WOODHULL, NY – Glenn Whritenour finally slayed the dragon he had been waiting 364 days to conquer.
Whritenour had to painfully watch Kurt Stebbins celebrate victory in the 2016 edition of the Woodhull 100. But he was back for revenge in 2017, and not even Stebbins leading 92 of the scheduled 100 laps was going to let Whritenour let another one get away.
Entering the 2017 season, Whritenour had two races circled boldly on his calendar- the Woodhull 100 and the Empire 100. After Saturday night, he’s now 1-for-1 and setting his sights on becoming only the second driver to sweep the 100-lappers…a record he has the chance to share with Stebbins (2016).
Jon Carpenter and the winner of the very first Woodhull 100, Gene Balmer, won the Top 12 Dashes and would lead the field to Scott Lyon’s double green flags. Stebbins did not waste any time starting third, as he made a bold move on the backstretch to take the lead and would lead lap one.
The early stages of the race was marred by cautions as twenty-six cars took the green flag on the tight one-third-mile bullring at Woodhull. Joe Willcox Performance Automatics sponsored the night’s action and a massive effort was put in by the Stuart family to raise over $5,000 in cash, certificates and contingency prizes for the event.
Woodhull regular Brett Marlatt had to qualify for the race by winning the consi, but would slice his way through the field to compete for a top five spot by the race’s halfway mark. Stebbins controlled the race out front, but Whritenour found himself racing within the top five and logging laps by time the lap 50 break came about.
Two favorites coming into the night, Dylan Cecce and Teddy Morseman, seemed to find trouble throughout the night and not necessarily of their own doing. Cecce had to come from the back twice after getting caught up in spins, and Morseman fought what was reported as a broken shock and a flat tire which required multiple pit stops to repair.
One driver who had a great showing Saturday night was Dan Gardner. Gardner raced in the top five and even battled as high as third before the halfway break. But overheating issues ended his night just after the lap 50 break.
None of the top five drivers took tires during the ten minute red flag pit stop, leaving the running order essentially unchanged. Whritenour actually noted after the race that the tires wore more than he anticipated in the first fifty laps, even with all of the caution flags and lack of long, green flag runs. But he wasn’t giving up the track position!
Once the green flag was displayed after halfway, Stebbins continued to control the event with Whritenour right on his tail a car length behind. Earl Zimmer did exactly what he has historically done in these 100-lap affairs- run within the top five late in the event and be in striking distance. Balmer raced within the top five as well, as Marlatt and Cecce were slicing and dicing their way into the top five.
But the battle was up front. Whritenour spent the last twenty laps after a restart setting up Stebbins, who had clearly developed a push in turns one and two. This opened the door for Whritenour, who took the lead on lap 93 just as a yellow flag was displayed.
Stebbins and Whritenour raced hard, but clean, over the last seven laps but it was far from a two-car race for the win. Marlatt got a tremendous restart with seven to go and quickly made his way into the runner up spot. But after a couple failed attempts at passes on Whritenour, Stebbins got back by.
On the final lap, Stebbins looked like he had Whritenour set up for a photo finish. But Stebbins washed up in three and four, Whritenour hit the corner perfect and Marlatt got by Stebbins in turn four to finish second.
Whritenour claimed his first 100-lap victory and became the third different driver in three tries to win the Woodhull 100. Marlatt charged from 21st to second and Stebbins led 92 laps only to finish third. Earl Zimmer was a solid fourth and collected a good deal of lap money and Cecce used up his stuff getting back to finish in the top five.
“During the halfway break, I let about half of the air out of these tires because that’s where I made my mistake last year,” said a reflective Whritenour in Instant Heat Wood Pellets Victory Lane.
The question was, what was the difference this year?
“Just me and Kurt swapping spots tonight was the main difference. It’s been an uphill battle with this car all year long. Hats off to Ted and Brandi and the track crew, this track was perfect tonight. We hope we can go on now to sweep (at the Empire 100).”
Brett Marlatt, for the third time in his career in 100-lap races, raced his way from winning the consi to finish on the podium.
“I’m just glad we found out what was wrong with it in the heat. I was trying to be patiently aggressive and save the tires. This run here was better than not finishing and being on the trailer.”
Kurt Stebbins was disappointed for sure, and had to be left wondering what could have been his fourth victory in 100-lap Street Stock events.
“It was a good race, Glenn and me ran some good hard laps together. The car was a little bit tight, which made me have to throw the car in the corner a little bit different.”
In all, $5,440 in cash, certificates and contingencies were handed out to 19 of the 26 drivers that took the green flag on Saturday night. Lap money totals ranging from $20 to Marlatt’s $785- which included the $300 Gambler Pot, as Marlatt was the first paid gambler to cross the line.
Dayton Brewer and Bobby Peoples put on a show in the 30-lap Crate Sportsman feature event. This event was just a final tune up for this coming weekend’s $800-to-win and $1,000-to-win races on tap Friday and Saturday night.
With his cousin Kenny Jr. helping out in the announcer’s booth with color commentary, Peoples gave Brewer an incredible battle for the lead. Brewer was up to the task though, in getting the win in a car that had a for sale sign prominently displayed on the quarter panel. A car that carried Brewer through a season that included multiple trips to Victory Lane.
The Hobby Stock special for Saturday night saw Greg Young wheel the blue and white No. 21 out of the Williams stable to a dominating performance in capturing the checkered flag.
Tough nights ended early for 2017 track champion Carter Dennis and Allison Pierce, fresh off her recent trip to Boone, IA for the IMCA SuperNationals with her BFR No. 54. Dennis got caught up in a jingle that happened in front of him, that killed the right front suspension. Pierce did a great job avoiding a spin in front of her, but a trip through the ditch and turn one infield took out the radiator in her machine.
Once back under green, the No. 21 of Young and the No. 12 of Bill Williams dominated the competition. Williams had a problem on the last lap that laid a massive amount of fluid around the third-mile track. Young celebrated the win with a happy crew in Victory Lane.
There was some excitement in the Open Mini Stock division at the finish, with a severely crashed car sitting against the wall as the winner on Saturday night. Doug Colton had an eventful race, making his way to the front to battle for the lead in the closing laps.
As Colton, driving a car that is a regular at The Hill Speedway with Colton who won a race at Woodhull ten years ago, went to make the race-winning pass the second place car took exception to Colton’s pass and made a hard left turn into Colton’s right rear quarter. Colton went careening into the outside concrete wall head-on, but all while crossing the double checkered flags first.
Colton’s No. 36x came to rest just past the flag stand and was heavily damaged. Victory Lane was held right where Colton’s car came to rest.
Ryan Austin held on for dear life as his car bounced up and down the cushion in the Front Wheel Drive 20-lap feature event. Austin wasn’t going to let a rough cushion deter him from driving right through it lap after lap to drive away to victory.
Early race leader Shawn Gleason was fast and consistent on the bottom lane, and for awhile looked like he would be the guy to beat on this night. But Austin was racing on the ragged edge up top and used that momentum to swing by Gleason to take the lead and eventually the race win.
This coming weekend at Woodhull Raceway is the annual Bullring Challenge Weekend presented by Costy Energy Services. Friday and Saturday will each feature four classes of incredible dirt track action to one more time feed fans’ appetites at “New York’s Toughest Bullring.”
Friday night’s action kicks off at 7:00PM with a Grit Series Qualifier for the Crate Sportsman paying $800-to-win. Crate Late Models, Street Stocks and Open Four Cylinders (RWD/FWD) will fill out Friday’s card. General Admission Friday will be $12.
Saturday September 30 will see the Big Block/Small Block Modifieds race for $3,000-to-win for 40 laps. Weight will be 2,400 pounds across the board and any tire 92” or less will be allowed. They will be joined by the American Racer Grit Racing Series for a $1,000-to-win show, along with Open Street Stocks and Open Four Cylinders (RWD/FWD). General Admission Saturday is $15 with a 5:30PM start time.
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.
Joe Willcox Performance Automatics Night Official Results September 23rd, 2017
CRATE SPORTSMAN, 15 cars (30 laps): DAYTON BREWER, Bobby Peoples, Josh Keesey, Ray Smith, Daryl Krebs, Kinser Hill, Ajay Potrzebowski Jr., Kirk Reynolds, John Agnew, Clay Wheat, Cole Youse, Bryce Martin, Jake Dgien, Dave Richmond DQ: AJ Costley
H1: Josh Keesey, Bryce Martin, Dayton Brewer
H2: Bobby Peoples, Jake Dgien, Ajay Potrzebowski Jr.
FIGHT NIGHT SERIES STREET STOCKS, 32 cars (100 laps): GLENN WHRITENOUR, Brett Marlatt, Kurt Stebbins, Earl Zimmer, Dylan Cecce, Dave Matwiejow, Shane Wolf Jr., Buck Payne, Jared Hill, Jon Carpenter, Gene Balmer, Tracy Dunn, Jayson Smart, Branden Morseman, Quinn Sutherland, Teddy Morseman, Gene Sharpsteen, Shawn Boynton, Dan Gardner, Mike Wilbur, Butch Green, Trevor Dudley, Jerry Lubdell Jr., Zane King Jr., Jeredd Dennis DNS: Lance Albanese DQ: Matt Hamilton
Did Not Qualify: Bill Giles, John Burritt, Dan Force, Nick Robinson
Woodhull Raceway Provisional: Dylan Cecce
Fight Night Series Provisional: Lance Albanese
H1: Shawn Boynton, Dan Gardener, Jon Carpenter, Jared Hill, Shane Wolf Jr.
H2: Glenn Whritenour, Jerry Lubdell Jr., Buck Payne, Trevor Dudley, Jeredd Dennis
H3: Kurt Stebbins, Teddy Morseman, Branden Morseman, Matt Hamilton, Tracy Dunn
H4: Butch Green, Earl Zimmer, Gene Balmer, Mike Wilbur, Quinn Sutherland
TOP 12 DASH #1: Jon Carpenter, Kurt Stebbins, Teddy Morseman, Dan Gardner, Branden Morseman, Shawn Boynton
TOP 12 DASH #2: Gene Balmer, Earl Zimmer, Butch Green, Glenn Whritenour, Buck Payne, Jerry Lubdell Jr.
HOBBY STOCKS, 10 cars (30 laps): GREG YOUNG, Aaron Miller, Joe Birdsall, Dennis French, Billy Williams, Ed Goins, Brady Simpson, Cliff Miller, Allison Pierce, Carter Dennis
H1: Dennis French, Greg Young, Allison Pierce
H2: Aaron Miller, Carter Dennis, Cliff Miller
OPEN MINI STOCKS, 14 cars (20 laps): DOUG COLTON, Keith Shay, Justin Ladye, Mike Navone, Brian Grant, Karl Born, Wayne Shillingburg, Danielle Thomas, Chris Hand, Jeff Stone, Larry Colton, Chip Warner, Noah Talada, Donnie Clemons
H1: Donnie Clemons, Keith Shay, Justin Ladye
H2: Larry Colton, Chip Warner, Karl Born
OPEN FRONT WHEEL DRIVES, 6 cars (20 laps): RYAN AUSTIN, Shawn Gleason, Nate Freeland, Nick Brown, Ali Stebbins, Carl LeBarron
H1: Ryan Austin, Shawn Gleason, Nate Freeland