Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ray Baselj Benefit with "Steel Valley Memorial Day Classic"

By Mike Leone


Mercer, PA…Mercer Raceway Park and Big Daddy’s Speed Center has announced plans for the “Ray Baselj Benefit Barbeque Dinner” to be held at Mercer Raceway Park in conjunction with the inaugural “Steel Valley Memorial Day Classic” on Monday, May 26.

Ray resides in Grove City, Pa. with his wife Dawn and has two children, Kristen and Kacee, and was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. He has always been a strong supporter of the western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio racing scene. Ray competed in the Mini Stock, Sprint Car, and Modified divisions during his racing career before operating Ray’s Racing Specialties and Ray’s Racing Collectibles vending his goods at all of the area speedways. More recently he has been employed by Big Daddy’s Speed Center and elected president of the BRP Modified Tour. Ray has presented various cartoon character appearances at The Park, sponsored kids bike races, and has helped to coordinate various events.

Gates will open early at noon for the benefit dinner and will continue until 3 p.m. before the general admission tickets go on sale for the race event at 3:30 p.m. and dinner will resume until 6 p.m. when racing begins. Tickets for the barbeque dinner, which consists of a barbequed pulled pork sandwich, potato and fruit salad, along with dessert and drink are $12. Big Daddy’s Speed Center, Mercer Raceway Park, and other regional speedways will have tickets available. Proceeds from the dinner and a Chinese auction will all go to Ray and his family. Those wishing to donate items to the Chinese auction should contact Big Daddy’s Speed Center or Mercer Raceway Park. The dinner and auction will be held rain or shine.

The “Steel Valley Memorial Day Classic” presented by Auto Service Express will be one of the biggest race events of the season at Mercer Raceway Park and is expected to draw in strong field of competitors from all across the region in the five-division program.

The FASTRAK Northeast Touring Series for the McElwain Motors Late Models will make their first of two appearances during the season in a 25-lap $1,200 to-win event. The Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars will be featured in an open pill draw event culminating with a 25-lap $1,500 to-win feature. The Stock Cars will make their second visit of the season and will be chasing the $1,000 top prize in their Ken Carbone Memorial feature. The first of three STAR’s International Mod Lite Series events will take place on this special holiday program racing in a $500 to-win Big Daddy’s Speed Center feature. The night will round out with the M&D Paving Mini Stocks.

New marketing partner Auto Service Express in Hermitage, Pa. and Austintown, Ohio will present this inaugural event. Auto Service Express features complete auto service and tire care. For more information, check out their website at or call 724-342-6805 or 330-792-4113.

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.

Lernerville News & Notes – Opening Night, All Stars, Ron Davies, Fan of the Week

Sarver, PA (March 30, 2008) The Lernerville Speedway will try once again to wave the green flag on the 40th Anniversary Season of the Lernerville Speedway on Friday April 4. Opening Night will be the first of 19 nights of Fab Four racing scheduled for 2008. The Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprints, Freidman’s Freshmarkets UMP Super Late Models, Ferrante Motor Cars DIRTcar Modifieds and Advance Auto Parts UMP Street Stocks will all be in action this Friday Night at 7:30 for a Cash & Carry tune-up for the season long journey for the Budweiser Points title which begins the following week Friday April 11.

One of only two exceptions to the Friday Night Fab Four schedule is the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car race originally scheduled for May 23. The All Stars recently accepted an invitation to join the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series at the Dirt Track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the Rite Aid Outlaw Showdown on that same date of Friday May 23.

As such, Lernerville General Manager Gary Risch Jr. and All Star President Guy Webb agreed to reschedule the Lernerville All Star race for Friday April 25. The Friedman’s Freshmarkets UMP Super Late Models and Advance Auto Parts UMP Street Stocks will also be in action along with the All Star and CTT Sprints. Both the Late Models and Street Stocks will be racing for Budweiser points, Sprints will earn only appearance points, and the Modifieds will have the night off.

May 23 is now scheduled as a full night of Fab Four Racing with all divisions racing for Budweiser Points. To see the entire 2008 Lernerville Speedway 40th Anniversary Season schedule log on to

The other exception to the Friday Night Fab Four schedule is the 2nd Annual Firecracker 100 presented by The Firecracker is scheduled for Friday-Saturday June 27-28 and will be televised on Sunday July 13 from 5-7 p.m. on SPEED.

Tickets for the April 25 All Star show and the 2nd Annual Firecracker presented by can be purchased by calling the speedway office during normal business hours at (724) 353-1511.

Word out of Warren, PA is that 1990 Lernerville Late Model Track Champion Ron Davies will be “Back in Black” behind the wheel of the #71D this season, after taking a year off in 2007. At this time, Ron does not plan on running weekly at any track, rather he will hit the bigger shows in the area. You can expect to see Davies at the Action Track on April 4 for a Fab Four Race with the Friedman’s Freshmarkets UMP DIRTcar Super Late Models, on April 15 for the Showdown in Sarvertown sponsored by Y108 with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, on June 27-28 for the 2nd Annual Firecracker 100 presented by with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, and possibly on Friday August 29 for the Cleveland Brothers CAT Jim Shank Memorial MACS Late Model race.

The Fan of the Week contest is back for 2008. The first Fan of the Week has been selected from the National City Kid’s Club applicants from the Pittsburgh Mills and Clearview Mall Car Shows. The winner is Courtney C. of Freeport, PA. Like every other Fan of the Week winner, Courtney will receive a prize package of a tour of the Lernerville Press Box, a trip to Victory Lane with the first feature winner of the night, a photo of her and the winner in Victory Lane, a FREE Lernerville Hat or T-Shirt, and a FREE large Pizza compliments of Sirena Pizza. Courtney will also receive two Guest Passes from Cinemark 18 at the Pittsburgh Mills. Fan of the Week applications will once again be available at the Souvenir Trailer starting on opening night!

Eric J. Westendorf
Public Relations Director
Lernerville Speedway

Sunday, March 23, 2008

World of Outlaws Racing Exclusively On SPEED in 2008, Broadcast Partnership Includes Three LIVE Broadcasts

CONCORD, N.C. — March 23, 2008 — World Racing Group announced today that SPEED will be the exclusive television partner for World of Outlaws racing in 2008. The partnership will be anchored by five super-sized multi-hour events, three of which will be broadcast live, including the highly successful World of Outlaws World Finals season finale.

There will be 25 hours of Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and World of Outlaws Late Model Series action, featuring a combination of live and tape-delayed broadcasts beginning on May 23 with the super-sized three-hour Rite Aid Outlaw Showdown broadcast LIVE from The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

“The World of Outlaws broadcasts in 2007 showed us how exciting dirt track racing can be on television,” said Rick Miner, SPEED Senior VP of Production and Network Operations. “The success of the World Finals show from The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway gave us a gameplan for ’08, and as part of that plan we will be treating the five new super-sized events just as we do any other major motorsports event on SPEED, which should significantly raise the profile of World of Outlaws racing.”

A return to SPEED in 2008 as the exclusive television outlet for World of Outlaws racing will bring consistency and awareness to the viewers.

“The broadcast agreement with SPEED continues the solid growth we realized in 2007,” said World Racing Group CEO Brian Carter. “The more than 75 million viewers on SPEED give our corporate partners, like Advance Auto Parts, as well as our teams and our promoters, the greatest opportunity to reach our fans on a consistent basis. SPEED is the home for racing on television and we’re excited to again have the World of Outlaws on SPEED this season.”

Among the 25 hours of coverage will be a three-hour LIVE event with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series to kick off the 2008 TV schedule on May 23 from The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway; a two-hour Firecracker 100 special from Lernerville Speedway featuring the World of Outlaws Late Model Series; a two-hour Kings Royal special from Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway; a three-hour LIVE broadcast from the National Open at Williams Grove Speedway; and the three-hour LIVE season-finale from The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

For more information on the World of Outlaws, visit For the latest from SPEED, including their World of Outlaws section, visit their new Web site at

2008 World of Outlaws Racing on SPEED Television Schedule

Air Date Time Day Track/City Race Date
May 23 8-11 p.m. Fri. Lowe’s Motor Speedway/Concord, N.C. May 23
May 31 4-5 p.m. Sat. Williams Grove Speedway/Mechanicsburg, Pa. May 15
June 8 1-2 p.m. Sun. Williams Grove Speedway/Mechanicsburg, Pa. May 16
June 15 4-5 p.m. Sun. Knoxville Raceway/Knoxville, Iowa June 6
June 21 4-5 p.m. Sat. Knoxville Raceway/Knoxville, Iowa June 7
June 28 3-4 p.m. Sat. Dodge City Raceway Park/Dodge City, Kan. June 20
July 6 4-5 p.m. Sun. Dodge City Raceway Park/Dodge City, Kan. June 21
July 13 5-7 p.m. Sun. Lernerville Speedway/Sarver, Pa. (LM) June 28
July 19 4-6 p.m. Sat. Eldora Speedway/Rossburg, Ohio July 12
July 26 4-5 p.m. Sat. Ohsweken Speedway/Ohsweken, Ontario July 22
Aug. 2 4-5 p.m. Sat. Ohsweken Speedway/Ohsweken, Ontario July 23
Aug. 16 4-5 p.m. Sat. Deer Creek Speedway/Spring Valley, Minn. (LM) July 9
Aug. 23 4-5 p.m. Sat. Eldora Speedway/Rossburg, Ohio (LM) July 25
Aug. 31 12-1 p.m. Sun. Sharon Speedway/Hartford, Ohio (LM) July 26
Sept. 7 6-7 p.m. Sun. Tri-City Speedway/Franklin, Pa. (LM) Aug. 31
Sept. 27 8-11 p.m. Sat. Williams Grove Speedway/Mechanicsburg, Pa. Sept. 27
Nov. 1 8-11 p.m. Sat. Lowe’s Motor Speedway/Concord, N.C. Nov. 1

(‘LM’ indicates a World of Outlaws Late Model Series event. All other broadcasts feature the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series.)

About World Racing Group
Based in Concord, N.C., World Racing Group, Inc. (WRGI), (OTCBB: WRGI) is a national sanctioning body, real-estate operator, and sports entertainment company serving the dirt racing industry. WRG sanctions sprint car racing as the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series™, late model racing as the World of Outlaws Late Model Series™, big block modified racing as the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series™ and sanctions more than 4,000-races a year under the DIRTcar Racing™ banner. In addition, WRG owns and operates seven speedways. WRG races can be heard online at®.

To learn more about World Racing Group, visit

Excitement Builds for the Inaugural UFo Race Championship Event at Challenger!

Indiana, PA (March 12, 2008) – The most anticipated event of the 2008 season is just one month away, as the UFo PA State Short Track Championships will take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 12-13 at the Challenger Raceway. Over $50,000 in prize money will be offered to race teams including $7,000 total to win for Super Late Models. The 2-day mega-event will feature the first-ever race of the brand-new Unified Force Race Championship Tour presented by Comcast.

Interest in the UFo Race Championship Tour presented by Comcast is at an all-time high, and new tour is appearing to be one of the most exciting developments to take place in recent history of motor sports in the region. In an effort to revitalize regional racing for both the race teams and race fans, the UFo Race Championship Tour presented by Comcast will offer over $334,000 in prize money in the Super Late Model portion of the events plus an additional $40,000 to $50,000 in posted available contingency awards. The UFo Race Championship has developed unified, cost-effective rules packages that will be used for the Super Late Models and other divisions at UFo events. Additionally, two 2008 tour events will be broadcast on Comcast CN-8 which further demonstrates the dedication of the UFo Race Championship Tour presented by Comcast to increase exposure of the sport in the region.

The new PA State Short Track Championships event replaces the former Springfest race that traditionally opened up the season at Challenger. The new event title reflects the increased total event payoff of $50,000 and the new format with 2 complete racing programs. The 2007 edition of the event produced a record car count of 99 late model-type cars including 64 Super Late Models. Previous winners of the spring event include 2-time winner Rick Eckert of York, PA, Steve Shaver of Vienna, WV, Tim McCreadie of Watertown, NY and Robbie Blair of Titusville, PA. Another huge field of cars is expected for the improved 2008 version.
As an added attraction for the weekend, RaceTalkRadio.Com/Clamped Up personalities DMIC & CJ will be joining their friends at Challenger for the PA Short Track Championships. Race Talk Radio will bring the action of Challenger to their listeners throughout the weekend, as well as giving fans and racers a chance to win fantastic prizes during this two day, dirt track extravaganza. Additional information on their radio programs may be found at

The Challenger Raceway is renowned for great track preparation and excellent, multi-groove racing. Competitors are looking forward to returning to the 4/10 mile which was resurfaced last August with “top-secret” new clay. The first event on the new clay surface last October saw Billy Drake from Bloomington IL roar from his 15th place starting position to take “The Ultimate” feature win.

The Challenger Raceway 2008 Blastoff will take place on Saturday Night, April 12. Super Late Models will compete for $2,000 to win. This 33-lap championship race will not award UFo points, but will use UFo Super Late Model car and procedure rules and will give drivers an opportunity to tune up for Sunday’s UFo event. Two other divisions will compete in their PA State Short Track Championship races. The B-Cadet (street/pro-stock) division will be in competition with a 25-lap championship race paying $600 to the winner, and the Sport Stock (hobby/charger/strictly stock) class will contest a 20-lap championship race paying $300 to win. Filling out the night’s activities will be several practice sessions for the Semi-Lates, E-mod Sportsman, Roadrunners and any other classes of cars.

Pit gates are scheduled to open at 2:30, general admission gates at 4:30, drivers meeting at 5:45, warm-ups at 6:00 and the first racing event will start at 6:30. Adult grandstand admission is only $13 for this championship event with Juniors 11-15 $6, Children 5-10 $5 and Pit Admission $25.

Sunday Twilight, April 13 is the inaugural event for the UFo Race Championship Tour presented by Comcast. The region’s superstars of Super Late Model racing will attack the 4/10 mile short track for their segment of the PA State Short Track Championships. Sunday’s UFo PA State Short Track Championship will culminate with the “Area 51-lap” championship feature paying $5,000 to win and $400 for 24th for Super Late Models. Sunday will be a bonus for late model fans as it will feature a double-division late model program with the Semi-Lates (limited/crate/steel block late models) paying $1,000 to win for the 30-lap PA State Short Track Championship. E-mod Sportsman will return to the Challenger Raceway after a 1-year hiatus with an $800 to win, 25-lap championship and the 4-cylinder, front-wheel drive Roadrunners will compete in a 20-lap feature-only format paying $250 to win. If 30 Roadrunners are present, two 15-lap features will be run.

Pit gates are scheduled to open at 12:30, general admission gate at 2:30, drivers meeting at 3:45, and warm-ups will start at 4:00. The first session of racing will begin at 4:30 with the E-mod heats and consolation as well as the Roadrunner feature with the late model racing beginning approximately 5:45 after track prep. Adult grandstand admission is just $20, Juniors 11-15 $10 Children 5-10 $5 and Pit Admission is $31.

Super Late Model entry fee will be $50 with no entry fees for other classes. Reinforcing the philosophy of the UFo Race Championship Tour presented by Comcast to keep down cost for competitors, it should be noted that no hidden membership fees or temporary license fees exist for race teams competing in UFo events in 2008.

The rain date for the event will be Saturday & Sunday, April 19-20. Rules for all classes for the event are posted at both the Challenger Raceway and UFo Race Championship. Weight and spoiler variances according to motor types will allow virtually all area cars to be both legal and competitive. Complete payoffs are posted at the Challenger Raceway website rules page.

The Challenger Raceway is located 6.4 miles southwest of US 422 on PA 286, then one mile north on McIntyre Road. For the most complete source of Challenger Raceway information, please visit the track's web site at Additional information on the UFo Race Championship may be obtained at Information may also be obtained by calling 724-726-9808 on race days or 724-726-5494 during weekdays.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Champions of all kinds honored at Lernerville’s Annual Awards Banquet

Sarver, PA (March 5, 2008)
The checkered flag finally flew on the 2007 season Saturday March 1 with the Lernerville Annual Awards Banquet at the Days Inn in Butler. As always, the stars of the show were the 2007 Track Champions; Kevin Schaeffer (Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprint Cars), Alex Ferree (Friedman’s Freshmarkets Late Models), Brian Swartzlander (Ferrante Motor Cars Modifieds), and Mike Pegher Jr. (Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks).

While at the head table and in the spotlight, the 2007 Track Champions were just the tip of the iceberg. Dozens of drivers, employees, media members and sponsors were honored and recognized for the 2007 accomplishments.

Other drivers receiving awards on Saturday include; Shawn Thorn (Most Improved Pure Stocks), Shawn Shingledecker (Most Improved Modifeds), Greg Satterlee (Most Improved Late Models), Dan Kuriger (Most Improved Sprints), Tom Winkle (Hard Luck Award), Steve Feder (Rookie of the Year), Bob Lipinski (Stover’s Net Connections Hard Charger Award), Rod George (Milestone in Racing Award). The following drivers were recognized with a checkered flag for earning their first Lernerville feature win during the 2007 season; Jake Ayers (Pure Stocks), Shawn Shingledecker (Modifieds), Dutch Davies (Late Models), Robbie Blair (Late Models), Greg Satterlee (Late Models), and Shawn Thorn (Pure Stocks).

The 2007 Sportsmanship Award was given to Chris Schneider of SS Chassis for his unselfish support of the Advance Auto Parts Pure Stock Division. Chris has put his own driving career on hold to focus his attention on helping other drivers with Chassis setup.

The 2007 Craig Fleming Lernerville Appreciation Award was given to Dan Bauman of the Track Prep/Maintenance crew. The 2007 Bob Cochran Sponsorship Award was given to First Commonwealth Bank for their ongoing support of the speedway, especially the First Commonwealth Bank Clash for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series (this year’s Clash is scheduled for Tuesday May 13). The 2007 Bill Steinbach Media Award was given to Jason Shank of Dirt Track Digest, MACS Late Models Series and JNJ Motorsports. The 2007 Grover Clasper Award was given to Morris Steinheiser, longtime pit gate operator. Finally, Frank and Keith Koval were given with the Golden Award for their support of and dedication to the speedway and its drivers and fans.

The following drivers received awards from other clubs and organizations Saturday Night; Matt Lux and Del Rougeux Jr. both received the ARCH Sportsmanship Award, and it was announced that Ed Lynch Jr. previously received the Twin State Sportsmanship Award. Walt Wimer was on hand to give out his 2007 Cavalcade Awards to the following Lernerville weekly competitors; Rod George (winner of 21 Sprint Car features, five of which came at the Lernerville Speedway) and Brian Swartzlander (who became only the third driver to win the award more than twice, joining Lou Blaney and Blackie Watt).

Walt also announced his 2007 Cavalcade Rookie of the Year Award winner Chris Haines, a Pure Stock driver whom competes weekly at Mercer Raceway Park and Tri-City Speedway. Haines finished in the top 10 in points at both tracks and won his first career feature at Mercer on August 11. Haines’ crowning achievement was a fifth place finish in the “Little Guy Nationals” at Mercer Raceway Park. Haines defeated Limited Sprint Car driver Brandon Spithaler by a narrow margin. Honorable mention was given to Mike Anderson, Jr., Steve Beatty & Bill Jones Jr. In all, 20 drivers were nominated for the 40th annual award, with 14 receiving votes from the panel of some 90 media members and track officials.

Josh Wells, Director of Operations for World Racing Group, was on hand to represent the corporation that owns Lernerville Speedway. Josh had high praise for everyone from General Manager Gary Risch Jr. and track employees, to car owners, drivers, sponsors, crews, as well as their family and friends. He also gave special praise and thanks to the throng of local media members in attendance and reiterated what everyone around here knows to be the truth, “No other track in the country has the media exposure and coverage that Lernerville Speedway does!” Wells continued by stating that “A large part of the success of the Lernerville Speedway is the result of the devoted media members.”

Josh then handed the mic over to track announcers Dow Carnahan and Ed Schaefer whom honored the Top Ten drivers in Budweiser Point Standings for each division.

Ed Schaefer started by honoring the Advance Auto Parts Pure Stock division. On hand to accept their check and plaque were Terry Young (10th), Wayne Carbo (9th), Bob Lipinski (6th), Butch Lambert (4th) and Jason Fosnaught (2nd). Butch announced that he was focusing on the E-Mod more this year, but that they would be making some Pure Stock shows at Lernerville throughout the season. Butch’s feature winning #27 is still on sale and they hope to move into a Crate Late Model once the stocker is sold! Jason Fosnaught announced that his aim for 2008 is to finish the deal and be at the Head Table at next year’s banquet as the Advance Auto Parts UMP Street Stock Champion. Every driver thanked John Motosiki and Kenny Kunes of Advance Auto Parts for their continued support of the division and for their devotion to Autumn-Motive Fest and Pure Stock Pandemonium!

2007 Advance Auto Parts Pure Stock Champion Mike Pegher Jr. was not able to attend to the banquet. His grandmother accepted the award on his behalf. She informed the crowd that Mike was not able to be in attendance because his other grandmother is in ill health. She did relay a message on Mike’s behalf, “Mike wanted to thank the fans. He said they’re the most important part of everything!” Mike will not be defending his title in the newly renamed Advance Auto Parts UMP Street Stock division. Instead he is moving up in to the Crate Late Model division, but will run select UMP Street Stock shows at Lernerville during the season. Expect to see Mike in his Crate Late Model at Lernerville, as the UMP Pro (Crate) Late Models are the support series on select World of Outlaws series events.

Dow Carnahan took the mic to honor the Top Ten drivers in the Ferrante Motor Cars Modified division. On hand to accept their check and plaque were Jeremiah Shingledecker (9th), Mike Turner (8th), J.R. McGinley (4th) and Dave Murdick (3rd). Dave also accepted the 10th place award on behalf of his father Carl Murdick who is vacationing in Florida. Dave announced that his father will be back racing in 2008 for the 42nd consecutive season, still the only driver to race every season that Lernerville Speedway has been in existence! Jeremiah Shingledecker, on stage an impressive three times, announced that he intended to compete full time in the Modified division, but was also in the process of moving into the Late Model division. The chassis has been purchased, but an engine has yet to be acquired, but the intent is to be ready by mid-season.

Brian Swartzlander accepted his fifth Track Championship in the Ferrante Motor Cars Modified division and was also recognized for capturing the Mod Challenge title which is contested between the Lernerville and Tri-City Speedways. Brian stated, “It’s really an honor to stand up here as a champion” and gave a special thanks to Anthony Ferrante and Ferrante Motor Cars on behalf of the Modified division. He went on to thank his crew and sponsors, saying of his crew, “We win most of our races in the garage, not on the track!” Brian also gave special thanks to his family and most importantly his wife for allowing him to pursue his passion.

The Friedman’s Freshmarkets Late Models, (newly renamed the Friedman’s Freshmarkets UMP Super Late Models), were honored next. On hand to accept their check and plaque were Chuck Sarver (10th), Matt Lux (7th), Lynn Geisler (4th), Jared Miley (3rd) and a representative of Gary Lyle (2nd). Gary Lyle was in Las Vegas for the weekend of NASCAR events. Matt Lux was also honored as MACS Late Model Series Rookie of the Year. Lynn Geisler, as always, spoke highly about the track, his longtime sponsor and friend Jack Crowell of #1 Cochran, and the entire field of drivers in the highly competitive Late Model division. While on the mic, Lynn announced his involvement in Mike Pegher’s move into the Crate Late Model division. He also expressed the extreme pride Ed Ferree must feel for Track Champion Alex Ferree’s 2007 accomplishment and how extremely proud he was of his own son Travis Geisler, engineer on the Daytona 500 winning #12 of Ryan Newman. Lastly, Lynn challenged Alex Ferree to have a date at the Head Table if he repeats as Track Champion!

2007 Track Champion Alex Ferree accepted his award with great pride, but admitted he wasn’t much of a public speaker. He did admit that he had prepared a speech, but that it was confiscated, presumably by his father, who threatened to “Kill Him” if he read it! Instead, Alex gave a lot of credit to his crew, admitting “If you saw me in the pits, I was walking around. They were all working on the car!” He then, in the footsteps of Lynn Geisler, praised the level of competition and sportsmanship in the Late Model division. Ferree stated, “Rubbin’ is Racin’, but there was a lot of respect on the track last year.” Unlike last season, Alex made no bold predictions, which he stated was “another stipulation” of his speech confiscation!

The final division to be honored was the Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprint Cars. On hand to accept their check and plaque were Charlie Holben (7th), Dan Shetler (6th), Scott Priester (5th), Carl Bowser (4th), Ed Lynch Jr. (3rd) and Rod George (2nd). Charlie Holben was announced as the new driver of Martha Dionise’s famed purple #15. Charlie is excited to be piloting the Dionise #15 at Lernerville and praised his longtime sponsor Glassmere Fuels for joining the 15 team along with him. He will continue to drive his own #42 at Mercer Raceway Park and perhaps Sportsman’s Speedway. Carl Bowser announced and thanked his father for stepping back from racing in 2008 so Carl can continue to race, as the team is currently in possession of just one motor. Ed Lynch Jr. announced that he would be driving a similar schedule as years past; with perhaps a bit more travelling. He also stressed that he plans to “put a few more notches in my belt!”

The final champion to be crowned was the only champion to have repeated in 2007, Kevin Schaeffer in the Commercial Truck & Trailer Sprint Cars. Kevin thanked his entire family and crew that were on hand, including his sons Elliott (21 months old) and Aiden (one month old). Kevin gave special thanks to his parents and sponsors who continue to allow him to actively pursue his childhood dream of racing. He did announce however, that he planned on running just Lernerville on a weekly basis because, “This sport’s getting pretty expensive as everyone knows!”

All 2007 Track Champions were awarded beautiful four foot tall trophies by 3K Enterprises as well as Jackets from their tire providers. Alex Ferree, Brian Swartzlander and Mike Pegher all received Hoosier Racing Jackets, while Kevin Schaeffer received an American Racer Jacket.

Lernerville Speedway General Manager Gary Risch Jr. wrapped up the official portion of the banquet by thanking everyone in attendance and everyone involved in making the 2007 season at Lernerville Speedway one of the most successful in the 40 year history. Risch stated that “The Lernerville Speedway is so successful because it’s a big family.” And that “The employees are second to none, but there’s two people that keep my deal together” referring to Linda Fennell and Chad Alchier. Linda handles a lot of the day-to-day operations and administrative duties, while Chad does all the track prep, maintenance and behind the scenes work that makes each show go off like a well-oiled machine!

Gary also formally announced the induction of UMP sanctioning of the newly renamed Super Late Models and Street Stocks, but stressed that “the rules are our rules and the tires are our tires” and that the UMP sanctioning would bring more regional and national exposure to the area drivers. He also announced the return of the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series on Friday September 12 as part of the Advance Auto Parts Autumn-Motive Fest. Gary also thanked and announced the continued relationship with national and regional touring series such as the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, World of Outlaws Late Model Series, MACS Late Model Series and the O’Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series. Headlining these events is the 2nd Annual Firecracker 100, (for which Gary announced that has come on board as presenting sponsor), and the Cleveland Brothers CAT Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XVII. Both events will pay $40,000 to win in 2008, making the Silver Cup the richest single-day event purse in the country.

He went on to thank every media member personally, reiterating what Josh Wells stated earlier, that without the media’s coverage of the racing action, Lernerville would not be the successful venture that it is today. To that end, Gary announced the creation of the “D.J. Johnson Media Center” above the pit concession stand. The newly created Media Center will provide our deserved media members with a professional, quiet place to work and share their expertise. Its proximity to the pits will also increase access to feature winners and marquee drivers.

Reflecting on 2007, Gary referred to it as a “phenomenal season” with the crowning achievement being the Inaugural Firecracker 100. The challenge for 2008 he says is “How do you make this year even better?” Another successful venture for Lernerville Speedway in 2007 was the Inaugural Stars of NASCAR Night featuring Tony Stewart and Kenny Schrader. He stated that the driver lineup is “in the works” and teased, “Just a little hint, Lynn Geisler, Ryan Newman, it might happen!” referring to the earlier conversation about Lynn’s connection to Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman.

Despite all the glitz and glamour of the World of Outlaws and NASCAR-laden shows, Gary emphasized that the weekly Fab Four racing program continues to be the “main focus” and “#1 Deal” of the Lernerville Speedway. He closed by stating, “I love this job. I love being with every one of these great people in the room every Friday night” and a quote from office assistant Helen Bauman, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success”

The banquet then took a more informal tone with Gary’s declaration to “OPEN THE BAR” and the distribution of door prizes. The bevy of door prizes was provided by Budweiser, Pepsi, Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic, Lias Tire, Advance Auto Parts, Don Gamble/Speedway Productions, DJ Johnson/Racewear, Catalyst Connection, National Guard, Shadetree Speedway, C&B Video, Schaeffer Motorsports, and a variety of other sponsors and friends of the speedway.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


By Mike Leone


Mercer, PA…Mercer Raceway Park has released the 2008 schedule of event as Saturday, March 29 has been set as the 57th anniversary season opener with Steel-Block Late Models, United E-Mod Series, open Stock Cars, and the M&D Paving Mini Stocks 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 28-night slate.
“I’m more excited about this season than I have been in quite some time,” expressed owner Vicki Emig. “The FASTRAK Late Models are going to be a great addition to our weekly program and we’ve received nothing but praise from both the racers and fans looking forward to the return of the Late Models at Mercer for the first time since 1974. Fans are going to see a great show with the ability to see Sprint Cars, Modifieds, and Late Models weekly. Our Mod Lite division is strong and we expect a lot of newcomers to the growing Mini Stock class as it continues to serve its purpose of getting youngsters into racing affordably. From the beginning I have focused on making Mercer Raceway Park a great grassroots Saturday night speedway focusing on our local racers and at the same time making The Park an affordable option for family entertainment. That vision still remains as I embark on my 10th season.”
Luxaire Heating & Cooling returns for the seventh time in the past eight seasons to headline the Sprint Cars. Tire Express has moved their sponsorship to the Modified division. Mercer Raceway Park is thrilled to have McElwain Motors back as a huge marketing partner for the upcoming season and as part of their package includes the divisional sponsorship of the Late Models. The Mod Lites and Mini Stocks will return for the second straight year as a weekly division and will again be sponsored by Big Daddy’s Speed Center and M&D Paving respectively. The five-division weekly program will take to the track one week later on Saturday, April 5 with points starting providing the opener is completed.
“We’ve changed up some of our special race events once again to go along with our great five-division grassroots racing weekly program,” stated Emig. “We have five new special events coming this year as there’s just about something for everyone. The best thing about all of our special race events is that they are all so affordable for our fans with no events more than a $15 adult or $35 family admission.”
For the eighth straight year, Mercer Raceway Park will be the site of a world championship pulling event, but this year will take place on a Saturday as May 24 at 6:30 PM is the date and time and will be presented by Semi Service Express. The All-American “Spring Nationals” will include the Big Rig Semis, Smoker Tractors, Street Semis, and Street Diesel 4x4 Trucks with a rain date of Sunday at 5 PM and will be the kickoff of “American Thunder Weekend”.
Then on Monday, the “Steel Valley Memorial Day Classic” presented by Auto Service Express will be held featuring the FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series along with Sprint Cars, the $1,000 to-win Ken Carbone Memorial for open Stock Cars, plus the STAR’s Mod Lites.
Another new event will be the “Small Car National Open” on Friday, July 4 presented by Truk Rodz by Jones Performance. The STAR’s Mod Lites will be back and will be joined by the first ever appearance by the INEX Legends Cars in a National Touring event. The Micro Sprints will make their first of two appearances. At the end of the night, the “KABOOM 150” Enduro will be held paying $1,000 to-win. A rain date of Saturday & Sunday has been set.
This year’s Bill Emig Memorial on July 26 will be part of the Open Wheel Shootout presented by FireDEX of Butler. The Modifieds will be racing in one of their biggest events of the season and will be joined by three classes of Sprint Cars for the first time ever- the 410s, the PA 305 Series, and the Limited Sprints.
One of the most requested events has been a BRP Big-Block Modified Tour event and that will happen on August 16. Look for some bonus monies and incentives for the 358s to compete. A special autograph session will be held plus driver introductions. The FASTRAK Late Models will also be highlighted that night.
A second truck and tractor pulling event will fill the schedule on September 6. The USA-East Regional Finals will feature Semi Trucks, “Run What Ya Brung” Trucks, 4x4 Diesel Trucks, 4x4 Gas Trucks, Limited Pro Stock Tractors, and Super Farm Tractors in an invitation-only event. The rain date is Sunday at 2 p.m.
The 20th annual “Western PA Sprint Championship” returns on September 13. A strong field of Sprints is expected with no other tracks in the region running that night and making the night even more special will be the second appearance by the FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series. The E-Mods will return for their final appearance and be joined by increased purse events for the Mod Lites and Mini Stocks in the final night of points.
After a one-week hiatus, the “Little Guy Nationals” will take center stage as the region’s richest support division-only event and will again feature two packed days of action presented by American Racer/Lias Tire on September 26 & 27. Friday night includes open Stock Cars for $1,000 to-win plus Micro Sprint, Mod Lites, and Mini Stocks. Then Saturday afternoon the Stock Cars return for a big $2,000 to-win event. The T3 All-Star Series’ only appearance of the season will see the winner of the Modified feature earn $2,000. The STAR’s Mod Lites will pay $1,000 to-win.
The season will be extended one week this year, as Mercer will be the Northeast site of Night 1 of the $250,000 FASTRAK Grand Nationals. The FASTRAK Late Models will be racing for $2,000 to-win and will be joined by the only appearance of the season by the Super Late Models in an ULMS-sanctioned $2,000 to-win event. This inaugural event is being presented by McElwain Motors.
“We’ve found a nice niche with our promotions,” explained Emig. “We’ve been very happy with how these events have turned out and are glad to be the industry leader in these types of promotions. We feel these types of events are important with the current state of the economy. It’s no secret that many people today struggle to take their families to the races. We’re hoping these nights continue to allow more fans the opportunity to attend that may have been unable to otherwise.”
Four free county nights will again be featured including Beaver (May 3 presented by Image Factory Signs & Graphics), Crawford (May 17 presented by the Oncology Wellness Institute of Meadville Medical Center), Venango (May 31 presented by Allegheny Toyota Scion), and Butler (June 28 presented by McClymonds Supply & Transit). The Crawford and Butler County Nights will be promoted by Armstrong, who will also promote the return of the popular $10 Family Nights that are presented by Auto Service Express. On April 19, May 10, July 12, and August 9, mom, dad, and as many kids 15 and under can attend the races for just $10 (a minimum $15 savings!) Also on August 9, Auto Sales & Service Express will give a car away part of the “Big Give” promotion.
“Pack the Track” Fan Appreciation Night will be held on June 7 as admission prices will be slashed to $5 adults, $12 families, and $2 for kids 6-15 and will be presented by Coca-Cola. The night will also include “Meet Your Heroes” Camera & Autograph Night. All of the cars from all divisions will be brought onto the speedway for autographs during intermission, which will be presented by Elect Duke Whiting for PA State Rep. – 17th Dist (paid for by candidate). A second “Meet Your Heroes” night will be held on August 2.
New marketing partner Renegade Classics Outlet Store will present “Thunder at the Park” on June 14 where all bikers and their riders will be admitted for just $5 each.
A new promotion this year is the “Hey Neighbor…C’mon Over!” nights promoted by Froggy 95. On June 21, all New Castle, Pa. residents will be admitted free and on August 2 all Shenango Valley residents will be admitted free. Also on June 21, all cancer survivors will be admitted free as part of the American Cancer Society’s “Racing for a Cure”
American Patriot Night will again admit all veterans and scouts in uniform free on June 28 and will be presented by Walt’s of Mercer Plaza.
For the fourth straight year, Welcome Ohio Night will admit all residents of Ohio free on July 19, which will be presented by new marketing partner Sports Obsession at the Eastwood Mall in Niles, Ohio.
Another new promotion will be the Automotive Service Industry Night on August 23 presented by longtime marketing partner Hovis Auto & Truck Supply. All those employed in the automotive/truck field and their significant other will be admitted for $5 each or $15 for families.
Kids bike races will be held on May 10, July 12, and August 9 presented by Ray’s Racing Collectibles & Eat ‘n Park restaurant. For the second straight year, Kargo Quality Cars will provide the speedway with the use of a pace truck.
Some of the companies already committed to corporate nights this year include Dean Dairy, Yellow Book USA, UPMC Horizon,, Anderson Bros. Tool, US Foods, Trinity Living Center of Grove City, Emerson Process Management, and George L. Wilson & Co.
Attached is a text-only version of the 2008 schedule. Our color tri-fold brochure schedules will be available in mid-March, please contact the office if you’re interested in one.
Adult admission is $11, students 6-15 are $5, the family pass is $25, children five and under are free and pit passes are $25 for all non-specials and $30 for specials. Season VIP rentals are still available and nightly rentals are $150. Please contact the office if you are interested.
Mercer Raceway Park
2008 Event Schedule

March 29 “Chiller Thriller” * Steel-Block Late Models ($2,000)/Open Stocks ($1,000)/United E-Mod Series/Mini Stocks * Rain date April 5
April 5 Saturday Night Live! OR Rain Date for March 29 * Our five-division opener of Sprints/Modifieds/FASTRAK Late Models/Mod Lites/Mini Stocks * Points start
April 12 Saturday Night Live! * (Our full 5-division show)
April 19 Saturday Night Live! * Bring the family for $10
April 26 Saturday Night Live!
May 3 Saturday Night Live! * Free admission for all Beaver County residents presented by Image Factory Signs & Graphics
May 10 Saturday Night Live! * Plus Kids Bike Races * Bring the family for $10 * Twin-State & PCTC Club Night
May 17 Saturday Night Live! * Free general admission for all Crawford County residents presented by Oncology Wellness Institute of Meadville Medical Center & Armstrong * Corp. Night
“American Thunder Weekend” * Presented by Semi Service Express & Auto Service Express
May 24 All-American “Spring Nationals” – World Championship Pulling Event * Big-Rig Semis/Smoker Series Tractors presented by Watson’s Inc./Street Semis/Street Diesel 4-Wheel Drive Trucks * Note 6:30 PM start time * (Rain date Sun., May 25 at 5 PM)
Mon, May 26 “Steel Valley Memorial Day Classic” * FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series ($1,200)/Sprint Cars ($1,500)/Ken Carbone Memorial Open Stocks ($1,000)/ STAR’s International Mod Lite Series/Mini Stocks * Free general admission for all active servicemen in uniform * Ray Baselj Benefit & BBQ Dinner * Note: 6 PM starting time
May 31 Saturday Night Live! * Free general admission for all Venango County residents presented by Allegheny Toyota Scion
June 7 Saturday Night Live! * “Pack the Track” – Fan Appreciation Night ($5 Adults, $12 Family Pass, $2 Students) * Presented by Coca-Cola * “Meet Your Heroes” Camera & Autograph Night * All cars and drivers from all divisions on the speedway during intermission * Emerson Process Management Corp. Night
June 14 Saturday Night Live! * “Thunder at the Park” Bike Night - $5 admission for bikers & $5 for their rider * Presented by Renegade Classics Outlet Store * Bring the family for $10 * Yellow Book USA Corp. Night
June 21 Saturday Night Live! * “Racing for a Cure” – American Cancer Society Benefit Night * Cancer survivors admitted free * “Hey Neighbor…C’mon Over!” - Free general admission for all New Castle, PA residents presented by Froggy 95 * UPMC Horizon Corp Night - $5 adult admission with ID & $5 for their significant other
June 28 Saturday Night Live! * American Patriot Night/Fireworks Spectacular! * Presented by Walt’s of Mercer Plaza * Free general admission for veterans with I.D., scouts in uniform, & Butler County residents presented by McClymonds Supply & Transit & Armstrong
Fri, July 4 “Small Car National Open” * Presented by Truk Rodz by Jones Performance * STAR’s International Mod Lite Series/INEX Legends National Tour/Micro Sprints/Mini Stocks plus the KABOOM 150 Enduro ($1,000) * Note: 6 PM starting time * Rain date July 5 & 6
July 12 Saturday Night Live! * Plus Kids Bike Races * Bring the family for $10 * Dean Dairy Corp. Night
July 19 Saturday Night Live! * Welcome Ohio Night – free general admission for all Ohio residents! * Presented by Sports Obsession, Eastwood Mall
July 26 “Bill Emig Memorial”/Open Wheel Shootout * Presented by FireDEX of Butler * Modifieds ($1,500)/410 Sprint Cars ($1,500)/PA 305 Sprint Series/Limited Sprints/Mod Lites/Mini Stocks * Anderson Bros. Tool Corp. Night
Aug. 2 Saturday Night Live! * “Meet Your Heroes” Camera & Autograph Night * All cars and drivers from all divisions on the speedway during intermission * “Hey Neighbor…C’mon Over!” - Free general admission for all Shenango Valley residents (Sharon, Hermitage, West Middlesex, Sharpsville, Farrell, Wheatland) presented by Froggy 95 * Trinity Living Center of Grove City Corp. Night
Aug. 9 Saturday Night Live! * “Big Give” Car Giveaway presented by Auto Sales & Service Express * Plus Kids Bike Races * Bring the family for $10 * US Foods Corp Night
Aug. 16 “The Return” * Big-Block Modifieds in a BRP Tour event plus FASTRAK Late Models/Mod Lites/Mini Stocks * Big-Block Modified Autograph Night
Aug. 23 Saturday Night Live! * Automotive Service Industry Night * Presented by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, Inc. * $5 for those employed in the automotive/truck field, $5 for their significant other, or $15 for families * Rain date Sept. 13
Aug 30 No racing
Sept. 6 USA-East Regional Finals Truck & Tractor Pulling Event– Semi Trucks, “Run What Ya Brung” Trucks, 4x4 Diesel Trucks, 4x4 Gas Trucks, Limited Pro Stock Tractors, & Super Farm Tractors * Note: 6:30 PM start time * (Rain date Sun., Sept. 7 at 2 PM)
Sept. 13 20th Annual “Western PA Sprint Championship” * Sprint Cars ($2,000)/FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series ($1,200)/E-Mods/Mod Lites/Mini Stocks * Points end * George L. Wilson & Co. Corp. Night
Sept. 20 No racing
9th Annual “Little Guy Nationals” * Presented by American Racer/Lias Tire
Fri., Sept. 26 Open Stocks ($1,000)/Micro Sprints/Mod Lites/Mini Stocks
Sept. 27 T3 All-Star Modified Series ($2,000)/Open Stocks ($2,000)/STAR’s International Mod Lite Series ($1,000) * Demo Derby * Racing begins at 4 p.m. * (Rain date Sun., Sept. 28 at 4 p.m.) * (Entire event rain date Fri.-Sun., Oct. 17-19)
Oct. 4 “First Night” – FASTRAK $250,000 Grand Nationals Night 1 of 3 * Presented by McElwain Motors * FASTRAK Late Models ($2,000)/ULMS Super Late Models ($2,000)/Mini Stocks * (Rain date Sun., Oct. 5 at 6 p.m.)
Jan. 3, 2009 “Crashing Through the Snow” * Featuring the “Jack Frost 150” Enduro ($1,000) & the “Snowball” Demo Derby * Note: 1 PM starting time * Rain date Jan 4 or Jan 17

Practice Nights: April 2, May 7, June 4, July 2, August 6, September 17. Rain dates are the following day.

Pits open 3:30 PM Grandstand open 4:30 PM Hot Laps 6:15 PM Racing 7 PM
(unless otherwise noted)