Weedsport ASCoC Notes: Locals Win Time Trials, All Stars Take the Money – DTD Exclusive


Prior to winning his first All Star Circuit of Champions race with his new team, Corey Eliason said, “The local guys put it to us in time trials. Maybe we can show them something in the feature.”

And boy did he hit the target.

In the Weedsport 30-lap Sprint Car event on Sunday night the locals did themselves proud.

In time trials four of the top five were locals with fast timer Matt Farnham, Paulie Colagiovanni, Chris Hile one-two-three while the last car to time trial was Zeb Wise who was fourth and Larry Wight was fifth.

Official records though will not include the 360 that Hile was running. Scales at Weedsport are usually in the official shed off of the pit exit. However, the All Stars put theirs on the grass in the infield. You had to exit into the infield off the back stretch. Hile, however, went past and headed for the pits. As soon as he made the turn he stopped. A four wheel got behind him, pushed him to the infield scales and then officials DQ’d him for not immediately going to the scales.

So what appeared to be the start of something special for Hile ended up with him running runner-up in the B-Main and starting back in the field.

In some parts of the country it can happen that a track regular gets the fastest time, but in Central New York where the depth of 410’s isn’t as deep the Farnham run was surprising.

Matt told DTD, “The car was good tonight. We time trialed good on Friday at Outlaw, but we overdid it and I didn’t finish. With the rain out at Fonda, we went back to our shop and made sure everything was right before we got here. Tonight we were fourth in practice and we took five tenths of a second off it in time trials after just a couple small changes. I really had to get up on the wheel. I surpassed any expectations I had tonight.”

Paulie was second quick and said, “I like New York tracks that are slick and I hope it gets slicker. The big-blocks make it like glass out there. I didn’t expect to be second quick. I was a bit shocked as I looked at the board and thought there might be another number 10 out there.”

The first heat was like a CNY race with an Empire Super Sprint type of finish with Danny Varin, Farnham, Wight, Davie Franek, Joe Trenca and Parker Price-Miller one through sixth to qualify.

However, the All Stars loaded up the second heat as defending All Star champ Tyler Courtney winning while Sye Lynch was second followed by Scotty Thiel, J.J. Hickle, Colagiovanni and Hannibal’s Jonathan Hutton.

Thiel had a tough time in hot laps and time trials thus starting eighth in the heat.

He was turning heads quickly as he decided the outside was the place to go. Nearly riding the wall all around he got off to a tremendous start going from eighth to third by the second turn of the first lap. He did everything in his power to get Lynch, but it was to no avail. There was more than one hair raising, blood pressure increasing moment.

Eliason ran away with heat three while Zeb Wise was second, Hunter Schuerenberg third while Lucas Wolfe, Tim Shaffer and Chris Windom rounded out the qualifiers.

Farnham ran away with the dash with Paulie second.

Chase Moran edged out Hile in the B.

The only car of the 25 in attendance that did not qualify was Denny Peebles.

The feature had that feeling that maybe the Weedsport fans were going to see an upset.

Farnham took off at the green and he was to lead for 26 laps before Eliason took the outside line in turn three to grab the lead with four to go.

In the last few laps it was Eliason in control while Zeb Wise, Thiel, Cologiovanni, Farnham and Courtney were all dicing, side-by-side, wheel-to-wheel for second through sixth.

Schuerenberg crumpled up his front wing after contact with Wight and the concrete in turn three on the 29th lap; it was the lone yellow of the race.

It was a green and checker finish (many drivers would like green-white-checker) and that ruined what would have been a spectacular finish for multiple positions.

Wise was second, Courtney third while Thiel and Farnham completed the top five.

Colagiovanni, Wight, Varin, PPM (Parker Price Miller) and Hickle completed the top ten.

Several All Star drivers had never seen a surface like Weedsport and by the end of the night showed the professionals they are.

Chris Windom was at the USAC (wingless) show at Weedsport a couple years ago, but his first time there with a wing.

Local finishers saw Davie Franek 12th, Joe Trenca 15th, Jordan Hutton 16th, Chris Hile 18th and Dave Axton 23.

All in all a worthwhile night of racing and the battle between the All Stars and the local drivers really created a ton of interest and rivalries.

The crowd might not have been huge, but hopefully Weedsport brings the All Stars back again in ‘24.

Unfortunately, fans would have had time to visit the pits and the invaders with the early finish, but with the sprints on first and then a 50 lapper for the Mods, the majority of the All Star regulars headed home eliminating the post-race fan experience.

There were some teams that remained, but seriously this was the quickest I have ever seen pits empty.