posted August 12, 2001 10:11 AM
Three in a row for Hawley; Beltz wins first of the season in Mercer
By Mike Leone
August 11, 2001 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mercer (PA)...As the summer continues to wind down, Mercer Raceway Park
completed its 16th racing program of the season Saturday night. Picking up
wins and celebrating in the Moore's Auto Body victory lane were Jimmy
Hawley-Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars, Rodney Beltz-Bolland Machine
Big-Block Modifieds, Andy Priest-New Castle School of Trades Sportsman
Modifieds, and Andy Buckley-Butterfield's Pub Stock Cars.
It was Dean Dairy Corp. Night and they gave out free Milk Chugs to the fans
along with giving away t-shirts and hats. It was the last McElwain Family of
Dealerships "Meet Your Hero" Night as the Sprint Cars signed autographs and
met the fans behind the grandstands prior to racing. McElwains gave out
another four-pack of tickets to a Pittsburgh Pirates game at the new PNC
Park. Kids also participated in bike races for the second time this season.
Jimmy Hawley is on a roll in western Pa. Sprint Car action. Hawley followed
his seventh win at Lernerville Speedway on Friday night by winning his third
straight 20-lap Luxaire Heating & Cooling feature. "My crew gave me a
completely different race car than what we had over the weekend," said the
West Middlesex, Pa. driver after dedicating the win to Brad "Squeak" Smith,
a Mike Kekich crew member, who passed away during the week. "I think we
really found something that we like."
Bob Whitacre took the early lead with Goob Schuller taking second from Randy
Kriegisch on the first lap. Action got halted with one lap completed when
Jason Jacoby got upside down and collected Mark Murphy and Brian Woodhall.
Only Woodhall would continue as all drivers were okay.
When racing resumed, Whitacre and Schuller battled over the next four laps
until Schuller got the advantage on lap five. On lap seven, both Kriegisch
and McCollum moved into second and third past Whitacre. Hawley, who started
11th, moved into contention on lap nine taking fourth from Whitacre.
Whitacre's run came to an end on lap 10 when he tangled with another car and
got upside down on the frontstretch. He was okay, but done for the night.
The red flag erased Schuller's straightaway lead over Kriegisch and was just
what Hawley needed. When green replaced yellow, Hawley blasted around both
McCollum and Kriegisch in turns one and two for second and McCollum got
ahead of Kriegisch for third. Hawley made the winning move on lap 12 going
around Schuller on the outside off turn four.
Once in front, Hawley pulled away for his fifth Mercer win of the year and
26th of his career in the Dr. John and Debbie Crawford-owned #cIII. Schuller
held on for a career best 410 finish in second. "Goob (Schuller) is going to
be a great racer," said Hawley. "He's got good equipment. I think the only
thing I did any different was go up a little bit higher. When he gets a lot
more laps under his belt he'll be doing the same thing."
Point leader Tom Quarterson moved through the field late in the race passing
Kriegisch for fifth on lap 13, Kekich for fourth on lap 18, then got third
from McCollum on lap 19. McCollum dropped to fourth for his first Mercer top
five since 1998. Kekich was fifth. Completing the top 10 were Rob Eyler,
Arnie Kent, Jack Sodeman, Jr. from 19th, New York's Mike Woodring, and Gary
Edwards. Kekich and Hawley won the heats over the 22-car field.
Rodney Beltz endured a caution-plagued 20-lap Bolland Machine Big-Block
Modified event and the challenges of Tim Doran for his first win since May
19, 1999. "Timmy (Doran) runs good," said the Ellwood City, Pa. racer from
victory lane. "He's good to run with without any bumping and banging. It was
a good race. We haven't had the car hooked up, but we got it hooked up
Carl Murdick led lap one before spinning off turn four on the second lap
giving the lead to Dean Pearson and moving Beltz, who started sixth, into
second. Doran, who started 12th, entered the picture on lap five taking
third away from rookie Nick Ritchey following another caution for Murdick.
Beltz gained the lead on lap five when he went around Pearson off turn four.
Pearson pitted under the caution period for Don McKnight moving Beltz up to
second with five laps completed.
The last 15 laps saw Beltz and Doran race hard for the win running
side-by-side for numerous laps. Doran would actually lead lap nine, before
Beltz nosed back ahead to lead the rest of the way to win by less than a
car-length over Doran. The win was Beltz's fifth big-block win of his career
at Mercer driving his McElwains/KD Machine-sponsored #64.
Doran's streak of three straight wins and five wins in the past six events
was ended. Point leader Lou Blaney came from twenty-fourth to pass Lonny
Riggs for third on lap 14. Riggs dropped to fourth over Jeff Schaffer.
Rounding out the top 10 were Steve Young, Guy Griffin, Pearson, John Boyer,
Jr., and Bob Dorman. Heat victors over the 24-car field were McKnight, Rob
Curtis, and Dorman.
Andy Priest of New Castle, Pa. became the track's top winner of the season
by recording his sixth 20-lap New Castle School of Trades Sportsman Modified
win. The win was also Priest's 11th overall sportsman win of the year- tops
for the division. Rick Ryder led the opening lap before John Buchanan took
command on lap two. Priest, who started 11th, charged the field taking third
from Ryder on lap four. A caution with four laps completed bunched up the
field. On the restart, Priest passed Chanda Reitz and then Buchanan on the
inside of turn two for the lead. Priest held off Buchanan the rest of the
way in the Ted Hull-owned, Bossard-Crawford Chevrolet/MPR Lumber-sponsored
#41 for his 25th of his career Mercer sportsman win. Al Priester came from
ninth to record a career best third. Bill Adams was fourth over Andy Paden.
Scoring heat race wins over the 22-car field were Buchanan and Priest.
Point leader Andy Buckley continued his outstanding career best season by
capturing his fourth 15-lap Butterfield's Pub Stock Car feature win. Brian
Miller led the first two laps before Dave Ferringer came from seventh to
take the lead on lap three. Ferringer held down the top spot until Miller
regained the lead following a restart with six laps completed. Buckley, who
was handicapped to the 12th starting spot, entered the battle on lap 11
getting around both Russ Kapalin and Ferringer for runner-up using the
outside. Buckley caught Miller with the two-to-go signal given by the
flagman and made the winning move coming off turn four on the outside with
the white flag waving. Buckley held off Miller for his sixth career Mercer
win in his Hapeman Electronics/Arctic Cat-sponsored #965. Third through
fifth were Ferringer, Kapalin, and Shaun Hooks, who started 18th. Scoring
heat race wins over the 37-car field were Buckley, Kapalin, Bill Hanna, and
Ferringer. Greg Beach and Hooks won the two B mains.
Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars: 1. JIMMY HAWLEY 2. Goob Schuller 3.
Tom Quarterson 4. Gary McCollum 5. Mike Kekich 6. Rob Eyler 7. Arnie Kent 8.
Jack Sodeman, Jr. 9. Mike Woodring 10. Gary Edwards 11. Randy Kriegisch 12.
Brian Woodhall 13. Troy Preston 14. Dave Wagner 15. Gregg McCandless 16. Joe
Laugherty, Jr. 17. Butch Beasley 18. Jeff Kasbee 19. Bob Whitacre 20. Jason
Jacoby 21. Mark Murphy 22. Chris Matthews-DNS.
Bolland Machine Big-Block Modifieds: 1. RODNEY BELTZ 2. Tim Doran 3. Lou
Blaney 4. Lonny Riggs 5. Jeff Schaffer 6. Steve Young 7. Guy Griffin 8. Dean
Pearson 9. John Boyer, Jr. 10. Bob Dorman 11. Nick Ritchey 12. Rick Kress
13. Rob Curtis 14. Carl Murdick 15. Adam Siegel 16. Randy Ferguson 17. Dana
Gearhart 18. Don McKnight 19. Lee Miller 20. Howard Duff 21. Les Myers 22.
Rich Ferguson 23. Carl Weatherby-DSQ 24. Dave Reges-DSQ.
New Castle School of Trades Sportsman Modifieds: 1. ANDY PRIEST 2. John
Buchanan 3. Al Priester 4. Bill Adams 5. Andy Paden 6. D.J. Schrader 7. Rick
Hall 8. Rick Ryder 9. Jay Priest 10. John Jones 11. Brad Watson 12. Randy
Rodemoyer 13. Jerry Schaffer 14. Morgan Sasse 15. Steve Young 16. Dave
Cogswell 17. Chanda Reitz 18. Allen Ferry 19. Gary Smoker 20. Fred Sasse 21.
Greg Unrue 22. Leroy Johnson, Jr.-DNS.
Butterfield's Pub Stock Cars: 1. ANDY BUCKLEY 2. Brian Miller 3. Dave
Ferringer 4. Russ Kapalin 5. Shaun Hooks 6. Bill Hanna 7. Jim Davis 8. Kevin
Thompson 9. Jarrot Moore 10. Jim Miller 11. Willie Aley 12. Duane Grinnell
13. Dan Fedorchak 14. Rick Anthony 15. Terry Kroner 16. Phil Kaufman 17.
Greg Beach 18. Gary Miller, Jr. 19. Gary Norman 20. Rick Norco 21. Gary
Robinson 22. Keith Nagy 23. Corey Ruffo 24. Mike Aley DNQ-J.R. Brown, Ed
Hays, Dean Sherbondy, Erick Cwynar, Mark Covert, Lonnie O'Brien, Jeff
Kravec, Ray Bailey, Jr., Andy Thompson, Lynn Preston, Robert Caszatt, Jr.,
William George, Sr., Tim Deutsch.
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).
8/25 Sprints, Big-Block Mods, Sportsman Mods, & Stocks Cars. Points end.
"Kidz Dayz" presented by Armstrong Cable Services over $5,000 in children's
giveaways. All kids 12 and under admitted free.
9/01 No racing.
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