posted July 15, 2001 02:14 PM
Kent and Riggs score Mercer Sprint and Modified wins; career first for Mike
Aley in the Stocks
By Mike Leone
July 14, 2001 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mercer (PA)...Finally sunny skies greeted fans and competitors alike at
Mercer Raceway Park on Saturday night for the first time in over a month.
Scoring wins and celebrating in the Moore's Auto Body victory lane were
Arnie Kent-Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars, Lonny Riggs-Bolland
Machine Big-Block Modifieds, Andy Priest-New Castle School of Trades
Sportsman Modifieds, and Andy Buckley and Mike Aley-Butterfield's Pub Stock
Pizza Joe's presented "A Night of Hope" as nearly $2,000 was donated for the
American Cancer Society throughout the night. Pizza Joe's also gave away 700
prizes to the fans. The "In the Race with Jesus" Bible School held its
closing ceremonies during intermission after a week-long bible school at the
track. Each child that participated received a family pass that allowed
their entire family to come to the races Saturday night for free.
Arnie Kent drove a masterful race through traffic to record his second
20-lap Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Car win of the year. "It was running
pretty good," said the New Castle, Pa. winner. "We had some real diversity
today. We had motor problems and we worked on it all day. We straightened
some parts at the track. I can't believe it stayed together."
Mike Shearer led the first lap before Kent, who started fifth, took over the
lead on the second circuit with Nathan Hines following. Shearer and Jimmy
Hawley brought out the caution with two laps in. When racing resumed, Troy
Preston, who started 10th, passed Gregg McCandless for third on the restart.
The man on a mission was Rob Eyler. The 18th starter cracked the top five on
lap four moving by Dave Wagner. One lap later he disposed of McCandless for
fourth. Meanwhile, Preston continued his march to the front taking runner-up
from Hines on lap six. Eyler closed in and drove under Hines to take away
third on lap seven.
With the last 18 laps going non-stop it was Kent making the right moves
through lapped traffic to keep a steady distance ahead of Preston and Eyler
for his fourth career Mercer win in the Dr. Martello Dentistry/McElwain
Preston edged the hard charging Eyler by a car-length at the checkers for
second. Point leader, Tom Quarterson, raced from eleventh to finish fourth.
McCandless, a rookie Sprint Car driver, drove a nice race for a best finish
of fifth. Completing the top 10 were Jason Jacoby, Wagner, teenager Hines,
Mike Kekich, and Gary McCollum. Heat winners were Hawley and Kent over the
Lonny Riggs became the top winner in the Bolland Machine Big-Block Modified
division by recording his third 20-lap win. "The crew deserves this one,"
stated the Volant, Pa. winner. "Last night we looked terrible at Lernerville
(Speedway). We took the car home and worked on it all night and got it a lot
better. I never had a win here before in the big blocks- now I've got
Steve Young, Rick Hall, and Rodney Beltz were the top three for the first
three laps. But on the lap three restart, Frank Guidace and Rodney Beltz got
together and collected Jeff Schaffer, Tim Doran, and Carl Murdick. Young and
Hall both exited with flat tires.
When racing resumed, Don McKnight was left standing with the lead ahead of
Lou Blaney and Dean Pearson. Blaney and Pearson swapped second and third on
laps four and five with Blaney staying ahead. McKnight and Blaney made
contact battling for the lead on lap seven as McKnight held on to the lead.
Riggs, who started 11th, entered the picture on lap 10 when he passed
Pearson for third. Mark Sevin's spin with 10 laps completed brought out the
On the restart, Riggs passed Blaney then edged ahead of McKnight with a nice
move off turn four to take the lead on the 11th circuit. Blaney finally got
by McKnight for runner-up on lap 13, but could not get Riggs in the Merle
Black-owned, Winners Circle Automotive Machine/Suhrie Industrial Supply Tool
Rental-sponsored #58. Beltz drove back up through the field to finish third
after passing McKnight for the spot on the last lap. McKnight dropped to
fourth and Les Myers completed the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were
Rob Curtis, J.R. McGinley, Pearson, Guy Griffin, and rookie big-block Nick
Ritchey. Picking up heat wins over the 21-car field were Doran and Guidace.
Andy Priest of New Castle, Pa. won his fourth 20-lap New Castle School of
Trades Sportsman Modified feature to become the track's top winner in 2001.
Buck Buchanan drove the race of his life to lead the first 15 laps of the
feature. Priest, who started 11th, passed Curt Matthews and Les Myers to
take over second on lap 15. Priest made the winning move the following lap
nosing ahead of Buchanan. Buchanan lost second and third to Myers and Gary
Smoker before he spun out on the 19th lap and brought out the caution.
Priest led the final lap for his 22nd career sportsman win in the Ted
Hull-owned, MPR Lumber/Griffin-Bossard Chevrolet-sponsored #41. Second
through fifth all with season-best finishes were Myers, Matthews, Al
Priester, and Jerry Schaffer. Heat victors over the 23-car field were Steve
Young and Priest.
Andy Buckley of Stoneboro, Pa. became the first driver of the season to
repeat in the Butterfield's Pub Stock Cars by winning the 20-lap June 23
make-up feature. Gary Robinson passed Willie Aley on lap two for the lead.
Buckley came from eighth to take over second from Aley on lap 13. The two
friends, Robinson and Buckley, battled hard over the last seven laps.
Buckley nosed ahead to lead lap 16 and was able to edge Robinson at the
finish for the $400 win. Point leader Buckley's fourth career win could not
have come at a better time in his Hapeman Electronics/Artic Cat-sponsored
#965 as his wife gave birth to their first baby about three hours earlier.
Ron Iorio made a late charge to place third ahead of Dave Ferringer and
In the regular 15-lap Butterfield's Pub Stock Car feature, Mike Aley became
the 10th different winner in 11 races in a career first win. The Fredonia,
Pa. driver started the event in third and took the lead from Rick Anthony on
lap two. Bob Sloss, who started sixth, worked his way to the front and
passed Anthony for runner-up on lap three with Bill Hanna following. Sloss
and Hanna would swap second and third until Sloss got back by for good on
lap 10. But Aley was able to hold off Sloss and Hanna for the win in his
H.R. Fenton/Pizza Joe's-sponsored #99. Ferringer and Hooks were fourth and
fifth for second time of the night. Winning the heats over the 40-car field
were Hanna, Mike Aley, Ferringer, and Sloss. Mike Work and Jim Miller won
the two B mains.
Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars: 1. ARNIE KENT 2. Troy Preston 3. Rob
Eyler 4. Tom Quarterson 5. Gregg McCandless 6. Jason Jacoby 7. Dave Wagner
8. Nathan Hines 9. Mike Kekich 10. Gary McCollum 11. Gary Edwards 12. Gale
Ruth, Jr. 13. Chris Matthews 14. Daryl Stimeling 15. Goob Schuller 16. Joe
Laugherty, Jr. 17. Randy Kriegisch 18. Brian Woodhall 19. Mike Shearer 20.
Jimmy Hawley 21. Mark Murphy 22. Jack Sodeman, Jr.
Bolland Machine Big-Block Modifieds: 1. LONNY RIGGS 2. Lou Blaney 3. Rodney
Beltz 4. Don McKnight 5. Rick Hall 6. Rob Curtis 7. J.R. McGinley 8. Dean
Pearson 9. Guy Griffin 10. Nick Ritchey 11. John Boyer, Jr. 12. Mark Sevin
13. Steve Young 14. Howard Duff 15. Rick Hall 16. Frank Guidace 17. Jeff
Schaffer 18. Carl Murdick 19. Tim Doran 20. Dana Gearhart 21. Tom
New Castle School of Trades Sportsman Modifieds: 1. ANDY PRIEST 2. Les Myers
3. Curt Matthews 4. Al Priester 5. Jerry Schaffer 6. Gary Smoker 7. Rick
Hall 8. Gary Bollinger 9. Greg Unrue 10. Chanda Reitz 11. Bill Baptiste 12.
Buck Buchanan 13. Dave Cogswell 14. Steve Young 15. John Buchanan 16. Rick
Ryder 17. John Jones 18. Jay Priest 19. Bill Adams 20. Andy Paden 21. Brad
Watson-DSQ 22. Morgan Sasse-DSQ 24. Randy Rodemoyer-DNS.
Butterfield's Pub Stock Cars 6/23 make-up: 1. ANDY BUCKLEY 2. Gary Robinson
3. Ron Iorio 4. Dave Ferringer 5. Mike Aley 6. Mike Aley 7. Bobby Whitling
8. Bob Sloss 9. Dan Fedorchak 10. Jeff Kravec 11. Tim Zuschlag 12. Lonnie O'
Brien 13. Rick Anthony 14. Brian Miller 15. Terry Kroner 16. Bob Hays 17.
Bill Hanna 18. Keith Nagy 19. Willie Aley 20. Gary Miller, Jr. 21. Rick
Norco 22. Phil Kaufman 23. William George, Sr. 24. Jim Miller 25. Gary
Norman 26. Andy Thompson-DNS. DNQ-Mark Felicetty, Ray Bailey, Jr., Duane
Grinnell, Adam Aley, Bob Garris, Ed Hays, Erick Cwynar, Robert Caszatt, Jr.,
Don Greenlee, Jarrot Moore, Tom Miller, Greg Beach.
Butterfield's Pub Stock Cars: 1. MIKE ALEY 2. Bob Sloss 3. Bill Hanna 4.
Dave Ferringer 5. Shaun Hooks 6. Jim Miller 7. Jim Brunson 8. Darrell Moody
9. Rick Anthony 10. Bobby Whitling 11. Jeff Kravec 12. Greg Beach 13. Andy
Buckley 14. Kevin Thompson 15. Phil Kaufman 16. Willie Aley 17. Butch Skiles
18. Dan Fedorchak 19. Mike Work 20. Brian Miller 21. Duane Grinnell 22.
Lonnie O'Brien 23. Steve Anderson 24. Gary Robinson DNQ-Ray Bailey, Jr.,
Corey Ruffo, Terry Kroner, Gary Miller, Jr., William George, Sr., Tim
Zuschlag, Bob Hays, Ron Iorio, Don Greenlee, Ben Blake, Bill Kirschner, Dean
Sherbondy, Skip Reseigh, Adam Aley, Rick Norco, Keith Nagy.
7/21 The "Gold Cup" 50th Anniversary Event presented by National Cash
Advance. Sprints & Big-Blocks Mods ($2,000 to-win each) Sportsman Mods &
Stocks ($500 to-win each). Reuniting former driver, cars, and participants.
Rain date July 28.
7/28 Sprints, Big-Block Mods, Sportsman Mods, & Stock Cars plus July 7
Sprint Car make-up feature. 95.1 The Cat Night. Scout Night-all scouts in
uniform admitted free.
8/04 Sprints, Big-Block Mods, Sportsman Mods, & Stock Cars plus July 7
Sportsman and Stock make-up features. E.M.S. Community Sireeeen Rally
presented by Life Force Ambulance. Regional Safety Awareness Night- Meet
your local rescue squads. Fire trucks, ambulances, STAT-MEDVAC Helicopter.
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