PENN YAN, NY — Story By Race Chaser Online New York Correspondent Steven Ovens — Photo By Jeff Schneeberger — Audio By Jon Stuart — This time of year is disappointing because we know the racing season is coming to a close.
It is also fixing to be disappointing for several drivers in several divisions, at several different tracks here in New York as the regular season on dirt comes to a close. Several speedways covered by Race Chaser Online and Speed77 Radio’s Turn 5 LIVE will be coming to a close in the next 2-3 weeks including Yates County Speedway, Canandaigua Motorsports Park and the Woodhull Raceway.
Soon we will be out covering all of the Fall season big money shows that have come to be tradition here in the Northeast. But before we start looking ahead to Oswego’s Classic Weekend, US Open Weekend at Lancaster, Race of Champions Weekend at Oswego or even the Outlaw 200 Weekend at Fulton Speedway or even NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week- lets take a look at the close battles that have come to fruition at Yates County, CMP and Woodhull.
Yates County Speedway:
In the GM Crate Sportsman division, the point margin between 1st and 2nd couldn’t be any closer as we move toward this week’s event and championship night on August 29th. Casey Pavlick has just a 1 point advantage over Brady Fultz heading into this week’s racing action. Both have been a model for consistency this season as they have Top-5’ed the field to death each and every week. Both have had their nights of struggle that seems to have cancelled themselves out. It will be a two-week sprint to the championship for the Pavlick 18 and the Troyer Race Cars #70 for Fultz.
One of the more intriguing divisions this season at Yates County has been the fantastic, and sometimes wild, racing in the Greg’s Auto Body Street Stocks. Chuck Winslow had maintained the points lead for much of the season but a recent charge by last year’s track champion Jeremy Potrzebowski has found his T1 Nation ride in the lead with a 9 point lead over Winslow. In fact, 24 points separates the Top 5 which consist of Potrzebowski, Winslow, Jake Karlnoski, Nate Daggett and Rich Sharpsteen’s ‘Flyin’ X’ car. Expect more wild and crazy finishes as the end of the season approaches.
One more division to keep a close eye on is the IMCA Modifieds. This class has seen a back-and-forth battle all season long between Rich Karlnoski, Jared Spalding and Keith Lamphere. We have documented the fact that there has been no love loss between Karlnoski and Spalding that has presented itself on the track several times. With Spalding just 8 points back- expect to see Spalding put his best performances of the season in these next two weeks. Not to count out the wily veteran ‘Dick in the Dirt’ Rich Karlnoski to hold on for the track championship. Rich knows Dundee like the back of his hand and WILL play a factor in the next two weeks.
The rest of the points battles essentially come down to the points leaders putting in solid performances these last two weeks. Scott Bradley has a sizable lead in the 4-Cylinders over Jayson Smart, Chad Ayers and Chris Mashewske. The real battle will be for 2nd place here.
Brian Knowles just needs to keep putting in podium finishes over Sparky Hills and the Late Model title is his to lose. Hills has made a valiant effort in his 360 late model, but hasn’t been any match for the Crate Late Models that have had the upper hand this season. Moving forward, I’d expect wholesale changes for the Late Model division in 2015.
Darryl Ruggles has shown the way all year in the 305 Sprints and looks to have that championship pretty well wrapped up with these last two events upcoming.
In the 4-Cylinder Bandits (12-15 year olds) division the question remains- Can Allison Teed run the table and win each and every Bandit race in 2014. She has remained perfect all season long and I expect that this will not change as the year comes to a close. This will be 2 championships in a row for the driver known in the pit area as ‘Allie Cat’. She has a potent Teed Chassis Street Stock awaiting her for battle in 2015. It’s not out of the realm of possibility to even see her at the Street Stock Empire 100 in October but only time will tell.
Canandaigua Motorsports Park:
Matt Sheppard’s first season in the Heinke-Baldwin Racing 9H was a very successful one at CMP in 2014. One race this season saw Sheppard win a feature by half a track at the Checkered Flag. That midseason dominance allowed ‘Super Matt’ to take the points lead with two monster shows coming up to close the 2014 season for the CMP Big-Blocks. This week finds a regular show for the Modifieds but next week will see double features on tap as CMP will make up a rained out Modified feature that night. Sheppard currently has a 25 point lead over ‘The Hurricane’ Steve Paine.
The Sportsman division is still feeling the effects of the penalty that was served to Steve Gray when his Crate Sportsman engine was found to have illegal GM seal bolts. Once that penalty was served, Paul Guererri found himself atop the points over Dave Marcuccilli. Currently, the eldest running Guererri has a 15 point lead with 3 features left to run. The Sportsman will do double-duty this week as they make up their rained out feature as well as their regular show. Their championship will come down to the last feature next Saturday night.
The 305 Sprint division at CMP has been dominated this season by the Ruggles family. Darryl and daughter Alysha sit 1-2 atop the standings and Darryl appears to have this title locked up but there are again 3 important features left to run. If he can win it at Canandaigua that would give him the Yates County/Canandaigua sweep!
In the ‘Stefanski Stocks’ otherwise known as the Pro-Street Stocks, Pete Stefanski has been nothing short of dominant. He leads the division with an incredible 10 wins and has a 58 point advantage over Mike Welch who has 2 wins this season.
The other championship that will be decided in the next 3 weeks is the Pure Stock division. CJ Guererri was the dominant car early on in the 2014 season. But ‘Mr. Smooth’ Marc Minutolo has come on strong in the middle portion of the season with 4 wins vs. Guererri’s 5. These two have slugged it out on the racetrack and at times on social media- so this one will be fun. Guererri leads Minutolo by 18 points heading into Saturday night’s competition.
In a press release that came out today, Woodhull Raceway announcer Paul Harkenrider broke down the points titles to be won still and who has theirs pretty well in hand. Harkenrider writes:
“Billy Vanpelt is looking to pick up yet another track championship in his legendary modified career in the Insinger Performance 370 Small Block Modified’s. His four feature wins, and 13 top five finishes has put him in a comfortable lead over Eric Fisher, Stacey Jackson, Josh Nobriga, and Brady Fultz.
Glenn Writenour is also looking to add another track championship to his very impressive S&W Awards and Photos 360 Late Model career. Writenour has put his Joe Willcox Performance, RLB Trucking, Penn York Tax Company #15 in victory lane four times as well! Carl Hughes who has one feature win, coming back on June 30th, sits in second over Steve LaBarron, Mick Seeley, and Cecil Lebarron.
The NAPA Crate sportsman point battle is very tight at the top with Russ Morseman with the slight edge over Corey Costa, Chris Daugherty and AJ Costley. Morseman, the former 2x Street Stock champion is looking to pick up his first ever Crate Sportsman track title.
After finishing in second in points for a number of years in the Joe Willcox Performance Street Stocks, Brett Marlatt won his first career Track Championship in 2013, here we are again in 2014 and Marlatt is looking to pick up his second consecutive track championship. Marlatt has five feature wins in 2014 with 13 top five finishes. Jeredd Dennis sits in second with two feature wins, followed by Gary Archer, Teddy Morseman, and Trevor Tompkins.
In now only second full season of racing on dirt, Jason Gleason has mastered the high banked 1/3 mile oval in the Signs Plus Mini Stocks. Gleason has put his Comfort Zone heating and Air Conditioning #24hrs in victory lane nine times in 2014, which puts him atop the point standings over Ricky Amidon, Josh Collins, Brian Grant Sr, and John Hand Jr.
After not winning a single feature win in 2013 in the Woodhull Auto Supply Front Wheel drives, Adam DelGrosso has certainly made up for it finding himself in victory lane four times, and the point leader over Matt Prescott, Wes Houghtalin, Jake McConnell and Nate Freeland.”
Woodhull Raceway Audio- August 9th, 2014
Turn 5 LIVE correspondent and racing enthusiast Jon Stuart took the Turn 5 recorder out to the Woodhull Raceway on August 9th and was able to procure these great interviews. Due to the significance of the accident that took place at Canandaigua, we didn’t get to release these audio clips. However, we are thrilled to be able to share them now.
Late Model competitor Mike Wonderling Sr
Crate Late Model driver Brian Knowles
Modified driver Brady Fultz from Dundee, NY
Street Stock front-runner Brett Marlatt
Late Model competitor Buck Payne
Late Model competitor Doug Gavette
Crate Sportsman driver and Street Stock chassis builder Russ Morseman
Crate Sportsman driver Casey Pavlick