Mercer, PA (July 16, 2011): It was a good night for two of the racers running second in track points, as the Kittanning Comet, Rod George (Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars), and Jimmy the Jet Holden (Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds), used their wins to inch closer to the leaders in their respective divisions. Also taking wins were point leaders Guy Griffin (ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors) and Rusty Moore (Precise Racing Products Stock Cars). Mark Marcucci (Big Daddy’s Speed Center Modified Lites) and Mike McConnell (Big Dog R/C Center Mini Stocks) were the other winning drivers.
When Mike Lutz was unable to start the Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Car feature, points leader Bob Felmlee took his position on the outside of the front row. His prime contender for the points title, Rod George, was mired in eleventh position. So, everybody in the house thought that Felmlee would have an easy time padding his points lead. Everybody but George, that is.
George finally seems to be hitting his stride after having trouble adapting to the Goodyear tires. “We’ve been struggling since last year; ever since we had the Goodyear tire, we’ve had trouble, trouble, trouble; and then, this last month, it seemed like we were getting closer every night.” Felmlee did jump out to an early lead, as expected, but George climbed from eleventh to fifth in just one lap. Felmlee continued to lead over Scott Priester, who was having his best run of the season in the Dionise 15, and Eric Turkey Williams. Meanwhile, George continued his blistering pace, as he was closing in on the leaders.
By lap 10, George worked his way into second, but he still had a significant gap to reach the leader, Felmlee. George got the break he needed when a caution for Brandon Spithaler slowed the pace. That gave George the opportunity to start beside Felmlee.
Felmlee powered off the bottom of turn four to take the lead again, but he leisurely rolled into turn three on the outside. George had a full head of steam coming down the back stretch, and an opening on the bottom of turn three, and he blasted by Felmlee. George stretched his advantage over the remainder of the 25 lap distance.
Felmlee crossed a distant second, ahead of Priester. Williams regained fourth in the final laps. Brent Matus, who was nursing some injured ribs, completed the top five. Gale Ruth, Jr., Aaron Shaffer, Adam Bomb Kekich, Brandon Matus and Shawn Minor finished sixth through tenth.
Speaking of his breathtaking pass for the lead, George said “I didn’t want Bob to get away for sure, and I knew what line he was running; we always ride the bottom and fortunately it worked out for us tonight.”
The Goodyear Tire certificates were awarded to George as the winner, Ruth as the hard charger, and Vern Wasson as the last car on the lead lap. Randomly awarded certificates went to Shaffer and Brent Matus.
In the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, the fans did not need to wait to see the titanic struggle between points leader Frank on the Gas Guidace and Jimmy the Jet Holden. They started side-by-side on row one, and they put on a tremendous display of driving over the entire 20 laps.
Holden said that he had “a blast” racing with Guidace. “He is a tremendous competitor, I love the way he races each and every week; he brings it; he goes as fast as he can go every single lap; [and] he’s a very clean racer.” Holden attributed his win to the fact that Guidace hopped the cushion a little in three and four. “He pushed and I was able to get underneath.”
Holden shot out to an early advantage, but Guidace used the cushion in turns three and four to power into the lead on lap two. Holden kept Guidace within his sights as the laps clicked away. Behind them, Kyle Fink, Rick Hall, Matt Reeher and Eric Gabany were fighting hard for positions.
Guidace started to have some trouble with the cushion, especially in turns three and four, but he continued to lead over Holden. That enabled Holden to narrow the margin somewhat as the leaders approached lapped traffic. Guidace got trapped behind a lapped car entering turn three, and Holden had a clean run on the bottom of the track. Before Holden could execute the pass coming off turn four, however, the yellow lights flashed on for a the stopped car of last week’s winner, Jeff Schaffer.
On the restart, Guidace once again resumed the lead, but now Eric Gabany was challenging Holden for second. That battle never developed much further, as Fink rallied and regained the third position. Another caution on lap 15 for a tangle involving Hall and Reeher gave Holden a shot at the leader, but he could not capitalize.
When the racing resumed, Guidace was again having trouble negotiating the cushion in turns three and four, and this time, Holden was close enough to make the move for the lead coming off turn four. Holden grabbed control as the field crossed for lap 16. Guidace, still determined to make the cushion work, tried to mount a comeback, but he slid high in turns one and two and Fink, the Strattanville Charger, slipped past him into second.
Holden, Fink and Guidace grabbed the podium positions. Gabany and Ron Eperthener, Jr. rounded out the top five.
Rick Hall, Andy Paden, Rich Whitney, Dustin Martin and Kevin Green were the next five finishers.
In the ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Guy Griffin continued his winning ways, but the feature event was marred by the flip of Jacob Lagestee. Lagestee was flown to a nearby hospital for medical attention. A family member reported that his CT scans were normal, but that Jacob would be held overnight for observation. Good news indeed, after a hard crash.
In his return to action, Adam Anderson raced out to an early lead over points leader Griffin. A caution on lap two gave Griffin the outside position for the restart, and he dashed into the first turn with the lead that he would never relinquish.
The race was stopped with six laps down when Lagestee flipped in turn one.
Griffin led the rest of the way, picking up his fifth win of the season. Justin Whitesell finished second, ahead of Gary Edwards, Dennis Wagner, and Anderson.
Sixth trough ninth were Chad Matthews, Steve Lucas, rookie Mike Benic and Jeff Tayor. Lagestee was scored in tenth, based upon laps completed.
In the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars, Trusty Rusty Moore chalked up his sixth win of the season. James Duncan grabbed the lead at the start of the 20 lapper, while Terry Wheeler, Shawn Hooks and Bob McCann were locked in a fierce battle for spots in the top five. The complexion of the race changed on lap seven, when Wheeler surrendered second as the field was circulating under the yellow. Shortly after the race went green again, Duncan got a flat left front tire and he dropped from the lead. That put McCann and Moore in front and they thrilled the fans with a nip and tuck battle for the lead.
However, Moore powered to the front in turns three and four on lap 10 and he led the remainder of the distance. McCann finished second, followed by Chad O’Brien, Tim Burns and Russ Byler.
Bobby Hein, Andy Thompson, Wheeler, Darrin Hyde and Bryan Wagner ran sixth through tenth.
In the Big Daddy’s Speed Center Modified Lites, Cody and Jacob Bova occupied the first row for the start, but it was Cody who assumed command when the green flag dropped. Points leader Darin Gallagher quickly moved into second and challenged Bova for the lead. However, before Gallagher could make his move, Mark Marcucci started to press him for second. Marcucci took the spot away on lap 11 and he set out after the leader.
With Bova hung up by some lapped cars, Marcucci got a good run coming off the second turn..Marcucci threaded the needle between a lapped car and Bova to take the lead as tey raced down the back chute.
Marcucci led Bova and Gallagher the rest of the way. Shane Pfeuffer finished fourth and Thomas Kline followed them across the finish line.
Positions six through ten went to Andy Feil, Kotie Kirkbride, Bill Johnson, Richard Lawson and Jacob Bova.
The final feature of the night was the Big Dog R/C Center Mini Stocks, and Mike McConnell grabbed the win after fighting off persistent challenges three different drivers.
McConnell led from start to finish, but he never could break away from the pack. First, it was Ed Haylett hounding him; then, it was former champion Dillon Kineston; and then it was Trooper Tim Callahan. In the waning laps, Haylett and Callahan had a spirited duel for second, with Haylett coming out on top.
McConnell was the winner over Haylett and Callahan. Finishing fourth was Michael Thompson, and fifth was Steve Longwell, Sr.
Sixth trough tenth went to Joel Wisser, Rudy Troples, E.J. Rahrer, Chase Anthony and Jeff Little.
Join us next week for two exciting nights of action. The speedway will play host to the Northwest PA Truck & Tractor Pull on Friday night. Saturday Night Live! Racing will be on the circle track, as usual.
Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars: 1. Rod George (4); 2. Bob Felmlee (6); 3. Scott Priester (15); 4. Eric Williams (7); 5. Brent Matus (33); 6. Gale Ruth, Jr. (1R); 7. Aaron Shaffer (97S); 8. Adam Kekich (5K); 9. Brandon Matus (13); 10. Shawn Minor (3M); 11. Brandon Spithaler (22S); 12. Francis Sesco (2S). DNS: Mike Lutz (17T). Heat winners: Spithaler, George.
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: 1. Jimmy Holden (28H); 2. Kyle Fink (66F); 3. Frank Guidace (1G); 4. Eric Gabany; 5. Ron Eperthener, Jr. (333); 6. Rick Hall (B2); 7. Andy Paden (55); 8. Rich Whitney (19W); 9. Dustin Martin (29D); 10. Kevin Green (74); 11. Don Brown (71B); 12. David Cogswell (8); 13. Matt Reeher (711); 14. Jeff Schaffer (14). DNS: Jeremiah Shingledecker (37MD); Duane Bothelo (16); J.R. McGinley (66). Heat winners: Gabany, Reeher.
Ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors: 1. Guy Griffin (11); 2. Justin Whitesell (17); 3. Gary Edwards (57); 4. Dennis Wagner (38); 5. Adam Anderson (5B); 6. Chad Matthews (1); 7. Steve Lucas (99X); 8. Mike Benic (86); 9. Jeff Tayor (17T); 10. Jacob Lagestee; 11. Michael Bauer (35); 12. Harold Braden, Jr. (9). Heat winners: Griffin, Edwards.
Precise Racing Products Stock Cars: 1. Rusty Moore (17M); 2. Bob McCann (33); 3. Chad O’Brien (77); 4. Tim Burns (66); 5. Russ Byler (06R); 6. Bobby Hein (92); 7. Andy Thompson (7); 8. Terry Wheeler (2W); 9. Darrin Hyde (4); 10. Bryan Wagner (56); 11. Martin Warren (05); 12. Tony Spaghetti (97); 13. Shawn Hooks (65); 14. James Duncan (67J); 15. Brad Shaffer (77X); 16. Curtis Bish (29T); 17. Travis Walsh (1); 18. Matthew Wagner (12); 19. Brandon Johnston (14J); 20. Ryan Moyer (13X). DNS: Derek Freedline (F3). Heat winners: Moore, Duncan, Warren.
Big Daddy’s Speed Center Modified Lites: 1. Mark Marcucci (8M); 2. Cody Bova (20B); 3. Darin Gallagher (12); 4. Shane Pfeuffer (717); 5. Thomas Kline (68); 6. Andy Feil (08); 7. Kotie Kirkbride (97N); 8. Bill Johnson (7); 9. Richard Lawson (70×7); 10. Jacob Bova (28B); 11. Taylor Smith (23TT). Heat winners: Kline, Pfeuffer.
Big Dog R/C Center Mini Stocks: 1. Mike McConnell (31); 2. Ed Haylett (8ball); 3. Tim Callahan (54); 4. Michael Thompson (82T); 5. Steve Longwell, Sr. (16K); 6. Joel Wisser (15K); 7. Rudy Troples (28); 8. E.J. Rahrer (3J); 9. Chase Anthony (26); 10. Jeff Little (42); 11. Anthony Shetter (33A); 12. Dillon Kineston (19); 13. Clay Wisser (197); 14. Tyler Fulton (409); 15. Ryan Beatty (16); 16. Maria Nevin (9); 17. Jerry Batcher (7); 18. Pete Blaczcak (77); 19. Troy Lehnortt (46); 20. Steve Longwell, Jr. (17K); 21. Todd Gabriel (33G). Heat winners: Steve Longwell, jr., Kineston, Callahan.