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Mercer, PA
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Priester Completes Car at the Track, Wins Feature Event at Mercer Raceway Park

Just a week after destroying Martha Dionise’s 410 Sprint Car in a heat race at Mercer Raceway Park, Scott Priester and the rest of the crew finished assembling a replacement in the pit area, and he drove it to victory later in the evening.

George Hobaugh continued his hot streak, earning his third feature win of the weekend in his Outlaw Sprint Warrior presented by Bonnell’s Rod Shop. Lonny Riggs captured a thriller in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified feature event after a ding dong battle with Kyle Fink. Curtis J. Bish topped the Precise Racing Products Stock Car go. Mark Marcucci claimed the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lite feature, and Mike McConnell paced the Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks.

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“I just had a feeling we were going to be fast,” said a tired but happy Scott Priester. He met his crew early at the track, so they could put the finishing touches on the car. “We were picking up a tiny bit each week, but we only ran 100 feet of a heat race last week, but we were going better the week before that,” he explained. Last week, was when Priester tore the Dionise car apart by striking the inside guard rail entering the first corner. Using a borrowed chassis, the team put this mount together, and Priester admitted that he was “pretty comfortable” by feature time. And, boy, it showed.

He shot out to the lead from the pole position in the 4 Your Car Connection and World of Wheels 410 Sprint Cars. He stayed out front, way out front, for the first 18 laps. Over that long run of green flag racing, Priester developed a five second lead. However, a caution wiped it away, allowing youg Michael Bauer to close to his rear nerf bar. Bauer could not get a run on the veteran Priester on the restart, but he got another shot with just one lap to go. Once again, Priester balsted out to the lead, and Bauer was left to fight off Brent Matus for the third position.

Behind the leaders, there was plenty of action. Brandon Matus and Jack Sodeman, Jr. raced up through the field. They started in eleventh and twelfth, respectively. They displaced Dan Shetler and Adam Kekich in the running order just about halfway through the contest. Sodeman and Matus carried their battle all the way to the checkers, with Sodeman barely edging the fourth generation driver by .006 seconds for the fourth spot.

Shetler held on for sixth. Eric Williams struggled in his second appearance for Jim Chappel, getting seventh. Kekich was next. A.J. Flick and Mike Miller was tenth.

Sodeman and Brandon Matus topped their respective heat races. There was no B Main.

“It’s been a good couple of days for us,” George Hobaugh said modestly. He racked up this third win in less than 24 hours aboard the Lockhart Motorsports Outlaw Sprint Warrior. To do it, he chased down Greg Dobrosky, who had a nose wing failure. Hobaugh was so focused on driving, that he was oblivious to his rival’s problem. “I don’t know what happened to him there, he was slowing down a little bit, but I think we just took advantage of having a little better line,” he added.

Greg Dobrosky and Darren Pifer paced the field for the start of the Outlaw Sprint Warrior feature event, offered by Bonnell’s Rod Shop. Dobrosky held control through a caution and a red flag, the latter due to a flip by Mike MIller in turn one. Miller was unhurt, but he was unable to continue. When racing resumed, Dobrosky took control. His time out front was limited by a collapsed nose wing. That loosened up his machine and it allowed George Hobaugh to take the lead away on lap 17. Cody Bova also passed Dobrosky in the waning laps.

Trailing Hobaugh, Bova, and Dobrosky were Darren Pifer and Evan Kornbau. Andy Priest took sixth in his first start in the Cal Hull number 41. C.J. Jones was seventh, ahead of Mike Marano, II, Darren Gallagher, and Joe McEwen.

The heat winners were Hobaugh and Priest. There was no B Main.

In the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, Lonny Riggs jumped out front, but Kyle Fink reeled him in. Fink took the lead away on lap six. Immediately thereafter, Riggs fought back, and the two waged a side by side duel for several laps. Remarkably, Riggs was able to recover from interference by a lapped car on two occasions. The next time the leaders encountered lapped traffic though, Riggs found his way to the inside line and he was able to pass both the lapped car and the leader! Jimmy Holden followed him into second, and now the question was whether Holden could sneak past for the win.

However, Riggs was up to the task. Riggs, Holden, Fink, Kyle Holden, and J.R. McGinley completed the top five. Next to cross were Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Tommy Kristyak, Brian Schaffer, Rich Whitney, and Jeff Schaffer, Jr.

The pair of preliminaries went to Fink and Kristyak. There was no B Main.

Gary Miller, Jr. and William Hurrelbrink ran out front early in the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars. But, it was Curtis J. Bish who took command and led the racers to the finish. Ryan Moyer moved through the pack to take second. Hurrelbrink captured the third spot. Garrett Calvert and Curt Bish were next. Then came Tim Burns, Miller, Andy Thompson, Dennis Clark, and Charlie Baptiste. Burns, and Curtis J. Bish took the qualifiers. There was no B Main.

Mark Marcucci came on strong in the late stages of the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lite feature event. He defeated Jacob Bova, Chris Logan, Shane Webb, Bill Stivason, and Dusty Frantz. Bova prevailed in the heat. There was no B Main.

Former track champion Mike McConnell raced to victory in the Mini Stock race sponsored by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. Finishing second was his teammate, Michael Thompson, who has been almost unbeatable since strapping into one of these potent little cars. Steve Longwell, Jr. was third. Shane Shook was the apparent fourth place runner, but he failed a post-race tech inspection. That moved Steve Longwell, Sr. and Ed Haylett into the top five. Rudy Troples, Todd Kougher, Todd Hanlon, and Isaac Paden were the remaining finishers. Todd Gabriel and Thompson copped their heats. There was no B Main.

Next up will be the Third Annual Putsy Kekich Memorial for the 410 Sprint Cars. Adam, his grandson, won the inaugural running two years ago, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. You won’t want to miss this one.

4 Your Car Connection/World of Wheels 410 SPrint Cars: Scott Priester, Michael Bauer, Brent Matus, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Brandin Matus, Dan Shetler, Eric Williams, Adam Kekich, A.J. Flick Mike Miller, Gale Ruth, Jr., John McCracken, Jr., Dennis Wagner, Paul Kish, Davey Jones.

Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: George Hobaugh, Cody Bova, Greg Dobrosky, Darren Pifer, Evan Kornbau, Andy Priest, C.J. Jones, Mike Marano, II, Darren Gallagher, Joe McEwen, George Englert, Gary Kriess, Alex Paden, Kotie Kirkbride, Andy Feil, Mike Miller, Tim Callahan (DNS).

Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Lonny Riggs, Jimmy Holden, Kyle Fink, Kyle Holden, J.R. McGinley, Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Tommy Kristyak, Brian Schaffer, Rich Whitney, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Jerry Schaffer, Kevin Green, William Schaffer, Shayne Izzo.

Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Curtis J. Bish, Ryan Moyer, William Hurrelbrink, Garrett Calvert, Curt Bish, Tim Burns, Gary Miller, Jr., Andy Thompson, Dennis Clark, Charlie Baptiste, Bob Schwartzmiller.
Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites: Mark Marcucci, Jacob Bova, Chris Logan, Shane Webb, Bill Stivason, Dusty Frantz.

Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Mike McConnell, Michael Thompson, Steve Longwell, Jr., Steve Longwell, Sr., Ed Haylett, Rudy Troples, Todd Kougher, Todd Hanlon, Isaac PadenTodd Gabriel (DQ), Shane Shook (DQ), Karlee Longwell (DNS).