By Jim Balentine Mercer, Pa.
Greg Dobrosky captures “Mav classic” as leader Gomola hits lapped car out of turn 4 for the win; King Sr wins 19th big block modified main; Brian Schaffer takes FASTRAK mods; Will Aley wins 2nd mini stock main.
On a beautiful late summer Saturday night at Michaels Mercer Raceway Park the track, the fans, the drivers and the crews all paid tribute to the late Brandon Hawkins, a 305 sprint car racer who tragically lost his life at the young age of 26 years old, with the first annual “Mav classic” named for Brandon’s young son Maverick. The event was a 27 lap affair that paid $2727 to the winner and had an $11,500 purse with $27 per lap plus other contingencies. It was the highest paying 305 sprint car race in the history of the western pa area.
30 305 sprints turned out to honor the Hawkins family as drivers came as far as New York, southern Ohio, and Central Pa to compete at the 3/8 mile bent egg oval. Jake Gomola, last years track champion was the driver to beat all night as he won his heat race ,won the $400 dash and started on the pole of the 27 lap feature. Gomola bolted immediately out into the lead and was the man to beat as he open up a five second lead at one point on second place and as he was coming down for the checkered flag out of turn number 4 he encountered a lapped car and got tangled up with the car resulting in him not being able to restart the event for the final lap. Greg Dobrosky, who has won six times at the Mercer speed plant inherited the lead for the final lap and went on to win the event over 10 time winner Jim Morris; Jeremy Kornbau, and John Paytner.
Kyle Colwell who was racing the Brandon Hawkins car started last in the Mav challenge where with Colwell starting last in 27th position every car that he would pass for position would donate $50 back to the Hawkins family. Colwell ended up finishing 5th so by passing 22 cars from the 27th starting position $1,100 would go back to the Hawkins family and Colwell would also receive the $100 hard charger award. Cameron Hague earned the hard luck award as he qualified for the A main through the Consi but blew his motor as the checkered fell. John Paynter earned the farthest tow award for coming from Bloomington, Indiana. Over $4,000 was raised at Mercer for Brandon’s son Maverick.
In the big block modifieds Rex king Sr the 1995 and 2019 Track Champion took off from the pole position to never be challenged in the 25 lap event As he held off his son Rex King Jr who won last week, Dave Murdick would be third, JR McGinley fourth and Kyle Fink 5th.
Brian Schaffer, last year’s FASTRAK modified track Champion took command of the feature event from the pole position and held off Chas Wolbert who is one of the top winning limited modified drivers in the area, 9 time winner Garrett Krummert would finish 3rd, Brandon Ritchey 4th and David Kalb 5th.
In the mini stock finale longtime veteran Will Aley won his 2nd career feature in the class holding of a challenging DJ McCrae and last weeks winner Phil King. McCrae would later be found to have an illegal tire which would send him to the last position. King would move up to 2nd, Leonard Baker Jr 3rd, Carl Ealy 4th and Randy Ealy 5th. Kyle Donnelly violently flipped his 24D mid race but was uninjured.
305 Sprints Mav Classic
1. 88-Greg Dobrosky; 2. 16-Jim Morris; 3. 27K-Jeremy Kornbau; 4. 23-John Paytner; 5. 27H-Kyle Colwell; 6. 29-logan mccandless; 7. 67-Ken Duke Jr; 8. X-Dan Bennett; 9. 78D-Dale Schweikert; 10. 5-John Walp; 11. X7-Andy Cavanagh; 12. 80JR-Dave Hawkins; 13. 26-Ryan Lynn; 14. 4J-Jacob Gamola; 15. 7-Andrew Jacbus; 16. 78-Justin Clark; 17. 00S-Randy Sterling; 18. 19-Tyler Cochran; 19. 56-Steve Cousins; 20. 2-Derek Hauck; 21. 52-Jeffery Weaver; 22. 5B-Rob Bartchey; 23. 78C-Dakota Schweihart; 24. 47-Brett Brunkenhofer; 25. 4T-Dylan Troyer; 26. 12G-Tommy Jasen; 27. 21-Rob Felix
Heat winners; 67-Ken Duke Jr; 4J-Jacob Gamola; 2-Derek Hauck; 78D-Dale Schweikert
Big Block Modifieds feature
1. 65-Rex King Sr; 2. 165-Rex King Jr; 3. 61-Dave Murdick; 4. 18-JR McGinley; 5. 6F-Kyle Fink; 6. 18W-Colton Walters; 7. 35-Steve Slater; 8. 3K-shawn kozar; 9. 5-Max Smoker; 10. 717-Billy Adams; 11. 72M-Jacob McElravy; 12. 74-Kevin Green
Heat winners: 65-Rex King Sr; 35-Steve Slater
Mini Stock feature
1. 9-William Aley; 2. 12-Phil King; 3. 0B-Leonard Baker Jr; 4. 0-Carl Ealy; 5. 0R-Randy Ealy; 6. 77-Pete Blaczak; 7. 17J-Mike Salsgiver; 8. 1-James Tasker; 9. 20A-Jesse Armstong; 10. 8BALL-Ed Haylett; 11. 999-Adam Aley; 12. 17S-Shane Shook; 13. 31-Greg Marks; 14. 64-Summer Pitts; 15. 24D-Kyle Donnelly; 16. 7X-Justin Bailey; 17. 77H-Cameron Hutchins; 18. 6-Mike Kelley; 19. 56M-Scott McElravy; 20. 5-Andy Thompson; 21. 27-Patrick Lane; 22. 54H-Dave Harding; 23. 53Z-Larry Blake; 24. (DQ) 36PACK-DJ MacRae
Heat winners: 0-Carl Ealy; 7X-Justin Bailey; 24D-Kyle Donnelly
FASTRAK Modified feature:
1. 41-Brian Schaffer; 2. C3-Chas Wolbert; 3. 10S-Garrett Krummert; 4. 17-Brandon Ritchey; 5. 11J-David Kalb; 6. 14-Jerry Schaffer; 7. 86-Shayne Izzo; 8. 44-Jim Bryce; 9. 5C-Ayden Cipriano; 10. JD57-Jordan Ehrenberg; 11. 113-Don Cornelius; 12. 7P-Caden Petry; 13. 33G-Dalton Gabriel; 14. 4S-Eric Gabany; 15. 404-MIchael Kristyak; 16. 28J-Jacob Jordan; 17. 25L-Jordan Little; 18. 24-Preston Cope; 19. 71-Gage Priester
41-Brian Schaffer; 17-Brandon Ritchey