By RICH VLECK
BATAVIA, NY – A warm night, spectacular track conditions and a large crowd set the stage for a busy night of action at Genesee Speedway; as great as the racing was though, a few late incidents forced some to not share similar sentiments.
JJ Mazur won the first of two 20-lap crate late model features, but his night ended on a low note when he was involved in a hard crash on lap 18 of the second feature with Jon Rivers’ No. 85. Mazur was shaken up but was able to get out of his damaged No. 13. That race would not restart as Zack Carley was given the win.
In the first feature, Mazur started on pole and wasn’t going to let his hard-working crew down, pulling out to a commanding lead until the only caution flag of the event flew on lap 11. Under the caution flag, Mazur, of Batavia, said he would tell from his dad’s hand signals in the pits that he had a comfortable lead and put his No. 13 on cruise control to ride to his first win of the year. Bill Holmes, who was impressive driving up from his fifth starting spot, closed the gap in the waning laps, but would have to settle for the runner-up spot. Doug Ricotta ran a solid race to finish third while Jimmy Johnson and Zach Carley each charged up to finish in the top five.
The second feature started off with drama as front row Doug Ricotta and JJ Mazur came together in turn one, allowing Zack Carley to drive from fourth to first by the second corner. As Carley paced the field, some incidents behind him would slow the race, notably on lap 10 when Greg Mrzywka could not avoid a slowing Kyle Murray and flipped his No. 04. Mrzywka was able to walk away. Carley continued to show the way as the rest of the top five jockeyed for position. Coming to complete lap 18, Sam Pennacchio began to make a bid on the outside of JJ Mazur, but the two made contact, spinning around Mazur. Jon Rivers had no time to avoid heavy contact with the No. 13, which created significant contact. With two laps remaining and the curfew rapidly approaching, the decision was made to end the event with Carley becoming the 14th different driver to win a crate late model race at Genesee Speedway in 20 races. Jeremy Wonderling raced back up to finish second, with Carley’s Teammate Doug Ricotta in third. TJ Downs and Jon Rivers rounded out the top five.
Kyle Inman’s No. 20k sportsman was the last car to pull in to the pits on Saturday because his primary hauler had problems, but that didn’t slow him down on the track at all, as he won both the heat and the feature to claim his first checkered flags of the season. Inman, of Dairen, took the lead from Greg Mrzywka on lap four and appeared to have the win well in hand, but on what would be the final restart on lap 11 Andrew Smith made a strong bid for the lead, pulling even with the leader through turn two; Inman would hold strong though and reacquire a healthy lead to cruise to the victory. Smith would hold on for second, while Matt Steffenhagen would pass Greg Mrzywka on the final lap to round out the podium. Ray Bliss crossed close behind in fifth.
Tommy Kemp had trouble keeping his No. 28 smooth in the heat race, but he did not carry those issues to the 360 Late Model feature, as he dominated the 15-lap main for his second win of the season. Kemp, of Castile, had to endure a late-race restart with four to go with defending track champion Dave DuBois on his rear bumper; DuBois was strong, but Kemp was better. John Zimmerman was again solid in third with Brian Kotarski and Carl Shetler rounding out the top five.
Three weeks ago, Jesse Qutermous was one set of corners away from a feature win when his No. 2Q washed up and thwarted the Street Stock feature, on Saturday, he finished the job convincingly to capture his first feature of the season. Qutermous, of Castile, led all 20 laps by rim-riding on a freshly-manicured track to hold off defending track champion Butch Zimmerman, who applied pressure in the closing laps. Byron Dewitt rebounded from a flat tire in the first half of the event to finish in third, passing Dalton Martin on the final lap. Jason Babbitt rounded out the top five.
Dante Mancuso appeared to score his second win in-a-row in the Mini Stock division, but was disqualified following postrace technical inspection, handing the win to James Gayton. Things got interesting just after halfway when Mancuso and Gayton, along with Donald Newton and John Mosher, duked it out for the top spot, which is where Mancuso made his move to the lead and brought Newton with him to second. Newton was primed for what would be a win but on the final lap pulled to the infield, allowing Gayton, his teammate to inherit the victory. Mosher claimed second while Mike Taddonio, Chris Miller and Eric Brumsted completed the top five.
Jessica Traxler claimed her third Bandit feature win in a row, soaring by Bailey Logsdon on lap three and never looking back. Logsdon would hold on for second while Olivia Coniber drove up from the back to finish in third. Adam Jackson and Allison Dewitt rounded out the top five.
Racing continues next week with the NY6A Micro Sprint Tour invading the Genesee County Faigrounds. The 360 Late Models will have the night off. For more information, visit www.Genesee-Speedway.com.
Genesee Speedway Results: 6/10/2017-
US Chrome Night
MHL Performance Crate Late Model Feature Postponed from May 13 (20 Laps)- JJ MAZUR, Bill Holmes, Doug Ricotta, Jimmy Johnson, Zack Carley, TJ Downs, Sam Pennacchio, Jon Rivers, David Pangrazio, Greg Mrzywka, Carl Shetler, Don King Jr., Val Stephens, Billy DuBois, Mark Sundt, Andy Michael.
Lap Leaders- Mazur 1-20.
MHL Performance Crate Late Model Feature (18 Laps)- ZACK CARLEY, Jeremy Wonderling, Doug Ricotta, TJ Downs, Jon Rivers, Bill Holmes, Don King Jr., Colton Ledingham, Carl Shelter, Billy DuBois, JJ Mazur, Sam Pennacchio, Mark Sundt, Alan Chapman, Kyle Murray, Greg Mrzywka, David Pangrazio, Val Stephens, Jimmy Johnson, Jason Tingue, Andy Michael (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Carley 1-18.
Heat Winners- Pennacchio, Mazur, Ricotta.
Cornerstone Eye Associates Sportsman Feature (20 Laps)- KYLE INMAN, Andrew Smith, Matt Steffenhagen, Greg Mrzywka, Ray Bliss, TJ Newton, Tony Pangrazio, Sarah Johnson, Damian Long, Ray Smith, Zach Sam, Tony Muscato, Chuck Kuhn, Shane O’Grady, Jason Rumsey, Ray Bliss Jr., Tim Downs (DNS).
Lap Leader- Mrzywka 1-3, Inman 4-20.
Heat Winners- Inman, Johnson.
Ken’s Charcoal Pits BBQ 360 Late Model Feature (15 Laps)- TOMMY KEMP, Dave DuBois, John Zimmerman, Brian Kotarski, Carl Shetler, Austin Kotarski, Wally Wade, Shawn Hazlitt, Brian Farnsworth, Bob Bartlett, Rich Hale.
Lap Leaders- Kemp 1-15.
Heat Winners- DuBois, Kemp.
Yasses Trucking & Construction Street Stock Feature (20 Laps)- JESSE QUTERMOUS, Butch Zimmerman, Byron Dewitt, Dalton Martin, Jason Babbitt, Kenny Begnouche, Tommy Cooper, Mike Jackson, Morgan Dewitt, Ryan Allen, Rich Sebor, Roy Amidick, Bill Kowsky, Bill Tice, Tiffany Rumsey.
Lap Leaders- Qutermous 1-20.
Heat Winners- Jackson, Qutermous.
Pellegrino Auto Sales Mini Stock Feature (15 Laps)- JAMES GAYTON, John Mosher, Mike Taddonio, Chris Miller, Eric Brumsted, Chad Dickinson, Adam Jackson, Steven Krawczyk, Tony Kulesza, Donald Newton, Jenn Galbo, Ruben Coffey, Bobby Dickinson, Cole Hicks, Brad Shepard, Doug Brown, Tom Urban, Dante Mancuso (DQ).
Lap Leaders- Gayton 1-9, Mancuso 10-15
Heat Winners- Mosher, Mancuso.
DML Sealing Bandits (12 Laps)- JESSICA TRAXLER, Bailey Logsdon, Olivia Coniber, Adam Jackson, Allison Dewitt, Marcus Jackson, Jessica Schleede, Trinity Reynolds.
Lap Leaders- Logsdon 1-2, Traxler 3-12.
Heat Winner- Traxler.