Rex King Jr. Wins Chiller Thriller

Rex King, Jr. continued his family’s dominance of BRP Modified Tour events held at Michaels Mercer Raceway. Amazingly, the racers from Bristolville, OH have won eleven of the twenty-eight contests held at the track. “Cooter,” as he is affectionately known, now accounts for four of those triumphs, three of them coming in the annual Chiller Thriller. While this one was run in mild weather, it still paid a cool two grand.

Patriarch Rex King, Sr. was closing in for what could have been his seventh Mod Tour victory at Mercer, but a flat tire late in the race ended the generational conflict. “He was making me nervous when I saw him on the scoreboard, when he got up to second,” the winner said. “I thought that we were going thirty laps and then when they said ‘nine to go,’ I said, ‘oh, boy, here we go.’”

While King Jr. did not have to fight off his father for the win, he did have to survive a one-lap shootout with Jimmy Holden to get the win. Holden noted, “when we went out there I knew that I had a decent car, but I didn’t think we had a winner, you know.” He added, “I just thought that I’d play it slow, keep it safe, keep all four tires on it, and it turned out way better for us than I thought it would.”

Both drivers announced that they were looking forward to racing their Big Blocks at the track weekly. “I have to give a big ‘thank you’ to Edward Michaels for getting this place back open,” King Jr. commented. “You know, this is a really cool deal, and it looks like the people like it by how many people are here tonight,” he added to a thunderous response.

Joining King Jr. in celebration this night were Garrett Krummert in the Fastrack Limited Modifieds presented by Turn Four Toilet Rentals, Jacob Gomola in the 305 Sprints offered by Hards Welding and Fabrication and River Valley Butcher Block, and Todd Hanlon in the Mini Stocks racing under the twin banners of Ray’s Racing Collectibles and Eperthener’s Auto Wrecking. Vivian Jones also earned her first ever career win in the Barris Trucking Modified Lites.

King Jr. wasted no time scooting out to the lead from his pole position in the thirty-five lapper that was hosted by Diehl Ram. Lonny Riggs, a track favorite, followed closely from his second starting spot. Jim Rasey, Richard Whitney, Brad Rapp, and Jimmy Holden battled for positions in the top five. Meanwhile, King Sr. began his march toward the front from eleventh on the grid.

King Sr. cracked the top five six laps into the contest, but he was still a ways back from his son, was holding Riggs at bay. Rasey and Rapp were in a tussle for the third position at the time. A caution for Whitney on lap six allowed King Sr. to join the lead group for the restart.

King Sr. gained one position on each of the next two laps. Will Thomas also joined the fun.

With King Jr. still out front, the battle was on between Riggs and King Sr. for the second position. King Sr. finally
wrestled the runnerup spot away from Riggs on lap 12. He then set his sights on the blue 165 that was out front.
Through the middle stage of the event, the Kings led Riggs, Rapp, Thomas, Jeremiah Shingledecker, Dave Murdick, Holden, Kevin Hoffman, and Garret Krummert.

A rash of yellow fever mixed things up within the top ten as the racers began the stretch run. There were no major calamities, but the race was halted briefly so that Dave Murdick could be checked out medically following his shunt in turn two. The last shuffle of positions happened on lap 28, when Riggs and Thomas tangled and King Sr. suffered his flat tire.

Those events moved Holden up to second behind King Jr., Krummert to third, Rick Regalski to fourth, and Kyle Fink to fifth. With a new shoe on his trusty mount, King Sr. lined up at the back of the field and he picked his way through in the field in the final laps.

Although there was a one-lap dash at the end, there were no changes in the top five. Kevin Hoffman and Chris Haines diced for sixth. King could Sr. reached eighth in the final tally.

The remaining finishers, all a lap in arrears, were Shawn Fleeger, John Venuto, Max Smoker, and Shawn Kozar.

The three heats for the Big Block Modifieds went to Riggs, Shingledecker, and King Sr. There was no B Main, as track owner Ed Michaels decided to allow all 28 cars to start the feature.

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