BATAVIA, NY – On a night which may have had the best weather of any this season, a mixture of current point leaders and first-time winners helped to make Saturday another successful night of racing.
A year ago, Jimmy Johnson could do no wrong, winning half of the features and cruising to his first championship. As good as 2020 was, 2021 has been a year to forget, up until Saturday Night that is, when he finally got the No. 39J the way he needed and got back to his championship form.
Johnson led all 25 laps of the Late Model Feature to claim his first checkered flag of the year. “Kid Lightning” quickly jumped in front from the outside pole and was unchallenged for the most part to become the seventh different winner in the division this year.
“We have been struggling with this car and finally found the inexpensive part in the birdcage that had kept us behind all year,” said Johnson in Victory Lane.
One of the key points of the race occurred on a lap 12 as the caution flag waved just as Johnson was getting slowed up by lapped traffic. On the ensuing restart, Dave DuBois gave him a challenge but Johnson was prepared for it and was able to jump back in front.
“I saw (DuBois) on the scoreboard and I know that neither of us like to wait on a restart,” recalled Johnson. “He started to go and once he checked up I went and got out in front.”
After his struggles for much of this season, Johnson had bought a new car to enter in to his stable starting next week, but after the way his current No. 39J performed on Saturday, he said they might have to reconsider that transition.
Dave DuBois was able to hang on for his second-straight runner-up finish. Steve Dixon placed in third in a rare start at Genesee. Jeremy Wonderling quickly drove from 10th up to 4th but struggled to find any traction once he got to that point, even slipping over the banking in the closing laps. Point leader Bill Holmes rounded out the top five.
Brandon Michaud had put some good races together at Genesee this season in Sportsman competition, but nothing that could compare to the performance he orchestrated on Saturday Night as he captured his first career feature win.
Michaud of Medina, held off Brett Senek in a tightly-contested battle from a lap seven restart all the way to end of the 25-lap event. Early on in that battle it did not appear that Michaud would be able to hold off Senek’s No. 111, but down the stretch his chance at his first win became a reality.
“I knew Senek was there the whole time. I could hear him and I could tell the flagger wasn’t showing me any gap. I could see him peak underneath in turns 3 and 4 but not in 1 and 2,” recalled Michaud in Victory Lane. “The car was just good for a while but towards the end it was really good. It’s amazing.”
Senek appeared to follow the tire tracks of the No. 132 in the first set of corners to set up his bids for the lead at the opposite end of the track. Senek nearly took the lead away around halfway but as Michaud improved he would have to settle for second. Kyle Richner had a strong run, winning his heat race and running to a strong third place finish. Cam Tuttle drove up to fourth while Dave Conant rounded out the top five.
Bill Taylor strengthened his point lead in the Street Stock Division as he cruised to his fifth feature win of the season. Taylor, of Arcade, jumped out in front of Pat Powers at the drop of the green flag then had to endure a host of restarts over the second half of the race to withstand the valiant efforts made by Brandon Sherwood to steal the win away. It was the sixth runner-up finish this season for Sherwood, who was fast but could not find a line around Taylor’s No. 1. Pat Powers was a close third while heat winners Tommy Kemp and Dan Schulz rounded out the top five.
The RUSH Pro Mods made their first ever appearance at the Genesee Speedway and put on a tight race for the win. Adam Ashcroft, who ran Sportsman at the track four and five years ago, used his track knowledge to prepare his car to lead wire-to-wire and hold off Steve Dixon to win the 20-lap event. Ashcroft was hanging his No. 6R up on the top of the track and felt his lead was comfortable until Dixon closed in the final five laps and made Ashcroft pound the cushion to claim the $750 top prize. Dixon would settle for second while Tyler Sutton held off heat winner Al Brewer for third. Brodie Hill rounded out the top five.
The Mini Stock Feature had a different driver take a stranglehold of a feature as Bill Weller ran off to capture the win by over seven seconds in the 15-lap event. Weller took over the lead on lap four from his teammate Rich Conte and then drove off on a lap six restart to win in impressive fashion in just his third start of the year. Brian Johnson put together his best run of the year, finishing second, just ahead of point leader Brad Whiteside who overcame heavy cosmetic damage to place third. Andy Schumaker and Cole Susice completed the top five.
Jake Bansmer put on a clinic in the Novice Sportsman as he jumped out in front of the field from the pole and led all 15 laps to collect his 10th win of the season. The E. Aurora driver had to endure a healthy group of lapped cars halfway through the event but took his time and carefully maneuvered by for a smooth run to the win. Andrew Joy won the heat race and finished in second in the feature while Tyler Guzzardi completed the podium.
Alexis Traxler was able to collect her eighth feature win of the season in the Bandit Feature, but she had a host of competitors in search of their first wins who she had to dethrone to take the checkered flag. Traxler chased after newcomer Bryson Hill for the first half of the race, as well as Nicholas Lipome who soared up to take the lead on lap five just before the only caution flag of the event. On the ensuing single-file restart, Traxler was able to move by the speedy Lipome and cruised to the win from there. Seth Johnson drove up to finish in second while Lipome finished in third for his best career finish.
Racing returns next Saturday Night, as will the autograph session at intermission. All six weekly divisions will be in competition starting at 6:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.Genesee-Speedway.com.
Genesee Speedway Results: 8/14/2021-
S&S Excavating, Blacktop and Septic Night
Cornerstone Eye Associates RUSH Late Model Feature (25 Laps)- JIMMY JOHNSON, Dave DuBois, Steve Dixon, Jeremy Wonderling, Bill Holmes, JJ Mazur, Paul Grigsby, Doug Ricotta, Jon Rivers, Kurt Stebbins, Brian Kotarski, TJ Downs, Austyn Fugle, Bud Watson, Beamer Guzzardi, Billy DuBois, Bill Button, Ron Watson, David Stolzenberg, Mark Sundt (DNS).
Lap Leader- Johnson 1-20.
Heat Winners- Dixon, Kotarski, Rivers.
Stirling Lubricants DIRTcar Sportsman Feature (25 Laps)- BRANDON MICHAUD, Brett Senek, Kyle Richner, Cam Tuttle, Dave Conant, Austin Susice, Phil Vigneri III, Jim Harbison, Byron Dewitt, Ray Bliss, John Venuto, Noah Walker, Gordy Hermanson, Clayto Cain, Tim Nies, Greg Mrzywka, Larry Vick, Michael McCarthy.
Lap Leader- Michaud 1-25.
Heat Winners- Walker, Richner, Michaud.
Yasses Trucking & Construction Street Stock Feature (20 Laps)- BILL TAYLOR, Brandon Sherwood, Pat Powers, Dan Schulz, Tommy Kemp, Dennis Cummings, Chuck Mogavero, Phil Schepis, Zack Walsh, Jacob Vick, Chip Wood, Neil Patterson, John Zimmerman, Mike Kelly, Damian Long, Shawn Hazlett, Sherman Gage, Carl Shetler, Cassie Logsdon, Tim Schram, Dale Rissinger, Tom Baker, Mike Childrose.
Lap Leaders- Taylor 1-20.
Heat Winners- Kemp, Sherwood, Schulz.
Pellegrino Auto Sales Mini Stock Feature (15 Laps)- BILL WELLER JR., Bran Johnson, Brad Whiteside, Andy Schumaker, Cole Susice, Jessica Schleede, Olivia Coniber, Robert Knapp, Tom Knapp, Dave Jackson, Rich Conte, Andy Gayton, Dante Mancuso, Curtis Rung Jr., James Gayton (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Conte 1-3, Weller 4-15.
Heat Winners- Whiteside, Mancuso.
RUSH Pro Mods Feature (20 Laps)- ADAM ASHCROFT, Steve Dixon, Tyler Sutton, Al Brewer, Brodie Hill, Tim Schram, Brian Mohawk, Matt Putt, Justin Chaddock.
Lap Leaders- Ashcroft 1-20.
Heat Winner- Brewer.
Champion Racing Oil Novice Sportsman Feature (15 Laps)- JAKE BANSMER, Andrew Joy, Tyler Guzzardi, Casey Jonathan, John Livingston Jr., Joey Swick, Jericho Gurney.
Lap Leader- Bansmer 1-15.
Heat Winner- Joy.
DML Sealing Bandits (10 Laps)- ALEXIS TRAXLER, Seth Johnson, Nicholas Lipome, Bryson Hill, Morgan Coniber, Joey Swick, Ian Paul.
Lap Leaders- Hill 1-4, Lipome 5, Traxler 6-10.
Attached Photos: Genesee_2021_0814_…
Bandit- Alexis Traxler captured her eighth win of the year in the Bandit Division
LM- 2020 Late Model Champion Jimmy Johnson got his first win of the season in dominating fashion
Mini- Bill Weller Jr. won by over seven seconds in the Mini Stocks for his first win of 2021 in just his third start
Novice- Jake Bansmer collected his 10th win in the Novice Sportsman on Saturday Night
ProMod- Adam Ashcroft won the first ever RUSH Pro Mod race at Genesee
Sport- Brandon Michaud captured his first career feature win in the 25-lap Sportsman Feature
Street- Point Leader Bill Taylor notched his fifth win of 2021 in the Street Stock Feature