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Smackdown! Coming: Two Rounds of Modified Madness at Mercer Raceway Park this Weekend

Expo 71113 - Murdick 2

Mercer, PA (July 9, 2014): The spotlight will shine on the Modified division this week at Mercer Raceway Park. The annual Smackdown! between the track’s Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds and the Big Blocks of the BRP Modified Tour has been expanded to a two-day program for 2014, with complete racing programs being offered on Saturday and Sunday, July 12 and 13. Gates will open each night a 4 p.m., with practice at 6:30 and racing at 7.

Joining in the fun will be the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, The Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, and the Rock Concrete Modified Lites. The Stocks will operate under the Open Stock rules this week. Plus, the Sunday program will include the first appearance at the track for the Hornack Penn Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series!

With his win last Saturday night, the Strattanville Charger, Kyle Fink, resumed his top spot in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modified points standings. His closest rival is Jimmy Holden, who helped Fink in a time of need by lending him a back-up car so that Fink could maintain his points while repairs were being made to a heavily damaged car. While neither of them have any worries about points this week, they will have plenty of competition on the speedway.

Other track regulars who will be itching to show the invaders the fast way around the tricky oval include Eric Gabany, who has had impressive runs against the Big Blocks before, as well as J.R. McGinley, a former Big Block driver, and Frankie Guidace, who has made it a goal to win one for the home team! Lonny Riggs did defeat the Big Blocks with his 358 Modified a few seasons back at another area track, so he could do it at the Park. And, don’t forget talents like Shawn Fleeger, Makayla Guidace, Shayne Izzo, Matt Reeher, Tommy Kristyak, and Kevin Green. Plus, Mercer has a number of up and coming 358 Modified racers, like Brian Schaffer, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., and Kyle Martell.

The BRP Modified Tour will open its season this week with a Thursday night stop at Expo Speedway, in Cortland, OH, before coming to the Park on Saturday. So far this season, the King family, led by multi-time champion Rex Sr. and frequent winner Rex Jr., have been the leading contenders at other area tracks that normally host the Big Block Modifeds. But, Davey Murdick has been hot of late, and he has plenty of laps around Mercer Raceway Park, so he will be a factor. Other top Big Block drivers expected to compete include Jim Rasey, Jeremiah Shingledecker, Brad Rapp, Steve Feder, Tom Mattocks, Mike Turner, Tom Winkle, Rodney Beltz, and ageless Carl Murdick.

One question on everybody’s mind will be whether any New York invaders will appear. Drivers like Randy Chrysler, Chad Brachmann, and Ricky Richner have had success in their southern sojourns before, and they would certainly be welcome additions to the stout field that will be on hand.
Saturday’s contest will be topped off with a 25 lap feature event paying $1100 to win and Sunday’s card will have a 35 lapper for $1500 to win. But, we all know that there is more than dollars at stake this weekend. It’s all about bragging rights, and who will get the chance to say that they beat the best at Mercer Raceway Park. Let Smackdown! begin.

The Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors will compete this weekend, giving the Sprint Car fans a little somethin’ somethin’ to talk about. Jimmy Morris still tops the standings, and points will be on the line Saturday night only. Andy Feil needs another win to close the gap on him. But competition has been tough. George Hobaugh, Jr. has been remarkably consistent in this, his rookie season in the full-sized Sprints, but he has yet to score a win at Mercer. Cody Bova and C.J. Jones have both been to victory lane already. But there is a flock of young drivers looking to make their marks, including Mike Marano, II, Evan Kornbau, Eric L. Williams, Devin Litwiler, and Kotie Kirkbride. They will vie for $500 on Saturday, and $1000 on Sunday, so we could see some Ohio invaders come in for the extra dollars on the line!

Our Precise Racing Products Stock Cars will run under the Open Stock rules, and that means that point leader Rusty Moore will have his hands full for sure. Joining him will be Pat Fielding, Leigh Wheeler, Curtis J. Bish, Ryan Moyer, Gary Miller, Jr., Curtis L. Bish, Tim Bish, and many more. After Saturday’s point-paying race, Sunday night these drivers and many others will square off for the first appearance of the Hornack Penn Ohio Pro Stock Championship. There have been three races held under that new series banner, and winners so far have been Curtis J. Bish, in round one, Chris Withers in round two, and series founder Shaun Hooks in round three. Also expected are some of the area’s best Stock Car pilots, including Rusty Martz, Shane Applebee, Jeff Broniszewski, Shaun Fawcett, Chris Schneider, Bob Schwartzmiller, Rod Lasky, and Colton Gearhart. Both runs will pay $500 to the winner.

The Rock Concrete Modified Lites will also compete twice this weekend. George Englert will get one shot, on Saturday, to pad his points lead, and defending champion Shane Pfeuffer will have one try to close the gap. Track regulars like Jacob Bova, Chris Logan, Mike Flockerzi, and others will likely get stiff competition from Jeff Teeters, Rod Jones, and more. There will be feature pay-outs of $35 and $450, respectively, for these racers.
Special event ticket pricing will apply this weekend, but the modest additional cost will be justified by the top quality fields expected to compete. The adult admission each night will be just $15, while seniors (60+) will come in for $13 and students (9-15) for $7. Children ages eight and under will be free, as always. The Family Pass will be $32, and that will be good for two adults and up to four minors of any age. Pit Passes will be $30. There will be no two-day ticket packages available.

If you cannot make it to Mercer Raceway Park this weekend, please plan to attend on July 19, when Saturday Night Live! racing will resume. That will be American Cancer Society “Racing for a Cure” Night, and all cancer survivors will be admitted free of charge that evening.
Follow the action at the Park through your favorite social media, as we will stream live updates from the track. Also, live timing and scoring is available through your smartphones and other electronic devices.

Remember that you can get alerts regarding any postponement of racing action at Mercer Raceway Park through Rainedout.com. You can sign up for this free service by clicking on the icon at the track’s website and following the simple steps.

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.