MERCER, PA – Rex King, Sr. is a six-time champion of the BRP Modified Tour and the winningest driver in its history. It should come as no surprise that he also has the most touring series wins at the venerable track now known as Michaels Mercer Raceway. King Sr. also owns one track championship and fifteen victories at the track. Fittingly, he built upon most of those statistics with this win over his son, Rex King, Jr.
Joining King Sr. in victory lane in other Michaels Memorial Show action presented by Erme’s, Inc., Kyle Colwell went non-stop in getting his first Racesaver 305 Sprint Car win under the twin banners of Hards Welding and Fabrication and River Valley Butcher Block. Garrett Krummert returned in the Turn 4 Toilets Fastrak Limited Modifieds. Vivian Jones scored again in the Barris Trucking Modified Lites, and Bill Fuchs was awarded the win following tech inspections for the Mini Stocks, presented by Ray’s Racing Collectibles and Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking. Getting the glory in the PA Thunder on the Dirt Vintage Modified Series was David Myers.
Reflecting on his accomplishment, the first after the Modifieds were reinstated as the feature class at the speedway, King Sr. conceded that he does have a lot of wins at the track, but he humbly added, “I have a lot of laps following Lou Blaney around this place, getting my rear kicked, so I hope I learned a little bit of something.”
The start of the BRP Modified Tour event was delayed while series and track officials had to realign the starting order due to the fact that so many cars were late to staging. Perhaps the hardest hit was Erick Rudolph, who lost his top six starting position.
Dave Murdick and Garrett Krummert were unaffected, and they led the thundering herd into the first turn at the drop of the green. Krummert got the edge riding the cushion through the first two turns, but Murdick stayed right with him. Immediately behind were Kevin Hoffman, King Sr., and Rick Regalski. J.R. McGinley and Lonny Riggs were just outside the top five.
Krummert and Murdick were putting on an amazing display of driving, but when King Sr. joined the fray, the fans were really seeing something special. He slipped by Murdick on lap six, and now he was challenging Krummert for the lead. Murdick remained close enough that if either one of those chargers bobbled, he was there to take advantage. Unfortunately for the popular driver, neither one did.
Rudolph was steadily moving forward with the added incentive of making up for the positions lost in the realignment process. He reached the top five on lap seven. By lap eleven, when King Sr. assumed command, Rudolph was third. He fought with Krummert for a few laps, reaching second just before the fourth caution of the event was displayed. While the field was circulating under the yellow, officials discovered that Rudolph was getting a flat rear tire, and he was sent to the pits. Rudolph made the change, but he could not get back to the track in time to make the restart.
Rudolph’s misfortune gave second back to Krummert. Murdick remained close in third when racing resumed, but soon thereafter he was under attack from series points leader Rex King, Jr. He worked by Murdick on lap seventeen and immediately closed in on Krummert. The duo went back
and forth for about ten laps before King Jr. salted second away.
The final pair of cautions, on laps 30 and 33, gave King Jr. his best opportunities to overtake his father. But he could not capitalize on either of them. King Sr. closed out the race with his son nipping on his heels. Krummert held onto third the rest of the way. Kyle Fink came on strong in the closing laps to take the fourth spot from Murdick.
Greg Martin turned in a steady drive to get the sixth position. Regalski was seventh. Jim Rasey, Richard Whitney, and Eric Martin rounded out the top ten.
Twenty-nine racers signed in to race for the $3,000 payday. The four heat winners were Krummert, King, Jr., Fink, and Murdick. Bob Warren copped the B Main.
Steve Cousins and Kyle Colwell ran out front from the start of the Racesaver 305 feature presented by Hard’s Welding and Fabrication and River Valley Butcher Block. Jacob Gomola and Andy Cavanaugh were close, with Greg Dobrosky right behind them. Gomola and Dobrosky slipped ahead of Cavanaugh and now they were battling for third.
Colwell drove by Cousins as they were putting a lap on newcomer Adam Noland. “I figured Steve was going to get pinched along the bottom behind that lapped car, so I went to the top and it seemed like it worked. It was a lot like a pick in basketball,” Colwell said about his winning move. “This has been a longtime coming,” Colwell noted. “I’ve seen a lot of them; it seems like whoever gets out front is hard to get around.”
He would lead the rest of the way, but he was unable to separate himself from Cousins who was turning in his best performance ever. Dobrosky grabbed third with three laps remaining. While he was able to close in on Cousins, he could not mount a challenge for second.
At the finish, it was Colwell, Cousins, Dobrosky, Gomola, and Rob Felix. Cavanaugh, Chase Matheney, Shamus O’Donnell, Nevan O’Donnell, and Noland were the other finishers.
The heat race belonged to Gomola.
In the Turn 4 Toilets Fastrak Limited Modifieds, Jerry Schaffer and Brandon Ritchey battled through the first seven or eight laps of the race. Shaffer had the initial advantage, with teenager Blaze Myers , Shane Izzo, and Grummert giving chase. Ritchey took the lead on lap five, and soon afterwards, Krummert began to move forward.
Krummert took fourth on lap seven and second just one round later. He made his move to the front on lap twelve of twenty, just after the final caution of the conetst. Grummert noted, “honestly, I think that seventeen car was better, but he gave me the bottom on that restart and, I thought, ‘man, there is no way he’s going to give me this bottom,’ and he did.”
From there, it was a matter of smooth sailing for Krummert in the clean air. He led Ritchey and Jerry Schaffer the rest of the way. Myers and Izzo completed the top five. Brian Sadler was sixth. Dave Murdick nipped his friend and car owner, Steve Slater, for seventh. Michael Kristyak and Eric Martin were ninth and tenth.
Krummert and Jerry Schaffer won their respective preliminaries. There was no B Main. Jordan Ehrenberg was unhurt after slamming the front stretch wall in his heat. The car was unable to start
the feature, though.
Vivian Jones was declared the winner of the caution-filled Modified Lite Feature offered by Barris Trucking. She ran second to young Jordan Simmons in the early going. She took the lead from him on lap five. Simmons continued in second through the final restart of he race. But, when the field tried to put the final lap in the record books, he was collected in a major wreck just off turn four that claimed three other cars. The race was not restarted.
In the final tally, it was Vivian Jones, Dusty Frantz, Jacob Isenhart, Jacob Eakin, and Nataniel Bale in the top five. Sixth went to Tyler Purnell. Then came Mark Biskup, Jason Gracey, Simmons, and Roman Jones.
The heat winners were Rod jones, who was subbing for Robby Barris, and Ayden Cipriano. There was no B Main.
The finale for the Mini Stocks, offered by Ray’s Racing Collectibles and Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking, had some unusual developments along the way that led to several disqualifications. Included in that was the apparent winner, Shane Shook. His penalty was the result of a post-race technical inspection that revealed an aftermarket ignition system. Two other competitors were sent pitside during the race due to rules infractions on the track.
As it ended, Bill Fuchs was named the winner of the race. After working his way up from tenth on the grid, he spent the last several laps racing with Joe Campbell and Tim Callahan. Campbell was on his way to the front again after being caught up in a melee in turn two not of his doing. Tyler Fulton was moved ahead to fourth, with Joe Romanko being assigned the fifth spot. Positions six through ten went to Kyle Donnelly, D.J. Macrae, Cameron Hutchins, Justin Bailey, and Larry Blake.
The heat victories belonged to Phil King, Will Aley, and Mike Porterfield. The B Main winner was Bailey.
David Myers took the lead from Gary Beers on the second lap of the PA Thunder on the Dirt
Vintage Modified Series. His Gremlin bodied car stayed out front the rest of the way. Cody Schultz, with a colorful Pinto car, was second. Luke Zimmer brought the first coupe across the line in third. Dale Zimmer and Hank Coles completed the top five. Steve Longo, Beers, Bobby Coles, Fred Hildenbrand, and Jeff Manners completed the top ten.
The pair of heats went to Myers and Dale Zimmer. There was no B Main.
On August 3, Michaels Mercer Raceway will begin the stretch run for the points championships in all divisions. The entire Fast Five will be in action, along with the Junior Sprints. The following week, the Patriot Sprint Tour will bring their winged 360 Sprint Cars to the track. A Fast Five program will close out the title chase on August 17. If inclement weather should prevail, points will end on August 24 when another Fast Five program is on the docket. The, coming up in October will be the 20th Annual Little Guy Nationals.
BRP Modified Tour/Diehl Ram Big Blocks: Rex King, Sr., Rex King, Jr., Garrett Krummert, Kyle Fink, Dave Murdick, Greg Martin, Rick Regalski, Jim Rasey, Richard Whitney, Eric Martin, Tom Holden, Max Smoker, Chris Haines, Bob Sweeney, Lonny Riggs, Steve Barr, Chris Rudolph, J.R. McGinley, Bob Warren, Erick Rudolph, Kevin Hoffman, Will Thomas, Jeremiah Shingledecker, Tom Glenn, Skip Moore, Brad Rapp.
DNQ: Steve Frankhouser, Dillon Barr, Kevin Green.
Hards Welding and Fabrication/River Valley Butcher Block Racesaver 305 Sprint Cars: Kyle Colwell, Steve Cousins, Greg Dobrosky, Jacob Gomola, Rob Felix, Andy Cavanaugh, Chase Matheney, Shamus O’Donnell, Nevan O’Donnell, Adam Noland.
Turn 4 Toilets Fastrak Limited Modifieds: Garrett Krummert, Brandon Ritchey, Jerry Schaffer, Blaze Myers, Shane Izzo, Brian Sadler, Dave Murdick, Steve Slater, Michael Kristyak, Eric Martin, Jim Bryce, Todd Gabriel, Gage Priester, Brian Schaffer, Tom Urey, Jordan Ehrenberg (DNS).
Barris Trucking Modified Lites: Vivian Jones, Dusty Frantz, Jacob Isenhart, Jacob Eakin, Nataniel Bale, Tyler Purnell, Mark Biskup, Jason Gracey, Jordan Simmons, Roman Jones, Charlie Armstrong, Ed Mudrick, Rod Jones, Bob Boano, Ted Williams, Ayden Cipriano, Charlie Biskup, Larry Bevivino (DNS), Teddy Williams (DNS).
Ray’s Racing Collectibles/Epertehener’s Auto Wrecking Mini Stocks: Bill Fuchs, Joe Campbell, Tim Callahan, Tyler Fulton, Joe Romanko, Kyle Donnelly, D.J. Macrae, Cameron Hutchins, Justin Bailey, Larry Blake, Randy Ealy, jeremy Starks, Jamie Tooker, Mike kelley, Will Aley, Johnny Bruce, Sr., Steve Longwell, Sr., Bucky Buchanan, Phil King, Dewayne Redinger, Josh Rathbun, Mike Porterfield, Shane Shook (DQ), Daniel Hutchins (DNS), Summer Pitts (DNS).
DNQ: Josh Stoner, Jacob McElravy, Patrick Miller.
PA Thunder on the Dirt Vintage Modified Series: David Myers, Cody Schultz, Luke Zimmer, Dale Zimmer, Hank Coles, Steve Longo, Gary Beers, Bobby Coles, Fred Hildenbrand, Jeff Manners.