By TOM SKIBINSKI
CANANDAIGUA, NY – On a night honoring DIRT Motorsports founder and former Land of Legends Raceway promoter Glenn Donnelly, the weather became more conducive to Super DIRT Week —his premier production— in autumn as rain forced track officials to secure make-up dates on the 2018 speedway schedule for all three main events.
With qualifying heats concluded for Pepsi Big-Block Modified, DIRTcar Sportsman Series and Mike Emhof Motorsports CRSA 305 Sprint Car classes in the ‘Saturday Spectacular’ presented by Product 9, only three features remained as the Maguire Family of Dealerships CRSA dash-for-cash contenders were trackside when a brief downpour dumped on the fairgrounds at 8:10. An announcement to reschedule those events arrived at 9 p.m. as raindrops continued to saturate the track and make conditions unsafe for any further competition.
The 35-lap Big-Block main will join the final ‘Saturday Spectacular’ of the month at LOLR when the mighty Modfieds duel it out in a 50-lap feature with double points on the line. Donath Motor Worx Sportsman, 305 Sprint and Big Dog Country Street Stock divisions are joined by New Legends Sportsman in the five-division show presented by Pilat Design on June 30. The Sodus Microd Club will also be in attendance for a special exhibition.
CRSA Sprints return to finish up their Maguire Dash and 20-lap A-Main on Sat., July 21, then provide a complete program in the touring group’s third appearance of the season at LOLR. That night also includes a full card of Pepsi Big-Block Modfied, Donath Motor Worx Sportsman, Big Dog Country Street Stock and New Legends Sportsman action plus induction of the third member onto the Wall of Fame.
Saturday’s 30-car Sportsman Series field will take to the track on Wed., August 29, with the final mid-week special of the year already headlined by Patriot Sprint and GRIT Sportsman showdowns. Following scheduled Empire Super Sprint events at Canandaigua on July 5 and Aug. 4, the winged warriors return on Aug. 29 for Round #4 to determine the first-ever Land of Legends 360 Sprint Car Classic champion.
“We reviewed the remaining dates on our summer schedule and chose those that would best accommodate the racers and encourage our fans to make return trips,” noted LOLR promoter Paul Cole, who held on as long as he could Saturday night before reluctantly pulling the plug on his first two-day effort at the speedway. “We truly appreciate all those that came out to support our teams despite the forecast and hope everyone can make it back out to help finish off what we started.”
Cole officially christened the Land of Legends Wall of Fame over last month’s Memorial Day holiday weekend with Ontario County’s first-ever Modified Sportsman track points champion Donald “Dutch” Hoag enshrined on May 26.
The inclusion of Donnelly, who promoted Canandaigua Speedway from 1977-2004, provided a fitting tribute as he brought national recognition to the open-wheel stock car circuit of the northeast through rules uniformity, corporate sponsorship and television coverage, while bringing the best in the big-block business —Will Cagle, Mike McLaughlin, Merv Treichler, Bob McCreadie, Alan & Danny Johnson and Steve Paine— to the fabled fairgrounds on a weekly basis.
Donnelly also signed up the nationally touring World of Outlaws sprints, featuring Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell and Doug Wolfgang, along with promoting Monster Truck specials in wine country.
“Canandaigua fit in well with our program back then,” remarked Donnelly, now 77, recalling the Saturday void the track filled in between Rolling Wheels Raceway (Fri.) and Weedsport Speedway (Sun). When he finally relinquished company ownership in ’04, 27 tracks maintained full DIRT Motorsports membership with upwards of 70 speedways raising the distinguished DIRT banner since the Bicentennial. “The timing was right and the Rochester market helped us expand. We had some of the best drivers and a solid fan base, it was certainly a great place to spend Saturdays. I think I even recognized some of our long-time fans back here today.”
During the trackside activity, Donnelly was joined by family and friends and long-time ‘This Week On DIRT’ co-host Doug Logan in the turn four VIP Towers alongside representatives from the evening’s title sponsor Product 9 — Matt Sheppard’s growing business. Saturday’s show attracted nearly 80 race teams despite the possibility of inclement weather looming on the horizon.
A solid field of 26 Big-Block Mods signed in with second-generation standout Max McLaughlin, Dave Allen and Brian Sage taking checkered flags in qualfying heat races. Himself a 14-time Modified feature winner at Canandaigua —where his father ‘Barefoot Bob’ scored 99 victories— Tim McCreadie made a rare appearance steering the no 39 Sweeteners Plus/Bicknell car and is slated to start 19th when the feature is made up next Saturday. Lance Dusett and Dave Rauscher share front row starting assignments in that June 30 race.
Returning in full force from the previous night, 22 CRSA 305 sprinters parked pitside with track points leader Darryl Ruggles, last night’s crash victim Jeff Trombley and Thomas Radivoy copping heat wins. Trombley said the crew had to replace an axle just to enable his mangled mount to roll into the hauler Friday night, then rebuilt the yellow no. 3A Grant-powered XXX entry starting at 6 a.m. Saturday before tightening the last bolt at 4 p.m.
The Top-3 A-Main finishers from Friday night —Alysha Bay, Billy VanInwegen, Brandyn Griffin— joined heat winners Ruggles, Trombley and Radivoy trackside for the Maguire Dealerships dash-for-cash yet never saw a green flag as the forecasted rain finally arrived to curtail the remainder of the show.
DIRTcar Sportsman Series contenders were the first to hit the track, running timed hot laps to determine heat line-ups. Pole-sitters Jessica Power, Kevin Root and Dave Marcuccilli ran away with their respective qualifying races yet the customary redraw (top-4 from each heat) kept Power (3rd), Root (5th) and Marcuccilli (12th) off the front row when they return on Aug. 29. Canandaigua chauffeurs Loren Lincoln and Steve Gray will start 1-2 in the 30-lapper paying $1,000 to win.
LOLR regular Tim Downs earned the unofficial ‘sportsmanship award,’ loaning his no. 50 Maier Motorsports/Troyer car to tour follower Tyler Thompson after the engine expired in Thompson’s own no. 98T Troyer ride during hot laps.
The next scheduled Central Region series stop on the ’18 DIRTcar Sportsman Championship trail is at Weedsport (NY) Speedway on Tuesday, July 3.
On the heels of next Saturday’s Spectacular on the fairgrounds, action returns to the Land of Legends on Thr., July 5 when the Super DIRTcar Series along with the first of two Empire Super Sprint appearances takes center stage. Canandaigua favorites Sheppard, Jimmy Phelps, Erick Rudolph, Max McLaughlin and Peter Britten also stand atop the SDS points chart and they will be looking to defend home soil against a strong contingent of top touring invaders including Big-Block veterans Brett Hearn, Billy Decker, Tim Fuller, Pat Ward and Larry Wight. The headline ‘Liberty 100’ presented by Honeoye Auto Parts pays $6,000 to the winner. Fuller captured the last SDS race run at LOLR in June, 2016.
Continue to follow the point standings and breaking news online by visiting www.LandOfLegendsRaceway.com. Advance sale tickets are also available for purchase online throughout the upcoming months. Log into the website (LandOfLegendsRaceway.com), hit the red “Buy Tickets” button on the homepage, then make a selection from the list of dates & events highlighted.
Land of Legends Raceway is located at the Ontario County Fairgrounds, east of the city on Town Line Road (County Road 10), with easy access off either Exit 43 (Manchester, Route 21 South) or Exit 44 (Farmington, Route 332 South) of the New York State Thruway, just ½-hour southeast of Rochester.
Land of Legends Raceway Event Summary – June 23, 2018
Product 9 presents Saturday Spectacular
Pepsi Big-Block Modified
*Feature (35 laps): Rain-Delayed to Sat., June 30.
Heats (8 laps)
#1: McLaughlin, Rudolph, Dusett, Tegg, Phelps, Podsiadlo, McCreadie, Pashina, Boudreau.
#2: Allen, Haers, Johnson, Wright, Sweeting, Keyes, Maier, Britten, Gray.
#3: Sage, Paine, Rauscher, Sheppard, Dunn, Payne, Coffey, Daugherty.
22g-Gil Tegg Jr.
28p-Eldon Payne Jr.
DIRTcar Sportsman Series / Central Region – Race #2
*Feature (30 laps): Rain-Delayed to Wed., August 29.
Heats (8 laps / 6 qualify / top-4 redraw)
#1: Power, Lincoln, Williams, Kiehn, Newton, Peckham, Kimble, Thompson, Cook, M.Guererri.
#2: Root, Gray, P.Guererri, Shields, Giguere, F.Guererri, Baker, N.Guererri, Karlsen, Downs(DNS).
#3: Marcuccilli, Bristol, Lloyd, Janczuk, Gill, Tibbitts, Lawrence, Ridley, Sobotka, Years.
t1-Charlie Tibbitts Jr.
113jr.-Frank Guererri Jr.
Mike Emhof Motorsports CRSA 305 Sprint
*Feature (20 laps): Rain-Delayed to Sat., July 21.
*Guaranteed Starters (Top-3 finishers 6/22 A-Main): Bay, B.VanInwegen, Griffin.
Heats (8 laps)
#1: Ruggles, Kolosek, Craun, E.VanInwegen, Whipple, Sehn, Cartier.
#2: Trombley, Bennett, Jashembowski, Smith, Fletcher, Pieniazek.
#3: Radivoy, Herrick, Tanner, Karlsen, Mills, Pruchnik.
Maguire Family of Dealerships Dash (5 laps $300-to-win): Rain-Delayed to Sat., July 21. Starting Line-Up: Radivoy, B.VanInwegen, Trombley, Bay, Griffin, Ruggles.
410-Jerry Sehn Jr.
NEXT EVENT: Saturday Spectacular, June 30 @ 7pm; Pilat Design presents Big-Block Modified(make-up feature 35 laps from 6/23 plus double-points feature 50 laps)/Sportsman/305 Sprint/Street Stock plus New Legends Sportsman and Sodus Microd Club exhibition.
Track Instant Info
Land of Legends Raceway is proud to salute several sponsors and corporate partners that continue to help bring its fans the best Saturday night racing show in the Northeast. Listed alphabetically are division sponsors Big Dog Country 103.5FM Radio, Donath Motor Worx, Mike Emhof Motorsports, Pepsi/Geneva Club Beverage; event sponsors Admar Construction Equipment & Supply Company, A-Verdi Storage Containers, Daldry Canvas, Geneva Club Beverage/Mountain Dew, Honeoye Auto Parts/Auto Value, L&L Transmission & Towing, Pampered Parents, Phelps Cement Products, Pilat Graphic Design, Proctor Enterprises, Product 9, Tradition Automotive Group; promotional partners Champion Power Equipment, D.C. Rauscher Inc., Dig Safely New York 811, Hoosier Racing Tire, Ontario County Fairboard, Sherwin-Williams Paint Stores, Star Headlight & Lantern Co., VP Racing Fuels.