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Matus B.O.S.S. at Mercer; McGinley Scores Emotional Win

Mercer, PA (May 23, 2015): Brandon Matus, the third generation racer from Wampum, PA, was the Mo Vaughn Transport B.O.S.S. winner at Mercer Raceway Park. He led another Mercer regular, Gale Ruth, Jr. to the finish. Taking third for the invaders was Mike Miller.

Other winners included J.R. McGinley in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. McGinley dedicated the win to the memory of his late mother, Pam, who recently succumbed to brain cancer. In the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Cody Bova scored his second win of the season, holding off points leader George Hobaugh, Jr., in the process. Curtis J. Bish romped to the win in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, as did Tyler Fulton in the Mini Stocks presented by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles.
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Brandon Matus was unsure whether he was even going to come to the track tonight. He struggled in a winged 410 Sprint show at another area speedway the night before, and “I ran this race last year, and I really $uck*d.” But, he got tips from several friends from other areas of the country where the Sprints regularly race without wings. “Some friends from Indiana gotta get the credit, because they set the car up for me.” Hopefully, Matus saved the notes for next year’s running of this race.

Andy Feil rode the cushion in turns one and two to take the early lead in the B.O.S.S. feature event. He was followed by Brandon Spithaler and Shawn Westerfield. Feil withstood Spithaler’s challenges for the first three laps. However, on lap four, Feil spun in turn four. In the scramble that immediately followed, he collected Westerfield. Aaron Middaugh was also involved in the caution. He and Westerfield were able to continue, but Feil was done for the night.

That put local favorite Brandon Spithaler on the point for the restart, with teenager Cooper Clouse in second, Brandon Matus in third, and Gale Ruth, Jr. and Jack Sodeman, Jr. rounding out the top five. Soon after racing resumed, Matus rode the rim in turns one and two to take second from Clouse. Nonetheless, Spithaler still had a commanding lead.

A pair of cautions slowed the pace, the second one coming when Jack Sodeman spun after being struck from behind by Kirk Jeffries. Sodeman managed to keep his car moving, but several others spun. When the dust finally settled, Arnie Kent was sitting in the corner. His car was hit by Dustin Smith. While the cars were circulating under the yellow, Spithaler parked his car in turn two, the victim of an apparent blown radiator hose.

Matus thus inherited the lead, with Clouse, Ruth, Sodeman, and Miller right behind. Two laps after the green was displayed, Ruth moved into second, and he started to close the gap on Matus. Matus was up to the test, tough. Indeed, he maintained his advantage, despite two more brief interruptions before the checkers flew.

As the laps wound down, it seemed as though there would be a Mercer sweep of the top three positions. But, Sodeman got hung up on the cushion in turns one and two on lap 23, and then he made contact with another car. Sodeman lost valuable ground, but was able to keep moving to the finish.

Behind the home-town drivers, Matus and Ruth, was Miller, Clouse, and Kent Walters. Arnie Kent recovered from two mishaps to earn the sixth position. Chad Wilson led Sodeman to the stripe. Middaugh was ninth, and Bob McMillen tenth.

The heat winners for the B.O.S.S. Sprints were Gale Ruth, Jr., Shawn Westerfield, Brandon Spithaler, and Andy Feil. The B Main belonged to Chad Wilson.

J.R. McGinley registered an emotional win in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. McGinley jumped out to a big lead as the racers completed the first 17 laps without interruption. However, two more cautions slowed his trek to victory lane. “I got worried,” he said about the rash of late-race cautions.

Little did he know that we would have to fend off a stiff challenge from Lonny Riggs to score the win. “I fired right here (pointing to turn four) and I could hear him right beside me and I wasn’t going to give it up.” But, on that final restart, Lonny Riggs mustered up the horsepower to move into the lead as he battled side by side with McGinley. McGinley fought back coming off the second corner and there was slight contact between the two as they raced toward turn three. “I thought that I was going to get pushed out of first again,” McGinley explained. He was referring to a similar skirmish that he had with Jimmy Holden the last time out, when Holden went on to victory. Both drivers kept control of their mounts, but Riggs pushed high entering the corner, and McGinley hugged the bottom to take command. “We rode each other fairly hard, and he pushed hard into three and four and that gave me the bottom to get it.”

McGinley thus powered off turn four to the popular triumph. Tommy Kristyak followed him into the second spot. Riggs recovered to take third. Kyle Fink was fourth and Richard Whitney crossed in fifth, after racing second for the first 17 rounds.

Jimmy Holden, Clyde Gumpp, Brian Schaffer, Max Smoker, and Frank Guidace completed the top ten.

Jimmy Holden and Tommy Kristyak prevailed in their respective heats. There was no B Main.

In the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, C.J. Jones raced out front until Cody Bova swept by him just before the halfway mark. Evan Kornbau was turning in an impressive performance until he slipped off the edge of the backstretch with 14 laps completed. A number of other racers checked up, and that caused a four-car tangle in the second corner.

Bova led the rest of the way to earn the win. Hobaugh came back from an early race incident to take the second spot. Jones held on for third. Darren Pifer passed Rob Felix late in the contest for fourth. Kotie Kirkbride was sixth, Mark Rossey, Devin Litwiler, Chris Matthews, and Tim Callahan completed the top ten.

Preliminaries went to George Hobaugh and Darren Pifer. There was no B Main.

In the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, Curtis J. Bish drove to a convincing win. Along the way, he had to avoid contact with a lapped car, but, other than that, there was no stopping his ride to victory. Ryan Moyer fought off Gary Miller, Jr. for second. Tim Burns and Dillon Kinneston were fourth and fifth.

Andy Thompson, Pat Fielding, Curt Bish, Dennis Clark, and Joe Stajnrajh completed the top ten.

Tim Burns and Curtis J. Bish copped their qualifiers. There was no B Main.

Tyler Fulton was just as dominant in the nightcap for the Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks. Steve Longwell, Sr. came through the field for second. Shane Shook, Patrick Hanlon, and Todd Kougher were the remaining finishers. The balance of the field was scored in this order based on laps completed: Roger Wigton, Josh Ehrenberg, Caleb Hickok, and Jordan Ehrenberg. Steve Longwell, Jr. was unable to start the event.

Jordan Ehrenberg scored in the only heat for the Mini Stocks. There was no B Main.

Next week, Mercer Raceway Park will present a triple-header of Sprint Cars. Joining the regular 4 Your Car Connection and World of Wheels 410 Sprints and the Bonnell’s Rod Shops Outlaw Sprint Warriors will be the Patriot Sprint Tour 360 Sprint Cars. Also on the card will be the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds and the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites.

B.O.S.S. Sprint Cars: Brandon Matus, Gale Ruth, Jr., Mike Miller, Cooper Clouse, Kent Walters, Arnie Kent, Chad Wilson, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Aaron Middaugh, Bob McMillen, Jake Gomola, Brent Matus, Kirk Jeffries, Michael Fischesser, Cody Gardner, Shawn Westerfield, Justin Owen, Chuck WIlson, Brandon Spithaler, Dustin Smith, Andy Feil, Davey Jones.

Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: J.R. McGinley, Tommy Kristyak, Lonny Riggs, Kyle Fink, Richard Whitney, Jimmy Holden, Clyde Gumpp, Brian Schaffer, Max Smoker, Frank Guidace, Makayla Guidace, Sid Unversagt, Jr., Jeff Schaffer, Tommy Holden, Rob Curtis, Shayne Izzo (DNS

Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Cody Bova, George Hobaugh, Jr., C.J. Jones, Darren Pifer, Rob Felix, Kotie Kirkbride, Mark Rossey, Devin Litwiler, Chris Matthews, Tim Callahan, Evan Kornbau, Mike Marano, II, Greg Dobrosky, Alex Paden, Darin Gallagher, George Englert (DNS), Ken Rossey (DNS).

Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Curtis J. Bish, Ryan Moyer, Gary Miller, Jr., Tim Burns, Dillon Kinneston, Andy Thompson, Pat Fielding, Curt Bish, Dennis Clark, Joe Stajnrajh, Mark Sanders, Terry Wheeler, Garrett Calvert, Michael Tonkinson (DNS), Jacob Billyk (DNS), David Baker (DNS).

Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Tyler Fulton, Steve Longwell, Sr., Shane Shook, Patrick Hanlon, Todd Kougher, Roger Wigton, Josh Ehrenberg, Caleb Hickok, Jordan Ehrenberg, Steve Longwell, Jr. (DNS).