posted June 17, 2001 10:32 AM
Hawley and Myers repeat in Sprints and Modifieds at Mercer
By Mike Leone
June 16, 2001
Mercer (PA)...Mercer Raceway Park completed its eighth night of the 2001
campaign on Saturday night. The following drivers recorded wins and met the
fans in the Moore's Auto Body victory lane: Jimmy Hawley-Luxaire Heating &
Cooling Sprint Cars, Les Myers-Bolland Machine Big-Block Modifieds, Andy
Priest-New Castle School of Trades Sportsman Modifieds, and Shaun
Hooks-Butterfield's Pub Stocks.
It was Jr. Fan Night at track as the Nickelodeon "Rugrats" of Tommy,
Chuckie, and Angelica made an appearance. The Aut Mori Grotto Clowns
entertained the kids. It was McElwain "Meet Your Hero" Night for the
Sportsman Modified division as those drivers signed autographs. The first
500 kids received free treat bags and a color autograph card. Kids also
competed in the first bike race night.
Jimmy Hawley put on a driving clinic coming from ninth on a wet and heavy
surface to win the non-stop 20-lap Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Car
feature. "The car was pretty fast at the beginning," stated the West
Middlesex, Pa. driver. "I was playing it a little cautious to let everyone
get strung out, but once I found where I wanted to be up top, it really
stuck and worked pretty good."
Tommy Burns, Jr. raced into the lead from the pole position over Rob Eyler,
while Jarod Larson passed Dave Wagner for third. By lap three, Burns and
Eyler broke away from the pack and began to battle for the lead. Coming off
turn four on lap five, Eyler and Burns split the lapped car of Butch Beasley
making it three-wide. Burns and Beasley made contact giving the lead to
By lap nine, Eyler, who was leading last week's feature before flipping
after making contact with a lapped car, opened up a straightaway lead on
Burns. Although a half-lap behind Eyler and Burns, a great five-car battle
ensued for third between Larson, Troy Preston, Jason Jacoby, Hawley, and Tom
Quarterson on lap 12. Preston passed Larson for third on lap 12, before
Hawley raced around both Jacoby, Larson, and Preston for third on the top
side of lap 13.
With six laps to go, Burns began to close on the slowing Eyler, while Hawley
rim-ridded the top-side of the track making up a half-lap deficit as he
closed on both. Lap 17 saw Burns, Hawley, and Jacoby all got by Eyler before
he dropped out of the event. On lap 19, with the lapped traffic ahead, Burns
went low while Hawley and Jacoby drove by on the top for first and second
with the white flag waving. Jacoby was on Hawley's bumper in turn one, but
Hawley was able to hold on for his second win and 23rd of his career at
Mercer. The win came aboard the Dr. John and Debi Crawford-owned, Mihalchak
Motorsports #cIII. The race was non-stop in 5:16.87.
Jacoby and Burns recorded their best finishes of the year in second and
third. Point leader Quarterson came from 12th to place fourth ahead of Arnie
Kent. Sixth through tenth were Preston, Larson, Gary Kriess, Jr., Wagner,
and Skip Dougherty. Heat winners were Kriess and Kent.
Les Myers came out on top of the 20-lap Bolland Machine Big-Block Modified
feature for his second win. "I got a little nervous," said the Reno, Pa.
winner. "The car didn't feel good in hot laps or the heat race so I changed
a bunch of stuff everywhere. It must have been the right things because it
came out good."
Rob Curtis took the lead from pole-sitter Nick Ritchey at the start. Joe
Crawford passed Rob Kristyak on the opening lap then got by Ritchey for
second on lap two. Myers started from the seventh hole and worked by Scott
Gurdak and Ritchey to take over third on lap five. Three cautions slowed
action with five laps completed.
When racing resumed, Crawford got a big a run off the outside of turn four
to pass Curtis with contact to lead lap six. Myers also edged ahead of
Curtis for second. Myers' winning pass came on the eighth circuit when he
nosed ahead of Crawford at the start-finish line for the lead.
Lou Blaney was on the charge from his 10th starting spot. He passed Frank
Guidace and Curtis for third on lap nine. Laps 14-16 saw Blaney and Crawford
go at it side-by-side with Blaney taking runner-up on lap 16.
Blaney was all over Myers in the last three laps, but Myers was able to hold
on for his 13th career Mercer win in his Details by Doug/McCarty Vynal
Graphics-sponsored #x3. "This feels good," said Myers from victory lane. "We
sure needed this. We've broke a lot of parts the last few weeks and this
will help us out."
Tim Doran may have had the fastest car in the closing laps. Doran, who
started 13th, passed Curtis for fourth on lap 15 then got by Crawford for
third on lap 16. Doran closed on Blaney and Myers, but run out of laps.
Curtis' fourth was his best ever finish in a big-block at Mercer. Jeff
Schaffer came from twelfth to finish fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were
Lonny Riggs, Crawford, Don McKnight, Dean Pearson, and Carl Murdick, who
missed the heat races and had to start 25th. Winning the heats over the
26-car field were Blaney, Schaffer, and Crawford.
Andy Priest held off Steve Young to win his third 20-lap New Castle School
of Trades Sportsman Modified feature. The New Castle, Pa. driver started
from fourth and passed Jerry Schaffer and Randy Rodemoyer on the opening lap
for second. Allen Ferry led the first seven circuits holding off Priest, but
Priest was finally able to get by on the eighth go-around. Ferry dropped
from the event under caution with nine laps completed just after Young had
passed Rick Hall and Rodemoyer for third.
Young, who started 11th, was all over Priest the rest of the way. Coming
down for the white flag, Young put a slide job on Priest in turn four
through lapped traffic to lead lap 19. Priest stayed on it and got back by
Young in turn one in traffic for the lead and his 22nd career sportsman win
in the Ted Hull-owned, M.P.R. Lumber/Griffin-Bossard Chevrolet-sponsored
#41. Hall was third over Bill Adams and Rodemoyer. Heat victors over the
28-car field were Curt Matthews, Ferry, and Young. D.J. Schrader won the B
Shaun Hooks became the eighth different winner in eight races by capturing
his first career 15-lap Butterfield's Pub Stock Car feature win. Brian
Miller passed Terry Kroner and Andy Thompson for the lead on lap one. Rick
Norco disposed of Russ Kapalin, Kroner, and Thompson to take second on lap
three. Hooks meanwhile started the event from seventh and entered the
picture on lap five taking third from Thompson. Miller, Norco, and Hooks
broke away from the pack at the halfway mark as Hooks got under Norco to
make the pass for runner-up on lap eight. On lap 11, Hooks drove to the
outside and by Miller in turn four for the lead. The New Castle, Pa. driver
went on for the non-stop win timed in 5:14.88 in his Benny Lombardo Auto
Repair/Plotts Transmission-sponsored #65. Behind Hooks, Miller, and Norco
were Gary Miller, Jr., who came from 14th, and Jim Brunson, who recorded his
best finish of the year. Winning the heats over the 38-car field were new
point leader Andy Buckley, Norco, Brian Miller, and Willie Aley. Bill Hanna
and Greg Beach won the B mains.
Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars: 1. JIMMY HAWLEY 2. Jason Jacoby 3.
Tommy Burns, Jr. 4. Tom Quarterson 5. Arnie Kent 6. Troy Preston 7. Jarod
Larson 8. Gary Kriess, Jr. 9. Dave Wagner 10. Skip Dougherty 11. Brian
Woodhall 12. Nathan Hines 13. Mike Kaminski 14. Rob Eyler 15. Kevin
Schaeffer 16. Butch Beasley 17. Gregg McCandless-DNS.
Bolland Machine Big-Block Modifieds: 1. LES MYERS 2. Lou Blaney 3. Tim Doran
4. Rob Curtis 5. Jeff Schaffer 6. Lonny Riggs 7. Joe Crawford 8. Don
McKnight 9. Dean Pearson 10. Carl Murdick 11. Nick Ritchey 12. Chetter
Johnson 13. Frank Guidace 14. Rob Kristyak 15. Steve Young 16. Adam Siegel
17. Bob Dorman 18. Rodney Beltz 19. Kevin Bolland 20. Rick Kress 21. John
Braymer 22. Rich Ferguson 23. Guy Griffin 24. Scott Gurdak 25. Rick Hall 26.
New Castle School of Trades Sportsman Modifieds: 1. ANDY PRIEST 2. Steve
Young 3. Rick Hall 4. Bill Adams 5. Randy Rodemoyer 6. Curt Matthews 7. D.J.
Schrader 8. Les Myers 9. Gary Bollinger 10. Fred Sasse 11. Ron Eperthener,
Jr. 12. Jerry Schaffer 13. Chanda Reitz 14. Dave Cogswell 15. Zack Moran 16.
Bill Baptiste 17. Andy Paden 18. Jay Priest 19. Brad Watson 20. Allen Ferry
21. Al Priester 22. Rick Ryder 23. John Buchanan 24. Buck Buchanan DNQ-Leroy
Johnson, Jr., John Jones, Morgan Sasse, Barry Bulfone.
Butterfield's Pub Stock Cars: 1. SHAUN HOOKS 2. Brian Miller 3. Rick Norco
4. Gary Miller, Jr. 5. Jim Brunson 6. Andy Thompson 7. Andy Buckley 8. Terry
Kroner 9. Russ Kapalin 10. Bobby Whitling 11. Bill Hanna 12. Gary Norman 13.
Mike Work 14. Dave Ferringer 15. Jim Miller 16. Mike Aley 17. Todd Titus 18.
Rick Anthony 19. Greg Beach 20. Jeff Kravec 21. Duane Grinnell 22. Ed Hays
23. Dave Lewis, Sr. 24. Willie Aley DNQ-Phil Kaufman, Ray Bailey, Jr., Bob
Garris, Erick Cwynar, Mark Covert, Tim Zuschlag, Dan Fedorchak, Gary
Robinson, Lonnie O'Brien, Jarrot Moore, William George, Sr., Keith Nagy,
Robert Caszatt, Jr., Adam Aley.
6/23 "Wingless- The Return" presented by Chevron East- Northern States
Midget Classic, an ARDC vs. NAMARS clash event ($2,000 to-win), Non-Winged
Sprints ($2,000 to-win), & Stock Cars ($400 to-win).
6/30 Sprints, Big-Block Mods, Sportsman Mods, & Stock Cars. "American
Patriot Night"/Fireworks Spectacular-all vets with ID admitted free
7/7 Sprints, Big-Block Mods, Sportsman Mods, Stock Cars & Demo Derby.
McElwain Family of Dealerships Corp & "Meet Your Hero" Night/Big-Block Mods.
Twin-State & PCTC Night.
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