(Mercer, PA July 23, 2016): Michael Bauer logged his first career 4 Your Car Connection 410 Sprint Car victory at Mercer Raceway Park. For Bauer, who once dominated the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warrior class, the transition to the more powerful 410 Sprints was a slow and difficult process. But, after crashing the trusty Trevis Craft car that served him so well at the start of his career, Bauer acquired a GF-1 chassis and it was clear that the first win would be coming soon. “It feels great, it’s been a while, but the team stuck with me we just kept grinding, and I’m speechless, I am so happy.”
Also taking wins were Jimmy Holden (Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds), Jimmy Seger (Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, William Hurrelbrink (Precise Racing Products Open Stocks), Jacob Bova (Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites), Tyler Fulton (Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks), and Roman Jones (Elder Tractor Sales & Service Junior Sprints).
Dennis Wagner was ready to make history in the 4 Your Car Connection 410 Sprint Car feature. He started up front with his 360 powered sprint Car, and he held control for the first half of the race. Everybody was wondering if Wagner could pull off the upset. While he ran out front, Michael Bauer worked his way into second. Bauer challenged Wagner a couple of times in traffic, but he finally made the winning pass racing down the back stretch on lap 12.
Wagner continued to hold down second in the non-stop affair, but with just two laps remaining, the points leader, Jack Sodeman, Jr., passed Wagner and a lapped car coming down the front stretch.
At the checkers, it was Bauer by nearly 4.5 seconds over Sodeman. Bauer explained ho he was able to pull away so easily. “I felt real comfortable there in the lapped traffic. We were running the bottom but we passed a lapped car up high in one and two, and the car felt even better there, so we went to the top and found more speed up there.”
Wagner held down third, a very creditable performance with his underpowered machine, with A.J. Flick and Brandon Matus next.
Andy McKisson raced through the field to get sixth, ahead of Scott Priester, Brent Matus, Gale Ruth, Jr., and Dan Shetler.
The heat winners were Sodeman and Flick.
Jimmy Holden make things look easy, and quite easy at that, in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. “We strayed from our set-up probably about three weeks or a month ago, and after that race, I said, ‘you know what, put it back, put it back where it was, and the car has been good all year.”
Holden led from start to finish. “We made a different tire choice, it (the car) wasn’t very happy on the long runs before, we had real good speed out of the gates before but, you know, we changed the tires up a little bit and got it to run a little better a little longer.”
The only thing that slowed Holden down was a major crash on the frontstretch as the racers completed lap one. Nobody was injured, butthe car of Jeff Schaffer, Jr. was done for the night.
When the race resumed, Holden was out front and never headed. He Lonny Riggs ran a distant second. Kyle Fink wrestled third away from Tommy Kristyak. Sid Unverzagt, Jr. turned in a steady performance nabbing fifth.
Kyle Holden, Kevin Green, Ryan Kemery, and Jason Sines finished the race. Schaffer was scored in the tenth spot.
There was just one heat this night, and it went to Fink.
In the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, it looked as though Cody Bova would be the talk of Mercertown. However, on a restart with just two laps remaining, Jimmy Seger dove to the inside of Bova and snatched the lead away. “I got that caution with two to go, that’s what I needed, I needed to have an opportunity to bunch up with him. I knew that I could catch him, he was floating around the lapped cars up top.” Seger, on the other hand, was good, if not better, on the bottom, and Bova left the lane open for him as they raced toward turn one.
Seger went on to earn his first victory at the Park in the Lockhart 58. “This is the first ti I’ve had to drive a race car and not do anything to it during the week.” Seger, explained thatthe car is really easy to drive. “I will tell you this right now, a monkey could drive this car, it is a real good piece.”
Bova led Andy Priest to the finish line. Greg Dobrosky was fourth, despite mixing things up with Priest under the caution. Mike Marano, II, was fifth. Positions six through ten went to Jacob Gomola, Darin Gallagher, Rod Jones, Mike Miller, and Kyle Colwell.
Seger was also the winner of the lone heat race.
In the Precise Racing Products Open Stocks, Andy Thompson jumped out to the lead, but, by the time that the field reached turn three on the opening lap, Russ Byler assumed command. Over the next few laps, points leader William Hurrelbrink worked his way into second. Thompson raced along in third, ahead of Bob Schwartzmiller and Leigh Wheeler. The race was halted on lap 15 when Curt Bish pulled off the track in turn two due to a small fire under the hood. It was extinguished without incident, and Bish was unhurt. Hurrelbrink surged ahead of Byler on the restart, and he survived two more on his way to the win. Behind Hurrelbrink and Byler came Thompson, Schwartzmiller by a nose, and Wheeler. Ryan Moyer clawed his way up to sixth. Terry Wheeler was seventh, then Dan Fedorchak, Charlie Baptiste, and Troy Norman. The pair of qualifiers went to Hurrelbrink and Thompson.
After missing a week of action for a family vactaion in Florida, Jacob Bova returned to the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites with determination. He swept his heat and the feature. Points leader Doug Jones was second. Shane Pfeuffer came home in third, with Kenny Meadows and Jason Johnson rounding out the top five. Shane Webb was sixth. Vivian Jones was seventh, with Dusty Frantz, Mark Marcucci, and Keith Smith next. Bova and Meadows were triumphant in the preliminaries.
Tyler Fulton passed the early leader, Tim Callahan, and went on to victory in the Mini Stocks presented by Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. When Callahan’s car faltered on the last lap, that gave second position to Shane Shook. Isaac Paden was third, followed by Tyler Young, and then Callahan. Karlee Longwell was sixth, ahead of Darrell Lawson, Jr., Summer Pitts, Ed Haylett, Josh Rathbun, and Kenny Lawson. The heat winners were Callahan and Paden.
In the Elder Tractor Sales & Service Junior Sprints, Roman Jones continued his hot streak, winning both the heat and feature events. Ayden Cipriano ran second for the entire distance. Sammy Darby was third, a position he regained when Jordan Simmons retired from the event. Fourth was Austin Cavanaugh. Simmons was scored in fifth based on laps completed.
In the children’s bicycle races, presented by Approved Toilet Rentals and Ray’s Racing Collectibles, the winners were Tylor Thompson, Austin Wheeler, and Ricky Tucker in the 5-6 year old class, Carly Gabriel, Reagan Young, and Nathan Mabry in the 7-8 year old class, Connor Cook, Brayden Booher, and Gavin Grant in the 9 year old class, and Jared Marsh, Nicole Young, and Hunter Grant in the 10-12 year old class. All children were treated to free milk from Dean’s Dairy, courtesy of the Mercer County Dairy Princess.
Next week will be a Saturday Night Live! racing program, however, there will be no 4 Your Car Connection Sprint Cars. Racing will start at 5:30.
4 Your Car Connection 410 Sprint Cars: Michael Bauer, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Dennis Wagner, A.J. Flick, Brandon Matus, Andy McKisson, Scott Priester, Brent Matus, Gale Ruth, Jr., Dan Shetler, John Garvin, Jr., Alex Paden, Davey Jones, Ladon LaLonde, Gale Ruth, Sr., George Hobaugh, Jr.
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Jimmy Holden, Lonny Riggs, Kyle Fink, Tommy Kristyak, Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Kyle Holden, Kevin Green, Ryan Kemery, Jason Sines, Jeff Schaffer, Jr.
Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: Jimmy Seger, Cody Bova, Andy Priest, Greg Dobrosky, Mike Marano, II, Jacob Gomola, Darin Gallagher, Rod Jones, Mike Miller, Kyle Colwell.
Precise Racing Products Open Stocks: William Hurrelbrink, Russ Byler, Andy Thompson, Bob Schwartzmiller, Leigh Wheeler, Ryan Moyer, Terry Wheeler, Dan Fedorchak, Charlie Baptiste, Troy Norman, Steve Allison, Shawn Smith, Richard Chess, Sr., Curt Bish.
Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites: Jacob Bova, Doug Jones, Shane Pfeuffer, Kenny Meadows, Jason Johnson, Shane Webb, Vivian Jones, Dusty Frantz, Mark Marcucci, Keith Smith, Josh Christopher.
Epertherner’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks: Tyler Fulton, Shane Shook.Isaac Paden, Tyler Young, Karlee Longwell, Darrell Lawson, Jr., Summer Pitts, Ed Haylett, Josh Rathbun, Kenny Lawson, Josh Christopher.
Elder Tractor Sales & Service Junior Sprints: Roman Jones, Ayden Cipriano, Sammy Darby, Austin Cavanaugh. Jordan Simmons.