Mercer, PA (July 16, 2013): July 20 will delight fans of open wheeled racing at Mercer Raceway Park. The mighty Midgets of the American Race Drivers Club will make their annual visit to the Park. Joining them on the card will be the 410 Sprints, the Outlaw Sprint Warriors, and the 358 Modifieds. The Stock Cars will also be in competition. All of this racing will be presented courtesy of McCrudden Heating Supply and the Coca Cola Bottling Co.
Fans who may not be familiar with Midgets will be pleased to know that they resemble Sprint Cars, but are somewhat smaller and they are powered by potent four cylinder, specially prepared racing engines. The Midgets are light and quick, and they race without wings, so drivers must have good throttle control and quick reflexes in order to tame the little beasts.
Formed in 1940 and operating continuously since 1945, the ARDC Midgets provided opportunities for some of the most famous racers in the world in the early stages of their careers. Mario Andretti and Pancho Carter were winners with the ARDC before they went on to greater achievements in the sport.
The current crop of ARDC stars include three members of the famous Buckwalter racing clan. Steve has three wins to his credit this season, while Bruce Jr. has a pair, and Tim has one. Kyle Lick won the last time out, in North Carolina. Others who have claimed top honors are Shawn Jackson, points leader Trevor Kobylarz, and Alex Bright.
In the chase for the championship, Kobylarz has a 16 point advantage over Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. and a 38 point margin over Ryan Greth. Others currently ranked in the top ten are P.J. Gargiullo, Steve Dravicki, Brett Arndt, Brendan Bright, Tony DiMattia, Nick Wean, and Kyle Lick. Any one of them would be a threat to win!
Wampum’s Joe Butera will be on hand representing Western Pennsylvania. He would like nothing more than to win one in front of a friendly crowd. Local racer Brandon Matus, also of Wampum, has has had some success with Midgets in the Midwest, so it will be interesting to see if any car owner puts him in the seat to take advantage of his superior knowledge of the tricky oval. Another driver familiar to local fans, Jimmy Light, may also pay a visit. Light has been racing Sprints and Midgets in Indiana for most of the 2013 season, but don’t be surprised if he pulls into the pit area this weekend.
In the 410 Sprint Cars, presented by Luxaire Heating & Cooling, New Wilmington Motors, and Ralph Butch, Inc., Jack Sodeman, Jr. will be looking for another victory. But he will face stiff competition from defending champion Eric “Turkey” WIlliams, Scott Priester and many more!
C.J. Jones will try to double up in the Bonnell’s Collision Center Outlaw Sprint Warriors, but Smokin’ Joe McEwen will be back with a vengeance. The veteran driver demolished his car last weekend, but the team burned the midnight oil to get another car ready to go. Michael Bauer, Mike Miller and Jimmy Morris are other top runners in this class.
Competition has been tough in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, but Kyle Fink is riding high. He has a pair of wins now, and he will try for the hat trick on Saturday. Frankie Guidace, Jeff Schaffer, and Matt Reeher are just three of the shoes who will try to prevent that. Look for Lonny Riggs and Jimmy Holden to be back in action after suffering mechanical woes last week.
The Precise Racing Products Stock Cars will round out the docket. Brandon Johnston was awarded the victory when Dillon Kinneston came up light at the scales, and Johnston wants to win one the “right” way this time. Trusty Rusty Moore, Curtis Bish and Andy Thompson will have some say in the matter, though.
There will be no racing for the Mini Stocks (sponsored by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles) or the Modified Lites (offered by Big Daddy’s Speed Center and Rock Concrete) this week.
Gates will open at 4, practice will start at 6:30, and heat racing will begin at 7.
Adult admission will be just $15, seniors (60+) will be admitted for $13, and students for $7. Children will be free, as always. The Family Pass will cost $32, and that will allow two adults and up to four minors of any age to enjoy the show. Pit Passes will be $30.
July 27 will be Meet Your Heroes Night, presented by Herr’s. The program will feature the exciting six Saturday Night Live! divisions. Fans will get to mingle with their favorite drivers, get autographs and photo opportunities. This is always a popular event for young and old alike.
Remember that you can get alerts regarding the cancellation of any racing event at Mercer Raceway Park sent directly to your smartphone or other electronic device. To register, please go to the track’s website, www.mercerracewaypark.com, click on the icon for RainedOut.com, and follow the 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.