KIRKWOOD, NY – For the majority of the 2018 Modified season at Five Mile Point Speedway Rusty Smith has had a least a share of the point championship lead despite never winning at the historic quarter mile oval. On Saturday he entered the night tied for the point lead with Brian Malcolm. Both of those things changed with Smith winning in dominating fashion on Saturday to leave him in solo possession of the point lead entering this Sunday’s Summer Slam event.
For the second consecutive week Aleia Geisler and Dan Solomon set the pace for the start of the 30 lap Modified feature event. Like the week prior it was Solomon darting out to the race lead. Things went off the rails quickly on lap one as the teams exited turn two three wide. Two cars got hooked sending several teams scattering. Nick Rochinski ultimately ended upside down along the backstretch wall entering turn 3. Remarkably, after careful handling by the track safety crew the Rochinski car was taken pit side only to return to action without losing a lap. The incident ended the nights for Brian Weaver and Glenn Knapp with P.J. Goodwin sent to the pits by track officials for the balance of the evening.
Several early race cautions slowed the pace but was not slowing the effort of Rochinski who was trying to charge from the back of the field. Up front Solomon looked strong once again as he held the point now over Travis Smith. Rusty Smith moved in to the runner-up slot on lap 7 and quickly chased down Solomon for the race lead. Once Rusty Smith caught Solomon it would be several laps of great side by side racing before Solomon eventually relinquished the race lead. Once in the lead Smith quickly opened up his advantage.
As the race hit the halfway mark the top five consisted of Smith, Solomon, Travis Smith, Shaun Walker and Mike Colsten. On lap 20 Joe Krum spun bringing out the yellow. Walker pitted at the same time with a flat tire ending his strong run. On the restart Smith opened up his lead again as Solomon and Travis Smith both battled for what was their best Modified runs to this point. The caution flew for the final time on lap 26. Smith again pulled away as the battle for second intensified. With only two laps remaining Travis Smith worked past Solomon for second as Colsten now tried to rattle the young driver for third.
At the finish Rusty Smith collected his first ever FMP Modified victory by over half a straightaway over Travis Smith. Solomon held off Colsten for third with Brian Malcolm completing the top five. Rochinski did an outstanding job to take sixth at the finish after flipping on lap 1. Brian Puckett, Alan Kellogg, Joey Colsten and Joe Krum rounded out the top ten.
Devon Zona became another first time winner in the 20 lap Crate Sportsman feature event. Zona started outside Russell Benke and immediately took the race lead at the green and led wire to wire. Eventual second place finisher Randy Fox stayed close after a lap 4 restart but Zona eventually pulled away. During the late stages twelfth place starter Alex Yankowski applied heavy pressure to Fox for second allowing Zona to open up even a greater lead. When the checkers flew it was Zona, Fox, Yankowski, Blaine Klinger and Tommy Collins completing the top five. The race was slowed by only two cautions.
Tyler Yeagle raced to his second victory of the season in the 20 lap Street Stock feature event. Yeagle took advantage of his pole starting position to led the entire distance. Ray Lindquist finished second with last weeks winner Doug Polhamus third, Eric Beach fourth and Buck Mills Sr. completing the top five. The race was slowed by only one caution as the teams have now gone 40 feature laps over two weeks with only one yellow flag.
Another first- time winner graced victory lane on Saturday in the Xcel 600 Modified feature event. Damon Henry started sixth and led all but one lap on the way to his first ever victory. A wild scramble on lap one saw outside front row polesitter Dakota Anderson out of action after hitting the backstretch wall as a result of a five wide attempt in turns one and two by the field. For Henry, the victory certainly did not come easy. Multi-time feature winner Bailey Boyd chased him down from lap 2 to the finish but was unable to work past Henry. Several caution flag periods slowed the pace. At the finish it was Henry grabbing win number one. Boyd came from twelfth to finish second. Eric Boyd finished third with Tyler Bartik charging to fourth after restarting at the rear of the field on lap 5 after being spun. Rich Christman had another solid drive for fifth.
Tucker Harpell recorded back to back wins in the Lightning Cat Expert 15 lap feature event on Saturday. Harpell too the lead on lap 9 from Josh Wilder and went on for the victory. Wilder saw his bad luck continue as he blew his motor while running second, his third lost motor of the season. Jimmy DiFulvio raced to second at the stripe with Nick Kennedy, Ken Underwood and Jake Maynard completing the top five.
The 15 lap Factory Stock feature win went to Gregg Turner. For Turner, it was his second feature win of the season. Tom Groover made several late race bids but Turner had enough to score the victory. Groover finished second with Sheldon Whitman having a great run for third. Charlie Gilbert and Justin Slezak completed the top five.
Yet another first – time winner took place in the Lightning Cat Novice feature. Cory “Downtown” Brown earned his first ever victory in the 12 lap feature.
Racing continues this Sunday at Five Mile Point Speedway with round three of the Sunday Summer Slam program. Anthony Perrego is currently two for two in the Shakelton NAPA Auto & Truck Parts Modified portion of the Summer Slam program. Racing on Sunday begins at 6 p.m.
COUNTER POINTS…It was certainly another action packed night of racing at the quarter mile oval as again car counts were strong despite the season hitting the mid-way point…Rusty Smith’s victory was very meaningful to the Smith family…Smith’s grandfather was one of the original “50 Greatest Driver’s of All-Time” at the speedway as announced in 2000…Rusty came up one lap short of a victory last season only to be sidelined on the final lap…Nick Rochinski received a standing ovation when by the crowd when he returned to the speedway after flipping on lap 1 in the Modified main…Rochinski charged back to sixth at the finish…In an ironic twist two first-time winners Devon Zona and Cory Brown both recorded their wins in front of the hometown crowd…Saturday was Montrose Community Night and both came up big in front of their local friends and family…Gregg Turner came up big in front of his large family gathering…The Turner Family came in from all over the country for a 75th surprise party for Pete Turner (Gregg’s dad)…Damon Henry’s first win was certainly emotional for him as he has chased Bailey Boyd for a good part of the season…On Saturday he was the one being chased at the stripe…$500 in randomly drawn bonuses were posted among the divisions by an anonymous fan on Saturday evening…
MODIFIED OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (30): RUSTY SMITH, Travis Smith, Dan Solomon, Mike Colsten, Brian Malcolm, Nick Rochinski, Brian Puckett, Alan Kellogg, Joey Colsten, Joe Krum, Aleia Geisler, Dave Doig Jr., Shaun Walker, Tyler Siri, Barry White, Brian Weaver, Glenn Knapp. DNS – Donnie Elliott, DQ – P.J. Goodwin
CRATE SPORTSMAN OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20): DEVON ZONA, Randy Fox, Alex Yankowski, Blaine Klinger, Tom Collins, Tanner Harpell, Leo McGurrin, Tyler Peet, Matt Brewer, Matt Cole, Tim Howell, Nate Brinker, Joe Guastella, Tom Hampton, Todd Titus, Kyle Pierce, Troy Arnold, Brad Cicio, Brian Franko, Russell Benke, Brandon Fritsch, Mary Peck, Pat Jordan.
STREET STOCK OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20): TYLER YEAGLE, Ray Lindquist, Doug Polhamus, Eric Beach, Buck Mills Sr., Steve Polhamus, Zach Mills, Jeff Emanuel, Keith Beach.
XCEL 600 MODIFIED OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20): DAMON HENRY, Bailey Boyd, Eric Boyd, Tyler Bartik, Rich Christman, Olivia Schmeltzer, Adam Mudge, Nolan Smith, John McKilligan, Dominick Amato, Chelse Beebe, Brandon Graner, James Randall, Mike Wilcha, Tyler Smith, Dakota Anderson.
XCEL JUNIOR EXCEL WINNER: JOSHUA LANDERS.
LIGHTNING CAT EXPERT OFFICIAL FEATURE (15): TUCKER HARPELL, Jimmy DiFulvio, Nick Kennedy, Kenny Underwood, Jake Maynard, Bob Kress, Mat Mather, Brian Salmini, Dave Simms, Casey McPherson, Rick Lunn, Dave Bainbridge, Greg Slater, Caleb Lacey, Josh Wilder.
FACTORY STOCK OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (15): GREGG TURNER, Tom Groover, Sheldon Whitman, Charlie Gilbert, Justin Slezak, Charlie Towner, Josh Wilbur, Matt Bowman, Andy Brigham, Kevin McDonald, Matt Millard, Steve Mower.
LIGHTNING CAT NOVICE OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (12): CORY BROWN, Randy Lane, Jason Colwell Jr., Jarrod Hislop, Bethany Bertram, John Maynard, Ashley Slater, Noah Seidel, Walter Decker, Anthony Zecchino. DNS – Mike Stark.
RANDOM BONUS WINNERS: Modifieds $100 – Joey Colsten, Crate Sportsman $100 – Alex Yankowski, Street Stocks $100 – Keith Beach, Factory Stocks $100 – Josh Wilbur, Xcel 600 Modifieds $50 – Dakota Anderson, Lightning Cat Expert $50 – Brian Salmini