WOODHULL, NY – On a night where there was a standing room only crowd, there was plenty to talk about on and off the racetrack. A near capacity camping section set the atmosphere for a night of thrilling finishes and plenty of drama at “New York’s Toughest Bullring.”
Billy Van Pelt had himself a weekend his team won’t soon forget. When you’ve won nineteen track titles and several local series championships- there’s not much one could accomplish that they haven’t done in the past. But on Saturday, Van Pelt swept the weekend, which was something they hadn’t done in some time.
The driver out of Westfield, PA picked up a well-earned win on Friday night at Freedom Motorsports Park before making his way to Woodhull Raceway Saturday night. Van Pelt would qualify through his heat to get his twelfth place handicap starting spot. A spot he would not stay in for very long.
Mike Bills, as he did the last time he raced at Woodhull, led off the drop of the green flag for the opening two circuits. But a hard-charging Joe Dgien made quick work of the lead from his fifth place starting position to grab the lead on lap 3. Dgien looked to be the man to beat on a track that offered up three lanes of racing with plenty of moisture and little dust to go around.
But Van Pelt was slicing through the field and was up to the top five by the half way mark. Several caution flags helped bunch up the field and would find drivers like Dgien, Ron Cartwright, Brady Fultz and Van Pelt jamming for position with less than ten laps to go.
As the race wore on, the bottom groove came back to life for Van Pelt in the Instant Heat Wood Pellets No. 2. He would make a move to get the lead from Dgien on lap twenty with five to go. But Dgien wasn’t done yet, as he found a line that helped him close up to Van Pelt’s back bumper up top on the developing cushion.
With just a couple laps left, Dgien got up over the cushion and lost several spots. But he wowed the fans with the ‘win it or wear it’ run on the outside to try and take back the lead and the win. Van Pelt would come out the victor for his third win of 2018 over Cartwright, Fultz, Dgien and Cory Costa who charged all the way from position number seventeen.
Tim Guild had a weekend similar to Van Pelt’s in the NAPA Crate Sportsman division. Guild made his second ever visit to The Hill Speedway on Friday, keeping his perfect record up by winning their Crate Sportsman division feature.
Guild put a boatload of pressure on himself with his brother and daughter in town from long distances away, but made both of their trips worth it in sweeping the weekend. The driver of the Ohio Logistics, Howard Hana Real Estate No. 06 started from the pole position and never relinquished the lead throughout the 25-lap event.
Guild found some magic in the middle lane- a lane that always has been successful for his driving style. Kenny Peoples Jr. and Stacey Jackson tried to make it interesting though, as countless caution flags marred a race that started off with seven-straight green flag laps.
Peoples found a line to his liking down low in his Bicknell chassis while Jackson rim rode the top with his Hig Fab Chassis. With five laps to go, Peoples had the run down low off turn two that he needed but an untimely caution made it all go for not.
With Peoples fighting a lack of side bite, Guild was able to keep his momentum up around the outside and hold a steady lead all the way to Scott Lyon’s checkered flags. Jackson was quick up top, but just never got a long enough run under green to make a move and settled for third. Brett Buono and outside pole starter Jerry Aldrich rounded out the top five.
Steve LeBarron has had a tough go of it of late and due to the handicap started on the pole for the 20-lap SWL Awards and Photos Crate Late Model feature. But LeBarron’s lead was short-lived as “The Jet” Jason Knowles had taken some big swings at his No. 4 machine for feature time. Knowles swept by on lap five and would never relinquish the top spot.
LeBarron’s teammate John Waters pressed hard for the two spot and would eventually get that spot. But Waters could only get to the back bumper in the closing laps in the blue No. 11 that the team first brought to Woodhull a couple weeks ago. LeBarron held on to the third spot over sixth place starting Brian Knowles in fourth and Kurt Stebbins who started and finished fifth.
Knowles and crew were ecstatic as he will increase his points lead in the division and had several sponsors and supporters in the crowd for Fireworks Night victory.
The Joe Willcox Performance Automatics Street Stock feature was a thriller that ended in heartbreak for Tracy Dunn, but ended in storybook fashion for Brett “The Jet” Marlatt. Dunn started in the top five and had the lead with only a few laps on the Border Drive Heating lap board.
While Dunn raced out front with a strong Southern Tier Generators, Golden Age Cheese, Skeetin’ Wheaton No. 21, the Cummings Trucking No. 7 of Dylan Cecce was busy slicing through traffic from his tenth starting spot. Cecce made it to second with 7 laps to go and the race was on for the top spot.
Cecce tried high and tried the middle, but Dunn was hooked up on the low lane and making his Campbell/Creekside power plant sing down the straights. With three laps to go, the whole complexion of the race changed.
Cecce later admitted that a miscalculation on his part entering turn one saw the No. 7 make contact with the No. 21 and Dunn went through the spin cycle ending his bid for victory. Dunn and Cecce would go on to finish ninth and tenth, but that opened the door for the snake in the weeds- Marlatt.
Marlatt, who celebrated his late grandmother’s birthday in the camping area prior to the races, took over the lead and would go on to finally get off the schneid in 2018 at Woodhull. This of course was after a second place finish, four third place finishes and a rare win on Friday night at The Hill Speedway.
“Thanks for all the help tonight,” Marlatt said as he pointed the checkered flag toward the Heavens. It was a night that the Marlatt family needed and certainly the night that driver No. 99 needed to keep building confidence in their bid for the 2018 title.
Speaking of drivers getting the monkey off their back, how about a tip of the cap to 2017 Woodhull Auto Supply Hobby Stock track champion Carter Dennis? Dennis started outside pole, took the lead on lap four, lost the lead on lap 14 only to get it back on lap 17 with three to go.
Joe Birdsall got the lead from Dennis with a daring Lyle Sherwood-esque move going into turn three as the field came down to log lap 14. But a lap 17 restart would see Birdsall spin while racing hard with the No. 8x of Les Smith. That handed the lead back to the driver known by his family and friends as “The Mole” and he would not relinquish it the rest of the way.
It was a great moment in Victory Lane, as Carter and son Jeredd Dennis finally was able to get the bugs worked out of a car that they built fresh from the ground up in the offseason.
Chris Woodard made it an astounding six victories in a row on Saturday night in the Daugherty’s Auto Sales & Service Mini Stocks. Woodard battled hard with Rick Amidon, who logged his best run of 2018 on Saturday, but Amidon couldn’t hold off Woodard’s runs in the low lane.
“The Streetsweeper” took the lead for good on lap 17 and led the final three laps for the victory. He will go for seven straight this weekend.
Unlike two weeks ago, Ryan Austin started front row in the Bear’s Auto Body Front Wheel Drives and raced to his second victory of the 2018 season. Austin raced hard with Wes Houghtaling for the lead between cars No. 42 and 26x, but Austin would get by Houghtaling in the end for the win.
Adam DelGrosso passed Houghtaling on the final lap to get the second spot, while Codie Baker and Nate Freeland rounded out the top five.
Carter Crooker snuck by Brooke McClain to take the lead in the Daugherty’s Auto Sales & Service Warriors feature and secure the victory. The win was his fourth in a row and his sixth win in seven points races. McClain continued her great efforts for second over Josh Isaman, Ronnie Dailey and Brody Amidon.
Isaman made a couple thousand new fans on Saturday night, as he finished third after running the final eight laps with the hood of his No. 16 flipped back toward and blocking the window screen. Isaman could see just enough under the hood and the dash to drive his outside line flawlessly to hold on to third. Race officials made the decision to let Isaman resume activity as no yellow flag came out over the final eight laps and Isaman safely and competitively kept racing even with the hood hindering visibility. Isaman was greeted with a roaring ovation when interviewed on the front stretch post-race by special guest announcer Adam DelGrosso.
Race fans are encouraged to sign up for the fastest alerts from Woodhull Raceway’s Rained Out Alert system by sending the text message “WoodhullAlert” to 84483, message and data rates may apply.
For more information race over to www.woodhullraceway.com, Like Woodhull Raceway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WoodhullRaceway or Follow Woodhull on Twitter @WoodhullPR.
Woodhull Raceway is located in Woodhull, NY, just 30 minutes West of Corning, NY and competes weekly on Saturday nights from mid-April through Labor Day Weekend. The track offers several special events including the Patriot Sprint Tour 360 Sprints in May and July and the Short Track Super Series Modifieds in early-August.
Instant Heat Wood Pellets Jim Williams Memorial Night- June 30, 2018
INSINGER PERFORMANCE MODIFIEDS, 24 cars (25 laps): BILLY VANPELT (3), Ron Cartwright, Brady Fultz, Joe Dgien, Cory Costa, Mike Bills, Josh Keesey, Dillon Groover, Brian Doolittle, Donnie Lawson, Russell Morseman, Frank Dunning, Art Goodier, Chris Ostrowsky, Patrick Hoopes, Dayton Brewer, Wally Wade, Dave DuBois, Larry Keegan, Dan Michaud, Bobby Davis, Bob Silvernail, Brandon Martin, DNS: Kevin Chilson.
H1: Joe Dgien, Art Goodier, Dillon Groover.
H2: Donnie Lawson, Bobby Davis, Mike Bills.
H3: Billy VanPelt, Ron Cartwright, Brandon Martin.
NAPA CRATE SPORTSMAN, 19 cars (25 laps): TIM GUILD (1), Kenny Peoples Jr., Stacy Jackson, Brett Buono, Jerry Aldrich, AJ Costley, Brandon Butler, Stevie Hartman III, Chris Fisher, Bob Buono, Ajay Potrzebowski II, Dave Richmond, Blake Lawson, Connor Brown, Bob Butcher, Jordan Bacon, Cole Youse, Adam Taft, Jake Dgien.
H1: Tim Guild, Jake Dgien, Cole Youse.
H2: Jerry Aldrich, Ajay Potrzebowski II, Dave Richmond.
H3: Stevie Hartman III, Brandon Butler, Kenny Peoples Jr.
SWL AWARDS CRATE LATE MODELS, 10 cars (20 laps): JASON KNOWLES (2), John Waters, Steve LeBarron, Brian Knowles, Kurt Stebbins, Jason McGregor, Joe Layfield, Darin Horton, Jamie Freeman, DNS: Whitney Horton.
H1: Kurt Stebbins, Brian Knowles, Jason McGregor
H2: John Waters, Jason Knowles, Steve LeBarron.
JOE WILCOX PERFORMANCE AUTOMATICS STREET STOCKS, 14 cars (20 laps): BRETT MARLATT (1), Mick Seeley, Zane King Jr., Mike Williams, Jim Buck, Jeredd Dennis, Branden Morseman, LaVerne Knickerbocker, Tracy Dunn, Dylan Cecce, Jim Weatherley, Noah Talada, Dan Gardner, Kurt Stebbins.
H1: Branden Morseman, Brett Marlatt, Tracy Dunn.
H2: Dylan Cecce, Kurt Stebbins, Dan Gardner.
WOODHULL AUTO SUPPLY HOBBY STOCKS, 10 cars (20 laps): CARTER DENNIS (1), Aaron Miller, Joe Birdsall, Glen Layfield, Brent Williams, Les Smith, Dennis French, Greg Young, AJ Niedermaier, DNS: Cliff Miller.
H1: Aaron Miller, Greg Young, Cliff Miller.
H2: Joe Birdsall, Les Smith, Carter Dennis.
DAUGHERTY’S AUTO SALES & SERVICE MINI STOCKS, 20 cars (20 laps): CHRIS WOODARD (6), Ron Dailey Jr., Rick Amidon, Scott Lehman, Kane Stebbins, Travis Webster, Derrick Puryear, James LaGrange, Mike Navone, Jason Warner, Tony Dickerson, Adam Austin, Clay French, Joshua Oles, Josh Webster, Jason Ketrow, Karl Born, Danielle Thomas, DNS: Jeff Stone, Brett Gleason.
H1: Kane Stebbins, Jason Ketrow, Ron Dailey Jr.
H2: Chris Woodard, Joshua Oles, Scott Lehman.
H3: James LaGrange, Karl Born, Danielle Thomas.
BEAR’S AUTO BODY FRONT WHEEL DRIVES, 16 cars (20 laps): RYAN AUSTIN (2), Adam DelGrosso, Wes Houghtaling, Codie Baker, Nate Freeland, Matt Prescott, Scott Lehman Jr., Brendan Schweigart, Steve Scott, Jarod Brown, Kevin Williams, Cara Pitts, Reese Hackett, Nick Brown, Joshua Stone, DNS: Joe Gillespie.
H1: Adam DelGrosso, Matt Prescott, Codie Baker.
H2: Nate Freeland, Wes Houghtaling, Ryan Austin.
DAUGHERTY’S AUTO SALES & SERVICE WARRIORS, 9 cars (10 laps): CARTER CROOKER (6), Brooke McClain, Josh Isaman, Ronnie Dailey, Brody Amidon, Garrett Wilson, Dylon Morseman, Tess Johnson, Jacob Tubbs.
H1: Ronnie Dailey, Brody Amidon, Garrett Wilson.
H2: Carter Crooker, Brooke McClain, Josh Isaman.