(Mercer, PA July 18, 2016): With the Mid-Season Championships in the books, the points leaders in some divisions strengthened their grips on the championship hardware, one saw his margin shrink, and a couple of others climbed ahead of their adversaries. This week, Mercer Raceway Park will be back to a normal Saturday Night Live! program, so dramatic swings may not occur unless a racer encounters a major misfortune. Along with the full slate of racing in seven star-studded divisions, there will be bicycle races for the children, courtesy of Approved Toilet Rentals and Ray’s Racing Collectibles.
Jack Sodeman, Jr. was one of the racers who stretched his points lead last week. He won a thriller in the 4 Your Car Connection 410 Sprint Car division over hard-charging Brandon Spithaler. Spithaler did get his nose ahead of Sodeman at one point late in the race, but he could not complete the pass. The biggest shake-up in the standings, however, was in the fall of Brandon Matus from second to third, due to a mechanical problem that sidelined him early in the fray. Moving ahead was A.J. Flick. Just two points separate them, so Matus could find himself back in second if he were to finish a position or two ahead of Flick. Scott Priester and Brandon Spithaler also leapfrogged over Michael Bauer, who had troubles in both his heat and the feature. Speaking of troubles, Dennis Wagner had an outstanding run come to an end when he crashed in turn two while running in the top five with his smaller 360 powerplant! These racers and more are expected to do battle this week.
In the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, Kyle Fink saw Jimmy Holden cut into his point lead. Holden swept his heat and the feature, getting the maximum number of available points. Lonny Riggs copped the other heat and then he nipped Fink at the finish line for second place money and points. Tommy Krisyak, Frank Guidace, Jeff Schaffer, Sr. and Jr., Sid Unverzagt, Jr., and other top drivers will be on hand to do battle with the trio of Fink, Holden, and Riggs.
Andy Priest won the feature in the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, so he, too, padded his points lead. Jimmy Seger finished second, but that was not good enough to gain any ground on the veteran driver. Mike Marano, II seemed to have his overheating problems under control, as he finished third in the double point race. These fellows will face stiff competition from the likes of Gregg McCandless, Rod Jones, Eric L. Williams, Mike Miller, Darin Gallagher, and others in this highly competitive class.
Russ Byler won the Precise Racing Products Open Stock race, but WIlliam Hurrelbrink still put more distance on defending champion Ryan Moyer. Steady Pat Fielding, and recent winner Shawn Smith can also be counted on to challenge for the win! A number of new drivers made their fist appearances of the season, so it will be interesting to see how many return to get their cars dialed in for the Little Guy Nationals coming up in September.
Mark Marcucci chalked up another win in the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites , but he still has a way to go to catch Doug Jones. Jones has a 78 point lead over Shane Webb now. Kurt Eckstrom sits third and Marcucci is fourth. Young Vivian Jones is fifth, ahead of veteran Jason Johnson.
Tyler Fulton’s victory in the Mini Stocks puts him at the top of the list in the Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles championship hunt. Isaac Paden is only 17 markers behind, so this contest could go down to the wire! Popular Pete Blazak is back, and he is looking to get back to victory lane.
There is a new sheriff in town in the Elder Tractor Sales & Service Junior Sprints. A pair of wins has propelled Roman Jones ahead of his pal, Jordan Simmons. Ayden Cipriano is looking to get his first win. Chase Metheney, who started off the season with a number of wins, has slipped back in the standings, but e is always a factor whenever he is on the track. These youngsters and more will be in action.
Remember that the three-star racing starts at 5:30 for the Modified Lites, Mini Stocks, and Junior Sprints. Then, the four-star attraction comes trackside at approximately 7 p.m. That is when the Stock Cars, 358 Modifieds, and both Sprint Car classes will go to the post. Sandwiched in between the heats and features for those classes will be the bicycle races.
Parents are cautioned that all children wishing to participate in the bicycle races must have their helmets!
The Pit gates will swing open at 3 p.m., while those for the grandstands will open an hour later.
Regular event ticket pricing will apply for the July 23 program. Thus, adults will be admitted for $13, seniors (60+) for $11, and students (9-15) for $5. The Family Pass will be available for the low price of $28, and that will apply for two adults and up to four minors of any age. The Pit Pass will be $30.
If you cannot make it to the speedway on July 23, please note that the July 30 program will not include the 4 Your Car Connection 410 Sprints. All other divisions will be in action, however.
Remember, too, 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.