KIRKWOOD, NY – Sophomore driver Seth Zacharias recorded his first Insinger Performance Crate Sportsman of 2021 on Saturday at Five Mile Point Speedway. It was his second career victory in the division at the speedway. This was the fifth different Crate Sportsman feature winner in five regular season races.
Dan Solomon and Seth Zacharias set on the front row for the 25 lap Insinger Performance Crate Sportsman feature event. At the drop of the green Zacharias raced out into the lead. It only took one lap before chaos struck in turns three and four. As the leaders battled hard Solomon got into the back of Zacharias for the race lead. As the duo recollected themselves the field scattered and went five wide looking to gather themselves. As the field exited turn 4 Solomon had straightened the car out only to then be collected by the oncoming field. This triggered a multi-car tangle up. Ultimately three drivers wound up being eliminated from contention with wrecked cars. Tyler Johnston, Matt Sobiech and Leo McGurrin were all done for the evening.
When racing resumed Zacharias now had Bryce Bailey alongside him for the restart. Bailey had won the previous race on September 12th. When the green flew Zacharias darted out into the race lead. June 5th race winner Tighe Sherlock was already up to third on the restart. Sherlock quickly took over second place with Dominic Roselli following his lead into third place. That duo had a great battle for second place allowing Zacharias to pull ahead. As the laps were logged Sherlock began to close the gap on the race leader as several other battles took shape. Both Gary Smith and Brian Malcolm were on the move by the mid-way point after starting deep in the field.
After the lap 1 caution the race ultimately went caution free for the balance. This proved to be the difference for Zacharias. During the final laps Sherlock chased down the race leader and made several bids on the inside but could not make it work. On the final lap Sherlock took to the high side of the quarter mile oval but Zacharias was up to the challenge. Zacharias held off Sherlock by less than a car length to collect the victory. Sherlock wound up second. Gary Smith finished third after starting eleventh. Brian Malcolm finished fourth after starting fifteenth on the grid. Ray Leonard completed the top five finishers. Zacharias led all 25 laps for his second career victory in the division at the speedway. Heat winners were Zacharias and Leonard. Despite the lap 1 caution the balance of the race went caution free. The previous event also saw 25 caution free laps in the feature race.
Don Reeves and Bobby Wagner sat on the front row for the 20 lap Street Stock feature event. Wagner utilized the racy outside line to immediately take the race lead at the start. Wagner looked strong as he ran the high side of the speedway while setting the pace. Doug Polhamus quickly raced up to second place with Gene Sharpsteen following him to third. Polhamus and Wagner hooked up in a great side by side battle for the race lead during the early stages. Polhamus ran the bottom while Wanger remained committed to the outside of the speedway and continued to hold the point. The first caution of the race flew on lap 5 and this ultimately changed the face of this feature event. On the restart Wagner opted to start the race from the inside and this gave Polhamus the advantage when the green waved. Polhamus quickly utilized the topside of the speedway to his benefit as he took command. Sharpsteen made his way past Wagner just one lap later for second. Several terrific battles took place throughout the field as Polhamus tried to pull away from Sharpsteen. The race remained under green until Sharpsteen’s strong run came to an end with mechanical problems on the backstretch. Wagner had another shot on the restart but Polhamus was up to the task and quickly opened up his lead over the remaining five laps. At the finish it was Polhamus, Wagner, Oliver Gage, Abe Romanik and Don Reeves completing the top five.
The S.W.A.T Exterminating Factory Stock feature event was a sponsor’s dream as Justin Slezak, driving the S.W.A.T Exterminating sponsored car led all 20 laps on his way to the victory. Slezak, was the 2002 Track Champion but has been slowed by numerous mechanical issues this season. Two cautions slowed the action in this feature for only minor incidents. Slezak was followed across the line by Rich Sharpsteen, Tommy Groover, Bob Mills and Charlie Towner. Groover entered the night as the point leader and drove to third from his last place starting spot.
The Futures Crate Sportsman were once again impressive as their 20 lap feature went caution free for the third time this season. Matthew Backus led the entire way for his second victory of the season. Dale Folejewski finished second. Back-to-back winner Adam Gilbert finished third with Billy Fiske and Amanda Scholtisek rounding out the top five finishers.
The 600 Modified division continues to grow as another strong field was on hand for their 20 lap main event. James Randall and Sheldon Whitman started on the front row with Randall jumping out to the early advantage. Jason Sullivan quickly made his presence known as he charged from fourth to second in just two laps. An early caution flew on lap two with Randall continuing to lead when the green came back out. Sullivan tried all routes around as now Bob Hamm joined the battle up along with Whitman. On lap 8 the caution flew again but this time Sullivan took advantage of the fast high side of the speedway to take command on the restart. Once out front Sullivan quickly opened his advantage. This left Randall and Hamm to do battle for second while Whitman waited for any mistake. At the finish it would be Sullivan capturing the win with Randall, Hamm, Whitman and David Brown completing the top five.
The 15 lap FWD Four Cylinder Expert feature event went caution free and was a barn burner from start to end. Brian Salmini quickly emerged as the guy to beat as he took over the race lead on lap 2 after starting fourth. Salmini set a fast pace out front as Rich Wagner tried to keep pace in second during the early going. All eyes were on Andy Bolles as he advanced through the field from his eighth starting spot. By lap 5 Bolles was already up to second place and took to the inside of Salmini. The duo ran side by side for several laps before Bolles was able to work past on lap 10. Salmini stayed close but could not mount a serious challenge over the final five laps. Bolles and Salmini were followed across the line by Dave Simms, Doug Newbigging and Josh Wilder.
For the second straight race the FWD Four Cylinder Novice division saw a first time winner. Austin Slater won both the heat and feature event. Slater took command in the 12 lap feature on lap 4 when race leader Scott Beach slowed with mechanical issues. Slater would go on to lead the balance of the race for the victory. Bethany Gilbert finished second after recording her first win just two weeks prior.
COUNTER POINTS…A great night of racing took place in all of the classes for what was BOGO Night at the speedway…All grandstand tickets were “Buy One Get One Free”…With so many people moving out of upstate NY it was almost like a reunion event as many familiar faces were back in town for graduation weekend…Track conditions were outstanding despite temperatures near 90 and strong winds all evening long…The Crate Sportsman win for Zacharias made him the fifth different winner in five races in the class…The class has seen outstanding racing as only one caution has waved in the last 50 laps of feature action…Great point races are taking place in every class as the season is approaching the mid-way point…The speedway is off on July 3rd with racing returning on Saturday, July 10th…
INSINGER PERFORMANCE CRATE SPORTSMAN OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (25 LAPS): SETH ZACHARIAS, Tighe Sherlock, Gary Smith, Brian Malcolm, Ray Leonard, Blaine Klinger, Matt Brewer, Bailey Bryce, Dominic Roselli, Brad Weaver, Dan Solomon Joe Guastella, Matt Sobiech, Tyler Johnston. DNS – John Cahill. DQ – Leo McGurrin. POINT LEADERS AFTER THE EVENT: (Gary Smith (256), Seth Zacharias (242), Ray Leonard (240), Bryce Bailey (236), Dominic Rosellli (230).
S.W.A.T. EXTERMINATING FACTORY STOCK OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS): JUSTIN SLEZAK, Rich Sharpsteen, Tom Groover, Bob Mills, Charlie Towner, Billy Shoemaker, Todd Koegel, Daniel Stevens, Matt Millard, Joel Thomas, Ray Thomas. DNS – Kevin McDonald, Jerry Fassett, Jr. POINT LEADERS AFTER THE EVENT: Tom Groover (288), Justin Slezak (244), Charlie Towner (240), Billy Shoemaker (186), Daniel Stevens (144).
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE FOUR CYLINDER OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS): ANDY BOLLES, Brian Salmini, Dave Simms, Doug Newbigging, Josh Wilder, Rich Wagner, Jeff Hayes, Jason Seymour, Mike Jenks, John Maynard, Randy Lane, Jake Lamphere, Josh Gunn, Greg Slater, Billy Colwell, Kenny Underwood. DNS – Travis Hayes. POINT LEADERS AFTER THE EVENT: Andy Bolles (292), Doug Newbigging (270), Dave Simms (258), Brian Salmini (240), Josh Wilder (228).
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE FOUR CYLINDER OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (12 LAPS): AUSTIN SLATER, Bethany Gilbert. DNS – Lucas Plaisted, Josh Griffin. DQ – Scott Beach. POINT LEADERS AFTER THE EVENT: Bethany Gilbert (280), Austin Slater (256), Jason Seymour (214), Josh Griffin (182), Lucas Plaisted (148).
STREET STOCK OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS): DOUG POLHAMUS, Bobby Wagner, Oliver Gage, Abe Romanik, Don Reeves, Nick Robinson, Gene Sharpsteen, David Stalker, Phil Burns. POINT LEADERS AFTER THE EVENT: Doug Polhamus (292), Gene Sharpsteen (258), Bobby Wagner (238), Don Reeves (178), David Stalker (176).
FUTURE SPORTSMAN OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS): MATT BACKUS, Dale Folejewski, Adam Gilbert, Billy Fiske, Amanda Scholtisek, Luke Powell, Sam Longstreet, Kyle Smith. DNS – Josh Fedo. POINT LEADERS AFTER THE EVENT: Matt Backus (268), Dale Folejewski (266), Adam Gilbert (262), Amanda Scholtisek (224), Joe Buchanan (188).
600 MODIFIED OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS): JASON SULLIVAN, James Randall, Bob Hamm, Sheldon Whitman, David Brown, Rich Powell, Scott Bennett, Dominic Amato, Dustin Jones, Kevin Whitman, Chelsie Beebe, Larry Furman. POINT LEADERS AFTER THE EVENT: David Brown (246), Jason Sullivan (232), Bob Hamm (232), James Randall (108), Sheldon Whitman (102).