BATAVIA, NY – A warmer and drier forecast was just what was in store for the Genesee Speedway on Saturday Night with nine features to be run on a busy evening. Four drivers got their second win of the season, while others wrote incredible storylines on the 1/3-mile oval.
Two divisions ran double features on the night, including the Late Models, who saw vastly different race surfaces from early in the night until the final race of the night.
Jon Rivers proved that his opening night feature victory was no fluke as he once again led all 25 laps to claim the Late Model Feature win. Rivers, of Alabama, got in front from the outside pole moving around Bill Taylor, but quickly Rivers had company up front as Dave DuBois reeled him in during the opening stanza of the race. As soon as DuBois closed in on the No. 85 though, Rivers hit his stride and built up a healthy advantage of a half-second when the second and final caution of the event occurred on lap 17. On the ensuing restart, DuBois took a peek under Rivers for the lead but the No. 85 was able to withstand the challenge. In the closing laps, Jeremy Wonderling made a nifty slidejob on DuBois for second but could not run down Rivers. The win would secure the first multi-win season at Genesee for Rivers for the first time in 2018. Wonderling would be second for the second-straight race while Dave DuBois completed the podium in third. Bill Holmes and Chad Homan would round out the top five.
In the second feature, Jeremy Wonderling quickly jumped out in front and it appeared that the nine-time feature winner in 2022 would cruise to his first win of this season, but Chad Homan had other ideas. Homan, of Penfield, drove up from his fifth starting position and, without the aid of a caution, erased Wonderling’s 3.3 second advantage to take the lead on lap 22 to claim the victory.
“I went on a hard tire and I was nervous because it was cold out. We didn’t fire immediately but then we started picking some guys off, getting to 4th then 3rd then 2nd and I said to myself the 3 (Wonderling) isn’t that far in front of me,” recalled Homan in Victory Lane. “I could really make up some time going in to three and coming off 4.”
Homan caught the No. 3J around lap 13 but once the leader heard the No. 91 he began to search for a better line to keep him in the front. It was clear Homan was better coming off the corner on the bottom but when Wonderling shut his car down in that groove Homan wound up his car on the outside.
“He moved down and it made me change my plan so I said well maybe I can make a run around the outside.”
Just a lap after making the rare move around the outside of Wonderling, the only caution flag of the race would appear, setting up a three-lap sprint to the finish. “Mr. Excitement” gave a good challenge but Homan was good enough.
“I did not what to see that caution and he showed me his nose on the restart but it was just good enough,” said Homan who had not won at Genesee since July of 2022. “We’re going to celebrate this one.”
As Homan was running through the field, David Pangrazio also was moving his way forward, taking second on the final lap from Jeremy Wonderling. Dave DuBois capped off a solid night, finishing in fourth, while Austin Hauser completed the top five.
Phil Vigneri III won the Sportsman Feature on opening night, but after trouble in his heat race last week he got his No. 12v dialed back in on Saturday Night as the defending track champion led all 25 laps for his second win of the short season. Vigneri, of Elba, used an outside pole starting position to get out in front and hold a comfortable advantage throughout to capture the win. “I could tell early on where the place to be on the track was and used the high line to keep me up front,” stated Vigneri in Victory Lane. As Vigneri was driving off to the win, a spirited battle was on for second. Early on, Adam Hilton had the runner-up spot, but a late-race bobble would shuffle him back and allow Kyle Richner to move up to second. In the closing laps, however, Ryan Barrett would drive up from his seventh starting position to slice his way up to finish in second and tie his career-best result. Richner would have an issue on the final lap, which would hand third over to Dave DiPietro with Ray Bliss fourth. Adam Hilton would rally to round out the top five.
Before the sportsman ran their feature, they lined up on the frontstretch “LeMans Style” for a moment of silence in memory of Kyle Inman, a four-time Sportsman Champion at Genesee from 2016-2019, who lost his courageous battle with cancer this past week at age 39. Many teams in the pit area had stickers remembering Kyle on Saturday and paying tribute to everything good he did for Genesee and those in the pit area.
One of the top stories of the night came in the Street Stock Feature when Jesse Qutermous ran down Dennis Cummings in lapped traffic with two laps to go and get around on the high side to get in front and stay there for his first win since his championship season of 2020. Qutermous, of Stafford, had felt more speed in his No. 2Q to start the season, and that was evident on a mid-race restart when he went from fourth to second with a nifty pass on the top line. He was keeping pace with Cummings and reel him in at points but it was not until lapped traffic that he was able to pounce. Cummings would hold on for his second runner-up finish to kick off 2023 with another impressive performance. John Zimmerman would finish in third while Dale Rissinger running up to fourth. Byron Dewitt made a last-lap pass to round out the top five.
James Gayton scored the win in the Mini Stock Feature held over from last week, taking the lead from Cole Susice on lap 5 and the never looked back for his second win in as many tries. Gayton used the bottom line to make his passes, not something you see often at Genesee in a mini stock. Cole Susice would run to a solid second-place finish. Early race leader Robert Knapp would break a driveshaft with four laps remaining while running third, allowing Bill Weatherly to move up to third. Tom Knapp and Cody Wise rounded out the top five.
James Gayton would have issues in the regularly-scheduled event as he pulled off in his heat race and feature, opening up the door for DJ Williams, who made his first start of the season a memorable one as he ran off to a dominating win in the second 15-lap Mini Stock Feature. Williams was in his own zip code through most of the race while Cole Susice run score his second runner-up finish of the night. Cody Griffin was third with John Michael and Olivia Coniber rounding out the top five.
One week after winning his first career feature event, John Livingston Jr. got right back to Victory Lane, leading all 15 laps to collect the victory. Livingston, out of Albion, also won the heat race for the second-straight week and was able to keep Noah Pangrazio at bay in both, as Pangrazio finished in a career-best second. Jericho Gurney rebounded from an early-race incident to round out the podium.
Seth Johnson rekindled his championship form of 2022 as the 14-year-old captured his first win of the year. Johnson, of Castile, led all 10 laps running the top line without a challenge. Last season, Johnson won 11 features but only swept the night on two occasions; on Saturday Night he also claimed the heat race win. Joey Swick saw his car get damaged in the Mini Stock feature but he got it repaired and ran to a spirited second place. Christian Soladay finished third in his first career feature.
The NY6A invaded on the night to kick off their 2023 season. Hometown favorite Nick Groff had the fastest car early in the night but it was Mikey Smith of Scranton, PA who stole the show, as he drove away from Groff on a restart with two laps remaining to capture the victory. While Smith was pulling away from the pack, a spirited battle was on for second on back with Nick Groff and Jason Moll trading the runner-up position on multiple occasions, with Groff getting the best of him on the lap 19 restart. Completing the top five were Prestyn Brown and Ivan Forney.
Another nine features are on tap next Saturday, May 13, as the Sportsman, Street Stocks and Bandits will run double features to make up their rain-delayed events last week. Race time will start at 6:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.GeneseeSpeedway.com.
Genesee Speedway Results: 5/6/2023-
Cummings Trucking RUSH Late Model Make-Up Feature from 4/29 (25 Laps)- JON RIVERS, Jeremy Wonderling, Dave DuBois, Bill Holmes, Chad Homan, Doug Ricotta, Bill Taylor, Alan Chapman, Billy DuBois, Paul Grigsby, Austin Hauser, Austin Allen (DNS), Todd Chapman (DNS), Andy Michael (DNS), Garett Heffner (DNS), Rickie Loucks (DNS).
Lap Leader- Rivers 1-25.
Cummings Trucking RUSH Late Model Feature (25 Laps)- CHAD HOMAN, David Pangrazio, Jeremy Wonderling, Dave DuBois, Austin Hauser, Doug Ricotta, Jon Rivers, Billy DuBois, Bill Taylor, Alan Chapman, Bill Holmes, David Stolzenberg, Paul Grigsby.
Lap Leaders- Wonderling 1-21, Homan 22-25.
Heat Winners- Holmes, DuBois.
Stirling Lubricants Sportsman Feature (25 Laps)- PHIL VIGNERI III, Ryan Barrett, Dave DiPietro, Ray Bliss, Adam Hilton, Jacob Bansmer, Kyle Richner, Dave Conant, Chris Hawkins, Cliff Gregg, Jordan Moden, Dan Kolb, Tyler Guzzardi, Greg Mrzywka, Sam Hoxie (DNS), Randy Chrysler (DNS).
Lap Leader- Vigneri 1-25.
Heat Winners- Guzzardi, Hilton.
Yasses Trucking and Construction Street Stock Feature (20 Laps)- JESSE QUTERMOUS, Dennis Cummings, John Zimmerman, Dale Rissinger, Byron Dewitt, Rich Conte, Dan Brumsted, Jon Almekinder, Jeff Almekinder, Jonathan Logsdon, Kenny Begnouche, Sherman Gage, Mike Kelly, Tommy Bower (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Cummings 1-17, Qutermous 18-20.
Heat Winners- Qutermous, Zimmerman.
The Detail Shop Mini Stock Make-up Feature from 4/29 (15 Laps)- JAMES GAYTON, Cole Susice, Bill Weatherly, Tom Knapp, Cody Wise, Bill Kapelke, Eric Brumsted, Chris McGuire, Mike Becker, Robert Knapp, CJ Smith, Mike Dinehardt, Don Whiteside (DNS), Cody Morehouse (DNS), Bradley Morseman (DNS), Wes Houghtaling (DNS), Daniel Thomas (DNS), Ray Hyer (DNS), Nate Freeland (DNS).
Lap Leader- R. Knapp 1-3, Susice 4, Gayton 5-15.
The Detail Shop Mini Stock Feature (15 Laps)- DJ WILLIAMS, Cole Susice, Cody Griffin, John Michael, Olivia Coniber, William Kapelke, Tom Knapp, Rich Conte, Mike Dinehardt, Robert Knapp, Mike Becker, Bill Weatherly, CJ Smith, James Gayton, Kevin Napier (DNS), Chris McGuire (DNS).
Lap Leader- Williams 1-15.
Heat Winners- Williams, Conte.
Vigneri Racing Novice Sportsman Feature (15 Laps)- JOHN LIVINGSTON JR., Noah Pangrazio, Jericho Gurney, Joe Mickey, Paul Marshall.
Lap Leaders- Livingston 1-15.
Heat Winner- Livingston.
Kolb Family Automotive Bandit Feature (10 Laps)- SETH JOHNSON, Joey Swick, Christian Soladay, Nick Lipome, Paige Gayton, Racelyn Lippa.
Lap Leader- Johnson 1-10.
NY6A Micro Sprint Series Feature (20 Laps)- MIKEY SMITH, Nick Groff, Jason Moll, Prestyn Brown, Ivan Forney, Gary Kratzer, Jeff Benjamin, Eric Wise, Zach Bobbett, Will Fisher, Billy Applebee, Joe Austin.
Lap Leader- Smith 1-20.
Heat Winners- Smith, Groff.