MERCER, PA – Mercer Raceway Park will begin the chase for the championships this
Saturday, April 8, when the first Saturday Night Live! program will go to the post. “We really wanted to give all of our fabulous five divisions a week to shake down their cars before throwing them into the points battle,” said track owner Bill Altman. “But, Mother Nature did not cooperate with us this week.” Altman and company will be ready, and the racers must be, too.
There will be some changes in the racing program for 2017 at the speedway. Gone is the experimental two-tiered program, which had three classes racing as early as five p.m., with the final four going off at 7 p.m. Instead, racing will start at 6:30 p.m. for all five classes. That is another change, as two of the divisions have been reduced to special event status.
But, perhaps the most significant change is that four of the classes will have time trials. Fans do not need to worry about a long and drawn out one-car-at-a-time approach. Instead, the cars with transponders will take their timed runs during the normal hot lap sessions, which will start at 6 p.m. The time trial results will set the line-ups for all but the Mini Stocks. The four fastest cars from each heat will be inverted. Depending on the size of the field in each division, eight or nine cars will be eligible for the re-draw. A lucky fan will make a blind draw to determine how many cars will be inverted. So, the heat race winners will not know where they will start until the fan makes that selection for them.
Also new for the 2017 season will be two of the divisional sponsors. Moving up to the 410 Sprint Car division will be Precise Racing Products, the speed shop from Sarver, PA. The 358 Modifieds will be presented by a new venture, Turn 4 Toilets of Ellwood City. Fairview’s Bonnel’s Rod Shop returns as the benefactor of the 305 Sprint Cars, as does Monaca’s Rock COncrete Supply for the Modified Lites. Last but not least, two Grove City businesses will fly their flags for the Mini Stocks: Ray’s Racing Collectibles and Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking.
The pit gates and spectator gates will swing open at 4 p.m. “We are expecting a great turnout of racers and fans,” Altman added. “We are dedicated to presenting an efficient and exciting program that will have everybody headed for home at a reasonable hour after seeing the region’s best racers in action on a well-manicured racing surface.”
Admission for the Saturday Night Live! program will be just $13 for adults, $11 for seniors (60+), and $5 for students (ages 9-15). The youngsters (ages 8 and under) will be free, as always at Mercer Raceway Park. The economical Family Pass will be only $28, and that is good for two adults and up to four minors of any age. Pit Passes will be $30.
Remember that you can get alerts regarding the cancellation of any racing event at Mercer Raceway Park sent directly to your smartphone or other electronic device. To register, please go to the track’s website, www.mercerracewaypark.com, click on the icon for RainedOut.com, and follow the easy steps.
Marketing partners of Mercer Raceway Park for 2107 include Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants, Scheidemantle Motors, Greenhill Farms Equipment, Inc., the Normandy Banquet Center of Hickory VFW Post 6166, Ritenour Equipment Center, Pizza Joe’s, AMSOIL, Noga Ambulance Service, Inc., Pyrotechnico, Watson’s, Inc., Big Dog Indoor Racing & Hobby, Herr’s Foods, the American Cancer Society, Sunburst Environmental, and Lias Tires.
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.