KIRKWOOD, NY – Kevin Bates became the first repeat Modified winner of the season on Saturday at Five Mile Point Speedway. Entering the evening there had been seven different Modified feature winners in seven races. Nearly 120 race teams jammed the pit area on another Saturday that saw heavy afternoon showers dampen the grounds but not the enthusiasm.
P.J. Goodwin and Glenn Knapp led the 23 car Modified field down for the green in the 30 lap main event. Knapp quickly jumped out to the race lead using the high side of the speedway. Knapp had a new power plant in for the first time and won his heat race earlier in the evening in convincing fashion. The caution flew on lap 3 as Joe Eisenhauer and Alan Kellogg tangled off turn 4. On the restart this time Goodwin utilized the high side to power back past Knapp for the race lead. Mike Colsten quickly joined the battle up front after starting sixth and tried to chase down the leaders.
Kevin Bates was quickly beginning his advance from the tenth starting position as he worked his usual high line around the quarter mile oval. Racing throughout the field was three and four wide as a number of great battles ensued. On lap 8 Colsten pulled in to second place and set his sights on Goodwin for the race lead. On lap 10 Knapp pulled to the infield with engine issues after a strong early performance. The race remained under green flag conditions as now Brad Szulewski joined the race up front. As Szulewski tried to challenge Colsten he also had to contend with Bates who was now up to fourth place and a quickly charging Mike Butler who was now fifth.
Goodwin would not relinquish the high line around the speedway utilizing the perfect cushion in the turns. Colsten tried the middle and bottom but could not work past. Bates moved in to third on lap 15 and now he and Colsten battled for second. Bates took over second place on lap 22 but Goodwin had a sizeable lead at this point. On that same lap Bates caught a break as Jesse Kline slowed in turn four bringing out the second caution of the event. When racing went back to green Bates pulled a slide job for the race lead in turn 2 but Goodwin returned the favor coming out of turn 4 to recapture the point. The caution would quickly come back out on lap 24 as things would take an odd turn at this juncture.
The caution came out for Brian Puckett and J.R. Fulper as they spun in tandem in turn 1. Aleia Geisler, Ed Burgess, Travis Smith, Dan Solomon and Jeff Bronson all spun and scattered to avoid. Joey Colsten slammed the outside retaining wall in turn 1. Fortunately, the speedway has foam blocks in front of the walls and Colsten was uninjured and able to continue. All drivers were able to pull away but when the foam blocks were scattered a dam of built of water broke loose across the speedway surface in the middle of turns 1 and 2. Several bouts of heavy rain swept through the area around 3 p.m. earlier in the day. The foam blocks apparently captured and dammed a large amount of water behind them and when Colsten slammed the blocks a steady flow of water poured across the track. Track crews quickly took to the situation and after about a ten minute delay the track was back in racing condition in the turns.
When the green flag flew again Bates again pulled to the outside as he and Goodwin ran side by side for the next lap and a half. Once Bates got by, he would not be contested during the balance of the feature. Goodwin finished in second with Szulewski taking third place. Mike Colsten finished fourth and Nick Rochinski made a late race charge after starting eleventh for fifth. Butler, Randy Green, Tyler Siri, Mike Loney and Geisler completed the top ten. Geisler started twenty-second on the grid.
In victory lane Bates commented on the win, “We’ve been good all year here but just haven’t had great luck. Hopefully this win can propel us to this Wednesday night and the $4,000 to win Summer Slam on Sunday.” Bates entered the evening in second place in the point standings behind Tyler Siri.
Joe Guastella and Kyle Pierce led the field to the green for the 20 lap Crate Sportsman feature event. Pierce took command at the drop of the green but two early cautions started the race off shaky. Once things settled down laps 3 through 13 would go caution free as Pierce served as the race leader. Guastella, a rookie in the division held down the second position during that green flag run as great battles took shape all over the speedway. On lap 13 the caution flew for Del Howell who had spun in turns three and four. Pierce looked strong as Guastella sat in second. Defending Track Champion Kyle Rohner was now up to third when racing went back to green.
Pierce quickly re-established his lead as Rohner battled with Guastella for second. Rohner worked in to second place on lap 15 and began to close in on Pierce. The caution flew for the final time on lap 17 as Guastella got out of shape exiting turn 2 a chain reaction tangle ensued. Current point leader Matt Cole and Tanner Harpell both were involved and were forced pit side. Both were able to return. On the restart Rohner threw the best he had at Pierce but it was not to be. Pierce continued his strong pace over the final three circuits for his first victory. Rohner wound up second. Gregg Turner had a strong run never dropping out of the top five and emerging third at the finish. Randy Fox and Devon Zona completed the top five.
The 20 lap Street Stock feature event saw Ricky Davis, Sr. race out to the early lead. Davis and Doug Polhamus had a fantastic side by side race for the lead for the first 8 laps. On lap 7 Polhamus pulled ahead but Davis stayed alongside as he tried to reclaim the point. On lap 9 Polhamus now had the lead in control as Davis had to contend with a quickly advancing Shane Wolf, Jr. The caution flew on lap 11 for the spinning pair of Ray Lindquist and Kyle Stark. When racing continued Polhamus again showed the way out front. The top three remained unchanged until lap 18. On lap 18 Davis had a mechanical issue that sent him spinning in turn four ending his great run. Over the final two circuits Wolf would try the high side of the speedway but Polhamus held his line and recorded win number two on the season. Wolf finished second with Bob Mills having a strong finish in third. Dan Mazzarese and Steve Polhamus completed the top five.
The 15 lap Factory Stock feature event saw 18 drivers take the green. Kevin Skelly took the lead from Charlie Towner on lap 3 and would never look back. Skelly would lead the balance of the way for the victory. The win was redemption after leading two weeks ago for the majority of the event only to have a trunk lid come unfastened. He was sent to the pits while leading on that night. Towner, Buck Mills Sr. and Eric Beach had a great battle for second through fourth with Mills taking over second for a period. Towner reclaimed the spot on lap 13. At the finish it was Skelly, Towner, Mills, Beach and Tommy Pickles. Pickles made his first start at the speedway and advanced from the thirteenth starting spot.
The 15 lap Lightning Cat Expert feature event saw Nick Kennedy charge from ninth to second in only three laps and take over the point on lap 5. Kennedy would go on for his second straight victory by a comfortable margin. Mike Wilmot Jr., Dave Simms, Trevor Williams and Kenny Underwood completed the top five.
Blaine Klinger led wire to wire in the 15 lap Slingshot feature event for his first win of the season. Dalton Maynard had gone undefeated since April 22nd but on this night it would be Klinger showing the fast way around the quarter mile oval. Maynard ended up second with Shane Lewis, Alex Boughton and Logan Starr completing the top five.
Walter Decker captured his second Lightning Cat Novice victory of the season. Decker held off a hard charging Brian Salmini for the win. John Maynard finished third with John Lane and Jason Colwell, Jr. rounding out the top five.
Trey Palmer was the winner of the 15 lap Empire Sports Truck Feature event.
COUNTER POINTS…Racing continues this Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. with a night of features…The race is being completed from the Saturday, July 1st washout…Only Modified and Slingshot heats remain on the card prior to feature action beginning this Wednesday night…Next Sunday is race 2 of the Sunday Summer Slam for Modifieds…That race will pay a whopping $4,000 to win for 30 laps of racing action…A number of new faces were in the pit area on Saturday as several regional tracks were washed out on Friday and Saturday…Randy Green made his first start of the season in the Modified ranks count with his seventh place finish…Jeff Bronson returned with a new Mopar power plant in his Modified…J.R. Fulpher also made his first start of the season and collected a $125 Open Sportsman Bonus…Travis Smith was the first Open Sportsman powered car across the line and earned a $150 bonus…
MODIFIED OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (30): KEVIN BATES, P.J. Goodwin, Brad Szulewski, Mike Colsten, Nick Rochinski, Mike Butler, Randy Green, Tyler Siri, Mike Loney, Aleia Geisler, Brian Puckett, Charlie Hendrickson, Travis Smith, J.R. Fulper, Jeff Bronson, Joey Colsten, Dan Solomon, Ed Burgess, Jesse Kline, Brian Weaver, Glenn Knapp, Alan Kellogg, Joe Eisenhauer. OPEN SPORTSMAN BONUS: Travis Smith ($150), JR Fulper ($125).
CRATE SPORTSMAN OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20): KYLE PIERCE, Kyle Rohner, Gregg Turner, Randy Fox, Devon Zona, Todd Titus, Carl Bittenbender, Joe Guastella, Randy Gates, Marty Bunker, Lem Atkins, Tom Hampton, Brad Cicio, Russell Hendrickson, Del Howell, Ray Leonard, Matt Cole, Tanner Harpell, Casey Dinelly, Mike Senecal, Alex VanPelt.
STREET STOCK OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20): DOUG POLHAMUS, Shane Wolf, Bob Mills, Dan Mazzarese, Steve Polhamus, Ray Lindquist, Kyle Stark, Ricky Davis Sr., Bob Hall, Jr., Justin Hall.
FACTORY STOCK OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20): KEVIN SKELLY, Charlie Towner, Buck Mills Sr., Eric Beach, Tommy Pickles, Ryan Brockner, Jim Maher, Neil Diblasi, Emmett Smith, Alan Komar, Phil Clapper, George Miller, Josh Wilber, Brady Simpson, Steve Mower, Matt Millard, Josh Towner. DNS Joe Shefford.
LIGHTNING CAT EXPERT OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (15): NICK KENNEDY, Mike Wilmot Jr., Dave Simms, Trevor Williams, Kenny Underwood, Adam Gilbert, Andy Brigham, Sheldon Whitman, Dave Bainbridge, Rick Lunn, Frank Smith, Mat Mather, Sarah Gooch, Jason Colwell, Josh Wilder, Keith Beach, Frank Kennedy, Jimmy DiFulvio.
LIGHTNING CAT NOVICE OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (12): WALTER DECKER, Brian Salmini, John Maynard, Randy Lane, Jason Colwell Jr., Brandon Gulzak, Edwin King, Ashley Slater. DNS – Mike Stark, John Gocirity.
TOBIAS SLINGSHOT OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (15): BLAINE KLINER, Dalton Maynard, Shane Lewis, Alex Boughton, Logan Starr, Shane Lewis. DNS Bob Boughton.
EMPIRE SPORT TRUCKS OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (15): TREY PALMER, Ralph Cuozzo, Jeff Young, Pete VanNoordt, Kyle Lawfair, Brandon Clapperton.