By RICH VLECK
BATAVIA, NY – Greg Mrzywka is taking on a new endeavor in 2017, racing a crate late model in addition to his sportsman; but with the late models having the night off at Genesee, Mrzywka got focused on his familiar No. 04 sportsman modified and dominated the 20-lap event.
On a cold, but clear night, the Genesee Speedway roared back to life with a host of wild finishes in feature action that had jaws dropping around the fairgrounds.
Mrzywka, of Holley, jumped in to the lead from the outside pole position and would hold a safe lead over Tony Pangrazio throughout the duration of the event. The gap between the top two never became pronounced in a race was marred by five tough cautions, but Mrzywka had enough to win by just two car lengths. In Victory Lane he was quick to thank his crew that has put countless hours into his cars to make him as fast as he was on Saturday Night. Pangrazio would hold on for second while Kyle Inman finished third for the second-straight week. Sarah Johnson and week one winner Ray Smith rounded out the top five.
Two weeks ago John Zimmerman was not done with his new 360 Late Model and would have missed the opening event if it were not postponed a week due to rain. After a second place finish last week, Zimmerman, from Burt, scored the feature win in fine fashion on Saturday, taking the lead with a harrowing high-side pass of Brian Kotarski on lap five and never looking back. Zimmerman slapped on new tires before the night to hold off Tommy Kemp, who beat the No. 0 a week earlier by one position. Kemp got sideways on lap two and got in to Dave DuBois, who suffered cosmetic damage but still crossed in third, ahead of Bill Holmes and Rich Hale, who rounded out the top five.
Jesse Qutermous looked to have the win in hand in the Street Stock feature when he overshot turns three and four, allowing Kenny Begnouche to hustle by and score a long-awaited win. Begnouche, of Pavilion, had taken the lead from Qutermous on lap 10 but gave it back on lap 14 when he got loose in turns three and four and thought he had lost the race for sure. Begnouche said in Victory Lane when he saw Qutermous slip up that he mashed the gas and knew not to lift. The two made hard contact, working out far better for the No. 2z of Begnouche, as Qutermous spun around and crashed in to the frontstretch wall just a few dozen feet shy of the finish line. Byron Dewitt would inherit second, while Butch Zimmerman was third. Mike Jackson and Jason Babbitt rounded out the top five.
The mini stocks ran two features on their night, the first an event held-over from the program the week before. Early in the night, Chad Dickinson led wire-to-wire to win the first feature of the season. Dickinson, of Batavia, ran most of 2016 in the street stocks and showed comfort in the mini stocks pulling out to lead of nearly six seconds before the only caution flag of the race flew on lap 12. Chad’s brother, Bobby, had got up to second before a mechanical failure on the final lap dropped him back to eighth. James Gayton would cross in second for the second season opener in a row with Eric Brumsted, Mike Taddonio and John Mosher rounded out the top five.
At the end of the night, Chad Dickinson’s luck ran out as he slowed off the top of turn four while running in the top five, but James Gayton’s night got even better as he scored a wire-to-wire win. Gayton, who had a motor issue before the rains hit a week early, held off a hard-charging Dante Mancuso for a long-awaited checkered flag. Mike Taddonio completed a solid night in third while John Mosher and bandit champion Cole Hicks rounded out the top five.
The Bandit division did their best to put on a show for the fans, with a wild exchange of lead changes and suspense in their 12-lap event. Adam Jackson led for the first six laps but on lap seven Bailey Logsdon made an impressive bid for the lead in turn three, the two made contact, allowing Allison Dewitt to take over the lead just past half way. Coming to complete eight, Dewitt got loose off of turn four but would hold on to the lead when the caution flag flew. Dewitt would attempt to drive away but Marcus Jackson was persistent to the finish, as the two drag-raced back to the line, with Dewitt holding on to win by just a few feet over Jackson, Trinity Reynolds, Jessica Schleede and Adam Jackson.
Up next week is a big $1,000-to-win crate late model event plus the $500-to-win Gene Dewitt Memorial Street Stock race. For more information, visit www.Genesee-Speedway.com.
Genesee Speedway Results: 5/20/2017-
DC Enterprise and Reynolds Auto Parts Night
Cornerstone Lasik Center Sportsman Feature (20 Laps)- GREG MRZWYKA, Tony Pangrazio, Kyle Inman, Sarah Johnson, Ray Smith, Jim Harbison, Zach Sam, Shane O’Grady, Ray Bliss Jr., Tim Downs, Andrew Smith, T.J. Newton, Chuck Kuhn, Matt Steffenhagen, Tony Muscato, Ray Bliss, Zachary George, Damian Long, Carl Inman, Jason Rumsey.
Lap Leader- Mrzywka 1-20.
Heat Winners- Harbison, A. Smith, Steffenhagen.
Ken’s Charcoal Pits BBQ 360 Late Model Feature (20 Laps)- JOHN ZIMMERMAN, Tommy Kemp, Dave DuBois, Bill Holmes, Rich Hale, Carl Shetler, Shawn Hazlitt, Tommy Butler, Brian Kotarski, Wally Wade, 24k.
Lap Leaders- Kotarski 1-4, Zimmerman 5-20.
Heat Winner- Kotarski, DuBois.
Yasses Trucking & Construction Street Stock Feature (20 Laps)- KENNY BEGNOUCHE, Byron Dewitt, Butch Zimmerman, Mike Jackson, Jason Babbitt, Tommy Cooper, Bill Button, Ryan Allen, Jesse Qutermous, Tiffany Rumsey, Dalton Martin, Jordan Moden, Morgan Dewitt, Roy Amadick.
Lap Leaders- Qutermous 1-9, Begnouche 10-13, Qutermous 14-19, Begnouche 20.
Heat Winners- Zimmerman, B. Dewitt, Steffenhagen.
Make-Up Pellegrino Auto Sales Mini Stock Feature from 5/13 (15 Laps)- CHAD DICKINSON, James Gayton, Eric Brumsted, Mike Taddonio, John Mosher, Dante Mancuso, Eddie Kowalczyk, Bobby Dickinson, Steven Krawczyk, Chris Miller, Gary Hopkins, Tony Kulesza, Lee Hicks, Tom Urban, Cole Hicks, Andrew Gayton, Doug Brown.
Lap Leader- C. Dickinson 1-15.
Pellegrino Auto Sales Mini Stock Feature (15 Laps)- JAMES GAYTON, Dante Mancuso, Mike Taddonio, John Mosher, Cole Hicks, Eddie Kowalczyk, Amber, Andrew Gayton, Chad Dickinson, Steven Krawczyk, Gary Hopkins, Doug Brown, Chris Miller, Tony Kulesza, Brard Shepard, Eric Brumsted, Mike Robb (DNS), Bobby Dickinson (DNS), Lee Hicks (DNS), Tom Urban (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Brumsted 1-4, J. Gayton 5-15.
Heat Winners- J. Gayton, C. Dickinson, Taddonio.
DML Sealing Bandits (12 Laps)- ALLISON DEWITT, Marcus Jackson, Trinity Reynolds, Jessica Schleede, Adam Jackson, Olivia Coniber, Bailey Logsdon, Drew Westmoreland, Jessica Traxler.
Lap Leaders- A. Jackson 1-6, Dewitt 7-12.
Heat Winner- Schleede