MALTA, NY – Friday night was Championship Night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, so it was only natural that 13-time champion Ken Tremont Jr. got involved.
Despite starting 15th, Tremont rode the cushion to get into contention, and then passed Matt DeLorenzo coming out of the fourth turn on lap 32 to win the 35-lap Native Pride Series Crazy Horse feature.
DeLorenzo went into the night trailing points leader Marc Johnson by 18 markers, but Johnson, who has been incredibly consistent all year, finished right behind DeLorenzo in third to win his second modified title.
Champions were supposed to be crowned in both the sportsman and pro stock divisions, as well, but promoter Lyle DeVore ordered the engines pulled from the top contenders in both divisions. The engines will be checked next week, leaving the final points in those two divisions unofficial.
Two-time modified champion Don Ronca set the pace throughout most of the first half of the modified feature, but once DeLorenzo and Marc Johnson got within range, it was their race.
DeLorenzo took the top spot away from Ronca on lap 17 and two laps later, Johnson was sitting second, and the two leaders were running in some heavy lapped traffic. On lap 24, Tremont had worked his way into third, but the battle was between DeLorenzo and Johnson.
That changed on lap 26, when Travis Billington stopped between the third and fourth turns. That took lapped traffic out of the equation, and had DeLorenzo on the inside for the restart, with Tremont right behind him.
Following the restart, DeLorenzo was hugging the bottom, which is Johnson’s preferred line, and it also left the top open for Tremont. He gobbled up Johnson on lap 30 to take over second, got side-by-side with DeLorenzo the next time and then got a good run out of the fourth turn on lap 32 to take the lead.
“They were better on the bottom than I was, then I got a little shove and figured it was now or never,” said Tremont after the race, which paid $2,500 to win. “Things worked out.
“Congratulations to Marc. He’s been steady all year. We obviously weren’t steady all year, but it wasn’t all bad. We finished third (in the points race).”
The victory was Tremont’s second of the year and the 77th of his career at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.
Daryl Nutting recorded his first win of the season in the 25-lap sportsman feature, leading from flag-to-flag, but the big story was defending champion Tim Hartman Jr.
Hartman went into the night trailing Connor Cleveland by eight points, and knew he had to win to have a shot at a second straight title.
As soon as the green flag dropped, Hartman put the Parillo Services car against the cushion, and was up to fifth after just six laps.
He continued to charge, and when Nutting got into lapped traffic, he pounced. On lap 22, Hartman saw an opening on the inside of the first turn and pulled even with Nutting, but as they exited the turn, something in the rear end of Hartman’s car broke, and he rolled to a stop. His night, and the hopes of another championship, were done.
Following Nutting across the finish line were Kale Groff, Scott Duell, Brian Calabrese and Cleveland. Unofficially, Cleveland is the champion.
Jay Corbin won the 25-lap pro stock feature, keeping the fans on the edge of their seats in a wild battle with Nick Stone. Corbin, who started fifth, got the lead on lap seven and Stone used a restart to move into the No. 2 spot following a restart two laps later.
When Scott Towslee, who had won the last two pro stock features, went around to bring out another caution, Corbin and Stone lined up door-to-door and ran that way until another yellow came out on lap 18.
This time, Stone used the restart to grab the lead, but Corbin never gave up, and regained the lead on the white flag lap, beating Stone to the checkered flag by .279 seconds.
Unofficially, Josh Coonradt won the championship in the pro-stock division.
Davis Boisclair drove to his second straight win in the 20-lap Haun Welding limited sportsman feature, A caution with one lap to go set up a one-lap dash, and Boisclair squeezed by James Hinman in the third turn on the final lap to get the win.
John Filarecki also used the squeeze play to his advantage, elbowing his way by David Cook with two laps to go to win the 15-lap Lake Auto Parts street stock feature. The win was Filarecki’s fourth of the season.
In the four-cylinder division, Jaxson Ryan drove his father’s dual-cam car for the first time this season, and made it pay off, winning the 15-lap feature. Kayleb Shepard, who started at the rear of the field, got up for second, and was the first single-cam car across the finish line. Rounding out the top five were Robert Garney, Alanna Jordan and Jim Bleau. Seven-time winner David Frame pulled into the pits with mechanical problems on lap 11.
MODIFIEDS: Ken Tremont Jr., Matt DeLorenzo, Marc Johnson, Keith Flach, Mike Mahaney, Jessey Mueller, Don Ronca, Brian Berger, Brett Hearn, Rocky Warner, Peter Britten, Jackie Brown Jr., Elmo Reckner, Bobby Hackel IV, Rich Ronca, Matt Depew, Ronnie Johnson, Matt Pupello, David Schilling, Ricky Davis, Don Mattison, Kris Vernold, Justin Barber, Travis Billington, C.G. Morey, Jeremy Pitts, Ryan Odasz, Drew Cormie, Jim Nagle, Jimmy Cottrell, Kenny Aanonsen Jr.
SPORTSMAN: Daryl Nutting, Kale Groff, Scott Duell, Brian Calabrese, Connor Cleveland, Stephen Kneer, Andrew Buff, Joey Scarborough, Justin Buff, Chris Ronca, Tony Ballestero, Michael Wagner Fitzgerald, Robert Bublak Jr., Pat Jones, Mike Ostrander, Jim Osgood, Jon Miller, Derrick McGrew Jr., Mike Coffey Jr., Dick Bisson, Nick Lussier, Derek Bornt, Jack Speshock, Brandon Gibbons, Josh DeMagistris, Tim Hartman Jr., Mike Ballestero.
PRO STOCKS: Jay Corbin, Nick Stone, Jason Meltz, Dave DePaulo, Scott Towslee, Kim Duell, Ed Thompson, Norm Loubier, Josh Coonradt, Nick Arnold, Branson Emigh, Matt Roberts, Darrell Older, Chucky Dumblewski, Mike Baker, Doug Sheely, David Emigh, Dan Madigan, Dan Older, Yates Lansing.
LIMITED SPORTSMAN: Davis Boisclair, James Hinman, Dave Richer, Montgomery Tremont, Shane Larman, Bill August, Dylan Bokus, Bryce Breault, Gerard LeClair, Scott Bennett, Jared Powell, Gary VanAlstyne, Mike Ryan, Craig Wholey, Matt Rich, Travis Witbeck, Mike Parodi, James Venditti Jr., Dan Grignon.
STREET STOCKS: John Filarecki, David Cook, Matt Mosher, Al Relyea, Mark Burch, Josh Hemming, Jason Barrett, John Hayes, Tim McFarland, Jimmy Duncan, Curtis Condon, Adam Tranka.