Posts in 'Mercer Raceway Park' Track
August 23rd, 2014
SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. -It’s been a while since Taylor Ferns has been able to get a full two-race weekend in. Mother Nature has interrupted the last couple of scheduled doubleheader weekends that she tentatively had on her calendar. Ferns will look to compete twice this weekend in two states, with two different series in her Jimmy’s Towing/Indy Race Parts Maxim.
Ferns will race in the inaugural Renegade Sprint Series event at Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe, Ohio on Saturday, August 23. She will then head northeast to Western Pennsylvania to compete with the UNOL
The 18-year-old has made four visits to Atomic Speedway in 2014. She finished a season-best sixth on May 4 at the track in south central Ohio. Competing with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions on June 25 at the high-banked three-eighths-mile during Ohio Sprint Speedweek, Ferns timed in sixth-fastest of the 62 entries and raced her way into the dash. She wound up 16th in the A-Feature that night. The native of Shelby Township, Michigan, who now resides in the Indianapolis area, finished 13th in her most recent start at the track on July 3, which was also an event sanctioned by the All Stars.
“Atomic is a fast track and you can drive it really hard,” said Ferns. “Every time we’ve been there this year, we’ve qualified consistently. As long as we get a good pill draw and can transfer out of the heat race we should be in a good position for the feature. We’ve been having a lot of bad luck lately, so we really need a good finish at Atomic.”
Mercer Raceway Park is a banked three-eighths-mile, located about an hour north of Pittsburgh. The race will mark Ferns’ first start in the state of Pennsylvania in a 410-winged sprint car and her fifth appearance with the All Stars this season. She has qualified for the main event twice with the series in 2014, both times at Atomic Speedway.
“We’ve been going to a lot of new tracks this year and seem to adapt to them pretty quickly, so hopefully Mercer is no different,” she noted. “Racing with the All Stars is always very competitive and I really enjoy racing with them. You learn a lot racing against competition like that and that’s what makes you a better driver.”
Last weekend at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio, Ferns finished sixth in the third heat race, coming up just one spot short of transferring into the main event, which put her in the B-main. She finished fourth in the B-main to earn a spot in the feature, but had a valve break on the engine, which prevented her from being able to take the green flag in the A-feature.
Ferns, who returned to 410-winged sprint car racing this year after competing in a variety of racing machines over the last four seasons, will race in a number of events in the Midwest over the next couple of months as the 2014 season winds down. She was victorious with the Ohio Valley Sprint Car Association (OVSCA) on June 6, after opening the night by setting a new track record in qualifying. The winningest female driver in USAC history has seven top-10 finishes this season in a winged sprint car.
May 10th, 2013
CAMARGO, IL- If the results from this past weekend are any indication, the teams of the University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions are more than ready to battle the regional drivers of Western Pennsylvania on Friday, May 10 at Lernerville Speedway and Mercer Raceway Park on Saturday, May 11.
During this past weekend, several of the UNOH All Star teams tuned up for the big weekend during regular weekly events at the two tracks. On Friday, May 3, former Lernerville track champion Danny Holtgraver, who sits fourth in the UNOH All Star national points, looked to have the feature in hand at his home track. But, it was UNOH All Star regular Cap Henry, who is third in the series? national points, who got around Holtgraver late in the feature and scored his second ever 410 sprint win.
Not to be outdone, the following night, Holtgraver held off Henry for the win at Mercer Raceway Park.
But, things won?t be easy for the two young chargers, as they will have to face former Lernerville champions Dale Blaney and Tim Shaffer this time around.
Blaney has one All Star win this season, coming last month at Attica Raceway Park, the 94th of his career with the series. Blaney, who leads the national, eastern and Ohio region All Star points, is a three time series champion and scored the Steel City Stampede win at Lernerville on April 14.
Shaffer, another former Lernerville champion, has been held winless in series competition so far in 2013. ?The Steel City Outlaw? has scored the last four straight UNOH All Star championships and has 51 career series wins. Shaffer did record a win at Fremont Speedway during weekly competition last month. He sits second in the All Star national points and fourth in the Ohio region standings.
Jack Sodeman Jr. has scored the only other win at Lernerville Speedway this season. Eric Williams leads the track?s points over Sodeman, Brandon Spithaler, Dan Kuriger and Dan Shetler.
Brandon Spithaler has scored the only other win at Mercer Raceway Park this season. Sodeman leads the track?s points over Scott Priester, Williams, Kuriger and Bill Jones Jr.
Look for locals like Brandon Matus, Brian Ellenberger, Brent Matus, Jimmy Light. Adam Kekich, Dennis Wagner, Rod George, Carl Bowser and a host of others to challenge the UNOH All invaders. Other young, up-and-comers for the UNOH All Stars include Caleb Helms of Findlay, Ohio, and Justin Henderson. Look for some of the Central Pennsylvania teams to possibly show up for the two shows such as Lance Dewease, Logan Schuchart, and outsiders like Danny Lasoski and Jac and Sheldon Haudenschild.
Last year at the early Mercer Raceway Park, Shaffer scored the win over Holtgraver, Blaney, Ed Lynch Jr. and Henry. Then in August for the 23rd Western Pennsylvania Championship at Mercer, Daryn Pittman took the win over Holtgraver, Shaffer, Blaney and George.
During the August race in 2012 at Lernerville, Holtgraver would score the win over Shaffer, Henry, Stevie Smith and Ellenberger.
April 10th, 2013
Mercer, PA– A new era for the NDRL’s ULMS Racing Series with a familiar face in victory lane as Titusville, PA’s Rob Blair paced the field for all 30 circuits to win his tenth career series event and become the all-time wins leader with the NDRL’s ULMS series.
Blair and John Garvin Jr. led the talented field to the green flag as Blair shot out to the early lead. Garvin settled into the second spot with 2010 ‘Chiller Thriller’ winner Mike Knight and 2012 ‘Chiller Thriller’ winner Keith Barbara in tow.
Just four laps in, the events first caution was displayed as two-time NDRL’s ULMS Champion Boom Briggs lost the handle of his new yellow 99B Rocket Chassis collecting the always hard charging Jared Miley and John Mollick. Miley was unable to continue while Briggs and Mollick rejoined the field.
When action picked up again, Blair again led the field as Knight worked his way under Garvin for second. Dave Hess Jr. also made his way around Garvin to slide into the third spot. With Garvin now in fourth and Barbara following in fifth, the two battled back and forth until the two came together as they exited turn two sending Garvin into a spin. While the field paced under caution, Garvin’s frustration became apparent as he made contact with Barbara locking the two cars together. Garvin was disqualified from the event while Barbara continued to finish fourth.
Blair continued to lead as the race resumed with Knight staying close in second. As the laps ticked away, Blair would stretch his lead at times while Knight would close the gap. The leaders methodically worked their way through traffic while Knight looked for an opening. Knight made a last ditched effort as the two approached the checkered flag but fell .153 seconds short at the line giving Blair the $3,000 win.
Knight came home second as Hess Jr., Barbara, and Ron Davies rounded out the top-five. Chad Valone finished sixth while Sammy Stile, Matt Lux, Brent Rhebergen, and Russ King topped off the top-ten finishers.
Kevin Morehouse claimed the NDRL’s UEMS portion of the ‘Chiller Thriller’ at Mercer Raceway Park after leading the entire distance. Rich Michael followed in second while Joel Watson, Brent Rhebergen, and Ron Davies completed the top-five. Sixth place was Randy Hall as Carl McKinney, Dave Hess Jr., Vic Vienna, and Nathan Hill rounded out the top-ten.
July 17th, 2012
(Mercer, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Pace Performance FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series made a return to Mercer Raceway Park on Saturday night for the first time in two years. It was race #14 of 25 on the 2012 slate at the track that FASTRAK Northeast Co-Director Vicki Emig owned for over 11 years, which is now under the ownership of Bill Altman for the third year. Despite storms in the forecast all day and night, it was dry at the speedway throughout the day and night with blue sky for the evening hours. A great multi-groove, smooth surface was prepared for the racers that provided side-by-side racing all night long.
Will Thomas III and Dan Angelicchio put on a quite a show for the fans in the Series return to Mercer Raceway Park. The duo battled for much of the event running side-by-side swapping the lead back and forth as seventh starting Thomas made a late race pass and then pulled away over the final four laps for his second series win. The $1,200 victory came in the 25-lap event and was the first time the former asphalt racer had ever competed at Mercer. The three-time Weekly Series Sharon winner recently picked up his first career Tour win on July 4 at Expo Speedway.
“We had a great car and wanted to run Danny (Angelicchio) as clean as we could,” explained the 36-year-old Sharpsville, Pa. resident. “Our car would really pivot well on the bottom and could get free off the bottom so I was just trying to bide my time. I definitely didn’t want to make any contact with him. It feels great to win these Tour races. This is as hard of racing as it is. Max Blair, Pegher, Angelicchio, all of these guys have been doing it a long time and it feels great to come out here and run with these guys. It felt great to get some dirt wins under our belt at Sharon after running pavement cars for a long time. You know you have done something when you come here and win against Blair and Pegher that have won everything in this FASTRAK deal.”
Angelicchio used the outside to power into the lead past Jamie Brown on the start with Josh Double moving into second after one lap. Fifth starting Andrew Wylie and Thomas made their way into third and fourth past Brown on lap two. Following a pair of spins by Brian Booher and Rusty Cade with three laps completed, Thomas overtook Wylie on the outside for third with eighth starting Chad Ruhlman following in fourth.
Double, who won his first career FASTRAK race at Mercer in 2010, caught Angelicchio and began applying pressure on lap five. Thomas joined the battle on lap six as the top three began to distance themselves from the field. On lap seven, Double pulled even with Angelicchio but slipped up and lost the runner-up spot to Thomas, while 10th starting Max Blair cracked the top five with a pass of Wylie.
Angelicchio was running around the cushion as Thomas had his mount stuck on the bottom as he ran caught the leader on lap eight and pulled alongside on the ninth circuit. Thomas made the inside work off turn four to lead lap 10 before Brad Kling came to rest bringing out the caution with 10 laps scored. Back under green, Angelicchio ran around the cushion and had the momentum off turn four to lead lap 11.
Two more cautions for Justin Kreider and Bobby Whiting with 12 laps scored were the final stoppages of the night as the last 13 went green-to-checkered. Whitling’s misfortunate earned him his first Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night”.
After swapping the positions on a couple different occasions, Blair was able to get by Ruhlman for good on lap 13 for fourth. Josh Holtgraver had made his way from 11th into the top five when he passed Ruhlman on lap 15. Blair, Holtgraver, and Ruhlman really went at it with a great race for fourth.
Back up front, Angelicchio and Thomas continued their side-by-side battle with Angelicchio riding around the cushion and Thomas smooth on the bottom. The duo never touched lap after lap. On lap 21, Thomas really made his car stick off the
bottom of turn two and won the drag race down the backstretch. This time, Angelicchio didn’t have enough momentum off the top in turn four as Thomas regained the lead.
Once in front, Thomas pulled away in his Colonial Metals/Barris Supply/All Star Motorstate/Sweet Manufacturing/Quarter Master-sponsored #9 to win by 1.715 seconds. Coming off the five-night Original Pizza Logs “Cross the Borders” Speedweek where he came up three points shy to Blair for the title, Thomas has now been the Series top point getter over the past six races to move up the ladder in the standings.
Angelicchio’s runner-up was his fourth of the season and third in the past five races as he moved into fifth place in points. “It’s getting frustrating,” acknowledged the Greensburg, Pa. racer on another second place run. “I thought we
had him. My car was a little too tight. Twenty laps into it and to get passed with four to go killed me. My car was pushing up the track in turn two and I did everything I could to find bite. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”
Double’s third place finish was his best Tour effort since a runner-up on September 18, 2010. “I’m still messing around with this new car,” described the Cortland, Ohio driver. “I thought I had something there for Dan (Angelicchio), but I slipped up and Will got underneath me. He’s been really good all year and it’s tough to pass someone back like that once they get in front of you. I was just a little off, but I think I needed to drive better than anything getting used to the new car. This has been my goal to get one of these races. I thought tonight might be it, but it slipped by. Third place is definitely a good step.”
Blair’s fourth was his 11th top five in 14 starts and received the $100 Genesis Shocks “Top Dog of the Night” for being the highest finisher on Genesis Shocks. Holtgraver’s fifth was his best Tour finish since last year’s finale at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex.
Ruhlman was sixth as he pulled within two points of Mike Pegher, Jr., who finished seventh, in the race for runner-up in points. Pegher received his first $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger certificate for passing the most
cars (seven). Fresh off his Series first win last Sunday at Eriez, Matt Latta came home eighth and leapfrogged three positions in points up to ninth. John Over and Wylie rounded out the top 10.
Shane Weaver finished 16th as the final car on the lead lap and received his first free Utsinger’s Towing Hoosier Tire of the season awarded by Big Daddy’s Speed Center. Weaver, who is currently second in the Pace Performance “Futures Cup”
points, moved into the top 10 in Tour points for the first time in his career.
The non-stop heat race winners were Over, Angelicchio and Thomas. Brian Booher became the 11th different K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash winner in 15 races. Booher received the $100 K&N certificate, while Pegher received the $50 one. Steve Dixon and Eric Wilson earned $25 cash for finishing third and fourth.
July 13th, 2012
(Mercer, PA)…After an exciting five days of Speedweek presented by Original Pizza Logs that wrapped up last Sunday, the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Pace Performance FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series will get back at it this Saturday night, July 14 at Mercer Raceway Park. It will be the first appearance by FASTRAK since Night 1 of the Grand Nationals on October 1, 2010 and first Tour race since July 3, 2010. The second-half of the season is now underway as the Mercer event marks the 14th of the record 25-event 2012 slate.
Mercer is in third year under the ownership of Bill Altman, who purchased the track from FASTRAK Northeast Co-Director Vicki Emig. Mercer has played an important part in the history of FASTRAK Northeast giving the Series a weekly Saturday night home from 2008-2010 in addition to holding five Northeast Touring shows including two National Events, and three Grand National Night 1 events!
“It’ll be good to come home,” acknowledged Emig, the sixth year FASTRAK Northeast Co-Director. “The racers really wanted to come back to Mercer after not racing at the track for nearly two years. I have to thank Bill and general manager Frank
Benic for scheduling an event. Mercer and Sharon struck up a deal with the Sprints and FASTRAK in 2011 so the two speedways wouldn’t conflict with their weekly programs, and the two traded off the divisions for this Saturday night as well. Mercer provides great racing no matter what division. It should be a great show for the fans and racers.”
FASTRAK has competed 41 times at Mercer with 16 different winners as Max Blair leads the win list at 14 doubling up his nearest competitor Mike Pegher, Jr. at seven. Blair, four-time winner Frank Guidace, and Kyle Zimmerman have track championships to their credit. There has yet to be a repeat winner in Tour events at Mercer with Dick Barton, Guidace, Blair, David Scott, and Pegher all capturing victories. Blair recorded Night 1 Grand National wins in 2008 and 2010, while Pegher won the 2009 show.
While Blair has certainly been the driver to beat on the 2012 Northeast Touring Series winning seven of the 13 races to date and leading the points, the competition has still been tough. No other driver has been able to repeat as Pegher, Ryan Montgomery, Joe Martin, and most recently in Speedweek competition Will Thomas III, Chad Ruhlman, and Matt Latta have all scored single victories. For the last two seasons, the Touring Series has averaged 35 cars per event. An amazing 163 different drivers have already participated in at least one of the 13 Touring events held this season!
Heading into Saturday’s 25-lap $1,200 to-win feature, the 22-year-old Blair of Centerville, Pa. is fresh off his second straight “Cross the Borders” Speedweek crown and has opened up a 56-point lead on Pegher in search of his fourth championship in the past five seasons. It’s been an up and down season for Pegher, who is looking forward to the return to a track he’s had a lot of success at in both the Stock Cars and Late Models. Pegher has turned up the heat in the last eight events finishing in the top four six times with only one finish outside of the top six.
Ruhlman is only three points behind Pegher as the battle for second has seemingly changed continually. Fifteen-year-old Ryan Montgomery has never raced at Mercer before and is currently fourth over Dan Angelicchio and Butch Lambert, who
unfortunately will be out of action for the second straight race due to damages suffered last Saturday at Pittsburgh. John Over, Thomas, Chad Wright, and Martin round out the top 10 in the points.
The “Wheelman” Bonus Event Challenge Series for non-qualifiers will be held in addition, if necessary. Jason Genco (two), Louie Krushansky, Bob Dorman, Junior Peters, Kyle Wiser, Joel Prosser, and Jamie Brown have picked up the non-qualifier wins to date, while W.L. Stile leads the points. An amazing 22 different drivers have scored victories in the 28 races run all-time.
Of course all of the great contingency programs will be in full force. Besides the K&N “Cold Air Induction Dash” and fan giveaway, the Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night”, Genesis Shocks “Top Dog of the Night”, Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger, and the Utsinger’s Towing Hoosier Tire Giveaway will also take place. Decal packages will be available for these programs. Drivers are reminded that decals are required to be eligible for these awards with the exception of The Brake Man.
Joe Martin, who captured his first career win at Mercer as well as receiving the Horizon Award, leads the K&N Dash Championship points by just one over Pegher. Three points behind is Over with Thomas and Blair quickly closing in. Saturday night’s dash will be run for the top four drivers that fail to make the redraw and will determine those positions starting spots in the feature. The payoff is $100 K&N certificate for first, $50 K&N certificate for second with $25 cash to third and fourth.
There have been 86 Northeast Touring Series races contested with 33 different winners all-time. Max Blair leads nemesis Mike Pegher, Jr. 19 to 14 followed by Dick Barton, Bobby Powell, John Lacki, and David Scott with four, Steve Dixon, Josh
Holtgraver and Joe Martin at three, Alan Dellinger, Dan Angelicchio, Robbie Blair, and Ryan Montgomery with two, and Todd Andrews, Kyle Drum, Frank Guidace, Butch Lambert, Carl McKinney, Dennis Lunger, Jr., Tom Snyder, Jr., Chris Meadows, Jim
Frank, Mike Blose, Jonathan Davenport, Gary Knollinger, Dusty Hamrick, Bud Watson, Russell King, George Kowatic, Wayne Robertson, Will Thomas III, Chad Ruhlman & Matt Latta with one victory.
Be sure to stop by the FASTRAK Northeast Apparel Trailer and Travel Boutique for all of the latest apparel, merchandise, and novelties. The new 2012 Fan Guide & Driver Handbook will also be on sale.
There is a $50 entry fee and pit passes are $30. RACEceivers are mandatory at all events, and transponders are required at Mercer. Any tech questions call Brad Hibbard at 330-540-RACE.
Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing at 7. Mercer Raceway Park is a 3/8-mile dirt track located minutes from both Interstate 79 and 80 just off Route 19 on Fairground Road in Mercer, Pa. For more information call the track at 724-662-1310 or their website at www.mercerracewaypark.com for the latest. 2012 FASTRAK Northeast marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tires, K&N Filters, The Brake Man, Utsinger’s Towing, Original Pizza Logs, Precise Racing Products, VP Fuels, Beyea Custom Headers, Genesis Shocks, H&H Racing Equipment, High Gear Speed Shop, Hyperco, Jake’s Golf Carts, Lincoln Electric, Wrisco Aluminum, and Wylie Race Cars.
You can reach co-directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone at the FASTRAK Northeast office at 724-964-9300. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. The office is open daily late mornings and after 1:30 p.m. For more information, check out the FASTRAK Northeast website at www.fastraknortheast.com. Become our fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fastraknortheast and follow us on Twitter @FASTRAKNE
May 16th, 2012
MERCER, PA–Sometimes you just need to go home. -For Aliquippa, Pennsylvania?s Tim Shaffer it was just what the doctor
ordered. The three time and defending champion of the University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions travelled just up the road from his residence Saturday and proceeded to dominate the 30-lap series event at Mercer Raceway Park to score his first All Star win of 2012.
Shaffer has shown his Aaron Call/Janet Holbrook Motorsports team can win against any competition over the past three years. But, during the off-season, the team under went a few internal changes, leaving many to wonder if ?The Steel City Outlaw? could dominate as he has, winning All Star championships and even the 2010 Knoxville Nationals.
And while Shaffer has been very competitive so far in 2012, there have been little things that have gone wrong and even some bad racing luck that have kept him from victory lane. ?It?s been a tough year. We?ve put ourselves in a position four or five times and just couldn?t make it happen,? said Shaffer in victory lane beside his Kistler Engines/Kistler Racing Products/VRP Shocks backed machine. ?We started on the pole tonight and then you kind of worry, ?what?s going to happen tonight?? It?s been that kind of a year.?
?What a great job by the team. I have Craig Stevens, Aaron Call, James and A.J?.there?s five or six guys that are doing a great job on the car. We?re just trying to gel and work together and make this thing fast,? added Shaffer of his 46th career All Star victory. ?We will continue to work hard and if we continue to run up front and be competitive the wins will come.?
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?s Danny Holtgraver also liked racing close to home, driving his Kargo Quality Cars/Alternative Power Sources backed #D4 to a second place finish.
?I had a good care and was able to get through lapped traffic and get by a couple of cars?I?m happy,? said Holtgraver.
?I saw him (Shaffer) when we got to traffic and I saw the two to go and said ?man I wish it was five to go.? We came on strong at the end so I can?t complain,? added Holtgraver. ?I have to thank Mark and Pam from Kargo?they have a booth up here. And I have to thank Alternative Power Source and Tim Shaffer?he helps me a lot.?
Three time UNOH All star champion Dale Blaney from nearby Hartford, Ohio, would have liked to have his qualifying effort back. But, ?The Low Rider? passed Ed Lynch Jr. late in the race for a third place finish.
?This is as good as we?ve run here the past couple of years. I shot myself in the foot qualifying. I didn?t make as good of a lap as I could have and that got us behind. We had a really good race car from there on out. But, if you have to start behind those two guys?it?s hard to pass them,? said Blaney beside his Ti22 Performance/George Fisher Racing #2.
Before the 30-lap feature could get underway, contender David Gravel, who had fired off his #89G, went pit side, refired and again went to the pits to end his night.
Shaffer and Rob Chaney would lead the field to the green, with Shaffer grabbing the lead over Lynch, Chaney, Holtgraver and Blaney. Holtgraver would drive around Chaney into third a lap later with Blaney moving into fourth on lap four.
Shaffer, Lynch, Holtgraver, Blaney and Chaney would continue in that order a caution on lap 11 when Rod George got sideways in turn four, collecting Brian Steinman. Both were done for the night.
On the restart, Scott Priester hit the restart cone, bringing the caution back out. Priester was sent to the tail of the field. When the green came back out, Shaffer pulled away slightly while Holtgraver began pressuring Lynch for second. Holtgraver was able to take the runner-up spot on lap 18. Meanwhile, Cap Henry, who scored a win during weekly competition at Mercer last season, had raced his way from his eighth starting spot into the top five.
Another car on the move was two-time All Star champion Greg Wilson. Wilson, who started 19th, cracked the top 10 on lap 18 and would ride home 9th to earn the night?s ?hard charger? honor.
As Shaffer raced into lapped traffic, Holtgraver was able to close. ?I tried to move around in traffic and I lost some time. I just tried to be patient and not get caught up and do something dumb,? said Shaffer. With five laps to go, Blaney, who leads the All Star?s national point standings, was able to drive around Lynch into third, but ran out of time to catch Shaffer and Holtgraver. Lynch would bring his Howard Concrete machine home in fourth with Henry rounding out the top five.
The UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions head back to Ohio to wrap up the month of May, with a double-header weekend at the historic Fremont Speedway, Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27 (there is a Monday rain date for the finale). The Sunday finale will pay the feature winner $10,000.
For more information go to www.allstarsprint.com or follow the All Stars on Twitter.
April 4th, 2012
(South Park, PA) Keith Barbara and Forbes Field Motorsports opened their 2012 season this past Saturday, March 31 at the $3,000 to-win, Unified Force Championship Tour sanctioned ‘Chiller Thriller’ held at Mercer Raceway Park in Mercer, PA. Barbara held off a hard charging Gregg Satterlee of Rochester Mills, PA for all of the scheduled 25 laps to pick up his first win of the season and third win in his last six starts dating back to the 2011 season.
‘We had just finished putting the car together,’ Barbara said of his brand new Mastersbilt by Huey mount, ‘and it was almost perfect. We were a little tight getting into the corners all night but once the car did rotate through the corner, the car would fire out of the corners.’ Keith knew that the second starting Satterlee would keep the pressure on, ‘Gregg, Jared Miley, Dennis Lunger; those guys are real tough here at Mercer. I just tried to stay smooth and hold my line, I didn’t think we were going to be able to get through lapped traffic the way we did but it seemed to work out in our favor.’
Keith hopes the win will catapult him into having a strong season, ‘Winning early in the season gives us a big boost in confidence going forward,’ Keith said. ‘Hopefully we can build off this win and keep the momentum going throughout the season. I want to thank everyone who helps and supports us, Forbes Field Garage, JNJ Motorsports Media, Ran Group Racing Tours, Mastersbilt by Huey, Integra Shocks by Huey, Triangle Benefit Services, Frankland, Hoosier Race Tires, Ryan’s Painting, The Dutch Club, the crew, of course my wife Juli and my Mom and Dad. They are the ones that make it all happen.’
Barbara’s plans for the 2012 season will of the ‘hit or miss’ variety as the team does not have a schedule set in stone, ‘There’s a few things we are looking at as far as schedule goes, like the Appalachian Mountain Speedweek, Firecracker 100 at Lernerville, a few Friday nights at Lernerville, some Saturdays at Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway); we’d like to do a few different things outside of those events too.’ Keith continued, ‘There’s quite a bit of racing around our area this year and we definitely want to branch out a little more than we’ve done the past few seasons.’
After his win, Keith was interviewed on the popular internet based radio show, Rappin’ on Racin’©. The show, which is celebrating its 29th year on the air, can be heard by visiting www.speedwayproductions.biz and clicking the Rappin’ on Racin’© logo on the main page.
Keith and the Forbes Field Motorsports team will be in action this Saturday, April 7 at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway as they kick of their 2012 season. Keep an eye on Keith’s website, www.keithbarbara.net, to follow where Keith will be racing in the coming weeks.
August 31st, 2011
MERCER, PA – Tim Shaffer continued his hot streak with the All Star Circuit of Champions Saturday at Mercer Raceway Park. The native of Aliquippa, PA, was just 50 minutes from his home when he was standing in victory lane.
Shaffer passed Daryn Pittman late in the 30-lap affair to claim his seventh All Star win of the year and 42nd of his career, moving him into a tie for ninth on the series’ all-time win list with Kelly Kinser. Shaffer, who recently won the $10,000 top prize for winning the All Stars’ Great Plains Region points battle, padded his lead in the series’ national point standings, while drawing closer to three-time All Star champion Dale Blaney in the $20,000-to-win Ohio Region Points contest.
“Boy, they sure made me work for that one, huh,” said Shaffer after scoring the popular win. He had to search out a different line while hew was giving chase to early leader Pittman.
“We were pretty good there early, and I kept telling myself that we needed to find something different,” Shaffer explained beside his Kistler Racing Products/Kistler Engines/VRP Shocks backed CH Motorsports machine. “If you follow the guy and run the same line he is, it makes it hard to get past.”
For his part, Pittman was disappointed. “We just got beat,” he said standing beside his Heffner Racing/Lelands.com/Pasquariello’s/Rider Racing Engines backed machine. “The car was probably good enough, but I started making mistakes.” He made no excuses, though. “You just don’t lead that many laps and fall back to third and blame anybody but yourself,” he said.
On the opposite end of the scale of emotions was runner-up David Gravel. “We were really coming there at the end,” he said. “I just wish that it was 35 or 40 laps.”
Gravel explained that, in the late stages of the race, he had the wing back on his DDR Motorsports/JRC Transportation backed machine, and “the car was just awesome, it just sucks that we were second.” He gave the credit to his new crew chief of four races, Tyler Swank, and to Brian Kemenah (Shaffer’s crew chief), who had been giving the Gravel team a garage from which to work.
Pittman, who owns a couple of All Star wins in 2011, and Shaffer led the field to the green for the 30 lapper. Pittman led the first lap, ahead of Shaffer, 2010 Lernerville Speedway champion Danny Holtgraver, Rod George, Gravel and Ed Lynch, Jr.
Pittman set a blistering pace, encountering lapped traffic by the fifth circuit. This allowed Shaffer to close quickly and he took a look to Pittman’s inside as they were weaving their way past the slower cars. Holtgraver remained within striking distance.
The action slowed on lap 9 for a rare miscue by George, who spun off turn two while running fourth.
On the restart, Pittman and Shaffer got away cleanly, as did Holtgraver. Austrailia’s Marty “Muscles” Perovich, in one of his final outings before returning home, moved up to fourth ahead of Gavel.
Recently crowned Lernerville Speedway champion Carl Bower would bring out the red on lap 11 when he flipped in turn four. He was unhurt, but the car was unable to continue.
Green flag conditions prevailed for two more laps, with Gravel passing Perovich for fourth as the only significant change at the front of the pack. On lap 13, though, Andy McKisson – who won a Midwest All Star Sprint Series feature at Tri-City Speedway in July – spun off the track at the inside of turn two.
On the restart, Pittman held the lead, but just one lap later, Shaffer got a full head of steam going down the back stretch. Shaffer dove to the inside and pulled alongside Pittman through the turns. Shaffer grabbed the lead coming off turn four and never looked back. After the final caution, Gavel was the man on the move, charging from fourth to second. However, by the time he got to the runner-up spot, Shaffer held a full straightaway advantage. Gravel slowly chopped into that lead, but Shaffer had more than enough of a cushion to preserve the win.
Following Shaffer, Gravel and Pittman to the checkers was Holtgraver who
recovered for fourth after falling back to fifth while racing through
lapped traffic, and Blaney.
Danny Smith, who leads the Midwest All Star Sprint Series (this was a MASS
and All Star sanctioned event) would come home sixth while Lynch Jr. and
Mercer point leder Bob Felmlee finished seventh and Eighth. Fred Rahmer and
Aaron Ott would round out the top 10.
May 27th, 2011
(MERCER, PA) Daryn Pittman is really enjoying his move to Pennsylvania. The Oklahoma native is one of the hottest sprint car
drivers in the country as he proved Saturday, winning the O?Reilly Auto Parts All Star Circuit of Champions event at Mercer Raceway Park.
Pittman bested the World of Outlaws last weekend at Williams Grove Speedway, then took the checkered Friday at Lernerville Speedway aboard the Mike Heffner owned machine.
?Right now we?re riding a pretty good high,? said Pittman beside his Lelands.com. Pasquariello?s backed #27. ?We will try to keep it going as best we can. After the (World of Outlaw) win last weekend at Williams Grove, you just have to pinch yourself. Winning three sprint car races in a year is something and winning three in a row in Pennsylvania against this competition is really difficult. There?s really no magic answer as to why we?re so good right now. We have had good starting spots and the car has been set up good to take advantage of that.?
Mike Lutz jumped out to an early lead over outside pole sitter Ed Lynch Jr. at the drop of the green. Lutz, who timed seventh fastest, earned the pole by winning the dash after fast qualifiers Dale Blaney, Danny Holtgraver and Kyle Sauder were unable to advance to the feature through their heats.
Lutz led the first 22 laps, navigating lapped traffic in the caution-free race. Pittman, who started fifth, would begin applying pressure to Lutz by lap 9. A bobble by Lutz at the flag stand allowed Pittman to swoop in and take the lead on lap 22. The former outlaw driver pulled away for his third career All Star victory.
Lutz would come home second with David Gravel, Lynch and Danny Smith rounding out the top five. As the highest finishing local driver, Lutz earned a $500 bonus from McCandless Ford.
?He (Lutz) ran a great race. That car is fast. I?ve only been here twice and both times he was pretty good. We don?t race against a lot of these cars very often so we don?t really know what the level of competition is or who to watch for, but that #8 has always been quick every time we?ve been here,? said Pittman.
?I made a little boo boo there in lapped traffic and you can?t snooze when you have guys like Daryn Pittman who beat the Outlaws right behind you. I?m really tickled?we?ve been really fast and last couple of weeks we were leading and crashed. To get second in an All Star show?pinch me. This shows the people across the country the guys from Western Pennsylvania can run with these guys that travel up and down the road,? said Lutz beside his Centerline Boring, Chappel Welding and Excavating machine.
?This is my 25th year of racing sprint cars and we have 87 wins. It?s great that Mercer brought the All Stars here to show people guys like Mike Lutz, Bob Felmlee and Ed Lynch can run with these guys. We have one All Star win but that was way back in 1997?man we were close to getting that second one,? added Lutz .
For Gravel, a third place run was just the confidence booster he needed.
?If we didn?t have that mess up on the back stretch we might have had a shot at it. We needed this good finish?we?ve been struggling and a lot of bad things have been happening so I?m glad to get a top three,? said Gravel beside his JRC Transportation, My Basement Doctor, IGA, Hometown Wheels backed #89G.
May 15th, 2011
(Mercer, PA) After a beautiful week of sunshine and high temperatures, Mother Nature has taken away another weekend of racing at Mercer Raceway Park as the track has decided to cancel all racing activities for May 14-15 due to the anticipated heavy rains. The All Star Sprint Circuit of Champions program, presented by Bill McCandless Ford and Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, will be rescheduled for next Saturday, May 21.
The O?Reilly Auto Parts All Star Sprints will be joined on the racing card by the Stars Mod Lite Touring Series, the ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors, and the Precise Racing Products Stock Cars. Each of these divisions will compete for $500-to-win. The night will not count towards the Mercer Raceway Park point standings.
To reduce the risk that race fans and teams would bear the travel expense to the show only to be rained out, the Mercer Raceway Park management team made an early decision on the program and worked with the All Star Sprint Circuit of Champions to choose an alternate date. The May 21st event was chosen from available dates to quickly provide fans and teams the opportunity to attend this exciting show leading into a weekend of special events on Memorial Day weekend!
A long-time Mercer Raceway Park partner, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply will be on hand to celebrate Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Night as race fans enjoy a pre-race driver autograph session, a $5,000-to-win sprint car feature and loads of racing excitement with some of the best drivers in the country.
The May 21st All Star Sprint Circuit of Champions event will be the first visit of two this season as part of their Ohio region and Midwest All Star points series, with the second date scheduled for August 27. Current Ohio region points leader Dale Blaney will be making the stop, along with 2010 ASCOC Points Champion and 2010 Knoxville Nationals Winner Tim Shaffer, who sits in second in the points standings.
As an added bonus for sprint car teams, Mercer Raceway Park and Bill McCandless Ford have teamed up to offer Mercer Raceway Park regulars a $500 bonus for the highest finishing race team this weekend. To qualify, teams must have run at least one show at the track in 2011 prior to May 14 and at least two shows in 2010 to be eligible for the prize.
Fans will enjoy the lowest ASCOC ticket prices in the region at $19 for adults, $17 for seniors, $9 for students and kids 8 and under free as always. Family passes are $38 and pit passes are $35. Pit gates and grandstands open at 4:00pm with time trials scheduled for 6:30pm and heat races beginning at 7:00pm. The rain date is scheduled for Sunday, May 22.
May 11th, 2011
(CAMARGO, IL.) By Brian Liskai? Can Chillicothe, Ohio’s Danny Smith continue his hot streak when the O?Reilly Auto Parts All Star Circuit of Champion Sprint Cars invade the tough 3/8th mile Mercer Raceway Park in Mercer, Pennsylvania on Saturday, May 14? Or will three-time All Star champion Dale Blaney ? who leads the All Stars? national, eastern and Ohio region point standings ? stop Smith?s four straight wins? Or will it be two-time All Star champions Tim Shaffer and Greg Wilson or young guns Cap Henry or David Gravel? And, with an extra $500 bonus on the line, the Mercer regulars will be gunning to defeat the All Stars.
Saturday?s event at Mercer is an Ohio region points night for the All Stars and a points night for the O?Reilly Auto Parts Midwest All Star Series. Blaney currently leads the All Stars? national points, Ohio region points and Eastern region points. Smith leads the Midwest All Star Series? points.
Smith has won every feature he has competed in the past two weekends, starting at Attica and KC and continuing this past weekend with wins at Lernerville and Mercer. Mercer was the 99th different track the 54-year-old has won a feature at in his career.
Jason Dolick opened the season at Mercer with a win. Other tough western Pennsylvania competitors expected are 2010 Lernerville champion Danny Holtgraver who sits third in the All Star?s Ohio region points, Bob Felmlee, Brian Ellenberger, Brandon Spithaler, Jimmy Light, Eric Williams, Rod George and a host of others.
Fans are encouraged to come to the track a little early, as several drivers will hold an autograph session from 5-5:30. Drivers participating include two-time and defending All Star champion and 2010 Knoxville Nationals winner ?The Steel City Outlaw? Tim Shaffer; 2010 Ohio Sprint Speedweek Champion David Gravel; current All Star point leader Dale Blaney; 2010 All Star Rookie of the Year Cap Henry; and Tony Stewart Racing driver Jessica Zemken.
The All Star Sprints will be joined Saturday by the Outlaw Warrior Sprints, Stars Mod Lites and Stock Cars. Fans will enjoy the lowest ASCOC ticket prices in the region at $19 for adults, $17 for seniors, $9 for students and kids 8 and under free as always. Family passes are $38 and pit passes are $35.
For more information go to www.mercerracewaypark.com or www.allstarsprint.com.