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Fink Flashes to 358 Modified Victory

(Mercer, PA July 10, 2016): Kyle Fink, “the Strattanville Charger,” showed why he earned and prefers that nickname, as he dominated the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified feature event at the Mercer Raceway Park. “It was nice starting up front,” he said before confiding that he would rather have started third or fourth so he could see how the track was. But truth be told, as strong as his car was this night, he could have started anywhere in the field and the outcome would probably have been the same.

Also taking checkers were Greg Dobrosky (Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors), Leigh Wheeler (Precise Racing Products Open Stocks), Mark Marcucci (Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites), Isaac Paden (Epertherner’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks), and Roman Jones (Elder Tractor Sales & Service Junior Sprints).

The luck of the draw put Fink on the pole with Jeff Schaffer, Jr. on his flank for the start of the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified feature. Veterans Kevin Green and Tommy Kristyak had the second row covered, with Frankie Guidace and Jimmy Holden in row three. That was how they raced for the fist several laps before Lonny Riggs began picking his way through the field. It was during this phase of the race that Fink’s arch rival, Jimmy Holden, retired with an apparent motor problem.

While Fink bolted out to a huge lead in the non-stop affair, Schaffer continued to race in second until lap thirteen. That was when Kristyak snaked his way past some lapped cars and Schaffer to take the second spot. Unfortunately for Kristyak, the caution never brought Fink back to him.

Lonny Riggs also slipped past Schaffer with just a handful of laps remaining. Schaffer held on for a creditable fourth, with Guidace grabbing fifth. Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Kyle Holden, Green, and Jimmy Parenti, Jr. were the other finishers. Rich Whitney was placed in tenth based upon his laps completed.

The pair of heat races belonged to Fink and Riggs.

Greg Dobrosky also led start to finish in a non-stop race to earn his first career win at Mercer Raceway Park in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors. “We’ve had some opportunities a couple of times, but this was the first time we finished one off,” said the happy victor. Dobrosky, who is well known for his colorful cars honoring famous racing machines like “Old Calhoun,” and “Johnny Lightening,” explained that this car, which resembles a creamsicle ice cream bar, is not patterned off any particular racer of the past. “Ed (Demmy, his car owner) wanted to do an orange car, so we just took some different paint schemes and ideas from some different cars and out it together.”

“Big G,” George Englert, that is, raced second the whole way, but he was unable to mount a serious challenge to the high-flying Dobrosky. Behind this duo, however, the competition was furious. Cody Bova worked into third and then he had to fend off last week’s winner and current points leader, Andy Priest, for third. Jimmy Seger closed in on them getting fifth.

Jacob Gomola, Gregg McCandless, Kyle Colwell, Mike Miller, and Vinnie Dougherty completed the top ten.

The heat victors were Gomola and McCandless.

In the Precise Racing Products Open Stocks, there was only one caution, for debris, and that development turned out to be critical. Russ Byler powered pas Leigh Wheeler on the outside of turns one and two on the opening lap, and it appeared as though Byler would head to victory lane. But, on that one and only restart, he opted for the inside line and Wheeler returned the favor, taking the lead soon after the race went green.

Ryan Moyer and William Hurrelbrink battled for third, with the defending champion topping the current points leader. Pat Fielding ran a consistent race to get fifth. Shawn Smith led Jamie Sharba, Charlie McMillen, Terry Wheeler, and Curt Bish to the checkers.

Preliminaries went to Hurrelbrink and Wheeler.

Mark Marcucci snagged the lead away from Kenny Meadows on lap five of the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites, and they maintained that running order the rest of the way to the checkers. Meanwhile, Doug Jones raced up to third. Jacob Bova was involved in Keith Smith’s spectacular crash, but Bova rebounded to fourth. Kurt Eckstrom was fifth. Shane Webb, Jason Johnson, Joey Sisk, Josh Christopher, and Dusty Frantz rounded out the top ten. Smith, who was unhurt in his crash, prevailed in his heat race. Bova scored the other win.

Tim Callahan celebrated his retirement from the Pennsylvania State Police by leading the opening laps of the Mini Stock feature, presented by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. However, Isaac Paden drove by on lap three and he went on to the win. Pete Blazak made a successful return to Mercer Raceway Park to get second. Tyler Fulton came from last to get third. Rick Feeley, Gary Stanke, Denny Aikins, William Haylett, Karlee Longwell, Tyler Young, and Shane Shook were next in line. Aikins and Shook led their respective qualifiers.

Roman Jones broke Jordan Simmons’ stranglehold on the Edler Tractor Sales & Service Junior Sprints, taking both the heat and feature wins. Jones advanced to second on lap two and he chased his buddy, Simmons, until two laps were left in the contest. Jones swooped past, and went on to victory, while Simmons faltered and retired from action. Following Jones across the line were Ayden Cipriano, Austin Cavanaugh, and Maddie Bova. Simmons was credited for fifth. Alivia Bish was unable to start the feature.

The 4 Your Car Connection 410 Sprints will return as part of the Midseason Championships on July 16. That night will offer double points for all racers. It will be Meet Your Heroes Night, presented by Herr’s Snack Foods. Because it will also be American Cancer Society Racing for a Cure Night, all cancer survivors will be admitted for free. Also gaining free admission will be all members in good standing of the Twin State Auto Racing Fan Club.

July 23 will be the rescheduled bicycle races for all children. This will be presented by Approved Toilet Rentals and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. Please remember that all children must wear helmets to compete.

Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Kyle Fink, Tommy Kristyak, Lonny Riggs, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Frank Guidace, Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Kyle Holden, Kevin Green, Jimmy Parenti, Jr., Rich Whitney, Jimmy Holden, Ryan Kemery (DNS), Jason Sines (DNS).

Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Greg Dobrosky, George Englert, Cody Bova, Andy Priest, Jimmy Seger, Jacob Gomola, Gregg McCandless, Kyle Colwell, Mike Miller, Vinnie Dougherty, Mike Marano, II, Rod Jones, Harold Braden, Jr..

Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars: Leigh Wheeler, Russ Byler, Ryan Moyer, William Hurrelbrink, Pat Fielding, Shawn Smith, Jamie Sharba, Charlie McMillen, Terry Wheeler, Curt Bish, David Snider, Steve Allison.

Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites: Mark Marcucci, Kenny Meadows, Doug Jones, Jacob Bova, Kurt Eckstrom, Shane Webb, Jason Johnson, Joey Sisk, Josh Christopher, Dusty Frantz, Brandon Shaw, Keith Smith, Vivian Jones.

Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Isaac Paden, Pete Blazak, Tyler Fulton, Rick Feeley, Gary Stanke, Denny Aikins, William Haylett, Karlee Longwell, Tyler Young, Shane Shook, Summer Pitts, Ed Haylett, Tim Callahan, Jacob Rice.

Elder Tractor Sales & Service Junior Sprints: Roman Jones, Ayden Cipriano, Austin Cavanaugh, Maddie Bova, Jordan Simmons, Alivia Bish (DNS).