MALTA, NY – Peter Britten became the first two-time winner in the modified division at Albany-Saratoga Speedway Friday, but he had to hold off an unexpected challenger to get the win.
Britten, who started seventh in the 28-car field, only needed five laps to get the lead, and then had to contend with a late charge from Ryan Godown of Ringoes, N.J., who was making his first appearance of the season at the speedway.
Britten, who won the first modified feature of the season on May 10, had been struggling ever since, failing to finish in the top 10 in the last three races. That resulted in the good starting spot, but it was the work that he and his crew did in the garage during the week that made the difference.
“Hats off to everybody on my crew and at Troyer,” he said in victory lane after the win. “We haven’t been at our best the last couple of weeks, but last week, I think we might have gotten onto something, and we proved it tonight.”
While Britten had pretty smooth sailing Friday night, until he had to contend with Godown on a restart with three laps to go, a couple of Albany-Saratoga’s big names had more than their share of problems.
Keith Flach, who started fourth, got up on two wheels and jumped the cushion in the first turn just two laps into the 35-lap feature, bringing out the first yellow of the race. Two laps later, 13-time champion Ken Tremont Jr. ducked into the hot pits with problems of his own. Tremont finished 14th, while Flach was 15th.
While Britten was setting the pace, Rocky Warner and Jessey Mueller were putting on a heck of a battle behind him. When Warner got into lapped traffic in lap 20, Mueller pulled up tight on the Jake Spraker-owned 1J, and then moved into the No. 2 spot on lap 26.
Godown, who started 15th, but was up to fifth by lap 12, made good use of a restart on lap 29. He moved into fourth when the green flag came back out, and then muscled his way past Warner coming out of the second turn on lap 30 for third.
The yellow flew again on lap 31, and again, Godown pounced, moving by Mueller into second going down the backstretch. But that was as close as he got to Britten.
“I just came up tonight to get some notes for the DIRT race [Brett Hearn’s Big Show 11 on June 25],” said Godown. “I didn’t expect to finish second.”
Mueller crossed the finish line third, with Bobby Hackel IV fourth and Warner fifth.
Robert Bublak Jr. picked up his first win of the season in the 25-lap sportsman feature, which was the second round of the VP Racing Fuels Summer Shootout Series between Albany-Saratoga, Utica-Rome and Lebanon Valley.
Bublak started third in the 30-car field and had the lead after three laps. He cruised out to a half-a-straightaway lead before getting into lapped traffic, which allowed two-time winner Chris Johnson to close the gap.
But with four laps left, Bublak elbowed his way around the lapped car of David Manchester, and got enough of a cushion to outrun Johnson.
“Man, it’s about time,” said Bublak in victory lane. “We’ve had a couple of seconds this year, and at Georgetown, I got one snookered away from us. This car has been on rails.”
Chucky Dumblewski got his first pro-stock win of the season, even though his car was in victory lane for the second straight week. Rob Yetman drove Dumblewski’s car to a win last week, and Dumblewski took the lead away from Kim Duell on lap 22 of the 25-lap feature to get the victory Friday night.
Duell, who started seventh, used a restart on lap 10 to get the lead. But he couldn’t keep the Curtis Lumber Wagon stuck to the bottom in the closing laps, giving Bublak a lane to get by.
One of the highlights of the night was the Ray Galusha Memorial for the four-cylinders, a tribute to the 2008 6-cylinder champion at the speedway. Through additional sponsorship secured on race day, the winners of both the single-cam and double-cam divisions received $1,000.
Josh Kane won the 23-lap feature, picking up the winner’s share of the double-cam purse, and Jacxson Ryan was the first single-cam car across the finish line.
Kane, who had started fifth, was battling with front-row starter Steve Ryan for the lead on laps 15 when Ryan spun between turns three and four, giving the lead to Kane. Kane stayed out front the rest of the way, and the entire field pulled into the infield after the white flag came out, allowing guest starter Kenny Marshall to give a double checkered-flag salute in Galusha’s honor.
Dave Richer drove to his second straight win in the 20-lap Haun Welding limited sportman feature, and John Filarecki recorded his second win of the year in the 15-lap Lake Auto Parts street stock feature.
MODIFIEDS: Peter Britten, Ryan Godown, Jessey Mueller, Bobby Hackel IV, Rocky Warner, Brett Hearn, Marc Johnson, Mike Mahaney, C.G. Morey, Jack Lehner, Ronnie Johnson, Matt DeLorenzo, Matt Depew, Ken Tremont Jr., Keith Flach, Mike Maresca, Brian Berger, Don Ronca, Jim Nagle, Justin Barber, Rusty Smith, Jackie Brown Jr., Elmo Reckner, Matt Pupello, Neil Stratton, Don Mattison, Olden Dwyer, Reggie Bonner.
SPORTSMAN: Robert Bublak Jr., Chris Johnson, Andrew Buff, Mike Coffey Jr., Connor Cleveland, Pat Jones, Jack Speshock, Jeremy Pitts, James Meehan, Justin Buff, Jon Miller, Jason Gray, Brian Calabrese, Tim Hartman Jr., Tony Ballestero, Charlie Tibbitts, Marty Kelley III, Elliot Lussier, David Manchester, Fred Proctor, KC McCoy, Jeremiah Munson, Joey Scarborough, Derrick McGrew Jr., Scott Duell, Travis Billington, David Baranowski Jr., Nick Lussier, Chris Ronca, Michael Wagner Fitzgerald.
PRO STOCKS: Chucky Dumblewski, Brandon Gray, Kim Duell, Brandon Emigh, Jason Meltz, Josh Coonradt, Dean Charbonneau, Jason Corbin, Chris Wemple, Dave DePaulo, Mike Baker, Doug Sheely, Nick Arnold, Ed Thompson, Dan Madigan, Darrell Older, Yates Lansing, Matt Roberts, Brian Carter, Scott Towslee, Dan Older.
LIMITED SPORTSMAN: Dave Richer, Travis Witbeck, Dylan Bokus, Dan Grignon, David Boisclair, Scott Bennett, Thomas Van Vorst Sr., Brandon Gibbons, Mark Rabideau, Bryce Breault, Shane Larman, Gerard LeClair, Randy Myers Jr., Spencer Rapp, Tucker O’Connor, Bryant Moore, Mike Furmont, Johnny Bruno, Montgomery Tremont, Jim Mattison, Bill August, Dave LaBarge, Brett Hackel, James Venditti Jr., Payton Talbot, Jared Powell, Matt Rich, Steve Burch.
STREET STOCKS: John Filarecki, Al Relyea, Mark Burch, David Cook, Jimmy Duncan, Jody Thew, Pete Vila, Jeff Meltz Sr., John Hayes, Tom McFarland, Curtis Condon, Josh Hemming.