posted June 27, 2001 03:26 PM
Statements and remarks concerning Mercer Raceway Park's June 23 event
By Mike Leone
June 26, 2001 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mercer, PA.Mercer Raceway Park thanks everyone who supported our Saturday,
June 23 "Wingless- The Return" event. Please accept our sincere apologies
for what turned into a long and frustrating night. The unexpected rain
showers put us behind from the start. The forecast was calling for clearing
skies and with people either on the grounds or in route from at least ten
states we felt that we could not cancel.
"We want to thank our fans and drivers for their tremendous patience and
understanding they had throughout the night," said owner Vicki Emig. "The
majority of the people knew what we were up against and were standing behind
us. We received many words of encouragement from fans, drivers, and car
owners both at the track and via e-mail and phone conversation following the
"We also want to apologize to the area residents for the lateness of the
show," stated Emig. "This was very atypical for Mercer Raceway Park as most
of our shows are completed by 10:30 p.m. Again, because it wasn't a regular
event and we had people coming in from all over the country we felt we had
to do whatever it took to complete the event. It would have been pretty hard
to cancel then have people arrive with the sun out and have them turn around
and travel back home."
There were a few things that did transpire that were out of our control that
took up extra time and we apologize for that. We will try to get those items
corrected for next time. And of course as you know we can't control Mother
We congratulate Tim Dietz on his win in the 28-lap fog shortened inaugural
Northern States Midget Classic event. The Midget Cars proved for the second
straight year of the quality of racing that they can showcase. This year's
car count jumped from 20 to 33 cars with drivers from seven different states
competing. Hopefully this number will continue to grow in the future.
We thank the 23 Sprint Cars that took off their wings. We feel bad that we
were unable to get their feature event completed, as it would have been a
good one on the wet and tacky surface. It would have been interesting to see
how winged stars such as Tom Quarterson, Jimmy Hawley, Jamie Smith, and
others fared against former USAC star Mark Cassella, Indiana driver Critter
Malone, and of course the veteran Lou Blaney, who was behind the wheel of
the Tommy Burns #7c.
We felt it was in the best interest of the Sprint Car drivers and owners to
split the $10,065 purse for the 23 spots equally meaning each competitor
received $437.60. This means that 17 of the 23 drivers went home with more
money than if we would have completed the feature event. With 13
non-regulars, no other non-winged events, and the necessary time that would
be required to convert the cars back over if we ran double features, we felt
this was the best decision. Also, we did not think that it would be fair to
run the event as a winged make-up event. Drivers were awarded their heat
race points and 10 show-up points.
We feel bad for those fans that stuck with us and did not get to see the
Non-Winged Sprint Car feature that will not be made up. Therefore, we are
offering a $2 discount on adult admission and a $3 discount on a family pass
if you bring your rain check either of the next two events. If you have
disposed of the rain check, you can call the office at 724-964-9300 Monday
through Friday after 12 p.m.
And what can we say about our Stock Cars! Thirty-eight cars came out on a
less than ideal night as we were looking for our ninth different winner in
nine races. Because of the fireworks display this Saturday night, a demo
derby and the fireworks rain date on July 7, the feature will be made up as
the first event on Saturday, July 14.
Again, we thank everyone who supported this event and stuck with us. A
special thanks goes out to title sponsor, Chevron East, who helped make the
event possible. For the second straight year the weather has really plagued
this event. This is a unique show that we are trying to grow and hopefully
you'll support it again next year, hopefully under better conditions.