Point Chase Starts Saturday at Mercer Raceway Park
by Lou Long
Mercer, PA (April 9, 2013): After a successful Chiller Thriller, Mercer Raceway Park will host its first Saturday Night Live! event of the 2013 racing season on April 13. And, to add to the excitement, the points chase will begin immediately for all six of the classes. All but one of the reigning champions are expected to be on hand to begin their title defenses.
Eric Williams, of Greenville, will look to build upon a remarkable 2012 racing season. In addition to snaring his first championship at Mercer Raceway Park, "Turkey" was a top five finisher at Lernerville Speedway last year. He will go to the post in his familiar number 7 Sprint Car. He will get plenty of competition from Scott Priester, pilot of the Martha Dionise number 15. Although he did not pick up a feature win, Priester was one of the most consistent runners at the speedway. The father and son duo of Brent and Brandon Matus, and many more, will be on hand. The 410 Sprint Car division will be presented by Luxaire Heating & Cooling and New Wilmington Motors in 2013.
The Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified class will be up for grabs in 2013, as Greenville's Rob Curtis is likely to miss the opening event. His car owner, Larry Riffe, reported last week that the team has yet to secure some needed financial support for the campaign. There will be no shortage of talent, though. Former champions Jimmy Holden and Frankie Guidace are ready. Mix in veterans like Lonnie Riggs, Matt Reeher, Ron Eperthener, and Kyle Fink, and young drivers like Max Smoker and Makayla Guidace, and you have the makings of a pretty stout field.
Joe McEwen, of Mercer, will lead the way in the Outlaw Sprint Warriors. That class is under the Bonnell's Collision Center banner for 2013. Interest is running high for this division, as thee were more Sprint Warriors than any other class represented at the annual car show. Rookie of the year C.J. Jones, Cavalcade award winner Jimmy Morris, Harold Braden, Jr., and Jacob Lagastee were just some of the other drivers who had their cars on display, so you know that they will be ready for action.
Trusty Rusty Moore was flying at the Chiller Thriller in his Stock Car before he pitted due to a mechanical problem. The New Castle driver got it fixed and returned to finish sixth. He'll be looking to get a jump on a three-peat in the Precise Racing Products sponsored class. It won't be easy, though, as Joe Kelley and a host of others will try to unseat him. The question of the day will be whether Hot Rod Laskey can get his mount repaired after his hard front stretch crash last week.
Can Mark Marcucci match his stellar performance in the Modified Lites? The racer from West Middlesex dominated the division in 2012, but 2011 champ Darrin Gallagher will be ready to take him on. A number of Mercer Mod Lite drivers saw action in Florida in February, so a banner field is expected. Once again, the class benefactors are Big Daddy's Speed Center and Rock Concrete.
Evans City's Steve Longwell, Jr. will go for family bragging rights, as well as an early points lead this Saturday. His father, Steve Sr., and his brother-in-law, Joel Wisser, would like to set him back a notch or two, though. Ed Haylett reported last week that he'll have his "green machine" ready to go, too. The Mini Stocks will race for Eperthener's Auto Wrecking and Ray's Racing Collectibles this season.
Gates will open at 4, hot laps will start at 6:30, and racing will begin at 7.
General admission for adults will be $13. Seniors (60 and over) will be $11, and students (ages 9-18) will be $5. Children (8 and under) are always free. The economical Family Pass will be $28 and that will be good for up to two adults and four minors. Pit passes will be $25.
Remember that alerts regarding any cancellation of the racing activity can be sent to your smart phone or other electronic devices. Just go to the track website and click on the icon for RainedOut.com and follow the easy steps to sign up.
About Mercer Raceway Park: Mercer Raceway Park is a 3/8-mile dirt track located minutes from both Interstate 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 late September. For more information, check out www.mercerracewaypark.com, www.twitter.com/mercerraceway, or www.facebook.com/mercerracewaypark.