(Mercer, PA July 14, 2016): This Saturday, July 16, Mercer Raceway Park will host the Mid-Season Championships for all seven divisions that normally race there. “We are actually past the midpoint of our season, but we lost the original date due to inclement weather,” explained track owner and promoter Bill Altman. “The forecast is looking favorable for this weekend, so we are expecting the racers to put on a spectacular show; the competition is so intense becasue it could be a make or break situation for the racers hoping for a point title.”
In addition to the thrilling racing on Mid-Season Championship Night, fans will enjoy the opportunities to get “up close and personal” with the racers, as the cars will be on display during breaks in the action. The racers will bring their machines behind the grandstands so the fans can take pictures, get autographs, or mingle with their favorite drivers. Many of them will have picture cards, candy, or other things to give to the fans, especially the younger set. This special “Meet Your Heroes” event is made possible by Herr’s Snacks, the official snack food of Mercer Raceway Park.
But, there will also be raffles and other fun activities presented by the American Cancer Society, as it will also be “Racing for the Cure Night.” All cancer survivors will be admitted for free, as will be all members in good standing of the Twin State Auto Racing Fan Club.
The pressure will be on all of the top racers to have a successful run in the Mid-Season Championships. A good finish is important because the points awarded will be doubled. Conversely, if a top runner is eliminated due to an on-track incident or a mechanical failure, fewer points will be earned.
In the Mid-Season Championships, the leading contenders will line up for their feature events based on the points accumulated over the first half of the season. To be eligible to claim a prime starting spot, these racers must excel in their heat races. Depending on the number of entries, the top three or four drivers from each heat will get the preferred starting positions. So, if a driver has some misfortune in a heat race, he or she could be relegated to the middle of the field, or worse, for the start of the race, making it tougher to achieve a top finishing spot.
In the 4 Your Car Connection 410 Sprints, Jack Sodeman, Jr. has a nine point edge on Brandon Matus, one or the other could take a big leap forward in the quest for the track title. Michael Bauer is just 39 points out of first place, so, with a little luck, he, too, could be in the hunt with a strong run on Saturday evening. Others who could claim top starting spots are Scott Priester, A.J. Flick, Alex Paden, Brandon Spithaler, Brent Matus, John Garvin, Jr., Carl Bowser, and Dan Kuriger. These racers, and many more, are expected for this prestigious event.
With his win last week, Kyle Fink now has a 51 point margin over Jimmy Holden in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. Can Fink Stretch it out, or will Holden narrow the gap? Lonny Riggs and Tommy Kristyak are locked in a battle for third, so some separation could develop there. Jeff Schaffer, Jr. will be trying to solidify his position in the top five, but Sid Unverzagt, Jr. is within striking distance. Frank Guidace, Kevin Green, J.R. McGinley, and Richard Whitney will also be in the mix.
Andy Priest now has a 42 point advantage over the tag-team of Gearge Hobaugh, Jr. and Jimmy Seger. Fans will remember that Seger replaced Hobaugh in the potent Lockhart 58 Outlaw Sprint Warrior several weeks ago. Seger would like nothing better than to establish his own identity in that car, which he could easily do with a win in the event presented by Bonnell’s Rod Shop. Mike Marano, II had a top finish in his reach last week, but an overheating motor foced him to the sidelines with a lap to go. He will try to make up for that this time out, for sure. Gregg McCandless, Cody Bova, Vincent Doughert, Eric L. WIlliams, Mike Miller, and Darin Gallagher could also have a say in the outcome.
In the Precise Racing Products Open Stocks, William Hurrelbrink and Ryan Moyer have distanced themselves from the rest of the group. But drivers like Pat Fielding, Curt Bish, Shawn Smith, Russ Byler, and more will make things interesting.
Doug Jones remains at the top of the standings in the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites, but Shane Webb, Jacob Bova, Kurt Eckstrom, and Vivian Jones will challenge. Former champions, like Mark Marcucci and Shane Pfeuffer, are also expected to be on hand.
Two young racers, Isaac Paden and Tyler Fulton, have risen to the top of the Mini Stock class, which is presented by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. Shane Shook, Jacob Rice, and second-generation racer William Haylett will be looking to unseat them.
Last but not least, the Elder Tractor Sales & Service Junior Sprints will have their first ever Mid-Season Championship. Jordan Simmons has been on a hot streak, but Roman Jones finally broke the ice. Ayden Cipriano, Chase Metheny, and others will try for the win.
The racing will start at 5:30 for the heats and features for the Junior Sprints, Mini Stocks, and Modified Lites. After their racing is completed, these racers will be positioned behind the stands for their meet and greet session. The remaining four classes will spring into action at approximately 7 p.m. Their meet and greet will come during an intermission between the heats and features.
The pit gates will open at 3 p.m., and the grandstands will open at 4 p.m. Come out early to enjoy the activities.
The admission prices will be the normal Saturday Night Live! regime. That means that the adults will pay just $13, seniors (60+) $11, and students (9-15) $5. The children (8 and under) will be free, as always. The Family Pass will be $28, and that will apply to two adults and up to four minors of any age. The Pit Passes will be $30.
Next weekend, will be another Saturday Night Live! event, along with bike races for teh children, courtesy of Approved Toilet Rentals and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. Remeber, parents, thatthe children will need their helmets to be able to race.
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.