Mercer, PA (April 6, 2013): Robbie Blair held on for the win in the Chiller Thriller for the NDRL’s ULMS Late Models in the season’s opening event at Mercer Raceway Park. Veteran David Scott dominated the FASTRAK Northeast Series race, while invader Kevin Morehouse did likewise in the NDRL UEMS Modifieds. Chris Schneider survived the Open Stock feature to earn a cool grand.
“With a couple of laps to go there, I got into extra lapped cars and I didn’t know whether to try to pass them or just follow them around,” Blair said. He watched for an opening, but when he got it, it was big enough to allow the second place runner, Mike Knight, and third place man, Dave Hess, Jr., to follow. That set up an amazing three lap run to the checkers. Knight tried the inside coming off turn two on the final lap, and Hess worked the outside, but Blair had just enough steam to hold them both off.
Robbie Blair and John Garvin paced the the 30 lap feature event. At the drop of the green, Blair surged ahead, with Garvin holding off Mike Knight, Keith Barbara and Dave Hess, Jr.
Action was slowed just four laps into the race, when Jared Miley, Boom Briggs and John Mollick came together in turn four.
Mike Knight took second on the restart and chased Blair for six laps until the next caution, on lap 10, for John Garvin on the backstretch. Garvin then took matters into his own hands, colliding with Keith Barbara as the field circulated under the caution. Barbara was able to continue, but Garvin was done for the night.
Blair led the rest of the way, but Knight and Hess made the final laps memorable for the fans. “I heard him under me back there,” the happy winner said.
Keith Barbara was able to finish the race in fourth despite minor damage from his skirmish with Garvin. Ron Davies was fifth.
Chad Valone, Sam Stile, Matt Lux, Brent Rhebergen and Russell King completed the top ten.
Heat winners for the Late Models were Blair, Barbara and Knight. Blair set a new Late Model track record in his heat. His 16.288 broke a three-year old mark set by Garrett Krummert. There was no B Main.
David Scott led the entire 40 lap distance for the FASTRAK Late Models. Colton Flinner and Wayne Robertson dueled for second for most of the distance. However, Dan Angellicchio worked past them both in the late stages of the race. Flinner held on for third.
Max Blair could not match his father’s performance, taking fourth. Mike Pegher, Jr. crossed in fifth.
Positions six through ten belonged to Will Thomas, Ryan Montgomery, Bill Henry, Damian Bidwell, and Wayne Robertson.
Heat winners were Chad Wright, Josh Double, and Montgomery. There was no B Main.
The NDRL’s UEMS Modified division was upset by Kevin Morehouse, who jumped out front at the drop of the green and never looked back. Rich Michael passed Joel Watson late in the race to grab second. Brent Rhebergen and Ron Davies, both doing double duty, were fourth and fifth.
Randy Hall, Carl McKinney, Dave Hess, Jr., Vic Vena and Nathan Hill completed the top ten.
Heat winners were Morehouse, Watson and Michael. There was no B Main.
Chris Schneider was the quickest of the four cars still on the track at the end of the race. Chris Withers finished second, while Dave Ferringer made it a contest in the final laps of the marathon session. Fourth was chalked up for Bobby Whitling and fifth to Andy Burns.
Rusty Moore returned to the track, but was two laps down. He earned sixth, Joe Kelley, Colton Gearhart, Rusty Wheeler and Garrett Calvert were next.
Rod Laskey violently flipped his Stocker in the feature, but he was unhurt.
Heat victories were scored by Gearhart and Whitling.
Next weekend, Mercer Raceway Park will have the six exciting divisions that make up the Saturday Night Live! program. points will begin.
NDRL’S ULMS Late Models: Robbie Blair, Mike Knight, Dave Hess, Jr., Keith Barbara, Ron Davies, Chad Valone, Sam Stile, Matt Lux, Brett Rhebergen, Russell King, Matt Urban, Andrew Gordon, Doug Eck, Jim Rasey, Rod Phillips, Garrett Krumert, Greg Oakes, John Mollick, Tom Bateman, Boom Briggs, Jared Miley, John Garvin (DQ). DNS: Clate Copeman, Ken Schaltenbrand.
FASTRAK Northeast Late Models: David Scott, Dan Angellicchio, Colton Flinner, Max Blair, Mike Pegher, Jr., Will Thomas, Ryan Montgomery, Bill Henry, Damian Bidwell, Wayne Robertson, Josh Double, Bryce Davis, Justin Tarow, Joel Prosser, Mike Anderson, Troy Shields, Garrett Mott, Jim Cochran, Dustin Waters, Chad Wright, Bradley Blackshear, Scott Smith, Kyle Zimmerman. DNS: Bob Pifer, Bobby Rohrer.
NDRL’S UEMS Modifieds: Kevin Morehouse, Rich Michael, Joel Watson, Brent Rhebergen, Ron Davies, Randy Hall, Carl McKinney, Dave Hess, Jr., Vic Vena, Nathan Hill, Jack Young, Dave Hess, Jr., Ken Zimmer, Michael McGee, Larry Kugel, Mike Potosky, Andy Buckley, Jonathan Taylor, Rusty Wheeler, Jackson Humanic, Kevin Miller, Bruce Powell, Steve Dixon, Bud Watson (DNS).
Open Stocks: Chris Schneider, Chris Withers, Dave Ferringer, Bobby Whitling, Andy Burns, Rusty Moore, Joe Kelley, Colton Gearhart, Rusty Wheeler, Garrett Calvert, Rod Laskey, Charlie McMillen, Rusty Martz, Pat Fielding, Leigh Wheeler. Randy Wyant (DNS).