Mrcer Raceway Park- Sat. 9/21/02 MERCER, PA -- Once he got out front, it was all Shane Stewart Saturday night at Mercer Raceway Park in the sixth annual All Star sprint Chuck Marsh Memorial 40 lap feature. The Bixby, OK driver earned $5,000 for...
Mrcer Raceway Park- Sat. 9/21/02
MERCER, PA -- Once he got out front, it was all Shane Stewart Saturday night at Mercer Raceway Park in the sixth annual All Star sprint Chuck Marsh Memorial 40 lap feature. The Bixby, OK driver earned $5,000 for his second series win in Junior Holbrook's Eagle chassis on Hoosier Tires. His win came over Dale Blaney and a brakeless Jeff Shepard.
"My crew gave me an awesome car tonight," Stewart recalled. "Jr. Holbrook builds our motors and they were running strong tonight. I saw Dale stick his nose under me a couple of times and it made me a little nervous, then in lapped traffic I couldn't really see where I was going. I almost crashed going into one, I couldn't see because it was so dusty and then I hit the wall going down the front straightaway. But the Good Lord was with us tonight and kept us safe."
Paul McMahan was on the pole for the feature, with Chad Kemenah alongside and Stewart and Shepard in row two. McMahan drove into the lead in the high groove at the drop of the green over Stewart and Kemenah. Stewart got beside McMahan on lap four and dove under McMahan to take the lead on lap five as Blaney was also on the move and was third after starting seventh.
Stewart kept the lead through a trio of early cautions and at the halfway point it was Stewart over Blaney, Shepard, Kemenah, McMahan and local driver Jamie Smith. As Stewart moved into lapped traffic, Shepard got by Blaney for second on lap 24. Shepard closed in on the leader in heavy traffic, but once in the clear Stewart pulled away again before lapped traffic slowed him again. Kemenah got past Blaney for third on lap 34, but Blaney retook the spot a lap later. Dean Jacobs stopped on the track on lap 36 when his car jumped out of gear bringing out the final caution of the night. For the restart it was Stewart ahead of two lapped cars, then Shepard, Blaney and Kemenah. Blaney took second a lap after the restart as Stewart pulled away to a quarter straight win when the checkered flew. Shepard held on for third ahead of Smith.
"I slipped off the back straight there and Shep got by me," Blaney recalled of his battle with Shepard at the end of the race. "I got beside Stewart coming off four one time but he saw where I was at and moved up. My only chance was in traffic and he (Stewart) worked traffic good."
"I didn't have brakes for 26 laps," Shaper revealed. "We had a rock knock off the left front line off and we didn't have brakes and were still second. We ran her off the track and Dale got by us. We'll take third with all those problems," the pilot of Denny Ashworth's Eagle concluded.
Kemenah was fifth ahead of Paul McMahan, Danny Smith and Arnie Kent. Scott Bonnell crossed the line ninth, but finished without one of his mufflers and thus was disqualified. This put John Ivy ninth and D. Jacobs tenth at the end.
In the battle for the points title, Kemenah now holds an 84 point lead over Kenny Jacobs with three races remaining. Jacobs dropped out on lap eight with engine troubles and finished 24th.
The Crown Battery heat fell to Andrew Palker, the B&B Products heat went to Lee Jacobs, the Engler Machine and Tool heat was won by Dale Blaney and the TP Wings heat fell to Rob Eyler. Greg Wilson won the United Aluminum Window Sales & Consulting B Main. Fast time by Haulmark Dash winner Kenny Jacobs at 13.292 seconds was a new track record, snapping Jerrod Hullxs 2000 mark of 13.550. Local favorite Jimmy Hawley dropped a driveline in hot laps, ending his evening.