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King and Schneider Nab Touring Series Wins at Mercer
by Lou Long
Feil and Englert also Prevail
Mercer, PA (August 10, 2014): When Rex King, Sr. took part in round one of the Smackdown! at Mercer Raceway Park back on July 12, his night did not go as he had hoped, as his was the first car to exit the race due to a lap one, turn one incident. Sunday night, he gained redemption for that, winning the twice-delayed Smackdown! night 2 event in the BRP Modified Tour feature.
Chris Schneider continued to enjoy his visits to Mercer Raceway Park, scoring the win in the inaugural visit of the Penn Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series. Andy Feil took the checkers in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, while George Englert closed out the night with yet another roof-flapping win in the Rock Concrete Mod Lites.
Rex King, Sr. was grateful for the win, and acknowledged that the car was “just hooked up tonight. I could go high or low, it didn’t matter.” And King did use every line on the track to out-duel Dave Murdick for the win, as the two cagey veterans waged battle for the entire race, first for positions as they moved towards the front, and then for the lead over the closing laps of the race.
The full field of cars was led to the green flag by Rex “Cooter” King, Jr. and Kevin Hoffman, with the younger King grabbing the initial lead after two quick cautions on the opening lap. After those cautions were out of the way, the race wouldn’t slow again until lap 33, and for the first 20 laps it looked like King Jr. was going to leave the entire field in his dust. But as the laps clicked off and lap traffic became three-wide and even four-wide at times, King Sr. and Murdick began to reel in “Cooter.” As it turned out, not only was King Jr. having to deal with the traffic but he was also dealing with an ill race car, as his machine developed a fuel line problem.
By lap 20 King Sr. and Dave Murdick began swapping second and third place between them, all the while continuing to narrow the gap to the front-running King Jr. Finally, on lap 30, King Sr. slipped past his son to grab the lead, and Murdick quickly advanced to the second spot, while Jeremiah Shingledecker entered the fray, taking third.
The final caution flew on lap 33, setting up a two-lap shootout for the win. Murdick took a quick lead on the ensuing restart, but by the time they had circled back for the white flag, King had regained the advantage and held off Murdick for the win. Shingledecker was third, while Kevin Hoffman secured fourth place. Eric Gabany, who won Saturday night’s feature for the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, was the standard bearer for the Mercer small blocks this night, finishing with a strong fifth place run.
Lonny Riggs, winner of Smackdown! night 1, finished sixth, while, Rex King, Jr. managed to hold on for seventh place. Dr. Brad Rapp slotted into eighth after going pit-side on lap one and restarting from the tail of the field. Tommy Kristyak, who started 22nd, finished in ninth place, while Shawn Fleeger scored an impressive tenth place finish, giving the Mercer small blocks four of the top 10 finishers.
There were 29 Modifieds on hand for this second night of Smackdown! The heat winners were Rick Richner, Dave Murdick, and Dr. Brad Rapp. Tommy Kristyak prevailed in the B Main.
Mark Rossey and Andy Feil led the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors to the start with Rossey grabbing the early lead. He led the first two laps before Feil took command. As Feil began pulling away from the field, Jim Morris quickly advanced to the second position and set off after Feil, slowly reeling him in. Lapped traffic became a factor, and Morris was close enough to make things really interesting just as the caution flag flew for the second and final time on lap 17.
With the track now open in front of him, Feil easily led the rest of the way, picking up his fourth victory of the season. Morris finished second, followed by Saturday’s winner, Cody Bova. C.J. Jones was fourth and Mike Miller completed the top five.
George Hobaugh, Jr. was sixth, while seventh fell to Jacob Gomola. Eighth went to Joe McEwen, ninth to Mike Marano II, and Devin Litwiler finished the top ten.
Heat races went to Morris and Bova.
Chris Schneider was the last car to arrive at the Park, pulling in after the registration had closed for the night, but that didn’t slow him down. Despite having the start at the tail of his heat race, he is now a perfect two for two this year in the Open Stock Cars, scoring the win in the first ever visit by the fledgling Penn Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series. The new series has renewed interest in the Stock Car division and is attracting the best of the class from eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, drawing 24 cars tonight.
Saturday night’s winner, Gary Miller, and William Hurrelbrink led the field to the green flag, with Miller taking the early lead. Schneider started in the eighth slot and quickly began working his way forward, advancing to fourth place by the first caution on lap six. On the ensuing restart he advanced to second, and with the next circuit he moved into the lead.
Yellow fever struck on lap 11, as several attempts to restart were nullified by multi-car incidents. Once the track was cleared and the cars were under way, Schneider began pulling away from the pack and setting a blistering pace. Along the way, he established a new track record for the stock cars, turning in a 17.768 lap.
Curt Bish was second, followed by Rod Laskey, Hurrelbrink, and Rusty Martz. Bobby Heim, Randy Wyant, Leigh Wheeler, Brett McDonald, and Chris Withers rounded out the top 10.
The three heat races were won by Rusty Moore, Shaun Fawcett, and Shaun Hooks. There
was no B-main.
In the Rock Concrete Modified Lites, it was George Englert bouncing the roof flap for the fourth time as he led the way to the checkered flag. Englert gained the top spot after leaders Rod Jones and Chris Logan tangled in turn four early in the race. He would lead the rest of the way, holding off a challenge from Mark Marcucci. Jones finished third, while Chris Logan snared fourth. Kevin Smith, Josh Deems, Jacob Bova, and Aaron Meister rounded out the sparse field.
The single heat race went to Englert.
BRP Modified Tour/Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified Smackdown!: Rex King, Sr., Dave Murdick, Jeremiah Shingledecker, Kevin Hoffman, Eric Gabany, Lonny Riggs, Rex King, Jr., Brad Rapp, Tommy Kristyak, Shawn Fleeger, Randy Chrysler, Steve Barr, Tom Glenn, Rick Regalski, Tommy Mattocks, Eric Martin, Mark Frankhouser, Brett Clarke, Shayne Pierce, Rick Richner, Kyle Fink, Justin Wright, Jimmy Holden, Carl Murdick, Bob Warren, Chris Haines, Kevin Green (DNQ), Matt Reeher (DNQ).
Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Andy Feil, Jim Morris, Cody Bova, C.J. Jones, Mike Miller, George Hobaugh, Jr., Jacob Gomola, Joe McEwen, Mike Marano, II, Devin Litwiler, Evan Kornbau, Greg Dobrosky, Bob McMillin, Alex Paden, Mike Bauer, Clay Riney, Mark Rossey, Chad Matthews, Adam Kekich, Ken Rossey (DNS).
Penn Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series: Chris Schneider, Curt Bish, Rod Laskey, William Hurrelbrink, Rusty Martz, Bobby Heim, Randy Wyant, Leigh Wheeler, Brett McDonald, Chris Withers, Colton Gearhart, Bob Schwartzmiller, Rusty Moore, Jeff Broniszewski, Rob Bates, Jesse Brock, Shane Applebee, Gary Miller, Bob McCann, Shawn Fawcett, Ray Hickok, Tim Burns, Shaun Hooks, Travis Norman (DNS).
Rock Concrete Modified Lites: George Englert, Mark Marcucci, Rod Jones, Chris Logan, Kevin Smith, Josh Deems, Jacob Bova, Aaron Meister.