Colwell has a special weekend at Mercer Speedway
By Pam Baker
CLARION NEWS Racing correspondent
Before I start my column for Mercer, I wanted to let everyone know that Tri-City Speedway in Franklin has been purchased by Merle Black of Mercer. Merle has been around racing a long time as an owner of the 358 Modified driven by his son-in-law, Lonny Riggs. Merle has always wanted to own a speedway and tried to make a deal a couple years ago on Marion Center Speedway, but that deal fell through. So now Merle will have his chance to bring Tri-City back to life once again.
This past weekend the final two-day show for the season was held at Michaels Mercer Raceway Park. It hosted a two-day Little Guys Nationals. This event was first brought to the track to offer a higher paying race to the "Little Guys" that run at the speedway each week.
So instead of running 410 Sprints, Big Block Modifeds or Super Late Models, they chose to offer the 305 Sprints, 358 Modifieds and Pure Stock an event where the purses are much larger. It has become a very popular, well attended event for the speedway and last weekend was no exception.
I did not receive a written press release from the speedway, but I did receive the results which I would like to share with the readers out there.
On Friday night, the first night of the event the Penn-Ohio Pro Stocks were on hand and Jackson Humanic picked up the checkered flags over Shaun Hooks, Tim Deutsch, Bobby Whitling and Tim Bish.
The 358 Modified division which had several of our local drivers competing found Phil Vigneri out of New York pick up the win over Strattanville's Kyle Fink. Jimmy Holden finished third with Shannon Whaley fourth and Jeff Schaffer fifth. JR McGinley of Fairmount City finished a solid sixth with Richard Whitney of Corsica riding home eleventh.
In the FASTRAK Modified feature Brian Sadler captured the win with Brian Schaffer finishing second. Third place went to Blaze Myers with Gary Smoker and Brandon Ritchey rounding out the top five.
Knox's Kyle Colwell captured his third win of the 2019 season in the 305 Racesaver Sprint division over Gary Kriess, Jr. Chase Metheney finished third with Steve Cousins fourth and Rob Felix fifth.
The first woman to ever win a track championship at Mercer, Vivian Jones picked up yet another win in the Mod Lite division. Ayden Cipriano finished second behind Jones with Roman Jones third. Rounding out the top five was Shane McLaughlin and Jacob Eakin.
The Micro Sprint division found Steve Dunmire in the lead coming to the checkered flags ahead of Ryan Fredericks, Noah Wirginis, Todd Reusser and Ryan McAndrew.
The final feature on Friday night featured the Mini Stocks and Shane Shook took home the win with Kyle Donnelly second. Third place went to Willie Aley with Pete Blaczak fourth and Joe Romanko rounding out the top five.
Several of the same divisions returned on Saturday night as well as a couple new divisions. Saturday night in the 358 Modifieds, Jimmy Holden captured the captured the win with Steve Barr having his best finish in years coming home second. Third went to Ron Cartwright, Jr. out of New York with Jeff Schaffer, Jr finishing fourth. Kyle Fink finished fifth with JR McGinley finishing sixth for the second straight night. Richard Whitney had mechanical problems and finished sixteenth on Saturday night.
Kyle Colwell of Knox made it two-for-two on Saturday night picking up his second-straight win in the Racesaver 305 Sprint division. Finishing behind Colwell was Rob Felix, Randy Sterling, Shamus O'Donell, and Andy Cavanaugh.
In the FASTRAK Modified division Brian Schaffer and Brian Sadler swapped positions from Friday night with Schaffer capturing the win over Sadler. Finishing third was Jim Brice with Josh Deems fourth and Michael Kristyak fifth.
Bobby Whitling was victorious in the 20-lap Pro Stock feature with Rusty Moore finishing second. Third went to Chris Withers followed by Curtis J. Bish and Andy Buckley.
The Mini Stock division found Willie Aley in victory lane over Johnny Bruce, Sr., Pete Blaczak, Dwayne Reddinger and Tim Callahan.
In the Mod Lite division on Saturday Shane Webb was the winner over Tanner McLaughlin, Tyler Purnell, Dusty Frantz and Roman Jones.
The 15-lap Micro Sprint division found Steve Dunmire picking up his second win of the weekend over Todd Ruesser in second. Third went to Wes Libert with Ryan Fredericks and Brian Boraweic, Jr. rounding out the top five.
The new divisions for Saturday night found the Econo Mods in competition and picking up the checkered flags was Nate Young. Garrett Calvert finished second ahead of Dustin Demattia, Jason Fosnaught and Keith Felicetty.
In the Jr. Sprint Stock division Conner Metheney won over Kalen Jackson, Randy White, Colten McAndrew and Logan Bigley.
The final event of the Little Guys Nationals saw the Jr. Sprint Open feature being captured by Sam Darby. Evan Darby finished second with Luke Mulichak third. Fourth place went to Stone Lapcevich and fifth went to Tyler Allison.
The only event left at Michaels Mercer Raceway will be the BRP Modified Racer's Flea Market and Swap Meet coming up on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the speedway. Gates for the vendors will open at 7 a.m. with gates for the public opening at 9 a.m. Vendor spaces are $20 and there will be two people admitted with each rented space. General admission is $5.
The final racing event of the year will be held at Lernerville Speedway on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 17 through Oct. 19 and will be the Steel City Stampede featuring the 410 Sprints, Super Late Models, Big Block Modifieds, Pro Stocks, RUSH Crate Late Models, RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, RUSH Sprints, E-Mods, Econo Mods, 305 Sprints, 4-cylinders, 270cc and 600cc Micro Sprints, Super 6 Late Models and it concludes with the Enduro 100. Thursday night is a test and tune session for all drivers with Friday nights portion featuring the heat races for all divisions. On Saturday the B-Mains and the Features will be run with races starting at 4 p.m.
I hope you all are enjoying the fall temperatures and the somewhat turning of the leaves. Have a safe week and I will give you the final curtain call of the 2019 racing season next week.