posted April 29, 2001 10:06 AM
Kriess wins first ever in Mercer Sprints; Myers returns to victory lane in
By Mike Leone
April 28, 2001 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mercer (PA)...Mercer Raceway Park returned to action on Saturday night with
four new winners in the Moore's Auto Body victory lane. Taking wins were
Gary Kriess, Jr.-Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars, Les Myers-Bolland
Machine Big-Block Modifieds, Andy Priest-New Castle School of Trades
Sportsman Modifieds, and Brian Miller-Butterfield's Pub Stock Cars. Cody
Smith was victorious in the first of six "Gladiator Series" Demolition
Derbies. It was McElwain Family of Dealerships "Meet Your Hero" Night for
the Stock Cars and over 400 color autograph cards were given out.
Gary Kriess, Jr. held off fast closing Jimmy Hawley to win his first career
Mercer feature in the 20-lap Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Car main. "I'
ve had some pretty bad luck this season," said the Butler, Pa. driver from
victory lane. "It's been a rough couple weeks at Lernerville (Speedway) and
the last time I was here my throttle stuck, but this makes up for it."
Kriess immediately jumped out in front of Troy Preston at the start. Jason
Jacoby was on the move from his fifth starting spot and grabbed third from
Kevin Andrusky on lap four. Kriess caught lapped traffic on lap nine as a
great race developed from second through sixth positions between Jacoby,
Andrusky, Arnie Kent, and Jimmy Hawley. Kent and Hawley both slipped under
Andrusky for fourth and fifth at the half-way mark. Jacoby then took
runner-up from Preston in turn four on lap 12.
Two cautions during laps 15 and 16 slowed action and bunched up the field.
Hawley drove by Preston for third on lap 17, then got under Jacoby for
second in turn two with two laps to go. Kriess appeared headed for victory
over Hawley, but a caution for Rob Eyler, who stopped in turn four, brought
out the final caution for a one-lap shootout.
When racing resumed, Hawley got a little wide on the backstretch allowing
Kriess to hold on for a two car-length margin of victory. "You don't want to
know what was going through my mind and what I was thinking on that last
yellow," revealed Kriess, who wheeled his father Gary, Sr.-owned, Ronald
Kradel Financial Services/CD-Zone-sponsored #55J to his fourth career Sprint
Car win. "I knew Jimmy (Hawley) back there so I had to run pretty hard."
Ninth starter, Kent, and eighth starter, Tom Quarterson, both got by Jacoby
on the final lap to take third and fourth respectively, and dropped Jacoby
to fifth. Completing the top 10 were Andrusky, 22nd starter Tommy Burns,
Jr., Andy Priest, Gary McCollum, and Gary Edwards. Of note, Kriess became
the 16th different driver to win a Sprint Car feature in the last 21 events
at Mercer. Heat winners for the 22-car field were Kriess and Hawley.
Les Myers was victorious in the 20-lap Bolland Machine Big-Block Modified
feature for the first time at Mercer since June 22, 1996. "It's been
awhile," exclaimed the veteran Reno, Pa. driver in victory lane. "It's
actually been 11 years since I've run this car number x3."
Rick Hall led the first four laps from the pole position before fifth
starter, Frank Guidace, took charge on the fifth circuit. Myers used the
outside to race from his sixth starting spot into second on lap six taking
the spot from Hall. One lap later, Myers made the winning move when he
passed Guidace racing under the first-year big-block driver in turn two.
Guidace spun on lap 10 and did a 360-degree to spin to keep moving, but lost
second and third to Lou Blaney and Carl Murdick. Jeff Hoffman, who started
12th, raced by Murdick for third, then took over second from Blaney on the
lap 11 restart. Four cautions between laps 12 and 16 slowed action. Hoffman,
who was driving for Dave Schrader, slowed on lap 18 moving Blaney and
Murdick back to second and third.
Up front, Myers had the event under control for his 12th career Mercer
Big-Block Modified win in his Details by Doug/McCarty Vynal
Graphics-sponsored #x3. "I put this deal together myself, but I've got to
thank Gale Ruth for giving me a lot of parts so I can get out here and run
with these guys."
Blaney held on for second. Rodney Beltz, who started 19th, passed Murdick on
the last lap to take third. Murdick and Dean Pearson completed the top five.
Sixth through tenth were Kevin Bolland, Tim Doran up from 20th, Bob Dorman,
Guidace, and Hall. Heat winners over the 34-car field went to Don McKnight,
Pearson, and Carl Weatherby. Lonny Riggs won the B main.
Andy Priest's victory in the 20-lap New Castle School of Trades Sportsman
Modified feature broke the tie with Gary Smoker to become the all-time
winner in the division with 20 wins. Priest started the event from fifth and
took third from Andy Paden on the opening lap. Priest then used the lap two
restart to pass Curt Matthews for runner-up. The winning move came on lap
four when Priest went to the inside of John Buchanan in turn three. Once in
front, Priest of New Castle, Pa. drove on to the victory in the Ted
Hull-owned, MPR Lumber/Griffin-Bossard Chevrolet-sponsored #41. Buchanan
nipped Gary Bollinger at the checkers for second. Tom Mattocks raced from
17th to finish fourth over Randy Rodemoyer. Paden, Gary Smoker, and Priest
won the heats over the 27-car field. Al Priester won the B main.
Defending track champion, Brian Miller of New Wilmington, Pa., fended off
hard charging Andy Buckley for the 15-lap Butterfield's Pub Stock Car
feature win. Miller took over the top spot from Andy Thompson on lap two.
Willie Aley passed Thompson for second on lap six. Buckley joined the race
for the lead on lap eight when he passed Thompson for third, then edged Aley
for second at the line one lap later.
Buckley was all over Miller in the closing laps. The final lap saw Buckley
get under Miller for the lead in turn one, but Miller stayed patient and got
back under him on the backstretch to retake the lead and the win. For
Miller, it was his sixth career Mercer win, which came in the Terry
Hoover-owned, Rolling Hills Golf Course/Ed & Jerry's NAPA-sponsored #99m.
Buckley settled for second. Ron Iorio, who started 10th, passed Aley in the
closing laps for third. Aley dropped to fourth at the finish over Gary
Robinson. Taking heat wins over the 37-car field were Miller, Iorio, and
Bill Hanna. Gary Miller, Jr. and Dave Ferringer won the two B mains.
Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars: 1. GARY KRIESS, JR. 2. Jimmy Hawley
3. Troy Preston 4. Tom Quarterson 5. Jason Jacoby 6. Kevin Andrusky 7. Tommy
Burns, Jr. 8. Andy Priest 9. Gary McCollum 10. Gary Edwards 11. Rob Eyler
12. Gregg McCandless 13. Buddy Cochran 14. Nathan Hines 15. Chad Hill 16.
Mike Shearer 17. Arnie Kent 18. Mike Kekich 19. Brian Staph 20. John Toth
III 21. Jack Sodeman, Jr. 22. Brian Woodhall.
Bolland Machine Big-Block Modifieds: 1. LES MYERS 2. Lou Blaney 3. Rodney
Beltz 4. Carl Murdick 5. Dean Pearson 6. Kevin Bolland 7. Tim Doran 8. Bob
Dorman 9. Frank Guidace 10. Rick Hall 11. Rob Kristyak 12. Gary Risch, Jr.
13. Chad Reitz 14. Tommy Kristyak 15. J.R. McGinley 16. Jeff Hoffman 17.
George Davis 18. Don McKnight 19. Lonny Riggs 20. Joe Crawford 21. Carl
Weatherby 22. Rob Curtis 23. Scott Gurdak 24. Jimmy Faas-DSQ 25. Lou
Gentile-DSQ DNQ-Mark Sevin, Red Fordyce, John Boyer, Jr., Rick Kress, Steve
Young, Larry Johns, Lee Miller, Dave Reges, Ron Took.
New Castle School of Trades Sportsman Modifieds: 1. ANDY PRIEST 2. John
Buchanan 3. Gary Bollinger 4. Tom Mattocks 5. Randy Rodemoyer 6. Al Priester
7. D.J. Schrader 8. Andy Paden 9. Rick Hall 10. Jerry Schaffer 11. Curt
Matthews 12. Mark Angerett, Jr. 13. Zack Moran 14. Steve Young 15. Rick
Ryder 16. Brad Watson 17. Dave Coggswell 18. Fred Sasse 19. Bill Adams 20.
Allen Ferry 21. Buck Buchanan 22. Greg Unrue 23. Gary Smoker 24. Bill
Baptiste DNQ-John Jones, Chanda Reitz, Leroy Johnson, Jr.
Butterfield's Pub Stock Cars: 1. BRIAN MILLER 2. Andy Buckley 3. Ron Iorio
4. Willie Aley 5. Gary Robinson 6. Rusty Moore 7. Shaun Hooks 8. Gary
Miller, Jr. 9. Andy Thompson 10. Bill Hanna 11. Russ Kapalin 12. Terry
Wheeler 13. Bill Wheeling 14. Greg Beach 15. Kevin Thompson 16. Tony Bruno
17. Rick Anthony 18. Dan Fedorchak 19. Pat Wilcox 20. Rick Norco 21. Mike
Aley 22. Terry Kroner 23. Dave Ferringer 24. Ray Bailey, Jr. DNQ-Bob Hays,
Tim Zuschlag, Jeff Kravec, Erick Cwynar, Jim Miller, Ed Lombardo, William
George, Sr., Todd Titus, Andy Bolland, Lonnie O'Brien, Robert Caszatt, Jr.,
Bill Schall, Jr., Brian Felmlee.
5/05 Sprints, Big-Block Mods, Sportsman Mods, Stock Cars, & PCTC Senior
5/12 Sprints, Big-Block Mods, Sportsman Mods, & Stock Cars. Brad Doty &
5/19 Bill Emig Memorial-Triple 25s for Big-Block Mods, Sportsman Mods ($500
to-win), & Stock Cars ($500 to-win) plus a Demo Derby.
5/26 Triathlon Series Sprint kickoff, Big-Block Mods, Sportsman Mods, &
Stock Cars. $500 Dave Blaney Outlaw Driving Experience giveaway.
Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Racing at 6:30 p.m.
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 Fairgrounds 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