AFTON, NY – Friday night August 6 at Afton Motorsports Park the presenting sponsor Rothwell Used Auto Sales saw plenty of racing action all night long. In the ZMK Construction Modified division they watched a first career feature winner in that division with the (91) of Bobby ‘Flash’ Flood getting the win. In the Rinker Insurance Agency Open Sportsman division, they saw the proprietor of Rothwell Auto Sales Jim ‘Rocky Rothwell grab his fourth feature win in a row to match his car number. In the Ted’s Body Shop Crate 602 feature Brett Tonkin (27k) get his fourth win of the season. Kurt Decker (89) got feature win number three in the Chambers O’Hara Sales, Service & Rentals Street Stock division. The Trophy Guy All Star Slingshots saw another career first feature winner with Hayden Coons (12) picking up the win. Avery Decker (22a) gets win in the Junior Slingshots. On the card on this night the Folks from Rothwell’s got a little look of yesteryear as the Dirt Modified Nostalgia Tour was in town. They run one feature and declare three different division winners that you can check in the official run down at the end of the column.
ZMK Construction Modified had their thirty-lap feature come to Gary Kinnie’s green flag with Dennis Clapperton (D9) and Dan Vauter (85) leading the charge. Vauter is credited with leading lap one with Bobby Flood working the top of the speedway and on lap three Flood took the top spot away. On lap thirteen a red was displayed as Gary Smith subbing for Leah Decker in her (189) machine left the track and went over the first turn wall. Smith was fine but the car could not continue. On the restart Flood pulled away with a fierce battle behind him as Brett Tonkin (9) Justin Holland (280) and now Rusty Smith (34) all began to battle for position. Smith finally broke through for second and was closing in on Flood. There was one last minor stoppage to bring Smith to Flood’s back bar but on the restart Flood drove away. Following him across the line for the top five was Smith, Holland, Tonkin and Ken Titus (9) Flood in the Gotta Go Mirabito victory lane was overjoyed to get the first career win in the Modifieds. Flood mentioned he was always so close in the Crate Sportsman but couldn’t get a win here and he was happy he got his first win in this division here. Flood talked about how he could race anywhere and how he changed getting in and out of the turns as the race went on
In the Rinker Insurance Agency Open Sportsman division rookie Derek Cornish (219) and Jim Cummings (7) brought the field to the start with Cornish grabbing the lead and running a very good line. Cummings, Dave Rosa (61) James Gould (28) Blaine Klinger (9k) and Jim Rothwell were all battling behind for position. On lap ten the first yellow appears for a car coming to a stop between three and four. On the restart Rothwell broke through for second when just after halfway of the twenty-five-lap affair the yellow shows again for Cummings hitting an implement tire between three and four ending his night with a broken front end. On the restart the seasoned veteran was on the tail of the rookie Cornish and one lap letter Rothwell schooled the youngster and cruised on for his fourth win in a row and help extend his point lead a little more. Cornish went across the line in second with Gould, Klinger and Rosa completing the top five. In victory lane Rothwell was joined by all the folks from the VIP tower and a happy time was had down there. Rothwell had a few great poses for the camera and a few laughs. Talking with him we discussed the race and the one restart when he grabbed the lead from Cornish. He mentioned that he has lost the same way before as he just touched the back bar just to loosen the rookie and up and around him, he went. He also mentioned just how good his Troyer car was going here at the track.
The Ted’s Body Shop Crate 602 Sportsman division had a tough time to string any laps together on this night. The front row of Fred Smith (119) and Scott Torbitt (88t) came out of four on the initial start with Smith leading after the first lap. On lap two Blake Sarpriacone (69) and Brandon Loucks (23) got together on the back stretch and a few cars piled in. Most were able to continue after a pitstop but a couple drivers saw there night come to an end. After the restart sixth starting Gene Beadle (1*) took over the lead on lap three. Cars on the move at this point are eventual winner Brett Tonkin (27k) Dave Rosa (61) are up to three and four. Dustin Harris broke on high-side of track in four but frontend was broke and car turned left on him and caught Brandon Christ (49) on the way by. After Tonkin took over the top spot there were still a few cautions to slow the pace but Tonkin was solid on all the restarts. The top three in points finished one, two, three so not many points were gained but some and that might be all you need at the end. Behind Tonkin was Rosa, A.J. Digsby (10a) and rounding out the top five were Blaine Klinger (9k) and Jason Feinberg (28j). Speaking with Tonkin in victory lane he talked about how getting the win was good for his team and for the point standings. He thanked all his crew and his car owners. I asked him if he talked to Dave Stafursky, one of the two brothers that own his car about his maiden voyage in the Sportsman division. He finished ninth and had a grin from ear to ear.
The Chambers & O’Hara Sales, Service & Rentals Street Stock division came to Gary Kinnie’s green flag with Doug Polhamus (KP1) and Doug Stack (34) leading the charge. Polhamus got a good start and was able to lead lap one. Kurt Decker (89) from his third starting spot immediately put pressure on Polhamus and battled side by side until grabbing the lead on lap five. Polhamus continued to be the pursuer until Shane Wolf (77) got by Polhamus and charged after Decker. Decker and Wolf battled side by side lap after lap with Decker low and Wolf high but Decker prevailed at the end. Following Decker across the line to complete the top five were Wolf, Polhamus, Jerry Lobdell Jr (14b) and Doug Stack Jr. (four1s). Decker in victory lane thanked the night’s sponsor and talked about again how racy the track is and said hats off to Ron Ford and his track crew for the hard work they put in. He also mentioned how great it was running with these guys out there like Polhamus and Wolf as they will run you clean. Decker also spoke about the point chase being really close between him and Polhamus and there is four points between first and second so every point count as after the win he holds a fourteen-point lead.
The Trophy Guy All Star Slingshots were on the card with the Junior also that start at the back of the Allstars. Avery Decker (22a) beat the only other Junior in the field Dustin Schen (D9) on the final lap to increase his point lead. Decker said he just knew he had to take a shot and get under him on that final lap and it worked. A career first feature win in the Allstar division as Hayden Coons (12) and Gordon Smith (44) occupied the front row and the two started battling it out with Coons leading the first lap and then Smith took the lead until lap twelve when Coons retook the lead and rode to his first ever in the Slingshot division. Coons was joined by many friends and family members in victory lane. He told me that it was his first career win in this division and how good it felt. He thanked his family crew and sponsors in victory lane.
Afton After Thoughts; The racing scheduled had a change earlier that week as Promoter Ron Ford reported that the regular season was going to end on August 27th. The final two weeks in September had been scratched putting just two-more-point shows. Upcoming this Friday will be all the regular divisions with the Grit Sportsman series in the house for the Crate Sportsman. Following Friday off for the Delaware County Fair in Walton, N.Y. Championship night on the final Friday in August on the 27th. Afton Motorsports Park will be off in September and then will roar back to life on the weekend of October 8 and 9 for the Short Track Super Nationals.
In the Dirt Modified Nostalgia Tour feature there was a scary moment as one of the cars caught the front-stretch wall and was facing it fortunately as the throttle stuck wide open. The driver was alright and that was the biggest concern of all.
Afton Motorsports Park AUGUST 6, 2021, RACING RESULTS
ZMK Construction Modifieds: Bobby Flood, Rusty Smith, Justin Holland, Brett Tonkin, Ken Titus, J.R. Hurlburt, Alan Barker, Alex Tonkin, Jeff Sheely, Todd Titus, Dennis Clapperton, Scott Landers, Dan Vauter, Nick Nye, Gary Smith, Walt Chyrywaty, Kailee Dimorier, Nicholas Mady Jr. (DNS).
Heat Race Winners: Brett Tonkin & Bobby Flood.
Ted’s Body Shop 602 Crate Sportsman: Brett Tonkin, Dave Rosa, A.J. Digsby, Blaine Klinger, Jason Feinberg, Blake Sarpriacone, Fred Smith, David Dickey, Dave Stafursky, Tyler Ward, Brandon Christ, Gene Beadle, Dustin Harris, Russell Benke, Jeremy Hamilton, Steve Andersen, Scott Torbitt, Brandon Loucks, Ryan Burkett, Dylan Nichols, Bill Leonard, Mike Bellinger (DNS), Jim Introne Jr. (DNS), John Williams (DNS).
Heat Race Winners: Fred Smith, Blake Sarpriacone & Brandon Loucks.
Rinker Insurance Agency Open Sportsman: Jim Rothwell, Derek Cornish, James Gould, Blaine Klinger, Dave Rosa, Shawn Davis, Ava Coons, Joshua Akshar, Danielle Smith, Rob Loucks, Olin Renwick, Fred Christ, Jim Cummings.
Heat Race Winners: Derek Cornish & Blaine Klinger.
Chambers O’Hara Sales, Service & Rentals Street Stocks: Kurt Decker, Shane Wolf, Douglas Polhamus, Jerry Lobdell Jr., Doug Stack Jr., Leonard Miller, Dylan Decker, Bob Crandall, Doug Stack Sr., Austin Steigerwald, Tyler Yeagle.
Heat Race Winners: Shane Wolf & Kurt Decker.
All-Star Slingshots: Hayden Coons, Gordon Smith, Josh Landers, Calvin Wheelock, Julia Renwick, Rodney Renwick, Bob Boughton, Carson Rothwell, Alex Boughton, Evn O’Hara.
Heat Race Winners: Evn O’Hara & Gordon Smith.
Junior Slingshots: Avery Decker, Dustin Schen.
Dirt Modified Nostalgia Tour
Unlimited Division Winner: Mike Houghtaling
Modified Division Winner: Bob Johnson
Nostalgia Division Winner: Brad Litzenburger