AFTON, NY – Adjustments between the heat and the feature a majority of the time will make you, or break you come feature time. Friday night at the Afton Motorsports Park that was the big difference in the Modified and Open Sportsman features. As in both features the proper rear end gear selection was made and that change made them even quicker and resulted in feature wins.
In the ZMK Construction Modifieds Tim Mayne listened to his brother to make a gear change after weeks of trying to get him to do it. The gear change was all Mayne needed as he led the last 29 laps to claim his second feature win of the year. Mitch Gibbs ended up second with no brakes, Brett Tonkin from 12th was third with Darwin R. Greene in fourth, and 13th place starting Craig Hanson in fifth.
The Chambers & O’Hara Open Sportsman feature saw another gear change make a big difference as Bill Deckleman won his third feature of the year in a dominating flag to flag performance. Dave Rosa was second with Tyler Hart coming from the rear to end up third and become the new point leader, Dennis Clapperton was fourth, and Skip Pickwick was fifth.
Gary Smith won his second Butler Auto Sales Crate Sportsman feature of the year and in the process made a huge gain in the points on leader Corey Cormier. Bobby Flood with another solid second place finish, Fred Christ in third with Aaron Shelton in fourth and 12th place starter Blaine Klinger in fifth.
A $300 bounty was on the head of Rinker Insurance Agency Street Stock king pin Butch Green on this night. Green had to replace a radiator after hot laps and got spun out on lap three of the feature and restarted last. All of these problems didn’t make one bit of difference as the Holcomb Motorsports entry found itself in victory lane for the tenth time this year. Invader Shane Wolf, Jr. came in to try and take the bounty and ended up second with Dave Cronk in third, Jonathon Fowlston in fourth, and Donald Briggs in fifth.
In The Trophy Guy IMCA Modifieds Jake Maynard has finished second so many times at the track, he was getting sick of being a bridesmaid. Friday night Maynard put it all together to claim his first career Afton checker over Bill Nichols, Beau Ballard, Tyler Stoddard, and Eric Stumpf.
The Four Cylinder Truck feature saw Bristol, CT driver Trey Palmer make an outstanding opening lap move to get the lead. Once in front, no one was going to catch him and he went on to the feature win over Ralph Cuozzo, Brandon Loucks, Bob Crandall, and Scott Chapman.
Jim Introne, Jr. and Tim Mayne brought the ZMK Construction 30 lap Modified feature to green with Introne grabbing the lead over Mayne, Mitch Gibbs, Steve Babicek, and Darwin R. Greene. The yellow would come out just after lap one was scored for the spun car of Nick Nye in turn four.
On the double file restart Mayne using the much quicker outside groove got the lead followed by Gibbs, Introne, Greene, and Babicek. Greene would move into third on lap three and closed immediately in on the leading duo to race for the lead.
A pair of yellows on laps four and five would shuffle the field as the second yellow found Rusty Smith pitting with a flat right front tire, he returned after changing the tire.
On the double file lap six restart Mayne surprised many as he got the jump on Gibbs with Greene in third, Babicek in fourth, and 12th place starting Brett Tonkin now in fifth. Tonkin who has consistently come from the rear all year long moved into fourth on lap seven and one lap later got past Greene for third.
With the next seven laps going caution less Mayne extended his lead as he was getting quicker. Meanwhile Gibbs was starting to slow as it seemed he had a push condition in the car, the reason for the push was that he had no brakes.
With the top four of Mayne, Gibbs, Tonkin, and Greene way out in front. An excellent race for fifth was shaping up between JR Hurlburt, 13th place starting Craig Hanson, 14th place starting Alan Barker, Nick Nye, and Babicek.
Hurlburt had control of fifth for a few laps until Hanson rocketed underneath him to take fifth on lap 17. Barker racing in his preferred extreme high groove was right outside of Hanson in sixth until jumping the turns one and two cushion and losing three positions.
During a caution period on lap 21 Barker pulled into the pits for the remainder of the race and Babicek also pitted with no brakes, calling it night too.
The final nine laps was all Tim Mayne as he easily won his second feature of the year. Gibbs held on to second with Tonkin trying every move he could to get by his future father in law with the exception of spinning him out ending up in third. Greene running a very consistent race taking fourth and Hanson showing a car that had good forward bite on this night taking fifth.
Qualifying heat races were won by Gibbs and Babicek.
The Chambers & O’Hara Open Sportsman 20 lap feature was brought to green by Bill Deckleman and Skip Pickwick. The field didn’t make it past the first turn as Tyler Hart found himself spun out to bring out the yellow.
On the restart Deckleman once again using the gear change to his advantage bolted out to the lead over Dennis Clapperton, Dave Rosa, Pickwick, and Craig Pope.
On a lap three restart Rosa snuck past Clapperton for second with Tyler Hart rocketing back up through the field to move into third, as Clapperton dropped to fourth and Pickwick in fifth.
Up front Deckleman was just simply dominating as the gear change made him quicker each passing lap. Rosa meanwhile was holding his own with Hart all over his back bumper and he had Clapperton all over him.
With the remainder of the feature going green that was all that Deckleman needed as he went on to his third win of the year. Rosa, Hart, Clapperton, and Pickwick rounded out the top five.
Qualifying heat races were captured by Clapperton and Pickwick.
Ed Utter and Fred Christ brought the 20 lap Butler Auto Sales Crate Sportsman feature to green. Utter grabbed the lead over Christ, Gary Smith, Kinser Hill, and Ryan Macartney.
Utter slipped up and out of the groove in turn two and that allowed Christ and Smith to get by and one lap later Hill got by Utter for third. The backward slide of Utter continued as Macartney moved past him for fifth on lap five.
Just past the halfway point was shown the third and fourth place cars of Hill and Macartney became entangled in turn two to bring out the first yellow of the race.
On the single file restart Christ kept his lead over the hard charging Smith with Bobby Flood now in third, Aaron Shelton in fourth and 12th place starting Blaine Klinger in fifth.
Christ looking for his second win of the year and second career feature win made one mistake. He slipped up and out of the groove in turn two on lap 13 and that was all that Smith and Flood both needed as they moved past.
Once in front Smith put the hammer down and motored out to a comfortable advantage over Flood.
At the checkers Smith in for his second win of the year with Flood, Christ, Shelton, and Klinger in tow.
Qualifying heat races were won by Smith and Hill.
Jake Maynard and Bill Nichols brought the 20 lap The Trophy Guy IMCA Modified feature to green with Maynard getting the jump on the start over Beau Ballard, Nichols, Tyler Stoddard, and Gary Roberts.
Stoddard moved past his team mate Nichols to take third on lap two and the top three cars broke away from the rest of the field.
Maynard running his quickest laps of the year was under the relentless pressure of Ballard for the lead with Stoddard all over the back bumper of Ballard for second. Meanwhile Nichols, Roberts, and Eric Stumpf were racing hard for fourth, fifth, and sixth.
Coming to the halfway point signal Maynard pushed up in turn four and Ballard tried his hardest to get underneath for the lead. By the time they got to turn one Maynard had powered his way back out front with room to spare and Ballard was left to contend with Stoddard for second.
The complexion of the race would change just after lap 15 was scored. Going into turns one and two Ballard was looking to get under Maynard for the lead. Stoddard made slight contact to the rear bumper of the Ballard machine, which made him spin out to bring out the only yellow of the race. Officials determined that Stoddard was the cause of the yellow and placed both drivers at the rear. During the yellow the engine on the Roberts machine expired ending his night and racing season.
On the five to go restart Maynard pulled away from second place Nichols while Ballard moved back into third with Stumpf in fourth and Stoddard in fifth, Stoddard was able to move past Stumpf for fourth on lap 17.
At the checkers with his fist pumping Maynard in for his first career Afton IMCA Modified feature win over Nichols, Ballard, Stoddard, and Stumpf.
Maynard swept the evening of racing for his division as he won the heat race.
Donald Briggs and Jonathon Fowlston brought the 20 lap Rinker Insurance Agency Street Stock feature to green. Teenager Fowlston got the jump to grab the lead over Briggs, Butch Green, Dave Cronk and Shawn Stalker.
Invader Shane Wolf, Jr. who was on hand looking for the $300 bounty on Green moved into fifth on lap two from his eighth place starting spot.
Green who had to change a radiator after hot laps got turned around in turn one on lap three to bring out the yellow. Officials determined that Cronk caused the spin and placed both cars at the rear of the field.
On the double file restart Fowlston surprised many in attendance as he out dragged Wolf to stay in the lead with Briggs in third, Bob Crandall in fourth, and Ralph Cuozzo in fifth.
Briggs spun out of third on lap five to bring out the final yellow of the race.
On the double file restart Wolf this time would grab the lead from Fowlston. But Wolf was never able to officially lead a scored lap as Green motored from his fourth place restart spot and into the lead to complete lap six.
Once in front Green, like he has done all year long opened up a huge lead. Wolf was left in second fighting a push condition in his car while Crandall, Fowlston, and Cronk all raced for third.
Green in for his tenth win of the season at the track and almost clinching the track championship. Wolf, Cronk, Fowlston, and Briggs rounded out the top five.
Qualifying heat races were won by Green and Wolf.
The 15 lap Four Cylinder Truck feature was brought to the green by Brandon Loucks and Scott Chapman.
Third place starting Trey Palmer made an outstanding move in turns three and four by using the outside groove to grab the lead on the opening lap. Loucks, Ralph Cuozzo, Bob Crandall, and Chapman completed the top five.
Once in front Palmer opened up a big lead while rookie driver Loucks held off Cuozzo for second. Cuozzo after two laps of trying was able to get underneath Loucks for second on lap four.
By the time Cuozzo, who has won eight features this year got to second, he was already a full straightaway behind Palmer for the lead.
Palmer on this night was not letting off the hammer as his lead just kept getting bigger and bigger the longer the race went.
At the checkers Palmer in for his second win of the year over Cuozzo, Loucks, Crandall, and Chapman.
NOTES; the fine folks from Mirabito sponsored the evening of racing and they enjoyed themselves in the VIP Tower. Engine woes sidelined Steve Andersen in the Opens, Dustin Harris and Bob Crandall in the Street Stocks, and Gary Roberts in the IMCA’s. Drivers once again raving about the bite in the racing surface with multiples of three wide racing taking place all evening long. Numerous prizes were awarded during the evening with a free back packs loaded with school supplies being donated by Lawrence Motorsports, racing t-shirts donated by Gibbs Racing, Maynard Racing, and Tonkin Racing. Mirabito gave out a $125 gas card as a second fifty / fifty prize and the Afton Driving Park ( Afton Fair ) awarded two lucky fans New York State Fair tickets. The first ever Afton Modified track champion Darrin Schuler made his first show of the year. Crate Sportsman point leader Corey Cormier racing in pain with a broken left foot suffered in a pick up basketball game recently.
Afton Motorsports Park kicks off the Labor Day Weekend next Friday night with a big six division next to last race of the point season taking place. In competition will be the ZMK Construction Modifieds, Chambers & O’Hara Open Sportsman, Butler Auto Sales Crate Sportsman, Rinker Insurance Agency Street Stocks, The Trophy Guy IMCA Modifieds, and Four Cylinder Trucks.
Gates times for the Friday August 31st show sees pits open at 4 pm, grandstands opening at 4:30 pm, hot laps at 6:15 pm, and the first heat going green at 7 pm sharp. Admission to the pit area where no track license / membership is required is $30, grandstand adult admission is $12, seniors age 62 and up are $10, youth aged 9 to 14 are $5, and 8 and under are free with a paid adult admission.
For more information on Afton Motorsports Park please log on to the World Wide Web at www.aftonmotorsportspark.com or by calling 607 – 639- DIRT or 607 – 624 – 3772.
Afton Motorsports Park is fast, fun, and furious…come check us out!
ZMK Construction Modified Feature Finish; Tim Mayne, Mitch Gibbs, Brett Tonkin, Darwin R. Greene, Craig Hanson, JR Hurlburt, Nick Nye, Rusty Smith, Paul Jensen, Jeff Sheeley, Ken Titus, Darrin Schuler, Steve Babicek, Alan Barker, Jim Introne, Jr.
Chambers & O’ Hara Open Sportsman Feature Finish; Bill Deckleman, Dave Rosa, Tyler Hart, Dennis Clapperton, Skip Pickwick, Craig Pope, Brandon Kuhn, Dan Burman, Lisa Williams. DNS; Steve Andersen.
Butler Auto Sales Crate Sportsman Feature Finish; Gary Smith, Bobby Flood, Fred Christ, Aaron Shelton, Blaine Klinger, Corey Cormier, Kamdin Maby, Tyler Ward, Kinser Hill, Ryan Macartney, Rob Loucks, Ed Utter, Harold Renwick, Mike Lawrence.
Rinker Insurance Agency Street Stock Feature Finish; Butch Green, Shane Wolf, Jr., Dave Cronk, Jonathon Fowlston, Donald Briggs, Ernie Staelens, Shawn Stalker, Bob Crandall, Ralph Cuozzo, Steve Stalker, Jason Burgher. DNS; Dustin Harris.
The Trophy Guy IMCA Modified Feature Finish; Jake Maynard, Bill Nichols, Beau Ballard, Tyler Stoddard, Eric Stumpf, Gary Roberts.
Four Cylinder Truck Feature Finish; Trey Palmer, Ralph Cuozzo, Brandon Loucks, Bob Crandall, Scott Chapman.
Friday August 31st – 7 pm – Big 6 Weekly Divisions
Friday September 7th – 7pm – SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP NIGHT