George Outruns Mercer Foes
Lonny Riggs and Jordan Eck had the front row for the 358 modified start. Eck never got the chance to show his stuff, though, as he spun to the apron of turn four coming down for the initial start. Riggs powered away with the lead when the race did officially start, but Fink was hounding him right away. The duo raced side by side for several laps until a caution for spins by Jimmy Holden and Rich Whitney slowed the pace. Holden was unable to continue, but Whitney returned, and scored a career-best fourth place finish.
When the race went green again, Fink snagged the lead. This time, it was Riggs nipping on his heels. Fink maintained his advantage over Riggs to the checkers. Fink survived a scare late in the race, when he ws putting a lap on Jordan Eck. Fink swerved to avoid impact, but managed to get the car straight again before Riggs could capitalize on the miscue.
“All I knew was that I wasn’t going to take myself out of the race, if I lost positions, I could make them back,” Fink said.
Fink went on to complete the remaining laps without incident.
Shawn Fleeger ran a smooth race to earn third, his best ever finish at the Park. Rich Whitney came back up through the field to get fourth. Makayla Guidace also turned in a stellar run, taking fifth.
The Precise Racing Products Stock Cars turned in the best race of the night. Pat Fielding led from the start, but lost the lead on lap 14 to Tim Burns. Leigh Wheeler snuck by him on the final circuit. Fielding did hold off the division’s dominant driver, Rusty Moore, who came from deep in the field to earn the fourth position. Ryan Moyer crossed in fifth.
In the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Mike Miller took the early lead, with defending champ Michael Bauer racing in second. Bauer worked by Miller with just nine laps in the books. He led the rest of the way to be one of only two champions to score a win on the first night of points at the track.
Miller outpaced Jimmy Morris for second. Rob Felix placed fourth, just a notch ahead of George Hobaugh, Jr., who was making his first start in a full-sized sprint car.
Mike Murano III was transported to the hospital after suffering burns when his Outlaw Sprint Warrior caught fire before the start of hot laps.
Shane Pfeuffer survived a caution-plagued main event in the Modified Lites. Pfeuffer led from the drop of the green, but lost the lead to Big George Englert. Englert’s outstanding run came to an end in turn two when he spun and collected several other cars. Pfeuffer regained the lead and held on to get his first checkered flag of the season.
Mark Marcucci came up to second, with Chad Shearer, Darrin Gallagher, and Keith Smith rounding out the top five. Chris Frank, Joe Grezlak, Jim Good, Chris Logan, and Richard Lawson were next in line. For Lawson, a spin with just a few laps remaining deprived him of the opportunity to celebrate with his grandson, as he was second until turning around in the second corner.
The final race of the evening was for the Mini Stocks. For a while, it appeared as though Steve Longwell, Sr. and Jr. would have a father-son finish, but the younger driver passed the elder with just a few laps remaining. Mike McConnell snuck by Sr. just a lap later to spoil the family affair.
Chad Fry was fourth this night, with Peter Williams taking fifth.