MERCER, Pa. – Adam Kekich celebrated his 21st birthday in fine style, earning the win in the 410 sprint car feature presented by Luxaire Heating & Cooling and McCrudden’s Heating & Supply Saturday night at Mercer Raceway Park.
It was his third career victory in a track where two prior generations of Kekiches achieved much success.
It took three tries to get the 410 sprint car feature under way for Luxaire Heating & Cooling and McCrudden Heating & Supply, with Bill Jones Jr. spinning in turn two on the first attempt, and Rod George flipping spectacularly on the back stretch on the second. That gave polesitter Mike Miller three tries to lead the pack into turn one. He did, but Kekich rolled to top to get the advantage entering turn three.
Kekich was starting to open a little distance over Miller, and Dennis Wagner, when the red flag was displayed once again for a flip by Francis Sesco in the second corner. Like George, Sesco was able to walk away from the accident scene unharmed.
On the restart, third place Dennis Wagner did not get away cleanly, and the field bunched up behind him. In the scramble, Dan Kouriger got displaced, and he came to a stop on the back stretch.
The race had its third stoppage on lap six, when Scott Priester and Jack Sodeman Jr. got together and turned over in the third corner. They were running fifth and sixth at the time. Brent Matus managed to squeeze by on the apron, but he may have had some impact with one or both of the cars, for he immediately turned into the infield. The racers were given an open red to refuel and adjust air pressures.
The field, which was shortened to just nine cars by this point, completed the remaining laps without incident. Kekich had nearly a half track lead over his closest rival, good friend Brandon Matus. Eric Williams took third in the closing laps, after starting last in the race. Dennis Wagner crossed in fourth, with a 360 power plant under the hood. Gale Ruth Jr. was fifth.
“It means a lot to get this win tonight, I mean, my guys busted their butts all week long and they stuck behind me even though we got ourselves into a slump and it feels good to climb out of it and get into victory lane,” said Kekich.
Andy Feil launched himself from third to first in the first two corners of the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors and went on to claim his second victory of the season. The victory propelled him into the points lead in this growing class. Jimmy Holden won the non-stop 20 lapper for the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds.
Max Blair returned to his old stomping grounds, and circled the track like he never left. He earned the win in the unsanctioned Crate Late Model main. Tim Callahan prevailed in the Mini Stock race run under the twin banners of Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking and Ray’s Racing Collectibles. Big George Englert would not be denied the win in the Rock Concrete Modified Lites. The Precise Racing Products Stock Cars were the finale this evening, and the laurels went to Curtis J. Bish for the second time this year.