Williamson Makes Rare Appearance At Mercer Raceway Count

MERCER, PA – On a beautiful fall like evening, Michaels Mercer Raceway completed their 8th show of the year and final night for points with 99 cars in the pits.

The track celebrated the life of Rick and Bob Ryder with the Ryder memorial for big block modifieds that paid $4000 to win and $400 to start. At the end of the 40 lapper “money” Mat Williamson from Canada, picked up his first ever Mercer checkered, and became the first Canadian ever win a feature in the 73 year history of the Speedway. In the companion 410 sprint car feature Central PA invader Mark Smith made it 2 or 2 for the weekend after winning at Lernerville Friday by winning the $3000 to win 410 sprint car feature. After a long career Jim Bryce finally picked up his first career feature in the FASTRAK modifieds, veteran Randy Wyant nabbed his 2nd mercer pro stock feature and Tim Callahan won his 21st career mercer mini stock feature.

In the 410 Sprint feature 4 time mercer winner Mike Bauer would take the lead from the start and hold off central pa invader Mark Smith. Racesaver 305 point leader Jeremy Kornbau would compete with his 305 motor and would be running consistently in the 4th spot. A yellow on lap 11 would slow the field. 23 time winner Bob Felmlee after starting 23rd would be up to 10th on lap 11. After the restart on lap 14 Smith would take the lead as he went high around Bauer who drifted higher off turn 2 losing momentum. Another caution on lap 22 would give Bauer one lap chance to get the win but on the restart Smith would take off again and go on to win his 1st mercer sprint feature by .881 over Bauer. Cody Bova would move up 4 spots to finish 3rd, Brandon Matus would fall 2 spots to finish 4th and Adam Kekich up 8 spots to finish 5th. Smith would say ,“It was a good battle with Mike (Bauer)!! I was waiting on traffic but it was all going to the bottom so it didn’t help. I was waiting for the fuel to burn off so I could move my wing back and try it up top and go for it . I like riding the high side here just on the lip at the top. This weekend it’s just me and one other guy and it makes it a little tough but we are used to it as we travel around. We will try to make it 3 in a row tomorrow for $4000 at Tri city.

23 Big blocks started the Ryder memorial as the track remembered father, Rick Ryder, who competed in all of the different modified classes at the track along with two career wins, and his son, Bob, who would help out everybody in the Pit area after they both passed away last year, eight months apart from each other. In turn 4 before lap 1 was completely JR McGinley and Chas Wolbert tangled in turn 4. Chad Reitz who returned to racing after years away would lead the field on the restart followed by 2021 champ Eric Gabany and Garrett Krummert. Erick Rudolph would move quickly from his 7th starting spot to 2nd behind Reitz but broke and caused a yellow and would go pitside. Former mercer champ and hometown driver Eric Gabany who drove for Rick Ryder would get around Reitz to be the new leader on lap 4. Kyle Fink then spun on the outside of turn 3 bringing out the yellow again. Krummert and “money” Mat Williamson would follow Gabany with Williamson getting around Krummert for 2nd on lap 8. Rex King Jr would be up to 4th from 7thon lap 11. Brad Rapp spun off of turn 3 on lap 16 bringing out the yellow once again. Gabany would continue to hold off Williamson lap after lap by a second or less as Gabany drove the race of his life. Veteran Dave Murdick spun in turn 4 on lap 29 to bring out the caution again. On theRestart Gabany would stay in the lead until lap 33 when they would touch in turn 1 and Williamson would take the high side and take the lead over Gabany who lost momentum while getting sideways in the corner. Williamson would start to pull away and lead by 2 seconds and went on to with the $4000 Ryder memorial by 3 seconds. Gabany would be 2nd, krummert 3rd, Rex king jr 4th and Will Thomas 5th. Ryder memorial winner

Mat Williamson would say “Eric (Gabany) ran a great race. I came down here when Bob was still alive and had a great time with Eric and Bob drinking beers. It was tough to take away this one but at the end of the day it’s all for the fans. Me and Cooter (Rex King Jr) have been friends for years and a lot of these other drivers as well. It’s a totally different style of racing when you enjoy the people that you run against. As soon as we turn left on I-79 in Erie to come down here we know we are going to have a good time!”

Jim Bryce has been competing at Mercer for quite some time, but never was able to crack victory Lane until tonight in the FASTRAK crate modifieds. It wasn’t easy though as newly crowned track champion Jordan Ehrenberg from the pole would maintain the lead while behind 3 drivers were battling for 2nd place. Three time track champ Brian Schaffer would run second holding off Pat Lane and Bill Adams and took the lead on lap 7 at the line but then Ehrenberg would come back and retake the position the next lap. On lap 12 disaster struck as Jolene Smith would go head on full throttle into the outside turn 4 barrels that are in front of the concrete wall which also included Don Cornelius, Caden Petry, Ryan Guthrie and Cole Edwards. All drivers were ok. On the restart Ehrenberg once again had control and then Brian Schaffer would break sending him to the pit area, ending his chance at a 4th consecutive track championship. Meanwhile Jim Bryce would be moving up through the field from his 9th starting spot on the high side to get to 2nd on lap 15. Bryce would be all over the back end of Ehrenberg, but then on the final lap, Bryce made his move to the inside getting around Ehrenberg and went on to win his first ever Mercer feature in the division by 1.134. Michael Kristyak from 13th was 3rd, Bill Adams 4th and Gage Priester 5th.Bryce became the 6th different winner in 8 features. Bryce would say ,”I wasn’t sure if I had anything or not for Jordan (Ehrenberg). I tested up at the top on those caution laps and he gave me some room on the restart on the inside so I floored it into 1 and 2 and once I cleaned him I knew it was good. I watched the big blocks racing up there so I made some good headway there so I kept trying it. It’s so great to finally win at my home track it’s a good feeling!”

In the pro stock 15 lapper, veterans Randy Wyant, and 34 time winner Andy Buckley would start on the front row. Wyant would go to lead up to lap 4 when Buckley took over. Wyant would not give up racing close lap after lap, and then on the back stretch in the closing lap they would race side-by-side, and Buckley would get into Wyant, turning him completely sideways. Wyant would continue as Buckley went to the pits and went on for his 2nd career mercer pro stock feature. Randy said “I came up through I thought I had him (Andy Buckley) cleared and I got sideways.. I don’t know what happened..I’ve been off for a few years and I wanted to come back and play around and watch my son. I’ll be back for the little guy hopefully.” Hunter Exley was 2nd, Chris Schneider 3rd, Bobby Whitling 4th and Russell Coyne 5th.

In the mini stock feature Tim Callahan would lead from the pole position and lead all 15 laps taking his 21st career win. The excitement was behind him as 2023 track champion Andy Thompson woild be running in 2nd along with Devin Haley, Randy Ealy, Daniel Hostetler, and Josh Eakman. On lap 10 Hostetler would get around Thompson as Thompson would start to fade back. Then Eakman would take 2nd on lap 11 and hold of Randy Ealy for 2nd. Hostetler was 4th and Trevn Schaffer was 5th. Thompson with his 14th place finish would capture His third consecutive many stock championship by a scant 4 points over Randy Ealy. Callahan said ,”we try to put a good show on for everybody!! this has become an expensive sport so I want to thank all the sponsors every dollar counts.. we will get some different drivers and cars next time we run with the Scdra rules package” This would conclude the regular season at Michaels Mercer Raceway.

The next race on the calendar will be on Saturday, September 16 when the Aaron Fry led FAST 410 sprint cars come to Mercer along with the regular four divisions.

Big Block Modifieds RYDER MEMORIAL 23 Entries
A Feature 1 40 Laps
1. 6-Mat Williamson[12] $4000; 2. 318-eric gabany[8]; 3. 29-Garrett Krummert[6]; 4. 165-Rex King Jr[10]; 5. 9-Will Thomas[13]; 6. C3-Chas Wolbert[4]; 7. 14S-Justin Shea[5]; 8. 9R-Chad Reitz[1]; 9. 20P-Mike Kinney[11]; 10. 37S-Gary Lindberg[15]; 11. 11R-Brad Rapp[16]; 12. 13-Rick Regalski Jr[2]; 13. 189-JR McGinley[3]; 14. 7S-Jimmy Holden[21]; 15. 66F-Kyle Fink[7]; 16. 61-Dave Murdick[14]; 17. 64-Rodney Beltz[22]; 18. 29*-Eric Beggs[19]; 19. 3K-shawn kozar[18]; 20. 74-Kevin Green[20]; 21. (DNS) 35-Steve Slater; 22. (DQ) 75-Jeff Miller[17]; 23. (DQ) 25-Erick Rudolph[9]

Dash 1 6 Laps
1. 9-Will Thomas[2]; 2. 61-Dave Murdick[3]; 3. 37S-Gary Lindberg[1]; 4. 11R-Brad Rapp[6]; 5. 75-Jeff Miller[4]; 6. 3K-shawn kozar[5]

Heat 1 8 Laps
1. 25-Erick Rudolph[1]; 2. 9R-Chad Reitz[3]; 3. 14S-Justin Shea[6]; 4. 13-Rick Regalski Jr[8]; 5. 37S-Gary Lindberg[4]; 6. 75-Jeff Miller[2]; 7. 29*-Eric Beggs[5]; 8. 64-Rodney Beltz[7]

Heat 2 8 Laps
1. 6-Mat Williamson[1]; 2. 29-Garrett Krummert[5]; 3. 20P-Mike Kinney[3]; 4. C3-Chas Wolbert[7]; 5. 9-Will Thomas[4]; 6. 3K-shawn kozar[6]; 7. 74-Kevin Green[8]; 8. 35-Steve Slater[2]

Heat 3 8 Laps
1. 165-Rex King Jr[2]; 2. 66F-Kyle Fink[4]; 3. 318-eric gabany[1]; 4. 189-JR McGinley[3]; 5. 61-Dave Murdick[6]; 6. 11R-Brad Rapp[7]; 7. 7S-Jimmy Holden[5]

MINI STOCK 21 Entries
A Feature 1 15 Laps
1. 54-Tim Callahan[2]; 2. 55-Josh Eakman[4]; 3. 38-Randy Ealy[10]; 4. 16-Daniel Hostetler[1]; 5. 10S-trevn schaffer[11]; 6. 45-Andrew Thompson[6]; 7. 6-Mike Kelley[8]; 8. 02-Devin Haley[3]; 9. 999-Adam Aley[14]; 10. 98-Austin Mcllvain[20]; 11. 029-Ben Aley[18]; 12. 10-Corey Bice[16]; 13. 33-Brianna Parker[17]; 14. 5-Andy Thompson[5]; 15. 92G-Cierra Gold[21]; 16. 22D-Chuck Davis[13]; 17. 48-Jordan Wheeler[15]; 18. 0-Carl Ealy[12]; 19. 60-Dillon Thorne[9]; 20. (DNS) 13-Joshua Funkhouser; 21. (DNS) 66M-Matt Miller

Heat 1 6 Laps
1. 16-Daniel Hostetler[1]; 2. 55-Josh Eakman[3]; 3. 13-Joshua Funkhouser[2]; 4. 60-Dillon Thorne[7]; 5. 22D-Chuck Davis[5]; 6. 10-Corey Bice[4]; 7. 66M-Matt Miller[6]

Heat 2 6 Laps
1. 54-Tim Callahan[3]; 2. 5-Andy Thompson[2]; 3. 0-Carl Ealy[6]; 4. 38-Randy Ealy[1]; 5. 999-Adam Aley[4]; 6. 33-Brianna Parker[5]; 7. 92G-Cierra Gold[7]

Heat 3 6 Laps
1. 02-Devin Haley[3]; 2. 45-Andrew Thompson[1]; 3. 6-Mike Kelley[2]; 4. 10S-trevn schaffer[5]; 5. 48-Jordan Wheeler[7]; 6. 029-Ben Aley[4]; 7. 98-Austin Mcllvain[6]

FASTRAK CRATE Modified 20 Entries
A Feature 1 20 Laps
1. 1-JIm Bryce[8]; 2. JD57-jordan ehrenberg[2]; 3. 404-MIchael Kristyak[13]; 4. 717-Bill Adams[7]; 5. 71-Gage Priester[10]; 6. 02-Jeremy Beichner[15]; 7. 29A-Anthony Antus[16]; 8. 12L-Patrick Lane[1]; 9. 7-Brenten Kay[5]; 10. 41-Brian Schaffer[4]; 11. 7P-Caden Petry[6]; 12. 113-Don Cornelius[3]; 13. 29-Cole Edwards[9]; 14. 312-Ryan Gutherie[17]; 15. 25-Jolene Smith[19]; 16. 10-Jerry Schaffer[14]; 17. (DNS) 77-Shawn Fleeger; 18. (DNS) 93-Phill Kapcewich; 19. (DQ) 1R-Brandon Ritchey[11]; 20. (DQ) 86-Shayne Izzo[12]

Heat 1 8 Laps
1. 71-Gage Priester[1]; 2. 1-JIm Bryce[5]; 3. 7P-Caden Petry[3]; 4. 41-Brian Schaffer[9]; 5. JD57-jordan ehrenberg[6]; 6. 1R-Brandon Ritchey[2]; 7. 404-MIchael Kristyak[4]; 8. 02-Jeremy Beichner[8]; 9. 312-Ryan Gutherie[7]

Heat 2 8 Laps
1. 29-Cole Edwards[1]; 2. 717-Bill Adams[4]; 3. 7-Brenten Kay[2]; 4. 113-Don Cornelius[3]; 5. 12L-Patrick Lane[11]; 6. 86-Shayne Izzo[5]; 7. 10-Jerry Schaffer[10]; 8. 29A-Anthony Antus[9]; 9. 77-Shawn Fleeger[6]; 10. 25-Jolene Smith[7]; 11. 93-Phill Kapcewich[8]

410 Sprints – Winged 23 Entries
A Feature 1 25 Laps
1. 19R-Mark Smith[4]; 2. 46-Michael Bauer[1]; 3. 20B-Cody Bova[7]; 4. 13-Brandon Matus[2]; 5. 5K-Adam Kekich[13]; 6. 23JR-Jack Sodeman Jr[10]; 7. 35-Jared Zimbardi[8]; 8. 08-Danny Kuriger[3]; 9. 6-Bob Felmlee[23]; 10. 19-Sean Rayhall[12]; 11. 27K-Jeremy Kornbau[5]; 12. 23-Darren Pifer[6]; 13. 33-Brent Matus[16]; 14. X7-Andy Cavanagh[9]; 15. 86-Michael Lutz Jr[21]; 16. 22R-Ryan Fredericks[11]; 17. 33$-Shane O’Banion[14]; 18. 7T-Andy McKisson[19]; 19. G1-Mike Miller[15]; 20. 4W-Eric L Williams[17]; 21. 99-Cameron Nastasi[22]; 22. 1-Brandon Fredricks[20]; 23. 13B-Steve Bright[18]

Heat 1 8 Laps
1. 23-Darren Pifer[1]; 2. 08-Danny Kuriger[2]; 3. 20B-Cody Bova[3]; 4. 23JR-Jack Sodeman Jr[6]; 5. 5K-Adam Kekich[7]; 6. 33-Brent Matus[5]; 7. 7T-Andy McKisson[8]; 8. 99-Cameron Nastasi[4]

Heat 2 8 Laps
1. 27K-Jeremy Kornbau[7]; 2. 13-Brandon Matus[6]; 3. 35-Jared Zimbardi[5]; 4. 22R-Ryan Fredericks[1]; 5. 33$-Shane O’Banion[8]; 6. 4W-Eric L Williams[4]; 7. 1-Brandon Fredricks[3]; 8. 6-Bob Felmlee[2]

Heat 3 8 Laps
1. 19R-Mark Smith[1]; 2. 46-Michael Bauer[2]; 3. X7-Andy Cavanagh[6]; 4. 19-Sean Rayhall[3]; 5. G1-Mike Miller[5]; 6. 13B-Steve Bright[7]; 7. 86-Michael Lutz Jr[4]

Stock Cars 12 Entries
A Feature 1 15 Laps
1. 11T-Randy Wyant[1]; 2. 23HJR-Hunter Exley[4]; 3. 55-Chris Schneider[6]; 4. 7W-Bobby Whitling[5]; 5. 8C-Russ Coyne[3]; 6. 00L-Cole Miller[7]; 7. 00-Larry Kugel[8]; 8. 67D-Jacob Wheeler[10]; 9. 71-Joey Anderson[9]; 10. 24-Tyler Wyant[11]; 11. 21-Troy DeZarn[12]; 12. 965-Andy Buckley[2]

Heat 1 8 Laps
1. 55-Chris Schneider[2]; 2. 23HJR-Hunter Exley[4]; 3. 965-Andy Buckley[3]; 4. 00L-Cole Miller[5]; 5. (DQ) 71-Joey Anderson[1]; 6. (DQ) 24-Tyler Wyant[6]

Heat 2 8 Laps
1. 7W-Bobby Whitling[2]; 2. 8C-Russ Coyne[1]; 3. 11T-Randy Wyant[5]; 4. 00-Larry Kugel[3]; 5. 67D-Jacob Wheeler[6]; 6. 21-Troy DeZarn[4]