From Mike Leone
Mercer, PA…Mercer Raceway Park has released the 2010 schedule of events with Saturday, March 27 set as the 59th anniversary season opener with the inaugural appearance by the UFo Championship Super Late Models, United E-Mod Series, open Stock Cars, and the M&D Paving Mini Stocks making up the “Chiller Thriller” at 7 p.m. Another season of heart-pounding racing excitement and quality family events make up the 2010 slate.
“As always we’ve really focused on our special race events and specific family promotions and entertainment savings events this year,” explained 12th year owner Vicki Emig. “Every season poses a unique challenge and this year is no different with the current state of the economy. All winter we’ve been working on new ideas to bolster our already fan-friendly promotions and concepts, and I think fans will be excited to see what we’re offering.”
Luxaire Heating & Cooling returns for the ninth time in the past 10 seasons to headline the Sprint Cars. Approved Toilet Rentals with longtime Mercer supporter Jerry Schaffer has re-signed for the second straight year as the divisional sponsor of the Modifieds. 4 Your Car Connection in Cranberry, Pa. also returns as the backer for the FASTRAK Late Models in their third season at The Park. Big Daddy’s Speed Center and M&D Paving are back for the fourth straight year as the presenters of the Stock Cars and Mini Stocks respectively.
Providing the season opener is completed on the 27th, the five-division “Saturday Night Live” weekly program will take to the track one week later on Saturday, April 3 with points starting.
“The 2009 season was one of our better recent years and we look to continue the forward momentum in 2010,” expressed Emig. “Car counts were up in the Sprint Car, FASTRAK Late Model, and Mini Stock divisions and we look for the Modifieds and Stock Cars to bounce back with higher car count for 2010 due to some restructuring of rules packages in these divisions.”
For the 10th straight year, Mercer Raceway Park will be the site of a world championship pulling event on Saturday, May 29. The All-American “Spring Nationals” will kickoff the regional pulling season and is considered to be one of the area’s most prestigious events. This year’s event will be presented by new marketing partner Fallsway Equipment Company and will feature the Big Rig Semis, Smoker Tractors presented by Watson’s Inc, and the Hot Diesel 4×4 and Pro Street Gas 4×4 Trucks presented by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply. Rain date is Sunday.
For the first time since 2004, the BRP Modified Tour and the Sprint Cars will appear together in a double-header event on June 19. “Smackdown!” not only will this be fans’ first opportunity of the season to see the big blocks back at The Park, but the only time the BRP Tour will appear in 2010.
A new event hits the track over the Independence Day Weekend when the “FASTRAK Summer Nationals” convene at Mercer on July 3. A Northeast record $6,000 will await the winner of this Northeast Touring Series/National Late Model event. Sprint fans won’t want to miss this either as the winged warriors will compete in double features!
Attention open wheel fans: Circle your calendar for Saturday, July 31! On this night, you’ll witness three premier open wheel divisions with the Sprint Cars, Midget Cars, and Modifieds. The Sprints will battle for $2,000 to-win in the first of two DIRTcar Challenge Series events, while the ARDC Midgets trek west for the first time in five years! ARDC has had a resurgence in recent years and we look forward to their return.
This year’s Bill Emig Memorial returns on August 14 in a Big-Block vs. Small-Block Modified challenge. Ehrlich Your Local Pest Control Experts will present this event, which honors the patriarch of the Emig Family. This 20th annual event has been featured at Mercer for each of the last 17 season and is the longest running memorial race in western Pa. Both the Big-Block Modifieds and Sprint Cars will compete for $1,500 to-win.
The Sprints will be in the spotlight on August 28 for the inaugural Auto Racers for Kids Sprint Charities Series. A season high $3,000 will await the winner in an event showcasing all of the top regional Sprint Car talent.
The 20th annual “Western PA Sprint Championship” is back on September 11. A strong field of Sprints is expected with no other tracks in the region running that weekend. Making it even more special is this year’s event will be a DIRTcar Challenge Series event. This blockbuster event will also include the Big-Block Modifieds for $1,500 to-win and the FASTRAK Late Models. Points will wrap up this night so a lot will be on the line!
After a one-week hiatus, the “Little Guy Nationals” will take center stage featuring two complete action-packed days of racing presented by American Racer/Lias Tire on September 24 & 25. The Modifieds, Stock Cars, Strictly Stocks, and Mini Stocks will run two complete shows both days. Last year’s well-received format returns for both the Stocks and Mods. The popular big-block non-winners vs. 358 Mods on Friday night will be back followed by the season’s richest 358 Mod race on Saturday. The Micro Sprints will also compete on Friday night.
For the third straight year, the season will conclude with the “Fall Brawl” on Saturday, October 2 as Mercer will be the Northeast site of Night 1 of the FASTRAK Grand Nationals. It’ll be a Late Model fan’s dream as FASTRAK will be joined by a $2,000 to-win Super Late Model event. The United E-Mod Series will be back for $2,000 on the line as well.
Mercer Raceway Park has become the region’s #1 choice for family entertainment. Value-driven promotions have become the mainstay at The Park and have been in place long before the economy deteriorated. These events should become even more attractive to fans this season.
“We’ve found a nice niche with our promotions,” explained Emig. “When I created the free county nights, Welcome Ohio Night, $10 Family Nights, and other similar promotions, I had no idea the importance they would take on. So in today’s economy, these have really become fan favorites that people look forward to.”
The Free County Nights will return in full force beginning on May 22 with Crawford County followed by Venango County on June 5 and then Butler County on June 26 with the latter being presented by McClymonds Supply and Transit.
Created as an offshoot of the free county nights, the “Hey Neighbor…C’mon Over!” events brought this concept closer home. On May 1, all residents of Shenango Valley (Sharon, Hermitage, West Middlesex, Sharpsville, Farrell, and Wheatland) will be admitted free for a full night of racing and then all New Castle, Pa. residents will get their turn on August 7. These nights are presented by Flynn’s Tire & Auto Service and Fat Jimmys BBQ respectively.
The phenomenal $10 Family Nights come to The Park on June 12 and July 24 when mom, dad, and as many kids 15 and under can attend the races for just $10. A special edition $10 Single Parent Night will allow single parents to bring as many kids 15 and under also for just $10 on May 8!
Along those lines, a new promotion that will hit The Park will be the 2 for $20 special where you and a friend will be admitted for just $20 on April 24 and June 5. These nights will be presented by the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
The kiddies will be out in full force on May 15 as “Kids Eat Free”! All kids 12 and under will receive a free hot dog, bag of Herr’s Potato Chips, and drink!
Not only will July 3 be a big race event with the FASTRAK Summer Nationals and double Sprint Car features, but fans will be flocking to see Marvel’s “Iron Man” in a special meet and greet session. “Iron Man” will be signing special autograph cards not long after the release of the new “Iron Man 2” movie.
The “Meet Your Heroes” Camera & Autograph Night presented by Herr Food’s will be held on July 24. Cars from all divisions will be brought onto the speedway for autographs during intermission. Hundreds of fans traditionally flood the frontstretch for up close and personal interaction with the drivers.
Another popular night that annually fills the stands is American Patriot Night presented by Walt’s of Mercer Plaza. Not only is it Free Butler County Night, but veterans and scouts will also be admitted free for a full night of racing and a spectacular fireworks presentation! Cartwright Fireworks has worked with us to insure us of one of the biggest in recent years!
Run for border all you Buckeyes! Welcome Ohio Night will admit all residents of Ohio free on July 17 for not only a full night of racing, but our third annual “KABOOM 100” Enduro!
Back for the third straight year is our “Racing for a Cure” American Cancer Society Benefit Night on August 7. Nearly $15,000 has been raised over the past two seasons at The Park. All cancer survivors will be admitted free.
Automotive Service Industry Night will recognize those employed in the automotive/truck industry and be presented by longtime marketing partner Hovis Auto & Truck Supply. These individuals and their significant other will be admitted with $5 adult discounts or $10 off for the family for on the prestigious “Western PA Sprint Championship” on September 11.
Some of the companies already committed to corporate nights this year include Dean Dairy, Yellow Book USA, Anderson Bros. Tool/SK Tool, and Lambert Racing/Bagel Bites.
Wednesday practice nights will be held at the track on April 7, May 5, June 2, July 7, August 4, and September 15. All practices will carry a Thursday rain date.
Don’t forget to come out and see us this Thursday through Sunday (March 18-21) at the Shenango Valley Mall located at the intersection of Routes 18 and 62 in Hermitage, Pa. for the “Thunder in the Park” car show. There is still room available for drivers to display their new cars for the upcoming season.
Attached is our 2010 schedule. Our color tri-fold brochure schedules are also available. Please contact the office if you’re interested in one or pick up one at the mall show.
MERCER RACEWAY PARK
2010 EVENT SCHEDULE*
March 27 “Chiller Thriller” * UFo Championship Super Late Models ($2,500)/United E-Mod Series ($1,000)/Open Stocks ($1,000)/Mini Stocks * Rain date April 3
April 3 Saturday Night Live! OR Rain Date for March 27 * Our five-division opener of Sprints/Modifieds/FASTRAK Late Models/Stock Cars/Mini Stocks * Points start
April 10 Saturday Night Live! * Plus E-Mods (No Stock Cars)
April 17 Saturday Night Live! * Plus E-Mods
April 24 Saturday Night Live! * 2 for $20 Adult Admissions * Twin-State Auto Racing & PCTC Club Night
May 1 Saturday Night Live! * Mahoning Valley Scrappers Night * 1,000 free tickets * “Hey Neighbor…C’mon Over!” – Free general admission for all Shenango Valley residents (Sharon, Hermitage, West Middlesex, Sharpsville, Farrell, Wheatland) presented by Flynn’s Tire & Auto Service
May 8 Saturday Night Live! * Single Parent Night * $10 admission for mom OR dad and all accompanying kids 15 & under
May 15 Saturday Night Live! * Kids Eat Free! * Free hot dog, chips & drink for kids 12 & under * Yellow Book Corp. Night
May 22 Saturday Night Live! * Free general admission for all Crawford County residents
May 29 All-American “Spring Nationals” – World Championship Pulling Event * Presented by Fallsway Equipment Company * Big-Rig Semis/Smoker Series Tractors presented by Watson’s Inc./Hot Diesel 4×4 & Pro Street Gas 4×4 Trucks presented by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply * Note 6:30 PM start time * (Rain date Sun., May 30 at 5 PM)
June 5 Saturday Night Live! * 2 for $20 Adult Admissions * Free general admission for all Venango County residents
June 12 Saturday Night Live! * $10 Family Night * InKredible Ike Balloon Artist * Kids Bike Races presented by Ray’s Racing Collectibles * Lambert Racing/Bagel Bites Corp. Night
June 19 “Smackdown!” * BRP Tour “Big-Block vs. Small-Block Mod Challenge”/Sprint Cars ($1,500)/Stocks/Mini Stocks
June 26 Saturday Night Live! * American Patriot Night/Fireworks Spectacular! * Presented by Walt’s of Mercer Plaza * Free general admission for veterans with I.D., scouts in uniform, & Butler County residents presented by McClymonds Supply & Transit
July 3 “FASTRAK Summer Nationals” * Northeast Late Model Touring Series National Event ($6,000)/Double Sprint Car features/Stock Cars/Mini Stocks * Marvel’s “Iron Man” appearance
July 10 TBA
July 17 Saturday Night Live! * Plus the “KABOOM! 100” Enduro ($1,000) * Welcome Ohio Night – free general admission for all Ohio residents! * Dean Dairy Corp. Night
July 24 Saturday Night Live! * $10 Family Night plus “Meet Your Heroes” Camera & Autograph Night presented by Herr Foods * All cars & drivers from all divisions on speedway during intermission * D.A.R.E. Awareness Night
July 31 “Sprint Slug-Out” * DIRTcar Sprint Challenge Series ($2,000)/ARDC Midgets/ Modifieds/Stocks/Mini Stocks
Aug. 7 Saturday Night Live! * “Racing for a Cure” – American Cancer Society Benefit Night * Cancer survivors admitted free * “Hey Neighbor…C’mon Over!” – Free general admission for all New Castle, PA residents presented by Fat Jimmy’s BBQ * “Leland Haylett Memorial” for Mini Stocks
Aug. 14 “Bill Emig Memorial” * Presented by Ehrlich Your Local Pest Control Experts * Big-Block Mods ($1,500)/Sprint Cars ($1,500)/FASTRAK Late Models/Stocks/Mini Stocks * Anderson Bros. Tool/SK Tool Corp. Night
Aug. 21 TBA
Aug. 28 “Auto Racers for Kids Charities Sprint Series” ($3,000 to-win)/Stocks/Mini Stocks
Sept. 4 TBA
Sept. 11 21st Annual “Western PA Sprint Championship” * DIRTcar Sprint Challenge Series ($2,000)/Big-Block Modifieds ($1,500)/FASTRAK Late Models/Mini Stocks * Automotive Service Industry Night * Presented by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, Inc. * $5 off for those employed in the automotive/truck field, $5 off for their significant other, or $10 off for families * Points end
Sept. 18 TBA
11th Annual “Little Guy Nationals” * Presented by American Racer/Lias Tire
Fri., Sept. 24 Big-Block non-winners vs. 358 Modifieds ($1,000)/Open Stocks ($1,000)/Micro Sprints/Strictly Stocks/Mini Stocks
Sept. 25 Modifieds ($1,500)/Open Stocks ($1,500 & $1,000)/FASTRAK Late Model non-winners/Strictly Stocks/Mini Stocks * Racing begins at 4 PM * (Rain date Sun., Sept. 26 at 2 PM)
Oct. 2 “Fall Brawl” – Night 1 of the FASTRAK Late Model Grand Nationals * Plus Super Late Models ($2,000)/UEMS E-Mods ($2,000)/Mini Stocks * Racing begins at 6 PM
Jan. 8, 2011 “Crashing Through the Snow” * Featuring the “Jack Frost 150” Enduro ($1,000)/“Snowflake 20” for Mini Stocks/“Snowball” Demo Derby * Note: 1 PM starting time * Severe weather makeup date January 15
Practice Nights: April 7, May 5, June 2, July 7, August 4, September 15. Rain dates are the following day.
Pits open 3:30 PM Grandstand open 4:30 PM Hot Laps 6:15 PM Racing 7 PM (unless otherwise noted)
Mercer Raceway Park is a 3/8-mile dirt track located minutes from both Interstate 79 and 80 just off Route 19 on Fairground Road in Mercer, Pa. Dirt track racing and quality family entertainment are presented weekly late March through early October. The office in New Bedford, Pa. is open year-round late mornings and after 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information call the office at 724-964-9300 or the track on race day at 724-662-1310. Check out our website at www.mercerracewaypark.com for the latest. Go to www.twitter.com/mercerraceway or Mercer Raceway Park on facebook.com to stay up to date.