By ADAM CORNELL
LAFARGEVILLE, NY – Brandon Sweet, driving his number 24, was the victor in the 358 Modified class, while 2016 track champion, Billy Dunn, had a rough outing for opening night, placing ninth and failing to complete the race.
After two straight weeks of rain-outs, the racing action returned to Lafargeville, at Caprara’s Can-Am Motorsports Park, starting under blue skies and sunshine and concluding with some major fireworks on the track.
In the Sportsman Modified class, it was Tyler Meeks edging out Taylor Caprara by inches at the line. Shawn Kirby made an amazing comeback to win the Pro Street Stock division, after leaving the race for repairs during a mid-race caution, and storming back for the victory. Other winners included 76G Skyler Greenfield in the Novice Sportsman class and 26M Phil Desormeau III in the Thunderstock class. 9j Jordan McCreadie won the Modified Dash-For-Cash as well.
Novice Sportsman – The first race of the night had 76G Skyler Greenfield and 15 Jamie Brown leading off the pack in first and second positions. At the drop of the green Greenfield and Brown battled for the hole-shot, rubbing tires through turn one, with Brown taking the lead. 7s Shaun Shaw went for a wild ride through turns three and four, bringing out the caution. On the restart, 57H Remington Hamm went up over the turn one berm, eliciting another caution flag. 621 Trevor Gibbs moved up through the pack to secure second position by lap two, while Brown charged ahead with the lead. At the checkered flag, it was 15 Jamie Brown, 621 Trevor Gibbs, 76g Skyler Greenfield, 18 Gavin Eisele, 7s Shaun Shaw.
Pro Street Stocks – 75 Kenny Hartshorn and 18 Remington Marquette started out in the first and second positions for first of two the Pro Street Stocks heat race. Hartshorn worked the lower line around turns one and two for sole possession of the lead through lap one. 83D Dustin Bradley moved through the pack to grab onto second place by lap two. But was immediately challenged by 1x Mike White. Bradley went up over the berm through turn three in lap three, leaving the second position to White. But 13 Kenny Hamm charged hard to take over second position on the final lap, and move just past Hartshorn for the win. The top five were 13 Kenny Hamm, 75 Kenny Hartshorn, 1x Mike White, 4 Mike Durham, 83D Dustin Bradley.
The second Pro Street Stock heat race, 690 Sid Harmer started in the lead, and at the drop of the green, 3 Rick Dusckas launched up to second, with 3k Shawn Kirby moving into second position. On the final lap, 3k Kirby slid past Dusckas, but didn’t have enough to beat out Harmer for the win. The top five were 690 Sid Harmer, 3k Shawn Kirby, 3 Rick Dusckas, 32 Ryan Shanahan, and 62 Jonathan Murphy.
358 Modified – 19 Luke Stewart and 27W Nick Webb started the first of two heat races in the top two positions. Stewart retained the lead through lap one, while 93 Ryan Bartlett wasted little time, moving up to second place by lap three, challenging Stewart for the lead. 9 Billy Dunn left the race early, with equipment issues. 93 Ryan Bartlett snagged the lead away from Stewart on the final lap, taking the checkered flag. Top three finishers were 93 Ryan Bartlett, 19 Luke Stewart and 39 Tyler Stewart. The top three finishers from each of the heat races for the 358 Modifieds qualified for a Dash-For-Cash.
The second 358 Mod heat race had 28 Tyler Meeks and 24 Brandon Sweet starting in first and second positions. Meeks retained the lead through lap one, but a caution flag came out, as 51 Brady Gill slid up over the turn two berm. On the restart, Meeks retained the lead once again, while 9J Jordan McCreadie stabbed through the pack to grab onto second position. It would remain that way all the way to the checkered flag. The top three finishers were 28 Tyler Meeks, 9J Jordan McCreadie and 21 Lance Willix.
Sportsman Modified – 15 Greg Henry and 91 Josh Reome started the first heat race in the top two positions. The racers wen three wide through turn one, with 91 Reome emerging with the lead. M1 Rick McCready and 1 Jack Meeks battled up to second and third positions. On lap three, Meeks moved into second, just as 15 Greg Henry spun through turn four from contact. 25 George Sanford got into Henry as he spun through the turn, causing Sanford to need a lift to the pits. On the restart of racing, 1 Meeks drove past 91 Reome to take the lead. 00 Jamie Platt moved into third on the final lap. Top five finishers were 1 Jack Meeks, 91 Josh Reome, 00 Jamie Platt, 30 Hunter Schwander, and 415 Andrew Wren.
Heat number two had 621 Brian Hudson and 34 Eric Nier starting in the top two positions. 621 Hudson retained the lead through lap one, though Nier was hot on his heels. 60 Jackson Gill moved up through the pack to challenge Nier for second, but his charge was thwarted by a caution flag. On the restart, Nier was able to push past Hudson for the lead, while 72 Mike Prentice moved into third position. At the checkered flag, it was 34 Eric Nier, 621 Brian Hudson, 72 Mike Prentice, 24 Jordan Kelly, and 60 Jackson Gill.
Heat number three had 21 Taylor Caprara and 57 Anthony Stockman in the top two starting positions. Caprara retained the lead through the first three turns, but Stockman wrested it away by turn four. 44 David Rogers moved up to third position by lap two, challenging Caprara for the second spot. By the midway point, the racers settled in, stretching out around the entire track. Rogers made his move on Caprara on the final lap, and managed to snag second by a nose. 57 Anthony Stockman, 44 David Rogers, 21 Taylor Caprara, 2 Chris Thurston, 29.
Thunder Stock – Last up for heat races were two heats for the Thunder stocks, with 26m Phil Desormeau III started in first position, and retained it through the first few laps. 94 O.J. White moved into second by lap two, but 32 Chuck Monica moved past him just a lap later. 16 Matt Marcinko battled with White for third position by the midway point. At the checkered flag, it was 26M Phil Desormeau III, 32 Chuck Monica, 16 Matt Marcinko, 94 O.J. White 11j Justin Burns.
The second heat for Thunder Stocks had 61 Jerry Rogers starting in the top position. 17 Pat Sullivan charged out into the lead at the drop of the green. Rogers didn’t relent, however, regaining the lead a lap later. 5 Don Woodworth moved up through the pack to supplant Rogers and challenge Sullivan for the lead. Meanwhile, 2s Gary Sharlow moved into third, pushing Rogers back to fourth position. At the checkered flag, it was 17 Pat Sullivan, 5 Don Woodworth, 2s Gary Sharlow, 61 Jerry Rogers and 17x Mike Greenfield rounding out the top five.
DASH FOR CASH
The 358 Modified Dash for Cash ran six cars for six laps, with 9j Jordan McCreadie and 39 Tyler Bartlett starting in the top two positions. 31 Lance Willix moved up to second by turn two, while McCreadie extended a big lead over the rest of the pack. 93 Ryan Bartlett spun through turn four with only two laps remaining, brining the six cars into a single file restart. McCreadie retained the lead, with Willix settling into second, once again. On the final lap, Willix dropped out of the race with equipment issues, leaving second position to 39 Tyler Bartlett. The FX Caprara Dash for Cash winners were 9j Jordan McCreadie and 39 Tyler Bartlett.
The first feature of the evening at Caprara’s Can-Am Speedway was the Novice Sportsman. 15 Jamie Brown and 76G Skyler Greenfield started the feature in the top two positions. Brown retained the lead through turn one, while 57H Remington Hamm rolled into the infield off turn two with mechanical issues. Hamm would need a hook to the pits before racing could resume. On the restart, 0 Joe Wilcox and 18 Gavin Eisele got tangled up, continuing the caution. Wilcox left the race with a flat tire on the restart. 15 Brown retained the lead through lap three, but 76G Greenfield powered past in lap four to take control of the race. By lap nine, Eisele, too, headed to the pits with mechanical issues. At the checkered flag, it was 76G Skyler Greenfield, 15 Jamie Brown and 6 Matt Brown in the top three positions.
Pro Street Stocks took to the half-mile track next, with 13 Kenny Hamm and 690 Sid Harmer Sr. in the top two starting positions. Hamm retained the lead through lap one, while 3k Shawn Kirby vaulted up to second position. 690 Harmer Sr. had his hands full through the early laps, with 3 Rick Dusckas challenged immediately for third position. A caution came out on the track in lap three, when 81D Mark DuPuis came to a stop in turn four. Hamm remained in the lead on the restart, with 3k Kriby and 3 Dusckas right behind in second and third positions. Two laps later, Kirby made his move on the outside and powered into the lead, only to lose it a lap later, when he lost power and rode up to the top side of the track along the back straightaway. Kirby left the race under his own power, but was able to rejoin the field on the lead lap before caution was lifted. At the halfway point, 1x Mike White charged up to challenge 13 Hamm for the lead. They drove door-handle-to-door-handle with Hamm finally relenting in lap twelve. Meanwhile, 3k Shawn Kirby threaded through traffic from the back of the pack to fourth position by lap thirteen. A lap later the caution flags unfurled over the track, as 32 Ryan Shanahan drove up against the turn three wall and needed a tow to the pits. As racing resumed, so did the battle for first, with White holding onto the lead through lap sixteen. The battle for third was heating up at this point, with 3 Dusckas, 3k Kirby and 690 Harmer going three wide through turns one and two. A lap later, 13 Hamm needed assistance to roll to the pits, with mechanical issues. This left 1x White in the lead, 3k Kirby in second and 3 Dusckas in third, with just two laps remaining. Kirby stabbed low through turn one and grabbed the lead on the restart. Dusckas attempted a move into second on the final lap, but White was able to fend him off. At the checkered flag it was 3k Shawn Kirby in first, 1x Mike White in second, 3 Rick Dusckas in third, 690 Sid Harmer Sr. in fourth and 4 Mike Durham in fifth.
The big boys, the 358 Modifieds took to the track next, with 93 Ryan Bartlett and 28 Tyler Meeks in the top two starting positions. 28 Meeks beat Bartlett to the line just as caution came out on the track, with 31 Lance Willix coming to a stop on the back straightaway. Willix was able to rejoin the field before caution was lifted, after heading to the pits for repairs. 9j Jordan McCreadie moved up to third position by lap three, challenging 93 Bartlett for second. 9 Billy Dunn, was on the move, grabbing onto fourth position by lap four. 24 Brandon Sweet was also climbing through the field, moving in behind Dunn for fifth position by lap nine, when another Willix-initiated caution brought a pause to racing. 9 Billy Dunn, simultaneously lost power and required a push to the pits. On the restart, it was 28 Meeks, 93 Bartlett, 9j McCreadie, 24 Sweet and 19 Luke Stewart in the top five positions. By the halfway point, 24 Sweet put the moves on McCreadie and Bartlett and moved into second position. Sweet and Meeks battled through a half dozen laps for first position, with Sweet grabbing the lead by lap twenty. Meanwhile, McCreadie slid past Bartlett for third position with just three laps remaining. At the checkered flag, it was 24 Brandon Sweet with the victory. 9j Jordan McCreadie in second, 28 Tyler Meeks took third, 93 Ryan Bartlett in fourth and 19 Luke Stewart rounding out the top five.
The Sportsman Modified class feature race was up next, with 1 Jack Meeks and 34 Eric Nier starting in the top two positions, leading a field featuring twenty-five cars. At the drop of the green flag, Meeks retained the lead and 57 Anthony Stockman shot into second place. 621 Brian Hudson moved up from fifth to third, while 34 Nier moved back to fourth. A lap two caution briefly halted racing as 4x Mike Gadbaw got crossways of the track through turn four. 57 Stockman maneuvered past Meeks for the lead by lap three. Stockman extended a lead, putting distance between himself and the number 1 Meeks. But a lap seven caution brought the racers back together for a restart, destroying the Stockman lead. On the restart Stockman battled with Meeks for the lead, and seemed to succeed, until he lost power in lap nine, and had to take it pit side. This left Meeks in the lead with 91 Josh Reome moving into second. 15 Greg Henry went for a ride off turn one towards Route 411, bringing out the caution. Cars got together on the restart, with 25 George Sanford spinning through turn one, triggering another caution. 44 David Rogers took the opportunity of the restart to make a move for third position, but he overplayed the move, leaving the door open for 21 Taylor Caprara to move ahead into fourth. At the halfway point it was 1 Meeks, 92 Reome, 621 Hudson, 21 Caprara and 72 Mike Prentice in the top five positions. By lap sixteen, Meeks was a quarter-track ahead of the field, while 21 Caprara leap-frogged into second position. With five laps remaining, Meeks began to encounter lapped traffic, giving Caprara an opportunity to close the gap on the lead. With one lap remaining, Caprara dove low and briefly grabbed the lead, but Meeks made it to the checkered flag by a front bumper. A hear-stopping finish to a race marred by cautions initially. The top five finishers were 1 Jack Meeks, 21 Taylor Caprara, 621 Brian Hudson, 72 Mike Prentice and 91 Josh Reome.
The last feature of the night was the Thunder Stocks, with 26m Phil Desormeau III and 17 Pat Sullivan starting the feature in the top two positions. At the drop of the green 26m Desormeau III wasted no time in grabbing the lead. 32 Chuck Monica moved quickly into second position through lap one, as a caution paused racing before lap two could be completed. 16 Matt Marcinko took the opportunity of the restart to push into third position and challenge the leaders. Desormeau continued to lead through the early laps, with Monica keeping pace, but unable to gain an advantage. At the halfway mark, it was 26m Desormeau, 32 Monica, 16 Marcinko, 17x Mike Greenfield and 61 Jerry Rogers in the top five positions. It was caution free racing for much of the race, but that changed in lap eleven, when a spinout in turn three brought the field back together for a restart. Despite the opportunity, Monica was unable to get by Desormeau, who kicked off the 2017 season at Can-Am where he left things in 2016, with a victory. At the checkered flag, it was 26m Phil Desormeau III, 32 Chuck Monica, 16 Matt Marcinko, 17x Mike Greenfield, and 5 Don Woodworth in the top five positions.
COMPLETE RACING RESULTS
SPORTSMAN MODIFIED: 1) 1-Jack Meeks, 2) 21-Taylor Caprara, 3) 621-Brian Hudson, 4) 72-Mike Prentice, 5) 91-Josh Reome, 6) 24-Jordan Kelly, 7) 44-David Rogers, 8) 00-Jamie Platt, 9) 38-Zach Sobotka, 10) 60-Jackson Gill, 11) 73-Kevin Poitras, 12) 26-Mike Mandigo jr, 13) M1-Rick McCready, 14) 34-Eric Nier, 15) 45R-Preston Forbes, 16) 415-Andrew Wren, 17) 4x-Mike Gadbaw, 18) 25-George Sanford, 19) 29J-Joel Hall, 20) 2-Chris Thurston, 21) 30-Hunter Schwander, 22) 15-Greg Henry, 23) 57 Anthony Stockman, 24) 34R-Kevin Root, 25) 66W-Derek Webb (DNS)
358 MODIFIED: 1) 24-Brandon Sweet, 2) 9j-Jordan McCreadie, 3) 28-Tyler Meeks, 4) 93-Ryan Bartlett, 5) 19-Luke Stewart, 6) 39-Tyler Bartlett, 7) 10-Josh VanBrocklin, 8) 51-Brady Gill, 9) 9-Billy Dunn, 10) 31-Lance Willix, 11) 27w-Nick Webb, 12) 57-Rylee Gill (DNS)
PRO STREET STOCK: 1) 3k-Shawn Kirby, 2) 1x-Mike White, 3) 3-Rick Dusckas, 4) 690-Sid Harmer Sr., 5) 75-Kenny Hartshorn, 6) 28-Burton Ward, 7) 62-Jonathan Murphy, 8) 18-Remington Marquette, 9) 83D-Dustin Bradley, 10) 13-Kenny Hamm, 11) 55-Kenny Clark, 12) 32-Ryan Shanahan, 13) 14R-Sid Harmer Jr., 15) 14K-Kirk Smith, 16) 81D-Mark Dupois
NOVICE SPORTSMAN: 1) 76G-Skyler Greenfield, 2) 15-Jamie Brown, 3) 6-Matt Brown, 4) 18- Gavin Eisele, 5) 0-Joe Wilcox, 6) 57H-Remington Hamm, 7) 7s-Shaun Shaw (DNS), 8) 621-Trevor Gibbons (DNS)
THUNDERSTOCK: 1) 26M-Phil Desormeau III, 2) 32-Chuck Monica, 3) 16-Matt Marcinko, 4) 17x-Mike Greenfield, 5) 5-Don Woodworth, 6) 4-Jesse Bender, 7) 2s-Gary Sharlow, 8) 94-O.J. White, 9) 30-Jeremy Hamilton, 10) 111j-A.J. St.Mary , 11) 61-Jerry Rogers, 12) 111v-Tony St. Mary, 13) 11J-Justin Burns (DNS)