Mercer, PA (June 18, 2013): On Saturday, June 22, Mercer Raceway Park will hold the Mid-Season Championships! The racers will vie for double points and bragging rights in each of the track’s exciting divisions that comprise the Saturday Night Live! line-up.
Defending champion Eric Williams holds a slim four point lead over Scott Priester in the 410 Sprint Car division, which is endorsed by Luxaire Heating & Cooling and New Wilmington Motors. If they have top finishes in their respective heat races, they will occupy the front row for the feature event. Other drivers eligible for top starting positions are Jack Sodeman, Jr., Dan Kuriger, Adam Kekich, Brandon Matus, Chris Best, Brent Matus, Bob McMillin, and Bill Jones, Jr.
The hottest driver in the 410 Sprints, Rod George, is likely to start outside the top ten, but that won’t be becasue he has won the last two times that he has gone to the post. George, who scooped up $3,000 in the Auto Racers for Kids Charity event, is mired in thirteenth in the standings because he and car owner Jim Chappel missed a couple of races earlier this season. So, for George to crack the top ten in the starting order, he will need some help.
In the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, the cream could also rise to the top. Frankie Guidace leads Jeff Schaffer by 67 markers, but if Guidace has another off night, as he did last week, Schaffer could surpass him with a strong performance of his own. Jimmy Holden, J.R. McGinley, Lonny Riggs, Andy Paden, Kyle Fink, Makayla Guidace, Max Smoker, and Shawn Fleeger could also secure great starting spots with top heat race finishes.
Like George, last week’s 358 Modified winner, Gary Smoker, will need help to garner a top ten starting position. Because he has maintained a part-time schedule this season, Smoker sits fifteenth in points entering the Mid-Season Championships.
Michael Bauer could hold the pole for the Bonnell’s Collision Center Outlaw Sprint Warriors. He has a 54 point advantage over defending champion Joe McEwen. McEwen will want to rebound from a poor outing in last week’s Auto Racers for Kids Charity event. C.J. Jones, last week’s winner, could roll away in third, so he ought to be within easy striking distance. Jim Morris, Jacob Lagestee, Andy Feil, Thomas Sanders, Jacob Gomola, Greg Dobrosky, and Rob Felix could also earn top ten starting positions with solid heat race performances.
Trusty Rusty Moore is in search of his third straight championship in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, and he would like nothing more than to pad his 83 point margin over Andy Thompson with a double point win. Curtis Bish, Bob Schwartzmiller, Garrett Calvert, Leigh Wheeler, Brandon Johnston, Charlie McMillen, Michael Tonkinson and Bobby Whitling could also gain preferred starting spots through their respective heat races.
Shane Pfeuffer, who made his first start with a wing over his head last week, will be back behind the wheel of his potent Modified Lite. He leads Cody Bova by 86 points in his quest for his first championship in the division co-sponsored by Big Daddy’s Speed Center and Rock Concrete. Bill Stivason, Josh Deems, Jacob Bova, Cory Webb, Darin Gallagher, Paul (or Taylor) Smith, Tyler Frankenberry, and Kotie Kirkbride could also salt away prime positions. Jeff Teeters, last week’s winner in the non-point event, will not start within the top ten, as he is currently ranked twenty-fourth in the points.
Jamey Lee could have the cat bird’s seat for the Mini Stock go if he performs well in his heat race. He maintains a lead of 53 points over Mike McConnell. Tyler Fulton, Rudy Troples, Patricia Riffe, Steve Lonwell, Sr., Josh Eakman, Pete Blazak, Tim Callahan, Shane Smith and Wally Stearns could also lock up the choice spots with good runs in their qualifiers. After taking his first career checkers last week, Alex Paden is looking at a mid-pack start, as he is tied for fifteenth in the standings entering this show.
The gates will open at 4 p.m., practice will start at 6:30, and racing will start at 7. Come out early, so you can grab you favorite seat to enjoy all of the action.
Regular event ticket pricing will prevail. That means an adult admission will be only $13, seniors (60+) $11, and students (9-15) $5. Children (8 and under) are free, as always. The Family Pass will be $28, and that will be good for two adults and up to four minors of any age. The Pit Pass will cost just $25. There is plenty of free parking at Mercer Raceway Park. Plus, the concessions stand offers a wide variety of your favorite sandwiches and snack foods, pizza, and more!
If you cannot make it to the track for the Mid-Season Championships, plan to attend Patriot Night on June 29. In addition to the full racing card, Pizza Joe’s will present fireworks! Veterans and scouts will be admitted free for this early holiday celebration.
And, remember that July 6 will be the return of the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars. The touring stars and cars will be in to make up for the rainout several weeks ago. Local favorites like Dale Blaney and Tim Shaffer will lead the way. But young lions Cap Henry and Danny Holtgraver have already scored wins at the Park this season, so you know that they will challenge the veterans every trip around the tricky oval.
You can get alerts regarding the cancellation of any racing event at Mercer Raceway Park sent to your smartphones or other electronic devices. Just go to the track’s website, www.mercerracewaypark.com, to sign up for the service. Click on the RainedOut.com icon and follow the simple 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.