin Whitesell and Adam Anderson.
Despite quite a few cautions and challenges in the Precise Racing Products Stock Car division, once Russ Byler took the lead from pole sitter Shawn Hooks he never gave up the top position, earning him his first win at Mercer Raceway Park this season. Marty Warren gave Byler plenty to worry about after advancing from his fifth place starting spot, but Byler made no mistakes and Warren settled for a runner-up finish. Brian Wagner, and newcomers Bob Schwartzmiller and Andy Thompson would round out the top five.
Next week, the Saturday Night Live program will be back in action with six rousing divisions of racing. Join us for another night of family fun!
Big Daddy’s Speed Center Mod Lites (15 laps): 1. BRIAN MILLER (726) 2. Darin Gallagher (12) 3. Shane Pfeuffer (717) 4. Cody Bova (20b) 5. Tom Kline (68) 6. Andy Feil (08) 7. Matt Patterson (13m) 8. Kotie Kirkbride (97N) 9. Bill Johnson (7) 10. Brian Kaszubski (5) 11. Bill Stivason (116) 12. Andrew Bruce (70×7) 13. Daniel Demyan (8D) 14. Jacob Bova (28J) 15. Kevin Sevacko (76) 16. Taylor Smith (23TT) 17. Mark Marcucci (8m); Heat Race Winners: Mark Marcucci, Darin Gallagher
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds (20 laps): 1. FRANK GUIDACE (1G) 2. Ron Eperthener (333) 3. Lonny Riggs (58) 4. Jimmy Holden (28H) 5. Jeff Schaffer (14) 6. Eric Gabany (3e) 7. Rob Curtis (88) 8. Matt Reeher (711) 9. Kevin Green (74) 10. Mike Stine (7s) 11. Dustin Martin (29D) 12. Don Brown (71B) 13. Kyle Fink (66F) 14. Rick Hall (B2) 15. Ryan Hall (B4) 16. Andy Paden (55); Heat Race Winners: Frank Guidace, Eric Gabany
Luxaire Heating & Cooling 410 Sprint Cars (25 laps): 1. CAP HENRY (04) 2. Ed Lynch, Jr. (94) 3. Rod George (4) 4. Bob Felmlee (6) 5. Jack Sodeman, Jr. (23jr) 6. Danny Holtgraver (D4) 7. Dan Kuriger (08) 8. Jimmy Light (23) 9. Carl Bowser (10) 10. Broc Martin (83m) 11. Adam Kekich (5k) 12. Scott Priester (15) 13. Brent Matus (33) 14. A.J. Albrecht (7x) 15. Chris Best (66) 16. Brian Steinman (24s) 17. Shawn Minor (3m) 18. Gale Ruth, Sr. (1R) 19. John McCracken, Jr. (79) 20. Eric Williams (7) 21. Jeff Taylor (17t) 22. John McCracken (63) 23. Gale Ruth, Jr. (5x) 24. Brandon Matus (13) – DNS 25. Brandon Spithaler (22s) – DNS; Heat Race Winners: Rod George, Carl Bowser, A.J. Albrecht
Big Dog R/C Mini Stocks (12 laps): 1. PETE BLAZCZAK (77) 2. Wally Stearns (33) 3. Troy Lehnortt (46) 4. Steve Longwell, Jr. (16K) 5. Jeff Little (42) 6. Eric Rarer (3J) 7. Tim Gillette (43) 8. Kris Anderson (3D) 9. Joel Wisser (15K) 10. Tim Callahan (54) 11. Jerry Batcher (7) 12. Michael Thompson (82t) 13. Rudy Troples (28) 14. Ed Haylett (8-ball) 15. Chase Anthony (26) 16. Mike McConnell (31) – DNS; Heat Race Winners: Jerry Batcher, Michael Thompson
ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors (15 laps): 1. MIKE LUTZ (86) 2. Jason Scoville (8D) 3. Jeff Taylor (17t) 4. Justin Whitesell (17) 5. Adam Anderson (5B) 6. Rob Felix (21) 7. Guy Griffin (11) 8. Jim Morris (16) 9. Skip Daugherty (27) 10. Cory Theiss (30) 11. Robert Van Tassel (69x) 12. Chad Mathews (1) 13. Dennis Wagner (38); Heat Race Winners: Jimmy Morris, Mike Lutz
Precise Racing Products Stock Cars (15 laps): 1. RUSS BYLER (06R) 2. Marty Warren (05) 3. Brian Wagner (56) 4. Bob Schwartzmiller (28s) 5. Andy Thompson (7) 6. Matt Wagner (12) 7. Jamie Duncan (67J) 8. Shawn Hooks (65) 9. Darrin Hyde (4) 10. Tony Spaghetti (97) 11. Brandon Johnson (14J) 12. Bobby Heim (92) 13. Chad O’Brien (77) 14. Bill Banick, Jr. (07H) 15. Travis Walsh (1) 16. Terry Kroner (67) 17. Rusty Moore (17m) 18. Bob McCann (33) – DNS 19. Derek Freedline (F3) – DNS; Heat Race Winners: Brian Wagner, Rusty Moore
6/11: 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.
6/18: Mid-Season Championship – Double Points. 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