By CHARLIE LANGOIS
DELEVAN, NY – It was Marcos Pizza and Sunoco Championship Night at Freedom Motorsports Park on Friday as two drivers picked up their first wins of the year and two returned to victory lane. New winners on the night were Andy Michael in the Wilson Crane Service Late Models and Adam Leslie in the Tidds Towing Sportsman while Al Brewer in the Pioneer Ford Street Stocks and Brad Shepard in the Danny Heineman & Sons Mini Stocks took down their seventh wins of the season.
Two of the point championships were decided going into the final night. Bill Holmes of Chaffee in the Wilson Crane Service Late Models and Belfast’s Al Brewer in the Pioneer Ford Street Stocks had already secured the top spot in their divisions. For Holmes, it was his first ever Late Model title and Brewer repeated his 2015 Street Stock crown. Up for grabs were the Tidds Towing Sportsman and Danny Heineman & Sons Mini Stock titles.
Mike Wonderling and Brad Mesler brought the Wilson Crane Service Late Models to green. Mesler darted from his outside pole at the start and got underneath Mike Wonderling in turn four but went around which collected Nick Snayczuk and Zach Weich to bring out the first caution.
On the restart, Andy Michael lined up outside of Mike Wonderling and powered around him on lap 2 to take the lead. Mike, Jeremy and Brady Wonderling ran second through fourth with Joe Chamberlain fifth.
Yellow was out quickly on lap 3 as Randy Ralyea stopped on the homestretch. Michael jumped out front once gain and a tremendous battle for the runner-up position by the Wonderling family found Jeremy in second on lap 4. That didn’t last for long as Mike Wonderling took the spot back one lap later as the trio swapped positions each lap.
Just prior to a debris caution on lap 9, Jeremy Wonderling took command of second and this set up a side by side restart with leader Michael, who chose the outside. An incredible duel between Michael and Wonderling ensued with Michael able to hold onto the lead.
On lap 14, it was Brady Wonderling’s turn as he took second from Jeremy Wonderling but disaster befell Brady on lap 16 as mechanical problems sent him to the pit area.
Michael of Allegheny held off the hard charging Jeremy Wonderling over the remaining distance for his first win of the year followed by Bill Holmes, Mike Wonderling and Brad Mesler.
Adam Leslie led from the start of the Tidds Towing Sportsman main as Ray Bliss Jr, Tim Schram, Ray Bliss and Brad Rouse ran in the top five. Rouse immediately was on the move as he took fourth from Bliss on lap 2, third from Schram on lap 3 and the second spot from Bliss Jr on lap 4.
By the time that Rouse cleared those battles, Leslie led by a straightaway. Halfway in the twenty lap feature showed Leslie, Rouse, Bliss, Schram and now Tony Pangrazio in positions two through five as the caution flew on lap 10 when Bliss Jr stopped in turn four.
On the restart, Rouse began to put pressure on Leslie but Leslie was equal to the task and was on his way until Alan Bratek stopped on the backstretch on lap 19 to set up a one lap shootout to the checkered flag.
On the restart, Leslie of St Catherines, Ontario drove a perfect last lap and accelerated to his first ever Freedom victory. Rouse settled for second but secured the track championship. Bliss, Schram and Pangrazio completed the top five.
Al Brewer called it a dream season in victory lane as the veteran track champion recorded his seventh win of the year in the Pioneer Ford Street Stocks.
Brewer was able to wrestle the lead for the final time from Steve Sklar on lap 3 but it was the battle for second that was the focus of everyone’s attention. Sklar, Curt Stebbins, Brett Marlatt, Randy Taylor, Levi Watson and Byron Dewitt raced in tight formation while the running order changed every lap.
Taylor’s attempt at second place came to a grinding halt after contact with the homestretch wall on lap 15. On the restart, Brewer sped away and remained unchallenged while the battle for second came down to the last lap. As Brewer crossed under the checkered flag, he was followed by Sklar, Watson, Stebbins and Ted Mascho.
Brad Shepard went into the Danny Heineman & Sons Mini Stock feature with a five point lead over Deanna Shepard. If he finished second, he was secured the crown.
By luck of the draw, Brad Shepard picked the pole for the feature and at the start he led Duane Powers, Deanna Shepard, Dante Mancuso and Matt Mowery. Brad Shepard of Leroy was able to wire the field to take down his division leading seventh win of the season and the Mini Stock title.
A good tussle for second came down to the line and Powers was able to get the runner-up spot over Deanna Shepard. Mowery and Mancuso completed the top five.
Freedom Motorsports Park is off for a few weeks but will be back on Saturday October 15 with the first annual Fall Classic with a $1000 to win Enduro and $1000 to win Demolition Derby. Rules and Registration forms are available at http://www.freedommotorsportspark.com/
Freedom Motorsports Park- Marcos Pizza & Sunoco Championship Night Feature Events September 9
WILSON CRANE SERVICE RUSH LATE MODELS (20 Laps) – Andy Michael, Jeremy Wonderling, Bill Holmes, Mike Wonderling, Brad Mesler, Chad Homan, Joe Chamberlain, Nick Snayczuk, Zach Weich, Randy Ralyea, Brady Wonderling. DNS- Jon Rivers. Heats- B Wonderling, M Wonderling.
Champion- Bill Holmes
TIDDS TOWING SPORTSMAN (20 Laps) – Adam Leslie, Brad Rouse, Ray Bliss, Tim Schram, Tony Pangrazio, Brian Bellinger, Damian Long, Shane O’Grady, John Sekoll, Jeramie Josephite, Alan Bratek, Ray Bliss Jr. Heats- Leslie, Schram.
Champion- Brad Rouse
PIONEER FORD STREET STOCKS (20 Laps) – Al Brewer, Steve Sklar, Levi Watson, Curt Stebbins, Ted Mascho, Brett Marlatt, Mike Gergel, Dustin Goss, Jim Claypool, Bob Babbitt, Ryan Allen, Patrick Nash, Byron Dewitt, Dalton Martin, Randy Taylor, Dennis Cummings, Joe Layfield. DNS- Tim Bruce, Dennis Hathaway. Heats- Watson, Brewer, Sklar.
Champion- Al Brewer
DANNY HEINEMAN & SONS MINI STOCKS (15 Laps) – Brad Shepard, Duane Powers, Deanna Shepard, Matt Mowery, Dante Mancuso, Jake Masco, Billy Debois, Dan Heineman, Chad Livermore, John Moser, Cody Egner, Richard Kline. DNS- Mike Provose. Heats- B Shepard, Powers.