By RICH VLECK
BATAVIA, NY – The annual Thursday Night Special during the Genesee County Fair has been a long-standing tradition, but never before has hit paid out so much and had this many teams excited for the green flag to drop.
This Thursday, July 20, L&L Transmission will present a star-studded night of stock car racing at the Genesee Speedway, with a special start time set for 7:00 p.m. Teams from far and wide will travel in to the Genesee County Fairgrounds to go after the substantial purses that have been posted throughout.
The $1,500-to-win GRIT Sportsman Tour “The Wheel Deal 30” will be the largest-paying event of the night. This is the first appearance by the GRIT Sportsman Series, which will bring in invaders trying to knock off the amazing group of Cornerstone Eye Associates Sportsman regulars. Ray Bliss became the sixth different sportsman winner at the 1/3-mile on Saturday, while Sarah Johnson and Ricky Newton gave challenges. Kyle Inman still leads the standings while Andrew Smith has been a solid second. All teams in attendance will be going for the $1,500 top prize, but $125-to-start will also be an added bonus.
The sportsman division will receive 25 show-up points for competing in this tour race, but the other four divisions will be running for full points which is sure to keep things intense from top to bottom.
The MHL Performance Late Models will have $1,000 on the line for their event. Saturday’s event saw Zack Carley scored his second win of the season and move to second in points, only two points behind JJ Mazur. A host of part-time invaders are expected to try and steal the four-figure payday.
A new development over the last few days has been the bump in payout for the Yasses Trucking and Construction Street Stocks. DC Enterprise has bolstered the top prize to reward the winner of the 20-lap feature $500. Adam DePuy invaded to win on Saturday, while current point leader Byron Dewitt had to pull off early. Dewitt still maintains a 24-point advantage, now over Mike Jackson who has moved by Butch Zimmerman for the runner-up spot in the standings.
Week in and week out, the Pellegrino Auto Sales Mini Stocks have had some of the most intense finishes of the feature action. Don Newton Jr. came out with the win on Saturday, despite running third with one lap remaining. Defending champion Brad Shepard has been coming on strong while Mike Taddonio is closing in on his first win of the year. James Gayton and Dante Mancuso continue to duel it out for the title while battling mid-season gremlins.
Also on the card will be the popular DML Driveway Sealing Bandits running their 12-lap feature. Marcus Jackson notched his second win of the season, holding off Bailey Logsdon, who also had two wins. Jessica Traxler remains the point leader, but her advantage took a hit after he troubles in Saturday’s event.
Off for the week will be the Ken’s Charcoal Pits 360 Late Models. John Zimmerman got his second win of the season on Saturday, and has made it three car battle for the championship. Zimmerman is just seven points back of Dave DuBois, who is only two points ahead of Tommy Kemp.
As a reminder, there will not be any stock car racing at Genesee Speedway this Saturday Night, as the oval gives way to tractor pulls. The pit gates will swing open at 4:30, with the grandstands opening up at 5:30. Teams and Race fans alike will be able to enjoy the fair before entering the grandstands. A shuttle will be provided once again this year for teams that need assistance moving around the fairgrounds. For more information, visit www.Genesee-Speedway.com.