Story By: CHRIS LEONE / BULLRING BASH – ATTLEBORO, MA – Stan Mertz Racing has announced that it will participate in multiple Bullring Bash Quarter Mile Challenge events in 2019 with its familiar #6 Modified.
Two-time MRS champion and 2015 Thompson Speedway Sunoco Modified champion Woody Pitkat will continue his relationship with the team for the sixth straight year, and the team will make its Bullring Bash debut at White Mountain Motorsports Park on June 16.
“It’s an exciting time—there are a lot of touring series going on right now,” said team owner Stan Mertz. “My team has been an established SK team, and we’re actually moving up into solely the Tour-Type divisions now, rather than how we spent the last four or five years at Thompson Speedway for the most part. The other thing that I like about these races is that it becomes a race of champions when you get these Tour-Types together, versus when you’re at a weekly track. The level of competition is extremely high, and (founder) Josh (Vanada) has put together a great purse, which, as a car owner, really attracts me.
“I’ve never been to White Mountain, so we’re looking forward to going there. I’ve heard a lot about it—it’s a fast little bullring, so we’re looking forward to going these small tracks where we’re going to be running the SK package, rather than the full-blown Tour-Type engine package that others may run.”
Aside from the quality of the field and purse, two things have stood out to Mertz in joining the Bullring Bash in 2019: extending the reach of Modified racing in New England, and running on short tracks where top drivers and crews are prioritized over simply horsepower.
“It’s always about expanding the fanbase, especially in the Modified realm,” he explained. “There are still a lot of areas in New England where Modifieds haven’t really been that feature division or focus. There are still a lot of full-fendered tracks out there that love their Pro Stocks and Late Models. I think, in going out there and getting into new areas, we just want to be able to race.
“I love going to the small bullrings—those are my favorites, and that’s where a lot of the power band is equalized. They’re not horsepower tracks like Thompson or Stafford, so you can take a Modified that has many different engine configurations, and they’re all equal. It all truly comes down to setup and how good your driver is.”
Behind Pitkat, Mertz’s operation will remain relatively unchanged from its previous championship-winning seasons. The team will continue to compete with a Northeast Race Cars Troyer chassis and Ashaway Performance Engines will continue to supply motors. Norm Perry will also return as crew chief.
“We’re incredibly pleased to welcome Stan Mertz Racing to the Bullring Bash Quarter Mile Challenge for 2019,” said Bullring Bash founder Josh Vanada. “I’ve known Stan for a long time, and his team has always been one of the top Modified teams anywhere they’ve raced. Having Stan and Woody as our first publicly committed competitors just shows the quality of competition we expect at our events this season!”