Dan Vauter Picks Up Victory At Afton

AFTON, NY – The thirty-lap feature came to Scott Stevens green flag with the front row being occupied by Leah Decker (189) and Dan Vauter (85) leading the way. Vauter grabbed the lead and before the first lap was recorded eight cars all got together out of turn two after Decker got loose and came down across the track bringing out a yellow. Most of the competitors, after quick pitstops were able to return to the fray except one-time feature winner Brett Tonkin (9B) and Richie Price (23p). When the action got back underway Vauter went back to the front and recorded lap number one, but before lap two got in coming out of four the frontend of the Decker’s machine collapsed and shot her from the bottom of the track to the top. Some great driving by the rest of the field made it just a one-car incident as it could have been much worse. Once the Decker car was cleared the race got back underway and the race went green to checker from that point. Darren Smith (12) was the chaser of Vauter but he could never catch the eventual winner. Nick Nye (6nn) from his eighteenth starting spot grabbed third on lap twenty-eight. J.R Hurlburt (6H) late in the race was the fastest car coming through the back of the pack after a tire change from the first lap skirmish. Hurlburt was able to garner a fifth- place finish as the checkered flag flew. The top five at the finish was Vauter, Smith, Nye, Jim Becker (9j) and Hurlburt. Vauter in victory lane mentioned how good his Main Racing Engine Bicknell chassis performed on the fast track tonight. He verified it was his first ever feature win for him at the track where he got his driving career started. Three heat races were contested and won by Bobby Flood (91), Leah Decker and Dan Vauter.

Ted’s Body Shop Crate Sportsman, Tyler Ward (44) and Jason Feinberg (5) led the charge to the green with Ward getting the jump to the front. Ward stayed in command when on lap nine the first yellow slowed the action for John Williams (312) going around on his own in turn two. Top five at this point was Ward, Blaine Klinger (9K), Feinberg, Dave Rosa (61) and Brett Tonkin (27K). Two more cautions on lap eleven and lap thirteen brought the cars all back to Ward who on all restarts was able to open up a two to three car advantage. Tonkin already a feature winner on the season was slowly getting by the cars to work his way up to Ward. After a three-lap tussle with Ward Tonkin finally got by Ward on lap sixteen where he went on to grab win number two of the season. Following the top two across the line were Klinger, Rosa and Feinberg. Tonkin in the Gotta Go Mirabito victory lane mentioned how good the car was working everywhere on the track but was very good on top. He thanked his sponsors and especially the crew on how hard they work to give me such a great piece to drive. He also mentioned it was a great night with this car but not so much for the Modified but we will take it and be back next week to try and improve on that. The three qualifying heat races were captured by, Gary Smith (7up), Dave Rosa and Jason Feinberg

Rinker Insurance Agency Open Sportsman; Ava Coons(12a) and Danielle Smith (7upjr.) brought the eighteen-car starting field to the green for the twenty-lap feature. Coons leads lap number one and two before caution on lap two for third starting Craig Pope (42c) being taken around bringing out the first yellow. On the restart Bill Deckleman was able to take the top spot from his tenth starting spot and never looked back. Olin Renwick (5R) brought out a caution as he got up on the wall coming out of two and was done for the night. Deckleman at this point opened a half track lead and was in total control when on lap sixteen the final caution came out for second running Klinger and third place running Joshua Akshar got into Klinger and they both spun wildly into the turn one wall. Klinger was able to return to action and Akshar was towed pit-side and not able to return. On the final restart Deckleman was able to cruise to the feature win for his second-in-a-row. The top five at the finish after Deckleman was newcomer Danny Yankowski (14), Jim Cummings (7), Jim Rothwell (4) and Dave Rosa (61). Deckleman told me in the Gotta Go Mirabito victory lane that the car was on rails and it would go wherever he decided to take it. I asked him about the final restart after such a huge lead but he said when the car was running that well he wasn’t worried about it at all. The crew does and outstanding job on getting this car to perform like this and they deserve the credit. The two heat wins went to Jim Rothwell and Blaine Klinger.

Chambers & O’Hara Sales, Service and Rentals Street Stocks; Seven cars started the Street Stock feature being led to the green by Dusty Decker (20Jr) and Kurt Decker (89). Dusty got the lead at the drop of Scott Stevens green flag and held off all the challenges first by Kurt and then fifth starting Jerry Lobdell Jr. who got by Kurt Decker on lap nine. Lobdell hounded the young Dusty Decker but Decker never flinched as he drove to his first ever Feature win at the speedway. Kurt Decker won the lone heat for the division. Dusty Decker mentioned to me that it was his first ever win here and second Street Stock feature win as he won last season at Penn Can Speedway. Never had much luck here but decided to stay closer to home this season and it seems to be a successful decision. He mentioned his sponsors and crew in victory lane also.

GRIT Racing Series Factory Stocks; Mike Chilson (28m) and Jason Rhoades (57ND) led the charge to the start of the twenty-lap feature with Rhoades recording lap one and Chilson lap two. On lap five Bob Mills (24) took the lead until eventual feature winner Tom Groover got by on lap twelve and never was headed from that point. The race went with just a couple yellows slowing the pace for minor incidents. Groover mentioned in victory lane just how racy the track is here as I could put the car anywhere, I wanted to. I mentioned he took the lead on top but went to the bottom once getting by the leader. Groover said I didn’t want anybody getting by on the inside and if they could do it outside so be it. The two heats were won by Groover and Rhoades.

A.M.P. After Thoughts; The GRIT Series did a draw redraw for the evening and the only regular division doing so was the Ted’s Body Shop Crate Sportsman. The Crates on opening nights ran for no points because of a special race at Outlaw Speedway. Next week the Slingshots will be making their second appearance so that will be the only class doing the draw, redraw to set up the heats and feature. Every other division is under the handicap system now.

Ted’s Body Shop Crate division and the Rinker Insurance Agency Open Sportsman will take part in a fan appreciation on the horse track during intermission. Scheduled also per this writing our sponsor Texas Roadhouse will be bringing their mascot Andy Armadillo with giveaways for the fans also. The track was in great shape as it was smooth with drivers using the track from top to bottom with very minimal dust. The final checker was thrown at 10:09pm. I had Nathen Stevens who runs the website Thank God its Race Day hand me a one-hundred-dollar bill to give who I thought deserved it for any reason I decided. I gave it to Craig Pope (42c) in the Rinker Insurance Agency Open Sportsman division as he started third and got taken out on lap two and never could get going after that and finished fourteenth.

Friday, June 4 Racing – Results
ZMK Construction Modifieds: 22 Cars

Dan Vauter, Darren Smith, Nick Nye, Jimmy Becker, J.R. Hurlburt, Alan Barker, Bobby Flood, Randy Green, Danny Creeden, Ken Titus, Paul Jensen, Nicholas Mady Jr, Dennis Clapperton, Rusty Smith, Todd Titus, Jeff Sheely, Mitch Gibbs, Justin Holland, Leah Decker, Brett Tonkin, Richie Price, Matt Meade (DNS)

Ted’s Body Shop 602 Crate Sportsman: 21 Cars
Brett Tonkin, Tyler Ward, Blaine Klinger, Dave Rosa, Jason Feinberg, Travis Green, Dustin Harris, Gary Smith, A.J. Digsby, Fred Smith, Brandon Loucks, Blake Sarpriacone, David Dickey, Russell Benke Jr., Dylan Nichols, Mike Grover, John Williams, Scott Torbitt, Allan Hodge, Steve Andersen, Eric Jensen

Rinker Insurance Agency Open Sportsman: 18 Cars
Bill Decklemen, Danny Yankowski, Jim Cummings, Jim Rothwell, Dave Rosa, James Gould, Ava Coons, Danielle Smith, Rob Loucks, Shawn Davis, Duane Knapp, Blaine Klinger, Dwayne Jackson, Craig Pope, Eric Winsor, Joshua Akshar, Olin Renwick, Zach Falciani
Chambers O’Hara Sales Service & Rentals Street Stocks: 7 Cars
Dusty Decker, Jerry Lobdell Jr., Kurt Decker, Douglas Polhamus, Lanson Albanese, Rich Fife, Bob Crandall

Grit Racing Series Factory Stock: 15 Cars
Thomas Groover, Bob Mills, Josh Towner, Buck Mills Jr, Rich Sharpsteen, Frank Mills Jr., Kevin MacDonald, Mike Chilson, Charlie Towner, Brad Hurlburt, Billy Shoemaker, Lucas Mills, Lynne Highhouse. Jason Rhoades, Jason Beebe (DNS)