Flick & Rudolph Mercer Raceway Victory Lane Celebrants

By Jim Balentine

MERCER, PA-After a rain out last week Michaels Mercer Raceway was blessed with 105 cars in 5 divisions and a full grandstand as well as autograph night for all the fans as they meet the drivers prior to the racing action. The Michaels family was honored for the event as current owner Ed Michaels and his family rebuilt Mercer from the dead in 1994 and retook it over in 2019.

Sunbelt rentals was the sponsor of the 410 sprints and Ermes Inc sponsored the BRP modified tour.

A.J. Flick stormed to his 2nd mercer 410 sprint car win in 2 races collecting $4000 and his 2nd win of the weekend. Ransomville NY standout Erick Rudolph won the $3000 to win BRP modified tour race also for his 2nd of the weekend. Winning their 2nd features of the year was Frank Guidace in the FASTRAK crate modifieds and Carl Ealy in the mini stocks, and Jeremy Kornbau collected his 4th Racesaver 305 sprint win of the season.

A.J. Flick has again been the man to beat locally as he now has 12 wins for the 2023 season, but as was the case last weekend had to contend with Mike Bauer again as the duo would put on a masterful show in the nonstop 30 lapper. Bauer who has 4 career mercer 410 wins and 13 time winner Adam Kekich would lead the field to green with Flick starting 3rd. Bauer, who won elsewhere last weekend was the man to beat for the first 17 laps as he would hold Flick at bay lap after lap as they would run side by side for many laps. Flick would finally get around on lap 18 but Bauer would not give up keeping behind for the next few laps until lap 25 when Flick would start to pull away and never look back as he picks up his 3rd career mercer 410 win and $4000 by 4 seconds in the nonstop 8:26 30 lapper. Adam Kekich would run 3rd the entire race, 23 time winner bob Felmlee finished 4th and Cody Bova 5th. Flick would say “ Mike (Bauer)is a good driver that has made that car better and I don’t believe these wins come easy…this race track has taken a turn for the absolute better for 2023!! it’s a phenomenal track…We were going through lapped traffic and I knew my car would come to me and I was watching mike trying to get through lapped traffic and when you can run right behind the leader in dirty air you know you have a good car. I took the lead going into 3 and knew I could take the win. It’s special to win here for the Michaels memorial and the $4000 and hopefully you can reschedule the $7000 summer slam and we can come back for that!”

In the $3000 to win BRP big block modified portion of the Michaels memorial 10 time mercer winner and longtime veteran Dave Murdick would lead from the pole and was poised to pick up the win at the track he started at in 1979. Murdick would lead the first 18 of 19 laps. 2nd place runner Will Thomas would run second keeping Murdick within 1.3 seconds of his sight.  But on lap 9 teammate and 2 time winner Garrett Krummert would get around Thomas and start to reel in Murdick. Meanwhile Eric Rudolph would be slowly and silently coming up through the field and would overtake Krummert on lap 14 for 2nd. Murdick would try his best to hold off Rudolph but on lap 20 Rudolph would get around and cruise to the win by 4.484 over Murdick. Rex King Jr would get around Krummert for 3rd on lap 25 and finish there. Krummert was 4th and Thomas would finish 5th. “It’s been a heckuva weekend yeah this week’s been been really awesome. We picked up a win earlier this week and and then come down here and get 2 in a row is awesome!”I think we’re on to something with this car here and feels great to have a little bit of momentum. I was on him (Murdick) for a while. I thought I may been a little bit faster than him but I was kind of searching low and hi  and I knew where he was. He was really consistent with where he was running and was able to slip by up too the car was really racy tonight.”

In the Racesaver 305 Sprints former track champ Jarrett Rosencrance would start on the pole and look for his 2nd career mercer checkered. Young gun Shane Heath would be running in second behind Rosencrance and was looking to pick up his best career finish until motor problems sidelined him on lap 8. 3 time winner and point leader Jeremy Kornbau would start 7th and by lap 7 would be up to 3rd. After the caution Kornbau would then challenge Rosencrance and would overtake him on lap 10 and would go on to win by 4.739. The real battle for for 2nd-4th as Rosencrance would hold onto 2nd until lap 15 when Nolan Groves would take over and finish a mercer career best 2nd. Last time winner Jake Gomola would be 3rd, Rosencrance fell to 4th and Vivian Jones was 5th. Kornbau would say “it was tough behind cars we tightened it up to be good in clean air but it was starting to work and I could run harder and get better. me and Shane were battling for 2nd then Jarrett has been tough but we keep plugging away and this is my girlfriend’s 1st race so I’m glad she’s here. We work hard on the car even with the rain out to make sure everything is working on it.”

The FASTRAK Crate Modified feature went down the the very last corner in an exciting 20 lapper. Veteran Bill Adams started on the pole and led the first half of the race. Multiple crashes and cautions would plague the first 5 laps however. Once racing resumed Gage Priester who has won went on the year, overtook Adams on lap number 8 to take the lead at the line. Brandon Ritchey would then move into 2nd then another yellow came out on lap 10. Priester would lead with Adams showing his nose to the leader. Meanwhile Frank Guidace would be slowly working the high side lap after lap trying to gain ground. Adams and Priester would then battle and Adams would go to the inside to lead lap 16. Adams begin to pull away and Guidace got around 2 cars to go into 2nd but then the yellow was displayed once more time. On the restart with 2 laps to go Priester would go to the inside and go 3 wide into turn 1 with Guidace on the high side to take the lead then around turn 4 Priester would go low and all 3 would tangle with Guidace coming out the winner. Ritchey would be 2nd, Adams was 3rd, 4th was Priester and Cole Edwards was 5th. Guidace would say “I wanted to run the high side and I geared it that way and then I got it on the bottom. I don’t even know who won the race I didn’t even see the checkered flag!! I want apologize to the 71. I feel bad about that but I was upfront I just didn’t see him  coming across the bottom..i Gotta make sure I go to tech. I was replaying that final lap over 25 minutes on where I should go on that restart and it paid off “

Twenty-five Mini Stocks would take the green for $400 to win. josh Eakman would lead lap one with Devin Haley 2nd both looking for their 1st career mercer win. A fire in the Andrew Thompson car would bring out the red with Thompson emerging ok. On the restart Haley would take the lead and bring Randy Ealy into 2nd with 11 time winner Carl Ealy and 18 time winner Andy Thompson in tow. Randy would go high and lose positions and would fall back to 4th. Carl would then go to the inside of Haley for the lead then they yellow came back out. At halfway Carl would take the lead with Thompson following and Haley would retire to the pits. Carl would hold off Thompson for his 12th win. Randy Ealy was 3rd, Josh Eakman 4th and Mike Aley 5th.

Next week will be the 410 Sprint Cars returning for $3000 to win along with a second appearance of the UMP dirt Modifieds, along with the Racesaver 305 sprints, FASTRAK crate modifieds, mini stocks with an appearance of the Young Guns Junior sprints.

Racesaver 305 Sprints – Winged 18 Entries

A Feature 1 20 Laps

  1. 27K-Jeremy Kornbau[7]; 2. 25G-Nolan Groves[4]; 3. 4J-Jacob Gomola[10]; 4. 25-Jarrett Rosencrance[1]; 5. 20M-Vivian Jones[3]; 6. 16-Jim Morris[5]; 7. 21-Hunter Hile[11]; 8. 34M-Mike Marano II[9]; 9. 34-Adam Noland[13]; 10. 71-Joe Coggin[15]; 11. 3J-Jacob Begenwald[6]; 12. 72-Mike Mathieson[14]; 13. 12G-Tommy Jasen[8]; 14. 82M-Roman Jones[12]; 15. 17S-Shane Heath[2]; 16. 175Q-Glen Thomas[18]; 17. 4G-Justin Kovach[17]; 18. (DNS) 30-Jazlyn Boyles

Heat 1 8 Laps

  1. 12G-Tommy Jasen[3]; 2. 3J-Jacob Begenwald[1]; 3. 25G-Nolan Groves[5]; 4. 17S-Shane Heath[4]; 5. 34M-Mike Marano II[9]; 6. 21-Hunter Hile[6]; 7. 34-Adam Noland[8]; 8. 71-Joe Coggin[2]; 9. 4G-Justin Kovach[7]

Heat 2 8 Laps

  1. 27K-Jeremy Kornbau[1]; 2. 16-Jim Morris[3]; 3. 20M-Vivian Jones[2]; 4. 25-Jarrett Rosencrance[6]; 5. 4J-Jacob Gomola[7]; 6. 82M-Roman Jones[4]; 7. 72-Mike Mathieson[8]; 8. 30-Jazlyn Boyles[5]; 9. 175Q-Glen Thomas[9]

Mini Stocks 26 Entries

A Feature 1 15 Laps

  1. 0-Carl Ealy[10]; 2. 5-Andy Thompson[12]; 3. 38-Randy Ealy[4]; 4. 55-Josh Eakman[2]; 5. 999-Adam Aley[1]; 6. 66M-Matt Miller[3]; 7. 13-Joshua Funkhouser[9]; 8. 6-Mike Kelley[5]; 9. 029-Ben Aley[21]; 10. 309-Jordan Reges[20]; 11. 325Z-Zack Swartz[13]; 12. 33-Brianna Parker[18]; 13. 7-Lucas Geyer[22]; 14. 10-Corey Bice[11]; 15. 313-Justin Pry[15]; 16. 64-Summer Pitts[19]; 17. 02-Devin Haley[6]; 18. 22-Eddie Lombardo[14]; 19. 60-Dillon Thorne[24]; 20. 10S-trevn schaffer[8]; 21. 79-John McCraken[16]; 22. 45-Andrew Thompson[7]; 23. 22D-Chuck Davis[17]; 24. 56M-Cierra Gold[26]; 25. 16-Daniel Hostetler[23]; 26. (DNS) 98-Austin Mcllvai

Heat 1 6 Laps

  1. 0-Carl Ealy[3]; 2. 45-Andrew Thompson[4]; 3. 66M-Matt Miller[6]; 4. 325Z-Zack Swartz[5]; 5. 22D-Chuck Davis[1]; 6. 029-Ben Aley[7]; 7. 60-Dillon Thorne[2]

Heat 2 6 Laps

  1. 13-Joshua Funkhouser[5]; 2. 02-Devin Haley[2]; 3. 55-Josh Eakman[4]; 4. 22-Eddie Lombardo[3]; 5. 33-Brianna Parker[6]; 6. 56M-Cierra Gold[7]; 7. 98-Austin Mcllvain[1]

Heat 3 6 Laps

  1. 10S-trevn schaffer[3]; 2. 6-Mike Kelley[4]; 3. 999-Adam Aley[1]; 4. 313-Justin Pry[5]; 5. 64-Summer Pitts[6]; 6. 7-Lucas Geyer[2]

Heat 4 6 Laps

  1. 5-Andy Thompson[5]; 2. 38-Randy Ealy[2]; 3. 10-Corey Bice[4]; 4. 79-John McCraken[3]; 5. 309-Jordan Reges[1]; 6. 16-Daniel Hostetler[6]

FASTRAK Modified 22 Entries

A Feature 1 20 Laps

  1. 1G-Frank Guidace[7]; 2. 1R-Brandon Ritchey[10]; 3. 71-Gage Priester[3]; 4. 29-Cole Edwards[8]; 5. 7P-Caden Petry[5]; 6. 404-MIchael Kristyak[14]; 7. 14-Jeff Schaffer Jr[2]; 8. 1-JIm Bryce[16]; 9. JD57-jordan ehrenberg[12]; 10. 86-Shayne Izzo[17]; 11. 12L-Patrick Lane[13]; 12. 29A-Anthony Antus[11]; 13. 312-Ryan Gutherie[9]; 14. 41-Brian Schaffer[6]; 15. 55-Scott Kay[21]; 16. 07L-Mark Sevin[19]; 17. 34-Thomas Rodgers[22]; 18. 7-Brenten Kay[4]; 19. 07-Joshua Deeter[15]; 20. 02-Jeremy Beichner[20]; 21. (DNS) 113-Don Cornelius; 22. (DQ) 717-Bill Adams[1]

Heat 1 8 Laps

  1. JD57-jordan ehrenberg[3]; 2. 1G-Frank Guidace[1]; 3. 71-Gage Priester[7]; 4. 312-Ryan Gutherie[2]; 5. 12L-Patrick Lane[4]; 6. 1-JIm Bryce[6]; 7. 07L-Mark Sevin[5]; 8. 34-Thomas Rodgers[8]

Heat 2 8 Laps

  1. 7P-Caden Petry[2]; 2. 29-Cole Edwards[4]; 3. 14-Jeff Schaffer Jr[6]; 4. 1R-Brandon Ritchey[7]; 5. 404-MIchael Kristyak[5]; 6. 86-Shayne Izzo[3]; 7. 02-Jeremy Beichner[1]

Heat 3 8 Laps

  1. 41-Brian Schaffer[2]; 2. 7-Brenten Kay[1]; 3. 717-Bill Adams[4]; 4. 29A-Anthony Antus[5]; 5. 07-Joshua Deeter[7]; 6. 113-Don Cornelius[6]; 7. 55-Scott Kay[3]

410 Sprints – Winged 17 Entries

A Feature 1 30 Laps

  1. 2-AJ Flick[3]; 2. 46-Michael Bauer[1]; 3. 5K-Adam Kekich[2]; 4. 6-Bob Felmlee[6]; 5. 20B-Cody Bova[4]; 6. 32-Dale Blaney[7]; 7. 11-Carl Bowser[5]; 8. 13-Brandon Matus[11]; 9. 08-Danny Kuriger[8]; 10. 83M-Broc Martin[13]; 11. 12-Darin Gallagher[9]; 12. 5E-Bobby Elliott[17]; 13. X7-Andy Cavanagh[10]; 14. 33-Brent Matus[16]; 15. 11M-Nathen McDowell[12]; 16. 47-Dusty Larson[15]; 17. 4W-Eric L Williams[14]

Heat 1 8 Laps

  1. 20B-Cody Bova[2]; 2. 5K-Adam Kekich[1]; 3. 11-Carl Bowser[3]; 4. 32-Dale Blaney[8]; 5. 12-Darin Gallagher[4]; 6. 13-Brandon Matus[5]; 7. 83M-Broc Martin[7]; 8. 47-Dusty Larson[9]; 9. 5E-Bobby Elliott[6]

Heat 2 8 Laps

  1. 2-AJ Flick[1]; 2. 46-Michael Bauer[2]; 3. 6-Bob Felmlee[3]; 4. 08-Danny Kuriger[4]; 5. X7-Andy Cavanagh[6]; 6. 11M-Nathen McDowell[7]; 7. 4W-Eric L Williams[8]; 8. 33-Brent Matus[5]