Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bill Emig Memorial/Open Wheel Shootout Mercer pre-release‏

By Mike Leone


Mercer, PA…Mercer Raceway Park is putting the finishing touches on an exciting 2008 schedule of events which should be released at the end of the month. One of the special events that will take place this year is the “Open Wheel Shootout,” which will be held in junction with the annual Bill Emig Memorial on Saturday, July 26.
The Bill Emig Memorial remembers the late Bill Emig, father of 10th year track owner Vicki Emig. Over the years the events has annually been one of the biggest events of the season for the division at each track it has run at and has featured Six-Cylinder Modifieds, Big-Block Modifieds, and 358 Modifieds. This year, the event will again be one of the major events of the season for the Tire Express Modifieds.
Also staring in the event will be three different divisions of Sprint Cars- 410s, 305s, and the Limiteds. If completed, it will be the first time three different divisions of full-size Sprint Cars race on the same night in the region.
Leading the way will be the Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars in a 25-lap pill draw event. A strong field of cars is expected with no other regional tracks racing Sprints this night.
Making their first ever appearance will be the PA 305 Sprint Series. The Series began competition in 1998 and this year will be their 10th anniversary season. The Series holds most of their events at Path Valley and Hesston Speedways along with special events at Williams Grove, Lincoln, Port Royal, and Hill Valley Speedways. The highly-competitive class uses Racesaver 305 sealed spec engines. There are currently 46 member racers. The Series was scheduled to make their first ever appearance in 2004 at Mercer , but that event was rained out. For more information on this series, check out their website at
The Limited Sprint class will round out the sprint car portion of the event. The Limiteds compete primarily at Sharon Speedway under the direction of long-time racer Guy Griffin, who is anxious to compete once again at Mercer. Griffin was the 1997 Big-Block Modified Champion and also has four wins each in both the Big-Block and Six-Cylinder Modified divisions at Mercer. Several new drivers will be competing in the class for the upcoming season. The Limiteds feature a 327 c.i. 450 hp sealed Chevy engine with spec shocks, spec top wing, spec headers and spec Goodyear right rear tire. The open wheel Big Daddy’s Speed Center Mod Lites will also be part of the event along with the M&D Paving Mini Stocks.
“We’re always trying to come up with something different for the fans,” stated Emig. “I always look forward to my dad’s memorial event each year as it holds special meaning for my family. This year we decided to do an Open Wheel Shootout and figured this would be the perfect night to do it. Fans will have a real treat with one of the biggest Modified events on the season along with three different classes of Sprint Cars for the first time ever!”
Mercer Raceway Park opened the season on January 5 with the successful “Crashing Through the Snow” and will resume action on Saturday, March 29 with the “Chiller Thriller” featuring Steel-Block Late Models for $2,000 to-win, Open Stock Cars for $1,000 to-win, the new United E-Mod Series for $750 to-win, and the Mini Stocks for $150 to-win.
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 late mornings and after 1:30 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.