JR Hurlburt Hustles to Win at Afton

AFTON, NY – JR Hurlburt (6H) grabbed his first victory at Afton Motorsports Park (A.M.P.) since the 2017 race-season rim-ridding the speedway. Brad Alger (78a) won the Crate Sportsman feature on his first visit back in quite a few years. Dave Rosa (61) collected his first of the year in the Open Sportsman. The other three regular classes saw repeat winners as Butch Green (57) captured the Street Stock division, Matt Roberts the IMCA Modified and Ralph Cuozzo (00) the Combined Four Cylinder Car and Truck division respectively. The Sling-Shot division was back on the card with the All-Star winner was Bob Boughton (81) and the Junior winner was (44) Gordon Smith.

The ZMK Construction Modified division saw the twenty-one cars starting field come to Scott Stevens green flag with Steve Babicek (s1) and (8m) Tim Mayne leading the charge. Before the first lap was completed a tangle going into turn one caused six cars all get together. After the clean-up and some cars driving to the pits but able to return but unfortunately Kailee Dimorier (14) got the worst of the deal and could not return after the trip to the pits on the wrecker. After the restart Babicek grabbed the lead and stayed there and a second caution came out for the spinning (74D) of Chris VanBuren. Babicek jumped back out front but now second place running JR Hurlburt who was rim-riding the speedway passed Babicek just as they came to the stripe and the Mirabito Energy Products lap-counter shown five. From there Hurlburt was pulling away and late in the race a fast closing Justin Holland (280) was in hot pursuit using the top mostly but also the low-side of the speedway but never getting close enough to challenge. At the stripe the top five following the top two across the line was Brett Tonkin (15), Brandon Walters (22) and Ken Titus (9). The three heat winners were Rusty Smith (34), Tim Mayne and Ken Titus. Hurlburt in victory lane thanked his sponsors and crew for all their hard work. He also mentioned how good the track was and how well the car was working. When I mentioned about Holland trying to run him down, he said he had some more to give if he needed it. He also joked that it has been so long since he got here, he almost forgot where to go.

Fred Smith (119) and Gary Miller (1M) brought the full field of the Rinker Insurance Agency Crate Sportsman to the start with Smith charging to the front and Brandon Loucks (23) who started behind Smith following for second and Miller dropping in third. Lap two saw a yellow fly for the spin of Brandon Christ (13) and collecting newcomer (312) of John Williams. It took another try for the race to get back underway as six cars got together on the restart and most able to return to racing. Smith goes back out front where he led until first time starter this season Brad Alger from his starting spot twelve riding the high-side slipped past Smith on lap eleven. Lap seven also had a caution for five cars getting involved in turn two and youngster Blaine Klinger the only one towed off as he got the implement tire and then went in the drainage ditch. Following Alger across the line was Fred Smith, Brandon Loucks, AJ Digsby (99), and first-time starter this season at the speedway Hunter Lapp (60). Heat winners on this night were Brandon Loucks, Fred Smith and AJ Digsby. Brad Alger in victory lane had to thank not only his crew but some of the other folks that helped as it was his first race in quite a while on American Racer tires. He mentioned that no one was up top so I went up there and the car responded and I wasn’t about to change what was working. He commented how fast the track was and it felt great to get this win.

In the Chamber’s & O’Hara Open Sportsman division the front row at the start consisted of the (7up) of Danielle Smith and the (57) od Dan Burman. Lap one goes on the lap counter and Smith goes across as the leader and continues out front until fourth place starter (61) Dave Rosa goes by for the top spot. Two cautions slow the field from this point on as on lap eight the (10x) of Jason Thomas hits the wall and at this point Dan Burman went pit-side. On the restart the top five consists of Rosa, Jim Rockwell (4), Bill Deckleman (90), Smith and the (D9) OF Dennis Clapperton. The final caution came out the very next lap as Deckleman trying to get by lap car that was in the way punts it in turn one and that car spins. From there it was all Rosa with Rockwell, Deckleman and Clapperton battling for two through four. The finish saw it come in with Rosa followed by Rothwell, Clapperton, Deckleman and Blaine Klinger (9K) slipping into fifth. Rosa mentioned that the crew and himself believe the got this car and the Crate set the way the want it now. Rosa said the car worked all over the track no matter where he needed to go. The three heats were taken by Deckleman, Clapperton and Danny Yankowski (32y).

The Pit Stop Auto Street Stock division went green to checker with Butch Green from his third starting spot get by the front row of Dave Cronk (01) and (98P) of Steve Polhamus in between one and two. Cronk settles in second until fourth starter Doug Polhamus (KP1) gets by for second. Damon Decker (3K) who has taken over the driver chores of the Rich Fife machine finished third and he looks like a threat to win here soon. Fourth and fifth went to Dave Cronk and Steve Polhamus. Green and Cronk won the two qualifying heats. Green in victory lane said his goal is to get to the front as soon as possible as he figures he always needs to get there before Doug Polhamus. Hats off to my car owner, great sponsor’s and crew because if not for them this wouldn’t be possible. He also thanked all the fans for coming out and supporting the track.

The Trophy Guy IMCA Modified feature Jim Cummings (7) and Leonard Miller (X) were the first to see the wave of the green for the start of their 20-lap feature. Cummings grabbed the lead with Mike Stoddard (S/360) in chase from his third starting spot. On lap three Mike Stoddard takes the lead from Cummings. On lap seven the caution shows for three-time feature winner Beau Ballard (15) coming to a stop. The top five at the restart is Mike Stoddard, Matt Roberts (613), Tyler Stoddard (23), Brad Smith (76) and Gary Roberts (U2). After the restart Tyler Stoddard goes to work on Dad Mike to get by and does on lap nine. A fierce battle goes on behind him for the top five spots. On lap fifteen two cars get together to bring out a caution. Back to green and the vary next lap Mike Stoddard goes around on his own to bring out the third caution of the race. On lap nineteen the final caution comes out and the final lap restart has a change at the top. Tyler Stoddard at the restart drifts off the bottom going into turn one and that was all Matt Roberts needed to slide along-side and then out-race him to the line and his second win of the season. Following those two across the stripe were Brad Smith, Beau Ballard with a late charge back to fourth and Leonard Miller. Heat wins went to Beau Ballard and Matt Roberts.

In the Green Briar Farms Combined Four Cylinder Cars and Trucks Jeff Young (17m) and Pete Christiansen (33) brought the small field to the green. Young brings out the first caution after one lap goes on the lap counter. When they go back to green Ralph Cuozzo takes control and everyone else is racing for second. Young come back out on lao three making him two laps in the arrears. The division doesn’t run a heat race as they run their feature right after all the other heats are complete. Cuozzo in victory lane said he changed the air filter that morning and that was it. He also announced this would be his last season so let’s gather the wins. It was win number eight of ten features this season.

The Sling Shots were on the schedule tonight also with eleven showing to do action on the 4/10th mile oval. It was four All Stars and seven Juniors. Bob Boughton (81) won his heat and the feature in the All Star division. The first Junior across the line was second place finishing Gordon Smith (44). That was his third ever race in this division so you can see he will hit pay dirt real soon. The heat race for the Junior division was taken by the (44b) of Tavian Blowers.

A.M.P. Notes, The night’s sponsor Mirabito Energy Products brought a $25.00 gift card for the second prize of the 50/50. The money was over five hundred with the largest group of fans and competitors in attendance on this night. There were new cars and returning cars in all divisions on this night with Brad Ager fairing the best with the Crate Sportsman feature win. The youngsters before hot-laps got to enjoy rides in the racecars and all of the staff at A.M.P. want to thank the drivers owners and crews for helping bring joy to the next generation of fans and competitors Coming up this Friday is Chamber’s & O’Hara night in the VIP tower and the highly anticipation of the return of the Show Stopper Mitch Gibbs (2G) with the new car with Chamber’s & O’Hara blazing the side of the machine.

ZMK Construction Modified order of finish, 21 cars; 6H JR Hurlburt, 280 Justin Holland, 15 Brett Tonkin, 22 Brandon Walters, 9 Ken Titus 34 Rusty Smith, 21 Shaun Walker, 8m Tim Mayne, 38 Jeff Sheely, 57 Paul Jensen, 26 Corey Cormier, 1 Darwin Greene, 12 Darren Smith, 46 Jeremy Smith, S1 Steve Babicek, 37 Alex Tonkin, 49 Ken Sparks Jr, 74D Chris Van Buren, 62 Walt C. 14 Kailee Dimorier, 24 Ryan Macartney (DNS)

Rinker Insurance Agency Crate Sportsman order of finish, 23 cars, 78a Brad Alger, 119 Fred Smith, 23 Brandon Loucks, 99 AJ Digsby, 60 Hunter Lapp, 44 Tyler Ward, 5H Alan Hodge, 91 Bobby Flood, 61 Dave Rosa, 96 Dustin Harris, 60X Kinser Hill, 56k Kamdin Maby,  77c Fred Christ, 10 Lisa Williams, 13 Brandon Christ, 63 Craig Monroe, 1 Mike Roth, 24 Ryan Macartney, 9K Blaine Klinger, 7up Gary Smith, 1m Gary Miller, 73A Steve Andersen, 312 John Williams

Chamber’s & O’Hara Open Sportsman order of finish, 18 cars, 61 Dave Rosa, 4 Jim Rockwell, D9 Dennis Clapperton, 90 Bill Deckleman, 9K Blaine Klinger 7up Danielle Smith,42c Craig Pope, 16 Brandon Kuhn, 28 Jim Gould, 32y Danny Yankowski, 24 Marshall Hurd, 189 Leah Decker, 57 Dan Burman, 21F Zack Falciani, 00 Will Jones, 10x Jason Thomas, 11x Pete Nowicki, 33 Michael Roach

Pit Stop Auto order of finish, 11 cars, 57 Butch Green, KP1 Doug Polhamus, 3k Damon Decker, 10 Dave Cronk, 98P Steve Polhamus, 151 Travis Brockner, 1 Bob Crandall, 16 Donald Briggs, 32 Shawn Stalker, 74d Larry Miller, 00 Ralph Cuozzo

The Trophy Guy IMCA Modified order of finish, 12 cars, 613 Matt Roberts, 23 Tyler Stoddard, 76 Brad Smith, 15 Beau Ballard, X Leonard Miller, 16 Aaron Jacobs, 7 Jim Cummings, 7s Eric Stumpf, 96x Brandon Smith, 3G J.T. Roe, S/360 Mike Stoddard, U2 Gary Roberts

Green Briar Farms Four Cylinder Trucks and Cars, 6 entries, one car, five trucks, 00 Ralph Cuozzo, 22s Dane Hedlund, 33 Pete Christiansen, 86 Steve Condiloro,17m Jeff Young, g55 Dakota Fuller

All Star and Junior Slingshot combined finish, 11 cars, 81 Bob Boughton, 44 Gordon Smith, 65R Harold Renwick, 77w Melissa Wheelock, 44b Tavian Blowers, 7w Calvin Wheelock, 63 Rod Renwick, 52m Matthew Backus, 20 Julia Renwick, 67w Zack Welch, 03 Evan O’Hara (DNS)