By RICH VLECK
BATAVIA, NY – On a night with bonus payouts in each division and 101 cars in the pits, a host of unique storylines unfolded while six drivers secured their track championship for 2017.
Zack Carley had only made five starts in a 360 Late Models in 2017, but he made his sixth one pay off as he took the lead on lap six and never looked back to win the $2,000-to-win Russ Prentice Memorial. Carley, of Freedom, started on the outside pole but fell back in to second behind Austin Kotarski but was able to allow the top side to work in by the fifth lap, allowing him to get momentum to drive by and inherit the lead. John Zimmerman would move up to second and appeared poised to go to the top spot, but Carley had other plans in the Wais-owned No. 117 and drove away to a comfortable victory.
While Zimmerman chased Carley across the line for second, the battle for third was hotly-contested as Brian Kotarski made a last-lap bid for a podium position, but got corssed up, which allowed Mikey Wonderling, last year’s Russ Prentice Memorial Winner, to finish in third. Carl Shetler would edge out Kotarski for fourth at the line. Dave DuBois would fall back to sixth but would easily secure his seventh career division title, his sixth in a row.
Bryce Davis utilized his outside front-row starting spot to his advantage to score the win in the $2,000-to-win Terry Pangrazio Memorial.Davis, of Canisteo, led all 25 laps to claim his first win at Genesee in his third start of 2017. At times, he looked like he was in another league, pulling out to a full straightaway advantage in the first six laps of the race. After the first restart of the race, Jason Genco began to reel in Davis’ No. 94, only to find out later that the leader was saving his right rear tire to be used later. As Davis drove away, Jeremy Wonderling was on a mission from the seventh starting position, taking the third spot on a lap 13 restart from JJ Mazur with a nifty slidejob. Wonderling would sneak by Genco with under five laps remaining but run out of time and had to settle for second. Genco would cross in third, just ahead of JJ Mazur, who used his fourth place showing to secure his first track title. Alan Chapman had a solid run to complete the top five.
Ray Smith bookended the regular season with feature wins as the opening night winner drove a perfect race to win his second feature of the year. Smith, started in second, but used a lap two restart to drive around leader Matt Steffenhagen to inherit the lead and then run a steady race to hold off some fast company. Austin Susice closed on Smith midway through the race, but lost his advantage as the race wore on, allowing Andrew Smith to take second place with two laps remaining and hang on for the runner-up spot. Susice would for third, while Kyle Inman would finish in fourth. Despite fourth being his worst finish at Genesee this year, Inman easily would lock up his second consecutive track championship. Shane O’Grady had a fine run to round out the top five.
Mike Jackson was once again opportunistic in the Street Stocks, as he jumped to the lead on the second lap when the top two got together then held the field at bay for his third win of the season. Jackson, of LeRoy, fended off the challenges of Bill Kowsky and Dalton Martin to end the season on a high note. Kowsky would cross in second for the third time in the last four races while defending champion Butch Zimmerman was third. Byron Dewitt suffered a flat left front tire early in the race but would rally to finish in fourth to secure his second career division title. Morgan Dewitt rounded out the top five.
To conclude the night, Dante Mancuso was the only championship driver to also win their feature on the night. Mancuso, of Batavia, took the lead when leader Chris Leone tagged the wall on lap six and then held a healthy lead over the second half of the race from defending champion Brad Shepard to score his fourth win of the year. Eric Weis had a strong run to finish in third with youngster Cole Hicks placing fourth. Brandon Shepard would round out the top five.
In her final Bandit race, Jessica Schleede broke through to win her first feature. The Waterport driver ran the first half of the race steady in the top three, but on a lap seven restart would challenge leader Bailey Logsdon and make a nifty move to the inside to take over the top spot and then hold on to become the eighth different winner in the division this season. Logsdon would cross in second while things got jumped up on the final lap allowing Marcus Jackson to move up to third and Jessica Traxler finishing fourth to secure the division title. Rounding out the top five was early leader Adam Jackson who had to pull pitside at halfway with two flat front tires.
With the regular season now over, focus now shifts to the 1st Annual Topless Crate Nationals, featuring $3,000-to-win features for both the Sportsman as well as the Crate Late Models, plus a pair of $1,000-to-win Street Stock features. For more information, visit www.Genesee-Speedway.com.
Genesee Speedway Results: 9/2/2017-
BDK Construction and Trucking Night
Ken’s Charcoal Pits BBQ 360 Late Model Russ Prentice Memorial Feature (29 Laps)- ZACK CARLEY, John Zimmerman, Mikey Wonderling, Carl Shetler, Brian Kotarski, Dave DuBois, Wally Wade, Tom Baker, Tommy Butler, Austin Kotarski, Shawn Hazlett, Bob Bartlett, Tommy Kemp, Rich Hale (DNS).
Lap Leaders- A. Kotarski 1-4, Carley 5-29.
Heat Winners- Carley, Kemp.
2017 Champion: Dave DuBois
MHL Performance Crate Late Model Terry Pangrazio Memorial Feature (25 Laps)- BRYCE DAVIS, Jeremy Wonderling, Jason Genco, JJ Mazur, Alan Chapman, Mikey Wonderling, Jon Rivers, Steve Dixon, Beamer Guzzardi, Jason Knowles, Zack Carley, Carl Shetler, Wyatt Scott, Billy DuBois, Brad Mesler, Kyle Murray, Doug Ricotta, David Pangrazio, Val Stephens, Bruce Hordusky, TJ Downs, Jimmy Johnson.
Lap Leaders- Davis 1-25.
Heat Winners- Ricotta, Mazur, Davis.
2017 Champion: JJ Mazur
Cornerstone Eye Associates Sportsman Feature (20 Laps)- RAY SMITH, Andrew Smith, Austin Susice, Kyle Inman, Shane O’Grady, Sarah Johnson, Matt Steffenhagen, Dave Conant, Greg Myzywka, Ray Bliss, Tony Muscato, Mark Loveland, Tim Downs, Andrew Patton, Carl Inman, Mike Denning, Nate Koson, Gordy Hermanson, Ray Bliss Jr, Chuck Kuhn.
Lap Leader- Steffenhagen 1, R. Smith 2-20.
Heat Winners- Steffenhagen, Conant, A. Smith.
2017 Champion: Kyle Inman
Yasses Trucking & Construction Street Stock Feature (20 Laps)- MIKE JACKSON, Bill Kowsky, Butch Zimmerman, Byron Dewitt, Morgan Dewitt, Kenny Begnouche, Ryan Allen, Dalton Martin, Jordan Moden, Nate Arnold, Tiffany Rumsey, Rich Sepor, Tommy Cooper, Jason Babbitt, Jesse Qutermous, Roy Amadick.
Lap Leaders- Qutermous 1, Jackson 2-20.
Heat Winners- B. Dewitt, Zimmerman.
2017 Champion: Byron Dewitt
Pellegrino Auto Sales Mini Stock Feature (15 Laps)- DANTE MANCUSO, Brad Shepard, Eric Weis, Cole Hicks, Brandon Shepard, James Gayton, Lee Hicks, Steven Krwaczyk, Tony Hermanson, Scott Schleede, Jenn Galbo, Eddie Kowalczyk, Chris Leone, Dan Brumsted, Tom Urban (DNS), Ryan Allen (DNS), Donnie Clemons, Ruben Coffey (DNS), Tony Kulesza (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Brandon Shepard 1-3, Leone 4-5, Mancuso 6-15.
Heat Winners- Mancuso, Gayton, C. Hicks.
2017 Champion: Dante Mancuso
DML Sealing Bandits (12 Laps)- JESSICA SCHLEEDE, Bailey Logsdon, Marcus Jackson, Jessica Traxler, Adam Jackson, Trinity Reynolds, Olivia Coniber, Allison Dewitt, Hala Allen, Ally Rider.
Lap Leaders- A. Jackson 1-6, Logsdon 7, Schleede 8-12.
Heat Winner- A. Jackson.
2017 Champion: Jessica Traxler