Mercer, PA (June 19, 2012): This Saturday, June 23, race fans will see racing twice as intense at Mercer Raceway Park, as the Mid-season Championships will be on the line. But, the good news is that the admission price will be at the normal Saturday Night Live! level.
The points leader in each division has earned a little breathing room in the standings, but a break here or a miscue there could upset things and lead to an exciting stretch run for the prestigious titles!
Defending champion Bob Felmlee has a 24 point cushion over Jimmy Light, a recent feature winner in the Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars. Felmlee has been shut out of victory lane so far this year, but his consistent finishes in the Jim Chappell number 8 have kept him at the top of the standings. Scott Priester is lurking in third. Eric Williams, who has turned in some impressive performances of late, and steady Dan Kuriger complete the top five.
Further back in the standings, Cowboy Brian Steinman leads the father and son team of Brent and Brandon Matus. Eastern invader Craig Folmar has cracked the top ten, as he leads Jack Sodeman, Jr. by just a single point.
In the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, Rapid Rob Curtis leads the way, but don’t count out defending champion Jimmy Holden just yet. The Jet is flying once again after suffering through some early season engine problems. He has 21 points to make up to regain control of the standings. Lonny Riggs, another driver beset with mechanical problems in the early going rides in third. Last week’s winner, Kyle Fink, is fourth and the fifth place man, J.R. McGinley, is still searching for that elusive first win at the Park.
A single digit separates Matt Reeher and Dustin Martin, and they have a little advantage over Ron Eperthener. Shayne Izzo and Eric Gabany are tied for ninth.
Popular Frank on the Gas Guidace took a big hit to the points when he missed some racing due
to an unusual engine problem. He’s got that fixed now, and he will be racing hard for the wins. While we will surely see him climb up from nineteenth, it is more likely that he will play the role of a spoiler, instead of a challenger for the crown.
Young Justin Whitesell has zoomed to the top of the rankings in the Ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors. His 14 point margin is the smallest of any current points leader, and Smokin Joe McEwen, back racing full-time after a long layoff, could easily supplant him. Jim Morris, Rob Felix and Chris Matthews are next in line.
Jacob Lagastee leads rookie of the year candidate C.J. Jones, who just joined the upside down club. Jones will have his racer back for this week’s action, though. Harold Braden, Jr. and Bob McMillin lead the division’s newest winner, Mike Miller.
Fans may wonder what happened to perennial favorite Guy Griffin. Well, the patron saint of the Warriors has finally called it quits. His potent car is now being wheeled by sophomore Michael Bauer. With just a race or two under his belt for the season, Bauer has a lot of ground to make up if he intends to make the top ten before year’s end.
Rusty Moore earned the nickname Trusty Rusty for his domination of the Precise Racing Products Stock Car class in 2011. While he has had his share of problems in 2012, he still leads the standings over Curtis J. Bish. Bish has a pair of wins on the year and he will be in the title chase the rest of the way. Darrin Hyde, Matt Wagner and Brandon Johnston complete the top five.
Travis Walsh, Russ Byler, Bobby Hein, Andy Thompson and Bob McCann run in the top ten and they could make a push in the standings with a double-point win on Saturday.
Mark Marcucci has the biggest points lead in the Modified Lite class thanks to a long winning streak. Kotie Kirkbride is 103 points back, and she has to regroup after a major crash sidelined her in heat race action last weekend. Rick Ament, Bill Stivason and Taylor Smith are the next in line in this popular class of racers.
The next five in the Big Daddy’s Speed Center/Rock Concrete rankings are Cody and Jacob Bova, Andrew Bruce, Daniel Demyan and Jason Johnstown.
Jerry Batcher currently leads the way in the Mini Stock division, but he will need the help of an official’s ruling if he will retain his points lead over Steve Longwell, Jr. Batcher was set down for unsportsmanlike conduct and, unless his suspension is modified, he could lose the top spot. Recent high school grad Tyler Fulton is third, ahead of defending champ Pete Blazak and steady Rudy Troples.
Wally Stearns is one up on Steve Longwell, Sr. for the sixth spot. Chase Anthony, Adam Bulfone and Ed Haylett occupy positions eight, nine and ten.
The racing action will start at the usual time, 7:00 p.m. Gates will swing open for fans and competitors alike at 4:00.
You can enjoy all of the excitement of the Mid-season Championships for the low ticket price of $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and $5 for students. Children (eight and under) are always free at Mercer Raceway Park. The economical Family Pass is good for a pair of adults and up to four children of any age. That is just $28 this week. Pit passes will remain at $25.
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 outwww.mercerracewaypark.com, www.twitter.com/mercerraceway, orwww.facebook.com/mercerracewaypark.