Jerry Higbie Makes Statement In Modified Triumph At Accord Speedway

Story By: STEVE PADOS / ACCORD SPEEDWAY – ACCORD, NY – With Mother Nature seemingly controlling the fortunes and misfortunes of racing in the Northeast, Accord Speedway Promoters Gary and Donna Palmer have been rolling the dice and dodging the crazy weather patterns to keep their speedway operating on schedule. They ushered in the Memorial Day weekend on Friday evening at their superb quarter-mile speedplant located in the Catskill Mountains of New York State.

With the sun shining brightly and warm temperatures finally arriving, the Palmer Family had a great field of racers prepared to go racing and an enthusiastic crowd of loyal fans on hand for the event. WRWD Radio 107.3 FM was the headline sponsor for the evening and presented a show with country music from radio personality Uncle Mike Hansen from WRWD Radio.

Not one of the fans left the house disappointed as “The Statesman” Jerry Higbie took over the lead on lap seven and ran away from the field the remainder of the way to capture his first win at Accord in some time in the Insinger Fuels Modifieds. “The Architect” Leo Fotopolous laid claim to his first ever win at Accord in the Arkel Motors Sportsman finale with a stellar wire to wire run to the checkered flag. “The Captain” Jeremy Quick earned his first win of the season in the WRWD Radio NEWS Sprint Cars. Steve Williams put together a masterful run to triumph in the Upstate Auto Pure Stock feature while the holdover feature event for the Pure Stockers was claimed by Emerson Cargain. Travis Green Scored his first ever Accord win in the WRWD Radio Rookie Sportsman event. In the Emmanuel’s Marketplace Fireball 4-Cylinder event, Jerry Kingeter utilized a bump and run maneuver to slip past Jeff DeGroat on his way to his second win to close down the curtain on an excellent night of racing.

Rich Ricci III and Scott Ferrier brought the Insinger Fuels Modified division starting field to the line for the start of the 30-lap headliner for the Modified division. The quick starting Ferrier would jump into the lead with the fourth starting Higbie rocking to the top of the raceway to move into the runner-up slot by lap four. Ferrier enjoyed a big lead early that evaporated quickly as Higbie made tracks to contend for the lead. A mad Scramble slowed the field and on the restart, Higbie moved his Handsome Devil BBQ mount out front and would wave goodbye to the rest of the field as his consistent 13.2 second laps allowed him to open up a huge advantage on the field.

Anthony Perrego would race hard from his tenth starting slot and move into second but by that point in time Higbie was already into slower traffic. Higbie would earn his first win of the season in a stellar performance with Perrego in the runner-up slot. Mike Ricci, from 18th starting position raced to third with Scott Ferrier fourth and Jesse Marks completing the top five. Richard Smith headed up the second five with Danny Tyler, Rich Ricci Jr, the returning Michael Storms and Ray See Jr completing the top ten.

John Brown was fast out of the blocks to kick-off the WRWD Radio Rookie sportsman event. A few jingles early on slowed the pace but on each restart Brown proved to have the hot hand as he continued to set the early pace. On lap six Travis Green got underneath Brown as they entered turn two with Brown going in too hot and getting sideways and allowing Green to take command of the event. Once in front Green had things pretty much his way with Cole Stangle mounting pressure to Green but Green was strong and captured the win with Stangle in the runner-up role. Charles Loiodice raced hard to third with Brown hanging on to fourth and Mike Travis completing the top five. Erin Paulison raced to sixth place with Joe Coppola, Fred Smith, Keith Johannessen and Michael Corbin completing the top ten.

The WRWD Radio NEWS Sprint Car finale found Andrew Davis leading the first four laps of the event before yielding to the high flying Jeremy Quick. Quick would build on to his lead but before he could settle in he began to find Mick D’Agostino on the charge as he would cut into Quick’s lead and find the two warriors going nose to tail the remainder of the event. Quick was able to keep D’Agostino at bay and would go on to capture his first win of the season at Accord. D’Agostino was strong in second place with the Dan Malley third, newcomer Larry Drake fourth and Mark Conolly completing the top five.

The Arkel Motors Sportsman event was a barn-burner and head-turner from the drop of the green flag as Leo Fotopolous would take off with the green flag and built himself a substantial lead through the early portion of the event with Alex VanPelt in the runner-up role. Tenth starting Tyler Johnston was on the fly and used channel after channel of the speedway to race into contention. Hunter Lapp, Danny Morgiewicz and Kyle Rohner began a hard dogfight that would last until the checkered flag fell on the event. Fotopolous had more than power to hustle his way to his first career win at Accord. Johnston was the runner-up with Rohner third, Lapp in fourth and Morgiewicz fifth with great close racing start to finish. Kevin Stevens headed up the second five with Anthony Recchio from 16th, Mike Murphy from 22nd, RJ Smith and newcomer Troy Arnold completing the top ten.

In the holdover Upstate Auto Pure Stock event, Jay Smalley led through the first ten laps before losing the lead to Steve Williams in slower traffic. Williams would race on to the win with Smalley in second and followed by Travis Brockner, John Hechinger and Ray Tarantino.

Emerson Cargain led wire to wire in the Upstate Auto Pure Stock finale to capture his second win of the 2018 racing season. The win didn’t come easy as John Hechinger and Steve Williams applied plenty of pressure on him as they would finish second and third respectively. Livy Johnson and Bob Sleight completed the top five. Travis Brockner, Johnny Miracle, Steve Kanuk, Ray Tarantino and James Goetchius completed the field.

In the Emmanuel’s Marketplace Fireball 4-Cylinder encounter, Jerry Kingeter would lead the first eight laps until Jeff DeGroat slipped past him. DeGroat would lead through lap fourteen when Kingeter found some extra speed and oomph as he contacted with DeGroat and would drive away with the lead and the win, his second of the season. DeGroat was second followed by Willie DeGraw, Richard Smith and point leader Ryan Heady.


The hotly contested racing action found seven features for the packed grandstands of loyal racing fans. Promoter Gary Palmer and crew worked overtime to have the track to top flight racing standards for the event.

Heat wins went to Ed Dachenhausen, Jesse Marks, Anthony Perrego and Scott Ferrier in the Modified division while Richie Eurich captured the B-Main. Alex VanPelt, Hunter Lapp and Chris VanDuser captured the Sportsman heats. Rookie heats were claimed by Charles Loiodice, John Brown and Mike Travis. The Pure Stock heats were claimed by Emerson Cargain and Livy Johnson. The lone Sprint heat win went to Jeremy Quick. Fireball heat wins were claimed by Ken Barringer, Jeff DeGroat and Jerry Kingeter

Thanks again to Uncle Mike Hansen and WRWD Radio for a wonderful night at the speedway. Uncle Mike and Announcer Steve Pados talked about the many activities WRWD Radio is involved with and of the great tie in with the Accord Speedway.

Many new faces were to be found at the speedway. Michael Storms and Jeff Heotzler were new additions to the Modifieds. Troy Arnold and Jared LaBagh were on hand for the Sportsman. The Rookies found new faces in Dylan Smith, Mike Bull, Pat Mann and Jared Miller hopped rides taking over the Davis Welding number 46. Larry Drake was a new Sprint car in action. Joel Murns, Cooper Henion and Wayne Taylor were new additions to the Pure Stockers. Bob Clarke and Adair DuBois were new faces for the Fireballers.

Former racer at Accord Tom Laner Jr is undergoing some health issues and management and staff at the speedway are praying for his recovery.


Insinger Fuels Modifieds: Jerry Higbie, Anthony Perrego, Mike Ricci, Scott Ferrier, Jesse Marks, Richard Smith, Danny Tyler, Rich Ricci Jr, Michael Storms, Ray See Jr, Allison Ricci, Kyle VanDuser, Danny Creeden, Brad Rothaupt, Richie Eurich, Joe Judge, Rich Ricci III, Nick Johnson, Kenny Ferrier, Jeff Heotzler Sr, Ed Dachenhausen, Jimmy Wells, Tommy Johnson

Arkel Motors Sportsman: Leo Fotopolous, Tyler Johnston, Kyle Rohner, Hunter Lapp, Danny Morgiewicz, Kevin Stevens, Anthony Recchio, Mike Murphy, RJ Smith, Troy Arnold, Alex VanPelt, Harry Baldwin, Ryan McCartney, Chris VanDuser, Jimmy Devitt, Mike Senecal, Jared LaBagh, Cole Hentschel, Brad Horton, Nick Plumstead, Joe Bonetti, Matt Shultz

WRWD Radio NEWS Sprint Cars: Jeremy Quick, Mick D’Agostino, Dan Malley, Larry Drake, Mark Conolly, Jordan Lawrence, Andrew Davis

Upstate Auto Pure Stocks: (Heldover From 5/4/18) Steve Williams, Jay Smalley, Travis Brockner, John Hechinger, John Drake, Emerson Cargain, James Goetchius, Chris Kanuk, Livy Johnson, Austin Smith, Rich Scott, Amber VanOrden

WRWD Radio Rookie Sportsman: Travis Green, Cole Stangle, Charles Loiodice, John Brown, Mike Travis, Erin Paulison, Joe Coppola, Fred Smith, Keith Johannessen, Michael Corbin, Brian Durbin, Pat Mann, Jared Miller, Michael Bull, Samantha Muller, Jeff Higham, Dylan Smith (DQ)

Emmanuel’s Marketplace Fireball 4-Cylinders: Jerry Kingeter, Jeff DeGroat, Willie DeGraw, Richard Smith, Ryan Heady, Marisol Torrens, Ed King, Ken Barringer, Nicole Nelson, Bob Clarke, Adair DuBois, Anthony Tarantino, Gary Quick, Brandon Conklin, Jesse Torrens, Anthony Zecchino

Upstate Auto Pure Stock: Emerson Cargain, John Hechinger, Steve Williams, Livy Johnson, Bob Sleight, Travis Brockner, Johnny Miracle, Steve Kanuk, Ray Tarantino, James Goetchius, Cooper Henion

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