Mercer, PA (August 6, 2014): Mercer Raceway Park will present a pair of special events this weekend. On Saturday night, August 9, the track will honor one of its most popular racers, the late Paul “Putsy” Kekich. That program will be topped with a $4,000 to win contest for the 410 Sprint Cars, and a $1,000 to win race for the Outlaw Sprint Warriors. It is made possible by Sunburst Environmental and Bonnell’s Rod Shop. Older fans will remember that Putsy was equally adept at driving the Modifieds as well as the Sprints, so it makes sense that the Sunday night card will highlight the Modified division. August 10 will be the second round of Smackdown!, the grudge match between the track’s Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds and the Big Blocks of the BRP Modified Tour. Gates will open at 4 p.m. each night, and racing will start at 7 p.m. Come out early to get your favorite seats for these exciting events!
Putsy Kekich raced in what some folks consider to be the “golden days” of Mercer Raceway Park. Every week, he raced against the likes of Ralph Quarterson, Lou Blaney, Buddy Cochran, and Ted Wise, to name a few. Those were some tough customers, and Putsy held his own with them. Sadly, Putsy passed last summer at the age of 77, but he gave his love of the sport to two generations of racers. After getting started with Karts at Putsy’s own Woodland Speedway, sons Mike and Doug raced Sprints at the Park and elsewhere. Now, grandson Adam is a rising star in the 410 Sprint class. He scored an emotional victory on this very weekend last season, and he would like nothing more than to repeat the feat on Saturday evening.
The third generation racer will have to fend off some pretty stiff competition, though, if he will go to victory lane on this memorable night. The Luxaire Heating & Cooling/McCrudden Heating & Supply Sprints boast Eric “Turkey” Williams, Rod George, Brent and Brandon Matus, A.J. Flick, and plenty of other talented racers. All of the drivers will get to qualify during their hot lap sessions, and the six fastest of the bunch will square off for a Dash that will set the top starting spots in the feature line-up. The balance of the field will be made up by best heat race and B Main finishers.
Jimmy Morris will try to build on his points lead in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors. C.J. Jones, Andy Feil, Cody Bova, George Hobaugh, Jr., and many more, will try to keep him from grabbing the extra money.
Joining the two winged classes Saturday will be the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, and the Rock Concrete Modified Lites. Kyle Fink and Jimmy Holden are separated by just seven markers at the top of the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified standings. Trusty Rusty Moore is gunning for his fifth win in a row in the Precise Stock Car ranks, as he is closing in on an unprecedented fourth consecutive point championship. Big George Englert wants to perform yet another roof flap dance, which has become his trademark salute to the fans whenever he crosses the finish line first in the Rock Concrete Modified Lites.
Adults will be admitted to the Putsy Kekich Memorial for $18, seniors (60+) for $16, and students (9-15) for $7. Children (8 and under) will be free as always. The popular Family Pass will be $36, and that will permit two adults and up to four minors of any age to see the spectacle. The Pit Passes will be $35.
Sunday evening, everyone will want to see if Lonny Riggs can score again for the home team. His win several weeks ago in round one of Smackdown! was the first time ever that a 358 Modified successfully defended the home turf at the Park against the invading Big Block stars. Riggs has one other Modified Tour victory to his credit, that coming at another area speedway, so he will be among the favorites. While the Big Blocks are no longer a weekly attraction at the Park, the top stars have plenty of laps at the tricky oval. Rex King, Sr., Rex King, Jr., and Dave Murdick are just three of the series’ leading drivers who have been victorious at the speedway.
The Bonnell’s Rod Shops Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, and Rock Concrete Modified Lites will also be on the Sunday night card. The Stocks will operate under the Open Stock rules, and this will be the debut for the Penn Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series at the track, so Moore will have the top regional drivers looking to knock him off.
Special event ticket pricing will also apply on Sunday evening. Adults will be admitted for $15, seniors (60+) for $13, and students (9-15) for $7. The children (ages 8 and under) will be free once again. The Family Pass, good for two adults and up to four minors of any age, will cost just $32. Pit Passes that night will be $30.
If you cannot make it to the track this weekend, August 16 will be another Saturday Night Live! program, with bicycle races for the children. The bike races are courtesy of Approved Toilet Rentals and Ray’s Racing Collectibles.
Remember that you can get alerts regarding any postponement of racing action at Mercer Raceway Park through Rainedout.com. You can sign up for this free service by clicking on the icon at the track’s website and following 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.