Pierson Comes from 14th to Win Malta Feature

MALTA, NY – Chalk up another win for Adam Pierson.

Despite starting 14th, Pierson put on a late charge to win Wednesday night’s 35-lap NAPA Modified feature at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

The rare Wednesday date was necessitated when rain postponed all of the features on June 16.

The victory was Pierson’s second of the year at Albany-Saratoga, marking the first time in his career he’s won more than one feature in a season.

All the attention in the feature was on Neil Stratton and 18-year-old Ryan McCartney. Stratton started on the pole, and McCartney took over the No. 2 spot from his second-row starting position on lap 17.

And then the fun began, as Stratton and McCartney locked into a wild battle for the lead. On lap 23, McCartney took the low lane out of the second turn and appeared ready to get the lead, but Stratton then pulled a crossover move, and was back out in front when they passed starter Rich Peterson.

On lap 28, the two leaders touched twice on their way around the speedway, and contact was made again on lap 29.

OK, so where was Pierson?

With the feature going caution-free, Pierson had gotten into a heated battle with Rich Ronca for the No. 3 spot midway through the race. It took Pierson a while to get the better of that duel with Ronca, and he then set out after the leaders.

On lap 31, Pierson worked his way around McCartney for second, and the next time around, he rocketed past Stratton going down the backstretch to get the lead for good.

“I knew I had a good car. I just had to play it out,” Pierson said. “It took a little bit for that 400 (right rear tire) to fire off.”

Was he hoping to get a caution prior to taking the lead.

“Yes and no,” he said. “The long green actually helped me; the lapped cars helped me catch Stratton and the 18 (McCartney).”

Stratton finished second for the second week in a row, while McCartney had his best finish ever, crossing the finish line third.

Ronca and Demetrios Drellos, who started 15th, completed the top five.

Scott Duell and Taylor Wason won the dual 20-lap sportsman features. Duell got off quickly to take control of the first feature, but by the mid-point of the race, had his hands full with Mike Coffey Jr.

Coffey Jr. was running the bottom and was quicker through turns one and two, which allowed him to gain ground on Duell, and eventually pull even going down the backstretch with one lap to go.

Duell bounced through a hole that had developed between turns three and four on the final lap, but got straightened out enough to beat Coffey to the finish line by 0.14 seconds.

In the second 20-lapper. Craig Wholey and Wason dueled for the lead following a restart on lap 12, with Wason taking the lead for good on lap 17. Dylan Madsen got past Wholey coming out of the fourth turn on the final lap to nab the runner-up spot.

Brandon Emigh recorded his second straight win in the 25-lap pro stock feature, earning the Glove City Transportation Back-to-Back bonus of $250. Emigh, who started sixth, was flying from the drop of the green flag and got the lead on a restart on lap nine. After that, the top three got strung out, with Emigh finishing with a comfortable lead over Rich Crane and Jordan Modiano.

The limited sportsman again ran dual 15-lap features. Connor Crane picked up his second win of the season in the first 15-lapper, beating runner-up Steve Burch to the finish line by nearly six seconds, while Nick Auspelmyer chalked up his first career win in the second feature, holding off Dylan Grogan.

PJ Cram drove to his second straight win in the 20-lap street stock feature, picking up the Billy Hodges-sponsored @bforthev Back-to-Back Bonus of two free pit passes. Cram led all 15 laps from his front-row starting position and despite a pair of cautions, finished over two seconds ahead of Jeff Meltz Sr. Chris Stalker, who finished third, also won the Street Stock Dash for Cash, sponsored by Croteau’s Service Center.

David Frame recorded his second win of the year in the 15-lap four-cylinder feature, while Kyle Lanfear crossed the finish line fifth for his fifth consecutive win in the single-cam division.

NAPA MODIFIEDS: ADAM PIERSON, Neil Stratton, Ryan McCartney, Rich Ronca, Demetrios Drellos, Keith Flach, Derek Bornt, Justin Stone, Jack Speshock, Jack Lehner, Matt Depew, Marc Johnson, Brian Calabrese, Ken Tremont Jr., Jeremy Pitts, Max McLaughiin (subbing for Peter Britten), Mike Mahaney, Ronnie Johnson, CG Morey, Don Ronca, Vinnie Visconti, Kris Vernold.

NORTHEAST PAVING AND SEALCOATING SPORTSMAN (first feature): SCOTT DUELL, Mike Coffey Jr., Andrew Buff, Scott Bennett, Elliot Lussier, Tyler Rapp, Jon Miller, Derrick McGrew Jr., Floyd Billington, Davis Boisclair, Mike Ballestero, Michael Wagner Fitzgerald, Daryl Nutting, Chad Edwards, Marty Kelly III, Justin Barber, Travis Witbeck.

NORTHEAST PAVING AND SEALCOATING SPORTSMAN (second feature): TAYLOR WASON, Dylan Madsen, Craig Wholey, Tim Hartman Jr., Ron Proctor, Dan Grignon, Zach Buff, Joey Scarborough, Mike Benson, Drew Cormie, Dave Baranowski Jr., Bryce Breault, Jeff Washburn, Eric Mack, Tommy D’Angelo, Chris Crane Jr., Jim Osgood, Cody Ochs, Brandon Darrah.

SARATOGA MASONRY SUPPLY PRO STOCKS: BRANDON EMIGH, Rich Crane, Jordan Modiano, Jason Casey, Chucky Dumblewski, Shane Henderson, Dean Charbonneau, Kyle Hoard, Kim Duell, Jay Casey, Phil Defiglio, Pete Vila, Jay Corbin, Luke Horning.

HAUN WELDING LIMITED SPORTSMAN (first feature): CONNOR CRANE, Steve Burch, Ron Delease, Chase Zimmer, Mike Arnold, Nick Arnold, Tanner Coon, John Santolin, Jordan Hill, Mike Baker, Alex Palmer-Sawyer.

HAUN WELDING LIMITED SPORTSMAN (second feature); NICK AUSPELMYER, Dylan Grogan, Scott Towslee, Dan Seguin, Mike Parodi, Dakota Green, Chad Gregory, Kyle Swart, James Galarneau, Walter Cook, Sara Arnold.

LAKE AUTO PARTS STREET STOCKS: PJ CRAM, Jeff Meltz Sr., Chris Stalker, Jimmy Duncan, Mike Bussino, David Emigh (subbing for Josh Hemming), Jim Dellea, Nick Napoli, Chris Murray, Damien Ward, Matt Mosher, Ray Pierre Jr.

GREG’S TOWING FOUR-CYLINDERS: DAVID FRAME, Elmer Montville, Greg Zindler, Slappy White, Kyle Lanfear (first single-cam finisher), Tom Hill, John Mason, Daniel Joubert, Robert Garney, Olivia Swinton, Brittany Ladd, Micah Grant, Andrew Palmer.