Root Dominates for First Orange County Fair Speedway Win – DTD Exclusive

By MIKE MALLETT

MIDDLETOWN, NY – Kevin Root made the most of his first ever visit to the Orange County Fair Speedway on Friday. Root, the DIRTcar Sportsman Series champion in 2019, dominated the 50-lap feature. He led every lap from his outside pole starting spot to earn $5,000.

“It’s good to be here,” commented Root. “We’ve been pretty good on slick all year. That’s when this car shines. We found something with this race car, it just goes. The slower and slicker it gets, the better this car gets. This track fits my style. What a phenomenal race track. It’s a cool, racey place.”

Root out raced fast-timer of the day Cole Hentschel to lead the opening laps of the feature. He darted by Hentschel on lap one taking the lead in the first turn while running the bottom of the race track.

The race was impeded early by cautions on lap three and nine, on each of these restarts Root had no issue keeping his No. 34 at the front of the field. The race for second intensified as Corey Cormier and Hentschel battled it out early.




Just as Root was about to hit traffic for the first time, another caution came on lap 15 for a slowing car on the race track. At the green, Cormier got a good jump only to have Root keep him at bay heading into the first corner. The pair remained the top two.

John Brown slowed on lap 26 necessitating another caution flag. Root led the field at the green and kept the lead on lap 27.  Before another lap could be scored, a huge melee ensued in turn four. Steve Davis, who was running in the top 10, went spinning after contact collecting several top runners as they piled into the crash. Nearly 10 cars saw their nights come to an end.

Once the incident was cleared from the speedway, Root set sail another time. Root dominated by easily pulling away on the glass like surface. The smooth, slick race track mirrored what Root typically sees in Central New York.

Root caught traffic with just 10 laps remaining for the first time. He was forced to work his way off the bottom to make passes, which was no problem for him as he made short work of several cars at the back of the back.

“I didn’t know what kind of a lead I had,” said Root. “When you get into lapped traffic you never know. I was trying to be patient, but at the same time pick them off. I didn’t slow up too much. I guess I had a pretty good lead.”

Root’s lead continued to expand with Cormier feeling pressure from 2019 Orange County Fair Speedway track champion Grant Hilfiger. Hilfiger and Cormier swapped the runner-up spot several times in traffic between laps 41 and 44 with Cormier getting the better of him.

Cormier’s night came to an end on lap 48 as he brought out the final caution of the race when his car slowed after running the gas tank empty. Root had to survive one last restart.

Root was flawless at the green pulling away from Hilfiger and the rest of the field for his first ever win on the Hard Clay. Hilfiger came home in second

“Absolutely not,” said Hilfiger when asked about having anything for Root. “That 34 car is a rocket. I gave it all I had and that’s all I had.”

Capital District driver Andrew Buff crossed the line in third. Another Central New Yorker, Tyler Corcoran finished in fourth while track regular Jared Labagh finished in the fifth position.

Eastern States Weekend
Sportsman 50
Orange County Fair Speedway
Middletown, N.Y.
Friday October 25, 2019
Unofficial Feature Finish:
1 Kevin Root
2 Grant Hilfiger
3 Andrew Buff
4 Tyler Corcoran
5 Jared Labagh
6 Pat Murphy
7 Cole Stangle
8 Matt Shultz
9 Jessie Leiby
10 Jordan Lawrence
11 Charlie Loiodice
12 Jimmy Johnson
13 Wil Shields
14 Daniel Morgiewicz
15 Joe Conklin
16 Michael Sabia
17 Jimmy Leiby
18 Corey Cormier
19 Clinton Mills
20 Steve Davis
21 Cole Hentschel
22 Connor Cleveland
23 Tyler Johnston
24 Bobby Flood
25 Roddy Watts
26 John Virgilio
27 Christian Rumsey
28 John Brown
29 Howie Finch
30 Travis Green