Afton, NY – The much maligned Afton Motorsports Park racing surface, which has been accused of being one groove a majority of the year showed a new face on Friday night, multiple grooves to race in. The racers took advantage of the racing surface to put on the most entertaining show of the year on The Trophy Guy night.
Jeremy Smith won his first ZMK Construction Modified feature of the year after starting fifth. Smith found the top side to his liking as he passed a strong running Jeff Sheeley for the lead on a lap six restart and go on to win the feature. Ninth place starting Brett Tonkin finished second with Rusty Smith in third, Paul Jensen in fourth, and Sheeley in fifth.
Using a motor that sat in the corner of the garage for nearly a year Dan Burman had to put that motor to use after blowing his primary engine a few weeks ago. Burman won his second consecutive feature in the Chambers & O’ Hara Open Sportsman division after starting ninth. Burman passed race long leader Tyler Hart with two laps to go to win his third feature of the year, Bill Deckleman, Skip Pickwick, and Dennis Clapperton rounded out the top five.
The score sheets indicate that Aaron Shelton led every lap of the Butler Auto Sales Crate Sportsman feature, but it wasn’t as easy as it seemed. Shelton had to hold off the relentless challenges of Bobby Flood at first and Corey Cormier at the end. When this highly competitive feature was over with Shelton won his first of the year with sixth place starting Flood in second, ninth place starting Cormier in third, AJ Miller in fourth and tenth place starting Smith in fifth.
Beau Ballard dominated The Trophy Guy IMCA Modified feature for his first win of the year. Last weeks feature winner Tyler Stoddard ended up second with his team mate Bill Nichols in third, Jake Maynard recovered from a flat tire to end up fourth and Lenny Miller was fifth.
The winning beat goes on for Butch Green in the Rinker Insurance Agency Street Stock division as he won his eighth feature of the year. On this night Dave Cronk made Green work very hard for it as the duo raced side by side for 11 consecutive laps before Green found enough bite to get past Cronk for the lead on lap 13 and pull away for the win. Cronk held off ninth place starting Dustin Harris for second with newcomer Matt Spencer in fourth and Jonathon Fowlston in fifth.
Bob Crandall won his second Four Cylinder Truck feature of the year as he held off his team mate Ralph Cuozzo over the final portions of the race to grab the win, Brandon Loucks nipped Trey Palmer at the line for third with Kyle Lanfair in fifth.
Jeff Sheeley and Tim Mayne brought the 30 lap Modified feature to green with Sheeley grabbing the lead over Paul Jensen, Mayne, Jeremy Smith, and JR Hurlburt.
A trio of drivers were on the move early in the feature with Smith taking third on lap two and into second on lap five. Meanwhile ninth place starting Brett Tonkin has found the quick setup for the Afton track and he moved into fifth on lap five. Darwin R. Greene who started 16th rocketed up to ninth by lap six, but bad racing luck found him spinning in turn one to bring out the yellow on lap six.
On the lap seven double file restart Sheeley got the early jump on Smith, but Smith found the ever widening track surface to his liking as he caught the cushion in turn one. This extra traction that Smith found vaulted him into the lead as the pack exited turn two, the passing was plentiful behind him.
Tonkin moved into fourth on the restart while on the next lap Rusty Smith started to make his presence felt. Rusty started sixth but dropped back to tenth found the outside to his liking on several occasions to move into fifth on lap eight.
Once in the lead Jeremy Smith using Clements power under the hood pulled out to a full straightaway lead by lap nine. Veteran racer Sheeley was running strong and holding his line and forcing his competition to go around him if they wanted to pass him.
Tonkin slipped under Jensen for third on lap nine and started applying pressure on Sheeley for second at this point. The pressure by Tonkin paid off as Sheeley pushed up the track just enough that Tonkin was able to slip under him for second on lap 12.
Jensen and Rusty Smith were engaged in a crowd pleasing race for fourth with Rusty Smith finally taking fourth at the halfway point.
A caution bunched the field up on lap 17 and went the green lights flashed back on Jeremy Smith mashed the throttle and opened up a quick six car length lead over Tonkin. With the top two pulling away Sheeley and Rusty Smith raced hard for third and when Sheeley pushed up in turn three on lap 19, Rusty moved into third and set sail after the leading duo.
Jeremy Smith was in front comfortably with eight laps to go, Tonkin settled into second with Rusty Smith now the fastest car on the track closing ground in third. Sheeley and Jensen waged a terrific race for fourth with Jensen using the outside groove to get around Sheeley for fourth on lap 26.
At the checkers Jeremy Smith in for his first Afton Modified win over Tonkin, Rusty Smith, Jensen, and Sheeley who held off JR Hurlburt and Nick Nye at the line for fifth.
Jensen and Tim Mayne won the qualifying heat races earlier in the racing program.
Skip Pickwick and Tyler Hart brought the 20 lap Open Sportsman feature to green with Hart using the outside groove to grab the lead over Pickwick, eighth place starting Claude Hutchings, Jr., Dennis Clapperton, and ninth place starting Dan Burman.
A yellow on lap two found Hutchings going around in turn two after contact with an inside track marking uke tire, he pitted and returned.
On the restart Hart was able to fend off Pickwick to grab the lead with Burman now moving into third, Clapperton in fourth and Bill Deckelman in fifth.
Hart looking for his first win of the year was setting a blistering pace up front while Pickwick was doing all he could do to keep Burman behind him. Burman using the outside groove got around Pickwick for second on lap 16 with racing luck shining down on Burman as the yellow came out for the spun car of Dave Rosa in turn two.
Hart because of the caution lost his full straightaway lead and on the lap 17 restart had Burman all over his back bumper. Hart lap by lap kept inching up the track in turns three and four which left Burman the opportunity to move closer to the lead.
Behind the leading duo there was great racing taking place on the restart as Deckleman went from fifth to third and Hutchings moved from ninth to sixth.
With the two to go signal being given by starter Gary Kinne, Hart and Burman were dead even at the line and going into turn one Burman was able to garner enough bite to grab the lead as the duo exited turn two.
Burman in for the win, his second consecutive over a disappointed Hart, Deckleman, Pickwick, and Clapperton completed the top five.
Pickwick and Hart won the qualifying races.
Michael Grover and Aaron Shelton brought the 20 lap Crate Sportsman feature to post. Shelton bolted to the lead over sixth place starting Bobby Flood, Fred Christ, Grover, and Craig Monroe.
Tenth place starting Gary Smith showed why he is called ” Mr. Outside ” as he made a four wide turns one and two pass to move into third on lap two.
On a lap four double file restart Shelton was able to hold off youngster Flood for the lead with Smith chewing all over the back bumper of the leading duo. Christ was in fourth with Corey Cormier now moving from ninth to fifth on the restart.
A lap six double file restart would find the top three of Shelton, Flood, and Smith stay the same. Cormier moved into fourth and he had new track weekly racer AJ Miller now right on his back bumper in fifth.
The racing action intensified at the halfway point with Flood now all over Shelton for the lead, Cormier slipped under Smith for third and Smith had Miller all over him for fourth.
Cormier got under Flood for second on lap 11 and set sail after leader Shelton for the lead. The next six laps found Cormier setting up his move in an attempt to pass Shelton for the lead.
Miller meanwhile getting more comfortable each passing week at Afton got under Smith for fourth on lap 14.
With the white flag waving signifying one lap to go in the feature Cormier went for it with an all out high side turn three pass. His momentum carried him up the track a little too far and thus took him out of contention for the win.
Shelton in for the very popular win over Flood, Cormier, Miller, and Smith.
Qualifying heats were won by Monroe, which was his first ever checker and Shelton.
Gary Roberts and Beau Ballard brought the 20 lap IMCA Modified feature to green with Ballard getting the lead over Roberts, Jake Maynard, Tyler Stoddard, and Bill Nichols.
Maynard quickly moved into second on lap two with Stoddard moving past his team mate Nichols for fourth at the same time. Stoddard coming off a feature win last week showed his quickness once again as he got past Roberts for third on lap three.
A softening right rear tire on the car of Maynard allowed Stoddard to get past for second on lap five, Nichols passed Maynard for third on lap six. Maynard realizing he had a flat tire was attempting to move to safety at the top of the track. However Roberts was unaware of the Maynard problem and was left no place to go and hit the outside home stretch wall to bring out the yellow.
On the double file restart Ballard rocketed out to the lead over Stoddard, Nichols, Maynard who pitted and changed the tire, and Lenny Miller.
The remaining laps of the feature was all Ballard as he easily won his first feature of the year over Stoddard, Nichols, Maynard, and Miller.
Ballard swept the evening as he won the qualifying race earlier in the program.
Shawn Stalker and Jonathon Fowlston brought the 20 lap Street Stock feature to green with teenager Fowlston getting the lead over Dave Cronk, Butch Green, ninth place starting Dustin Harris, and newcomer Matt Spencer.
Cronk got under Fowlston for the lead on lap two and he brought Green right along with him and into second, one lap later Harris moved into third.
For the next 11 consecutive laps Cronk and Green put on a very entertaining race for the lead. As they raced cleanly side by side with no contact what so ever between the two as Cronk raced in the top groove and Green in the bottom groove. Harris meanwhile in third was left to spectate as the leading duo left him no place to pass either one of them.
Crossing the start finish line on lap 13 Green was all the way under Cronk for the lead with Spencer moving into fourth at the same time.
Once in front Green wheeling the Holcomb Motorsports entry opened up a big lead and left Cronk to deal with Harris for second.
At the checkers Green in for his eighth win out of nine races over Cronk, Harris, Spencer, and Fowlston.
Cronk won the qualifying heat race.
Teenager Brandon Loucks and veteran Bob Crandall brought the 15 lap Four Cylinder Truck feature to green. Crandall using the outside groove moved into the lead over Loucks, Ralph Cuozzo, Trey Palmer, and Kyle Lanfair.
Crandall opened up a little lead by lap three while Cuozzo slipped under Loucks for second and set sail after his team mate for the lead.
Three weeks ago the team mates got into a little racing incident while racing for the lead and tonight none of that rough driving would be seen.
Cuozzo tried every move he had in his bag of tricks but on this night Crandall had a strong enough of a racing machine to with stand any challenge from Cuozzo.
Crandall in for his second win of the year over Cuozzo, Loucks, Palmer, and Lanfair.
NOTES; the entire evening of racing was sponsored by The Trophy Guy of Norwich, NY who is the track supplier of trophies and they also sponsored Kiddie Rides that took place before the races. With a hot sun and brisk wind baking the track surface an extra amount of water was put down on the track, which delayed the start of racing by a few minutes, but it led to the best racing of the year with a show ending of 9:58 pm. Fred Smith and Ryan Macartney both blew engines in the Crate Sportsman, Smith was done for the night while Macartney pulled out a new back up ride and brought it home sixth after starting 14th. Kinser Hill still being hampered by carb issues in the Crate Sportsman. 25 track bonus points are being awarded to any Modified or Crate Sportsman driver who shows up and races on this Wednesday night in the STSS races. The point battles in the Modified and Open Sportsman divisions becoming tighter after the finishes tonight. Due to racing this week during the week there will be no racing next Friday July 27th. The August 3rd show has seen CRSA dropped from the program with the Open Sportsman scheduled to have the night off, but they can race with the Modifieds if they wish.
The next racing action at Afton Motorsports Park will be this Wednesday night July 25th with a rain date of Thursday July 26th if needed. The Short Track Super Series fueled by Sunoco Racing comes to town with the 50 lap Afton Action 50 for the Bob Hilbert Sportswear / Halmar International North Region race number five that pays $5,100 to win. They will be joined by race one of the Crate Sportsman North Region which will see them go 25 laps for $1,100 to win. The additional $100 in each feature is being sponsored by the New York State Stock Car Association ( NYSSCA ) and NYSSCA is also presenting an extra $25 in each feature to the highest finishing NYSSCA member.
Gate times for the Wednesday night show sees pit gates opening at 3 pm, grandstands open at 4 pm, a mandatory drivers meeting will take place at 5:45 pm, hot laps begin at 6:15 pm and the first heat goes green at 7 pm. Admission prices are $40 for the pits where no track license / membership is required, grandstands are $22, seniors age 62 and up are $20 with youth aged 9 to 14 being admitted for $12, and 8 and under are free with a paid adult admission.
With the midweek race taking place during the week, Afton Motorsports Park will be silent next Friday night July 27th. The next Friday night show at AMP will be Friday August 3rd with Modifieds, Crate Sportsman, IMCA Modifieds, Street Stocks, and Four Cylinder Trucks on the card. Originally the CRSA Sprints were slated to be on the program but their portion of the show has been cancelled. The Open Sportsman have the night off but they are welcomed to come and race with the Modifieds on this night only.
For more information on Afton Motorsports Park please log on to the World Wide web at www.aftonmotorsportspark.com or call 607 – 624 – 3772 or 607 – 639 – DIRT.
Afton Motorsports Park is fast, fun, and furious…come check us out!
Wednesday July 25th – 7 pm – Afton Action 50 for Modifieds, Crate Sportsman 25 for the STSS fueled by Sunoco, Bob Hilbert Sportswear / Halmar International North Region Race 5 for Mods, Race 1 for Crates. RAIN DATE THURSDAY JULY 26TH.
Friday July 27th – NO RACING.
Friday August 3rd – 7 pm – Modifieds, Crate Sportsman, IMCA Modifieds, Street Stocks, and Four Cylinder Trucks. Open Sportsman are off but can come and race with the Modifieds.
Friday August 10th – 7 pm – Big six weekly division show.
ZMK CONSTRUCTION MODIFIED FINISH; Jeremy Smith, Brett Tonkin, Rusty Smith, Paul Jensen, Jeff Sheeley, JR Hurlburt, Nick Nye, Mitch Gibbs, Tim Mayne, Craig Hanson, Steve Babicek, Jim Introne, Jr., Jim Cummings, Darwin R. Greene, Scott Ferrier, Jim Becker, Kenny Titus.
CHAMBERS & O’HARA OPEN SPORTSMAN FINISH; Dan Burman, Tyler Hart, Bill Deckleman, Skip Pickwick, Dennis Clapperton, Claude Hutchings, Jr., Don Hart, Jr., Craig Pope, Chris Hunsinger, Olin Renwick, Dave Rosa, Justin Mills.
BUTLER AUTO SALES CRATE SPORTSMAN FINISH; Aaron Shelton, Bobby Flood, Corey Cormier, AJ Miller, Gary Smith, Ryan Macartney, Blaine Klinger, Fred Christ, Rob Loucks, Craig Monroe, Ed Utter, Michael Grover, Kinser Hill. DNS; Fred Smith.
THE TROPHY GUY IMCA MODIFIEDS; Beau Ballard, Tyler Stoddard, Bill Nichols, Jake Maynard, Lenny Miller, Gary Roberts.
RINKER INSURANCE AGENCY STREET STOCKS FINISH; Butch Green, Dave Cronk, Dustin Harris, Matt Spencer, Jonathon Fowlston, Ernie Staelens, Shawn Stalker, Donald Briggs, Ralph Cuozzo. DNS; Steve Stalker.
FOUR CYLINDER TRUCKS FINISH; Bob Crandall, Ralph Cuozzo, Brandon Loucks, Trey Palmer, Kyle Lanfair.