MERCER, PA – Now that the Mid-season Championships are in the books at Mercer Raceway Park, the racers are ready to get down to business. They will kick off the second half of the 2017 season this Saturday night, June 17, with a Saturday Night Live! program. This will be Twin State Auto Racing Fan Club Night, so that means that all members in good standing will be admitted to the grandstands free of charge to see five exciting classes in action!
After sweeping his heat and the feature in the Precise Racing Products 410 Sprint Cars, young Michael Bauer did slice into the points lead of defending champion Jack Sodeman, Jr. Only eleven counters separate the two. George Hobaugh, Jr. and Davey Jones have a close contest for the third position, while Gale Ruth, Sr.–with some help from his son, Gale Jr.–are barely ahead of Rod George and A.J. Flick for the fifth spot in the standings.
Hermitage veteran Mike Lutz got a late start to the 2017 season, but he is beginning to climb up the 410 Sprint Car rankings. He is driving for a pair of owners, fellow racer Francis Sesco and former driver Brian “Cowboy” Steinman, and he had a sure top five slip from his grasp last weekend when a mechanical problem forced him off the track late in the race. Lutz and company will be looking to improve upon that performance.
Jimmy Holden snagged his fourth victory of the season in the Turn 4 Toilets 358 Modifieds, and he now has a 55 point margin over Lonny Riggs. Kyle Fink, a three-time winner, is expected back, and these three fellows will be racing hard for the win. Tommy Kristyak returned last week after a hard crash that kept him sidelined for a week, and he was just as competitive as ever.
Andy Priest was another racer back in the fold, and he captured last week’s Bonnell’s Rod Shop 305 Sprint Car main. Points leader Darin Gallagher had some misfortunes, and his advantage is down to 27 points over steady Gregg McCandless. McCandless is searching for that elusive first win of the season, and this could be his week to do it!
The top three racers in the Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites are separated by only seventeen counters, and any one of them could emerge victorious. Bobby Springer currently holds the top spot, with Shane Webb and Jason Johnston within striking distance. But, don’t forget about former champs Mark Marcucci and Shane Pfeuffer.
The Mid-Season Championships did result in a realignment of the standings for the Mini Stocks presented by Ray’s Racing Collectibles and Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking. Bill Fuchs and Tim Callahan both supplanted defending champ Tyler Fulton. But they will have plenty of competition, as almost twenty racers have turned out for each of the races so far this season. And there is quality in addition to quantity, as the competition has been fierce! This week’s race should be no different.
The gates will swing open at 4 p.m., with hot laps and qualifications taking to the track at 5:45. Heat races will promptly follow.
Regular event ticket pricing will prevail, which means that adults will be admitted for $13. Seniors (60+) will pay just $11, and students (ages 9-15) $5. The children (ages 8 and under) will be admitted for free, as always. Families can get a special pass for only $28, and that will apply for two adults and up to four minors of any age. Pit passes will be $30, and purchasers can check out the racers as they prepare for action on the tricky oval.
If you cannot make it to the track this week, June 24 will be another Saturday Night Live! program. Coming up on July 1will be a Sprint Car triple header, plus fireworks! Bonnell’s Rod Shop and Pizza Joe’s will make that all possible to welcome in the Independence Day festivities.
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/