Mercer, PA (June 25, 2013): There will be fireworks on the track and in the sky above, as Mercer Raceway Park celebrates Patriot Night this Saturday, June 29. The Saturday Night Live! racing program will include a huge fireworks spectacular, provided by Pizza Joe’s. As an added bonus, all veterans will be admitted free with identification and all scouts will also be admitted free in uniform.
Last weekend, Mercer Raceway Park hosted the Mid-Season Championships. The fans witnessed one of the closest finishes in the history of the speedway, when Eric “Turkey” Williams edged out Jack Sodeman, Jr. by just .003 second to win his first 410 Sprint Car race of the season. Were that not enough excitement for the evening, Kyle Fink banged wheels with race leader Frankie Guidace with a little more than a lap to go as they fought for the victory in the 358 Modifieds. Other winners last time out were Joe McEwen in the Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Rusty Moore in the Stock Cars, Shane Pfeuffer in the Modified Lites, and Alex Paden in the Mini Stocks.
The races last weekend carried double points, and the finishes shook up the points standings in several of the classes.
In the 410 Sprints, Greenville’s Williams gained over 40 points on the rest of the field in his quest for a second crown supplied by Luxaire Heating & Cooling and Jim Butch, Inc. The biggest change in this division was Sodeman passing Scott Priester for the second spot. And, don’t look now, but Rod George climbed into the top ten with a stirring drive from the rear of the field to garner a top five finish at the checkers.
Other talents expected to compete this weekend include Dan Kuriger, who also lodged a top five in the Mid-Season Championship race, Adam Kekich, Chris Best, Bob McMillin, John McCracken, Jr., and Gale Ruth, Jr. The father and son duo of Brent and Brandon Matus will be looking for top finishes to get back in the points chase. Jason Dolick, Mike Lutz, and many more will be on hand as this will be the final tune-up before the invasion of the UNOH All Stars Circuit of Champions on July 6.
In the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, the hometown hero, Frankie Guidace, has a 100 plus point lead, but now it is Kyle Fink who occupies second. Jeff Schaffer, J.R. McGinley, Jimmy Holden and Lonny Riggs are all within striking distance of Fink, though, as only 22 points separate them. Three younger pilots, Makayla Guidace, Max Smoker, and Shawn Fleeger and joined by Mopar Matt Reeher in the top ten.
Joe McEwen, also of Mercer, leapfrogged young Michael Bauer at the top of the list in the Bonnell’s Collision Center Outlaw Sprint Warriors. McEwen had a banner weekend, chalking up two feature wins after replacing the camshaft in his car on race day. Jim Morris, C.J. Jones, Andy Feil, Jacob Lagestee, Thomas Sanders, Jacob Gomola, Mike Miller, and Jeff Goodman, Jr. will all challenge McEwen for the top honors.
Can anybody stop Trusty Rusty Moore in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars? Moore is charging towards his third straight championship, and the New Castle veteran leads Curtis J. Bish by 153 markers. Andy Thompson, Bob Schwartzmiller, Leigh Wheeler, Garrett Calvert, Brandon Johnston, and Charlie McMillen will also try to pull off the upset.
With his win, Rochester’s Shane Pfeuffer now leads the Bova borthers, Cody and Jacob, by more than 110 points. Pfeuffer is gunning for his first title in the Modified Lites, sponsored by Big Daddy’s Speed Center and Rock Concrete. Bill Stivason, Josh Deems, Cory Webb, and former champ Darin Gallagher will be among the challengers.
Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles present the Mini Stocks, and Jamey Lee leads that parade.Tyler Fulton, Rudy Troples, Wally Stearns, Pete Blazak, and Ed Haylett are among those who can pull into victory lane. Patricia Riffe and Alex Paden are two younger drivers who test their mettle each week against the more seasoned racers.
The gates will open at 4 p.m., practice starts at 6:30, and racing will follow at 7.
There will be no increase in ticket pricing for the holiday celebration. That’s right, adults will be admitted for only $13, seniors (60+) for $11, and students (9-15) for $5. Children (8 and under) are free. The economical Family Pass will be $28, which is good for two adults and up to four minors of any age. Pit Passes will cost $25.
The first of two visits by the touring 410 Sprinters of the University of Northwestern Ohio All Stars Circuit of Champions will take place on July 6, so circle that date on your racing calendars. Can Williams and company defend the home turf? Or, will one of the All Stars bank the $5,000 paycheck? Two of them have gotten to Mercer’s victory lane already in 2013, including Cap Henry and Pittsburgh’s Danny Holtgraver. Plus, Dale Blaney and Tim Shaffer, two of the best in the business, have countless laps around the tricky oval. This will be a can’t miss event.
Remember, that alerts regarding any cancellation of a racing program at Mercer Raceway Park can be sent directly to your smartphone or other electronic device. To register, click the RainedOut.com icon on the track’s website, www.mercerracewaypark.com, and follow the quick and easy steps.
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.