By Mike Leone
Mercer, PA…Everyone had an eye on the radar as a big plume of heavy rain slowly tracked across Ohio during the day on Saturday and into western Pennsylvania by evening. Mercer Raceway Park was able to complete the July 24 make-up features for the Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars
In the 20-lap Luxaire Heating & Cooling make-up feature, Bob Felmlee tracked down Dan Kuriger and passed the race-long leader with two laps to go in lapped traffic to capture the non-stop victory. Felmlee’s second win of the season was worth $1,500 plus a Goodyear Tire certificate and extended his point lead with just two races remaining. The Franklin, Pa. driver is looking for his fourth track championship in as many decades as he did the feat in 1989, 1998, and 2006.
Dan Kuriger raced out to the early lead from the pole position in search of his first win of the season with Brian Steinman in tow. Danny Holtgraver started fifth, but was able to pass both Felmlee and Arnie Kent on the opening lap. On lap three though, Felmlee made his move getting around both Steinman and Holtgraver for second. Holtgraver followed past Steinman on lap five retaking the third position.
Felmlee began to cut into Kuriger’s lead on lap eight and caught the race leader in lapped traffic on lap 11. Kuriger though was able to maintain his advantage over the next five laps until Felmlee caught right back up to Kuriger on lap 17. Felmlee tried making his move on lap 18 as the two ran side-by-side, but Kuriger was able to lead the lap. The two were side-by-side as they came down the frontstretch to receive the two to go signal from starter Todd Beichner.
In almost a repeat of last week when Holtgraver stole a win away from Brian Ellenberger on the final lap with the lapped car of Davey Jones in the mix; this week it happened with two to go as Kuriger fought the lapped car of Chris Best as Felmlee blasted around the topside of the speedway in turns one and two and made the pass stick racing down the backstretch.
Felmlee went on for his milestone 25th career win at Mercer in his World of Wheels/Lutz Auto Body-sponsored #6. The event was timed in 4 minutes and 55 seconds. Kuriger held off Holtgraver for runner-up, but Holtgraver did receive the hard charger Goodyear Tire certificate. Kent was fourth over Bowser. Completing the top 10 were Eric Williams, Steinman (last car on lead lap Goodyear Tire certificate), Best (random Goodyear Tire certificate winner), Jeff Taylor, and John McCracken, Sr.
Luxaire Heating & Cooling (410) Sprint Cars July 24 Make-up (20 laps, $1,500 to-win): 1. BOB FELMLEE (6) 2. Dan Kuriger (08) 3. Danny Holtgraver (D4) 4. Arnie Kent (Dionise 15) 5. Carl Bowser (10) 6. Eric Williams (7) 7. Brian Steinman (24s) 8. Chris Best (66) 9. Jeff Taylor (17T) 10. John McCracken, Sr. (63) 11. Brad Knab (38)-DNS 12. Jack Helget (Taylor 71c)-DNS 13. Lindsay Enscoe (96)-DNS 14. John McCracken, Jr. (79)-DNS.