Jeremiah Bolts to 358 Win at Mercer

(Sept. 24) Eight-time 2010 Big-Block Modified winner Jeremiah Shingledecker bolted his “358” power plant under the hood and came out on top of a big field of 40 Modifieds for the 25-lap $1,000 victory. “I’ll tell ya what, in the heat race it felt like a four-cylinder compared to that big motor,” described the Polk, Pa. driver. “But we got the setup figured out by loosing up the car and the track dried out some. We took the big-block out at 11 this morning and put this in and fired it up at 2:30 this afternoon. It ran good so we’re pretty impressed to be here.”

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New York “358” invader Ron White took the early lead with Jeff Schaffer moving past Kenny Peoples, Jr. for second. Shingledecker started fifth and moved to fourth on the opening lap. On lap three, Shingledecker used the highline to pass Peoples for third off turn two and then Schaffer for second off turn four. Shingledecker quickly ran down White and drove right around the leader off turn two on lap six for what would be the winning move.

Following the event’s first caution with seven laps completed, Schaffer was able to get under White for second going down the backstretch. On lap 10, Schaffer pulled alongside Shingledecker and the two race side-by-side, while Eric Gabany passed White for third. The man on the move was 15th starting J.R. McGinley. McGinley ran the high side to perfection coming through the field and drove by Gabany on lap 13 for third. McGinley then drove by Schaffer down the backstretch for second on lap 15. McGinley looked like he may give Shingledecker a run for the money, but slipped high on lap 16 allowing Schaffer and Gabany back by.

Shingledecker though was too much as he captured his second win of the season (June 19 BRP Tour victor) and fifth of his career at Mercer in his Village Auto/Hard’s Welding/Steve’s Teez Bicknell #37MD. Schaffer and Gabany really went at it over the final 10 laps swapping second and third back and forth numerous times with Schaffer getting the spot for good on lap 23. Frank Guidace came all the way from 20th to get by McGinley on the final lap for fourth. McGinley dropped to a disappointing fifth.

White and New York’s Boyd MacTavish were sixth and seventh. Chris Haines was the top finishing big-block in eighth as Mike Stine and Dustin Martin rounded out the top 10. Only two of the eight big blocks qualified for the feature in an event that pitted 358s vs. big blocks that haven’t won in the past three years. Heat winners were Kyle Fink, Stine, Lonny Riggs, and Peoples. Ray Bliss, Jr. and Jerry Schaffer won the two B mains.

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