posted July 13, 2001 04:49 PM
Mercer to celebrate its 50th anniversary on July 21
By Mike Leone
July 13, 2001 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mercer, PA.Thursday, July 26, 1951 Mercer Raceway Park ran its first
official race with a total payoff of $540.50. Almost 50 years later, Mercer
Raceway Park will celebrate its golden 50th anniversary with the running of
"The Gold Cup" on Saturday, July 21 boasting a purse of over $26,000! The
event will be sponsored by National Cash Advance.
A lot has come and gone in the first 50 years. "The purpose of this night is
to remember, honor, and cherish some of the memories that have gone by and
celebrate it with a huge night of racing for our four weekly divisions,"
said owner Vicki Emig. "All retired Mercer drivers have been invited as our
guests to enjoy the night free of charge."
The Stateline Association will be represented by greats Steve Ungar, Johnny
Holfelder, Emil Smolnik, Ronnie Crash, Kenny Cannon, Jerry Barris, Harry
Hein, Bud Braugtigam, Don Winklevoss, and Dale Johnson.
Responses have come in from the modified/coupe division including South
Carlolina's Yip Robinson, Vic George, Skinny Hall, Ed Schaffer, Keith
Morrow, Jim Weise, Bob Stewart, Ron Eperthener, Sr., Jerry O'Rock, Ernie
Toth, Sam Pearson, Bob Kirschner, Larry Whitehouse, Tom Paxton, Jack
Edwards, and Harold Beltz.
In the full-bodied late models/semi-late divisions, Frankie Choura, Paul
Rhodes, Don Gamble, Gary Miller, Sr., Tom Williamson, and Dale Wilson have
Sprint car stars Bill Wheeling, Henry Jacoby, Jim Magill, Rick Ungar, Jim
Gorichky, Andy Raiti, Bob Felmlee, Mercer's all-time winner Ralph Quarterson
have all indicated they will be present. Many more retired drivers are
expected to attend as attendee forms continue to come in.
Also, some of the best restored race cars that have a rich history at Mercer
will be on display including the coupes of Andy Lutz's #86, Ralph Quarterson
's #66 Montag, Vic George's old #65, the #65 King Bros., Ron Eperthener's
#333 modified and six-cylinder, Don Tarr's #12, and Bud Bickel's #4; the
sprints of Lou Blaney's #10, Steve Travers' #19, Ted Wise's #5, and Buddy
Cochran/Kosier Bros. #8.
Jim Bickel and Walt Wimer have helped to document the history of the
speedway. Every race since 1966 has now been documented. At the present,
incomplete records prior to 1966 do not allow for a complete documentation.
A 50th anniversary supplement will appear in The Herald on Tuesday, July 17
with stories and photos. The collector's piece will also be distributed at
the track to the first 1000 fans through the gates.
The overall night of racing will be the biggest night ever in the track's
history that includes all four divisions. The Luxaire Heating & Cooling
Sprint Cars and the Bolland Machine Big-Block Modifieds both will be running
in 30-lap features paying $2,000 to-win and $200 to-start. The New Castle
School of Trades Sportsman Modifieds and the Butterfield's Pub Stock Cars
both will be vying for $500 to-win apiece.
Gates will open early for the festivities at 2:30 p.m. Barbecue dinners are
$5 and will be available from 4:30-8:30 p.m. If you are interested, you can
make checks payable to Mercer Raceway Park and mail to R.D. #1, Pulaski, PA
16143. A limited amount will be available for purchase on the day of the
event. A huge tent has been erected for eating, bench-racing, and
memorabilia purposes. Racing will still begin at its normal time at 6:30
Adult admission is $15. Students 6-15 are $5. Children five and under are
free. The family pass, which admits mom, dad, and up to four kids, is $33.
Pit passes are $25. The event carries a rain date of the following Saturday,
July 28. For more information on this special event you can contact our
office Monday through Friday at 724-964-9300 or the race track on Saturdays
at 724-662-1310. Check out www.mercerracewaypark.com for the latest.
Founded in 1994, National Cash Advance is a leading payday advance company.
National Cash Advance offers a quick, confidential and more cost-effective
alternative to a credit card's late charges or banks' penalties for
insufficient funds. National Cash Advance's professional staff members
provide one-on-one assistance to give a simple cash advance against a
personal check until the next payday arrives. Store locations in western Pa.
include Grove City, New Castle, Butler, Meadville, Ellwood City, Hermitage,
Erie, Greenville, Clarion, and Aliquippa, and in eastern Ohio, Niles and
Youngstown. For more information, check out www.nationalcashadvance.com.
Contact: Mike Leone, 53 East Glenora Drive, Grove City, PA 16127. Office
phone 724-964-9300 and fax to 724-964-0604. Home phone/fax: 724-748-3358.
Mercer Raceway Park is located 3 miles north of I-80, exit 2. The track is
0.5 miles north of SR 258 on US 19, then 0.2 miles east on Fairground Road
in Findley Township. The office number is 724-964-9300. Fax to 724-964-0604.
The race track phone number is 724-662-1310. Our web site is www.mercerracewaypark.com. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org