2013 Albany-Saratoga Support Division Season Review
For Immediate Release
December 5th, 2013
MALTA, NY - The Albany-Saratoga Speedway completed season number two under the leadership of Lyle Devore a few months back and while the DIRTcar Modified division gained most of the headlines, the remainder of the divisions that compete weekly at the four tenths of a mile oval more than did their part to prove the track’s nickname true.
The Great Race Place played host to some of the strongest Sportsman, Novice Sportsman, Pro Stock, Street Stock and Four Cylinder fields in the region. When the final checkered flag waved on Friday evening September 6th Jeremy Pitts (Sportsman), Chris Murray (Novice Sportsman), Rob Yetman (DIRTcar Pro Stock), Kenny Martin, Jr. (Pro Stock AIM Warrior Series), Bill Duprey (Street Stocks), Mark Lindblade (Four Cylinder Single Cam) and Todd Goldstein (Four Cylinder Dual Cam) all were crowned track champions.
Jeremy Pitts claimed his first Sportsman division track championship in 2013. Pitts visited victory lane for the first time ever at Albany-Saratoga on May 3rd and followed it up with another on May 31st. Joining Pitts with two feature wins were second place in points Derrick McGrew, Mike Tholin and rookie Connor Cleveland. Cleveland started the season in the Novice Sportsman division where he won three of the first four events.
A total of eight drivers won a single event during the season. Those drivers were Cody Bleau, Robert Bublak, Jr., Frank Hoard, III, Jack Gentile, Matt Pappa, Mike Ostrander, Jack Swinton and Scott Duell. Like fellow rookie Cleveland, Pappa started the season in the Novice Sportsman divisions. Pappa graduated to the Sportsman division on July 26th. He won not only the Novice Sportsman feature that night but the Sportsman division event.
The Sportsman division at Albany-Saratoga once again averaged more cars per week than any other Sportsman division in the Capital District. In 2013 the division averaged 35.38 cars per event. A total of 12 drivers won the 16 events held for the division.
Pitts would claim the track title by 22 points over McGrew. McGrew’s two feature wins moved his career win total to 18 in the Sportsman division at Albany-Saratoga. He now sits in a tie for fourth on the all-time feature winners list with Tony Ballestero. Mike Ballestero (32 wins), Tim Hartman, Sr. (26 wins) and Tim Clemons (25 wins) hold positions one through three on the all-time list.
Bleau would finish the season third in points, a distant 76 markers behind McGrew. Scott Duell and Andy During would complete the top five. Brett Wright finished the season sixth in the standings followed by Robert Bublak, Jr., Frank Hoard, III, Cleveland and Dave Baranowski, Jr.
The Novice Sportsman division completed their first season at the Great Race Place. Chris Murray would claim the track title over Timothy Davis, Ricky Davis, John Lindblade and Jesse Edwards. Feature winners included Cleveland, Pappa and Timothy Davis (three each), Jack Bublak (two wins) and Edwards, Murray, David Emigh, Pete Jeske and Colin Bokus (one win each). The division averaged 17.20 cars this season and was tops in the Capital District. A total of nine drivers won the 16 feature events held in 2013 with three drivers (Cleveland, Pappa and Timothy Davis) graduating to the Sportsman division.
Rob Yetman used eight feature wins to propel himself to the 2013 DIRTcar Pro Stock track championship. Yetman opened the season by winning three of the first four events with his nearest points rival Kenny Martin, Jr. winning two of the first five events. Ed Thompson would win the June 14th feature event with Martin returning to victory lane a week later. Yetman then went on a torrid win streak, winning the next four points paying events.
Rookie Byron Wescott won the DIRTcar Pro Stock Series event as part of Hearn’s 5th Annual Big Show. Sophomore Pro Stock campaigner Dan Older, Sr. put his machine in victory lane on August 2nd with rookie Dave DePaulo doing the same on August 16th. Older would return to victory lane on August 23rd with Yetman securing his track championship with a win on August 30th. Kim Duell would close the season with a win on September 6th.
In all the division averaged a respectful 16.41 cars per event in 2013 with seven drivers winning the 17 feature events held for the division. Yetman would win the track championship over Martin, Older, Duell and Brandon Emigh. Cale Kneer missed the top five by a mere six points while Wescott, Dean Charbonneau, Dave DePaulo and Jeff Washburn completed the top ten.
The DIRTcar Pro Stock division also competed in the AIM Warrior Series with Martin picking up the championship. Duell would finish second with rookie Wescott third, Older fourth and Emigh fifth. In all, four events were held with four different feature winners – Martin, Duell, Older and Yetman.
Bill Duprey would win only one event (July 26th) however his consistent finishes earned him the Street Stock division track championship. Josh Coonradt would finish second in the final standings with Randy Miller third, Scott Lawrence fourth and Justin Smith fifth.
A total of 16 events were held during the 2013 season with nine different drivers earning feature wins. Miller would lead all with four wins while Coonradt visited victory lane three times. Recording two feature wins a piece were Yule Cook and David Shippee. Including Duprey a total of five drivers won a single event in 2013; those drivers were Matt Mosher, Ken Conroy, Smith and Paul Braymer. The average car count for the season was 20.25 which was well above average for the Capital District.
The Four Cylinder division was split into Single Cam and Dual cam divisions for the 2013 season however they raced together. The division ran nine events in 2013 with Todd Goldstein claiming eight overall wins with Steve Ryan claiming one. The division averaged 13.11 cars in their limited appearances.
Mark Lindblade would claim the Single Cam track championship over Dan Older, Jr., Lance Robertson, Joe Tallman and Jeff Donnelly, Jr. Lindblade won seven Single Cam events while Older won twice.
Goldstein claimed the Dual Cam track championship over David Frame, Steve Ryan, Jake Currier and Pete Vila. Goldstein won eight Dual Cam events with Ryan claiming one.
SWEENEY RUSH SERIES OFFICIALS CONTINUE TO WORK TOWARD ANTICIPATED INAUGURAL SPORTSMAN MOD SEASON
By Mike Leone
(Pulaski, PA)...Nearly two months have passed since the announcement that Sportsman Modifieds would join the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series banner for their debut in 2014 along with the return of the Sweeney RUSH Late Models. Series Directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone have been hard at work promoting the new Sportsman Modified Series for its highly-anticipated debut in the spring of 2014.
The Series held two successful informational meeting at the end of October and recently had a display booth at The National Parts Peddler show in Syracuse, New York. Series Directors will also attend the Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis, Indiana December 12-14 to continue to build marketing partners and grow contingency programs. Over $50,000 of products was distributed on the Late Model side in 2013.
"We really enjoyed have a presence at the Parts Peddler show," stated Emig. "The excitement for the Sportsman Modifieds was tremendous! Several of the manufactures expressed how much interest is being generated and how excited they are to see a program such as this in our region that will help sustain Modified racing. Bicknell's Randy Williamson conveyed he's already sent over 10 setup books to racers in our area. There were also numerous New York and Canadian racers that are looking forward to making the trip down to race in our region."
The Sweeney RUSH Late Models have been known for the annual GM 604 engine giveaway along with the popular $30,000 "Manufacturers Night". While those nights will again return in 2014 for the Late Models, an inaugural "Manufacturers Night" for the Sportsman Modifieds will also take place that will award a minimum of $5,000 in actual product! A Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC/Pace Performance Night will include the GM 602 engine giveaway! In all, it's expected that over $10,000 of product contingencies will be awarded to the inaugural class of Sportsman Modified drivers.
2014 membership forms are available online under the membership link at www.rushsportsmanmods.com. Membership cost is $125, which qualifies the driver for the minimum $10,000 Series point fund, includes $100,000 of additional excess participant accident insurance over and above driver's health insurance and/or speedway's policy, as well as additional perks.
Both Precise Racing Products and Big Daddy's Speed Center have offered a 5% discount on all racing parts (excluding the sealed Bilstein shock, fuel, and tires) for the entire 2014 season to all RUSH Sportsman Modified member drivers!
"We're still getting interested racers contacting us as well as some other speedways looking at our program," stated Leone. "The support of the speedways that stepped up to host events without knowing there'd be one car built is tremendous. We expect to release a draft of events later this month. The promoters want to see Modified racing continue into the future and everyone that's committed realizes this is going to be a building process."
"The 602 Sportsman class has grown everywhere and we believe with the program we've put together and the affordability, the results will be the same in our region," continued Leone. "Seven years Crate Late Models didn't even exist in the Northeast, now we are aware of over 300 different teams competing in the region."
All interested drivers, speedways, and sponsors are urged to contact the RUSH office. Those interested drivers will be added to the contact list to receive all future correspondence. Also, racers who have Modifieds for sale can send their classified info to email@example.com to be posted on the classified page on the RUSH webpage.
The Northeast-style dirt Modified division will debut in 2014 at many of the regional speedways and will feature GM 602 crate engines ($3,149 through Sweeney's Pace Performance), spec Hoosier Tires on steel wheels, and affordable and long-lasting Bilstein "sealed" shocks ($135). RUSH has aligned with DIRTcar basically mirroring their rules. The partnership will allow the Series to work together toward mutually beneficial events and promotions in the future.
Six regional speedways have announced their commitment to each host multiple events in 2014 whether it be Weekly or Touring including Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA), Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH), Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA), America's Motorsports Park (Clearfield, PA), Bradford (PA) Speedway, and most recently Raceway 7 (Conneaut, Ohio).
Lernerville, Pittsburgh, and Sharon expect to host approximately six events each. AMP has committed to running the class bi-weekly, while Bradford will run the Sportsman Mods for the first time ever, and at the minimum will host monthly events working with AMP. If the interest is there, the Mods will be added for a second show every month! Raceway 7 recently came on board to host at least two events.
Other tracks such as McKean County Raceway (East Smethport, Pa.) and Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex (Markleysburg, Pa.) have expressed interest with others to likely be added.
Additional informational meetings featuring guest speakers that have a vast amount of experience in the Sportsman Modified class along with the most current information will be scheduled after the holidays. These meetings will provide continued support and information for the racers in this division.
2014 RUSH Sportsman Modified marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, VP Racing Fuels, and Precise Racing Products.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at firstname.lastname@example.org and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300 and fax is 724-964-0604. The RUSH Sportsman Modified website is www.rushsportsmanmods.com. Those on social media can like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rushsportsmanmods and follow us on Twitter @RUSHSportMods.
Ransomville Speedway to Debut Novice Sportsman class in 2014
Ransomville, NY – Thursday, November 28, 2013 – The 2013 awards and dinner banquet was held on November 1st bringing to an official close of the racing season. Focus immediately turned to the 2014 year including the launching of a new division geared at the novice or beginner Sportsman competitor.
The DIRTcar Sportsman division has been one of growth the past few years. This brought attention to the benefits a Novice class would bring as it would allow competitors with little or no experience in the DIRTcar Sportsman ranks an opportunity to learn and develop prior to moving into the head-lining class.
Promoters Jamie and Joel Friesen, along with Race Director Jeff Anstett held a meeting recently in which they came up with the following guidelines for a Novice Sportsman Division. Officials will also be available at the annual membership meeting, slated for Sunday, February 9th.
1. Cars will operate under 2014 DIRT Sportsman rules.
2. Tires will be Hoosier M45 on rears, D300 on fronts!
3. Optional open motor at 5800 chip and 2650 lbs.
4. 94 Maximum Octane Standard Pump Gasoline, and VP D-98 will be the only fuels allowed.
5. First time rookie competitors in the Novice Sportsman class who move up to the DIRT Sportsman class after July 12th 2014 will still retain their Rookie of the Year status in the Sportsman class for 2015.
6. Four Bangers and Street Stocks will be allowed and encouraged to run the Novice Sportsman class on the same night as their regular class.
7. Special awards will be handed out at the end of year banquet for the top three. Novice Sportsman drivers with their best eight finishes based off of the DIRT 60 point system.
8. If a car is entered in both DIRT Sportsman and Novice Sportsman class with two different drivers, the car will be subject to an additional $25 entry fee.
9. The Novice Sportsman class is not mandatory for new Sportsman competitors. Rookies who feel that they are ready for the DIRT Sportsman class are more than welcome to start in the DIRT Sportsman class.
10. In the event that track management deems a competitor over competitive, the track reserves the right to request that he or she moves up to the DIRT Sportsman class.
Anyone with questions prior to the annual membership meeting is encouraged to email the speedway at email@example.com or call at 716-791-3602.