BATAVIA, NY – Four former track champions regained their form on Saturday Night, while two drivers scored their first career wins in thrilling fashion on a great race surface.
The Late Model feature, which was the final race of the night, saw point leader Dave DuBois jump in front of defending champion Doug Ricotta from the outside pole, but would soon be stalked by Chad Homan, who ran down the leader only to get caught up in an incident with a lapped car on lap 12. On the ensuing restart, the transmission on the No. 91 broke, taking out perhaps the fastest car and potentially ending Homan’s chase for the track championship. While under caution, a heavy mist hit the speedway and put the end of the race in peril, but the field would forge on and went back to green, and when they did DuBois chose the inside lane, which gave Ricotta the opportunity to use the outside groove and fire back in the lead, an advantage he would not relinquish the rest of the way as Ricotta would score his first feature win since April of 2022.
“That caution came at a good time as the tire was going to come in later in the race,” stated Ricotta after the race. “We got a break with Homan (falling out) because he probably had the best car but sometimes you need to catch a break.”
Ricotta wasn’t even sure if a restart should take place while the mist continued from Mother Nature, but by using the cushion he found clay that had a lesser chase of becoming slick. Once the field got back underway it was all Ricotta as his No. 01 ran off to become the seventh different Late Model to win at Genesee this season.
As Ricotta scored the win, Dave DuBois held on for an important second-place showing, taking a big step towards locking up his first Crate Late Model Championship. Jon Rivers scored his second-straight top five finish in third. Jeremy Wonderling held off Zack Carley for fourth as Carley rebounded from a pit stop on lap 10.
Phil Vigneri III not only captured his long-awaited first heat win of the season in sportsman action on Saturday Night, he also held off point leader Adam Hilton in a thrilling duel in the 25-lap feature.
Vigneri, of Elba, led all 25 laps of the event, but during a 23-lap run to the finish he had the No. 3A of Hilton peaking to his inside for most of it.
“I have really enjoyed racing with Adam this year,” exclaimed Vigneri in Victory Lane. “He races really clean and I saw him down low and was trying to get to the bottom in turn one but didn’t want to chop him so I had to wait a while until I knew I was clear.”
That opportunity did not come until the final five laps of the race when lapped traffic gave “PV3” the room he needed to get fully in front of the No. 3A and while Hilton was able to pull back up to the No. 12V it was not enough as the defending division champion was able to hold on for his fourth feature win of the season.
As Vigneri held on for his first win since June, Hilton inched one step closer to his first career track championship with the runner-up finish. Canadian James Michael Friesen made invaded Genesee for the first time this season and was able to chase down the lead duo but was not able to find a way by and would settle for third. Kyle Richner and Jacob Bansmer each drove forward to round out the top five.
Saturday Night was the Gene Dewitt Memorial, honoring a historic figure in many forms of auto racing who was a pride to the community; also on Saturday Night, his Grandson Byron honored him the best way he could by dominating the Street Stock Feature in the legend’s honor.
Dewitt, of LeRoy, took the lead from Tommy Kemp on a lap eight restart and then pulled away from the pack for his sixth win of the season. Dewitt noted after the race he saw the rear tire on Kemp’s No. 28 going soft coming to that restart but wasn’t sure that was the case and made sure to make a definitive move on the leader to get in front. After getting by, Kemp slowed to make a pit stop on the tire, allowing John Zimmerman to move up to second, but that was all he could do as “The Z-Man” would finish second to Dewitt for the second-straight Saturday. Joe Chamberlain led early in the feature and would finish in third, while Kemp rallied from his flat tire to finish in fourth. Jesse Qutermous would round out the top five.
James Gayton put on a clinic in the Mini Stocks, driving away from the pack to claim his sixth win of the season. A caution would appear on lap five to bunch up the pack but the No. 10 was able to expand it back out and win by nearly two seconds over last week’s winner Eric Weis. Rocco Conte, Robert Knapp and Cole Susice rounded out the top five.
Noah Pangrazio captured his second feature win of the season in the Novice Sportsman, and it was a runaway as he won by over 13 seconds in the caution-free 15-lap event. Pangrazio started on the front row alongside point leader Joe Mickey, but when the duo hit turn one Mickey’s No. 35 looped around. Mickey was able to continue without the caution but lost a half lap to the leader which gave Pangrazio all the cushion he needed. Mickey would run back up to second while Tiffany Rumsey would get to third on the final lap.
Nick Lipome scored his first career feature win in the Bandit division as he led all 12 laps of the caution-free event to become the fourth different feature winner of the season. Lipome had Racelyn Lippa applying pressure for the lead for most of the feature, including on the final lap when Lippa applied a bumper tag to the No. 11, but it was not enough as Lipome would hold her off for the victory. Christian Soladay would move by Paige Gayton on the penultimate lap for third.
Also making an appearance on the night were a pair of Sharp Mini Late Models; even though there were just two cars, they battled hard all the way to the finish with Nate Koson outdueling Carson Wonderling in a wild race.
Racing action rolls in to September next Saturday as all six weekly classes will be joined by the NY6A Micro Sprints. For more information, visit www.Genesee-Speedway.com.
Genesee Speedway Results: 8/26/2023-
Gene Dewitt Memorial presented by BW’s Restaurant
Cummings Trucking RUSH Late Model Feature (25 Laps)- DOUG RICOTTA, Dave DuBois, Jon Rivers, Jeremy Wonderling, Zack Carley, Bill Holmes, David Pangrazio, TJ Downs, David Stolzenberg, Ron Watson, Chad Homan, Billy DuBois.
Lap Leaders- DuBois 1-12, Ricotta 13-25.
Heat Winners- Pangrazio, Ricotta.
Stirling Lubricants Sportsman Feature (25 Laps)- PHIL VIGNERI III, Adam Hilton, James Michael Friesen, Kyle Richner, Jacob Bansmer, Brandon Michaud, Tyler Guzzardi, John Venuto, Terry Smith, Ray Bliss, Tony Pangrazio, Greg Mrzywka, Nathan Peattie, Curtis Friesen, Cliff Gregg, Gordy Hermanson Jr., Chris Hawkins, Sam Hoxie, Tyler Moore, Dave Conant.
Lap Leader- Vigneri 1-25.
Heat Winners- Hilton, Richner, Vigneri.
Yasses Trucking and Construction Street Stock Feature (25 Laps)- BYRON DEWITT, John Zimmerman, Joe Chamberlain, Tommy Kemp, Jesse Qutermous, Mike Kelly, Dan Brumsted, Damian Long, Dale Rissinger, Chuck Pangrazio, Cole Hirsch, Jeff ALmekinder, Trent Chamberlain, Nate Tabor, Ron Cartwright, Glenn Whritenour, Bill Taylor, Joey Zimmerman, Jonathan Logsdon (DNS), Kenny Cook (DNS).
Lap Leaders- J. Chamberlain 1-3, Kemp 4-7, Dewitt 8-25.
Heat Winners- Kemp, Dewitt, Rissinger.
The Detail Shop Mini Stock Feature (15 Laps)- JAMES GAYTON, Eric Weis, Rocco Conte, Robert Knapp, Cole Susice, Ian Paul, Chuck Hughes, Eric Brumsted, Dave Smith, Mike Dinehardt, Bill Kapelke, Kevin Napier, Mike Taddonio (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Gayton 1-15.
Heat Winners- Conte, Gayton.
Vigneri Racing Novice Sportsman Feature (15 Laps)- NOAH PANGRAZIO, Joe Mickey, Tiffany Rumsey, John Livingston Sr., Paul Marshall.
Lap Leaders- Pangrazio 1-15.
Heat Winner- Pangrazio.
Kolb Family Automotive Bandit Feature (12 Laps)- NICK LIPOME, Racelyn Lippa, Christian Soladay, Paige Gayton.
Lap Leaders- Lipome 1-12.
Heat Winner- Gayton.
Sharp Mini Late Model Feature (12 Laps)- NATE KOSON, Carson Wonderling.
Lap Leaders- Koson 1-12.
Heat Winner- Wonderling.