Wednesday, August 08, 2007


By Mike Leone


(Mercer, PA)…Mercer Raceway Park will look to complete the 11th straight program of the season this Saturday night, August 11. While the weekly five divisions, 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 will all be action, one twist to the night will be that the Sprint Cars will race wingless for the second time this season! It’s $10 Family Night presented by Armstrong with kids bike races plus the Vintage American Race Cars will be on display and compete in exhibition races.
Sprint Car racing has long been associated with Mercer Raceway Park and other than a few All Star races in the 70s, traditional wingless Sprint Car acing was the norm until the 80s. On Saturday night, the wings will be coming off for the final time this season highlighted by a $1,500 to-win feature.
“We always enjoy having wingless events at Mercer Raceway Park,” explained ninth year owner Vicki Emig. “The fans seem to enjoy it plus it always tightens the competition by adding a new twist. We get some locals that don’t normally compete with us plus we’ve gotten some calls from a few Ohio wingless racers that have expressed interest in coming. The best thing is that there will be no increase in admission and all families can enjoy the night for just $10!”
Since 1989, ten wingless events have been run. Four-time track champion, Jamie Smith leads the way with three wins totaling $7,300. Other winners include 2002 and 2003 champion Troy Preston, who won the 1989 event, wingless standout racers Todd Kane (1997), Rob Chaney (2000), and USAC star Mat Neely (2006), and track regulars Rob Eyler (2004) and Doug Stanley (2005), and Arnie Kent (2007).
The final $10 Family Night presented by Armstrong will admit mom, dad, and as many accompanying kids 15 and under for the big night.
The kids bike races will be held during intermission. They are open for kids 12 and under and helmets are required. All kids must have their parent or legal guardian sign them up to participate, which will take place behind the grandstands in the midway area from approximately 5 until 8 p.m. Ray’s Racing Collectibles, Dean Dairy, and Eat ‘n Park in Grove City will provide the prizes.
“We always like combining the $10 Family Nights and kids bike races together,” explained owner Vicki Emig. “We always get a great turn out on these nights and it gives kids with families an added incentive to come along with our great racing action.”
The Vintage American Race Cars (VARC) will make their annual stop. They will display their cars of yesteryears behind the grandstands for fan’s viewing pleasure and then will compete in an exhibition heat and feature later in the night.
Fresh off a dominating win last Saturday night, Arnie Kent will look to make it two-in-a-row and make a clean sweep of the wingless events this season. The New Castle, Pa. driver kept himself mathematically alive in the title chase as he trails seven-time winner Rod George by 70 points despite missing one night.
Gary Smoker matched Rodney Beltz with his third win of the season in the Modifieds and more importantly recorded his milestone 40th career Mercer win. Meanwhile, atop the standings is young Garrett Krummert. The New Castle, Pa. racer leads Steve Young by 31 points as he is not only in search of his first ever title, but first career win as well.
Like Smoker, Brian Booher also recorded a milestone victory with his 30th of his career at Mercer matching Alan Dellinger atop the all-time Stock Car win list. The Sandy Lake, Pa. driver leads everyone at the track with 10 wins and holds a 61-point lead over Andy Buckley in search of his unprecedented third straight championship.
All of the top five in the Mod Lite points struggled in both features last week as no one took advantage to gain valuable points. Rod Jones was able to retake the point lead by just two over fellow West Middlesex, Pa. driver Mark Marcucci despite outnumbering him in victories six to two. Sparky White and Eric Hay became the latest two new winners in the division as the streak now goes to five straight races with new winners. A season-high 34 cars were on hand last Saturday night.
Mike Anderson (Jr.) closed within 10 points of Lucas Sprouse in the Mini Stock standings with his second win last Saturday night. Sprouse of Elkton, Ohio still leads the division with seven victories. Last week a season-high 17 cars turned out as 25 different cars have now competed this year.
Regular admission prices are in effect Saturday with adults just $11, students 6-15 $5, children five and under free, family passes $10, and pit passes $25. Pit gates open at 3:30 p.m. with grandstands at 4:30, hot laps at 6:15, and racing at 7.

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 early October. The office in New Bedford, Pa. is open year-round after 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 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.

Tri-City Speedway Continues Weekly Racing in 2008

by Brian SpaidAugust
With recent developments in area racing, Tri-City Speedwayofficials have confirmed that the track will run weekly Sunday night races in2008.
"Apparently, some folks in the racing community thought that our midsummerbreak on July 29th was a sign that we are not interested in continued weeklyoperations at Tri-City next season," said Tri-City Co-Promoter Mike Graham."Although Tri-City has been for sale for some time now, that is the furthestthing from the truth."
Graham and his fellow Co-Promoter Roger Crick elected to take the midsummerbreak this season in order to allow for families of racers, track officials andfans to take vacations. It also allowed them time to add more clay to the trackfor the remainder of the 2007 season.
"There is no question that operating a race track takes a considerable amountof time and effort," noted Graham. "We've been in operation sine 1996. Inaddition to the Graham and Crick families, many of our racers, officials andfans expressed thoughts over the last few years that it would be nice to take aweek off in the summer months when family vacations can be planned. We tried itthis season, and we received an overwhelming positive response from our racers,officials and fans. Unlike a rainout, which you cannot plan, the week offallowed people to take extended, planned time off. Even national series like theNASCAR Nextel Cup Series takes a week off midsummer. I fully anticipate that wewill take a midsummer break next season as well."
Rumors about track closure were also fueled by the upcoming week off onSunday August 26th. "We took the second week off this season in order to allow us more time toprepare for our huge Oil Region Labor Day Classic Weekend," said Crick. "Thereare a lot of logistical plans and track preparations that go into that show.
"In addition," continued Crick, "over the years, we found that this night wasnot successful because many area school districts are opening the next day, andfamilies are not able to come out to the races. The last few years, schooldistricts in Venango County have not opened until after Labor Day, but that isnot the case in all of the surrounding counties such as Clarion County. Also,many of our racers with school-aged children are not from this area and travelgood distances to compete. We always like to run a quick show on Sunday nights,but the time off will better accommodate those families."
As for 2008, Graham noted that plans for next season are already underway. "We are in the midst of contract negotiations with the World of Outlaws LateModel Series for the Oil Region Labor Day Classic in 2008. I recently contactedthe BRP Modified Tour to secure two dates for that series, which include theDick Rankin Memorial on May 25th and the Kodiak Memorial on July 13th. We alsowant to look into some other special shows if they work well in our schedule." The only matter undecided at this time is the weekly divisions. "We are definitely running the Thundercars in 2008," said Graham. "As for theSuper Sprints, DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, E Mods and Pro Stocks, after everyseason we've been in operation, we take time to analyze each division and thelevels of support before we announce the weekly program for the followingseason. At this time, I don't anticipate any changes for 2008. But, we'll make afinal decision as soon as practical after we conclude the 2007 season."
Tri-City Speedway is owned and operated by Roger and Susie Crick and Mike andMargaret Graham. They have promoted Sunday night racing at the popular facilitysince they reopened it in 1996. The Super Sprints, DIRT Modifieds, E Mods, ProStocks and Thundercars race each week at the Venango County half-mile dirt oval.Tri-City is located seven miles north of Franklin, Pa., off State Route 417.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Second Annual Jack E. Norris Memorial at Hilltop Speedway

Dirt track racing in Northeast Ohio has had many highs and lows this seasonbut one thing is for sure, racing at Hilltop Speedway in scenic HolmesCounty is always a memorable event. Who will ever forget George Lee and hisfoot to the floor, over the edge driving style around the Hilltop highbanks? Modified race fans are witness to history being made as Norm Aronhaltturns away every challenger and currently holds TEN feature wins on theseason thus setting a benchmark that racers of all types will try to breakfor years to come. By no means has this been an easy feat, Stormin' Norm hasearned each and every win against a stellar field of cars and meets with anew challenge every week. There is so much more to say about every divisionand every competitor at this bullring that I must sum it all up by saying ifit's action your looking for, then Hilltop Speedway is the place to find it.

This Friday night at Hilltop Speedway we present our signature event, onethat is sure to also become memorable, but most importantly an eventdedicated to the many memories of a great racing past, The Second AnnualJack E. Norris Memorial. Hilltop Speedway track owner Jeff Norris sharedthis memory with me the other day; " I was very young when my dad lost hislife while in the heat of competition, a lot of what I know is just fromlistening to all the great stories but I do remember being loaded up in thefamily sedan and going all the way out to a paved short track somewhere nearIndianapolis. For a kid like me and back in the '60s that was a long tripbut everyone was excited Dad had an opportunity to test a professionallybuilt race car for a very well known car owner. You know the racing backhome at that time was nothing more than those cut down rail jobs, I guessthey were called modifieds at the time and we were always in the top threewith over two hundred trophies to show, these cars eventually progressedinto Sprints but here was a shining low slung race car with long exhaustpipes running along the side and this was Dads big chance. I guess if youwanted to make an impression you had to make that car go faster than itsever been, at least faster than the last guy to drive it. Well things didn'tgo that great and the car ended the day on its side. Dad gave that careverything it had and was thankful to even have this chance. I wish I couldremember more about that but definitely something I will never forget. Ithink about that every time I see someone strap into one of these things(Sprints) and what it takes to wheel around a race track at the speeds theyproduce. These cars and the drivers are really amazing to see in action."

Welcome to: The Second Annual Jack E. Norris Memorial, August 10, 2007 featuring 410Sprints, Super Late Models, Modifieds, Pure Stocks, and Mini Stock dirtracers. You will never find more action than at Hilltop Speedway thisweekend for only $15 general admission, $30 pit side and to attract the verybest Sprint Car race teams we offer $2,000 to win along with a very generouspurse throughout the field. We swing open the gates at 5:00 Fridayafternoon, Hot Laps followed by Time Trials for Sprints and Late Models at6:30, with racing scheduled to begin by 8:00. The track is a high banked 1/3mile dirt oval and Chad Blonde holds the official track record in a sprintcar at 12.155 seconds set on June 27, 2007. Hilltop Speedway is located 3miles south of Millersburg Ohio on County Road 150. County Road 150 islocated at the Ohio Rt 83 / US Rt 62 split or traveling north on Rt 83 turnleft just past Clark city limits. Please visit formore information


Tony Beaber is looking for a ride or sponsorship help for '08. Due to health reasons,current car owner Alan Toth will have to call it quits after this season. Alan has been withTony since 2001 and together they won the 2006 championship at the legendary Lawrenceburg Speedway without the wings. The entire Beaber family feels like Alan has become family and supports Alan's difficult but un-avoidable deccision. Tony and his entire family are very grateful foreverything Alan Toth has done over the past 7 years and want Alan to remain a part of our lives.

Tony has spent the 2007 season re-adjusting himself with the wing at Ohio's toughest tracks and doing a respectable job. Tony is looking for an open seat in anything with or without the wings. But with the number of rides getting smaller every year, the Beaber family is also looking at putting thier own car together and they are looking for any kind of help they can get in order to keep Tony behindthe wheel. Please spread the word and if you or anyone you know is interested inhelping in any way, Tony can be reached atthe shop at 419 637 2986 durring the day or you can email him at either or