Thursday, March 09, 2006

MERCER RACEWAY PARK READY FOR AN EXTRAVAGANT 2006 SEASON; JAMMED-PACKED 27-NIGHT SCHEDULE RELEASED WITH OPENING NIGHT SET FOR MARCH 25

By Mike Leone

March 9, 2006 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mercer, PA…Mercer Raceway Park recently released the 2006 schedule of event as Saturday, March 25 has been set as the 55th anniversary season opener with late models, e-mods, and open stock cars making up the “Chiller Thriller”. Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. with the first green flag of the new season set to wave at 7 p.m. Another season of heart-pounding racing excitement and quality family events make up the 27-night slate.

Mercer Raceway Park is pleased to announce two new divisional sponsors that will join two returning ones. RoadRunner & Lake Road Auto Sales will be the new title sponsor of the headlining sprint cars, while American Racer/Lias Tires have come aboard as the modified divisional sponsor. Tire Express returns for third straight year to sponsor the stock cars as does Maurer’s Trading Post as the “Redneck Racers Shotgun Series” for strictly stocks begins their third year. The four-division weekly divisions will take to the track one week later on Saturday, April 1 with points starting and the e-mods will return for the second straight week.

“We’ve put together another exciting and action-packed schedule,” said eighth-year owner Vicki Emig. “We’ve changed up some of our special events once again and have added to our second year of ‘Fan…tastics Entertainment Savings Events’ to go along with our great four-division grassroots racing weekly program. We are again offering more increased purse events to the regional racers than any other speedway in western Pa and eastern Ohio. The best thing about all of our special race events is that they are all so affordable for our fans with either a $13 or $15 adult and $33 or $35 family admission.”

The first special event following the opener will be a new show titled, “Deuces Wild!”, which will be presented by Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic on May 6. No heat races will be contested on this night. The top 12 point cars will be inverted for the Australian Pursuit, which will determine the first 12 starting spots of the first feature. The remaining cars will run in dashes to fill the remainder of the line-up, while the second feature will use an invert from the first feature’s results.

“The Return of Modzilla” will again feature three modified divisions including the BRP Tour, which will be the only appearance of the season by the big blocks. The small-block mods, e-mods, stocks, and strictly stocks will join in. This year’s event will be held on a Friday night, May 19 at 7:30 PM.

For the sixth straight year, Mercer Raceway Park will be the site of a world championship pulling event on Sunday, May 28 at 6:30 PM. The All-American “Spring Nationals” will include the Big Rig Semis, Smoker Tractors, Street Diesel 4x4 Trucks and the “Run What Ya Brung” Trucks with a rain date of Memorial Day at 5 PM.

The Hoffman Family will again come together along with Hoffman Door Co. to present the Jeff Hoffman Memorial on June 10. This year’s event will be contested for the small-block mods in their first of four major events for the year. The winner of the 30-lap modified feature will earn $2,000. A rain date of the following Saturday has been established.

A little over three weeks later, the modifieds will again return to the spotlight in the Tuesday, Fourth of July special featuring the first of two appearances by New York’s T3 All-Star Series with $1,500 going to the winner. The e-mods, open stock cars, and strictly stocks will be part of the special event, which will be presented by Alpine H2O with an early 6 PM start time.

On July 8 a unique program titled “Race, Rattle, & Pull” will be showcased. For the first time ever racing, pulling, and demo derbies will all be held on the same night! For the racing portion, the strictly stocks will be featured in double features (clockwise and counter-clockwise with bonus money on the line). A huge demolition derby paying $1,000 to-win will be held along with a first-ever compact car demo derby. For pulling fans, three classes have been scheduled including the street legal gas trucks, street legal diesel trucks, and the hot farm tractors. A rain date of Sunday, July 9 at 6 PM will be in effect.

For the second straight year, the “Sprint Slug-Out” will be made up of triple 15-lap features for the sprint cars each paying $1,000 to-win on July 22. A full show will complement the sprints with increased monies for all divisions as new marketing partner PNC Investments will present this event.

After a three-year absence, a celebration of the track’s anniversary will be held. The “55th Anniversary Event” will be held on August 26 presented by Armstrong Zoom Cable Internet Service. The sprints will fittingly run wingless on this night for $2,000 to-win and will share the billing with the modifieds in the Bill Emig Memorial also paying $2,000 to-win. The stock cars and strictly stocks will also be in action. The Vintage American Race Cars will have their cars on display and will put on an exhibition. Once again, all retired drivers will be invited as guests for no charge on this night.

The 18th annual “Western PA Sprint Championship” will have its richest payday in history as $3,000 will await the winner of the region’s biggest non-sanctioned sprint car event on September 9. The modifieds, e-mods, stock cars, and strictly stocks will join in. Points will end for the sprints, mods, and stocks.

After two weeks off, the “Little Guy Nationals” will take center stage as the region’s richest support division only event will again feature two packed days of action. Friday, September 29 includes stock cars ($1,000 to-win), micro sprints ($750 to-win), and mod lites ($600). Then Saturday afternoon, September 30 the stock cars return for a big $2,000 to-win event. The T3 All-Star Series will return for the second appearance as the winner of the modified feature will earn $2,000. The sixth annual Mel Myers Memorial for the e-mods will pay $1,000 to-win.

Mercer Raceway Park is pleased to welcome on new marketing partner RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants of Mercer, who will sponsor both the “Gladiator Series” and kids bike race events. The “Gladiator Series” will be the four-event Demolition Derby schedule with crash em’, smash em’ action on April 29, May 27, July 8, and September 30, while kids bike races will be held on May 13, July 15, and August 12

Along with “The Little Guy Nationals,” the micro sprints will make five additional appearances on April 22, May 13, June 24, July 15, and August 12 as all events will be sanctioned by the fledgling Interstate Micro Sprint Series. The e-mods will make nine stops throughout the season and points will be kept for the first time. The mod lites will join the card for their first of two appearances on April 15, and the PCTC Senior Series will race on May 27.
Grove City Auto Mall will present two events for this upcoming season. “Meet Your Heroes” Night will be held on June 3 as all drivers in all divisions will bring their cars onto the speedway for the camera and autograph night. Then on July 29 a first ever “Pack the Track”- Fan Appreciation Night will admit adults for just $5, students for $2, and families for $12.
Four free county nights will be featured including Beaver (April 29), Crawford (May 27), Venango (June 3), and Butler (July 1). The Crawford and Butler County Nights will be presented by Armstrong, who will also present the return of the popular $10 Family Nights. On April 22, May 13, July 15, and August 12, mom, dad, and as many kids 15 and under can attend the races for just $10 (a minimum $15 savings!)

For the second straight year, Welcome Ohio Night will admit all residents of Ohio free on June 24. American Patriot Night will again admit all veterans and scouts in uniform free on July 1. The final savings event will take place on August 12 for “Gearhead Gathering”. On this night, you can cram the cab of your 4x4 truck with all your gearhead pals for just $20.

Some of the other new corporations that have gotten involved at The Park in 2006 include General Electric Diesel Engine Plant, M&M Insurance Group, Coca-Cola/Vault, Golden Corral (Hermitage, PA), Approved Toilet Rentals, and CARQUEST/Weaver & McConnell Auto Parts. Attached is a text-only version of the 2006 schedule. Please contact the office if you are interested in a color brochure with the entire detailed schedule.

Adult admission is $11, students 6-15 are $5, the family pass is $25, children five and under are free and pit passes are $22 for all non-specials. Season passes are available at a discounted price of $270. Season VIP rentals are still available and nightly rentals are $150. Please contact the office if you are interested. Attached is a text version of the 2006 schedule. The color, tri-fold brochure schedules will be available very soon

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