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Topic: Steel Block Bandits Results from Thunder Valley, PA Email this topic to a friend | Subscribe to this TopicReport this Topic to Moderator
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May 31, 2011 at 08:57:23 AM
Joined: 06/21/2010
Posts: 31

D&D Auto Recycling Steel Block Bandits
May 28, 2011
Thunder Valley Raceway
Central City, PA
Round 4

Memorial Day weekend is one of the biggest racing weekend’s in the US, and the Steel Block Bandits were no different with a big show as they headed to western PA to compete in a 35 lap main event as part of Thunder Valley Raceway’s Windmill 100 weekend, a name that pays homage to the large windmill turbines visible in the mountains that make a breathtaking view on the backstretch. Originally tapped as the first of a two race weekend along with a $4,011 to win main event Sunday the 29th at Central Pennsylvania Speedway, became a stand alone event when Central Pennsylvania Speedway shuttered for the season a couple weeks ago.

21 cars entered the event, along with a strong contingent of 15 Steel Block Bandit member drivers. Two heat events were held with Sean Merkel of Gilbertsville, PA and Rick Singleton of Hesston, PA took those events. Notable during the heat events was a troublesome start to the evening by Walker Arthur who came into the event with the points lead, after a couple incidents Arthur would fall out of the heat race putting him towards the back of the main event.

The main event rolled to a quick start with Rick Singleton assuming the early lead over Kyle Merkel who took the second slot ahead of DJ Troutman and Sean Merkel. Singleton would pull a couple carlength length in the early laps over Merkel but by lap twelve Merkel found himself right on Singleton’s tail with Troutman ready to pounce if the two leaders made a mistake. 2009 Bandit’s champion Kristian Looney would then run into trouble in turn four and spin to a stop with damage to the rear axle, during the caution period leader Singleton would also fall out of the main event with a broken shock leaving the lead to Kyle Merkel who was looking for his first Bandit’s win of the season.

The green flag would return to the field and what would follow would be a clean 13 lap segment of racing that saw Kyle Merkel steadily pull away from the rest of the field, meanwhile Walker Arthur was moving up through the field almost stealthily and would pick his way into the top ten during the middle stages of the main. The second caution would fall for a slowing Rance Garlock allowing Troutman to close back in on Merkel. The green flag would fly again though this would be shortlived when Bo Feathers(driving his son’s car) and Matt Howsare would get together in turn four with Howsare slowing to a stop with just seven laps to go.

The final seven laps would see Kyle Merkel again assume a strong lead as the battle from fifth to seventh would heat up with Booper Bare fighting to keep a hold of his race long fifth position as Feathers and Arthur would battle to attempt to take it from him. The checkered flag would fly as Kyle Merkel took the $2,000 check and his first main event victory of the season, the Gilbertsville, PA driver has represented the Keystone State well having now won two of the three events the Steel Block Bandits have held in Pennsylvania. DJ Troutman would take the second spot over Sean Merkel, brother of the winning driver, Matt Cosner would take the fourth spot while Booper Bare would hold onto the fifth spot. Walker Arthur picked up the Muddslinger Web Services Hard Charger Award with the sixth spot, Bo Feathers, Matthew Emerick, Matt Sponaugle, and Rick Hulson would round out the top ten.

Also taking race awards were Kyle Merkel who was the Glory Day’s Grill Young Bandit, and his crew would also take the RJ Custom Homes Top Crew award. Rick Singleton would take the Lazer Chassis move of the Race award on lap one.

The D&D Auto Recycling Steel Block Bandits have a two race weekend this coming weekend, Friday night June 3rd sees the Bandits at the Eastside Speedway in Waynesboro, VA, the tour then heads down I-81 to the Natural Bridge Speedway for the second annual Dana Dove Memorial on Saturday night.

D&D Auto Recycling Steel Block Bandits
Thunder Valley Raceway
May 28, 2011 – Round 4
1. 117 Kyle Merkel
2. 7 D.J. Troutman
3. 118 Sean Merkel
4. 66C Matt Cosner
5. 83 Booper Bare
6. 87 Walker Arthur
7. 27 Bo Feathers
8. 85 Matthew Emerick
9. 8 Matt Sponaugle
10. 18H Rick Hulson
11. 39 Tim Smith, Jr.
12. 5 Wes Bonebrake
13. 8L Joe Leavell
14. 5H Matt Howsare
15. 19 Rance Garlock
16. 9Q Kristian Looney
17. 99 Rick Singleton
18. 10C Ryan Christoff
19. 66 Don Woodruff
DNS: Robbie Black 01, Bill Burns 69
Lap Leaders: Rick Singleton 1 – 12, Kyle Merkel 13 – 35
Cautions: 3(lap 12, 25, 28)

Heat 1: SEAN MERKEL, Matt Cosner, Matthew Emerick, Matt Howsare, Wes Bonebrake, Tim Smith, Jr., Rick Hulson, Ryan Christoff, Robbie Black DNS: Bill Burns, Don Woodruff

Heat 2: RICK SINGLETON, Kyle Merkel, DJ Troutman, Booper Bare, Matt Sponaugle, Bo Feathers, Joe Leavell, Kristian Looney, Rance Garlock, Walker Arthur


Special thanks to the following: Market America, D&D Auto Recycling, Ernie D’s Enterprises, Glory Days Grill, Cecil B. Arthur General Contractors, Bernheisel Race Components & Lazer Chassis, WRT & Cliff Dove Motorsports Photography, Revolution Band, Muddslinger Web Services, Walrus Signs & Embroidery, Hoosier Tires, Advanced Race Wear, Crims Trailer Sales, Area Auto Racing News, In the Pits Radio 106.7 The Fan, Go Fast Be Safe, Handy Dans Landscaping, Cline Construction, All About Doors, Merkel Rebar, ARC Race Cars, Cecil B. Arthur Bucking Bulls & Beef Farm and Omps Garage.


Erica Miller
Marketing/PR/Special Event Coordinator
Steel Block Bandits
"The REAL men of Steel"

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