Mercer, PA (August 22, 2015): Adam Kekich raced to victory in the 410 Sprint Cars in the Auto Racers for Kids Charity event held at Mercer Raceway Park. All proceeds from this program benefit disadvantaged youth in Northwestern Pennsylvania. The designated charity for this area is the Children’s Aid Society of Mercer County. Kekich benefited when Jack Sodeman, Jr. retired while the field was under a red flag on lap three. But, once out front, there was no denying the third generation driver from nearby Hermitage, PA.
Joining Kekich (4 Your Car Connection/World of Wheels 410 Sprint Cars) in victory lane were Tommy Kristyak (Approved Toilet Rental 358 Modifieds),Darrin Gallagher (Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors), Tim Burns (Precise Racing Products Stock Cars), Tim Callahan (Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks), Mark Marcucci (Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites).
“We got a win right off the bat there, then we kinda struggled through the year,” said the happy winner, Adam Kekich.”We finally got things figured out,” he added. “As soon as they dropped the green, I ripped around the top of one and two and passed a couple of cars, and I knew we were good and I knew that’s where I wanted to be. We actually started reeling in Sodeman, and I actualy thought that I had a chance to race him for the win, and when he dropped out, my stomach just dropped but I got real excited and I just knew that it was my race to lose and I just couldn’t give up.”
Second place runner Dan Kuriger had a battle all race long with Carl Bowser before seizing the advantage on lap 23. “Adam was really fast around the top down here (pointing to turn four) and my car wasn’t sticking down there on the top, but there was no catching Adam, he was gone.” Bowser concurred. “I was hoping for lapped traffic to maybe get a chance at him, but he made his way right through it, and once I got by them, I couldn’t even see him.”
Carl Bowser jumped out front at the drop of the green, but it was Jack Sodeman, Jr. who rode the cushion between turns one and two to take the lead away on the opening lap of the feature event. Sodeman’s attempt at a second Auto Racers for Kids crown came to an end when his car was pushed back to the pits while the field was stopped due to the flip by Dennis Wagner. Wagner was unhurt, but he walked back to the pits dejectedly.
Sodeman’s misfortune put Kekich on the point for the restart, with Bowser and Dan Kuriger in row two of the Delaware double file system. Bowser tried to get a run off the top of turn four on the restart, but Kekich was not shaken by the maneuver. He entered turn one with an advantage that continued to grow until the race was halted briefly on lap 8 due to a spin by John McCracken, Jr.
Bowser tried the same move on the restart, but once again Kekich powered into the first turn with the lead. Kekich led the remaining laps without interruption. Bowser held second, but Kuriger pressured him over the second half of the contest. Kuriger was able to drive past Bowser coming through turns one and two with 23 laps completed. While they were fighting for second, A.J. Flick and Jimmy Seger were battling for fifth, behind Brandon Matus
At the checkers, it was Kekich by nearly six seconds over Kuriger for his second triumph in the 4 Your Car Connection and World of Wheels Sprint Cars. Bowser led Brandon Matus and Flick across the line. Sixth went to Seger, Andy McKisson was seventh. Michael Bauer, Brandon Spithaler, and Arnie Kent rounded out the top ten.
Heat wins went to Kekich and Bauer. The Dash had the six fastest qualifiers go head to head for the front three rows, and Bowser came out on top. The evening’s fastest qualifier, Eric Williams dropped out of that event due to a malfunction in the rear end, and he was unable to get the start in the feature event. There was no B Main.
In the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified go, Sid Unverzagt, Jr. led Kyle Fink on the opening lap. On the second round, Jimmy Holden, who was running third at the time, spun in the second corner, collecting Tommy Kristyak, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Lonny Riggs, and Shayne Izzo. All but Holden were able to continue, which was surprising because Kristyak did get airborne in the incident.
Fink was able to blast ahead of Unverzagt when the the green flag waived. Fink led until lap sixteen, when he jumped the cushion in turn two. Fink tried to keep the car moving, but the damage was too severe, and he came to a halt in the second corner the next time around.
Kristyak and Riggs were in front on the restart, and they stayed put for the remaining two laps. Unverzagt posted his best finish at the Park, third. Jeff Schaffer, Jr. did likewise, crossing in fourth. Kevin Green was fifth. Brian Schaffer, Kyle Holden, Rich Whitney, Izzo, and Cody Cooper completed the top ten.
Riggs and Jimmy Holden scored in the preliminaries. There was no B Main.
Darin Gallagher romped to his second win of the season at Mercer Raceway Park in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors. Cody Bova raced home in second, with a ringer, Brandon Matus, taking the third spot. Evan Kornbau placed fourth, with Darren Pifer in fifth. Andy Priest, George Hobaugh, Jr., George Englert, Mike Marano, II, and Alex Paden completed the top ten. The heat winners were Priest and Bova. There was no B Main.
Tim Burns led wire to wire to take the Precise Racing Products Stock Car feature. Former champion Rusty Moore returned to the track for second, ahead of Bobby Heim, Bob McCann, and Bob Schwartzmiller. WIlliam Hurrelbrink, Brent Johnson, Terry Wheeler, Charlie Baptiste, and Dennis Clark completed the top ten. Burns and Johnson took the qualifiers. There was no B Main.
Trooper Tim Callahan claimed the victory in the Mini Stocks presented by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. Isaac Paden, Steve Longwell, Sr., and Ed Haylett completed the top five. Sixth went to Karlee Longwell with Davey Cox, Shane Shook, Josh Ehrenberg, and John Shannon rounding out the top ten.. The heat winners were Callahan and Shook. There was no B Main.
Mark Marcucci prevailed in the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites. Kacy Campbell was next, with Doug Jones, Levi Spinnewebber, and Bill Stavason third through fifth. The next five across were Josh Christopher, Keith Smith, Jacob Bova, Shane Webb, and Dusty Frantz. The heats belonged to Smith and Jones. There was no B Main.
Next week, Mercer Raceway Park will crown its champions. Double points will be on the line on Meet your Heroes Night, presented by Herr’s, the official snack food of Mercer Raceway Park.
4 Your Car Connection/World of Wheels 410 Sprint Cars: Adam Kekich, Dan Kuriger, Carl Bowser, Brandon Matus, A.J. Flick, Jimmy Seger, Andy McKisson, Michael Bauer, Brandon Spithaler, Arnie Kent, Gale Ruth, Jr., Brent Matus, Scott Priester, Jimmy Morris, Andy Feil, Alex Paden, Eric L. Williams, John McCracken, Jr., Michael Flynn, Jack Sodeman, jr., Dennis Wagner.
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Tommy Kristyak, Lonny Riggs, Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Kevin Green, Brian Schaffer, Kyle Holden, Rich Whitney, Shayne Izzo, Cody Cooper, Kyle Fink, Jimmy Holden.
Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Darin Gallagher, Cody Bova, Brandon Matus, Evan Kornbau, Darren Pifer, Andy Priest, George Hobaugh, Jr., George Englert, Mike Marano, II, Alex Paden, Devin Litwiler, Joe McEwen, Ken Rossey, Bobby Siegel, Andrew Fescemyer, Bob McMillin.
Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Tim Burns, Rusty Moore, Bobby Heim, Bob McCann, Bob Schwartzmiller, WIlliam Hurrelbrink, Brent Johnson, Terry Wheeler, Charlie Baptiste, Dennis Clark, Curtis J Bish.
Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Tim Callahan, Isaac Paden, Steve Longwell, Sr., Ed Haylett, Karlee Longwell, Davey Cox, Shane Shook, Josh Ehrenberg, John Shannon, James Tasker, Matt Pegher (DNS).
Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites: Mark Marcucci, Kacy Campbell, Doug Jones, Levi Spinnewebber, Bill Stavason, Josh Christopher, Keith Smith, Jacob Bova, Shane Webb, Dusty Frantz, Cole Petrelle (DNS).