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Holtgraver Wins All Stars Tune-up at Mercer Raceway Park

Riggs, Batcher, Schwartzmiller, Frankenberry and Scoville also Victorious

Mercer, PA (May 4, 2013):  Pittsburgh’s Danny Holtgraver won the tune-up for next week’s UNOH All Stars Circuit of Champions Sprint Car event at Mercer Raceway Park.

The Tugboat, Lonny Riggs, docked in victory lane for the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. Jerry Batcher made his first appearance of the season a memorable one, capturing his heat and the feature in the Mini Stocks, now sponsored by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. Bob Schwartzmiller also doubled up in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars. Fourteen-year-old Tyler Frankenberry blew past STARS Modified Lite National Champion Josh May on his way to the win in the Big Daddy’s Speed Center and Rock Concrete promoted class. Taking the final checkers of the night, in the Bonnell’s Collision Center Outlaw Sprint Warriors, was Jason Scoville.

“We needed that one big time,” Holtgraver gushed after his victory. He was shut out after taking the checkers in the Ronald Laney Memorial at East Bay Raceway Park, back in February. Holtgraver, who was exceptionally good in traffic, noted “when Eric (Williams) was leading, I could get to him and stay right with him, but it could have gone either way.” After Holtgraver took the lead with just a few laps remaining, he was glad that he did not encounter too much traffic, as fellow All Star Cap Henry was on the march.

Eric Williams and Danny Holtgraver waged an intense battle for the first nine laps of the 410 Sprint Car feature event, presented by Luxaire Heating & Cooling and New Wilmington Motors. Holtgraver led until lap four, when Williams powered off turn two with the lead. Williams then opened up a few car lengths advantage over the local All Star, but Holtgraver chased him down in traffic. The pair swapped positions everywhere but on the scoreboard as they diced through heavy traffic.

Williams kept the point through a pair of cautions for minor incidents. However, Holtgraver was always close, looking for his chance to pounce. That came on lap 19, when he dove low through turn two.  Williams seemed to lose his concentration, as Cap Henry executed a similar pass in turn three one lap later. WIlliams was in danger of losing another spot to Rod George, who was making his first start for Jim Chappell. Williams gathered himself up again to regain the position for the final few laps.

Holtgraver scored the popular win, with another All Star invader in second, Henry. Williams finished ahead of George and Jack Sodeman, Jr.

Dan Kuriger led the second quintet to the stripe. Joining him were Adam Kekich, Scott Priester, Carl Bowser and Bill Jones, Jr.

The three heat victories went to Bowser, Sodeman and Henry. The track eliminated the B Main, so that all cars could start the feature.

Lonny Riggs rode the cushion to the lead on the opening lap and he did not look back in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. He opened up a comfortable advantage over Kyle Fink over the first half of the event. After a brief stoppage for a collision involving Shayne Izzo and J.R. MCGinley in turn two, Andy Paden shot from fourth to second on the restart. Fink faded fast, and soon retired with a flat right rear tire.

Riggs continued to lead, but Paden challenged him with two laps remaining. Riggs caught a break on the last lap, though, as Paden slid over the edge of the back chute, losing valuable ground. Riggs reported that last week’s pesky miss came back in his engine late in the race, which allowed Paden to close in on him.

Jeff Schaffer held off hard-charging Frankie Guidace for third. Matt Reeher crossed in fifth with his Mopar entry.

Positions six through ten belonged to J.R. McGinley, Makayla Guidace, Tommy Marshall, III, Shawn Fleeger and rookie Eric Beggs. That was his second top ten in two outings.

Heat wins were scored by Schaffer and McGinley.

In the Mini Stock feature, it took very little time for Jerry Batcher to show his dominance. He opened up a big lead on the very first lap and cruised to an easy win over Mike McConnell. Last week’s winner, Jamey Lee, grabbed third. Defending champion Steve Longwell, Jr. was fourth and fifth went to Caleb Hickok.

The next five finishers were Tyler Fulton, Dan Bish, Rudy Troples, Evan Kornbau and Patricia Riffe.

The preliminaries for the Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks belonged to Batcher and Lee.

The Precise Racing Products Stock Car feature winner was Bob Schwartzmiller, who went wire to wire. Schwartzmiller heard Andy Thompson a couple of times, but he thought that it was two-time champion Rusty Moore. Moore took third, after pitting early in the race for a mechanical problem. Late-arriving A.J. Flick was fourth, just a spot ahead of Leigh Wheeler.

Charlie McMillen, Curt Bish and Brandon Johnston completed the field.

The lone heat race win went to Schwartzmiller.

Tyler Frankenberry graced victory lane at the Park for the first time in his brief career. The teen dedicated the win to his late grandfather, who passed several months ago. Frankenberry raced past veteran Iowa racer Josh May on his way to victory. Bill Stivason and Cory Webb were the remaining finishers, as attrition was high in the division backed by Big Daddy’s Speed Center and Rock Concrete.

Josh Deems, Jacob Bova, Taylor Smith, Cody Bova, Darrin Gallagher, Shane Pfeuffer and Kotie Kirkbride did not complete the event.

The heat winners were Stivason and Pfeuffer.

In the Bonnell’s Collision Center Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Jason Scoville was closing in on leader C.J. Jones when the unthinkable happened. Jones flipped in turn one, handing the lead to Scoville with 12 laps in the books. Jones was not hurt.

Scoville raced out front the rest of the way for his first victory of the season. Joe McEwen, the defending champ, ran a smooth race for the second spot. Last week’s winner, Michael Bauer rallied for third. Greg Dobransky and Jimmy Morris completed the top five.

Thomas Sanders, Jacob Gomola, Andy Feil, Richard Lawson and Tyler Graves were the next five finishers. It was Lawson’s first race in the division after spending years in the Modified Lites.
Morris and Feil scored in the preliminaries.

Remember that next week’s program will feature the UNOH All Stars Circuit of Champion Sprint Cars. The 358 Modifieds and the Modified Lites will have the night off. The Stock Cars will operate under the Open Stock rules. Points will be awarded for the Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Stock Cars and Mini Stocks. Local band, Sky Pilot, will perform before the races. Special guest Cowboy Brian Steinman will get his new motorized all-terrain wheelchair, which was made possible by a grant from the Steve King Foundation and the generosity of the racing community.

Luxaire Heating & Cooling/New Wilmington Motors 410 Sprint Cars:  Danny Holtgraver, Cap Henry, Eric Williams, Rod George, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Dan Kuriger, Adam Kekich, Scott Priester, Carl Bowser, Bill Jones, Jr., Stuart Williams, Chris Best, Bob McMillen, Francis Sesco, Dennis Wagner, Caleb Helms, Brandon Matus, Brian Smith, Mike Miller, John McCracken, Brent Matus, Ralph Spithaler, Jimmy Light.

Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds:  Lonny Riggs, Andy Paden, Jeff Schaffer, Frankie Guidace, Matt Reeher, J.R. McGinley, Makayla Guidace, Tommy Marshall, III, Shawn Fleeger, Eric Beggs, Kyle Fink, Jimmy Holden, Shayne Izzo, Max Smoker, Clyde Gumpp.

Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks:  Jerry Batcher, Mike McConnell, Jamey Lee, Steve Longwell, Jr., Caleb Hickok, Tyler Fulton, Dan Bish, Rudy Troples, Evan Kornbau, Patricia Riffe, Josh Eakman, Shane Shoo, Shane Smith, Max Paden, Pete Blazak, Matt Cwynar, Steve Longwell, Sr., Tim Callahan (DNS).

Precise Racing Products Stock Cars:   Bob Schwartzmiller, Andy Thompson, Rusty Moore, A.J. Flick, Leigh Wheeler, Charlie McMillen, Curt Bish, Brandon Johnston.

Big Daddy’s Speed Center/Rock Concrete Modified Lites:  Tyler Frankenberry, Josh May, Bill Stivason, Cory Webb, Josh Deems, Jacob Bova, Taylor Smith, Cody Bova, Darrin Gallagher, Shane Pfeuffer, Kotie Kirkbride.

Bonnell’s Collision Center Outlaw Sprint Warriors:  Jason Scoville, Joe McEwen, Michael Bauer, Greg Dobransky, Jimmy Morris, Thomas Sanders, Jacob Gomola, Andy Feil, Richard Lawson, Tyler Graves, Joe Siembida, Rob Felix, C.J. Jones, Jeff Goodman, Jacob Lagastee, Harold Braden.