For Immediate Release
Saturday, August 3, 2019
By Jim Balentine Jr
Murdick dominates the big block modifieds at Mercer. Petrelle wins his first ever!!! Gomola, Martin, Callahan and Darby also repeat.
Mercer PA, under beautiful blue skies and comfortable temperatures Michaels Mercer raceway completed another event as the calendar turns to August. Emerging victorious were Dave Murdick nabbing his second win of the season in the big block modified, Cole Petrelle wins his first ever mod lite feature at Mercer, Eric Martin captured his second Fastrak modified win of the season, Jake Gomola picked up his second of the season in the 305 sprints, Tim Callahan inherited the mini stock win and Samuel Darby won the junior sprints.
Eric Martin ran unchallenged from the pole to win his 2nd Turn 4 Toilet FASTRAK Modified feature of the year at Mercer. “We learn a lot by running 2 cars (Crate and big block modified) we don’t have a lot of money but with 2 cars it give me more seat time..this is a brand new car after my throttle stuck in my old car..I thank the Jesus lord for letting me race tonight.” Kyle Fink subbing for Jim Bryce in the #44 was second, Brian Shaffer, Steve Slater, and Brian Sadler completed the top 5. Martin and Brian Schaffer won the heats.
In the Deihl Ram big block Modifieds pole sitter Dave Murdick set the pace early leading from the start. Newcomer Ryan Watt starting in 5th gave Murdick all he could handle. 12th starting Rex King took 3rd over Skip More with 5 laps to go. Watt kept doing all he could to go around Murdick but the veteran of Mercer came across the line first for his 8th career Mercer big block win. “ We changed some stuff on the car and took some chances. I figured he (Ryan Watt) would be hard pressed to get me on the high side. It takes a group effort…2 weeks left in the points is a tough chore to get ahead those two (King and King Jr) but we will do our darnest. Ryan Watt settled for 2nd, Rex King Sr. was 3rd, Phil Vigneri 4th and Rex King Jr up from 14th ended up in 5th. Tom Glenn and Rex King Sr won the heats.
In the Hard’s Welding/River Valley butcher block Racesaver 305 sprints Steve Cousins and Jake Gomola led the 12 car field to the green with Gomola darting out to the lead. 10th starting Kyle Cowell immediately began maneuvering his way to the front of the pack. A caution by Steve Cousins bunched up the pack. By halfway Colwell had caught Gomola. In the latter part of the race Colwell tried to move to the inside but Gomola held his position andtthen one last turn 4 Colwell dove low but Gomola had more speed and captured his first 305 sprint feature at Mercer Since April 13 2019. “ I could hear him (Colwell) coming toward the end and I saw his right front there on the very last lap and I figured I had to get up high and get some bite and get going….I was hoping he (Colwell) got worse than fourth so the points wouldn’t be as close but I guess it will go down to the wire. Colwell ended up in 2nd, Randy Sterling 3rd, Bob Garvey Jr 4th, and Andy Cavanaugh 5th. Heat races were won by Jake Gomola and Bob Garvey Jr.
In the Barris Trucking Mod Lites Jacob Isenhart and Bob Boano led the field to green. Isenhart lead the early part as Vivian Jones was moving up to 4th at lap 4 from her 10th starting spot. Cole Petrelle began challenging Isenhart as Petrelle gained the lead on lap 7. Petrelle was then challenged by Jones the remainder of the way and a last lap yellow bunched up the field but was to no avail as Petrelle picked up his 1st ever Mercer checkered. “My crew was telling me to move up high and I thought I had a good car on the bottom and I didn’t want to see that last caution but I was good on restarts so I wasn’t worried about it. The single file restarts seemed to work tonight for everybody and we had lady luck on our side tonight and we pulled one off!” Vivian Jones settled for 2nd, Jeff Davis ended up in 3rd, Bob Boano 4th and David Innes 5th. Petrelle and Vivian Jones picked up the heat wins.
The Ray’s racing collectibles/Epertherner auto wrecking Mini stocks started 27 out of 29 cars entered. 9 time winner Shane Shook took off from the start and essentially ran away with the race. 16 time winner Tim Callahan, Dwayne Reddinger and Joe Campbell were all battling for 2nd going 3 wide some laps but Campbell retired to the pits with a flat tire. At the end Shook was the apparent victor but was disqualified in post race tech giving the win to Tim Callahan his 17th career win at Mercer. Dwayne Reddinger came home 2nd, Phil King 3rd, Joe Romanko 4th and Johnny Bruce Sr. 5th. Heat races were won by Carl Ealy, Bill Fuchs, and Tim Callahan.
The junior sprints made another appearance at Mercer. Evan Darby was the early leader as Tyler Allison and Sam Darby were close on his heels. Allison took the lead with 2 laps remaining as all 3 were under a blanket as the white flag flew. Sam Darby went low out of turn 4 and picked up the win over Evan Darby, Tyler Allison, Jaren Dye and Randy White. Tyler Allison and Jaren Dye picked up the heats.
Coming up next week the Patriot 360 sprint cars make their return to Mercer after a few years absence for $2000 to win!!! Also on the card will be the big block modifieds the fastrak modifieds, the mod lites and the mini stocks!!!! The 305 sprints will have the night off. Grandstand admission will be $15 just two dollars extra for the special showSeniors $13; Kids under 13 FREE with an adult; Pit Pass $35; Seniors $30 ;Kids 10 and under $30Pit gates open at 4pm Grandstands 5pm Hot Laps 6:30pm Racing at 7pm
Diehl Ram Big block modifieds feature
61 Dave Murdick, 14w Ryan Watt, 65 Rex King Sr, 44 Phil Vigneri, 165 Rex King Jr, 17m Skip Moore, 60 Jimmy Holden , 66f Kyle fink, 58 Lonnie Riggs, 88f Shawn Fleeger, 25 Chris Rudolph , 717 Bill Adams, 96B Bob Warren, 90 Eric Bowser , 83T Tom Glenn, 11R Brad Rapp, 29E Eric Martin, T3 Tommy Marshall III, 55 Scott Kay, 19W Richard Whitney DNS
Hards welding /River valley butcher block Racesaver 305 sprint feature
4J Jake Gomola, 80jr Kyle Colwell , 00S Randy Sterling, 11X Bob Garvey Jr, X7 Andy Cavanaugh, 31C Chase Metheny, 154 Shamus O’Donnell, 41 Matt Gardina, 56 Steve cousins , 347 Nevin O’Donnell, 4W Johnny Walker, 92 Dylan Proctor
Turn 4 toilet FASTRAK limited modified feature
29E Eric Martin, 44 Kyle Fink, 41 Brian Schaffer, 29 Steve Slater, 5 Brian Sadler , 17 Brandon Ritchey, 86 Shane Izzo, 404 Michael Kristyak, 14 Jerry Schaffer, 33G Todd Gabriel, 71 Gage Priester , 38T Tom Urey, 24 Justin Halicki , 9K Chad Gump
Barris trucking & supply Mod Lites
184 Cole Petrell , 20M Vivian Jones, 830 Jeff Davis , 25B Bob Boano, 18 David Innes, 825 Dusty Frantz, 82M Roman Jones , 8H Jacob Isenhart, 14 Jacob Eakin , 5C Aiden Cipriano, 33 Mark Biskup , 09 Charlie Biskup, 01 Nathaniel Bale, 99B Mike Heverly, 51 Tyler Purnell, 32B Robbie Barris, 55M Ed Mudrick, 13 Jordan Simmons DNS, 224 Shayne Meadows DNS
Rays racing collectibles/Eperthner auto wrecking mini stocks
54 Tim Callahan, 211 Dwayne Reddinger, 12 Phil king , 85J Joe Romanko, 311 Johnny Bruce Sr, 36 DJ McRae, 23MP Mike Porterfield, 10 Bill Fuchs, 77H Cameron Hutchins, 02 David coffin, 64 Summer Pitts, 24D Kyle Donnelly, 53Z Larry Blake, 6 Mike Kelly, 421 Josh Stoner, 77D David Hutchins, 44 Jacob Wheeler, 10m Patrick Miller, 17J Willie Aley, 40C Joe Campbell, 72 Mike Mathieson , 101 Kason Smeltzer, 03 Allen Reighert, 0 Carl Ealy, 79 John McCracken, 8ball Ed Haylett, 17s Shane shook DSQ, 7X Justin Bailey DNS, 31 Mike McConnell DNS
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About Michaels Mercer Raceway: Michaels Mercer Raceway is a 3/8-mile dirt track located minutes from both Interstates 79 and 80 just off Route 19 on Fairground Road in Mercer, Pa. Dirt track racing and quality family
entertainment are presented weekly from late March through early October. For more information, check