WOODHULL, NY – Off nights for his two other championship contenders set up a perfect opportunity for young Dillon Groover to reclaim the Insinger Performance 370 Modified points lead on Saturday night. Groover did exactly that.
Groover started fifth on the sixteen-car grid when Scott Lyon waved the green flag for twenty-five laps. Rookie Josh Keesey raced out to the lead off the drop of the green, leading up until lap nine when Groover was able to race his way by using the cushion.
Woodhull’s track crew laid a large amount of new clay during the week, opening up the opportunity for drivers to stick their right rear American Racer on a big cushion to rim-ride the top. But for many drivers, the cushion was not forgiving and made drivers use cautious aggression to not hit the cushion and bounce right over it. Groover hit it wrong once or twice setting up the pass on Keesey, but finally got it right on lap nine.
The biggest mover of the race was Dundee, NY’s Brady Fultz, who charged from his ninth starting spot to the top five on lap nine. The driver of the Troyer Race Cars, Barney Moravec Water Wells, Decoy Restaurant No. 70 then made a move for fourth at the halfway point, then broke into third on lap eighteen with seven to go.
Art Goodier had his Teo running extremely well on this night, and held Fultz off over the final seven laps after the caution bunched the field back up. Keesey held onto the fourth spot, while Brian Doolittle in the ‘Little HigFab That Could,’ completed the top five after his rebound from the sixth starting position.
Top point contenders Billy Van Pelt and Donnie Lawson did not fair out so well Saturday and lost ground to the new point leader. Lawson had to start last in the feature after an altercation in the heat race, which found him to be in the wrong place at the wrong time during several skirmishes in the feature event. Van Pelt lost power steering during the feature and had originally raced on just outside the top five, but a flat tire on lap seventeen would force his hand to end the night early.
Groover was thrilled with the win, but quite apologetic about an incident from the week before.
“I’m really sorry about last week in wrecking the leader,” Groover apologized. “I didn’t get into him on purpose, was just good, hard, fast racing. You fans come out and pay money to see good racing and that’s what we’re going to do.”
The driver out of Beaver Dams also spoke to the tricky cushion that he danced with all night long to secure the victory.
“There was a fine line between fast and broken, that’s for sure,” noted Groover. “We just tried to make the best out of the car.”
Groover now takes a slim three-point lead over Van Pelt into next week and a ten-point margin over Lawson with three point races remaining.
In what was a wild and crazy twenty-five-lap NAPA Crate Sportsman feature event, Jake Dgien said it all when he came to a stop and shut off his HigFab Chassis No. 3 in Instant Heat Wood Pellets Victory Lane.
“That was freaking nuts!”
Dgien survived a wild ordeal under caution between the race leaders and found a way past a fierce competitor in Brandon Butler, using patience and a bad fast set up under the Dgien Trucking, Kim Lattimore C.P.A. machine.
He would start in the ninth position and quietly made his way into the top five by lap nine. Up front though, Rookie Blake Lawson was putting together his best race of 2017.
Lawson, who moved into the Crate Sportsman division in 2017, had many times before chosen to start toward the back of the field or qualified in that position for the feature event. But after qualifying fourth in his heat to get his handicap starting spot, Lawson kept the pole position and showed the crowd in attendance how much seat time and veteran assistance has helped the young driver.
Lawson led laps one and two before Connor Brown took over the point on lap three. Behind Brown though, a hornets nest was forming with Mike Jackson’s No. 19J, Butler, Dgien and Dayton Brewer all in tow. Jackson solidly placed himself in the second position and made a move on Brown for the lead, but the caution would fly on lap fourteen- when all hell broke loose.
Brown and Jackson traded paint as Brown took the lead back under yellow, due to scoring going back to the last completed lap. Several events took place that would see Jackson sideways on the backstretch. When Brown came back around off turn two, Jackson’s No. 19J made heavy contact with Brown’s machine with both headed toward the infield.
Both drivers were disqualified for their own parts in the incident, with penalties slated to be announced later this week that may include fines and suspensions. Woodhull Raceway officials have procured video from multiple sources and angles, including on-track GoPro footage, to help in making educated assignments of upcoming penalties.
Once the madness had subsided, Brandon Butler was the lucky recipient of the top spot, but had a back deck full of Dgien’s front bumper. Dgien patiently looked low and tried to get runs on corner entry and exit to find a way by. Fans watched intently as there hasn’t been any love lost between these two top competitors in recent weeks.
Come lap twenty-two, Dgien had finally worked up alongside Butler and made the race-winning pass with three laps to go. A final restart that saw the green and white waved together saw Dgien streak away to his second win over Brewer, Butler, Chris Fisher in a rare Woodhull start and second-high point man Dale Welty. Point leader Stevie Hartman III had a tough night, but survived with an eighth place finish.
“That was hectic, that’s all I have to say (about that),” said Dgien. “The 16 was fast and it took awhile but I saw he was charging the corner a little hard and we finally got by.”
Dgien didn’t mince words describing the unfortunate incident that moved him into second place.
“That was totally uncalled for. You hate seeing that in the sport of racing. It is what it is and it worked out for us.”
Earlier in the night, the great folks from NAPA Auto Parts crowned King Dayton Brewer IV, as Brewer would win the fourth annual Crate Sportsman King of the Ring. Brewer had to beat out a former winner of the event in Bobby Peoples, but the youngster out of Jasper was up to the task after match racing his way through twenty-two competitors.
Kurt Stebbins made it a clean sweep for his Crate Late Model team this weekend, after winning the SWL Awards & Photos feature event and winning Friday night in Dundee. Stebbins would have to battle early race leader Darin Horton though for the top spot.
Horton, a rookie in Late Models, had his best performance of the season in leading the first five laps in the Krise-owned No. 66. Steve LeBarron would take the lead on lap six, but gave that up to Stebbins on a nifty crossover move on lap twelve.
Stebbins led the rest of the way to easily claim win number two of the year with his Late Model. LeBarron, Horton and Randy Ralyea completed the field.
The Street Stock battle for the 2017 championship is far from decided, and just might have had some gasoline thrown on it Saturday night. Dylan Cecce came into the night with a one-point edge on Teddy Morseman and five over Brett Marlatt. But after the heat races, Cecce and Morseman were tied after Morseman won their heat race over Cecce.
Morseman looked to reclaim the point lead too, as he swiftly moved past Mick Seeley to steal the lead in the Joe Willcox Performance Automatics feature on lap three. Seeley held on to the second spot until lap twelve, but behind him Cecce was mounting a charge from the ninth position.
Cecce moved into second on lap twelve and would be aided by a lap fourteen caution that put the No. 7 on the back bumper of Morseman’s No. 44. On the ensuing restart, Cecce found just enough room to get alongside Morseman entering turn three.
The two cars touched through turns three and four, with neither driver wanting to give an inch as the victor would leave the points leader. Cecce got by off turn four and could only put a car length to two car lengths over Morseman over the final five laps.
Seeley held on for a third place effort, while Brett Marlatt kept his title hopes very much alive with another top five in fourth. Dan Gardner spun on lap eleven and recovered to finish fifth over the final nine laps of the race.
Post-race, Cecce was happy to win and happy to hear the boos from his “fans.” Cecce said that because the point race is so close, the racing is going to be even closer.
“I knew if I got under him, what he was going to do. Him and I are so close (in points). If I’m under him, he’s going to drive me to the infield and if he’s under me, I’m probably going to drive him to the infield. I felt like I was there and held my line.”
When asked if the point race takes any fun out of coming out and racing every Saturday night, Cecce said it doesn’t bother him at all.
“Stevie Hartman and I had a talk today and he asked me the same question. I told him I try not to worry about it. I already have a championship, so it doesn’t mean as much to me. Winning the second one would be great, but (he’s going) for his first one at such a young age. I don’t really care either way; I’d rather win races than championships. It pays the same and seven wins pays more than a championship ever thought of paying.”
Speaking of championships, while Dylon Gleason may not be in the hunt for the Daugherty’s Auto Sales Mini Stock championship, he sure has made every case as to why he will be deserving of this season’s Rookie of the Year award. Gleason picked up career win number one on Saturday night and used patience and a never-give-up attitude to propel himself past leader Chip Warner to win in the Mini Stocks.
Gleason now trails point leader Chris Woodard by nearly two full races at sixty points, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t race to go out and be won. The youngster from Elmira stalked Warner over the last half of the race after getting by John Hand Jr. in the Buchanan No. 25 machine.
Once Gleason saw Warner having troubles in the corners, it was just a matter of where and when the driver of the Comfort Zone Heating & Air Conditioning, Daugherty’s Auto Sales & Service No. 24 was going to make his move. The move came in turn two in a well-thought out crossover move through the first turn. Gleason backed off early, got the car pointed and let ‘er eat off the second corner to take the lead and the win.
He even celebrated with donuts in the infield and a spirited roof dance. Kids, don’t try that at home.
“Thank you to everyone that helps me every week,” said an emotional Gleason. “I just took advantage of Chip missing it in the corner. I was shaking in the car.”
His first win had been coming- after a string of six top five finishes to start the point season. But some bad luck of late, set the stage for a massive comeback victory.
“The last few (weeks) we’ve been having all sorts of problems. Tonight we had the modular go bad…but look at us now. I don’t even know what to say.”
Warner held on for second over Hand Jr. Woodard put in another solid performance to finish in the fourth spot, while Jason Ketrow advanced from seventh to finish in the top five.
It was an all-Gleason kind of night, as Shawn Gleason made his way back to Instant Heat Wood Pellets Victory Lane in the Woodhull Auto Supply Front Wheel Drive division. Gleason started deep in the field in eleventh and navigated traffic the fastest, including a daring three-wide move to get into the top five on lap two.
Out front, Ryan Austin looked to have his first win of 2017 in the bag. Austin was fast early and often but when a debris caution came out on lap nine- Austin hit said debris, flattening one of his tires.
That handed the lead to Gleason, who pulled away from the field. Codie Baker got as high as second in the event, but had to hold off a fierce battle from Nate Freeland to keep the runner up position at the checkered. Matt Prescott and Austin rounded out the top five after Austin returned from the flat tire.
“The competition has gotten so much greater in this class,” said Gleason. “Ryan Austin was probably the faster car tonight, but his misfortune turned into our fortune.”
Carter Dennis continued his dominance of the Hobby Stock division, winning his ninth feature of 2017. Dennis French had his best effort at Woodhull this year to finish second, ahead of Aaron Miller and Brent Williams.
The key to Dennis’ victory was restraining the power under throttle, which French also figured out late in the going. French just figured it out a little too late to mount a challenge for the lead.
Tess Johnson and Brooke McClain went door-to-door for the lead on the last lap of the Daugherty’s Auto Sales Warrior division ten-lap feature. McClain was to the inside of Johnson and pushed high into turn three, causing Johnson to go higher yet.
Though McClain won the race to the stripe, race officials awarded the victory to Johnson after the altercation in turn three. McClain would finish second, while Austin Labar, Brody Amidon and Ronnie Dailey rounded out the top five.
But that didn’t tell the whole story of the race, as Brody Amidon was hoping to put win number two up on the garage wall at home. Amidon led the race late in the going, with a hard-charging Cole Youse coming up behind his No. 2 Mustang. Contact in turn three sent Amidon around with only two laps to go and saw Amidon and Youse restart from the tail of the field.
The 270 Micro Sprints invaded on Saturday night fourteen cars strong and put on a great battle for the win. Stone Keller made it a clean sweep of the night, winning his heat, the dash and the twenty-lap feature.
Quinn Roberts was fast and had the fans on the edge of their seats as he sliced through traffic trying to capitalize on Keller having to slow down. In the end, Keller would put a few cars in between he and Roberts and used the clean air to hold on to his lead.
A plethora of contingency prizes were awarded to the 270 Micro Sprint drivers by event organizers. Stay tuned for the 2018 schedule, as an expanded ‘small car’ event is being discussed amongst speedway staff that could include several divisions that have long waited to tame ‘New York’s Toughest Bullring.’
This coming Saturday at Woodhull Raceway is Back To School Night, with a large back pack giveaway planned for the youth racing fans in attendance Saturday night. There will also be Bus Races after the regularly scheduled program, sponsored by B&W Towing. Last year’s Bus Race was a barnburner and 2017 is likely not going to be any different.
Fans can visit Woodhull and take in the action for only a $11 general admission ticket for adults 13 and up, while senior passes and ages 8-12 are only $6. Children 7 and under are always free at Woodhull Raceway and camping is also free on the property.
It will be an exciting show featuring the 370 Modifieds, Crate Sportsman, Crate Late Models, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, Front Wheel Drives, Warriors and Hobby Stocks. Race time is set for 6:30PM.
Race fans are encouraged to sign up for the fastest alerts from Woodhull Raceway’s Rained Out Alert system by sending the text message “WoodhullAlert” to 84483, message and data rates may apply.
For more information race over to www.woodhullraceway.com, Like Woodhull Raceway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WoodhullRaceway or Follow Woodhull on Twitter @WoodhullPR.
Woodhull Raceway is located in Woodhull, NY, just 30 minutes West of Corning, NY and competes weekly on Saturday nights from mid-April through Labor Day Weekend. The track offers several special events including the Patriot Sprint Tour 360 Sprints and the Short Track Super Series Modifieds in late-August.
Woodhull Raceway SWL Awards/Pro Signs & Designs Night Results August 12th, 2017
INSINGER PERFORMANCE 370 MODIFIEDS, 16 cars (25 laps): DILLON GROOVER (3), Art Goodier, Brady Fultz, Josh Keesey, Brian Doolittle, Stacey Jackson, Brandon Martin, Grant Hilfiger, Donnie Lawson, Frank Dunning, Rusty Smith, Jeffery Daugherty, Bryce Martin, Russell Morseman, Billy Van Pelt, Bob Silvernail
H1: Rusty Smith, Josh Keesey, Art Goodier
H2: Billy Van Pelt, Brian Doolittle, Stacey Jackson
H3: Brandon Martin, Brady Fultz, Bryce Martin
NAPA CRATE SPORTSMAN, 22 cars (25 laps): JAKE DGIEN (2), Dayton Brewer, Brandon Butler, Chris Fisher, Dale Welty, AJ Costley, Tim Guild, Stevie Hartman III, Adam Taft, Tim Schram, Jordan Bacon, Blake Lawson, Ajay Potrzebowski Jr., Eric Williams, Jerry Aldrich, Bobby Peoples, Bryce Martin, Clay Wheat, John Sekoll DNS: Kirk Reynolds DQ: Connor Brown, Mike Jackson
H1: Dale Welty, Mike Jackson, Jerry Aldrich
H2: Brandon Butler, Jake Dgien, Chris Fisher
H3: Dayton Brewer, AJ Costley, Eric Williams
NAPA AUTO PARTS CRATE SPORTSMAN KING OF THE RING: DAYTON BREWER (1) over Bobby Peoples in Final Round
SWL AWARDS CRATE LATE MODELS, 4 cars, (20 laps): KURT STEBBINS (2), Steve LEBARRON, Darin Horton, Randy Ralyea
H1: Kurt Stebbins, Steve LeBarron, Darin Horton
JOE WILLCOX PERFORMANCE AUTOMATICS STREET STOCKS, 11 cars (20 laps): DYLAN CECCE (6), Teddy Morseman, Mick Seeley, Brett Marlatt, Dan Gardner, Tracy Dunn, Kurt Stebbins, Glenn Vancise, Jim Weatherley, Rich Harding DNS: Branden Morseman
H1: Brett Marlatt, Kurt Stebbins, Mick Seeley
H2: Teddy Morseman, Dylan Cecce, Dan Gardner
DAUGHERTY AUTO SALES MINI STOCKS, 18 cars (20 laps): DYLON GLEASON (1st Career Victory), Chip Warner, John Hand Jr., Chris Woodard, Jason Ketrow, JJ Kreidler, Karl Born, Rick Amidon, Scott Lehman, Corky Grant, Tyler Mack, Derrick Puryear, Alan Crooker, Chris Hand, Dillyn Dailey, Jason Warner DQ: Ron Dailey Jr., Ray Hyer
H1: JJ Kreidler, Dylon Gleason, Karl Born
H2: John Hand Jr., Jason Ketrow, Alan Crooker
H3: Corky Grant, Chip Warner, Tyler Mack
WOODHULL AUTO SUPPLY FWD, 14 cars, (20 laps): SHAWN GLEASON (6), Codie Baker, Nate Freeland, Matt Prescott, Ryan Austin, Nick Brown, Scott Lehman Jr., Todd West, Rob Gardner, Ryan Stermer, Bill Giles, Brendan Schweigart, Chris Stives, Anthony Schoonover
H1: Shawn Gleason, Matt Prescott, Ryan Stermer
H2: Codie Baker, Ryan Austin, Scott Lehman Jr.
DAUGHERTY’S AUTO SALES & SERVICE WARRIORS, 11 cars (10 laps): TESS JOHNSON (1st Career Warriors Victory), Brooke McClain, Austin Labar, Brody Amidon, Ronnie Dailey, Cole Youse, Trevor Hamilton, Garrett Wilson, Braden Buchanan, Noah Talada DNS: Gavin Pearce
HOBBY STOCKS, 5 cars (10 laps): CARTER DENNIS (9), Dennis French, Aaron Miller Brent Williams
270 MICRO SPRINTS, 14 cars (20 laps): STONE KELLER, Quinn Roberts, Jeff Weaver, Brian Marriott, Kyle Traver, Shawn Freeland, Rick Francis, Harold Heskell, Elgin Barnes, Kevin Woody, George Stymus, Chad Douglas, Aric Barnes, Gene Beadle
H1: Stone Keller, Rick Francis, Kyle Traver
H2: Quinn Roberts, Brian Marriott, Shawn Freeland
270 Wingless Exhibition Winner: JEFF WEAVER