Fall is officially here. I love this time of the year when the weather turns cooler and the leaves change colors.
Auto racing is still starting to slow down as Sharon Speedway and after this past weekend the doors have closed for the season at Tri City Raceway. Lernerville still has some races left as does Michaels Mercer Raceway.
On Friday night, the regular season came to a close at Lernerville as they crowned their 2021 point champions is all divisions. AJ Flick came into the night just eight points behind Brandon Matus. When the checkered flags flew in the 410 Sprint feature Josh Baughman captured the win, Flick finished third which gave him his fifth championship title by just one point over Matus.
Finishing behind the winner, Baughman was Jack Sodeman, Jr. followed by Flick, Dan Kuriger and George Hobaugh, Jr.
In the Big Block Modified division Jeremiah Shingledecker came into the night twelve points ahead of Garrett Krummert for the championship. During the feature John Mollick was able to get the lead and pick up the win. Shingledecker finished second which gave him the points title for 2021.
Rex King, Jr. finished third with Brian Swartzlander fourth and Garrett Krummert rounded out the top five.
In the Late Model division, Colton Flinner had his first career track championship wrapped up before the nights racing action. Following a huge pileup on the front stretch of the speedway with only two laps into the feature, Flinner looked to have the win in the bag, but at the halfway point exited the track with mechanical problems and handed the lead over to Todd Bauchman and he went on to pick up the win. Following Bauchman across the line was Gary Lyle, Clay Ruffo, Tyler Dietz and Tommy Beck.
In the Pro Stock feature, Chris Schneider was the class of the field capturing his third win of the season. Daryl Charlier who had been sent to the rear of the field early on in the race, came back to finish second. Joey Zambotti finished third ahead of Todd Weldon and Jason Fosmaught.
Corey McPherson captured the 2021 points title the week before, which was fortunate for him as he pulled off the track at the halfway point.
Coming up this Saturday night at Lernerville Speedway will be the Commonwealth Clash featuring the World of Outlaw Sprint Cars and the Allegheny 305 Sprint Tour.
On Saturday night, the BRP Modified Tour made its final visit of the season to Michaels Mercer Raceway and Rex King, Sr. led all 33-lap of the feature to capture the win.
The event was the second annual Ralph Quarterson Memorial event to celebrate the life of former Sprint Car and Modified driver, Ralph Quarterson.
Colton Walters and Rex King, Sr. led the field to the green with King, Sr. jumping into the lead at the drop of the green.
Brad Rapp who started eighth place worked his way to the front and by the halfway point was on the back bumper of King, Sr. Several caution periods slowed the action, but King, Sr. kept the lead ahead of Rapp until lap 31 when Rapp came to a stop in turn four with rear end problems.
The final two laps was all King, Sr. who picked up his first BRP Modified Tour race of the season. Ryan Susice towed all the way down from Wilson, N.Y. and finished second ahead of Rex King, Jr., Chad Brachmann and Kyle Fink.
The next race for the BRP Modified Tour will be at Latrobe Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 9.
There were three makeup features that needed to be run at Mercer from Aug. 28 when they were rained out and picking up those wins were Frank Guidace FASTRAK Modified feature winner. Kyle Colwell picked up his fourth feature win at Mercer in the 305 Sprint Car makeup feature and Carl Ealy captured both Mini Stock feature wins during the night's action.
The 410 Sprint Cars were on hand and Sye Lynch captured his first career win at the historical speedway. Logan McCandless and Dan Kuriger brought the field down for the start of the 33-lap event and Kuriger led the first 12 laps before Lynch used a daring move on the outside of the track to take the lead and go on for the win. Finishing second was Adam Kekich ahead of Kuriger, Jack Sodeman, Jr. and Cody Bova.
In the regular 305 Sprint feature, Jarrett Rosencrance held off Logan McCandless who was doing double duty driving on Saturday to get the win. Finishing behind the duo of Rosencrance and McCandless was Jim Morris followed by Jacob Gamola and Tommy Jasen.
Brian Schaffer lived up to his track title by nabbing his fourth feature win of the season. Frank Guidace, earlier winner finished second with Michael Kristyak third. Vivian Jones came home fourth with Jolene Smith in fifth.
Carl Ealy came from fifth in the Mini Stock feature to pick up his second win in the same evening and his eighth win overall this season. Randy Ealy finished second with Willie Aley third. Andy Thompson finished fourth with John McCracken rounding out the top five.
The next race on the schedule for Mercer will be the 22nd Annual Little Guys Nationals on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 and will feature the Small Block Modifieds, Pro Stocks, FASTRAK Modifieds, 305 Sprints, Econo Mods, Mini Stocks, Jr. Sprints and the Crate Wingless Sprint Cars. On Oct. 1 racing will start at 6 p.m. and Oct. 2 racing takes place at 4 p.m.
Tri City Raceway held their final race of the season and Bobby Whitling scored an emotional victory in the Pro Stock feature. Whitling dedicated his win to his crew member for more than two decades who had died earlier in the day due to COVID-19. Finishing behind Whitling was Tim Bish, Chris Schneider, Andrew Gordon and Curtis J. Bish.
Gale Ruth, Jr. led wire to wire in the RUSH Wingless Sprint Car feature event. Rod George finished second with John Mollich third. Fourth place went to Blaze Myers with Brian Cressley rounding out the top five.
The Mini Stock feature found Dalton Speer capture yet another win with Justin Bailey in second. Rounding out the top five were Chad Greeley, Charles McClintock and Jesse Armstrong.
Enjoy this beautiful fall weather as we know what follows closely behind. Be careful, stay safe and have a great week.