(Mercer, PA July 13, 2108): William Hurrelbrink, the 2016 track champion in the Stock Car division at Mercer Raceway Park, showed that he still remembered the fast way around the tricky oval. Hurrelbrink snatched the lead from Rusty Wheeler, who encountered difficulties coming off turn two early in the race. Hurrelbrink then held off stiff challenges from Wheeler, Pat Fielding, Rusty Moore, Troy Norman, and Curtis J. Bish before he could claim his laurels. The seventh career win for Hurrelbrink was worth $600.
Also scoring wins on the first night of the Mercer Summer Nationals were Brian Borawiec in the 270 Micros, and Casey Burch in the Mini Stocks.
Wheeler took the lead from his pole position, followed by Hurrelbrink, Hunter Exley, Fielding, Bish, Gary Miller, Jr., and Jarod Larson. Wheeler’s misfortune came on lap 8, and Hurrelbrink would lead the rest of the way in the 20 lapper, albeit with frequent challenges as noted above.
Turn four was a place where a lot of the night’s action took place in the Stock Car feature. There was no less than four incidents in that corner alone. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in any of them.
Lap 11 also turned out to be eventful for several drivers. With the field bunched up for a restart, Wheeler and Bill Phillips tangled near the entry to turn one. In addition, midway through the first and second turns, Miller and Larson also got together. Miller and Rusty Moore pitted under the extended caution, leading to a wholesale changes in the running order. Miller returned to the track on the next caution, but he lost a lap in the pits. While he tried valiantly to get it back, he was unable to work his way to the front completely.
Hurrelbrink took the checkers first, followed by Bish, Fielding, Norman, and Steve Allison, who also had some troubles during the course of the race. Jacob Billyk crashed in turn four on the final lap, and did not finish, but he was credited with sixth based on laps completed. Then came Miller, Mike Hudzik, Jimmy Kennekecht, and Gill Demello.
Mudzik was named the hard charger for advancing twelve positions in the race. He received a $50 bonus courtesy of GM Roofing & Construction.
Heat winners were Wheeler, Fielding. and Bish. Hurrelbrink was the evening’s fastest qualifier at 18.783 seconds.
Brian Borawiec jumped out to a big lead in the 270 Micro feature, and was never headed. Jeff Haefke got several chances to overtake him on restarts, but he could not pull off the pass.
While Borawiec and Haefke cruised out front, Ryan Beatty and Todd Reusser battled with Dave Hawkins, Wes Liebert, and others for positions in the top ten.
On the final lap, C.J. Davis crashed hard between turns three and four. He was unhurt.
The top ten were Borawiec, Haefke, Beatty, Reusser, Dave Hawkins, Liebert, Noah Wirgins, Tim Eakin, Chase Matheny, and Johnny Walker. Borawiec collected $500 for his efforts.
The hard charger was Jacob Isenhart, who passed nine cars during the contest. He received a $50 bonus for Watson Racing in honor of the late D.J. Forney, a former winner at the track. Numerous other prizes and gift certificates were doled out to the 270 Micro division.
The heat winners were Wirgins, Beatty, and Dave Hawkins. The fastest Micro in qualifications was Todd Reusser, at 17.713 seconds.
Casey Burch dominated the Mini Stock feature, which paid a whopping $700 to win. Retired State Trooper Tim Callahan came on for second late in in the race. Mike Porterfield chased him home.Rick Feely and Steve Longwell, Sr. completed the top five. Zack Eller, James Grossman, Ed Cornell, Dave Phillips, and Cory Price were the sixth through tenth place finishers.
The heat winners were Jason Pavlik, Burch, and Porterfiled.
Open Stock Cars: Bill Hurrelbrink, Curtis J. Bish, Pat Fielding, Troy Norman, Steve Allison, Jacob Billyk, Gary Miller, Jr., Mike Hudzik, Jimmy Kennekecht, Gill Demello, Russ Coyne, Hunter Exley, James Fosnaught, Jamie Sharba, Bill Phillips, Rusty Moore, Jarod Larson, Rusty Wheeler, Charlie McMillan, Joe Stajnrajh, Jamie Duncan, Charlie Baptiste, Brian Lacey (DNS).
270 Micros: Brian Borawiec, Jeff Haefke, Ryan Beatty, Todd Reusser, Dave Hawkins, Wes Liebert, Noah Wirgins, Tim Eakin, Chase Matheny, Johnny Walker, Jacob Isenhart, Tanner Price, Jason Hamecek, Brandon Hawkins, Dustin Young, Ivan Johnson, Paul Davis, C.J. Davis, Ricky Tucker, John Wise, Brandon Fredericks, Lonnie McConahey, Ryan Fredericks, Sterling Theiss (DNS), Mike Mecklem (DNS).
Mini Stocks: Casey Burch dominated the Mini Stock feature, which paid a whopping $700 to win. Retired State Trooper Tim Callahan came on for second late in in the race. Mike Porterfield chased him home. Rick Feely and Steve Longwell, Sr. completed the top five. Zack Eller, James Groswsman, Ed Cornell, Dave Phillips, Cory Price, Kelly Clark, Summer Pitts, Bill Fuchs, Jeff Hanlon, Shane Shook, Donnelly, William Haylett, Jason Pavlick (DNS), Jay Swager (DNS), Alan Perry (DNS), Jacob Rice (DNS), J.R. Shaner (DNS).