Bauer, Fosnaught, McCann, Haefke, Fraley, Ritchey, and Jones Victors Too
Mercer, PA (September 27, 2014): Frankie Guidace was in the right place at the right time in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified race presented by Holden Racing on night two of the 15th Annual Little Guy Nationals at Mercer Raceway Park. He was almost in the wrong place at the wrong time, though, as he avoided a first lap incident in turn one. Many laps after surviving that near disaster, Guidace acquired the lead when Randy Chrysler retired from the race just as the field was rolling away from a lap 22 stoppage. Michael Bauer was also the beneficiary of an on track incident that led to a controversial ruling that had track champion Jimmy Morris penalized for turning the leader, C.J. Jones, with just a pair of laps left in the race for the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors.
Jason Fosnaught and Bob McCann earned the victories in the pair of races for the Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars. Jeff Heafke made a late race pass for the victory in the Micros. Ryan Fraley got his second of the weekend for the Econo Modifieds. Brandon Ritchey earned the laurels in the Mini Stocks, offered by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. Rod Jones scored in the Baker Corp. Modified Lites.
The entire weekend of racing was courtesy of American Racer Tires.
“We dodged a bullet, with that one,” said the happy winner, Guidace. “They got together in front of me down there, and I got turned around and it was a miracle that the thing stayed going.” He was not collected by any other cars because “I stayed on the floor and it turned itself around and it never stopped,” he explained.
Frankie Guidace was the final leader of the 358 Modified portion of the Little Guy Nationals. He inherited the lead when Randy Chrylser suddenly darted to the pits as the field was coming back to life after a stoppage on lap 22. Prior to that, Guidace and Chrysler were dicing for the lead, with Chrylser, the defending race champion, on the low side, and Guidace up top. Guidace held off veteran Tommy Kristyak for the remainder of the event.
It was Erik Martin who surprised all in attendance by snatching the lead and holding control for the first 16 rounds. That was when his car owner, Chrysler, drove by on the inside of the third turn. While Martin was running out front, there was a good tussle between Guidace, Chrysler, Andy Priest, and J.R. McGinley for the next several spots.
Chrysler’s time in the lead was marred by several cautions. The most significant of them was the lap 22 incident in turn four that had six cars come to a halt. Brian Schaffer and Steve Barr, two of the late arrivals to that party, were unable to continue. Max Smoker, Clyde Gumpp, Makayla Guidace, and Kyle Holden were able to return to the fray. As noted above, when the field rolled off again, Chrysler pitted, ending all hopes of a repeat of his popular win a year ago.
Guidace and Tommy Krisytak, two of the more storied modified pilots in the history of the Park, led the field to the final restart of the event. Guidace got away cleanly, and Kristyak followed him all the way home.
Kevin Hoffman came on in the latter stages of the race to get the third spot. Andy Priest climbed to fourth, with Jimmy Holden getting fifth. Early leader Martin was sixth, and Kyle Fink in seventh. J.R. McGinley, Shawn Fleeger, and Jeff Schaffer, Jr. completed the top ten.
The three heat winners were Fink, Kristyak, and Chrysler.
In the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, C.J. Jones was looking to double up on his heat race win. He jumped out front form the pole position, but Jimmy Morris was always within striking distance. As Jones was approaching slower traffic with just a few laps left in the contest, Morris made contact with Jones as they entered turn three. Jones went around and came to a rest by a utility pole between the third and fourth turns.
The officials made the call to penalize Morris for the contact, and a protest ensued. Morris was slow to accept his fate, and stopped on the frontstretch to debate the point. After being pushed off again, he struck the cone used for the Sprint Car restarts. He then took a few more rounds at the front of the pack, before eventually heading to the pits.
Bauer completed the final laps without incident, getting his first win since occupying the seat in the Lockhart Motorsports 58. Greg Dobrosky was second, after running well inside the top five all night. Joe McEwen crossed ahead of Mike Marano, II, and Cody Bova. Devin Litwiler, Tyler Denochik, Clay Riney, Dan Bennett, and Walt Tutak rounded out the top ten.
The preliminaries belonged to Jones, Mike Miller, and Ralph Engel, Jr.
Jason Fosnaught led all 30 laps to claim the Precise Racing Products Open Stock Car first feature event. He survived two scares, both on restarts, when the second place car of Brent Johnson made contact as they were passing the starter’s stand. Fosnaught was able to get the car straight both times and drove away from the field. Randy Wyant came home second, after chasing Curtis J. Bish for several laps. Rob Shook and WIlliam Hurrelbrink completed the top five. Terry Young, Gary Luzier, Bobby Heim, Brett McDonald, and Pat Fielding held positions six through ten. Two top contenders Bob Schwartzmiller and Rusty Martrz, each retired while running in fourth. Likewise, Brent Johnson surrendered a top five position. The heat winners were Bish, Shaun Hooks, and Fielding. There was no B Main.
Bob McCann stormed into the lead in the second feature for the Precise Racing Products Open Stocks. Rusty Moore, the four-time track champion in the division, was off his game in this one. Nonetheless, he soldiered on for the second position. Ryan Moyer came in third, Gary Miller in fourth, and Scott Byers in fifth. Nick Kocuba led Shawn Lindemuth, Garrett Calvert, Bill Banick, Jr., Dennis Clark, and Mike Harmon across the line.
Jeff Haefke made a bold late race pass of D.J. Furney, who led from the start of the Micro Sprint feature. Haefke rolled on to the win, his second Little Guy Nationals crown. Preliminary night winner Sean McAndrew was third. Dave Hawkins crossed in fourth, with George Hobaugh, Jr., completing the top five. Brandon Fredericks, Kyle Colwell, Lee Lehnerd, Brandon Hawkins, and Scott Hawkins were sixth through tenth. The heats went to McAndrew, Dave Hawkins, and John Walker. The B Main winner was Jason Hamacek.
Ryan Fraley made it two for the weekend, taking the Econo Mod portion of the Little Guy Nationals. Fraley moved to the front row when Jim Turley was involved in a caution on the initial start. Fraley bolted out to the lead and never looked back. He was challenged briefly by Derek Dellinger, who went on to get second. Butch Lambert rode home in third. Josh Ferry took fourth. Keith Felicetty and Junior Mechling were fifth and sixth. Ed Harris, Turley, and Ray Gregory completed the race. Lambert took the qualifier.
Brandon Ritchey copped the Mini Stock event presented by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. Bobby Siegel, Caleb Hickok, Tyler Fulton, and Shane Smith rounded out the top five. Christopher Knight led the next group of five to the wire. Among them were Mike McConnell, the divisional champion, Rudy Troples, Shane Shook, and Peter Williams. The opening stanza went to Brian Felmlee and Siegel.
Rod Jones grabbed the final checkers of the 2014 season by winning the Baker Corp. Modifed Lites. Jones led from start to finish, but he had to withstand a couple of cautions and a red flag to do it. Mark Marcucci used the last stoppage to move ahead into the second spot. Matt Hay was third, Kenny Meadows, and Chris Logan were next. Rob Meisner, Aaron Meister, Curtis Stivason, Josh Sliter, and Jacob Bova had six through ten nailed down. Marcucci and Jason Darocha had the dibs on the heats.
Approved Toilet Rentals/Holden Racing 358 Modifieds: Frankie Guidace, Tommy Krisytak, Kevin Hoffman, Andy Priest, Jimmy Holden, Erik Martin, Kyle Fink, J.R. McGinley, Shawn Fleeger, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Matt Reeher, Shayne Izzo, Eric Beggs, Kyle Holden, Makayla Guidace, Clyde Gumpp, Max Smoker, Kyle Holden, Randy Chrysler, Brian Schaeffer, Steve Barr, Richard Whitney, Lonny Riggs.
Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Michael Bauer, Greg Dobrosky, Joe McEwen, Mike Marano, II, Cody Bova, Devin Litwiler, Tyler Denochik, Clay Riney, Dan Bennett, Walt Tutak, George Frederick, Matt Gardina, Harold Braden, Jr., Randy Sterling, C.J. Jones, Jimmy Morris, Jake Gomola, Darren Pifer, George Hobaugh, Ralph Engel, Jr., Mike Miller, Kotie Kirkbride, Glen Noland.
Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars First Feature: Jason Fosnaught, Randy Wyant, Curtis J. Bish, Rob Shook, WIlliam Hurrelbrink, Terry Young, Gary Luzier, Bobby Heim, Brett McDonald, Pat Fielding, Brent Johnson, Rusty Martz, Aaron Easler, Shawn Hooks, Bob Schwartzmiller.
Precise Racing Products Open Stock Car Second Feature: Bob McCann, Rusty Moore, Ryan Moyer, Gary Miller, Scott Byers, Nick Kocuba, Shawn Lindemuth, Garrett Calvert, Bill Banick, Jr., Dennis Clark, Mike Harmon.
Micro Sprints: Jeff Haefke, D.J. Furney, Sean McAndrew, Dave Hawkins, George Hobaugh, Jr., Brandon Fredericks, Kyle Colwell, Lee Lehnerd, Brandon Hawkins, Scott Hawkins, Wesley Liebert, Barry Lucas, Jr., Mike Kerr, Daviod Stemmerich, Brett Brunkenhoffer, Jason Hamacek, Peter Ries, John Wlker, John Flatt, Al Caroto, Tyler Hawkins, Tim Eakin, Todd Sampson, Brian Borawiec, Jr. (DNS). DNQ: Markus Miller, Bryce Craft, R.J. Robertson, Brian Forester, John Sampson, Steve Dunmire.
Econo Modifieds: Ryan Fraley, Derek Dellinger, Butch Lambert, Josh Ferry, Keith Felicetty, Junior Mechling, Ed Harris, Jim Turley, Ray Gregory.
Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Brandon Ritchey, Bobby Siegel, Caleb Hickok, Tyler Fulton, Shane Smith, Christopher Knigh, Mike McConnell, Rudy Troples, Shane Shook, Peter Williams, Matt Rubright, Mike Kirkpatrick, Alan Perry, Brian Felmee, Steve Longwell, Sr. (DNS).
Baker Corp. Modified Lites: Rod Jones, Mark Marcucci, Matt Hay, Kenny Meadows, Chris Logan, Rob Meisner, Aaron Meister, Curtis Stivason, Josh Sliter, Jacob Bova, Doug Jones, Tiffany Williams, Shane Webb, Josh Christopher, Keith Smiith, Levi Spinnweber, Jeff Teeters, Jason Darocha, Mike Flockerzi, Preston Roach.