By CHRIS MOORE
NEW EGYPT, NJ – Dirtier than the rest.
Middletown, N.Y.’s Anthony Perrego claimed the seventh running of the ‘Dirty Jersey’ at New Egypt Speedway on Tuesday night.
The win was Perrego’s eighth Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco Modified victory in his career, and second in the last three STSS races.
The driver of the Brian Smith-owned No. 44 also became only the second driver to claim multiple STSS victories on the 2021 campaign thus far.
Perrego, the Hurlock Auto & Speed North Region Point leader, also vaulted himself closer to the top of the Velocita-USA South Region presented by Design for Vision & Sunglass Central South Region top spot with the $5,000 payday.
Current New Egypt Speedway Brandon Grosso and invader Max McLaughlin led the field to STSS starter Joe Kriss’ green flag for the 50-lap main event following the Beyea Custom Headers Redraw.
McLaughlin – driving Norm Hansell’s No. 357 – outgunned the New Egypt point leader Grosso on the initial start to pace the field in the early going.
Following a few early yellows, Anthony Perrego did not appear to have a winning racecar. After starting in fifth, Perrego fell to eighth and was under fire from Billy Pauch Jr.
Meanwhile, King Ferry, N.Y., star Mike Mahaney had worked by Grosso and claimed the runner-up spot.
Following a lap-nine yellow for a flat tire on Frank Cozze’s Dave Renaldo-owned No. 401, the field settled into a green flag rhythm and Perrego began to march forward.
By lap 20, Perrego had made his way to third, while Mahaney and McLaughlin were catching lap traffic. Just as they entered traffic at the halfway point, the 16-lap green flag run came to an end as Richie Pratt Jr. slowed to bring out the yellow.
On the ensuing restart, McLaughlin secured the $100 Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz halfway bonus.
While the top three continued to pace the field, Stewart Friesen had risen to the top-10 from his 21st starting position and was continuing his charge.
While Friesen continued his march to the front, the top-three had once again caught slower traffic; this time, with just 10 laps to go.
McLaughlin struggled to make the top side work, allowing Mahaney to slip underneath. As the two went side-by-side, Perrego saw an opportunity.
Perrego followed McLaughlin on the top side, as McLaughlin cleared Mahaney, Perrego quickly switched to the bottom, getting around Mahaney and underneath McLaughlin.
The two went door-to-door into turns three and four, but Perrego’s momentum carried him to the lead.
From there, Perrego set sail, racing underneath the Sunoco checkered flags to land his second STSS victory in two weeks, and the first-ever New Egypt win.
Mahaney worked by McLaughlin in the closing laps, coming home with another STSS second place finish in his George Huttig owned No. 35. McLaughlin, of Mooresville, N.C., held on for third.
Brandon Grosso of Belle Mead, N.J., secured a fourth-place effort in his family-owned Grosso Homes No. 32 while Stewart Friesen of Sprakers, N.Y., completed his surge forward from 21st starting position in fifth, claiming a $200 Hard Charger Award presented by Rock Fantasy of Middletown, N.Y.
Billy Pauch Jr. of Milford, N.J., fought hard for a sixth-place finish in the Rick Holsten-owned No. 96 with Boyertown, Pa.’s Jeff Strunk chasing Pauch Jr. to the line the Zubi’s Racing No. 88z. Mike Gular, also of Boyertown, Pa., brought the Terry Fasnacht-owned No. 2A home eighth. Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard placed ninth in the Hurlock Auto & Speed No. 9s and Ryan Krachun of Branchburg, N.J., rounded out the top-10.
Ad-Art Sign Company $50 STSS Modified heat winners were Cozze, McLaughlin, Grosso and Strunk. The two consolations were split by Friesen and Matt Stangle.
Thirty-seven STSS Modifieds signed in for the first series event at New Egypt since 2019.
Johnny Bangs of Bordentown, N.Y., notched his first career Short Track Super Series victory in the Crate 602 Sportsman 25-lap main event, Round No. 4 of the Belmont’s Garage South Region.
Bangs earned $1,500 for his efforts and became the 39th different winner in 54 STSS Crate 602 Sportsman events.
Bangs, a New Egypt Speedway regular, raced underneath polesitter Scott Hitchens just past the halfway point, grabbing the Sunoco checkered flags and defending his home turf.
Belle Mead, N.J.’s Justin Grosso rebounded from an early spin to finish in the runner-up position. Forked River, N.J.’s John Meyer grabbed his best-career STSS finish rounding out the podium. Newport, Pa’s Joe Toth was the Mancini Custom Homes $150 Hard Charger, coming from 15th to fifth and New Egypt, N.J.’s Steve Davis rounded out the top-five.
A stout field of 38 STSS Crate 602 Sportsman took part in the program.
Heat winners were Grosso, A-Jay Potrzebowski II, Adam White and Sean Weiss. Will Protnick and Dan Fleming won the consolations.
NEW EGYPT NOTES: A solid midweek crowd attended the return of the Short Track Super Series to New Egypt after an absence of nearly two full seasons from Central Jersey facility….
Max McLaughlin relied on YouTube videos to get a feel for the speedway before making his New Egypt debut on Tuesday. McLaughlin was a quick study, winning his heat race….
The STSS Modified main event was completed just after 9:30 p.m. for the third consecutive Tuesday night….
Former speedway owner/promoter Ricky Grosso spent the entire day assisting with track preparation. He was rewarded with top-five finishes by his sons Brandon (fourth – Modified) and Justin (second – Crate 602 Sportsman)….
Racing resumes for the STSS this Sunday, May 30 at Penn Can Speedway in Susquehanna, Pa., with the ‘Clash at the Can’ serving as Race No. 3 of the Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply North Region for the Modifieds.
Complete race information can be found at the following link: http://shorttracksuperseries.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/DirtyJersey7GeneralInformationSheet.pdf
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail email@example.com, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.
The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, FloRacing, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Hurlock Auto & Speed, Velocita-USA, Design for Vision/Sunglass Central, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, Penske Racing Shocks, Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz, Algonkin Motel, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Belmont’s Garage, Superior Remodeling, Spyder High Performance Filters, Fastline Performance, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, WELD Racing & Wilwood.
DIRTY JERSEY 7 RESULTS SUMMARY – NEW EGYPT SPEEDWAY MAY 25, 2021
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Modified Velocita-USA South Region Presented By Design for Vision & Sunglass Central Round No. 5 Feature Finish (50 laps): ANTHONY PERREGO, Mike Mahaney, Max McLaughlin, Brandon Grosso, Stewart Friesen, Billy Pauch Jr., Jeff Strunk, Mike Gular, Matt Sheppard, Ryan Krachun, Rick Laubach, Jimmy Blewett, Ryan Watt, David Van Horn, Billy Osmun, Tyler Dippel, Matt Stangle, Cale Ross, Andy Bachetti, Brian Kuhl, Ryan Godown, John McClelland, Danny Bouc, Richie Pratt Jr., Frank Cozze, Dominick Buffalino, Dakota Kessler.
Did Not Qualify: P.J. Oliver, David Burns, Chris Grbac, Danny Hieber, Davey Sammons, John Willman, Frank Venezia, Jim Housworth, Michael Maresca, Kevin Vaclavicek.
Ad-Art Sign Company Heat Winner Bonuses ($50 Each): Frank Cozze, Max McLaughlin, Brandon Grosso & Jeff Strunk
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificates): Jeff Strunk (seventh) & Rick Laubach (11th)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Brandon Grosso (fourth) & Matt Sheppard (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Dominick Buffalino (Redrew 12th)
Bill Brown & Company Heat-Race Hard Charger ($50): Mike Gular (eighth to third – lap time 17.187 seconds)
Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Halfway Leader Award ($100): Max McLaughlin
Design for Vision/Sunglass Central Winner’s Award (Oakley Sunglasses): Anthony Perrego
Henry’s Exhaust System Power Position ($50 Certificate): Rick Laubach (11th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Anthony Perrego (winner – $150 certificate); Mike Mahaney (second – $75 certificate); Max McLaughlin (third – $50 certificate); Ryan Krachun (10th – $25 certificate)
Rock Fantasy Hard Charger ($200): Stewart Friesen (21st to fifth)
Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Mike Mahaney (second), Jimmy Blewett (12th) & John McClelland (22nd)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Award ($75 Certificate): Jeff Strunk (seventh)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Crate 602 Sportsman Belmont’s Garage South Region Round No. 4 Feature Finish (25 laps): JOHNNY BANGS, Justin Grosso, John Meyer, Joe Toth, Steve Davis, Ryan Simmons, Tom Princiotta, John Guarino, A-Jay Potrzebowski II, Kenny Bock, Will Dupree, Will Protnick, Adam White, Matt Miller, Michael White, Doug Snyder, Paul Mancini, Dan Fleming, Anthony Raisner, Sean Metz, John Stevenson, Anthony Tramontana, Sean Weiss, Bob Lineman Jr., Tyler James.
Disqualified: Scott Hitchens
Did Not Start: Ryan Krushinski
Did Not Qualify: Larry McVay, Jordan Cox Joe Brown, John Scarpati, Pat Wall, Kevin Borden, Sammy Martz Jr., Nick Van Wickle, Aaron Weaver, Ryan Godown Jr., Logan Watt
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): A-Jay Potrzebowski II (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($25): Kenny Bock (Redrew 12th)
Mancini Custom Homes Hard Charger ($150): Joe Toth (15th to fourth)
Mancini Custom Homes 7th-Place Bonus ($50): Tom Princiotta