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Sports

Tracks celebrate holiday with special events

| Monday, July 3, 2006

The weekend is over, but that doesn't mean Independence Day celebrations have ended at local tracks.

Mercer Raceway Park and Marion Center Speedway are having holiday races. Marion Center's is tonight, and Mercer's is Tuesday. Marion Center will have a 40-lap, $3,000 to win, Late Model feature to highlight an evening that includes Strictly Stocks and 4-Cylinders. The evening will be capped by a fireworks display.

Mercer's show will feature a $1,500 to win T3 All Star Mod Series race. Also on tap will be E-Mods, Open Stocks and Strictly Stocks.

Outlaws coming to Sharon

The World of Outlaws Late Models will be at Sharon Speedway on Saturday. The series has been very close, and despite winning seven features this season, Rick Eckert is tied with Timmy McCreadie for the series points lead.

McCreadie has no feature victories this season, but he does have 12 top 10s and nine top fives. The top six in points are all within 28 points of each other, so it should be a close race. In seventh is the always dangerous Chub Frank.

On Saturday night at Stateline Speedway in New York, Dick Barton became the first local driver to win at his home track since the World of Outlaws Late Model Series was formed in 2004. Barton led all 50 laps for his first WoO victory.

The World of Outlaws Late Models will be at Lernerville Speedway on Aug. 4. Check Sharon's Web site at sharonspeedway.com for ticket information.

Super Modifieds at Jennerstown

The International Super Modified Association will be at Jennerstown Speedway on Saturday for twin 30-lap features. The Super Modifieds are great fun. The vehicles look like the car from "The Munsters," but more important, they are extremely fast.

The ISMA cars are billed as the fastest short-track cars in the world, and with good reason. Chris Perley of Rowley, Mass., holds the Jennerstown one-lap speed record with a time of 15.239 seconds. That translates to 123.32 mph.

An ISMA Modified weighs just 1,850 pounds and has a big 470 cubic-inch engine that generates about 800 horsepower. Add to that a large adjustable wing, and the cars appear to be running not just on asphalt, but with magnets.

Also on the racing card will be a Jennerstown's complete four-division weekly series program. Gates open at 2 p.m., and racing will start at 5. Visit jennerstown.com for information.

Ohio Speedweek

One of the best events of the summer used to be Western Pa. All-Star Sprint Speedweek. Unfortunately, it's no longer around. That means drivers must head to Ohio for eight very difficult nights of racing. Dale Blaney won Saturday's feature at Eldora Speedway to wrap up his fourth Ohio Speedweek championship.

Apollo's Ed Lynch Jr. and Butler's Brian Ellenberger took part Saturday. Lynch came away with a third-place finish, and Ellenberger finished 10th.

Repeats at PPMS

It was a big weekend for repeat winners Saturday at Pittsburgh's Pa. Motor Speedway.

Lou Bradich continues to have a great year in the Late Model division. Bradich won his sixth feature of the season Saturday night.

Bradich was not the only one. Mike Cecere won his third Crate Late Model feature of the year. Wayne Tessean won his fourth E-Mod feature of the year and the 62nd of his career. Jake Simmons won his third Pure Stock feature in five tries this season, and Dusty Curry won his third consecutive Young Guns feature.

The other winner Saturday was Robby Torrens in Pure Stocks, his third victory of the season.

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