(Mercer, PA October 7, 2017): Jimmy Holden put a capper on an outstanding 2017 season at Mercer Raceway Park, tking both nights of the 18th Annual Little Guys Nationals. Holden’s last win in the finale for the season-ending extravaganza was in 2012.
Also scoring victories were Rod Jones (Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites), Dave Shook (Ray’s Racing Collectibles and Eperthener’s Auto Wreckers Mini Stocks), Brandon Blackshear (Two Barrel Econo Modifieds), Cody Bova (Bonnell’s Rod Shop 305 Sprint Cars), Brent Johnson (Open Stock Cars A Main), Jeremy Weaver (RUSH Sportsmen Modifieds), Jeff Weaver and Todd Reusser (tie in the 270 Micros), Curtis J. Bish (Open Stock Cars B Main), and Evan Darby (Young Gun Junior Sprints).
Jimmy Holden, of Tiona, PA, was the winner of the Turn 4 Toilets feature for the 358 Modifieds. Holden benefited from an error by leader Phil Vigneri. The New Yorker spun in turn one while leading on lap 16.
Vigneri grabbed the lead on the opening lap, but the action was furious behind him. Andy Priest, Tommy Glenn, Lonny Riggs, and Travis Shingledecker were fighting for position. Riggs was trying to weave his way to the front when he spun in turn four. He was clobbered by Jason Sines. Neither driver was hurt, but both were eliminated from competition, as were several others.
On the restart, Vigneri remained out front, but Jimmy Holden took second and began the chase. However, Vigneri was having not trouble negotiating the trcky oval until lap 16, that is.
Holden was appointed the new leader, and that was all he needed to put the exclamation mark on the seasom. Steve Schumacher raced in second, with Travis Shingledecker in third. Phil Vigneri, who had worked his way back into the top five, began to apply the pressure.
At the finish, it was Holden, Schumacher, Shingledecker, Vigneri, and John Smith. Kyle Holden, Travis Walsh, Kevin Green, Jerry Bowser, and Matt Reeher completed the top ten.
Preliminaries went to Todd Gordon, Vigneri, and Riggs.
Cody Bova, of nearby Struthers, OH, won the biggest 305 Sprint Car race of his young career, getting the second night victory for the Bonnell’s Rod Shop portion of the Little Guy Nationals. Mike Marano II led at the start, but soon Devin Litwiler grabbed the lead. Litwiler had a comfortable three second lead wiped out by a caution. That enabled Bova, who was clearing a car per lap before the caution, to move forward at a quicker pace. Bova took second on lap eleven and three laps later he took the lead when Litwiler slid out over the edge of the backstretch. Matt Foos mounted an charge over the final handful of laps, but he could not catch the fleet Bova. Andy Priest was third, followed by Litwiler and Bobby Clark. Jeremy Kornbau, Mike Burkin, Marano, Gregg McCandless, and C.J. Jones completed the top en. The opening stanzas went to Clark and Litwiler.
In the A Main for the Open Stock Cars, Brent Johnson of Brookville, PA, romped to victory. Johnson got a scare on a late-race restart when Leigh Wheeler surged ahead from his third place starting spot. However, the move was nullified by a mid-pack wreck involving several cars. Johnson was better prepared for the next onslaught, and he was able to keep Wheeler at bay. Andy Thompson was second, followed by Wheeler. William Hurrelbrink and Jamie Duncan traded fourth several times, with Hurrelbrink keeping it for good. Jamie Scharba, Terry Wheeler, Pat Fielding, Gary Luzier, and Tyler Dietz completed the top ten. Tim Bish, Scharba, Johnson, and Leigh Wheeler were victors in the heat races.
Jeremy Weaver, of Franklin, PA, captured his first career RUSH Sportsman Modified feature event. Weaver held off Justin Shea, who also finished second on Friday night. Jerry Schaffer was third. Blaze Myers and Friday’s winner, Chaz Wolbert, completed the top five. Kole Holden recovered from an opening lap spin to get sixth. David Kalb, Jr., Will Schaffer, A.J. Gillespie, and Chad Gump rounded out the top ten. Heat winners were Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Steve Slater, and Jerry Schaffer.
Rod Jones of West Middlesex went wire to wire in the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lite portion of the Little Guys Nationals. The race was punctuated by a red for Chris Logan who went upside down, but was not hurt, and by several yellows for lesser incidents. Brent Begolo ran second, but he had to hold off Tracy Fritter over the course of the final handful of laps. Doug Stanley and Jeff Davis completed the top five. Kenny Meadows, Shayne Meadows, Bobby Springer, Kurt Eckstrom, and Ed Mudrick were in positions six through ten. Begolo and Fritter were the heat winners.
In the Mini Stocks, presented by Ray’s Racing Collectibles and Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking, Dave Shook outlasted Darrell Lawson, Jr., and Kyler Jolley. Mike Porterfield ran in the top five the entire way to get fourth. James Grossman was fifth. Next to cross were Kyle Donnelly, Justin Bailey, Tyler Young, William Haylett, and Tyler Fulton. The heat winners were Isaac Paden, Darrell Lawson, Jr., and Dave Shook.
Jeff Weaver, of Mill Hall, PA, and Todd Reusser, of Minerva, OH, tied in the 270 Micro Sprint feature. Weaver and Reusser were fighting for the lead on the last lap, when contact was made, and they both fell back several positions. But, a caution gave them both another chance, as the restart was based on the last completed lap, Again, they went at it with hammers and tongs. They came off turn four charging to the falgstand. The officials were evenly divided as to the winner, so the race was declared to be a tie. Their one lap dash for the win was marred by a crash involving Jeff Haefke, the Friday night winner. Haefke was among the top runners when he hit the wall just a few yards from the finish line. Taking third was Luke Kroboth ahead of Brian Borawiec. The remaining cars reverted to lap 14 scoring due to the red flag for Haefke. So, fifth went to Ryan Fredericks. Sixth through tenth belonged to Dave Hawkins, Scott Hawkins, Brandon Fredericks, Tim Eakin, and Chase Metheny. The heat winners were Reusser, Borawiec, and Austin Pasquarella. The B Main winner was Levi Truitt.
The Open Stock Cars B Main was the nightcap. It was a crash-filled event with Curtis J. Bish taking his battered car across the line in first. Scott Byers was second, followed Mike Bordt, Brett McDonald, and Jason Black completing the top five. Garrett Calvert, Jesse Brock, Justin Forsythe, Bob McCann, and Steve Allison completed the top ten.
Evan Darby doubled up this weekend getting his second Young Gun Junior Sprint feature. Brother Samuel Darby gave chase. Mike Lutz, Jr. was third, ahead of Jordan Simmons, Tyler Allison, Luke Mulichak, Stone Lapcevich, Nate Hoffner, and Alston Randall. Samuel Darby was the heat winner.
The management and staff of Mercer Raceway Park thank all competitors and fans for a great 2017 season.
Turn 4 Toilets 358 Modifieds: Jimmy Holden, Steve Schumacher, Travis Shingledecker, Phil Vigneri, John Smith, Kyle Holden, Travis Walsh, Kevin Green, Jerry Bowser, Matt Reeher, Tom Glenn, Richard Whitney, Greg Martin, Kevin Hoffman, Todd Gordon, Andy Priest, J.R. McGinley, Lonny Riggs, Jason Sines, Kyle Fink, Tommy Kristyak, Byron Kress, Jeff Schaffer, Sr. (DNS).
Bonnell’s Rod Shop 305 Sprint Cars: Cody Bova, Matt Foos, Andy Priest, Devin Litwiler, Bobby Clark, Jeremy Kornbau, Mike Burkin, Marano, Gregg McCandless, C.J. Jones, Luke Daugherty, Frank Neill, Mike Miller, Bob McMillin, Nevan O’Donnell, Dustin Rull, Shamus O’Donnell (DNS).
Open Stock Cars (A Main): Brent Johnson, Andy Thompson, Leigh Wheeler, William Hurrelbrink, Jamie Duncan, Jamie Scharba, Terry Wheeler, Pat Fielding, Gary Luzier, Tyler Dietz, Mike Miller, Hunter Exley, Gary Fisher, Jacob Billyk, Mike Clark, Bruce Hartzfeld, Russ Coyne, Tim Bish, Bobby Heim, Mark Thompson.
RUSH Sportsmen Modifieds: Jeremy Weaver, Justin Shea, Jerry Schaffer, Blaze Myers, Chaz Wolbert, Kole Holden, David Kalb, Jr., Will Schaffer, A.J. Gillespie, Chad Gump, Brandon Ritchey, Steve Slater, Tiffany Williams, Jason Huffnagle, Brian Schaffer, Rocky Kugel, Sid Unverzagt, Jr., Todd Gabriel, Michael Kristyak, Josh Deems, Preston Cope, Billy Myers, Jim Bryce, Jacob Jordan, Kyle Fink, Gary Haupt (DNS).
Open Stocks (B Main): Curtis J. Bish, Scott Byers, Mike Bordt, Brett McDonald, Jason Black, Garrett Calvert, Jesse Brock, Justin Forsythe, Bob McCann, Steve Allison, David Baker, Gary Robinson, Troy Norman, Joe Stajnrajh, Brian Lacey (DNS), Charlie McMillen (DNS), Mike Hudzik (DNS), Bill Best (DNS).
Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites: Rod Jones, Brent Begolo, Tracy Fritter, Doug Stanley, Jeff Davis, Kenny Meadows, Shayne Meadows, Bobby Springer, Kurt Eckstrom, Ed Mudrick, Tiffany Williams, Shane Webb, Dusty Frantz, Chris Logan, Jeremy Bean, Larry Bevivno, Cole Petrelle, Shawn Sliter, Mitchell Heverly, Keith Smith (DNS), Josh Wyer (DNS).
Ray’s Racing Collectibles/Eperthener’s Auto Wreckers Mini Stocks: Dave Shook, Darrell Lawson, Jr., Kyler Jolley, Mike Porterfield, James Grossman, Kyle Donnelly, Justin Bailey, Tyler Young, William Haylett, Tyler Fulton, Bill Fuchs, J.R. Shaner, Logan Keney, Isaac Paden, Jamie Tasker, Tim Callahan, Shane Shook, Ed Haylett, Will Aley, John MCCracken, Jr., Henry Cales, Nick Steiger, Dakota Papsun (DNS), Steve Walker (DNS).
Two Barrel Econo Modifieds: Brandon Blackshear, Mitchell Wright, Josh Mueller, Brad Blackshear, Todd Canter, Mike Boyd, Dan McDonald, Ray Gregory, Mark Titos, Gary Miller, Chuck Steinle, Jr., Justin Lapecevich, Gary Robinson, Josh Ferry, Nate Young, Richard Chess, Jr., Steve Haefke.
270 Micro Sprints: Jeff Weaver and Todd Reusser (tie), Luke Kroboth, Brian Borawiec, Ryan Fredericks, Dave Hawkins, Scott Hawkins, Brandon Fredericks, Tim Eakin, Chase Metheny, Wes Liebert, Noah Wirginis, Ryan Beatty, Mike Kerr, Skeetz Hockenbreel, Johnny Walker, Brett Brunkenhoefer, Levi Truitt, Michael Mecklem, Austin Pasquarella, Jeff Haefke, Dan Wertman, Brandon Hawkins, C.J. Deetz. DNQ: Tyler Hawkins, Tom Morell, Dustin Young, Jacob Isenhart, Ricky Tucker.
Young Gun Junior Sprints: Evan Darby, Samuel Darby, Mike Lutz, Jr., Jordan Simmons, Tyler Allison, Luke Mulichak, Stone Lapcevich, Nate Hoffner, Alston Randall.