Mercer, PA (September 25, 2015): J.R. McGinley returned to action at Mercer Raceway Park in grand style. After sitting out a couple of races at the end of the points season, McGinley came back with a dominating performance to win the first night of the 16th Annual Little Guys Nationals for the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. Over 200 cars in eight classes jammed the Mercer pits and provided the fans with a cornucopia of competition.
Joining McGinley in victory lane were Darin Gallagher (Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors), Chris Schneider (Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars), Ryan Fraley (Econo Modifieds), Aaron Meister (Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites), Isaac Paden (Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks), Steve Dunmire (270 Micro Sprints), and Roman Jones (Junior Sprints).
Lonny Riggs and Tommy Kristyak had the first row for the start of the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified go. But go was the action word for McGinley. He wasted no time in blasting from his second row starting spot out to the lead. Behind him, the racers were fighting for positions. Over the first few laps, Garrett Krummert was the man on the move. He climbed into second spot before the halfway mark, and he began to close in on McGinley. Jimmy Holden, the track champion, was also in the hunt.
By lap 15, Krummert was nipping on McGinley’s heels. McGinley had the advantage as they moved through some lapped traffic, and he was able to get a little separation on Krummert. Meanwhile, Holden closed in on Krummert, and the battle was on for the second position. Holden would evenyually prevail.
Riggs and Kristyak were busy fending off the challenges of New Yorker Ron Cartwright, Jr., while Kyle Fink and Sid Unversagt, Jr. were also battling with another Empire State driver, Rick Richner.
McGinley swept under the checkers in the non-stop affair with an advantage of nearly .8 seconds. Holden had about the same margin over Krummert. Riggs and Kristyak completed the top five. Cartwright was sixth, followed by Fink, Richner, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., and Unversagt.
The heat wins went to Cartwright, Riggs, and Fink. Bob Krull won the B Main. He advanced to twelfth in the feature.
Darin Gallagher’s third career win in the Outlaw Sprint Warriors at Mercer Raceway Park was an impressive one. He drove under veteran Andy Priest coming off turn four to take the white flag and waved goodbye. Gallagher sped away to a lead of over 1.3 seconds at the finish.
Greg Dobrosky led the early going, but Priest took the point just a few laps into the race. Dobrosky continued in second, but Jacob Bova and Gallagher were applying the pressure. By the midpoint, Gallagher had climbed to second, but Priest had a substantial lead.
A caution with two to go wiped out Priest’s lead, and that set the stage for Gallagher’s dramatic finish. Priest got away first on the restart, but Gallagher had a full head of steam as they headed towards turn one. Priest kept his car on the cushion, and came off the second corner with a scant lead. Gallagher was using the low groove and again charged into turn three and planted the car firmly on the bottom. It stuck, and he pulled beside Priest as the duo rounded the bend. Gallagher came off the corner and surged into the lead, much to the delight of the fans.
Gallagher continued to pour on the coals, and he took the checkers well ahead of Priest. Andy Feil climbed through the pack to get third, with Dobrosky and Bova taking fourth and fifth. Jacob Gomola, Alex Paden, Brandon Matus, George Hobaugh, Jr., and Jimmy Seger completed the top ten.
Heat victories went to Feil, Priest, and Gallagher. Jeff Taylor won the B Main.
In the Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars, it was the money man, Chris Schneider, cashing in. But it was not easy. Rusty Martz led at the start, but he had Andy Buckly and Schneider lurking in his shadow. On lap 8, Bickley looked inside and got a run on Martz heading into the third corner. He grqbbed the lead coming off the inside of turn four, pulling Scheider along with him. By the halfway mark, Schneider drove around Buckley on the outside, and he set sail. Martz started to fade and he pulled off the track with twelve laps down.
Over the second half of the race, Rusty Moore, a former track champion, worked his way to the front. He broke into the top five, but ran out of laps before he could make himself a factor in the race.
At the checkers, it was Schneider by nearly five seconds over Buckley, with Moore in third. Bob McCann and Brent Johnson were fourth and fifth. Tim Burns, Shawn Hooks, Ryan Moyer, Brian Rhed, and Tim Bish rounded out the top ten.
Preliminaries were scored by Buckley, Schneider, Burns, Tim Bish, and Johnson. Curtis J. Bish, Hooks, and Leigh Wheeler copped the triple B Mains.
The Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lite feature was tumultuous. Two racers got upside down, with no ill effects, and there were a number of minor skirmishes. Through it all, Aaron Meister reigned supreme. Track champion Mark Marcucci was second, with Rod Jones, Jeff Teeters, and Doug Jones completing the top five. Zak Kimbrew, Matt Ward, Josh Sliter, Jason Darocha, amd Rob Misener were the next finishers. Meister, Marcucci, and Jeff Teeters scored in the heats, and Rod Jones prevailed in the B Main.
The Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks saw young Isaac Paden score his first career win, and he had to hold off Tyler Fulton to earn it. Daniel Lawson, Jr. was apparently in third, but his car did not pass post-race tech, so it was all for naught. That moved Matthew Rubright up a notch. Shane Shook was the fifth place finisher. Chip Ritchey, Bobby Siegel, Steve Walker, Ray Seibert, Richie Kyle, and Jason Pavlick held down positions six through ten. Paden and late arrival Michael Thompson won the heats. There was no B Main.
Ryan Fraley saved the best for last in the Econo Modified feature. He made a mad dash to the finish line to steal the win from Jamie Sharba. Butch Lambert workedhis way to third, with Brandon Blackshear and Derek Dellinger were the next to cross the line. Keith Felicity, Jeff Mandale, Junior Mechling, James Myers, and Haley Lapcevich were the next five runners. Jace Ferringer and Brandon Blackshear were tops in their respective heats. There was no B Main.
The 270 Micros made their first appearance of the season in the final weekend at the Park. Taking the win was Steve Dunmire in a car that was painted in tribute to the late D.J. Furney, who was a force in the class for many seasons. George Hobaugh, Jr. was doing double duty this night, and he was the runner-up. Brian Marriott got the podium finish. Robert Garvey and Lee Lehnerd followed. Ryan Fredericks, Jeff Heafke, Dave Hawkins, Brandon Fredericks, nad Luke Knoboth held sxth through tenth. Dave Stemmerich, Hobaugh, Garvey, and Ryan Fredericks topped the qualifers. Kyle Colwell and Tim Eakins held control in the pair of B Mains.
The Junior Sprints made their debut at the speedway. These diminutive race cars were driven by children ages 8 through 15. Roman Jones mastered the track. Finishing second was Aden Cipriano, with Samuel Darby getting third. Chase Metheny was fourth, and then came Mike Lutz, Jr. Braden Tucke, Charlie Biskup, Jordan Simmons, Jaren Dye, and Austin Cavanaugh were the remaining competitors.
The heat for these budding stars also went to Jones.
Junior Sprints: Roman Jones, Ayden Cipriano, Samuel Derby, Ayden Chase Metheny, Mike Lutz, Jr., Braden Tucke, Charlie Biskup, Jordan Simmons, Jaren Dye, Austin Cavanaugh.
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: J.R. McGinley, Jimmy Holden, Garrett Krummert, Lonny Riggs, Tommy Kristyak, Ron Cartwright, Jr., Kyle Fink, Rich Richner, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Kyle Holden, Bob Krull, Brian Schaffer, Nick Joy, Erik Martin, Steve Schumacker, John Smith, Rich Whitney, Shawn Fleeger, Eric Gabany (DNS). DNQ: Steve Burns, Jr., Max Smoker, Kole Holden, Kevin Green.
Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites: Aaron Meister, Mark Marcucci, Rod Jones, Jeff Teeters, Doug Jones, Zak Kimbrew, Matt Ward, Josh Sliter, Jason Darocha, Rob Misener, Glenn Teeter, Kacy Campbell, Jim Gump, Mitch Ward, Bill Stivason, Shayne Meadows, Reece Shelton, Joe Grzelak, Charlie Armstrong, Josh Christoph. DNQ: Allen Dellinger, Vivian Jones, Anthony Cavicchia, Tiffany Williams, Chris Robinson, Cory Webb, Kelly Teeters, Tyler Purnell.
Precise Racing Products Open Stocks: Chris Schneider, Andy Buckley, Rusty Moore, Bob McCann, Brent Johnson, Tim Burns, Shawn Hooks, Ryan Moyer, Brian Rhed, Tim Bish, Rob Schwartzmiller, Leigh Wheeler, Scott Byers, Gary Luzier, Rusty Martz, William Hurrelbrink, Bobby Seigel. DNQ: Randy Wyant, Dave Ferringer, Josh Seippel, Pat Fielding, Dennis Clark, Dave Baker, Gary Fisher, Brent Coleman, Shane Smith, Jake Simmons, Nick Kocuba, Garrett Calvert, Brian Stivenson, Tony Dezain, Steve Burns, Jr., Curtis Bish, Jr., Neal Tristani, Aaron Easler, Ray Reynolds, Bobby Heim, Dave Potter, Eric Piotrowski, Joe Stajnrajh, Dave McManus.
Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Darin Gallagher, Andy Priest, Andy Feil, Greg Dobrosky, Jacob Bova, Jacob Gomola, Alex Paden, Brandon Matus, George Hobaugh, Jimmy Seger, Evan Kornbau, Devin Litwiler, Mike Miller, Ken Rossey, Jeff Taylor, Rob Felix, Cody Bova, Ralph Engle, jr., Adam Kekich, George Englert, Tyler Denochick. DNQ: Vince Daugherty, Andrew Fescemyer, Dan Bennett, Mike Marano, II, Brent Matus, Bob mcMillin, Matt Gardina.
270 Micro Sprints: Steve Dunmire, George Hobaugh, Jr., Brian Marriott, Robert Garvey, Lee Lehnerd, Ryan Fredericks, Jeff Haefke, Dave Hawkins, Brandon Fredericks, Luke Kronboth, Tim Eakins, C.J. Davis, Brian Forester, Anthony Pasquerella, Brandon Hawkins, Shawn Freeland, David Stemmerich, Ethan Siple, Mike Kerr, Kyle Colwell. DNQ: John Sampson, Tom Sigley, Wesley Libert, Todd Sampson, J.J. Metheny, Johnny Walker, Craig Cummins, Rick Francis, Peter Ries, Scott Hawkins, Jason Callender, Chris Kennedy, Brett Brinkenhoefer, Zachary Lennox.
Econo Modifeds: Ryan Fraley, Jamie Sharba, Derek Dellinger, Butch Lambert, Brandon Blackshear, Derek Dellinger, Keith Felicity, Jeff Mendale, Junior Mechling, James Myers, Haley Lapcevich, Buzz Seitz, Justin Lapcevich, Ray Gregory, Jace Ferringer, Ed Harris.
Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Isaac Paden, Tyler Fulton, Matthew Rubright, Shane Shook, Chip Ritchey, Bobby Seigel, Steve Walker, Ray Seibert, Richie Kyle, Jason Pavlick, Thomas Joyce, Michael Thompson, Bruce Milbert, Caleb Hickok, Kenny Lawson, Matt Pegher, Alan Perry, Brian Felmlee, Dan McEwen, Daniel Lawson, Jr. (DQ).