Little Guys Shine At Mercer
MERCER, Pa. — With 179 car crammed into the pits, four of the six features on night number one of the Little Guy Nationals were completed before the rains came. Frank Guidace took top honors in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. Tommy Fox won the first of four features of the weekend for the Precise Racing Products Open Stock Cars.
Michael Bauer won the rain-shortened race for the Ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors. Rod Jones copped the STARS Modified Lite feature presented by Big Daddy’s Speed Center and Rock Concrete.
The Micro Sprint and Mini Stock features were postponed due to the rain.
In the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, Frank Guidace jumped out front, but Jimmy Holden pressed him hard for the first six laps of the event. Point champion Rob Curtis worked his way up to third in the early going, with J.R. McGinley nipping on his heels.
On the restart, Jimmy Holden lost several spots, moving Curtis and McGinley ahead. Lonny Riggs crashed the top five.
One lap later, another caution bunched the field again. J.R. McGinley got a great restart, moving into second. However, another caution wiped that out. Unfortunately for McGinley, he could not duplicate the maneuver. Instead, he satrted to drift back in the field when racing resumed. A few more cautions gave McGinley the chance to climb back into the top five.
Guidace led the rest of the way, despite the extra stoppages. Curtis made a run at him on the bottom, which caused Guidace to move down to block his advance. WIth the leaders hugging the inside, Holden went upstairs. He charged into second and trailed Guidace by less than a car length at the checkers.
Curtis held the third spot, with Riggs in fourth and McGinley back in fifth.
Kyle FInk led the next group across. Kevin Hoffman, Tom Holden, Gary Smoker and David Cogswell rounded out the top ten.
The Precise Racing Products Stock Cars ran their first of four feature races on the weekend. A banner field of 47 cars turned out to do battle for a thousand dollars.
Tommy Fox, a recent winner in Open Stock competition, led the first five laps, which were interrupted by a number of cautions. Brent Johnson gave chase, and even led a few laps of the event. However, it was Fox out front when the race was called with 17 of the 20 laps in the books. The race was shortened because it exceeded the 30 minute time limit.
Chris Schneider was on the move at the time the race was checkered. He was second and challenging Fox for top honors. Tim Deutsch climbed to third. Rusty Martz and Brent Johnson completed the top five.
Mike Miller surged ahead of the Ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warrior field. He was out front when the race was halted for a crash by Bob McMillin on the frontstretch. McMillin was unhurt, but his car was heavily damaged.
When racing resumed, Miller led the way until lap 12. That was when Michael Bauer got a full head of steam to charge by on the outside. While Bauer cruised out front, Miller was under attack from Chris Matthews. Jason Scoville was close them behind when the race was halted on lap 15 due to a rain shower that set in while the field was under a yellow.
Bauer was declared the winner. Miller, Matthews, Scoville and track champion, Joe McEwen completed the top five.
The STARS Modified Lite feature presented by Big Daddy’s Speed Center and Rock Concrete got off to a ragged start. Mark Marcucci led lap one, but a caution was quickly displayed for a minor spin. On the ensuing restart, the field went red bacause of a six car melee coming off turn four that eliminated the cars of Matt Hall, Bill Myers and Matt Ward.
When racing resumed, Marcucci led Jeff Teeters, but the man on the move was Teeters’ teammate, Rod Jones. Jones came from the rear of the field to take third by lap 12.
A pair of cautions set up a six lap dash for the $500 pay check awaiting the winner. At the front of the field were some of the best in the Modified Lite division. Jones came from row two to take the checkers, ahead of Marcucci, who led through lap 18.
Kenny Meadows took third, ahead of Teeters and Mikey Hay. Tracy Fritter was sixth, with Derek Wagner, Alan Knepper, Mitch Ward and Braeden Dellinger close behind.
Preliminaries for the Micro Sprints and Mini Stocks were run. The checkers flew for D.J. Furney, George Hobaugh, Steve Dunmire, and Mike Boraviec in the Micro heats, and Ryan Fredericks and Kyle Holden in the B Mains. Todd Gabriel and Brian Ritchey scored in the Mini Stock heats.