Smith Edges Spithaler in Buckeye Machine BOSS Thriller at Mercer
In what is apparently becoming the new BOSS trend, a second photo finish just 2 weeks apart was required to determine the feature winner Saturday night at Mercer Raceway Park. The tour's fifth event of the 2014 campaign found a strong 29 cars signed in to do battle on the scenic Mercer oval. When the dust settled, it was inaugural Buckeye Machine BOSS champion, Dustin Smith of Russiaville, Indiana who picked up the accolades. Dustin became the first winner of 2014 to be on all American Racer tires as he led an all-American Racer 1-2 sweep.
Preliminary heat race events were won by local favorite Arnie Kent, Brandon Spithaler, defending series champ Tony Beaber, and Aaron Middaugh. The 10 lap B-Main saw non wing rookie driver Andy Feil score an impressive victory. Feil then parlayed that run into the feature where he earned the Bridge Restaurant "Hard Charger Award" by moving from 17th to a 9th place finish. Charlie Cornelius was the charger of the B-Main coming from 12th to 5th to barely miss the big dance, however he was awarded with the Lynn Cook "Hard Luck Award".
The main event found "Superman" Arnie Kent and the "Hustlin' Hoosier" Dustin Smith on the front row. The initial start saw Kent shoot to the early lead, however, the log jam start found Bob McMillin getting turned around necessitating a complete restart. On the second start, Smith apparently was more prepared as he beat Kent to the first corner to snare the lead, one that he would never relinquish. However, this was not indicative of the quality of the race as the Evans City Earth Mover, Brandon Spithaler was all over the track and sometimes off the track showering spectators with clay as he battled up to the rear bumper of Smith. Spithaler's multiple wheelies and dramatic flair would earn him the McMillin Apiaries "Sweet Move of the Night" Award.
The race's only caution flew on lap 7 when the #16 car of Gary Rankin coasted to a stop. Once back under green the laps clicked away quickly and the crowd rose to their feet as Spithaler found momentum at the very top edge of the track and made a run at the finish that saw Smith edge him by 0.014 seconds to take the victory. Following Smith and Spithaler was Arnie Kent in third with the Magic Man Mike Miller again appearing from deep in the pack to another top finish coming home 4th and stretching his newfound points lead. Tied for the most all time feature wins is Jack Sodeman Jr who came home 5th just in front of BOSS regulars Tony Beaber and Aaron Middaugh. Rounding out the top 10 were Brandon Matus, Andy Feil and Chad Wilson.
Johnny Beaber won the Hochstetler Trucking "Steel Block Award" for being the highest finisher in the main with an iron engine as he finished 12th. Scott Hardman won the Rusty and Cappi McClure "Lucky Pill Draw" for the night. Race winner Dustin Smith won the American Racer Tire Award and Arnie Kent won the Hoosier Tire Bonus Award.
Up next for the Buckeye Machine BOSS sprints is Saturday, June 7th when the series visits the historic Lawrenceburg Speedway in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Mike Miller will roll into town with the points lead over Michael Fischesser, however, the Dearborn County Fairgrounds oval is Fischesser's home track. Dustin Smith, Brandon Spithaler, and Tony Beaber have all righted their ships and now appear to be serious title contenders as we enter the heart of the season. Watch for exciting details concerning the June 7th event!
Event #5 of 16
Mercer Raceway Park - 5/24/2014
Buckeye Machine B.O.S.S 410 Sprints (29 Cars)
Heat 1 - Burdette Builders (Sunman, IN): (8 Laps - Top 4 transfer to the A-feature)
1. 18-Arnie Kent ; 2. 82-Mike Miller ; 3. 5x-Gale Ruth Jr. ; 4. 5-Bob McMillin ; 5. 16-Gary Rankin ; 6. 6-Sheila Rankin ; 7. 9-Brandon Cornelius ; 8. 2s-Francis Sesco
Heat 2 - Lias Tire / American Racer (Indiana, PA): (8 Laps - Top 4 transfer to the A-feature)
1.57B-Brandon Spithaler ; 2. 23Jr-Jack Sodeman Jr. ; 3. 3J-Johnny Beaber ; 4. 24M-Adam Miller ; 5. 08-Andy Feil ; 6. 33-Brent Matus ; 7. 53-Steve Little
Heat 3 - Precise Racing/Hoosier Tire: (8 Laps - Top 4 transfer to the A-feature)
1. 3T-Tony Beaber ; 2. 13-Brandon Matus ; 3. 14-Chad Wilson ; 4. 4-Michael Fischesser ; 5. 31-Chuck Wilson ; 6. 76-Davey Jones ; 7. 79-Johnny McCracken Jr.
Heat 4 - Buckeye Machine & Fab (Forest, OH): (8 Laps - Top 4 transfer to the A-feature)
1. 91x-Aaron Middaugh ; 2. 77-Dustin Smith ; 3. 32M-Derek Hastings ; 4. 97-Scott Hardman ; 5. 1R-Gale Ruth Sr. ; 6. 3-Joe Butera ; 7. X-Charlie Cornelius
B-Main - Superior Tank & Trailer: (10 Laps - Top 4 transfer to the A-feature)
1. 08-Andy Feil ; 2. 16-Gary Rankin ; 3. 31-Chuck Wilson ; 4. 1R-Gale Ruth Sr. ; 5. X-Charlie Cornelius ; 6. 76-Davey Jones ; 7. 3-Joe Butera ; 8. 2s-Francis Sesco ; 9. 53-Steve Little ; 10. 9-Brandon Cornelius ; 11. 79-John McCracken ; 12. 6-Sheila Rankin ; 13. 33-Brent Matus
A-Main - (25 Laps)
1. 77-Dustin Smith; 2. 57B-Brandon Spithaler; 3. 18-Arnie Kent; 4. 82-Mike Miller; 5. 32Jr-Jack Sodeman Jr.; 6. 3T-Tony Beaber; 7. 91x-Aaron Middaugh; 8. 13-Brandon Matus; 9. 08-Andy Feil; 10. 14-Chad Wilson; 11. 5x-Gale Ruth Jr.; 12. 3J-Johnny Beaber; 13. 4-Michael Fischesser; 14. 32M-Derek Hastings; 15. 31-Chuck Wilson; 16. 24M-Adam Miller; 17. 5-Bob McMillin; 18. 1R-Gale Ruth Sr.; 19. 97-Scott Hardman; 20. 16-Gary Rankin
Bonus Award Winners:
The Bridge Restaurant of Sidney, OH - "Hard Charger" - Andy Feil (+8) - $50
Hochstetler Truck & Repair of Ashland, OH - "Steel Block Award" - Johnny Beaber - $50
Lynn Cook "a racer's friend" of Dayton, OH - "Hard Luck Award" - Charlie Cornelius - $50
McMillin Apiaries of Wampum, PA - "Sweet Move of the Race" - Brandon Spithlaer - $25 and a Jar of Honey
Rusty & Cap McClure of Ashland, OH - "Lucky Pill Draw" - Scott Hardman - Free Pit Pass/Hot Dogs for Crew
Lias Tire of Indiana, PA - "American Racer Bonus Award" - Dustin Smith - Free Tire
Hoosier Tire Midwest - "Hoosier Tire Bonus Award" - Arnie Kent - Free Tire