posted May 20, 2001 11:29 AM
Swartzlander takes 2 of 3; Pearson wins other in Mercer Modified Triple 25s
By Mike Leone
May 19, 2001 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mercer (PA)...The annual Bill Emig Memorial Night was held Saturday night at
Mercer Raceway Park sponsored by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, Inc. Four new
winners celebrated in the Auto Body Products victory lane including Brian
Swartzlander twice and Dean Pearson-Bolland Machine Big-Block Modifieds,
John Buchanan-New Castle School of Trades Sportsman Modifieds, and Bobby
Whitling-Butterfield's Pub Stock Cars. Justin Pakulniewicz won the second of
six "Gladiator Series" Demolition Derbies.
It's amazing what a little confidence can do. Western Pa. Big-Block Modified
star, Brian Swartzlander, came into the night shutout of victory lane in his
career at Mercer Raceway Park. At the end of night, Swartzlander passed 36
cars throughout the three features in route to two wins and a second place
worth $3,750- easily good enough to be crowned the "Legacy" Series Champion.
The first 25-lap feature saw the Leechburg, Pa. driver come from eighth to
capture his first career Mercer win. "I'm glad to break the ice here," said
a happy Swartzlander. "We've led a lot of big races here and something's
always happened. This is an exciting win for me. I'm really happy."
Gary Risch, Jr. took the early lead from Andy Priest on lap two, while
Bolland followed in second. Swartzlander powered into third on lap five
passing Priest. By lap seven, it was a three-car race between Risch,
Bolland, and Swartzlander. Swartzlander worked by Bolland for second on lap
11 and set his sights on his good friend Risch. On lap 12, Swartzlander went
to the outside and made the winning move.
Once in front, Swartzlander went on for the $1,500 win in his McCutcheon
Enterprises/Precise Tool & Die/Tap-So-Clean-sponsored #83. Lou Blaney, who
won the first B main, worked his way up from 17th to finish second. Blaney
passed Bolland on lap 17 for third, then got Risch for the runner-up spot on
lap 22. Jeff Schaffer passed Bolland and Risch on lap 23 to finish third.
Bolland dropped to fourth over Tommy Kristyak. Completing the top 10 were
Risch, Frank Guidace, Bill Dorman, J.R. McGinley, and Rick Hall.
The second 25 lapper saw Dean Pearson of Harrisville, Pa. lead all of the
way holding off Swartzlander's late challenge for the $1,500 win. A total
invert of the first feature saw Pearson inherit the pole position when Lonny
Riggs scratched. Les Myers, who started eighth, took second from Tim Doran
on lap three. Swartzlander began his trek from 21st and moved into the top
five on lap 13. Using the inside lane, Swartzlander passed Rob Curtis for
fourth on lap 14. Myers pressured Pearson, until he dropped from event on
lap 19 moving Doran back to second and Swartzlander up to third.
A spin for rookie Nick Ritchey brought out the final caution and set up a
five-lap shootout. Swartzlander raced hard with Doran for second before
finally getting the spot on lap 23. Swartzlander closed on Pearson, but run
out of laps as Pearson went on for his third career Mercer win in his Apex
Hydraulics/Courson Racing Engines-sponsored #8J. "I've got to thank the good
Lord for this," said Pearson following his win. "I protected the inside, if
they wanted it, they were going to have to go to the outside."
Doran settled for his best finish of the year in third as did Frank Guidace,
who started 15th, in fourth and the same for alternate Scott Gurdak, who
raced from 22nd to complete the top five. Sixth through tenth were Bolland,
Blaney, Lou Gentile, Schaffer, and Rodney Beltz.
Swartzlander returned to victory lane in the third feature to capture
another $1,500. "This feels great," exclaimed Swartzlander. "We needed this-
it's our first two wins of the season. It's an honor to win this race and
get two here at Mercer on the Bill Emig Memorial Night."
The third feature was an invert 12 on points accumulated throughout the
night. Swartzlander would start 11th after Kristyak scratched from the
event. Beltz and McGinley quickly broke from the field in first and second.
Risch lost third to Tim Doran on lap seven. Swartzlander worked his way back
to the front taking fourth from Schaffer on lap nine. Doran, Guidace, and
Schaffer tangled on lap 14, which moved Swartzlander to third for the
When racing resumed, Swartzlander passed McGinley for second. Swartzlander
then ran down Beltz and the two put on an excellent side-by-side battle from
laps 20-22. It was lap 22 when Swartzlander got to the inside of Beltz in
turn three for the winning move. Swartzlander led the last four laps to
collect his second win of the night and the "Legacy" Series Championship.
Swartzlander concluded, "The car was great and the crew did a great job. We
ran USNA last year, so the 75 laps weren't really a problem."
Beltz's second was his best Mercer finish of the year. McGinley's third was
a career best over Blaney and Bolland. Rounding out the top 10 were Pearson,
Rick Hall, Chetter Johnson, Schaffer, and Rob Curtis.
The Bill Emig Memorial Night continues to draw the region's highest car
count as 44 cars checked in. Winning the heat events were Bolland, Guidace,
Riggs, and Priest. Blaney and Myers won the two B mains.
John Buchanan ran a strong race to capture his first win of the year in
25-lap New Castle School of Trades Sportsman Modified Feature. The Mercer,
Pa. driver started in eighth and raced all the way up to second on the
opening lap. Buchanan followed defending champion, Rick Hall, for three laps
before making the winning move in turn four on lap four. Buchanan held off
point leader, Steve Young, who started 11th, for his fifth career win worth
$500 in his Mercer Bowl/Moore's Auto Body-sponsored #93. Bill Adams crossed
the line third, but was found illegal moving Tom Mattocks, Chanda Reitz, and
Curt Matthews into positions three through five. Heat winners over the
season high 31-car field were Gary Smoker, Young, and Reitz. Allen Ferry won
the B main.
Like Swartzlander, Bobby Whitling ended a long shutout streak by capturing
his first career Mercer win in the 20-lap Butterfield's Pub Stock Car
Feature. Mike Aley, Rick Norco, and Whitling battled for the top three spots
early on. Whitling passed both Norco and Aley on lap four with the winning
move coming off the inside of turn four. Dave Ferringer entered the picture
passing Norco and Aley for second on lap nine. Ferringer challenged Whitling
for the top spot the last 10 laps, but the Seneca, Pa. driver was able to
hold on for the $500 win in his Tom Karns Specialty Construction-sponsored
#7w. Ferringer finished second for the third consecutive week. Norco's third
was a career best at Mercer. Aley dropped to fourth over Gary Robinson.
Topping a season high 41-car field in the heats were Ferringer, Lynn
Hostetler, Brian Miller, and Whitling. Shaun Hooks and Greg Beach won the
two B mains.
Notes...Swartzlander received an engraved commemorative Mercer Raceway Park
watch and a three-foot sub compliments of June's Sub for his "Legacy"
Championship by earning 101 points out of a possible 105. All three of
Pearson's Mercer wins have come on specials. Last year, Pearson swept both
$1,200 to-win specials. Blaney passed 33 cars throughout the three features
to finish second in points. Lou Gentile turned in his first top 10 of the
season in his Emig #1 with his six-cylinder against the big blocks finishing
eighth in the second feature. Gentile tied for ninth in overall points for
the night. A great field of 116 race cars filled the pit area. Well over
$21,000 was paid out to the Big-Block Modified division in their richest
non-sanctioned event in the history of the region. The night was received
well by both the drivers and the big crowd that turned out. June's Sub also
presented three-foot subs to both Buchanan and Whitling.
Bolland Machine Big-Block Modifieds Feature #1: 1. BRIAN SWARTZLANDER
($1,500) 2. Lou Blaney 3. Jeff Schaffer 4. Kevin Bolland 5. Tommy Kristyak
6. Gary Risch, Jr. 7. Frank Guidace 8. Bill Dorman 9. J.R. McGinley 10. Rick
Hall 11. Adam Siegel 12. Nick Ritchey 13. Rodney Beltz 14. Les Myers 15.
Jeremiah Shingledecker 16. Lou Gentile 17. Steve Young 18. Andy Priest 19.
Rob Curtis 20. Mike Sutton 21. Tim Doran 22. Joe Crawford 23. Dean Pearson
24. Lonny Riggs.
Bolland Machine Big-Block Modifieds Feature #2: 1. DEAN PEARSON ($1,500) 2.
Brian Swartzlander 3. Tim Doran 4. Frank Guidace 5. Scott Gurdak 6. Kevin
Bolland 7. Lou Blaney 8. Lou Gentile 9. Jeff Schaffer 10. Rodney Beltz 11.
Dave Harbaugh 12. Adam Siegel 13. J.R. McGinley 14. Rick Hall 15. Gary
Risch, Jr. 16. Mike Sutton 17. Pete Simpson 18. Nick Ritchey 19. Tommy
Kristyak 20. Les Myers 21. Jeremiah Shingledecker 22. Andy Priest 23. Bill
Dorman 24. Joe Crawford 25. Lonny Riggs-DNS 26. Rob Curtis-DNS 27. Steve
Bolland Machine Big-Block Modifieds Feature #3: 1. BRIAN SWARTZLANDER
($1,500) 2. Rodney Beltz 3. J.R. McGinley 4. Lou Blaney 5. Kevin Bolland 6.
Dean Pearson 7. Rick Hall 8. Chetter Johnson 9. Jeff Schaffer 10. Rob Curtis
11. Lou Gentile 12. Pete Simpson 13. Gary Risch, Jr. 14. Adam Siegel 15.
Mike Sutton 16. Frank Guidace 17. Andy Priest 18. Nick Ritchey 19. Tim Doran
20. Joe Crawford 21. Scott Gurdak 22. Dave Harbaugh 23. Jeremiah
Shingledecker 24. Bill Dorman 25. Tommy Kristyak-DNS 26. Les Myers-DNS 27.
Steve Young-DNS 28. Lonny Riggs-DNS
Did not qualify: Jim Weller, Mark Sevin, Randy Ferguson, Chris Schiffer,
Rich Ferguson, Phil Evans, Jr., Carl Weatherby, Ron Took, George Davis,
Randy Snider, John Boyer, Jr., Rick Kress, Carl Murdick, Lee Miller, Don
McKnight, Ed Alcorn.
New Castle School of Trades Sportsman Modifieds: 1. JOHN BUCHANAN ($500) 2.
Steve Young 3. Tom Mattocks 4. Chanda Reitz 5. Curt Matthews 6. Gary
Bollinger 7. Jerry Schaffer 8. Andy Paden 9. Ron Sasse 10. Dave Coggswell
11. Barry Bulfone 12. Bill Baptiste 13. Brad Watson 14. Ben Hamilton 15.
Morgan Sasse 16. Al Priester 17. Rick Hall 18. Randy Rodemoyer 19. Greg
Unrue 20. Leroy Johnson, Jr. 21. Allen Ferry 22. Andy Priest 23. Gary Smoker
24. Bill Adams-DSQ DNQ-Rick Ryder, John Jones, Mike Mathieson, Mark
Angerett, Jr., Jim Slater, Zack Moran, Les Myers.
Butterfield's Pub Stock Cars: 1. BOBBY WHITLING ($500) 2. Dave Ferringer 3.
Rick Norco 4. Mike Aley 5. Gary Robinson 6. Shaun Hooks 7. Willie Aley 8.
Bill Hanna 9. Rusty Moore 10. Gary Norman 11. Andy Buckley 12. Bob Sloss 13.
Kevin Thompson 14. Doug Iorio 15. Jeff Kravec 16. Ron Iorio 17. Danny Exley
18. Rick Anthony 19. Lynn Hostetler 20. Greg Beach 21. Brian Miller 22. Gary
Miller, Jr. 23. Dan Fedorchak 24. Jim Brunson-DSQ DNQ-Lonnie O'Brien, Keith
Nagy, Bob Hays, Andy Thompson, Ray Bailey, Jr., Mark Felicetty, Adam
Reseigh, Adam Aley, Bill Haas, Jim Miller, Don Greenlee, Erick Cwynar,
William George, Sr., Mark Covert, Robert Caszatt, Jr., Earl Snyder, Tim
5/26-27 Hunter's Truck Sales & Service "American Thunder Weekend"
Sat-Triathlon Series Sprint kickoff, Big-Block Mods, Sportsman Mods, & Stock
Cars. $500 Dave Blaney Outlaw Driving Experience giveaway.
Sun-ATPA Grand American Spring Nationals-Big Rig Semis, Unlimited Super
Stock Tractors sponsored by Greenhill Farms, Super Stock 4-WD Trucks, & Demo
Derby. (Rain date Monday Memorial Day)
6/02 Sprints, Big-Block Mods, Sportsman Mods, & Stock Cars. "Summer Fun
Kickoff"-Presented by Sandcastle & Idlewild- over 150 ticket giveaways plus
an appearance by Kennywood's Garfield.
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