Mercer, PA (July 5, 2014): Eric “Turkey” Williams registered a dominant performance in the nonstop 410 Sprint Car feature at Mercer Raceway Park presented by Luxaire Heating & Cooling and McCrudden’s Heating & Supply. It was his first triumph of the season and it came just a week before he will tie the knot with Dayna Gainor.
In the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, Kyle Fink grabbed the lead on a lap six restart and he held command the rest of the way. The win moved him back to the top of the points standings by seven points over runnerup Jimmy Holden. Andy Feil took his third win of the season in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors. Trusty Rusty Moore captured his third straight victory, and fourth overall, in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars. Steve Longwell, Jr. returned to the winner’s circle in the Mini Stocks, presented by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. The nightcap for the Rock Concrete Modified Lites was worn by Rod Jones.
“You should win when you start up front like that,” Williams said with a sigh of relief. “I had to run hard the whole way because I had no idea who was behind me or where they were.” But, Williams did admit that be backed things down a bit with about five laps remaining when he saw the temperature gauge creeping up. “It got a little hotter than I’d like, and I was fortunate that I had such a big lead at the time,” he explained.
Dan Kuriger jumped out to an early lead in the Luxaire Heating & Coooling, McCrudden’s Heating & Supply 410 Sprint Car main. Eric Williams rode in second, and he began to apply the pressure beginning in lap seven. As the leaders were getting into lapped traffic, Kuriger ducked low and that left the high side completely open for Williams. The former champion powered off turn two with a lead that he would never surrender.
Williams stayed hard on the throttle despite his advantage over Kuriger and company. By lap 19, Williams had a half track lead. He began to back things off a bit after that, as he saw the temperature gauge starting to rise.
Adam Kekich was running in the top five the whole way, and his car came to life in the second half of the event. By lap 20, he was in second and closing on Williams, but the margin was too substantial for the third generation driver to challenge for the lead. Jack Sodeman, Jr. also made advances in the final laps, taking over third. Andy McKisson crossed in fifth, just ahead of Kuriger, who had to be pleased with his performance after a season full of mechanical woes.
Dennis Wagner was sixth, after running in the top five most of the way in his 360 powered car. Gale Ruth, Jr. was seventh, with Scott Priester eighth. Michael Bauer completed his first 410 Sprint Car race in the ninth position. Last week’s winner, Rod George, came home in tenth.
The heat victories went to Priester and Sodeman. There was no B Main.
In the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, Lonny Riggs stormed out to an early lead, but his car came up lame in turn for with six laps completed. That gave the lead over to J.R. McGinley, but he did not keep it for long. Kyle Fink shot ahead when the green flag waived again, and he opened up a comfortable margin.
Behind the lead duo, there was a tussle for the third position between Jimmy Holden and Eric Gabany. Meanwhile, Tommy Kristyak and Frankine Guidace were duking it out for fifth. Holden did gain control of third and he set off after McGinley. He was able to chase him down late in the contest, and Holden crossed in second.
It was FInk, Holden, McGinley, Gabany, and Kristyak in the top five. Sixth went to Frank Guidace. Shawn Fleeger was seventh. Rookie Brian Schaffer toped Kyle Martell and Matt Reeher.
The preliminaries belonged to Fink and Guidace. There was no B Main.
Andy Feil topped the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, and he had to pass Mike Marano, II twice to do it. Feil’s first pass took place on the backstretch as they raced on lap ten. However, a spin by Ken Rossey negated that. One laps after racing resumed, Feil charged through turns three and four to gain an edge over Marano. Marano tried to come back in the inside groove, but his car bounced hard, resulting in front suspension damage that forced him from the event soon thereafter.
C.J. Jones was chasing down the leader in the second half of the race, but Jones bumped the frontstretch wall with 19 laps in the books. Jones’ car slid across the track and, fortunately, none of the cars coming along behind him made any contact.
Jimmy Morris was no match for Feil in the one lap run to the checkers. Taking third was young Sye Lynch, in his best effort to date. Adam Kekich backed up his second place run in the 410 Sprints with a fourth in the Outlaw Sprint Warriors. Cody Bova climbed from twelfth to fifth in the final tally.
Evan Kornbau was sixth, with Eric L. Williams, George Hobaugh, Jr., Chris Matthews, and Devin Litwiler next across the line.
Mike Miller and Marano won their respective heats. Miller was eliminated from the feature on lap two when his mount flipped on the frontstretch. He was unhurt.
Rusty Moore has been unstoppable of late in the Precise Racing Stock Cars. He chased down early leader Shane Shook and made the winning pass with nine laps completed. Shook crossed in second, ahead of Leigh Wheeler, Gary Miller, Jr., and Pat Fielding.
Rod Laskey made his season’s debut, earning sixth. Ryan Moyer, Mark Hopkins, Neil Tristanti, and Jacob Billyk completed the top ten.
Fielding and Tim Burns were the top qualifiers. Danny Exley was injured while leading his heat race. He was transported to a local hospital. There was no word on his condition by the end of the evening’s racing activities.
In the Mini Stock division offered by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles, Steve Longwell, Jr., a former track champion, returned to victory lane for the first time since opening night. He held off a furious charge from last week’s winner, Caleb Hickok, in the one lap dash for the cash. Tyler Fulton was challenging before the last caution, but he got shuffled back to third. Mike McConnell, the current points leader was fourth, and Russ Grossman placed fifth.
Steve Longwell, Sr. was sixth, with Shane Shook, Billy Ferry, Wally Stearns, Jr., and Patricia Riffe rounding out the top ten.
Tim Callahan and Pete Blazak prevailed in the heats. Blazak was unhurt when his car burst into flames in the third turn while the feature field was under the caution.
Rod Jones raced past the two lead cars coming off the second turn with nine laps completed. That was no small feat, for the leaders at the time were Mark Marcucci and Jeff Teeters. Both of them encountered misfortunes soon afterwards. Marcucci stopped in turn two after his car sustained damage in a shunt with Teeters. Teeters blew up between the third and fourth turns a couple of rounds later.
While Jones led the rest of the way, be had to fend off a stiff challenge from Chris Logan on the last lap. George Englert was third, with Jacob Bova and Cory Webb placing fourth and fifth.
Aaron Meister, Tim Prelog, Mike Flockerzi, Bill Stivason, and Shane Webb were in positions six through ten at the checkers.
The heat winners were Marcucci, and Logan. Chris Frank was uninjured when his Modified Lite rolled over in the second turn on the opening lap of the feature event.
Next week, Mercer Raceway Park will present Smackdown! The annual grudge match between the track’s Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds and the Big Blocks of the BRP Modified Tour will highlight the two-day program. Joining the fun on Saturday in full points competition will be the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, and Rock Concrete Modified Lites. Sunday’s program will consist of the same classes, but there will be no points on the line. Plus, the Stock Cars will operate under the banner of the Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series. There will be no track registration fees charged either night, so expect to see some new cars in each division.
Luxaire Heating & Cooling/McCrudden Heating & Supply 410 Sprint Cars: Eric Williams, Adam Kekich, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Andy McKisson, Dan Kuriger, Dennis Wagner, Gale Ruth, Jr., Scott Priester, Michael Bauer, Rod George, A.J. Flick, Bill Jones, Jr., Mike Lutz, Shawn Minor, Gale Ruth, Sr., John McCracken, Jr.
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Kyle FInk, Jimmy Holden, J.R. McGinley, Eric Gabany, Tommy Kristyak, Frank Guidace, Shawn Fleeger, Brian Schaffer, Kyle Martell, Matt Reeher, Shayne Izzo, Makayla Guidace, Marty Kristyak, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Lonny Riggs, Kevin Green, Chris Haines.
Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Andy Feil, Jimmy Morris, Sye Lynch, Adam Kekich, Cody Bova, Evan Kornbau, Eric L. Williams, George Hobaugh, Jr., Chris Matthews, Devin Litwiler, Chad Matthews, Alex Paden, Kotie Kirkbride, Joe McEwen, C.J. Jones, Ken Rossey, Harold Braden, Jr., Mike Marano, II, Cody Braden, Mike Miller.
Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Rusty Moore, Shane Shook, Leigh Wheeler, Gary Miller, Jr., Pat Fielding, Rod Laskey, Ryan Moyer, Mark Hopkins, Neil Tristanti, Jacob Billyk, Tim Burns, Mark Tonkinson, Brian Stivason (DNS), Danny Exley (DNS), Garrett Calvert (DQ).
Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Steve Longwell, Jr., Caleb Hickok, Tyler Fulton, Mike McConnell, Russ Grossman, Steve Longwell, Sr., Shane Shook, Billy Ferry, Wally Stearns, Jr., Patricia Riffe, Rick Wilbert, Rudy Troples, Josh Shannon, Jordan Ehrenberg, Ed Haylett, Pete Blazak, Chad Fry, Tim Callahan.
Rock Concrete Modified Lites: Rod Jones, Chris Logan, George Englert, Jacob Bova, Cory Webb, Aaron Meister, Tim Prelog, Mike Flockerzi, Bill Stivason, Shane Webb, Jeff Teeters, Jason Johnson, Levi Spinnwebber, Chris Frank, Josh Deems, Shane Pfeuffer (DNS), Mark Marcucci (DQ).