AFTON, NY – The start of the thirty-lap ZMK Construction Modified feature saw JR. Hurlburt (6H) and the (22) of Brandon Walters occupying the front row as they came to Chief Starter Gary Kinnie’s green flag. Walters grabbed the lead on the start with Hurlburt settling for second with Jim Becker (9j) a close third. Nick Nye who started fourth was starting to make some moves and made it to second on lap four. On lap six the yellow appears as the (D9) of Dennis Clapperton spins to the infield coming out of turn two. Walters the leader and Nye restarted on the front row with Walters able to maintain the lead role. Nye kept dogging the leader and finally able to get by to be recorded the leader on lap eleven. From that point on as the top two opened up a little room the battle was raging behind them. Ken Titus (9) up from seventh settled comfortably into third. The biggest mover of the race was Nick Mady (m20) finished fourth from his eleventh starting spot and newcomer Nick’s brother Brian Mady (2m) rounding out the top five from his seventh starting spot. Nye in the Gotta Go Mirabito victory lane said it is good to start the defense of the championship this way with a win. Earlier in the night we had an issue and made the corrections needed to get here. All the thanks go to my Dad as he is the one that supports the operation and then thanked the sponsors and crew. The two heat winners were Ken Titus and Brandon Walters.
In the Rinker Insurance Agency Crate Sportsman division, the twenty-five-lap feature saw Bill Davey Jr (12j) and Dustin Harris (96) pacing the field when the green dropped with Davey taking the top spot as they complete lap one. Second starting Harris broke and was not able to return to the action. Also, on this lap fourth starting Tyler Ward (44) pitted for a tire and made it out just as the green was shown on the field. Once back to racing Gary Smith (7up) started to set sail from his fifth starting spot on his charge to the front and on lap eight Smith charged to the lead and fast closing Blaine Klinger (9k) took over second from his eighth starting spot. The top two battled for the next several laps until lap fifteen and Klinger was along side Smith as Smith was recorded as leader. Before the lap was completed a caution came out for a spin in turn two. On the restart Smith was able to open up some breathing room with Klinger home second and the remaining top five being, Dave Rosa (61) Todd Titus (9t) and Davey Jr. Smith was telling me in victory lane when I asked about the lap fifteen with Klinger almost getting by Smith said during the caution he tighten the car up and they was all it needed, Thanked the sponsors and his hard working crew and mentioned how good it feels to be on a good roll early in the season. Heat wins went to Smith and Davey Jr.
The Chamber’s & O’Hara Sales, Service, Rentals Street Stock feature saw a family affair for the front row as Kurt Decker (89) inside and Damon Decker (89D) outside showed the way. When the green dropped Damon got the jump on Dad and never looked back. Kurt never let Damon get to far out front and actually was trying to close in late in the non-stop twenty-lap affair. Doug Stack Jr. (41S) came home third from the same starting spot. His Dad (34) Doug Stack started fourth but had mechanical problems and was able to clear on the front stretch to keep from causing a yellow. The one heat race was won by Doug Stack Jr. Damon Decker in victory lane was happy as expected but said it is always satisfying when you can battle it out with your Dad. Damon gave Dad all the credit for getting the car all fixed from Dad crashing it the week before at Five Mile Point Speedway. Damon mentioned his sponsors and all the hard-working crew but was proud of how it is such a family thing. Thank Ron Ford and crew for an awesome race track.
The Ted’s Body Shop Limited Sportsman a new division at the speedway and will need a while to grow had four competitors on hand for night one. It is for new or folks with limited racing experience and a great way to get started. The race saw Tyler Holcomb (4T) and Carson Rothwell (4) occupying row one. Row two was Amanda Schutisek (88a) and Hayden Coons (12c). Holcomb grabbed the early lead and was never headed as he grabbed the win. Rothwell kept getting stronger as the race went on and brought it home second. Coons came home in third and Schutisek who had a couple small spins came home fourth. Schutisek is the only one with no experience as it is her first-time racing anything. Holcomb who also won the only heat mentioned during his feature win interview that it is all for Dad. His Dad is in a courageous fight with stage four cancer. He gave a shout out to family, crew and sponsors.
The All-Star Slingshot and Junior division run every other week at the speedway and this was a scheduled week Only Three All-Stars showed and no Juniors as parts is an issue for a few teams and haven’t got their machines ready to go yet. Kirsten Swartz (24) and last year’s Junior Champion Avery Decker (22a) were they only starters. Alex Boughton (27) blew a clutch in the heat and was not a starter for the feature. Swartz broke just after completing lap one and after a couple laps under caution Swartz returned but broke again. After the green came out for Decker, he ran a couple of laps before Gary Kinnie flew the checker for Decker. Swartz won the heat race. Decker in victory lane said he just tried to hit his marks and was happy to be the point leader after week one. You could tell he has been in victory lane many times as a Junior division driver as he rattled off his sponsors with ease and there are a few.
A.M.P. After Thoughts; Opening night finally arrived after a two-week hiatus due to weather and what a great racing surface was presented to all the competitors. Track personnel surveyed many of them and they all agreed it was the best they have been on all season anywhere. All the racing action was completed at 9:52pm after starting at 7:21pm a few minutes after the scheduled starting time of 7:15pm. Part of the delay was due to Track Announcer taking a few minutes before the U.S. National Anthem to have a moment of silence for former fans, racers or former official who might have past away during the off-season. Always ask for a special prayer for all that might be suffering through any kind of health issues. Mr. Andrus also thanked the fans personally who have reached out about his dear wife Delores a track employee up to her cancer this off-season.
The second prize Friday as it will be every week of a $30.00 gift certificate for dinner for two at Texas Roadhouse of Vestal, N.Y. just one of our fine sponsors at the speedway.
Much praise was being heard also of the new menu items at the concession and the service and taste of all the items. New items and specials are all part of things to come at the concession stand.
The Afton Motorsports Park
May 13th, 2022, Racing Results;
ZMK Construction Modified: Nick Nye, Brandon Walters, Ken Titus, Nick Mady, Brian Mady, Jimmy Becker, J.R. Hurlburt, Chad O’Hara, Dennis Clapperton, Jim Rothwell, Matt Sobiech, Derek Cornish, Joshua Akshar (DNS), Bobby Flood (DNS)
Rinker Insurance Agency Crate 602 Sportsman: Gary Smith, Blaine Klinger, Dave Rosa, Todd Titus, Bill Davey Jr, Doug Smith, John Williams, Tyler Ward, AJ Digsby, Scott Torbitt, Mike Bellinger, Ava Coons, Alan Komar, Dustin Harris.
Chamber’s & O’Hara Sales, Service, Rentals Street Stock: Damon Decker, Kurt Decker, Doug Stack Jr., Leonard Miller, Brad Hurlburt, Brian Steigerwald, Doug Stack Sr.
Ted’s Body Shop Limited Sportsman: Tyler Holcomb, Carson Rothwell, Hayden Coons, Amanda Schultisek.
All Star Slingshots: Avery Decker, Kirsten Swartz, (DNS) Alex Boughton