Fink, McEwen, Pfeuffer, Paden and Moore also Win
Mercer, PA (June 22, 2013): Defending champion, Eric “Turkey” Williams, picked the perfect time to score his first win of the season at Mercer Raceway Park. With double points on the line for the Mid-Season Championships courtesy of Sunburst Environmental Services, Inc., Williams got the maximum, taking his heat as well. That padded his slim four point margin over Scott Priester in the chase for the crown, supplied by Luxaire Heating & Cooling and Ralph Butch, Inc. for the 410 Sprint Cars.
Kyle Fink squeezed by points leader Frankie Guidace coming down for the white flag and held him off the rest of the way to capture the win in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. Fink was greeted in victory lane by his girlfriend, Makayla Guidace, who was sidelined while running inside the top ten.
Defending title holder, Smokin’ Joe McEwen raced to victory in the Bonnell’s Collision Center Outlaw Sprint Warriors. It was a busy day for McEwen, who put the engine into the car before making the trip to the track. His engine builder installed the camshaft at 11 a.m. on race day. Shane Pfeuffer, the points leader in the Modified Lites presented by Big Daddy’s Speed Center and Rock Concrete, led the entire distance. Alex Paden raced to the lead twice and held on for the win in the Mini Stocks endorsed by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. Rusty Moore took the nightcap for the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars.
“You’d better win when you start on the pole,” a happy Williams said after the non-stop 410 Sprint Car affair. While he did just that, the margin was a scant .003 second! Williams got a little cautious dealing with lappers, which allowed Priester to close in. Although Priester did make a run on
Williams, the man who would ultimately challenge for the victory was Jack Sodeman. Jr. Sodeman powered past Priester on lap thirteen and closed rapidly on Williams. However, he saved his best for the final laps, pulling alongside Williams.
Williams jumped out to a considerable lead, with Priester running ahead of Sodeman, Adam Kekich and Dan Kuriger, who was back in action after missing a week to rebuild his heavily damaged racer.
While they ran out front, Rod George was on the march. Starting last in the field due to missing his heat, George worked his way up to sixth and was knocking on the door for a top five finish. Who knows, had there been a caution to bunch the field, we may have seen a three car battle to the checkers.
As it was, Williams prevailed in thrilling fashion. Sodeman came up just a tiny bit short at the end. Priester claimed third, ahead of Kekich and Kuriger. George settled for sixth after a strong run from the back. Gale Ruth, Jr., Chris Best, Jason Dolick and Adam Anderson completed the top ten.
The winners of the dual heat races were Williams and Dolick.
Frankie Guidace powered out to the early lead with his Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified. While Guidace paced the field, Jeff Schaffer ran second, with Lonny Riggs, J.R. McGinley and Jimmy Holden close behind. Kyle Fink came to life after a lap three restart, and he began to pick off cars.
Fink reached second, and that appeared as though he had moved as far up in the running order as he could. However, Guidace started to get a little loose, and Fink tried to work the inside line to get by. Guidace moved down and kept the youngster at bay for several laps.
But, with a little more than a lap to go, Guidace got loose again coming through turns three and four. Fink was there to make the winning move and there was some contact as they came off the corner. Both drivers kept control, though, and Fink entered turn one with the lead. Guidace made a strong bid to come back on the final lap, but he slid across the bottom coming out of turn four, assuring that the win would go to Fink.
Fink, Guidace and McGinley were the top three runners this night. Holden bested Schaffer and Riggs. Next, came Matt Reeher, Shawn Fleeger, Eric Beggs, and Clyde Gumpp.
Riggs and Frankie Guidace scored in their respective heats.
In the Bonnell’s Collision Center Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Joe McEwen surged ahead of points leader Michael Bauer at the drop of the green. Despite the rough start to his day, the veteran had things well under control the rest of the way. Behind him, though, Jason Scoville wrestled second away from Jimmy Morris. Mike Miller came up to fourth, with Bauer fading to fifth by the end of the program.
C.J. Jones topped Chris Mattews for sixth. Jacob Gomola, Andy Feil and Jeffrey Goodman occupied positions eight through ten.
The top runners in heat races were Morris and Chris Matthews.
In the Big Daddy’s Speed Center/Rock Concrete Modified Lites, Shane Pfeuffer held serve, taking the win over the Bova Brothers, Cody and Jacob. Pfeuffer started on the pole, as the divisional points leader. His run to the checkers was his third in a row. He had a comfortable lead until encountering a lapped car with just a few laps remaining. That enabled Cody Bova to close in.
Cody’s big break came with just one lap remaining. A flip by John Harvery on the backstretch allowed him to start beside the leader. Harvey was not hurt in the incident. However, Pfeuffer got the advantage at the drop of the green and he raced to victory.
Cody held off his younger brother for second. Behind Jacob came Glenn Teeter and Andrew Bruce.
Mike Flockerzi, Josh Deems, Jason Johnston, Cory Webb, and Matt Cain completed the top ten.
The twin heats were taken by Teeter and Pfeuffer.
Points leader Jamey Lee took the lead in the early going of the Modified Lite feature, offered by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. It was his second win in a row, but this one came with a brand new machine.
Chasing Lee in the first few laps was Tyler Fulton. Lee and Fulton got set back a notch in the running order when Paden jumped from fourth to first following a restart on lap three. Paden’s margin was wiped out when Lee and Fulton tangled in turn two while fighting for second. Lee managed to keep moving, so he kept his position. Fulton was not so fortunate.
On the restart, Paden’s mount did not get away leanly. He lost two positions, putting Lee out front again. Caleb Hickok also got by the young driver.
Another restart on lap six produced a lead change. This time, it was Hickok taking the point. Within two laps, Lee was challenging for the lead. However, Paden raced his way back up to the leaders, after losing distance again on the restart.
Paden took second on lap eight and he led the next circuit. He would also lead the reaminder of the race. Hickok crossed in second, with Wally Stearns closing fast in third. Lee held on for fourth, with Steve Longwell, Sr. earning the fifth spot.
Defending champion Steve Longwell, Jr. led the next group to the stripe. Among them were Leo Hanlon, Matt Cwynar, Evan Kornbaugh and Rudy Troples.
The heat victories were scored by Pete Blazak, an early retiree, and Lee.
Trusty Rusty Moore drove away from the pack of Stocks running under the Precise Racing Products banner. For Moore, it was win number six on the season. With a banner field of Stocks on hand, the feature was lengthened to 20 laps. The extra distance did not phase Moore in the least.
Moore’s victory came over Leigh Wheeler, Curtis J. Bish, Charlie McMillen, and David Baker. The race was interrupted several times for minor skirmishes, one of which put a scare into Moore. As he was charging through turns three and four, Travis Walsh looped his mount. Moore was able to get slowed down and he ducked inside of the Walsh machine.
Finishing in positions six through ten were Brandon Johnston, Ryan Moyer, Scott Bowman, Bill Slade, and Jim Keith. Dillon Kinneston, who crossed in seventh, wsa placed to the rear for being too light at the scales.
After leaving the speedway, Travis Walsh was involved in a collision in the pits, striking the trailer that hauls Lonny Riggs’ 358 Modified to the track.
Andy Thompson and Moore took the checkers in the preliminaries.
Mercer Raceway Park will get a jump on the July 4 holiday celebration, hosting Patriot Night. In addition to the Saturday Night Live! racing, there will be a spectacular fireworks display, courtesy of Pizza Joe’s. And, as an added bonus, all veterans and scouts will be admitted for free! Then, on July 6, the UNOH All Stars Circuit of Champions will roar into town. This is a make-up date for the spring race that was postponed due to rain. There will be no 358 Modifieds or Modified Lites on July 6 due to the 410 Sprint Special.
Luxaire Heating & Cooling/Ralph Butch, Inc. 410 Sprint Cars: Eric Williams, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Scott Priester, Adam Kekich, Dan Kuriger, Rod George, Gale Ruth, Jr., Chris Best, Jason Dolick, Adam Anderson, Bob McMillin, Tom Huppunen, Gale Ruth, Sr., John McCracken, Mike Flynn.
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Kyle Fink, Frankie Guidace, J.R. McGinley, Jimmy Holden, Jeff Schaffer, Lonny Riggs, Matt Reeher, Shawn Fleeger, Eric Beggs, Clyde Gumpp, Max Smoker, Richard Whitney, Rick Kress, Makayla Guidace.
Bonnell’s Collision Center Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Joe McEwen, Jason Scoville, Jimmy Morris. Mike Miller, Michael Bauer, C.J. Jones, Chris Mattews, Jacob Gomola, Andy Feil, Jeffrey Goodman, Thomas Sanders, Chad Matthews, Mike Marano, II, Jacob Lagestee, Eric L. WIlliams.
Big Daddy’s Speed Center/Rock Concrete Modified Lites: Shane Pfeuffer, Cody Bova, Jacob Bova, Glenn Teeter, Andrew Bruce, Mike Flockerzi, Josh Deems, Jason Johnston, Cory Webb, Matt Cain, Bill Staivason, John Henry, Jordie McClane.
Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Alex Paden, Caleb Hickok, Wally Stearns, Steve Longwell, Sr., Steve Longwell, Jr., Leo Hanlon, Matt Cwynar, Evan Kornbaugh, Rudy Troples, Ed Haylett, E.J. Rarer, Patricia Riffe, Josh Eakman, Jee Bucklew, Tyler Fulton, David Seibert, Pete Blazak, Chad Fry (DNS).
Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Rusty Moore, Leigh Wheeler, Curtis J. Bish, Charlie McMillen, David Baker, Brandon Johnston, Ryan Moyer, Scott Bowman, Bill Slade, Jim Keith, Bob Schwartzmiller, Garrett Calvert, Travis Walsh, Andy Thompson, Pat Fielding, Michael Tonkinson, Dillon Kinneston (DQ).