posted June 24, 2002 01:45 AM
Hawley returns to victory lane in Sprints; Myers wins first of 2002 in
Modifieds at Mercer
By Mike Leone
June 22, 2002 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mercer, PA.Mercer Raceway Park returned to action on a hot Saturday night
with two drivers scoring their first wins of 2002. Taking the checkered flag
first and celebrating in the Moore's Auto Body victory lane were Jimmy
Hawley-Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars, Les Myers-Big-Block Modifieds,
Bill Adams-New Castle School of Trades Sportsman Modifieds, and Andy
Buckley-Butterfield's Pub Stock Cars.
It was Jr. Fan Night. The Nickelodeon "Rugrats" of Chuckie, Tommy, and
Angelica made a return appearance to the track to meet the kids. Bike Races
were held on the speedway for the kids. It was another Grove City Auto Mall
"Meet Your Heroes" Night as the Sportsman Modifieds signed autographs behind
the grandstands prior to racing.
Jimmy Hawley racked up win number two of the year after an impressive run in
the 20-lap Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Car feature. "Hats off to Vicki
(Emig) and Frank (Benic) tonight," said the West Middlesex, Pa. winner.
"They had a real nice race track for all the hot weather we had. Definitely
hats off to my guys. We've been struggling with this car even though we've
been in contention to win. Right now I think we're going in the right
Pup Nystrom took the initial lead at the start of the event. Gregg
McCandless followed in second, while Kevin Andrusky passed Todd Bauer for
third. Andrusky moved into second on lap two dropping McCandless to third.
The only caution of the event was displayed with two laps completed when
Dave Wagner slowed and Rob Eyler made hard contact as Wagner was trying to
pull into the infield.
Andrusky took charge of the event when racing resumed by passing Nystrom in
turn two. Hawley, who started ninth, was on the move driving by both
McCandless and Nystrom for second on lap four. Point leader Troy Preston
entered the mix when he assumed third from Nystrom on lap five.
Hawley ran down Andrusky and was right on him between laps four through six.
However, Andrusky opened up some ground in the following laps through lapped
traffic. But on lap 12, Hawley caught back up to Andrusky and made the
winning move in turn four with the help of the lapped car of Chris Matthews.
Andrusky would remain within striking distance in the final laps; however,
Hawley was able to drive on for his 31st career Mercer win, which came
aboard the Billy Shearer-owned, Maximum Tool & Die/Chevron East/Young's
24-Hour Towing/Applewood Refinishing-sponsored #25. "We tried something we
ran last night (Lernerville Speedway) that we were pretty decent with and I
think we're on to something," said Hawley. "We've got a real nice race car
with J&J and Don Ott plus my owners and all my sponsors to get me back
racing again. This is a learning situation on both of our parts. It's a one
shot deal for me with Mike (Shearer) being back in the race car next year.
They gave me a great opportunity to race after what happened in the winter."
Andrusky was a season best second. Tom Quarterson, who started seventh,
passed Preston on the final lap for third. Preston dropped to fourth over
Arnie Kent, who was the final car on the lead lap. The Byron West-owned team
cars of Ralph Spithaler, Jr. and Pup Nystrom were sixth and seventh.
McCandless, Randy Kriegisch, and Chris Matthews completed the top ten as all
drivers in positions sixth through tenth recorded their best finishes of the
year. Heat winners were Quarterson and Hawley over the 22-car field.
Kent of New Castle, Pa. was the highest finishing 360 of the year in fifth
and earned the $150 bonus. Spithaler, Nystrom, and Matthews also received
bonus monies for being the second through fourth highest finishing 360s.
Bauer continues to lead the Gardner Competition Racing Engines point
Les Myers picked up his first win of 2002 in a highly-contested 20-lap
Big-Block Modified feature. "I'm glad to be back here," said the Reno, Pa.
driver. "The track was good on the inside and that's where I had to be. "I'm
trying a lot of new stuff on the race car and it worked real well tonight."
Myers took off on the start from the pole with Chetter Johnson and Jeremiah
Shingledecker in tow. Myers got sideways in turn three on lap two allowing
Johnson and Shingledecker by for first and second. Following a restart with
two laps completed, Myers retook Shingledecker for second. Myers battled
with Johnson for the next nine laps before retaking the lead on lap 12.
Tim Doran, who started 12th, made his presence known on lap 15 when he drove
by Shingledecker and Johnson for second. Two cautions, one with 15 laps
completed and the other with 18 laps completed, allowed Doran to restart
alongside Myers. Doran, who would earn an extra $600 for being the Eracers
"Cash Chaser" if he could win, tried all he could to pass Myers on his
typical high groove. Doran drove hard into turns three and four on the final
lap, but looped his mount as Myers recorded his 15th career Mercer big-block
win in the Gale Ruth-owned, Pennewell Sandblasting & Painting/Les Frickshun
Shingledecker moved up to second for his best career big-block finish.
Johnson was third for the second time in a row. Bob Dorman became the new
point leader by finishing fourth ahead off Jeff Schaffer. Rounding out the
top 10 were Dean Pearson, Jerry Bickel, Rick Hall, Rodney Beltz, and Nick
Ritchey. Scoring heat wins over the 26-car field were Hall, Tommy Kristyak,
After going 20 years without a win until June 8, Bill Adams of Hermitage,
Pa. made it two in a row in the 20-lap New Castle School of Trades Sportsman
Modified feature. Jim Schaffer was in command of the event early on from the
pole position in search of his first career Mercer win, while Les Myers was
looking to make it two wins on the night. Myers was all over Schaffer until
lap 10 when Adams, who started 10th, got by for second. Then on lap 11,
Adams would make the winning move getting past Schaffer as Myers followed.
Adams was able to hold off Myers for the remaining laps for the win in the
Doug Updyke-owned, D&D Redline Racing/Marsh Farms-sponsored #33. Curt
Matthews tied a career best finish in third in just his third start of the
year. Jerry Schaffer took over the point lead by finishing fourth ahead of
Andy Paden. Heat victors over the season high 30-car field were Jerry
Schaffer Adams, and Jim Schaffer. Chad Reitz won the B main.
After suffering carburetor problems in his heat race, Andy Buckley came
through the B main and charged from the 20th starting spot to win his first
15-lap Butterfield's Pub Stock Car feature of the year. The first eight laps
of the event were hard-fought, non-stop action with Chuck Kerr leading the
way. Bob McCann came from fifth to take second from Scott Peterson on lap
five then made the pass for the lead on lap eight before the first yellow
The last seven laps of the event were a different story as seven cautions
delayed action. After Kerr was involved in a spin, Bobby Whitling, Doug
Iorio, and Buckley all passed Brian Miller for positions two through four on
lap nine. Buckley moved ahead of Whitling for second one lap later. The
Stoneboro, Pa. driver made the winning move on lap 12 when he edged ahead of
McCann at the start-finish line. Buckley held on for his ninth career Mercer
win in his Atwell & Perrine Excavating/Hapeman Electronics-sponsored #965.
Whitling edged out Iorio at the line for second. McCann was a season best
fourth. Jim Brunson was fifth for the second straight race. Terry Kroner,
Brunson, and Miller won the heat events over the 34-car field. Rusty Moore
won the B main.
Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars: 1. JIMMY HAWLEY 2. Kevin Andrusky 3.
Tom Quarterson 4. Troy Preston 5. Arnie Kent 6. Ralph Spithaler, Jr. 7. Pup
Nystrom 8. Gregg McCandless 9. Randy Kriegisch 10. Chris Matthews 11. Denny
Mellott 12. Paul Kapuchuck 13. Brian Hartzell 14. Gale Ruth 15. Butch
Beasley 16. Paul Kish 17. Jeff Kasbee 18. Todd Bauer 19. Mark Murphy 20.
Mike Dehner 21. Rob Eyler 22. Dave Wagner.
Big-Block Modifieds: 1. LES MYERS 2. Jeremiah Shingledecker 3. Chetter
Johnson 4. Bob Dorman 5. Jeff Schaffer 6. Dean Pearson 7. Jerry Bickel 8.
Rick Hall 9. Rodney Beltz 10. Nick Ritchey 11. Steve Barr 12. Jim Bickel 13.
Tim Doran 14. J.R. McGinley 15. Carl Murdick 16. Adam Kozar 17. Howard Duff
18. Tommy Kristyak 19. Chanda Reitz 20. Lee Miller 21. Jeff Baker 22. Greg
Unrue 23. Ed Alcorn 24. Rick Kress 25. Rich Ferguson 26. Frank Guidace-DNS.
New Castle School of Trades Sportsman Modifieds: 1. BILL ADAMS 2. Les Myers
3. Curt Matthews 4. Jerry Schaffer 5. Andy Paden 6. Rick Hall 7. Chad Reitz
8. Leroy Johnson, Jr. 9. Randy Rodemoyer 10. Dave Cogswell 11. Ron
Eperthener, Jr. 12. Steve Toth 13. Gary Bollinger 14. Mike Mathieson 15. Jim
Rombold, Jr. 16. John Jones 17. Kevin Latshaw 18. Shane McElhaney 19. Al
Priester 20. Mike Gibson 21. Gary Smoker 22. Jim Schaffer 23. Steve Young
24. Barry Bulfone DNQ-Morgan Sasse, Jim Thompson, Matt Reeher, Brian Booher,
Bill Baptiste, Zack Moran.
Butterfield's Pub Stock Cars: 1. ANDY BUCKLEY 2. Bobby Whitling 3. Doug
Iorio 4. Bob McCann 5. Jim Brunson 6. Terry Kroner 7. Mike Aley 8. Brian
Miller 9. Duane Grinnell 10. Chuck Kerr 11. Lester Bates 12. Gary Norman 13.
Rick Anthony 14. Willie Aley 15. Scott Peterson 16. Scott Hooks 17. Rusty
Moore 18. Rick Norco 19. John Iorio 20. Andy Thompson 21. Tim Deutsch 22.
Bob Sloss 23. Tim Zuschlag 24. Shaun Hooks DNQ-Clyde Roberts, Rich Chess,
Sr., William George, Sr., Bill Schall, Jr., Ray Bailey, Jr., Robert Caszatt,
Jr., Phil Kaufman, Joe Updegraff, Mark Sanders, Kevin Thompson.
June 29 Sprints, Big-Block Mods, Sportsman Mods, & Stocks. American Patriot
Night: Zambelli Internationale Fireworks Spectacular and All veterans with
ID and scouts in uniform admitted free.
July 6 "The Wheelman" URC 360 Summer Nationals presented by Armstrong Zoom
Cable Internet Service. 360 Sprints ($2,500), Big-Block Mods ($1,300), Stock
Cars ($500), & Demo Derby.
July 13 Sprints, Big-Block Mods, Sportsman Mods, & Stocks. Fox 17/62 Kids
Club Night- $15 Family Pass with membership card. "Meet Your
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 15. 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