AFTON, NY – Mid Season Championship night at Afton Motorsports Park on Friday the 13th was a good night for some drivers and a bad night for some drivers with the point standings under going some changes with championship points being awarded.
In the ZMK Construction Modified feature, new weekly runner Scott Ferrier made the trip from Middletown, NY worth his while as he led the entire distance to claim his first ever Afton Motorsports Park feature win. A strong running Craig Hanson was second followed by Paul Jensen, Brett Tonkin, and JR Hurlburt.
The Chambers & O’Hara Open Sportsman feature saw it’s second repeat winner of the year as Dan Burman captured the win holding off a determined Claude Hutchings, Jr. for the win. Don Hart, Jr., Dave Rosa, and Bill Spoonhower rounded out the top five.
The Butler Auto Sales Crate Sportsman saw second generation driver Blaine Klinger win his first ever Sportsman checker much to the delight of the racing fans in attendance. Bobby Flood, Ryan Macartney, Corey Cormier, and AJ Miller completed the top five.
The Rinker Insurance Agency Street Stocks for the seventh time this year was all Butch Green who claimed the win in the Holcomb Racing entry. Dustin Harris, Dave Cronk, Shawn Boynton, and Ron Greek rounded out the top five.
The Trophy Guy IMCA Modified feature saw the seven race win streak of James Cornell come to an end. As Tyler Stoddard won the feature over Jake Maynard, Beau Ballard, James Cornell, and Gary Roberts.
The Four Cylinder Truck feature saw Ralph Cuozzo win his seventh feature of the year over Bob Crandall, Brandon Loucks, Kyle Lanfair, and Stephen Candiloro.
The 30 lap Modified feature was brought to post with Scott Ferrier and Paul Jensen on the front row. At the drop of the green Ferrier motored out to the lead over Jensen, Craig Hanson, JR Hurlburt, and Brett Tonkin.
Ferrier who is now calling Afton Motorsports Park is Friday night home quickly extended his lead to a full straightaway by lap six. Meanwhile Jensen and Hanson were racing hard for second with Tonkin who took over fourth on lap two looking for room to get around them.
Behind the top five the racing action was intense with drivers racing two and three wide with Darwin R. Greene making a three wide pass to go from ninth to sixth on lap six.
Up front Ferrier entered heavy lap traffic on lap ten and this slowed his progress and allowed Jensen and Hanson to close in for the lead. The yellow lights would flash on for the spun car of Jeff Sheeley in turn two and this set up a double file restart.
On the restart Jensen stayed right with Ferrier entering turn one but as soon as Ferrier got his car straight to exit turn two. He mashed on the throttle and quickly regained his lead, meanwhile Hurlburt slipped past Tonkin for fourth at this point.
Now the race for second heated up as Jensen had to deal with a strong running Hanson. Hanson, found some issues with his car during the week and corrected them for this week and the changes made his car much quicker. Hanson took full advantage of Jensen slipping up the track in turn four to grab second on lap 14.
Tonkin got fourth back as he passed Hurlburt for the position on lap 15, the half way point of the feature.
Up front the once easy drive for Ferrier got much tougher as Hanson was now reeling him in with ten laps to go. Hanson out of no where got a nose under Ferrier entering turn three coming around to complete lap 22.
This challenge for the lead by Hanson seemed to wake up Ferrier as he mashed the throttle to regain his comfortable lead and never looked back over the remaining laps of the feature.
Ferrier in for his first career Afton Motorsports Park feature win over Hanson, Jensen, Tonkin, and Hurlburt.
Qualifying heat races earlier in the racing program were won by Ferrier, Jensen, and Hanson.
Skip Pickwick and Dan Burman brought the 20 lap Open Sportsman feature to green with Burman out dragging Pickwick for the lead, Dave Rosa, Don Hart, Jr., and Tyler Hart followed.
This very competitive division where every car that starts has a chance to win the feature. This makes the racing even more intense and forces drivers to find new grooves to race in as they try to make their way to the front.
Rosa slipped past Pickwick on lap two for second and behind them a wild and crazy race for positions four, five, six, and seven was taking place between both Harts’, Claude Hutchings, Jr. and Brandon Kuhn. Hutchings matter of fact rode the homestretch wall just after completing lap four and never lost a position, but it did do some minor damage to the right front of the car.
A lap five restart saw Hutchings showing no effects of a bent front end as he rim rode his way from sixth to third.
Coming around to complete lap six the cars of Pickwick and Kuhn became entangled just past the start finish line. This sent cars scattering all over the track and the result was a multi car accident which took out Pickwick, Kuhn, last weeks feature winner Bill Deckleman, Steve Andersen, and Craig Pope for the night.
On the restart Hutchings moved under Rosa to take second and he set after Burman for the lead. one lap later Don Hart, Jr. slipped under Rosa for third while Bill Spoonhower took fifth.
The top two cars of Burman and Hutchings took off and hid from the field as they were going to decide between themselves who was going to win the feature.
Hutchings tried just about every move in the book and every groove available on the race track to get past Burman. But Burman used his 25 plus years experience of racing to stay glued to the bottom groove and make Hutchings go around him for the lead.
Burman in for the win, his second of the year over Hutchings, Hart, Jr., Rosa, and Spoonhower.
Qualifying heat races were won by Hutchings and Burman.
Michael Grover and Rob Loucks brought the 20 lap Crate Sportsman feature to green with third place starting Blaine Klinger slicing through the front row to grab the lead over Loucks, Grover, Aaron Shelton, and Ryan Macartney.
Passing in this feature was plentiful right from the get go with Macartney going from fifth to third on lap two. Fred Christ raced from sixth to fourth on this lap and Bobby Flood now made his presence felt as he came from ninth to fifth on lap three.
With the race remaining under green flag conditions Klinger increased his lead over Loucks, Macartney, Flood who took fourth on lap six, and Shelton.
Teenager Macartney looking more confidant each week at Afton Motorsports Park moved into second at the half way point. He was followed by Flood who moved past Loucks for third while Shelton had Corey Cormier and AJ Miller breathing down his back bumper for fifth.
Lap 14 saw the first yellow of the race come out for debris and during the yellow Macartney was placed back one position for rough riding earlier in the event.
On the five to go restart Klinger bolted out to the lead over Flood, Macartney, Loucks and Shelton. Shelton slipped out the groove on lap 16 and this cost him dearly as he lost two positions.
With the two to go signal being given Flood turned up the pressure on Klinger for the lead. It appeared that nerves might get the best of Klinger but he had the car set up just about perfectly.
At the checkers Klinger in for his first career Sportsman feature win over Flood, Macartney, Cormier, and Miller.
Qualifying heat races were won by Macartney and Flood.
Ron Greek and Shawn Stalker brought the 20 lap Street Stock feature to green with fourth place starting Dustin Harris grabbing the lead over Greek, Dave Cronk, Stalker, and Butch Green.
Greek suffered a flat left front tire and brought the yellow out on lap two, he pitted and returned.
On the restart Cronk using the outside groove motored past Harris to take the lead. Green moved from fifth to third with Shawn Boynton coming form sixth to fourth.
On a lap five restart Green got under Harris for second and set after the high flying Cronk for the lead.
Green was able to sneak under Cronk for the lead on lap seven and just before the yellow would come out to officially keep the lead.
On the restart Green, like he has all season long opened up a big lead while Cronk and Harris raced for second with Boynton staying right there in fourth and Greek coming back to fifth.
With Green comfortably in the lead Cronk and Harris raced for second in a crowd pleasing battle, Harris after many laps of trying took second on lap 18.
At the checkers Green in for his seventh win of the year, followed by Harris, Cronk, Boynton, and Greek who rode the home stretch wall to complete the race.
Qualifying races were won by Green and Harris.
Bill Nichols and Jake Maynard brought the 20 lap IMCA Modified feature to green with Maynard taking the lead over Gary Roberts, Tyler Stoddard, Beau Ballard, and Will Ward.
Stoddard moved into second on lap two and set after Maynard for the lead. Meanwhile James Cornell moved into fifth on lap two and raced with Ward for fourth.
Ward moved into third on lap five with Cornell right on his tail, at this point some fire off the headers of the Ward machine appeared. In the interest of safety the red flag was thrown and the fire, which was a drivers neck collar that flew off the car of Roberts and got caught on the headers of the Ward car. The fiery neck collar was removed without a fire extinguisher needed and Roberts was given another neck collar to use for the remainder of the event.
On the lap seven double file restart Stoddard finding traction in the top groove out dragged Maynard to get the lead. Meanwhile a tussle for third was taking place between Ward and Cornell and on lap eight contact between these two found Ward going around in turn two to bring out the yellow and Cornell sent to the rear for rough riding.
On the lap nine restart Maynard tried his best to return the favor by re-passing Stoddard for the lead, but didn’t quite have enough to get it done.
At the halfway point Stoddard looking strong in the lead over Maynard, Beau Ballard, Roberts, and Rodney Morgan.
Cornell determined to keep his seven race win streak alive was coming back through the field like a bear and he entered fifth on lap 12. But Cornell had two big problems, there were fast cars in front of him and the laps were winding down. Cornell moved past Roberts for fourth on lap 14 and the yellow came out for the spun car of Eric Stumpf to give Cornell some hope.
The final five laps were anti climatic as Stoddard comfortably in for the win over Maynard who was fighting tire stagger issues was second. Ballard held off Cornell for fourth with Roberts ending up in fifth.
Cornell and Stoddard won the qualifying races earlier in the racing program.
Brandon Loucks and Bob Crandall brought the 15 lap Four Cylinder Truck feature to green with Crandall getting the lead over Loucks, Ralph Cuozzo, Kyle Lanfair, and Stephen Candiloro.
With Crandall in front a great racing battle for second took place between rookie driver Loucks and veteran driver Cuozzo. Cuozzo got under Loucks for second on lap four and he set sail after Crandall for the lead.
Crandall for the next six laps held off Cuozzo for the lead but on lap 12 Crandall slipped up the track just enough. This little opening was all Cuozzo needed as he bolted through the opening to grab the lead.
Cuozzo in for his seventh win of the year over Crandall, Loucks, Lanfair, and Candiloro.
NOTES; IMCA Modified driver Tim Vandemark and his Grand Father / car owner Beezer Wilkie missing the racing action for this entire month due to being on a Church Mission in Africa. Due to a family medical emergency IMCA Modified point leader James Cornell more than likely raced for his last time weekly until this serious condition gets better and everyone at AMP sends prayers to the fine Cornell Family. Dennis Clapperton had motor problems in his primary Open Sportsman car and he drove the Crate Sportsman car of Craig Monroe in his feature. Track management announced that the upcoming Wednesday July 25th show will see 25 track bonus points awarded to all Modifieds and Crate Sportsman who attend. Also in case of unfavorable weather a rain date of Thursday July 26th will be used and because of the race during the week the Friday July 27th show has been cancelled.
Next Friday night The Trophy Guy presents Kiddie Rides where kids of all ages get an opportunity to take a lap around Afton Motorsports Park in a racecar before the racing action begins. Also on the racing program are the ZMK Construction Modifieds, Chambers & O’Hara Open Sportsman, Butler Auto Sales Crate Sportsman, The Trophy Guy IMCA Modifieds, Rinker Insurance Agency Street Stocks, and Four Cylinder Trucks.
Pit gates open at 4 pm next Friday night with grandstand gates opening at 4:30 pm. Kiddie Rides will begin at 5:45 pm and run until 6:10 pm, hot laps begin at 6:15 pm and the first heat starts promptly at 7 pm.
Admission to the pits where there is no track license / membership required is $30. Adult grandstand admission is $12, seniors age 62 and up are $10, youth aged 9 to 14 are $5, and 8 and under are free with a paid adult admission.
For more information on Afton Motorsports Park please log on to the World Wide Web at www.aftonmotorsportspark.com or call 607 – 639 – DIRT or 607-624-3772.
Afton Motorsports Park is fast, fun, and furious…come check us out!
Friday July 20th – 7pm – The Trophy Guy presents Kiddie Rides plus Big Six Weekly divisions.
Wednesday July 25th – 7pm – SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES POWERED BY SUNOCO RACING / BOB HILBERT SPORTSWEAR / HALMAR INTERNATIONAL NORTH REGION RACE #5 AFTON ACTION 50 FOR MODIFIEDS plus RACE #1 OF CRATE SPORTSMAN NORTH REGION SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES 25 LAPS. ** INCREASED ADMISSION ** $40 for Pits, $22 for Grandstands, $20 for Seniors age 62 and up, $12 for Youth aged 9 to 15, 8 and under are free with paid adult admission. 25 TRACK BONUS POINTS AWARDED. RAINDATE OF THURSDAY JULY 26TH.
Friday July 27th – 7pm – NO RACING due to race during the week.
ZMK CONSTRUCTION MODIFIED FINISH; Scott Ferrier, Craig Hanson, Paul Jensen, Brett Tonkin, JR Hurlburt, Darwin R. Greene, Mitch Gibbs, Jeremy Smith, Rusty Smith, Tim Mayne, Kenny Titus, Brian Malcolm, Steve Babicek, Mike Colsten, Jim Cummings, Jim Becker, Jim Introne, Jr., Nick Nye, Jeff Sheeley, Ray See. DNS; Dave Van Buren, Sr.
CHAMBERS & O’HARA OPEN SPORTSMAN FINISH; Dan Burman, Claude Hutchings, Jr., Don Hart, Jr., Dave Rosa, Bill Spoonhower, Tyler Hart, Dennis Clapperton, Skip Pickwick, Brandon Kuhn, Bill Deckleman, Steve Andersen, Craig Pope.
BUTLER AUTO SALES CRATE SPORTSMAN FINISH; Blaine Klinger, Bobby Flood, Ryan Macartney, Corey Cormier, AJ Miller, Rob Loucks, Gary Smith, Aaron Shelton, Fred Christ, Fred Smith, Ed Utter, Michael Grover, Craig Monroe, Wade Johnson, Kinser Hill.
THE TROPHY GUY IMCA MODIFIED FINISH; Tyler Stoddard, Jake Maynard, Beau Ballard, James Cornell, Gary Roberts, Rodney Morgan, Will Ward, Billy Ward, Bill Nichols, Eric Stumpf, Lenny Miller.
RINKER INSURANCE AGENCY STREET STOCK FINISH; Butch Green, Dustin Harris, Dave Cronk, Shawn Boynton, Ron Greek, Shawn Stalker, Jonathon Fowlston, Ernie Staelens, Donald Briggs, Ralph Cuozzo.
FOUR CYLINDER TRUCK FINISH; Ralph Cuozzo, Bob Crandall, Brandon Loucks, Kyle Lanfair, Stephen Candiloro.