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Dustin Smith Edges Out Brandon Spithaler for BOSS series win at Mercer

Mercer BOSS Winner Dustin Smith

In a photo finish Dustin Smith captured his first Buckeye Machine BOSS wingless series win of the season Saturday night at Mercer Raceway Park.

Smith found himself in a drag race to the line with Brandon Spithaler and beat him to the to the checkered flag by .014 seconds.

“I had no clue he was that close to me, because he hadn’t shown the nose to me the whole race,” Smith said. “I knew he would be coming though, because he runs so good here with out the wing on. I thought we had it though, but I saw his wheel to my right side as we crossed the line.”

Arnie Kent and Smith brought the field to green for the 25 lap main event. Smith got the advantage on the start, but Bob McMillin spun on the front stretch to bring out the caution.

On the restart Smith again got to the lead and was able to pull out to a comfortable margin. Meanwhile behind him Spithaler and Kent were in a heated battle for second. They continued to battle hard swapping the spot a couple of times until Gary Rankin slowed to a stop in turn one on lap seven.

Smith would pull away again when the green flag flew, while Kent and Spithaler renewed their heated battle for the runner up spot. Spithaler lost his brakes about halfway through the race and Kent was able to get by to secure second for the time being.

“There were no rear brake pads on my car and all the fluid was gone too,” Spithaler said. “I slowed up a little bit and Arnie got by me. Then I just decided to go for the win and hope I don’t hurt anything on the car.”

Spithaler certainly went for it as he used the outside line to pass Kent in lapped traffic with five laps left and then set his sights on Smith. Coming the white flag Spithaler was a car length behind Smith and rocketed to the outside to pull closer to the Kokomo, Indiana native as they came out of turn four ultimately ending in that photo finish.

“I gotta congratulate Dustin,” Spithaler said. “He ran a great race tonight. I didn’t know who won. I knew it was very close.”

Kent ended up third and was the highest finishing local that doesn’t follow the full BOSS tour. Friday night winner at Raceway 7 Mike Miller finished fourth and Jack Sodeman, Jr rounded out the top five.

For Smith it was his third career BOSS victory. The two previous were at Wayne County Speedway. It was a nice momentum boost for what had been a tough start to the season.

“I am real happy to get a win tonight for my friends on the crew who’ve been helping me out,” Smith said. “I have run good here the past few years. I had a third and a fourth here before.”

Kent, Spithaler, Tony Beaber and Aaron Middaugh won the heat races and 305 Outlaw Sprint Warrior regular Andy Feil won the B Main in just his second career 410 start. Feil was also the hard charger moving from his 17th starting spot in the main up to eighth.

The 358 modifieds were the first feature in the program with JR McGinley and Jimmy Holden on the front row. Holden got the lead early. He was able to keep it the whole way as he diced his way through lapped traffic and held of Gary Smoker to pick up the win. Kyle Fink finished third followed by, McGinley, and 12th starting Eric Gabany.

Shawn Fleeger and Gabany won the heat races.

Jim Morris survived a few cautions and was able to pick up the win in the Outlaw Sprint Warrior division. Morris was able to hold off 12th starting Michael Bauer who was looking for his third straight win.  George Hobaugh, Feil and CJ Jones rounded out the top five.

Mike Miller and Bauer picked up the heat wins.

Pat Fielding Poses in Victory Lane with Track Owner Bill Altman

Pat Fielding was able to pick up the feature win in the stock class, his first of 2014. Leigh Wheeler, and Rusty Moore completed the podium.

Caleb Hickcok made a late race pass on Tim Callahan to win the mini stock feature to complete the program.

There will be Truck and Tractor pulls at the speedway tomorrow and next Saturday the 360 Patriot Sprint Tour will make its way to Mercer.

BOSS Sprint Series Results
1. (2)   77     Dustin Smith, Kokomo, IN
2. (3)   57b   Brandon Spithaler, Evans City, PA
3. (1)   18     Arnie Kent, Mercer, PA
4. (7)   82     Mike Miller, Wapakoneta, OH
5. (6)   23jr   Jack Sodeman, Jr, North Jackson, OH
6. (8)   3t      Tony Beaber, Gibonsburg, OH
7. (4)   91x   Aaron Middaugh, Polk, OH
8. (5)   13     Brandon Matus, Wampum, PA
9. (17)  08    Andy Feil, New Castle, PA
10. (11) 14   Chad Wilson, Toledo, OH
11. (9)   5x   Gale Ruth, Jr, Pleasantville, PA
12. (10) 3j    Johnny Beaber, Gibonsburg, OH
13. (15) 4     Michael Fischesser, Cincinnati, OH
14. (12) 32m Derek Hastings, Forest, OH
15. (19) 31    Chuck Wilson, Perrysburg, OH
16. (14) 24m  Adam Miller, McDonald, PA
17. (13) 5       Bob McMillin, Wampum, PA
18. (20) 1r      Gale Ruth, Sr, Pleasantville, PA
19. (16) 97     Scott Hardman
20. (18) 16     Gary Rankin, Renfrew, PA
Lap Leaders- Smith 1-30
Heat Winners- Kent, Spithaler, Beaber, Middaugh
B Main Winner- Andy Feil



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