(Mercer, PA May 25, 2016): Despite storms in several communities surrounding Mercer Raceway Park,Park, Cooper Clouse scored the win, his second of the season, in the Rick’s Trucks & Equipment Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series. The seventeen-year-old from Ohio City, OH, topped former series champion Shawn Westerfield. Taking the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified go for the third time in as many tries was defending champion Jimmy “the Jet” Holden, of Tiona.
Other winners were C.J. Jones (Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors), Ryan Moyer (Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars), Doug Jones (Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites), Tyler Fulton (Eperther’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks), and Jordan Simmons (Elder Tractor Sales & Service Junior Sprints).
Cooper Clouse was a bit apprehensive about racing his B.O.S.S. Sprint Car at Mercer Raceway Park. He had thought that the track configuration was a bit unusual. But, after climbing from his car after his second tour win of the season, he said “it’s unbelievable, I like it [the track] a whole lot better now.” Clouse and his crew hit on a set-up that was perfect for the racy track. “We had the car hooked up for this; two races, and two wins, it’s a dream come true.”
Clouse wrestled the lead away from Chad Wilson just a couple of laps into the B.O.S.S. feature. He set the car on cruise control and maintained a consistent lead over Wilson despite a couple of cautions. The final half of the race went non-stop. Over that stretch, Westerfield passed Wilson for second, but he could not reel in Clouse.
Jack Sodeman, Jr. moved into fifth in the early going, but it took him several laps to advance beyond that point. Sodeman was the highest finishing Mercer regular, crossing the line in fourth.
Fifth went to Drew Radar. Gale Ruth, Jr., another Mercer regular, was sixth. Mike Miller, a former series champion, was seventh, with Michael Fischesser eighth. Popular veteran Arnie Kent, a former Mercer regular, was ninth. He has limited his racing to the B.O.S.S. series in recent years. Justin Owen was tenth.
The heats for the twenty-six non-wing cars went to Brandon Spithaler, Westerfield, and Sodeman. The B Main winner was Carmen Perigo, Jr.
Jimmy Holden scored his third straight victory in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. What is so remarkable about the accomplishment is that he did it with the exact same right rear tire, one that was left over from the 2015 season. “We had a garage full of tires, and we said, man, these tires looked pretty good, you know. We picked out one and it was a tire we ran last year, a real nice tire, you know, and we won the first two features on it. We called it ‘Chicken Dinner;’ “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.'” He continued the story, “we talked all week about maybe running it a third time, but everybody said, ‘no, you never heard of Winner, Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.'” Holden confessed that the tire may be done, now, “it was giving up on me at the end.”
Holden led the entire way in the non-stop affair. “I figured, if anybody would be close, it would be Lonny [Riggs],” and Holden was right on point. Riggs was second this time out. That snapped Kyle Fink’s run of second-place finishes. He was third. Jeff Schaffer made his season’s debut with a new car, and brought in across in fourth. J.R. McGinley nipped Tommy Kristyak for fifth on the last lap.
After Kristyak came Eric Gabany, Jeff Shaffer, Jr., Sid Unverzagt, Jr., and Kevin Hoffman.
Holden and Riggs were best in their respective heats. There was no B Main.
A pair of cautions and one red flag were minor interruptions for George Hobaugh, Jr., but he blew the right rear tire coming through the final turns on the last lap. C.J. Jones, who passed a Cody Bova for second only moments before Hobaugh’s misfortune, was the benefactor. Bova, Andy Priest, and Mike Marano, II also managed to slip ahead of the disappointed Hobaugh. Hobaugh limped across the line in fifth. Mike Miller, Vincent Daugherty, and Eric L. Williams were the remaining finishers. Justin Peck and George Englert were credited with top ten finishes based upon laps completed. Englert was unhurt in his flip in turn four. The preliminaries went to Hobaugh and Jones.
Defending track champion, Ryan Moyer, scored the easy victory in the the non-stop feature for the Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars. He broke the Orange Crush that had prevailed so far in 2016, Every race contested in this class was won by an orange car, that is, until Moyer cranked up his green machine. Shawn Smith raced his way into second, but he had no chance to catch the high-flying Moyer. William Hurrelbrink had the first orange car to cross the finish line, followed by Curt Bish, who led the early going with his orange car. Pat Fielding was fifth. Richard Chess and Garrett Calvert rounded out the field. Mike Hudzik was unable to start the feature. The heat winner was Hurrelbrink.
In the Elder Tractor Sales & Service Junior Sprints, Jordan Simmons grabbed the lead just past the halfway mark, and he cruised to the victory, over Chase Metheny, who led laps two through six. Early leader Roman Jones took third. Fourth went to Ayden Cipriano. Maddie Bova was fifth. Sam Darby and Alivia Bish rounded out the field. Simmons also prevailed in the heat race.
In the Mini Stocks, presented by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles, Tyler Fulton overcame a severe overheating problem to score the win, ahead of Isaac Paden, and Shane Shook. Jacob Rice and Donny Akins comple3ted the top five. William Haylett was sixth, with Tim Callahan, Todd Hanlon, and Summer Pitts next in line. Ed Haylett was unable to start the feature. The heat was won by Callahan.
The Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites feature was dominated by Doug Jones, who led the entire fifteen lap distance. Shane Webb rode home in second, ahead of Jacob Bova. Vivian Jones was fourth, with Kurt Eckstrom fifth. Kevin Smith, Josh Christopher, Shane Pfeuffer, Bill Stivason and Dusty Frantz completed the top ten. The heat winners were Eckstrom and Doug Jones.
Next week, Mercer Raceway Park will have a Saturday Night Live! program. It will be Twin State Auto Racing Fan Club Night, with all members in good standing gaining free grandstand admission. The Midseason Championships will be held on June 11, and it will also be a Herr’s Snack Foods Meet Your Heroes night.
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.
Marketing partners of Mercer Raceway Park include Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, Mercer Hardware, Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants, Scheidemantle Motors, Greenhill Farms Equipment, Inc., the Normandy Banquet Center of Hickory VFW Post 6166, Flynn’s Tire & Auto Service, Pizza Joe’s, Sharon Auto Wrecking, Inc., AMSOIL, Noga Ambulance Service, Inc., Pyrotechnico, Watson’s, Inc., Big Dog Indoor Racing & Hobby, Ritenour Equipment Co., Herr’s Foods, the American Cancer Society, Sunburst Environmental, and Lias Tires.
About Mercer Raceway Park: Mercer Raceway Park is a 3/8-mile dirt track located minutes from both Interstate 79 and 80 just off Route 19 on Fairground Road in Mercer, Pa. Dirt track racing and quality family entertainment are presented weekly from late March through late September. For more information, check out www. mercerracewaypark.com, www.twitter.com/mercerraceway, or www.facebook.com/mercerracewaypark.
Rick’s Trucks & Equipment Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series: Cooper Clouse, Shawn Westerffield Chad Wilson, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Drew Radar, Gale Ruth, Jr., Mike Miller, Michael Fischesser, Arnie Kent, Justin Owen, Carmeren Perigo, Jr., Mark Rossey, Riley Van Hise, Aaron Middaugh, Zack Morrow, Stratton Briggs, Andy Feil, Dustin Smith, Brandon Spithaler, Steve Litte. DNQ: Jacob Gomola, Rick Holley, Joe Butera, Dave Jones, Gale Ruth, Sr., Bob McMillin.
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Jimmy Holden, Lonny Riggs, Kyle Fink, Jeff Schaffer, J.R. McGinley, Tommy Kristyak, Eric Gabany, Jeff Shaffer, Jr., Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Kevin Hoffman, Erik Martin, Kevin Green, Richard Whitney (DNS).
Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: C.J. Jones, Cody Bova, Andy Priest, Mike Marano, II, George Hobaugh, Jr., Mike Miller, Vincent Daugherty, Eric L. Williams, Justin Peck, George Englert, Jeremy Kornbau, Darin Gallagher, Harold Braden, Jr. (DNS), Bobby Kanisperski (DNS), Greg Dobrosky (DNS).
Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: Ryan Moyer, Shawn Smith, William Hurrelbrink, Curt Bish, Pat Fielding, Richard Chess, Garrett Calvert (DNS).
Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Tyler Fulton, Isaac Paden, Shane Shook, Jacob Rice, Donny Akins, William Haylett, Tim Callahan, Todd Hanlon, Summer Pitts, Ed Haylett (DNS).
Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites: Doug Jones, Shane Webb, Jacob Bova, Vivian Jones, Kurt Eckstrom, Kevin Smith, Josh Christopher, Shane Pfeuffer, Bill Stivason, Dusty Frantz, Mark Marcucci, Chris Logan, Jason Johnston, Cody Cooper (DNS).
Elder Tractor Sales & Service Junior Sprints: Jordan Simmons, Chase Metheny, Roman Jones, Ayden Cipriano, Maddie Bova, Sam Darby, Alivia Bish.