GRIT SERIES HEADED FOR FONDA SPEEDWAY
Track Of Champions Ready To ‘GRIT’ Racy
June 5, 2014 By Rob Hazer (Fonda, NY) - Fonda Speedway needs no introduction; after all it is the track of champions. Its history speaks volumes about the tracks success. The new sheriff in town Matt DeLorenzo has the Mohawk Valley buzzing with talk of all things Fonda Speedway. With the WoO Late Models canceling their event in NY State, it left the promoter needing to fill a void. First he whipped up the Empire State Championships Modified event paying $5,00 to win. He then followed that up by adding the Dig Safely New York GRIT Racing Series Powered By VP Racing Fuels to the race card.
Originally the GRIT Racing Series was scheduled for one event, which is titled ‘Rumble On The River’ on September 20th. Now the GRIT Racing Series will be in town much sooner on June 19th for the ‘Midweek Meltdown’ 30 Lap Crate Sportsman special, as part of the Empire State Championships.
“We’ve kept in communication with Matt about the anticipation building for the Mohawk Valley Weekend ‘Rumble On The River’ show in September,” said Rob Hazer, Competition/PR director for GRIT Racing.
“We surely don’t want to stretch our traveling teams out too much even though they get some throw away races should they be unable to attend, but an opportunity to have a GRIT Racing Series show sooner at Fonda Speedway was a win-win,” Hazer continued.
He concluded by saying “Matt is a super personable guy, easy to work with, and we appreciate what he’s doing and for having in for 2 shows in 2014.”
Series founder Dick Stark said, “I’m just tickled pink really. We have two races now to showcase the GRIT Series and that means a lot to all of us.
“It’s signed, sealed, and we’ll deliver for the fans in the capital region on June 19th. We’ll bring our series rules, format, and style into a well known track and that’s exciting for us,” said Nick Stark, GRIT Racing Series VP.
First thing to note is all Fonda Speedway regulars will get 20 show up points for the evening towards their Fonda Speedway points. It is however a full-blown Dig Safely New York GRIT Racing Series Powered By VP Racing Fuels event. All GRIT Racing Series rules will be in effect for ALL drivers on June 19th.
The format will be a draw-redraw with the heat winners drawing for starting spots in the top six, with everyone else drawing for a spots 7-15. This rewards the 8 Lap heat winners, while balancing out a fair redraw system for the remaining qualified cars. Consi’s will also be 8 laps in distance and fill in the rest of the 24 car-starting field. From there any provisional starters will be added.
WARNER HOLDS OFF GUERERRI AT UTICA ROME
Double File Restarts Provide Another Thrilling Finish
May 26, 2014 By Rob Hazer (Vernon, NY) – For the second strait race Rocky Warner has had to hold off one of the best Sportsman drivers in the business to win a Dig Safely New York GRIT Racing Series Powered By VP Racing Fuels event. This time the fans at Utica Rome Speedway were treated to a spectacular finish in the first of three VP Racing Fuels Triple Crown races, as part of the GRIT Racing Series tour.
Timed hot laps were the first challenge for drivers of the Dig Safely New York GRIT Racing Series Powered By VP Racing Fuels. Through the back gate drivers drew for heat groups, which Rocky Warner (21.528), Robert Bublak (22.409), Matt Guererri (22.104), and Nick Guererri (21.972) all set fastest times in their respective groups. All drivers were awarded one bonus point for their fast times and the top 4 times in each group were inverted for the heat races.
Once the Tired Iron Auto Repair heat races were won by Rocky Warner, Connor Cleveland, Dave Marcuccilli, and Rocco Leone, with Dig Safely New York consolation wins going to Cody Clark and Mike Button, it was time to salute the troops with the Memorial Day Stars and Stripes 30 presented by Flag2Flag.com Racing Classifieds.
Connor Cleveland and Alan Fink would lead the 27 car starting field to Matt Burdick’s green flag. The Cleveland Brothers Landscaping 09 of Connor Cleveland would take the early lead leaving the New Millennium Auto 8 of Alan Fink to contend for second with series point leader Rocky Warner in the West End Towing 79.
Early on Cleveland would set a wicked pace pulling out to a near 10 car length lead, while Warner quickly had his hands full with the Page Trucking M1 of defending GRIT Racing Series champion Dave Marcuccilli and newcomer Nick Guererri in the Gevo’s Rears & Gears 25g.
On lap seven the first of only two yellows came out when Fulton Speedway regular Tony Finch II slowed in turn two with the A to Z Contracting 0 car. This would restack the field for a double file restart that changed the shape of the race early.
When the green flag flew Warner used the outside to take the lead from Cleveland, while Guererri and Marcuccilli followed through relegating Cleveland back to fourth. Warner was able to pull away just a bit, as Guererri was battling with fellow Canandaigua regular Marcuccilli for second. With that going on Cleveland found himself in a battle with Fink and Fulton young gun Corey Barker fresh off a Saturday win with his Shapiro Motors 31.
Top five point man Brian Krummel in the Superior Remodeling 44 had his race rod moving forward and cracked the top five near the mid point of the event, but three drivers were making their presence felt and doing it quietly.
Kevin Ward had moved his Jeff Daly & Sons 44 from 15th to race for the top five, while series rookie of the year contender Cody Clark had his North Hudson Woodcraft Corporation number 4 Teo Pro Car in the top 10 from his 17th starting spot. Kyle Inman was making some quiet noise moving from the 22nd starting spot with the KC Motorsports 20k to run in the top 10 as well.
Back up front the story was Warner out front, but Guererri hunting him down and by lap 25 he began to poke his nose under the 79 Bicknell. On lap 29 the yellow flag flew for a multi-car tangle in turn 3 in which everyone drove away.
For the second strait series race a double file restart with one lap remaining would decide the GRIT Racing Series winner. Warner who all but had lost his grip on the lead to Guererri had to hold off the 25g for one more lap.
On the restart the Warner-Guererri pair ran door-to-door through turns 1 and 2 then down the backstretch. In turn 3 Guererri tightened up just a bit allowing Rocky Warner to come home victorious for his second strait tour win by less than a car length. Guererri crossed the line second; Ward all the way up to 3rd from 15th, Cleveland again in the top five in 4th, and a very impressive Corey Barker rounding out the top five.
UTICA ROME NOTES: The staff at Utica Rome Speedway was very accommodating and the GRIT Racing Series sends a special thanks to John Tiff Jr., Barb Clark, Gene Cole, Doug Zupan, Charlie Tuna, and Bernie Lukaks. With his back-to-back wins on the Dig Safely New York GRIT Racing Series Powered By VP Racing Fuels tour, Rocky Warner has yet to finish outside the top three in events he’s entered. Kevin Ward from 15th to 3rd was mighty impressive, as well was Cody Clark from 17th to 6th, and Kyle Inman from 22nd to 10th. Point standings have been shaken up just a bit after the VP Triple Crown event, which was weighted with a heavier point value. Next VP Triple Crown event is the Northeast Crate Nationals at Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Fulton Speedway young gun Corey Barker was very impressive mixing it up with the big guns of a traveling series representing his home track with a solid top five finish. Once again double file restarts all the way to the end provided a nail biting finish, which brought the fans in attendance to their feet with cheer. 39 crate sportsman competitors came to the action track of the east, which is the highest count at any race thus far in 2014.
RACING SERIES (30 LAPS) - ROCKY WARNER, Nick Guererri, Kevin Ward, Connor Cleveland, Corey Barker, Cody Clark, Alan Fink, Todd Root, Dave Marcuccilli, Kyle Inman, Rocco Leone, Robert Bublak, Nick Krause, Rob Humphreys, Matt Guererri, Chris Stevens, John Illanovsky, Kyle Kiehn, Brian Pessolano, Brian Krummel, Kenny Boniface, Mike Button, Ivan Joslin, Jeff Hunter, Chris Hulsizer, Anthony Alger, Tony Finch II.
Sportsman Modified and Pro Stock Series kick off June 1 at Cornwall Motor Speedway
Dave Bissonnette and Brad Rouse ready to defend series championships
WEEDSPORT, N.Y. - With the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified and Pro Stock Series opener just around the corner, racers in both divisions are gearing up for another season of tough competition and fierce points battles. Both tours kick off the same night, Sunday, June 1, for the Jiffy Auto Service DIRTcar Double Header at Cornwall Motor Speedway.
DIRTcar Pro Stock Series Champion Dave Bissonnette is ready to defend his title.
"I've been racing here for years, and this is the place to win. If you can win here, you can win anywhere," the Cornwall, Ontario, driver said of his home track, a fast quarter-mile clay oval. "It's like a little bullring. It's very fast, it's unforgiving."
Bissonnette claimed more than one title last year, taking both the series crown and the Cornwall track championship. He placed fifth at the BACC-OFF DIRTcar Pro Stock Series Championship 25 , a strong finish that gave him the boost he needed to surpass Stephane Labrun in series point standings.
"It came down to the end there down at Syracuse," Bissonnette said. "I just happened to finish a couple positions ahead of Stephane Lebrun."
For the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series, Brad Rouse, of St. Catharines, Ontario, will be defending his title against a stout field of competitors. A rookie last year having just moved from the Pro Stock division, Joey Ladouceur, of Alexandria, Ontario, finished a close second.
Gates open for Cornwall's DIRTcar Double Header at 5:30 p.m. and racing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tickets for this full night of racing are just $15 for adults. Special pricing is available for children and seniors.
For more information about the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series and DIRTcar Pro Stock Series, visit www.dirtcar.com.
AT A GLANCE
Minute Auto Wash sponsor Gaetan's Chip Stand Canadian Nationals
DATE: Sunday, June 1
TIME: Racing begins at 7 p.m.; gates open at 5:30 p.m.
DIVISIONS: DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series, DIRTcar Pro Stock Series, Modifieds, Semi Pro and Mini Stock
LOCATION: Cornwall Motor Speedway, Civic #16981, Cornwall Centre Rd., Long Sault, Ontario, Canada
ABOUT THE TRACK: Quarter-mile high-banked oval
YATES COUNTY SPEEDWAY SET FOR GRAND OPENING PART TWO
DUNDEE, NY…Racing will resume at Yates County Speedway this Friday, May 30th with the “Grand Opening, Part Two”. New track Promoter Dan Harpell opened the speedway on May 2nd for the Grand Opening but weather has prevented the track from running another show up to this point.
Yates County will host a full show of all divisions. In addition we will honor Mary Hoose for her 50 years of service at the speedway and we will also hold a Racer's Reunion recognizing the great drivers from the past. Race time is 7:00 p.m.
This Friday will be four weeks since the last race so it is somewhat of a Grand Opening Part Two for the Yates County Speedway. It has rained for six consecutive Friday’s, including opening night on the 2nd.
“It has been so long since we raced, it almost seems like we are starting over”, said Harpell. “We have used the down time to get everything in order and have worked out the bugs from our opener”, he added.
Harpell took over the speedway late, just five weeks before the opener, and scrambled to get everything ready on time to open. While the track was in fantastic condition and the racing was excellent, there were a few bumps in the road on opening night. The biggest issue was with the concessions.
“We hired a temp service to work our concession stands and it didn’t work out. It seemed like a good idea at the time because I didn’t know enough people in the area. I have since gone out and hired 17 local people to step in and work our concessions and gates”, said Harpell. “I am determined to get things running smoothly and the long concession line was one of the biggest complaints I heard about when I took over the track. I have met a lot of great people in the area and they have stepped up big time to help me. I have had a lot of support and greatly appreciate it”, he added.
Friday’s show will feature all of the weekly divisions. In the May 2nd opener Fran Hilton took home top honors in the 602 Crate Sportsman feature in a hotly contested battle with Ray Bliss. In the Greg’s Auto Body Street Stock feature, Rich Sharpsteen took home the $500 top prize over a strong field of cars.
Darryl Ruggles won the CRSA Sprint Car feature. Ruggles will return for the official opener for the new 305 Sprint Car class, which will be a weekly division in 2014. Rich Karlnoski raced to the IMCA Modified feature win on opening night in a race that went caution free.
The BRP/Crate Late Model winner was Jason Knowles who raced to a commanding victory. Trevor Dudley won the 4 Cylinder Feature while Allison Teed was victorious in the Bandit Division.
The eight division show was run very efficiently in just three hours and twenty minutes. Expect to see things run off rapidly all season long. The new staff of track officials worked really well together and will continue to fine tune the show as the season progresses.
RUGGLES, HILTON, SHARPSTEEN, KNOWLES ALL VICTORIUS ON OPENING NIGHT AT THE ALL NEW YATES COUNTY SPEEDWAY
Dundee, New York…. Canandaigua, New York driver Daryl Ruggles was the first to find victory lane at the new Yates County Speedway in the CRSA 305 Sprint Car feature. Fran Hilton, Rich Sharpsteen, Rich Karlnoski, Jason Knowles, Trevor Dudley and Allison Teed were all victorious on Abtex Corporation Night.
Ruggles started in the fourth position in his number 48jr. Sprint Car, and by the midway point was putting on a serious challenge for the race lead. Bill Jaycox led the charge for the opening 8 laps, before a turn two pass found Ruggles the new race leader. As Jaycox fell back to second, Ruggles would open an impressive margin enroute to the victory. Coming across the stripe in third was Jeremy Quick followed by Jordan Thomas and John Preston. Ruggles was outspoken in his praise of the racing surface. “ I have raced here in a lot of different classes over the years and this is the best I have ever seen this track”.
Racing veteran Fran Hilton was victorious in the Crate Sportsman division on Abtex Corporation night. In the early stages of the race, Hilton had faded back to second after initially starting on the pole. Josh Keesey would grab the lead on the first circuit and lead the opening 11 laps, until Hilton came back up to battle for the spot. On lap 12 Hilton would make the pass to claim the race lead.
Hilton began to pull away from the field until lap traffic became heavy towards the midway point of the event. By lap 18, veteran driver Ray Bliss was up to second and putting on a great battle with Hilton for the lead as the two raced through heavy lapped traffic. The caution would come out on lap 20 leaving a clear track in front of the leaders for the remaining 5 laps. In the closing laps Hilton would prove to be the faster car as he pulled away to claim the opening night win. Hilton would win over Bliss, Keesey, Brady Fultz and Chris Daugherty. Six through ten would go to Chris Silvers, Loren Lincoln, Casey Pavlick, Phil Yaw, and Chris Fisher.
Jason Knowles would lead 19 out of 20 laps to claim the BRP/Crate Late Model feature win. Jason’s brother Brian Knowles would come up to finish second, while Bill Mesler was third, Adam DePuy fourth, and Brad Mesler would round out the top five.
RACE NOTES: This was the first event under new Promoter Dan Harpell…Drivers were raving about the track surface. The track was in awesome condition, table top smooth from top to bottom…Dale Welty won the drawing for the American Racer Cup tire gift certificate…The next event on the schedule is the Northeast Showdown on Tuesday, May 13th for the Race of Champions Dirt Modified Series. They will be joined by the Crate Sportsman on the card.
CRSA SPRINT CAR 20 LAP FEATURE: DARYL RUGGLES, Bill Jaycox, Jeremy Quick, Jordan Thomas, John Preston, Dalton Herrick, Scott Goodrich, John Matrafailo, Brett Jaycox
CRATE SPORTSMAN 25 LAP FEATURE: FRAN HILTON, Ray Bliss, Josh Keesey, Brady Fultz, Chris Daugherty, Chris Silvers, Loren Lincoln, Casey Pavlick, Phil Yaw, Chris Fisher, Brent Ayers, Dale Welty, Steven Swarthout, Joe Cook, Lance Irwin, Ross Vleck, Phil Vigneri III, Bob Buono, Rick Newton
STREET STOCK 20 LAP FEATURE: RICH SHARPSTEEN, Chuck Winslow, Kurt Stebbins, Jeremy Potrzebowski, Cory Costa, Daryl Krebs, Jared Hill, 4, Jeremy Trank, Nate Daggett, Brad Rathburn, Rich Sharpsteen, Harold Fenton, Gene Balmer, James Kreidler III, Jake Karlnoski, Tracy Dunn
LATE MODEL 20 LAP FEATURE: JASON KNOWLES, Brian Knowles, Bill Mesler, Adam DePuy, Brad Mesler, Jared Hill, Sparky Hills