Rudolph Shines on Friday Night of Little Guy Nationals at Mercer

MERCER, PA – Michaels Mercer Raceway completed night number one of the 23rd annual little guy nationals Friday night at Mercer with 50° temperatures all evening. Picking up wins were Erick Rudolph(small block modifieds); Dylan Ceecee (pro stocks); Carl McKinney (UMP modifieds); Jeremy Kornbau( 305 sprints ); Kole Holden (crate 602 sportsman mods) Andy Thompson ( mini stocks) and Kalen Jackson and Adam Presnar (jr sprints) 134 cars in 7 classes filled the pit area.

Erick Rudolph for the past few years has literally dominated the western Pennsylvania area when it comes to modified racing in either the big block or small block modified‘s..however a small block win at Mercer has always eluded him until last night when he picked up the $1500 first place prize in convincing fashion leading the entire 25 lap distance winning by 3.43 seconds over last years winner Phil Vigneri. Rudolph would lead from the pole but numerous yellows would slow the pace. On lap 3 a grinding backstretch crash had 2022 track champ Mike Kinney hit the infield tires that protect a light pole hard along with Tom Glenn and Hayden holden tangling on the backstretch. Kinney was ok. On the restart Tom Glenn , John Venuto and Ron Cartwright tangled in turn 4 causing yellow once again. After numerous yellows
Former small block champ Jimmy Holden and Phil Vigneri were battling for 2nd from halfway until the end as Vigneri would hold on for 2nd. Holden was 3rd; Ayden Cipriano 4th and Tyler Willard was fifth. Erick would say “This place hasn’t been too kind for me but we get lucky sometimes and we can get a win. the car was good tonight!! I’m always glad to be down here in victory lane looking forward to tomorrow. We have 16 wins or so but we are usually on the podium at the end of the night thanks to my crew.”

Before fri night Dylan Cecee never saw Michaels Mercer raceway but he Towed from near Clinton County Speedway in lock haven pa to take the lead from Josh Seippel on lap 4 of the pro stock feature to pick up the $1000 first career Mercer win. “We haven’t had this car out for 3 months and this is a race we have been looking forward to and I’m glad to be here!! this place is awesome and we really like it!! This is what I did a lot of racing on growing up on and when you come to a place with this kind of character you’re always elbows up.”Seippel would finish 2nd; 10 time Mercer winner Bobby Whitlimg was 3rd, Joey Zambotti 4th, and Mike Miller 5th.

Track champion Jeremy Kornbau put a period on the 2022 season by capturing his fourth career win in the racesaver 305 sprints Friday night. Roman Jones would lead the field to green but Kornbau would take over on lap 4 after Jones drifted high off of turn number 2 and would hold off Roman and his sister Vivian to win by 1.59. Jeremy would say “ I saw Roman hit this rut and I knew I could get another run on him and I know he likes running the high side and I knew if I went higher I can make it stick so I went high and then I didn’t see him.. I was hoping the Jones’s would race each other too hard and I could take advantage of it and it kind of paid off for me!”

24 ump modifieds came out for their 1st visit at mercer since 2014 along with some Economods racing for $1000 to win . Former strictly stock winner Dave Airgood would lead the first 4 laps until longtime UMP racer Carl McKinney would overtake him on lap 4. Airgood would ride the high side around the track trying to catch McKinney until the all time raceway 7 feature winner Joel Watson would pass him for 2nd. McKinney would hold off Watson by 1.7 seconds for the win. Airgood was 3rd, Eriez track champ Steve Rex would be 4th, and Eric Wilson, the highest finishing economod would be 5th.

Kole Holden has won at just about every track in the eastern Ohio/Western Pennsylvania area except for Mercer…and Friday night he picked up his first ever win at Mercer in the crate 602 sportsman feature. Veteran Bill Cunningham would lead the first 9 laps and was looking strong To pick up his first ever Mercer check her however he bobbled in turn one allowing Holden to get underneath and go unchallenged to win by 1.2 seconds over track champ Brian Schaffer who came from 6th. Garrett Krummert finished where he started in 3rd, as did Brandon Ritchey in 4th and all time limited modified winner Frank Guidace was 5th. Holden would say “Ive only raced here a handful of times and we always have fun here was an interesting track tonight , I like how turn one is shaped and you could run the high side around and I got around Cunningham and then held off Krummert.”

The mini stocks had a rough feature event flipping 2 cars in the event. On lap 4 Adam Aley would barrell roll in turn 2 and then get hit by another car and flip 2 more times then On lap 6 Josh Eakman barrell-rolled about 5 times in turn 3. Both drivers were ok. Tyler Beeler would start on the pole looking for his 1st mercer win but 8 time winner Andy Thompson would take the lead on lap 5 and would cruise to victory by 3 seconds over Tim Callahan, Will Aley , Trevn Schaffer from 16th was 4th and Dan Hostetler from 17th was 5th.

In the mini stock non winners race a vicious flip by Josh Funkhouser in turn 2 would end the race as he required medical attention and was transported to the hospital and was later released. The race was to resume on Saturday however with the cancellation of the program due to rain the winner was Dillon Thorne capturing his first ever Mercer checker.

The show scheduled for Saturday was rained out and will not be made up thus the 2022 season has been completed at Mercer. We thank all the drivers and the crews and the fans and the officials for their support for this season.

Racesaver 305 Sprints 16 Entries
A Feature 1 15 Laps
1. 27K-Jeremy Kornbau[3]; 2. 82M-Roman Jones[2]; 3. 16-Jim Morris[6]; 4. 4J-Jacob Gamola[5]; 5. 25-Jarrett Rosencrance[4]; 6. 3B-Ryan Beatty[14]; 7. H20-Michael Miller[15]; 8. 20M-Vivian Jones[1]; 9. 21N-Andy Priest[16]; 10. 17S-Shane Shook[12]; 11. 71-Joe Coggin[13]; 12. 17K-Steve Kenawell Jr[9]; 13. 3-John Jerich[10]; 14. X7-Andy Cavanagh[7]; 15. 21G-Roman Gephart[8]; 16. 88-Greg Dobrosky[11]

Heat 1 8 Laps
1. 25-Jarrett Rosencrance[2]; 2. 82M-Roman Jones[7]; 3. 4J-Jacob Gamola[3]; 4. X7-Andy Cavanagh[4]; 5. 17K-Steve Kenawell Jr[6]; 6. 88-Greg Dobrosky[5]; 7. 71-Joe Coggin[1]; 8. H20-Michael Miller[8]

Heat 2 8 Laps
1. 27K-Jeremy Kornbau[1]; 2. 20M-Vivian Jones[5]; 3. 16-Jim Morris[4]; 4. 21G-Roman Gephart[2]; 5. 3-John Jerich[7]; 6. 17S-Shane Shook[3]; 7. 3B-Ryan Beatty[8]; 8. 21N-Andy Priest

Small Block Modifieds 21 Entries
A Feature 1 20 Laps
1. 25-Erick Rudolph[3]; 2. 44V-Phil Vigneri III[8]; 3. 7S-Jimmy Holden[12]; 4. 5C-Ayden Cipriano[1]; 5. 33-Tyler Willard[7]; 6. 83T-Tom Glenn[17]; 7. 7G-Eric Grice[11]; 8. 4-eric gabany[14]; 9. 88X-Dave Dissinger[2]; 10. 3A-Adam Hilton[5]; 11. 10S-Garrett Krummert[18]; 12. 88F-Shawn Fleeger[20]; 13. 66F-Kyle Fink[4]; 14. 28H-Hayden Holden[9]; 15. 2B-Ron Cartwright[6]; 16. 60-Tom Holden[10]; 17. 25B-Steve Barr[21]; 18. 41-Tony Pangrazio[13]; 19. 817-John Zvenuto[15]; 20. 20P-Mike Kinney[16]; 21. 00-Kevin Hoffman[19]

Heat 1 8 Laps
1. 5C-Ayden Cipriano[1]; 2. 66F-Kyle Fink[2]; 3. 33-Tyler Willard[3]; 4. 60-Tom Holden[4]; 5. 41-Tony Pangrazio; 6. 20P-Mike Kinney; 7. 00-Kevin Hoffman; 8. 25B-Steve Barr[5]; 9. 10S-Garrett Krummert[6]; 10. 817-John Zvenuto[7]

Heat 2 8 Laps
1. 88X-Dave Dissinger[1]; 2. 3A-Adam Hilton[4]; 3. 44V-Phil Vigneri III; 4. 7G-Eric Grice[2]; 5. 4-eric gabany[3]; 6. 83T-Tom Glenn; 7. 88F-Shawn Fleeger

Heat 3 8 Laps
1. 25-Erick Rudolph[4]; 2. 2B-Ron Cartwright[1]; 3. 28H-Hayden Holden[2]; 4. 7S-Jimmy Holden[3]; 5. 817-John Zvenuto; 6. 10S-Garrett Krummert

Mini stocks 29 Entries
A Feature 1 15 Laps
1. 5-Andy Thompson[3]; 2. 54-Tim Callahan[7]; 3. 9-William Aley[5]; 4. 10S-trevn schaffer[14]; 5. 16-Daniel Hostetler[21]; 6. 029-Ben Aley[17]; 7. 12N-Joshua Funkhouser[26]; 8. 23MP-Michael Porterfield[16]; 9. 33-Brianna Parker[15]; 10. 0R-Tyler Beeler[1]; 11. 66M-Matt Miller[19]; 12. 55-Josh Eakman[6]; 13. 38-Randy Ealy[4]; 14. 36PACK-DJ MacRae[27]; 15. 6-Mike Kelley[9]; 16. 999-Adam Aley[11]; 17. 79-John McCraken[22]; 18. 17J-Mike Salsgiver[25]; 19. 99-Michael Aley[28]; 20. 60-Dillon Thorne[10]; 21. 00-Cole Miller[13]; 22. 22D-Chuck Davis[8]; 23. 64-Jordan Reges[12]; 24. 02-Devin Haley[2]; 25. 10-Corey Bice[20]; 26. (DNS) 27B-Nancy Boughner; 27. (DNS) 10T-Troy Schaffer; 28. (DNS) 325Z-Zack Swartz

Heat 1 6 Laps
1. 22D-Chuck Davis[1]; 2. 9-William Aley[2]; 3. 02-Devin Haley[5]; 4. 60-Dillon Thorne[4]; 5. 00-Cole Miller[8]; 6. 23MP-Michael Porterfield[10]; 7. 66M-Matt Miller[7]; 8. 79-John McCraken[9]; 9. 17J-Mike Salsgiver[3]; 10. 99-Michael Aley[6]

Heat 2 6 Laps
1. 54-Tim Callahan[6]; 2. 38-Randy Ealy[2]; 3. 0R-Tyler Beeler[8]; 4. 999-Adam Aley[5]; 5. 10S-trevn schaffer[4]; 6. 029-Ben Aley[9]; 7. 10-Corey Bice[7]; 8. 27B-Nancy Boughner[1]; 9. 12N-Joshua Funkhouser[3]

Heat 3 6 Laps
1. 55-Josh Eakman[7]; 2. 5-Andy Thompson[5]; 3. 6-Mike Kelley[9]; 4. 64-Jordan Reges[1]; 5. 33-Brianna Parker[8]; 6. 325Z-Zack Swartz[4]; 7. 16-Daniel Hostetler[3]; 8. 10T-Troy Schaffer[2]; 9. 36PACK-DJ MacRae[6]

Crate/602 Modified 21 Entries
A Feature 1
1. 2-Kole Holden[3]; 2. 41-Brian Schaffer[5]; 3. 10S-Garrett Krummert[2]; 4. 1R-Brandon Ritchey[4]; 5. 1M-Frank Guidace[17]; 6. 59-Bill Cunningham[1]; 7. 12L-Patrick Lane[10]; 8. 71-Gage Priester[11]; 9. 29-Cole Edwards[6]; 10. 14-Jeff Schaffer Jr[16]; 11. 404-MIchael Kristyak[7]; 12. 717-Bill Adams[13]; 13. 20-Jeremy Zufall[18]; 14. 113-Don Cornelius[20]; 15. 02-Jeremy Beichner[15]; 16. 25-Jolene Smith[19]; 17. 29A-Anthony Antus[9]; 18. 46R-Doug Rutana[14]; 19. 55-Scott Kay[12]; 20. 24-Preston Cope[8]; 21. 77-Kyle Fink[21]

Heat 1
1. 59-Bill Cunningham[2]; 2. 1R-Brandon Ritchey[4]; 3. 404-MIchael Kristyak[1]; 4. 12L-Patrick Lane[3]; 5. 717-Bill Adams[6]; 6. 14-Jeff Schaffer Jr[5]; 7. 25-Jolene Smith[7]

Heat 2
1. 10S-Garrett Krummert[1]; 2. 41-Brian Schaffer[2]; 3. 24-Preston Cope[4]; 4. 71-Gage Priester[3]; 5. 46R-Doug Rutana[6]; 6. 1M-Frank Guidace[5]; 7. 113-Don Cornelius[7]

Heat 3
1. 2-Kole Holden[1]; 2. 29-Cole Edwards[6]; 3. 29A-Anthony Antus[2]; 4. 55-Scott Kay[3]; 5. 02-Jeremy Beichner[5]; 6. 20-Jeremy Zufall[4]; 7. 77-Kyle Fink

Pro stocks 17 Entries
A Feature 1
1. 18*-Dylan Cecce[6]; 2. 84S-Josh Seippel[5]; 3. 7W-Bobby Whitling[7]; 4. 948-Joey Zambotti III[4]; 5. 81-Mike Miller[9]; 6. 44-Jacob Wheeler[11]; 7. 21W-Chris Withers[1]; 8. 23-Pat Fielding[10]; 9. 39B-Josh Blum[16]; 10. 23HJR-Hunter Exley[3]; 11. 33C-Clyde Roberts[12]; 12. 99F-Gary Fisher[14]; 13. 20J-Jim Fosnaught[17]; 14. 61M-Charlie McMillen[13]; 15. 8C-Russ Coyne[8]; 16. 1M-Gary Miller[2]; 17. (DNS) 28-Doug Iorio II

Heat 1
1. 21W-Chris Withers[2]; 2. 23HJR-Hunter Exley[3]; 3. 84S-Josh Seippel[4]; 4. 7W-Bobby Whitling[7]; 5. 81-Mike Miller[9]; 6. 44-Jacob Wheeler[5]; 7. 61M-Charlie McMillen[8]; 8. 28-Doug Iorio II[6]

Heat 2
1. 1M-Gary Miller[1]; 2. 948-Joey Zambotti III[4]; 3. 18*-Dylan Cecce[8]; 4. 8C-Russ Coyne[2]; 5. 23-Pat Fielding[5]; 6. 33C-Clyde Roberts[6]; 7. 99F-Gary Fisher[7]; 8. 39B-Josh Blum[3]

DIRTcar UMP Modifieds 24 Entries
A Feature 1
1. 6M-Carl McKinney[3]; 2. 92-Joel Watson[6]; 3. 42-Dave Airgood Jr[2]; 4. 27R-Steve Rex[7]; 5. 98-Eric Wilson[5]; 6. 7G-Garrett Calvert[13]; 7. 105-Zack Johnson[21]; 8. 7-Colton Longwell[23]; 9. 20-Alex Siekkinen[4]; 10. 77D-Steve Haefke Jr[9]; 11. 17G-Brandon Grossman[19]; 12. 5M-Donnie May[15]; 13. 89-Jr Mechling[17]; 14. 71A-Don Watson[22]; 15. 18P-Bruce Preistanty[1]; 16. F4-Greg Johnson[8]; 17. 9JR-Emily Stoyer[20]; 18. 225-Bud Watson[10]; 19. 57W-Brandon porter[12]; 20. 311-Kyle Adkins[11]; 21. 13-Jordan Simmons[16]; 22. 61-Chad Silleman[14]; 23. 98J-Joey Sanger[18]; 24. 72-Jim Muma[24]

Heat 1
1. F4-Greg Johnson[1]; 2. 98-Eric Wilson[3]; 3. 42-Dave Airgood Jr[5]; 4. 225-Bud Watson[6]; 5. 7G-Garrett Calvert[2]; 6. 13-Jordan Simmons[7]; 7. 17G-Brandon Grossman[4]; 8. 71A-Don Watson[8]

Heat 2
1. 27R-Steve Rex[1]; 2. 20-Alex Siekkinen[4]; 3. 18P-Bruce Preistanty[7]; 4. 311-Kyle Adkins[3]; 5. 61-Chad Silleman[6]; 6. 89-Jr Mechling[5]; 7. 9JR-Emily Stoyer[8]; 8. 7-Colton Longwell[2]

Heat 3
1. 92-Joel Watson[1]; 2. 6M-Carl McKinney[5]; 3. 77D-Steve Haefke Jr[2]; 4. 57W-Brandon porter[8]; 5. 5M-Donnie May[4]; 6. 98J-Joey Sanger[3]; 7. 105-Zack Johnson[6]; 8. 72-Jim Muma[7]