Tonkin Takes Afton Modified Main

AFTON, NY – Two’s was the theme of the night Friday June 28th at the Afton Motorsports Park (A.M.P.) as four of the six features were captured by driver’s winning their second feature of the season. In the Modified division it was Brett Tonkin (15) in his Grimm Construction Hig Fab chassis getting his second of the season. Other drivers collecting their second of the season were Jim ‘Rocky’ Rothwell (4) in his Ted’s Body Shop Open Sportsman. Beau Ballard (15) in his Pizza Plus IMCA Modified and Doug Polhamus (KP1) in his KC Kaboom Fireworks sponsored ride getting number two. Gary Smith (7up) 602 Crate Sportsman, powered his Interstate Homes to his first feature win of the season. The combined Four Cylinder Truck and Front Wheel Drive Four Cylinder Cars had Ralph Cuozzo (00) aboard his potent My Home Gym machine collecting win number six on the season.

Darren Smith (12) and Tim Mayne (8m) brought the ZMK Construction Modified Mid-Season Championship starting line-up to starter Scott Stevens green flag. Darren Smith charging out to the lead where the first-year Modified pilot would stay for the first seven laps until Kenny Titus (9) was able to wrestle the top spot away on lap eight on the outside. As Titus starting opening up a lead running about two to two and a half grooves up the speedway Jeremy Smith (46) and Brett Tonkin were starting to close in on second place running Darren Smith. Finally, at lap twenty both Jeremy Smith Darren’s Dad and Tonkin get by Darren Smith for second and third respectively. Those two are battling for that second spot with Tonkin on the bottom and Smith on the top with both closing in on Titus. Tonkin takes the lead from Titus on lap twenty-five and Smith follows through for second on the next lap. At the checkered flag the top five are Tonkin, Smith, Titus, Shaun Walker (57) and last week’s winner Rusty Smith (34) who started scratch on the field. Tonkin who just missed the handicap start for the feature mentioned how they struggled in the heat. The crew made some good changes as this car was a rocket on the bottom and knew if I stayed there, we were in a good spot for a shot tonight. Heat race winners were Ken Titus and Darren Smith.

In the Chamber’s & O’Hara Open Sportsman division the front row for the feature saw Jim Rothwell and (10x) Tyler Hart occupying those positions.  After the first two tries at a start it wasn’t until the third try the racing got going. When the green flag dropped Rothwell charged to the front where he would stay the entire distance. Hart first challenged and then Dennis Clapperton (D9) put constant pressure throughout the rest of the feature but would have to settle for second on this night. A couple more cautions slowed the action with a battle going on behind the top two who had a good gap to the next three and sometimes four cars battling for three through six. When the checkered flag dropped the top five were Rockwell, Clapperton, (61) Dave Rosa, (22j) Chris Jordan and (16) Brandon Kuhn. Feels good to be back here especially after our last race where we had some heavy damage. All the credit goes to my car owner and crew and my sponsors to let me do what I do. The three heat wins were captured by Jim Rothwell, Chris Jordan and Brandon Kuhn.

Mike Grover (33G) and Allan Hodge (5H) was the front row for the start of the Rinker Insurance Agency 602 Crate Sportsman division. The top two got off together and at the stripe for lap one Hodge had a slight advantage. Kinser Hill who started third got by on the backstretch to grab the second before lap two could be recorded. Hill kept pressuring Hodge lap after lap. Lap seven Dustin Harris spun just before the starter’s stand and the (24) of Ryan Macartney also went to the back for the contact. While the caution was out Blaine Klinger (9K) had the opportunity to serve a one spot penalty for rough-riding a couple of laps earlier. After going back to green Kinser Hill finally got the lead on lap nine and opened up just a little on the field. Klinger working the bottom and Gary Smith working the very top of the speedway were the two in hot pursuit of the leader. The two closed in as the trio worked lapped traffic with Gary Smith nudging Klinger for the win. Top five at the stripe were Smith, Klinger, Hill, (61) Dave Rosa and Allan Hodge. Smith said I worked hard on top but it really was fast so we just kept coming and it paid off for us tonight. The three heat wins were taken by Mike Grover, Ryan Macartney and Blaine Klinger.

In the Pit Stop Auto Street Stock division another of the three divisions running their mid-season championship the front row starters consisted of Jonathan Fowlston (160) and Donald Briggs (16). Fowlston grabbed the early lead and third place starter Steve Polhamus (98P) sliding under Briggs who drifted high in turn one to record second. Polhamus got by before next lap is completed and his son Doug Polhamus and Fowlston dad Jake (66) are in a fierce battle for two through four at this point. Going into turn three Jake Fowlston is in-between the Polhamus’s at this point and gets squeezed out as they come to the line for lap five. Butch Green (57) also got by Jake before he got back hard on the accelerator. Lap seven a caution appears as Jason Burgher (57j) has his hood fly off on the homestretch after a big puff of smoke. The top five running order is Steve Polhamus, Doug Polhamus, Green Jake Fowlston and (01) Dave Cronk. On lap eight Green goes way off the pace but picks it back up to charge back through the field for second.  Just after halfway Doug gets the lead away from his dad. Lap eighteen was the only other caution for Jake Fowlston stopping in between on the top of turns three and four. Top five at the finish was Doug Polhamus, Butch Green, Steve Polhamus, Dave Cronk and Donald Briggs. Doug Polhamus said they all decided to go back to basics with the set-up and that seemed to be the trick as we were fast tonight. The two heats were won by Butch Green and Doug Polhamus.

The Trophy Guy IMCA Modified feature saw J.T. Roe (3G) and Jim Cummings (7) bring the seven-car field to the green. Roe spins on the original start and that set the tone for this marathon event as cars spun or were in minor scrapes and were in and out of the pits. Four cars finished with only the top three on the lead lap. Matt Roberts subbed for his dad as Matt’s car was sidelined from a race earlier in the week. He was the last to drop out but Cummings came back out to finish one more lap than Roberts.  Beau Ballard held off the Stoddard’s for the win. The One heat race went to Matt Roberts in the (U2). Ballard in the Mirabito Energy Products victory lane said I didn’t think the race was ever going to end. The car felt good but I knew Tyler was on my back door as he is running good here,

In the Green Briar Farms Combined Four Cylinder Truck and Car division Dylan Nichols (01) and Pete Christiansen (33). Took three tries to get this division started. First restart was for two trucks going around with they (86) of Steve Condiloro getting spun by Jeff Young (17m). Young went to the rear for contact and Condiloro was done for the night as he went pit side and never returned to action. Second restart saw eventual winner Cuozzo get penalized to the rear after contact with Christiansen. Dane Hedlund took the early lead in his (22S) followed by Nichols. Once Cuozzo got to the front he drove away to win number six on the season.

A.M.P. Notes; The racing on this night saw members of the New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA) on hand to give out cash awards to the top two finishers in every class across the line that is a member of this fine group. The top two finishers in every division were members so that who got the awards. Check the finishing order to know if your favorite received one or not. The group also does on wild card drawing and that went to Jeff Sheely who drives the number (38) Modified. Dan Wood during intermission talked on the microphone to tell the fans what NYSSCA is all about and the group went to all victory lane to hand out rewards. The Modified division saw the (6H) driven by JR. Hurlburt miss his first ever race since racing there which goes back maybe close to twenty years. Word reached the track that he hurt his back and couldn’t race. Get Well Soon Heavy Foot! In the Truck and Car division two cars showed this week with Tim Vandemark (107) back for his first visit of the year but mechanical problems sidelined him on lap seven. Newcomer (544) Jeremy Warren finished third but looks like he could challenge the trucks for the win. He left after the truck feature and made it to his regular track to run in their feature too. Upcoming this week will be the final three divisions as the it will be the Open and Crate along with the IMCA mid-season championships. The Sling Shot division will make its second appearance also. The racing will be sponsored by the fine folks at the Rinker Insurance Agency right on Main Street in downtown Afton, N.Y.

Modified order of finish 14 entries, 15 Brett Tonkin, 46 Jeremy Smith,9 Ken Titus, 57 Shaun Walker, 34 Rusty Smith, 22 Brandon Walters, 2G Mitch Gibbs, 12 Darren Smith, 1Darwin Greene, 8m Tim Mayne, 38 Jeff Sheely, 14 Kalie Demorier, S1 Steve Babicek, 145 Alan Rudalavage

Open Sportsman order of finish 20 entries, 4 Jim Rockwell, D9 Dennis Clapperton, 61 Dave Rosa, 22j Chris Jordan, 16 Brandon Kuhn, 34x Chance Spoonhower, 219 Shawn Davis, 90 Bill Deckleman, 24 Marshall Hurd, 189 Leah Decker, 42c Craig Pope, 7H Olin Renwick, 7up Danielle Smith, X1 Donnie Hart Jr. 10x Tyler Hart, 21F Zack Falciani, 28 Jim Gould, 77C James Christ, 57 Dan Burman (DNS), 33 Michael Roach (DNS)

602 Crate Sportsman order of finish 19 entries, 7up Gary Smith, 9K Blaine Klinger, 60 Kinser Hill, 61 Dave Rosa,5H Allan Hodge, 1M Gary Miller, 33G Mike Grover, 73A Steve Andersen, 119 Fred Smith, 99 A.J. Digsby, 24 Ryan Macartney, 91 Bobby Flood, 23 Brandon Loucks, 96 Dustin Harris, 56k Kamdin Maby, 10 Lisa Williams, 63 Craig Monroe, 77c James Christ 13 Brandon Christ (DNS)

Street Stock order of finish 12 entries, KP1 Doug Polhamus, 57 Butch Green, 98P Steve Polhamus, 01 Dave Cronk, 16 Donald Briggs, 160 Jonathan Fowlston, 1 Bob Crandall, 74D Larry Miller, 3K Rich Fife, 66 Jake Fowlston, 00 Ralph Cuozzo, 57j Jason Burgher

IMCA Modified order of finish 7 entries, 15 BEAU Ballard, 23 Tyler Stoddard, S/360 Mike Stoddard, 7 Jim Cummings, U2 Matt Roberts, X Leonard Miller, 3G J.T.Roe

Combined Four Cylinder Trucks & Cars 10 entries, 00 Ralph Cuozzo, 22S Dane Hedlund, 544 Jeremy Warren 17M Jeff Young, 01 Dylan Nichols, 29 Mark Steves, 33 Pete Christiansen, 75L Jerry Lanfair, 107 Tim Vandemark, 86 Steve Condiloro