KIRKWOOD, NY – Brian Malcolm raced to his first Heath Memorial Modified win on Saturday night at Five Mile Point Speedway. The victory in the 35 lap event was worth $2,000 prior to additional bonuses and was the 57th running of the event that honors track founders Irving and Anna Heath. Many drivers from the past returned as well as part of the Former Racer’s Reunion.
Aleia Geisler and Glenn Knapp led the twenty-three car starting field to the green flag for the Heath Memorial for Modifieds. Knapp immediately jumped out into the race lead while Geisler settled in to second during the early stages. The caution flew for the first time on lap 6 and on the restart Knapp again held the race lead. Two-time winner Nick Rochinski moved up to second place as Malcolm was already up to third from his ninth place starting spot. Knapp set a quick pace as Rochinski stayed close but had to contend with Malcolm. The top three hooked up in a great battle and P.J. Goodwin utilized the outer limits to move from fourth to first in one move around the top. Unfortunately for Goodwin the yellow flag flew as Alissa Cody slowed on the speedway and Knapp would remain scored as the race leader.
On the restart Malcolm was now alongside Knapp and he wasted no time as he moved past and out front. Knapp continued to run in second place as Brett Tonkin made his weekly trek from deep in the field. Tonkin had started thirteenth but was no applying heavy pressure on Knapp. On lap 15 Tonkin took over the runner-up slot with Knapp, Rochinski and Goodwin making up the top five at this point. The second half of the race found Malcolm opening up his lead as Rochinski would not allow Tonkin to lock up second. The duo battled lap after lap as they are also one and two in the point standings. On lap 19 Rochinski worked back past Tonkin for second. The intense battle allowed Malcolm to open his margin over the field. The battle for second thrilled the fans as Tonkin recaptured second place on lap 23.
The final caution of the event came out on lap 24 as Brian Mady slowed. Mady pitted but was able to return on the lead lap. When racing went back to green Malcolm continued his smooth drive out front as Tonkin tried to mount a late race charge. It was not to be for Tonkin as Malcolm was flawless over the final green flag run. Malcolm went on for his first ever Heath Memorial win. In victory lane he commented, “We’ve wanted to win the Heath Memorial for so many years and came have come so close. It’s great to finally get one of these.” Tonkin settled for second with Rochinski, Knapp and Brian Puckett completing the top five. Puckett drove from the sixteenth starting spot to fifth. Former race winner Brad Szulewski finished sixth with Frank Yankowski driving from fifteenth to seventh. Justin Holland rallied from twenty-second to eight with Geisler and Barry White completing the top ten.
COUNTER POINTS…138 teams filled the pit area on Saturday night and the racing was intense in all classes…Many drivers from the past returned for the Racer’s Reunion at the speedway and were hosted in one of the hospitality suites looking over the speedway…Thirteen time Modified Track Champion Chuck Akulis was on hand…He will be honored in September as the first local stock car driver to be inducted in to the Greater Binghamton Sports Hall of Fame…Just over $1,000 was collected in Memory of Duane Batzel and presented to the Batzel Family on Saturday…Duane was a 40 year member and Chief of the Five Mile Point Fire Department and called Five Mile Point Speedway his home for decades…The Crate Sportsman win for Brad Weaver had special meaning as a Heath Memorial race winner…His dad Brian was a back-to-back winner in 2011 and 2012…Jerry Higbie, the 2009 winner of this race was on hand and ran in the top ten before dropping out of contention…Last year’s winner Dan Creeden was scheduled to start tenth but was unable to make the start as he had mechanical issues…Street Stock winner Chris Woodard had never competed at Five Mile Point Speedway prior to Saturday…Just under $3,500 in bonus lap money was donated to the top five running teams in all of the features…The Futures Sportsman feature was postponed due to the local curfew and they will have twin features on August 14th…There is no racing this Saturday, August 7th…
SUNOCO RACE FUELS MODIFIED HEATH MEMORIAL OFFICIAL FEATURE FINSH (35 LAPS): BRIAN MALCOLM ($2,000), Brett Tonkin, Nick Rochinski, Glenn Knapp, Brian Puckett, Brad Szulewski, Frank Yankowski, Justin Holland, Aleia Geisler, Barry White, P.J. Goodwin, Joey Colsten, Brian Mady, Alissa Cody, Jerry Higbie, Jason Andrews, Brad Rothaupt, Bobby Puckett, Gregg Turner, Arthur Bray, T.J. Frost, Rusty Smith. DNS – Dan Creeden.
INSINGER PERFORMANCE CRATE SPORTSMAN OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (25 LAPS): BRAD WEAVER, Gary Smith, Seth Zacharias, Matt Brewer, Dominic Roselli, Blaine Klinger, Ray Leonard, Jason Feinberg, Dan Soloman, Tom Hampton, Brad Cicio, Jake Mele, Tighe Sherlock, Devon Zona, Mike Mondak, Ralph Mele, Kyle Walsh, Alan Komar, Mackenzie Marsh, Matt Sobiech, Ray Reynolds.
STREET STOCK OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS): CHRIS WOODARD, Jerry Lobdell, Marcus Spoor, Gene Sharpsteen, Tyler Stoddard, Doug Polhamus, Don Reeves, Lanson Albanese, Earl Zimmer, Jakub Ingram, Logan Terry, Travis Brockner, David Stalker, Brett Spoor, Abe Romanik, Bobby Wagner. DNS – Nick Robinson.
SWAT EXTERMINATING GRIT FACTORY STOCK OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS): RICH SHARPSTEEN, Bob Mills, Justin Slezak, Tommy Groover, Blake Furman, Todd Sutliff, Kurtis Stickle, Buck Mills Sr., Luke Mills, Frank Mills. DNS – Charlie Towner.
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE FOUR CYLINDER EXPERT OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS): DOUG NEWBIGGING, Josh Wilder, Bill Price, Dave Simms, Rich Wagner, Tim Vandermark, Scott Miller, Jason Colwell, Brian Salmini, Andy Bolles, John Maynard, Josh Gunn, Randy Lane, Jeff Hayes, Billy Colwell, Greg Slater, Kenny Underwood, Jason Seymour, Mike Jenks, Travis Hayes.
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE FOUR CYLINDER NOVICE OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (12 LAPS): SCOTT BEACH, Shaun Furman, Bethany Gilbert, Austin Slater, Dakota Fuller. DNS Colbie Lockwood.
600 MODIFIED OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS): JARED GREEN, Rich Powell, David Brown, T.J. Smith, James Randall, Ali Scutt, Tom Shiner, Doug Windhausen, Zac Mills, Dustin Jones, Nicholas Johnson, Chelsea Beebe, Cameron Searls, Larry Furman. DNS – Nick Robinson, DQ – Bob Hamm.
FUTURE SPORTSMAN OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS): postponed due to curfew to be made up on August 14th with complete new program.