Wednesday, July 25, 2007


By Mike Leone


Mercer, PA…Mercer Raceway Park will host the seventh annual “Sprint Slug-Out” presented Saturday night, July 28 in hopes of completing the ninth straight event. On the card will be 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.
Annually one of the biggest races of the year, the “Sprint Slug-Out” will feature the high-flying, mudslinging Sprint Cars in a unique triple 15-lap format. The popular show was rained out last year and was contested on Labor Day of 2005 for the first time as a triple feature format. The 2005 winners were Rod George, Mark Murphy, and Rob Eyler. Other winners were Jimmy Hawley (1999, 2001 & 2002), Tommy Burns, Jr. (2000), and Jamie Smith (2004).
The first feature will be pill draw for the top 12 cars from the heat races; the second feature will be an invert 10, 12, 14, 16, or 18 drawn by the first feature winner; and the third feature will invert the top 12 in points accumulated from the night with the remainder of the cars straight-up on points. Each feature will pay $800 to-win, $70 to-start. There is a $500 bonus if any driver can win all three features and the highest point man from the night will receive a $100.
“We’re expecting a good turnout of Sprints,” stated ninth year owner Vicki Emig. “We’ll be the only sprint show in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio on Saturday and Sunday so we expect a strong field of cars.”
By virtue of his sixth Sprint Car win, Rod George of Kittanning, Pa. extended his point lead to 81 over the vacationing Arnie Kent, whose only win this season came in the wingless event. George has matched a career high with 17 victories overall this season.
The Modifieds will compete in a 20-lap feature paying $800 to-win and increased throughout. A pill draw will determine the line-up. Despite missing a night in April to compete with the T3 All-Star Series, Brad Rapp has rebounded to take over the point lead for the first time in his career. The Shippenville, Pa. teenager is still searching for his first win of the season and leads another teenager in search of his first win, Garrett Krummert, by just one point.
The Stock Cars will compete in their third straight special event following the Steve Guthrie, Jr. and Ken Carbone Memorials. The 20-lap feature will pay $500 to-win and increased throughout. A pill draw will determine the line-up. Brian Booher of Sandy Lake, Pa. is fresh off his richest career victory, his eighth of the season and 28th of his career, and leads Andy Buckley by 56 points in search of his unprecedented third straight championship. Booher is just two wins shy of tying the all-time divisional mark of 30 set by Alan Dellinger, who also has wins in the Late Models, Big-Block Modified, and E-Mod divisions.
The Mod Lite 15-lap feature will pay $300 to-win and will be increased throughout also offering a pill draw line-up. Last week Brian Woodhall became the second different winner in as many weeks; however, atop the points is six-time winner Rod Jones. The West Middlesex, Pa. racer leads fellow West Middlesex driver Mark Marcucci by just 10 points.
Completing the card is the growing Mini Stock class. Lucas Sprouse of Elkton, Ohio added his seventh feature win, but only leads Mike Anderson (Jr.) by 39 points. After starting with just one car on April 21, a total of 23 different cars have competed thus far.
Pits open at 3:30 p.m. and grandstands open at 4:30 p.m. Hot laps are slated for 6:15 p.m. and the first green flag will wave at 7 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults. Students 6-15 are $7. The Family Pass is $35. Children five and under are free. Pit passes are $30.
In other news, Mercer Raceway Park has announced a free Beaver County Night to be held on August 18 after weather affected the first one back on April 28.
Mercer Raceway Park 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