Thursday, September 06, 2007


By Mike Leone


Mercer, PA…After a week hiatus, Mercer Raceway Park will host its final weekly five-division program of the season this Saturday night, September 8. The 19th annual “Western PA Sprint Championship” presented by Armstrong will feature the Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars, American Racer/Lias Tire Modifieds, Tire Express Stock Cars, Big Daddy’s Speed Center Mod Lites, and the M&D Paving Mini Stocks with racing at 7 p.m. It will be the final night of points with the exception of the Modifieds, which still have to run the July 4 make-up feature on September 28.
After a 22-year hiatus, the “Western PA Sprint Championship” was brought back in 2004, but the event was rained out. In 2005, Ed Lynch, Jr. was victorious in the first one since 1982. Last year saw Brian Ellenberger win the biggest race of his career earning $3,000. Over the course of 1966-1982 there were 16 races held with eight different winners. Leading the list is Mercer’s all-time winner, Ralph Quarterson, with five scores. Bobby Allen is second with four victories and Johnny Beaber is the only other driver to repeat with two wins. Single winners were Kenny Weld, Jan Opperman, Buddy Cochran, Lynn Paxton, and Lou Blaney.
“The Western PA Sprint Championship has a storied history at Mercer,” acknowledged owner Vicki Emig. “We decided to bring in back in 2004 and since it’s been our biggest race of the season. It’s a nice way to end the season for the Sprint Cars. Hopefully good weather will allow us to complete our 14th straight program. We’re proud to have long-time Armstrong Cable presenting this great event for the first time. ”
A strong field of cars is expected as there will be no other Sprint Cars races on tap in western Pa. on Friday or Saturday night. The 30-lap $3,000 to-win, $200 to-start feature will not only be the biggest race of the season, but the biggest non-sanctioned show this year in the western Pa.
Rod George has already clinched his second track championship in three seasons. The Kittanning, Pa. racer would love to close out the season with his ninth victory and 22nd overall on the season. George will face stiff competition with the likes of expected entrants Ed Lynch, Jr., Bob Felmlee, Rob Eyler, Scott Bonnell, Arnie Kent, Mike Lutz, Tom Quarterson, Andy McKisson, Danny Holtgraver, Jack Sodeman, Jr., and many more.
Thanks to Frank Guidace’s first win of the season on August 25 in the Bill Emig Memorial for the Modifieds, the defending champion took over the point lead for the first time this season. The Mercer, Pa. driver leads Garrett Krummert by just one point and three-time winner Rodney Beltz by only 10. Saturday’s 20-lap feature will pay $800 to-win with increased money throughout.
The Stock Cars will be using open competition Little Guy Nationals rules. Their 20-lap feature will pay $500 to-win with increased money throughout. Brian Booher of Sandy Lake, Pa. has already clinched his unprecedented third straight championship. Booher will be in search of his 13th win of the season, but should face some stiff competition with the open rules, extra payout, and pill draw format in the final tune-up before the “Little Guy Nationals”.
Already this season the Mod Lites have produced nine different winners and the prospects of another new winner is pretty high as many of the top runners are expected to compete in a two-day event at Merrittville this weekend. Eight-time winner Rod Jones leads fellow West Middlesex, Pa. driver and two-time winner Mark Marcucci by 15 points. Their 15-lap pill draw format feature will pay $300 to-win with increased money throughout.
Rookie Mike Anderson (Jr.) of Harmony, Pa. leads good friend Pete Wearing by 10 points in the inaugural season for the Mini Stocks. Both drivers have two victories. Seven-time winner Lucas Sprouse sits third in points.
Pit gates open at 3:30 p.m. with grandstands at 4:30. Hot laps begin at approximately 6:15 with the first official green flag at 7 p.m. Adult admission is $15. Students 6-15 are $7. Children five and under are free. The Family Pass is $35. Pit passes are $30.
Mercer Raceway Park held its first auto race on July 26, 1951 and is located minutes from both Interstate 79 and 80 just off Route 19 on Fairground Road in Mercer, Pa. Dirt track racing and quality family entertainment are presented weekly late March through September. The office in New Bedford, Pa. is open year-round Monday through Friday late mornings and after 1:30 p.m. For more information call the office at 724-964-9300 or the track on race day at 724-662-1310. Check out our website at for the latest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think Brian Booher is the biggest cheater know to racing there is NOT ONE person who can dominate the track as much as he does...OPEN your damn ears HE HAS TRACKSOn CONTROL you can CLEARLY HEAR it in the stand... reason Vicky doesnt get my money anymore... why go when I know cheating..Brian is going to take the Race!!