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Rex King, Jr. Opens Modified Tour with Win in the Chiller Thriller

Chiller Thriller Kicks Off 2016 MRP Season
Rex King Jr won the BRP Modified Tour Chiller Thriller to kick off the 2016 MRP season.

Rex King, Jr. won the Chiller Thriller at Mercer Raceway Park. King, who hails from Bristolville, OH, powered past Erick Rudolph on a restart to take the lead. Rudolph had two more shots at him, but each time King was able to roll the top to maintain his advantage.

The UEMS E-Mod feature went to Slow Ride, David Scott. Max Blair romped to victory in the unsanctioned Crate Late Model go. Brent Johnson topped the finale for the Precise Racing Products Open Stocks.

Max Blair won the Crate Late Model feature.
Brent Johnson won the Open Stock feature.
David Scott won the UEMS feature. (Because he was also competing in the next feature, he was unable to be in Victory Lane for photos.)

BRP Modified Tour

Rex King, Jr. found the outside line to his liking on the critical restart. “It was a little rough up there,” he said, “but you gotta go where you can pass somebody.” Prior to that, he was running the low groove, “but I wasn’t going to go anywhere, and everybody was taking up every other lane, so we went up there.” King’s prowess on the outside may have surprised Rudolph. “He was real comfortable on the bottom, he’s a slick track driver, and he was real, real good.” King continued, “I think he (Rudolph) pretty much thought he had it sewed up, and we surprised him.”

The victory gave the 2014 BRP Modified Tour Champion bragging rights over his dad, six-time and defending series champion, Rex King, Sr. “I like that,” he said with a smile.

Eric Gabany, from Mercer, was the early leader, over King Jr., Kevin Bolland, and Shannon Whaley.
But Erick Rudolph was the man on the move in the early going. Rudolph picked cars off at will and was running second to Gabany when the first caution was displayed. Rudolph used the outside line to take the lead when the race resumed, and he quickly opened up a full straight on Gabany.

Rudolph seemed to have things well under control until a yellow was displayed with 26 laps completed. Surprisingly, he took the inside line for the restart, and that gave King the top line. King mustered up the courage to stay wheel to wheel with Rudolph for a full lap around the tricky oval. King was just inches ahead when they flashed by the flag stand moments before the caution flew once again.

This time King had lane choice, and he stayed upstairs once again. Rudolph bobbled on the restart, and that gave King a significant advantage. Rudolph got away cleanly on the final restart, with just a couple of laps remaining, but he was no match for King.

King sailed under the checkers nearly 1.3 seconds ahead of the New Yorker. Gabany held on for third, but he was under attack from Rudolph’s car owner, popular Randy Chrysler. Vic Coffey crossed in fifth to give the northern invaders three of the top five spots.

Kevin Bolland was sixth, with Shannon Whaley, Garret Krummert, Mark Flick, and Michael Maresco completing the top ten.

Heat wins went to Bolland, Ron Cartwright, Jr., King, Jr., and Mike Bowman. Shayne Pierce took the B Main.

Kevin Hoffman and Rex King Jr
David Scott passes Matt Lux on the way to victory
Max Blair

UEMS E-Mods

David Scott held off hard charging Rich Michael, Jr. for the final 20 laps to capture the opening event for the UEMS E-Mods. Scott grabbed the lead just three laps into the contest. Greg Johnson had led from the start.

Mike Potosky ran a consistent race to take third. Dan Davies recovered from a lap two spin to take fourth. Fifth went to Josh Ferry. Carl McKinney, Will Thomas, Jacob Eucker, Troy Johnson, and Daryl Charlier completed the top ten.

The heat winners were Scott, McKinney, and Joel Watson. Watson retired from the feature at the halfway mark while racing in third. There was no B Main.

Crate Late Model

Max Blair dominated the unsanctioned Crate Late Model feature event. Matt Latta took the early lead, but Dennis Lunger swept by on the third round. One circuit later, Blair took command, and Latta regained second position. Lunger held third until the halfway mark, when Will Thomas, III took the spot away.

Blair was never headed the rest of the way. Behind Latta and Thomas came Alan Dellinger and Mike Pegher, Jr. Lunger was sixth, with Damian Bidwell, Dave Lyon, Wyatt Scott, and Steve Hollabaugh running in the top ten.

The preliminaries went to Blair and Josh Double. There was no B Main.

Open Stocks

In the nightcap for the Precise Racing Products Open Stocks, Fuzzy Fields led the first three laps before giving up the top spot to Brent Johnson. Johnson led the rest of the way, but he had Randy Wyant nipping on his heels for the final several laps. William Hurrelbrink, Leigh Wheeler, and Rob Shook completed the top five.

Jackson Humanic, Dave McMannus, Rod Laskey, Westley McGray, and Pat Fielding were the next five finishers.

The pair of heats went to Shook and Hurrelbrink. There was no B Main.

April 2 – New Format

Remember that Mercer Raceway Park will debut the new format at the April 2 race. The Elder Tractor Sales & Service Junior Sprints will go to the post at 5:30, followed by the Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks and the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites. The remaining calsses will go green at 7 p.m., starting with the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, and the 4 Your Car Connection 410 Sprint Cars. The pit gates will open at 4 and the front gates at 4:30.

Remember that you can get alerts regarding the cancellation of any racing event at Mercer Raceway Park sent directly to your smartphone or other electronic device. To register, please go to the track’s website, www. mercerracewaypark.com, click on the icon for RainedOut.com, and follow the easy steps.

Results

BRP Modified Tour: Rex King, Jr., Erick Rudolph, Eric Gabany, Randy Chrysler, Vic Coffey, Kevin Bolland, Shannon Whaley, Garret Krummert, Mark Flick, Michael Maresco, Rick Richner, Mark Frankhouser, Dave Murdick, Brian Swartzlander, Mike Bowman, Rex King, Sr., Tommy Mattocks, J.R. McGinley, Brad Rapp, Skip Moore, Ron Cartwright, Jr., Jeremiah Shingledecker, Kevin Hoffman, Ray Bliss, Shayne Pierce, Kenny WIllis, Rick Regalski. DNQ: Rick Wegner, Tom Glenn, Shawn Kozar, John Smith, Lonny Riggs, Shawn Fleeger.

UEMS E-Mods: David Scott, Rich Michael, Jr., Mike Potosky, Dan Davies, Josh Ferry, Carl McKinney, Will Thomas, Jacob Eucker, Troy Johnson, Daryl Charlier, Greg Johnson, Bill Taylor, Joel Watson, Dennis Dellinger, Butch Southwell, Matt Lux, John Woodward, Shawn Shingledecker, Ken Zimmer (DNS), Nathan Loney (DNS).

Crate Late Models: Max Blair, Matt Latta, Will Thomas, III, Alan Dellinger, Mike Pegher, Jr., Dennis Lunger, Damain Bidwell, Dave Lyon, Wyatt Scott, Steve Hollabaugh, Rueben Schwartz, Mike Anderson, Brian Swank, Brandon Porfer, Ethan Siple, Mike Knight, Josh Double, T.J. Downs, Clay Ruffo (DNS), Jeff Haynes (DNS), Andy Knubb (DNS).

Precise Racing Products Open Stocks: Brent Johnson, Randy Wyant, William Hurrelbrink, Leigh Wheeler, Rob Shook, Jackson Humanic, Dave McMannus, Rod Laskey, Westley McGray, Pat Fielding, Thomas Scott, Jr., Fuzzy Fields, Curt Bish, Rob Bates, Shane Smith.