By: Steve Pados, Accord Speedway Media
As summer leaves us and the incoming fall weather joins us, the change in the weather patterns provided the perfect backdrop for the mighty stars and cars of the Accord Speedway on Friday evening to do battle at the “Gem in the Catskills” racing facility. The quiet serenity of the Catskill Mountains gave way to the intoxicating sounds of fast hot rod racing action and an over the top Fireworks Extravaganza on Fridayevening and a great crowd of eager racing fans came out to witness their racing heroes carve out a fabulous and entertaining seven division racing card at the speedway. When the final event was checkered, seven happy winners found their way to the WRWD Radio 107.3 FM Victory Lane on an evening sponsored by Emmanuel’s Marketplace, the Orange County Fair Speedway, home of the Eastern States 200, Taylor Rental and Dig Safely New York.
In the United Pump and Tank Modified division, “Jammin” Jimmy Wells found all of the racing channels to his liking as he ran down early leader, his Uncle Mike Ricci, took control of the point and romped to his second win of the season and in doing so claimed the qualifying spot for the prestigious 56th running of the Eastern States 200 to be held in Middletown, New York from October 20th to the 22nd. Bob Sleight, the defending champion in the division, turned in a stellar performance as he tracked down early leader John Drake and went on to capture his second win of the season in the Upstate Auto Pure Stock division. Ryan McCartney had the hot ticket in the WRWD Radio Rookie Sportsman finale as he captured his third win of the season. “Kid Ice” Cole Hentschel grabbed the lead early and then had to fend off the challenges of his teammate, “The Bushkill Bullet” Kyle Rohner in the final laps to claim his first win of the season in the Arkel Motors Sportsman feature main event. Larry McVay put the finishing touches on a solid evening of racing as he claimed his second win of the season in the WRWD Radio NEWS Sprint Car headliner. “The Cold Spring Kid” Jake Mason captured his eighth win of the season in the Want Ad Digest Junior Slingshot division feature. Mike Houghtaling made it three in a row at Accord in the Northeast Vintage Modified feature. “Showtime” Danny Tyler was spot on in challenging and defeating all comers in the Modified Eliminator shoot out.
Mike Ricci and Jesse Marks brought the solid field of United Pump and Tank Modifieds down for the start of the 30-lap headliner. Ricci seized the lead in the second VanDuser Concrete machine and would lead early on although Jimmy Wells came calling from fifth starting spot and worked his way into the runner-up slot by lap ten. Wells was methodical from the baseline as he began his assault on Uncle Mike. Racing side by side for a couple of laps made for a great show between the family but it would be Wells seizing command of the lead at the halfway mark. Once in front, Wells had clear sailing and would go on to capture his second win of the season and with it securing the starting spot for the Eastern State Weekend event in October. Mike Ricci, who has racing sparingly in the 2017 racing season, showed he still has plenty of gusto left with a fine runner-up performance. Scott Ferrier was third with Ed Dachenhausen fourth and Danny Tyler fifth hustling hard to complete the top five. The second five consisted of 15th starting Joe Judge, while Richie Eurich, Jesse Marks, Tommy Johnson and Eddie Burgess.
The Arkel Motors Sportsman division headliner found Nick Plumstead and Cole Hentschel on the front row with Hentschel finding the hot spot on the speedway and grabbing the lead at the start of the event with Plumstead and Dave Demorest following. Kyle Rohner found his way forward and as the early laps clicked off made his way into third place. With the race remaining green Hentschel and Plumstead were all alone as one and two while Rohner made up ground quickly and slipped past Plumstead for second and then set sail for his teammate. The drivers raced around the quarter mile clay nose to tail for at least ten laps as Rohner pulled out all of the stops to slip past Hentschel. Hentschel had his own ideas about the outcome of the event and held of the determined Rohner for his first win at Accord. Rohner was second making it a one/two sweep for the Advanced Concrete Team. Plumstead was third in a great run while Tyler Johnston and Matt Shultz completed the top five. Jamie Yannone headed up the second five with Corey Cormier, the returning Joey Bonetti, Tony Kowlachuk and Rich Ricci III following.
The Upstate Auto sponsored Pure Stock event got underway with John Drake grabbing the lead at the start. Craig Cuneo settled into the runner-up role while John Hechinger and Steve Williams began to challenge. On lap four Cuneo found the room he needed to take over the point and he would lead for three laps until Bob Sleight found the sweet spot he was seeking and drove by Cuneo to take command of the lead. Sleight would go on to record his second win of the season and first win since opening night at the speedway. Hechinger continued his great work with a third place finish while Steve Williams and John Drake completed the top five. Travis Brockner, who was leading the points chase coming into the event, was sixth while Ray Tarantino, Livy Johnson, Jay Smalley and newcomer Jesse Murphy completed the top ten.
Kevin Stevens was shot out a cannon at the start of the WRWD Radio Rookie Sportsman feature event. He would lead the first five laps of the event. On a restart, Ryan McCartney and Stevens got together with Stevens slipping out of the racing channel and doing all he could to maintain control of the race car. Stevens lost valuable ground while McCartney would be the new leader. McCartney had himself a fast race car as he would lead the remaining laps to claim his third win of the season at Accord. Vinny Visconti was second while Hunter Lapp, Alex VanPelt and Fred Smith would complete the top five. An interesting note is the top four drivers all came from the Slingshot ranks. John Miller was sixth, while Jeff Higham, newcomer Brian Durban, Kevin Stevens and John Brown completed the top ten.
Larry McVay powered into the lead at the start of the WRWD Radio NEWS Sprint Car feature. McVay withstood an early challenge from the returning Heidi Hedin and then would fend off the advances of the returning Rich Mellor for the rest of the feature events. McVay was in the zone and would race his way to his second win of the season with Mellor in for runner-up honors. Larry Ricci was third while Bobby Tersillo, Eric Jennings in a borrowed ride and Andrew Davis would complete the field.
The Want Ad Digest Junior Slingshot event found Jake Mason taking control of the event by the end of lap one. Jaden Sleight kept the pressure on for the first half of the race but Mason has enjoyed his best year in racing to date and walked away with his eighth win of the season at Accord. Sleight was second with Brock Pinkerous finishing third.
In the Northeast Vintage Modifieds, Al Houghtaling would lead the first four laps of the event until a determined Bob Schmidt would drive by him. Schmidt built up a lead and would quickly get into slower traffic. Mike Houghtaling seized the opportunity as he caught up to Schmidt in traffic and then used a slower car as a pick to slip past Schmidt for the lead on lap seventeen. Mike Houghtaling would win his third event in as many tries at Accord. Schmidt was second while Ray See Sr, Chuck Davies and Jimmy Halpin would complete the top five. Mike Cole was the first Sportsman across the line.
Danny Tyler put his showtime moniker to good use as he defeated all comers in the Modified Elimination event. Picking a random draw of ten cars, Tyler was guaranteed a spot and wasted no time in defeating one by one the talent placed up against him. Tyler picked up $300.00 for his efforts. Special thanks to Dave Rocket and Marty at Upstate Auto for the award money for the event.
Through the determined efforts of Promoter Gary Palmer, the speedway was in excellent racing condition and the many racing channels provided the drivers a wall to wall track surface to compete on. The close side by side racing action that Accord is well noted for kept the fans on the edge of their seats all night long.
Many, many thanks to the good folks at Emmanuel’s Marketplace for sponsoring the over the top fireworks extravaganza presented by Santore’s Famous Fireworks. Just as in the Dire Straits song, they did turn the night time into the day. Also special thanks to DJ Tim Adams for a great song selection during the fireworks show.
Pure Stock heats went to Bob Sleight and Livy Johnson. Modified preliminaries were captured by Mike Ricci, Jimmy Wells and Danny Creeden. Cole Hentschel and Nick Plumstead captured the Sportsman heats while John Brown and Alex VanPelt were victorious in the Rookie heats. Larry McVay claimed the Sprint Car heat event. Jaden Sleight claimed the Junior Slingshot heat.
New faces arrived last night for their first Accord start as Joey Bruning was back in action and was solid in his heat but ran into problems during the feature and was an early retiree. Phil Recchio returned to the speedway in the car his son Anthony had been driving most of the season. Joey Bonetti returned to action in the Sportsman. Gary Gamble and Jesse Murphy were two new faces with the Pure Stock Division. Brandon Daley was back in the action in the Rookies and Brian Durban made his initial start with the Rookies.
“Uncle Mike” Hansen from WRWD Radio was on board for the evening and interviewed with announcer Steve Pados for the upcoming First Responders Night on September 8th as the speedway will once again offer a special dedication on the anniversary of 9/11 next week on September 8th as all police, firefighters, correction officers and EMT’s will be admitted to the speedway free with their department ID. Upstate Auto will be the headline sponsor for the event which will also highlight the night of champions at the speedway.
The Accord Speedway is sending $688.00 to the Houston, Texas Food Bank as part of the 50/50 last evening. The award was for $344.00 and the Speedway matched in a nice gesture by the Palmer Family and the great fans at Accord.
A super amount of interest is already in place for the upcoming King of the Catskills weekend at the speedway. With some very big dollars in place, a banner field is anticipated. More information will be released as the countdown is coming quickly.
Wes Davis, the sound technician at Accord, brought along his Grandson Joshua for his first visit to the speedway.
Leni Fornino, a fifteen year old student at Roundout Valley, sang the National Anthem last evening and did a wonderful job.
Avery Bonesfell and Benjamin Curry won bikes at the Speedway. Congratulations!
United Pump & Tank Modifieds: (OCFS Eastern States Qualifier): Jimmy Wells. Mike Ricci, Scott Ferrier, Ed Dachenhausen, Danny Tyler, Joe Judge, Ruchie Eurich, Jesse Marks, Tommy Johnson, Eddie Burgess, Richard Smith, Kurt Hundeland, Alissa Cody, Danny Creeden, RJ Daley, Kyle VanDuser, Ken Ferrier, Rich Ricci Jr, Joey Bruning, Brad Rothaupt (DQ), Kevin Krom (DQ)
Arkel Motors Sportsman: Cole Hentschel, Kyle Rohner, Nick Plumstead, Tyler Johnston, Mayy Shultz, Jamie Yannone, Corey Cormier, Joey Bonetti, Tony Kowalchuk, Rich Ricci III, Rafael Carson, Phil Recchio, Nick Johnson, Michael Murphy, Dave Demorest, Mike Senecal, Robbie Knipe
WRWD Radio NEWS Sprint Cars: Larry McVay, Rich Mellor, Larry Ricci, Bob Tersillo, Eric Jennings, Andrew Davis, Heidi Hedin, Jeremy Quick, Corey Wood
Upstate Auto Pure Stocks: Bob Sleight, Craig Cuneo, John Hechinger, Steve Williams, John Drake, Travis Brockner, Ray Tarantino, Livy Johnson, Jay Smalley, Jesse Murphy, Chris Kanuk, Emerson Cargain Jr, Harry Bachman, Gary Gamble
WRWD Radio Rookie Sportsman: Ryan McCartney, Vinny Visconti, Hunter Lapp, Alex VanPelt, Fred Smith, John Miller, Jeff Higham, Brian Durban, Kevin Stevens, John Brown, Brandon Daley, Austin Helmich, Keith Johannessen, Michael Corbin
Want Ad Digest Junior Slingshots: Jake Mason Jaden Sleight, Brock Pinkerous
Northeast Vintage Modifieds: Mike Houghtaling, Bob Schmidt, Ray See Sr, Chuck Davies, Jimmy Halpin (Mike Cole-First Sportsman)
Racing is on tap every Friday night at Accord Speedway from April through September. Please make note of the new starting times: Pit Gates open at 5:00; Spectator Gates open at 5:30; Hot Laps begin at 7:00 and the racing begins at 7:30 PM. Admission for Adults $14.00; Seniors (65+) $12.00; Children $3.00 (11+ under) Indoor Seating $20.00; Family four pack special: 2 Adults + 2 Children and $20.00 in Accord Bucks for $44.00 (a savings of $10.00)
Special event shows do have an increase in admission.
The next event at Accord will be September 8th with all divisions in action and the amazing tribute to First Responders along with Fireworks on Upstate Auto Night.