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Author Topic:   First career win for 16-year-old Brian Woodhall in Sprint make-up feature at Mercer
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 253
posted July 29, 2001 09:42 AM
First career win for 16-year-old Brian Woodhall in Sprint make-up feature;
Hawley and Doran again in regular Sprint and Modified action

By Mike Leone


Mercer (PA)...Mercer Raceway Park completed action on Saturday night for the
13th time this season. Celebrating in the Moore's Auto Body victory lane
were Brian Woodhall and Jimmy Hawley-Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars,
Tim Doran-Bolland Machine Big-Block Modifieds, Steve Young-New Castle School
of Trades Sportsman Modifieds, and Bobby Whitling-Butterfield's Pub Stock

In one of the biggest upsets in western Pennsylvania Sprint Car history,
16-year-old rookie driver, Brian Woodhall, won his first career feature by
passing Andy Priest in the 20-lap Luxaire Heating & Cooling-sponsored July 7
make-up event. "The car was fast and hooked up. It was perfect," said the
Upper Burrell, Pa. driver. "On the first restart, I noticed the 21-car
(Priest) was getting loose coming off the corner and I just figured I'd try
it low and the worst that could happen was to lose a couple spots, but it

Rob Eyler passed Priest and Nathan Hines to take second on the opening lap.
Eyler chased down Woodhall and passed the youngster for the lead on lap
seven. Priest had passed Hines for third on lap three, then took second away
from Woodhall on lap 11. Eyler meanwhile, appeared to be in cruise control
on his way to another win until lap 12 when he slid off the track in turn
four with front end and steering problems bringing out the caution.

Two more laps were completed with Priest at the helm when Goob Schuller and
Dave Wagner tangled in turn three bringing out the second and final caution.
On the restart, Woodhall went to the inside off Priest in turns one and two
and made the pass stick for the lead. Woodhall opened it up to win by a
straightaway over Priest in his and Michele Angelini-owned, Premier
Enterprises-sponsored #8B. Gary Edwards came from sixth to record third- his
best Mercer finish since July 8 of last season. Arnie Kent passed Troy
Preston on lap 19 for fourth and dropped Preston to fifth at the checkers.
Sixth through tenth were Gary Kriess, Jr., Tom Quarterson, Jason Jacoby,
Jimmy Hawley, and Hines.

In the regular 20-lap Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Car event, Jimmy
Hawley won his third of the year. "We definitely had it going better than
the first feature," said the relieved West Middlesex, Pa. racer. "We've
really been struggling. This is a brand new car. We're not quite fast yet,
but we're getting there."

On the opening lap, Tommy Burns, Jr. got sideways in turn one and collected
Woodhall, Jason Jacoby, and Gregg McCandless with all three getting upside
down. All three drivers were okay, but done for the night. When action
resumed, Kent set the early pace with Priest and Hawley in tow. Hawley drove
around Priest off turn two for second on lap five. Kent had a
half-straightaway lead when Hawley reached second. With lapped traffic
coming into play on lap seven, Hawley began to chip away at Kent's lead.

Hawley made the winning move on lap nine driving around Kent in turns one
and two. Point leader Quarterson, who started seventh, was on the move. He
passed Priest for third on lap eight driving to the inside, then used the
extreme top of the speedway in turns three and four to get around Kent for
second on lap 11. By this time, Hawley had a straightaway lead on Quarterson
and was able to maintain the lead through lapped traffic in the remaining
non-stop laps for the win. Hawley's 24th career Mercer win came aboard the
Dr. John and Debi Crawford-owned, Mihalcak Motorsports-sponsored #cIII.

"I knew Tommy (Quarterson) was back there," stated Hawley in victory lane.
"The dividend really pays off with Todd Palmer (crew chief). He stripped the
whole car down in the pits after the first feature. We set up for momentum
to try to get up on top and keep it as straight as possible."

Kent and Priest finished third and fourth respectively as the only two
drivers to record top fives in both features. Burns was fifth. Kriess was
sixth for the second time of the night. Mike Kekich was seventh. Edwards
raced from twentieth to finish eighth over Mark Murphy's first top ten of
the year in ninth. Hines was 10th for the second time of the night. Heat
winners were Kriess and Preston over the 23-car field.

Tim Doran has been hotter than month of July. The New Castle, Pa. driver won
for the fourth time in the past five weeks in the 20-lap Bolland Machine
Big-Block Modified feature. "The car was perfect again tonight," said the
happy winner. "Everybody's tough out there and can win a race. I'm just
happy to be back here again. Everybody in the family keeps this thing

Rob Curtis took the lead from Bob Dorman on the opening lap and took charge.
Jeff Schaffer was on the move from the seventh starting spot. Schaffer
passed Rick Hall for fourth on lap three, J.R. McGinley for third on lap
five, and two laps later took over runner-up from Dorman. Schaffer slowly
cut into Curtis' lead and caught him on lap 12.

Doran, who was handicapped to the 10th starting spot, entered the picture on
lap 13 passing Dean Pearson for fourth. A spin by McGinley with 13 laps
completed was just what Doran needed. On the restart, he got by both Les
Myers and Schaffer to take over second. Doran then denied Curtis of a first
big-block win when he drove around Curtis off turn four on lap 16 for the
lead. Doran went on for his 14th career Mercer win in his Richard Smith
Construction/Mitchelltree Bros. Logging & Lumber-sponsored #12.

Curtis recorded his best career big-block finish in second. Schaffer was a
strong third over Myers and Dorman. Sixth through tenth were Lou Blaney,
Steve Young, Rodney Beltz, Dean Pearson, and McGinley. Heat victors were
Beltz and Myers over the 21-car field.

Steve Young won his fourth 20-lap New Castle School of Trades Sportsman
Modified feature. Andy Paden led the first four circuits before Gary Smoker
took charge. Young and Andy Priest, who started 11th and 12th respectively,
ascended to second and third on lap six by both passing Paden. On lap seven,
Young made the winning move driving around Smoker. It took Priest until lap
13 to get by Smoker for runner-up. However, Young was able to hold off
Priest in the J.R. Greer-owned, Montgomery Truss & Panel-sponsored #11t for
his 12th career Mercer sportsman win. Third through fifth were Smoker, Bill
Adams, and Rick Hall. Taking heat victories over the 26-car field were
Paden, Priest, and Young.

Bobby Whitling came from 10th to win the exciting 15-lap Butterfield's Pub
Stock Car feature and became just the second repeat winner of the season.
Jarrot Moore, Rick Norco, and Rick Anthony were the early leaders before
Gary Norman took over the top spot on lap six from Anthony. Andy Buckley and
Whitling also got Anthony for second and third on lap six. Following the
restart with six laps completed, Whitling got under both Buckley and Norman
in turns one and two for the lead. Whitling went on unchallenged the rest of
the way for his second win in his Tom Karns Specialty Construction-sponsored
#7w. Shaun Hooks had another fine run to take second after passing Buckley
on lap eight and Norman for second on lap 10. Buckley got by Norman for
third on lap 11 dropping Norman to fourth at the finish. Bill Hanna came
from thirteenth to finish fifth. Heat winners over the 39-car field were
Anthony, Whitling, Willie Aley, and Mike Aley. Winning the two B mains were
Dave Ferringer and Rod Laskey.

Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars (July 7 make-up): 1. BRIAN WOODHALL 2.
Andy Priest 3. Gary Edwards 4. Arnie Kent 5. Troy Preston 6. Gary Kriess,
Jr. 7. Tom Quarterson 8. Jason Jacoby 9. Jimmy Hawley 10. Nathan Hines 11.
Mike Kekich 12. Ricky Ferkel 13. Gregg McCandless 14. Goob Schuller 15. Dave
Wagner 16. Rob Eyler 17. Butch Beasley 18. John Toth III 19. Doug
Stanley-DNS 20. **** Byerly-DNS 21. Rick Byerly-DNS 22. Jeff Banyas-DNS.

Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars: 1. JIMMY HAWLEY 2. Tom Quarterson 3.
Arnie Kent 4. Andy Priest 5. Tommy Burns, Jr. 6. Gary Kriess, Jr. 7. Mike
Kekich 8. Gary Edwards 9. Mark Murphy 10. Nathan Hines 11. John Toth III 12.
Jim Chappel 13. Bob Whitacre 14. Randy Kriegisch 15. Ricky Ferkel 16. Butch
Beasley 17. Dave Wagner 18. Troy Preston 19. Brian Woodhall 20. Gregg
McCandless 21. Jason Jacoby 22. Goob Schuller-DNS 23. Rob Eyler-DNS.

Bolland Machine Big-Block Modifieds: 1. TIM DORAN 2. Rob Curtis 3. Jeff
Schaffer 4. Les Myers 5. Bob Dorman 6. Lou Blaney 7. Steve Young 8. Rodney
Beltz 9. Dean Pearson 10. J.R. McGinley 11. Carl Murdick 12. Rick Hall 13.
Don McKnight 14. Randy Ferguson 15. Lonny Riggs 16. Guy Griffin 17. John
Boyer, Jr. 18. Dana Gearhart 19. Tom Armstrong 20. Nick Ritchey 21. Rick

New Castle School of Trades Sportsman Modifieds: 1. STEVE YOUNG 2. Andy
Priest 3. Gary Smoker 4. Bill Adams 5. Rick Hall 6. Chanda Reitz 7. D.J.
Schrader 8. Curt Matthews 9. Gary Bollinger 10. Randy Rodemoyer 11. Bill
Baptiste 12. Fred Sasse 13. Dave Cogswell 14. John Confer 15. Jerry Schaffer
16. Jay Priest 17. John Jones 18. Al Priester 19. Morgan Sasse 20. Andy
Paden 21. John Buchanan 22. Rick Ryder 23. Les Myers 24. Zack Moran 25.
Allen Ferry-DSQ 26. Ben Hamilton-DNS.

Butterfield's Pub Stock Cars: 1. BOBBY WHITLING 2. Shaun Hooks 3. Andy
Buckley 4. Gary Norman 5. Bill Hanna 6. Greg Beach 7. Rick Anthony 8. Dave
Ferringer 9. Jeff Kravec 10. Jim Brunson 11. Mike Aley 12. Dan Fedorchak 13.
Corey Ruffo 14. Terry Kroner 15. Bob Hays 16. Rick Norco 17. Erick Cwynar
18. Lonnie O'Brien 19. Rod Laskey 20. Jarrot Moore 21. Willie Aley 22. Gary
Robinson 23. Darrell Moody 24. Leigh Wheeler DNQ-Phil Kaufman, Butch Skiles,
Ray Bailey, Jr., Duane Grinnell, Mark Covert, Bill Kirschner, Robert
Caszatt, Jr., William George, Sr., Tim Zuschlag, Jim Davis, Dean Sherbondy,
Brian Miller, J.R. Brown, Tony Bruno, Tim Deutsch.

Upcoming shows:

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.

8/11 Sprints, Big-Block Mods, Sportsman Mods, & Stock Cars. Dean Dairy
Products Co. Inc. Night. McElwains "Meet Your Heroes"/Sprints. Kids bike

8/18 Sprints ($2,500 to-win), Big-Block Mods ($1,300 to-win), Stock Cars
($400 to-win), & Demo Derby. Sprint Wheelie Contest ($500 to-win).

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 E-mail to


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