mercer raceway park
mercer raceway park

By Mike Leone

Mercer, PA…After five rainouts in the past seven race nights at Mercer Raceway Park, the prospects of racing didn’t look promising with an 80% chance of rain for Saturday and Saturday night; however, only a brief sprinkle fell as sunshine was present for the majority of the day and evening allowing the program to be completed.

Celebrating in the Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic victory lane was Bob Felmlee in Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars.

On April 10, Ed Lynch, Jr. ended a two and half year winless drought at Mercer. On May 15, Danny Holtgraver returned to victory lane for the first time in three years at Mercer. Saturday night, it was Bob Felmlee ending his winless spell at Mercer capturing his first Sprint Car victory at the 3/8-mile oval since April 26, 2008. Felmlee’s victory came in the 20-lap Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Car feature and was worth $1,500 plus a certificate for a Goodyear Tire.

“That was great,” expressed the Franklin, Pa. veteran racer. “I like to start on the pole and get out front and do my own thing. My foot was down hard on the floor and never lifted other than turn three. That was Chad Reitz’s line in the Modified that I was using there. I have to thank Chad, Woody, and my mom is here tonight; Keizer Wheels, the Goodyear Tire deal, Vinyl Graphics, and everybody that’s helps us out- I greatly appreciate it.”

Felmlee started on the pole moved up ahead of outside pole-sitter Carl Bowser just past the flag stand. It was a hard race into turns one and two, but Felmlee prevailed over Bowser. Two-time winner Mike Lutz slid off turns three and four and landed on his side bringing a halt to racing action with one lap completed.

When racing resumed, seventh and eighth starting Ed Lynch, Jr. and Rod George moved into the top five getting by Chris Best. Lynch pressured newcomer Andy McKisson for third on laps four, five, and six before making the move driving under McKisson in turns one and two for the spot.

Felmlee caught lapped traffic on lap nine, while Lynch closed on Bowser for second. Lynch made a great move on lap 10 driving under Bowser in turn four using the lapped car of Brian Steinman to his advantage stealing away second. The event was slowed for the second and final time when Holtgraver spun with 12 laps completed.

The last eight laps went green-to-checkered as Felmlee drove off unchallenged in his World of Wheels/Lutz Auto Body-sponsored to his 24th career win at the track tying him for seventh on the all-time win list with Arnie Kent and Rod George. Lynch’s runner-up extended his point lead and earned him another Goodyear Tire hard charger certificate. Bowser was third. McKisson edged George by a wheel for the fourth spot. Dan Kuriger, Holtgraver, and Best were sixth through eighth. Eric Williams was the last car on the lead lap and earned a Goodyear Tire certificate. Steinman was 10th. Heat winners were Lutz and George, who won the random draw Goodyear Tire certificates.

Luxaire Heating & Cooling (410) Sprint Cars (20 laps, $1,500 to-win): 1. BOB FELMLEE (6) 2. Ed Lynch, Jr. (2L) 3. Carl Bowser (10) 4. Andy McKisson (0) 5. Rod George (4) 6. Dan Kuriger (08) 7. Danny Holtgraver (D4) 8. Chris Best (66) 9. Eric Williams (7) 10. Brian Steinman (24s) 11. Mike Lutz (Chappel 8) 12. John McCracken, Jr. (79)-DNS.