CANANDAIGUA, NY – A crisp and clear evening greeted racers and fans as Canandaigua Motorsports Park opened the 2017 racing season with the first of two nights of action on the VP Racing Fuels Opening Weekend, and for Matt Guerierri, the opening night result was perfect, as he nabbed his 3rd career Sportsman win in the night’s 25-lap Sportsman feature.
Guererri started 5th in the 26-car field as pole sitter Kyle Inman took the lead at the start. The first yellow flag flew on lap 7 when Karl Comfort stopped on the backstretch, and on the next restart, defending track champion David Marcucilli spun on the backstretch and retired to the pits with damage to his car. On the restart, Inman again took the point as Guerirerri made a solid move to capture second place.
The rest of the event was caution-free and saw a terrific battle for the lead between Inman and Guerierri as they swapped the lead several times, running side by side. Inman was able to break away at lap 17 and opened up a 3 car length advantage. Behind them, James Henry was locked in a battle with Kevin Root and Rocky Warner, who had worked their way into the top five.
The leaders encountered lapped traffic in the final few laps and that allowed Guerierri to close the gap on Inman. It came down to the final lap with the duo nose to tail as they passed under the white flag. Going into turn three, Inman stayed on the top lane and Guerierri drove to the bottom, pulling even with him. In the drag race off turn four, Guerierri beat Inman to the checkers by .05 seconds to snag the win. Inman was followed by Warner, Root, and Henry across the line. Rich Newton, Shawn Leslie, Tyler Trump, Greg Martin, and Kane Bristol completed the top ten.
Heat races were won by Inman, Newtown, and Ray Bliss. Andrew Smith won the consolation event.
In the wingless 360 Sprint car feature, Pennsylvania’s Joey Biasi withstood a challenge from Matt Billings over the first two laps to eventually pull away and claim the victory. Billings and Robbie Shuttleworth followed Biasi at the finish. Biasi captured the heat race win earlier in the evening.
The 305 Sprint car feature belonged to Lee Sanders, who outran Jason Whipple to the finish.
The Big Block Modifieds were also on hand for practice sessions for Saturday’s 50-lap Modified event, and Justin Haers set the fastest time of the night with a 17.407 second lap.
Racing continues with the second half of the VP Racing Fuels Opening Weekend at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Saturday, April 15th with the Big Block Modifieds running a 50-lap feature along with the ‘Cabin Fever’ 40-lap feature for the GRIT Sportsman Series. Street Stocks and New Legends Sportsman are also on the card. Gates will open at 4pm with racing beginning at 6pm.
For raceday updates and information, check www.canandaiguamotorsportspark.com. Canandaigua Motorsports Park is also on Facebook and can be found on Twitter @CMPAutoRacing.
RESULTS-VP RACING FUELS OPENING WEEKEND-CANANDAIGUA MOTORSPORTS PARK-APRIL 14, 2017
SPORTSMAN FEATURE (25 laps)-MATT GUERIERRI, Kyle Inman, Rocky Warner, Kevin Root, James Henry, Rich Newtown, Shawn Leslie, Tyler Trump, Greg Martin, Kane Bristol, Ray Bliss, Dave Marcucilli, Corey Cormier, Austyn Fugle, Nick Guerierri, Paul Guerierri, Anthony Kimball, Kevin Ridley, Tim Baker, Jessica Power, Eric Williams, Doug Smith, Pat LaPage, Dave DiPiertro, Karl Comfort, Andrew Smith.
WINGLESS 360 SPRINT FEATURE-JOEY BIASI, Matt Billings, Robbie Shuttleworth.
305 SPRINT FEATURE-LEE SANDERS, Jason Whipple.