By Jim Balentine
MERCER, PA-The second longest continuous 2 day show in the western Pennsylvania area will see its 23rd edition this Friday and Saturday Sept 30-Oct 1st as Michaels Mercer Raceway will host the annual little guy nationals showcasing over eight divisions of racing both nights with a complete show for each division. From an idea for the year 2000 to end the year for the small block modifieds and the pure Stocks as they were called then has continued on year after year always ending the year at the historic 3/8 mile bent egg oval. Ever since year number two it has always been a complete show both nights for all classes that are competing. “ it really has turned into a historic event in the area“ says announcer and PR director Jim Balentine, “ I was track photographer for the first two years of it and I can gladly say that I attended at least one night of every nationals before I took over as announcer in 2017. What really makes it interesting is you have a complete show both nights…some tracks will give you heats and peliminary action one night and features the next but we at Mercer honor the tradition of this race by having at least eight divisions of cars both nights as we salute the “little guy” who is not always the top three divisions in the area. And what makes it more interesting is that alot of drivers come that don’t normally run at Mercer so you get a nice mixture of local drivers and outside invaders!!”
As always the open small block modifieds and the pro stocks will headline the weekend as it has since the very beginning. the small blocks will race for $1500 and $2000 to win and the stocks will complete for $1000 Friday night and A Penn/Ohio stock touring race on Saturday night that will have an increased pay off.
The Racesaver 305 sprints which have been competing at Mercer since 2011 will race for $600 and $800 to win.
The FASTRAK crate modifieds have been opened up with the rules to include any local crate modified that will follow the local rules of the area speedways. They will compete for $900 and $1000 to win.
A schedule change late has added the UMP modifieds to the Friday night show paying $500 to win and then on Saturday night the Economods will be in competition for $600 to win. The Econo‘s are permitted to race on Friday night with the UMP modifieds under UMP rules.
The mini stocks will be in competition as well both nights paying $500 to win on Friday night and then on Saturday night it will be $1000 cash prize for the winner and it will be open rules with safety inspection and a DOT Tire rule. There will also be a non-winners race Friday night paying $400 to win.
A newer addition to the nationals is the inclusion of the crate non-wing sprints that compete around the area speedways. Mercer was one of the last tracks to go with a wing in the late 70s so it is nice to be able to see what the car’s used to look like at the speedway in the 1970s. They will run for $800 to win with the local rules applying.
Also competing will be the young gun Junior sprints in two different divisions and there will be a ladies Powderpuff race as well.
Camping is free all weekend along the tree lines that border the parking lot there are no hook ups.
There will be a practice session on Thursday night September 29th with the pits opening at 4 and practice to start around 6. any car is welcome!!! there will be a $20 pit fee and the grandstand will be closed.
Fri Sept 30th
Pits open 4 pm $35
Grandstands 5pm $15 racing at 7 pm.
Saturday Oct 1st
Pits open 2 pm $35
Grandstands open 3 pm $18 and $16 seniors
Racing at 5 pm
Concessions will be open but outside food and drink are permitted inside. Coolers must fit between the bleachers with no glass. Alcohol is permitted. Lawn chair seating is permitted in the grassy area by the fence. We are a cash only facility with no ATM on site.
For more information on Mercer please visit our Facebook page or our website: www.MichaelsMercerracewaydotcom You can also contact the track at 724-662-1310 or on Facebook messenger.