Matus wins opening night at Mercer

Mercer Raceway Park Top Story

From Mercer Raceway Park

Mercer, PA — (April 16, 2016) — “Let’s Go Racing!” was heard loud and clear at Mercer Raceway Park. Heeding the call was Brandon “the Wheelman” Matus, who captured the 4 Your Car Connection 410 Sprint Car feature. He earned $3,000 courtesy of Bonnell’s Rod Shop. Also taking wins were Jimmy Holden (Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds), Andy Priest (Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors), Leigh Wheeler (Precise Racing Products Open Stocks), Shane Pfeuffer (Rock Concrete Supply Modified Lites), Todd Hanlon (Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking/Ray’s Racing Collectibles Mini Stocks).

The night marked the debut of the speedway’s unique, new two-tiered format, with racing starting at 5:30 for certain classes, and the remainder scheduled to go off at the usual 7 p.m. starting time. “We have a few bugs to work out,” said track owner Bill Altman, “but we met our desired objective of completing the program by 10 p.m.” And, “the track was in great shape all night long,” he said proudly. Indeed, there was even a brief intermission before the final two action-packed features.

Brandon Matus Wins 410 Sprint Opener

For Brandon Matus, it was a rare early-season triumph. He usually heats up some time after the Mid-season Championships. “This was my first opening night win anywhere.” However, Matus had a bit of a scare during the feature when he thought that he had broken a shock. “The car was terrible, I tried using the whole track.” Although Matus thought he was in trouble, it was really the rest of the field that suffered.

Matus jumped out to the early lead, with Dan Kuriger in second. Jack Sodeman, Jr. had the retro look on his Sprint Car in tribute to his father, but there was no doubt that it had all of the latest technology. While those three racers maintained their positions throughout the contest, other spots in the top ten were changing hands early and often.

Despite a couple of interruptions, Matus raced to the win, with Kuriger and Sodeman in tow. Scott Priester climbed into fourth and Michael Bauer followed him to fifth. Dan Shetler nipped Carl Bowser and A.J. Flick. Andy Feil and Alex Paden were ninth and tenth.

The evening’s fastest qualifier was Eric Williams, with a lap of 13.822. Brandon Matus captured the heat for the six fastest qualifiers. Other heat winners were Bauer and Bowser. There was no B Main.

Andy Priest romped to victory in the first race of the season for the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors. He climbed from last to first in a mere 8 laps. Taking second was C.J. Jones, ahead of George Hobaugh. Vincent Daugherty had a career-best fourth, after leading in the early going. Taking fifth was Ralph Engel, Jr. Positions six through ten were occupied by Darin Gallagher, Gregg McCandless, making his first start in eight years, Mike Marano, II, Eric L. Williams, and Dakota Schweikart. The pair of preliminaries were scored by Daugherty and Bova. There was no B Main.

4 Your Car Connection 410 Sprint Cars:

Brandon Matus, Dan Kuriger, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Scott Priester, Michael Bauer, Dan Shetler, Carl Bowser, A.J. Flick, Andy Feil, Alex Paden, Brent Matus, Bill Jones, Jr., Davey Jones, John Garvin, Jr., Eric Williams, Darren Pifer

Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors:

Andy Priest, C.J. Jones, George Hobaugh, Vincent Daugherty, Ralph Engel, Jr., Darin Gallagher, Gregg McCandless, Mike Marano, II, Eric L. Williams, Dakota Schweikart, Rod Jones, Eric Persch, Devin Litwiler, Cody Bova (DNS), Gary Kriess (DNS), Mike Miller (DNS).