Matt Guererri Wins DIRTcar Sportsman Central Region Event Saturday At Land Of Legends

Story By: TOM SKIBINSKI / LAND OF LEGENDS RACEWAY – CANANDAIGUA, NY – In the Speed Connection Sportsman showdown, Guererri banked a cool $1-grand for his first-ever tour triumph, with bonuses worth an additional $250 that accompanied the 2021 DIRTcar Series Central Region Championship claimed outright by seventh-place finisher Matt Janczuk for a second straight season.

The NE Sportsman Series feature needed a longer distance to decide yet after 30 laps the outcome was quite similar with a younger Matt from Waterloo taking the top prize in the open-wheel affair. This time it was Guererri matching his Modified mentor in the trusty #12G Tradition Automotive Group-Product 9-Mohawk Northeast/Bicknell machine carrying the now two-time track champion to a narrow victory over weekly nemesis Zach Sobotka.

“The car was good, the track was fast and you could race all over it,” declared Guererri, 31, on the heels of his 14th career win in Canandaigua, the third of the season in wine country. “Just nice to be able to finish out the year this way.”

“This one’s for Gerald, great to see all these people come out. The Haers family put in so much work for this race. Every year it gets bigger and bigger, so to win on this night really means a lot,” Guererri said.

The 38-car field that signed in for the final ‘Saturday Spectacular’ of the season was reduced to 30 for the feature with Guererri falling in tenth after top heat race qualifiers redrew for starting positions. Following a decisive win in the second of four Proctor Enterprises preliminaries and then taking the 4-lap Always Locked Self Storage Cash Dash, Sobotka’s good fortune continued as the Parish pilot selected the #1 pill come feature time.

Sobotka shot out at the drop of the initial green flag, out-dragging front row partner Tim Baker to kick off the 15-mile main. While a broken right-rear hub sidelined Tyler Corcoran in his heat, misfortune struck once more as carburetor issues forced the near season-long Central Region leader and LOLR’s Aug. 4 tour winner off the pace and pitside just four laps into the pivotal points race.

Back under green Sobotka regained a comfortable advantage ahead of Daryl Nutting, last year’s LOLR OktoberFAST winner Tyler Murray and Frank Guererri Jr. Tim Lafler slid over the edge of the track in turn two to slow down the field and on the ensuing lap 10 restart Matt Guererri bolted from fourth to second taking the high road.

At the midway mark the top trio of Sobotka, Guererri and Murray separated themselves from the field followed further back by Nutting and Chris Mackey. Contending points chaser Janczuk seemed stranded in eighth while a relentless Corcoran continued his march up through the pack.

Paul Guererri slowed rounding turns one and two to force out the final yellow flag with 10 laps still to go and it was on that last restart that Guererri made the winning move. Pulling alongside Sobotka entering turn four, Guererri edged past Sobotka across the stripe to lead lap 20 and held it through the first corner. In search of his fifth win of the year at LOLR, Sobotka never let Guererri out of sight, shadowing him until the very end only to fall .512-sec. shy at the stripe.

Making a beeline into the top-10 during the final five circuits, disaster yet again thwarted Corcoran’s best effort when the rear-end jack shaft failed in his no. 64 Halmar Int’l-Power Seal-Dirt Track Digest/Bicknell mount on the last lap, dropping the 19 year-old upstart to 22nd on the scoresheet and down to third on the final Central Region points chart.

Janczuk’s seventh-place tally wheeling his #33x Finish Line Designs-Fastline Performance-Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux/Bicknell car turned out to be good enough to defend his touring title, out-gaining 9th finishing Zach Payne, 856-835, followed by Corcoran (830), Mackey (826) and Mike Fowler (802).

“I wasn’t that good on the bottom but I could roll around on the outside and thankfully on that last restart Zach took the bottom,” added Guererri, after holding on for the thrilling two car-length triumph. “Don’t think that if I didn’t get him on the first lap back under green I was going to later on. He was really good. We just happened to get by him in turn one and I tried to block both lanes and it worked out for us.”

“I was an idiot at the end. Looked at the big screen coming off turn four and I saw his nose under me so I had to switch up on the last few laps and just tried to hold him behind me,” Guererri said.

Murray finished a second back followed closely by Mackey while Fowler rounded out the final top-5. Starting 18th on the grid, Janczuk received $200 for the combined NG Promotions/A+ Superior Services Hard Charger Award while Corcoran was the hands-down recipient of the S&B Tech Sales Hard Luck Award worth $100.

DIRTcar Sportsman Series Central Region Championship (Race #6)

*Feature (30 laps): 1. 12g-MATT GUERERRI ($1,000), 2. 38-Zach Sobotka, 3. 1m-Tyler Murray, 4. 3m-Chris Mackey, 5. 410-Mike Fowler, 6. 42n-Daryl Nutting, 7. 33x-Matt Janczuk, 8. 113jr.-Frank Guererri Jr., 9. 7z-Zach Payne, 10. 31-Kane Bristol, 11. 33-Richard Murtaugh, 12. 20x-Kevin Ridley, 13. 70a-Alex Payne, 14. 06w-Jordan Bennett, 15. 3-Justin McKay, 16. 17j-Brent Joy, 17. 21w-Quinn Wallis, 18. 357-Chris Jakubiak, 19. 31b-Ryan Dolbear, 20. 23b-Timmy Borden Jr., 21. 28-Mark Potter, 22. 64-Tyler Corcoran, 23. 74-Kelly Smith, 24. 7-Paul Guererri, 25. 71r-Rachel Zacharias, 26. 51-Tim Lafler, 27. 9-Tim Baker, 28. 32-Max Hill, 29. 36m-Zachary George, 51a-Zac McDonald(DNS).

Always Locked Self Storage Cash Dash (4 laps)
#1: Sobotka($400), Mackey($300), Murray($200), Bristol($100).

Proctor Enterprises Heats (8 laps / 5 qualify / Top-3 redraw / winners to cash dash)
#1: Mackey($50), Z.Payne, Nutting, Hill, Ridley, Borden, Stevens, Lloyd, Backus, Corcoran.
#2: Sobotka($50), M.Guererri, Fowler, P.Guererri, Janczuk, Joy, Martin, A.Payne, George, Wallis.
#3: Murray($50), Baker, Murtaugh, Bennett, Lafler, Stoughtenger, Comfort, Smith, Grover.
#4: Bristol($50), McKay, F.Guererri, Jakubiak, Potter, Dolbear, Zacharias, McDonald, Gibson(DNS).
Last Chance Showdowns (10 laps / 5 qualify)
#1: Joy, A.Payne, Borden, George, Corcoran, Martin, Lloyd, Backus, Stevens.
#2: Dolbear, Zacharias, Wallis, McDonald, Smith, Grover, Comfort, Stoughtenger, Gibson(DNS).

Group Time Trials (3 laps / 38 cars)
#1: Zach Payne 19.159 sec. (93.951 mph), Daryl Nutting 19.245, Chris Mackey 19.253, Kevin Ridley 19.281, Tyler Corcoran 19.349, Max Hill 19.443, Timmy Borden Jr. 19.766, Kevin Stevens 19.981, A.J. Lloyd 20.084, Kearra Backus 20.201.
#2: Zach Sobotka 19.180 sec. (93.848 mph), Matt Guererri 19.198, Mike Fowler 19.212, Paul Guererri 19.342, Matt Janczuk 19.389, Dalton Martin 19.405, Alex Payne 19.489, Brent Joy 19.521, Quinn Wallis 19.539, Zach George 19.854.
#3: Tyler Murray 19.365 sec. (92.951 mph), Tim Baker 19.488, Richard Murtaugh 19.616, Jordan Bennett 19.675, Tim Lafler 19.739, Torrey Stoughtenger 19.967, Brandon Grover 20.299, Kelly Smith 21.766, Karl Comfort(-NT-).
#4: Kane Bristol 19.370 sec. (92.927 mph), Justin McKay 19.587, Frank Guererri Jr. 19.622, Chris Jakubiak 19.677, Mark Potter 19.817, Zac McDonald 19.849, Ryan Dolbear 19.953, Rachel Zacharias(-DSQ-), Dylan Gibson(-NT-).

NG Promotions Hard Charger Award $150: Matt Janczuk.
A+ Superior Services Hard Charger Award $50: Matt Janczuk.
S&B Tech Sales Hard Luck Award $100: Tyler Corcoran
Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints Lucky Dog Award $100 (Last Car On Lead Lap): Mark Potter.
Onyx Industries Fastest Feature Lap $150: Zach Sobotka.
NG Promotions Highest Finishing LOLR Regular Bonus $100: Matt Guererri.
Chris Progno Racing Stables Most Laps Led Bonus $100: Zach Sobotka.
VP Racing Fuels Certificate $50 (top-5 finishers): Matt Guererri, Zach Sobotka, Tyler Murray, Chris Mackey, Mike Fowler.
Marine Blue Halfway Leader Bonus $100: Zach Sobotka.
Steve Riddle Hardscapes Move of the Race $100: Matt Guererri.
The Young Agency Pole Award $200: Zach Sobotka.
Buck & Ruthie’s Ice Cream Last Chance Showdown Winners Bonus $50: Brent Joy, Ryan Dolbear.
Bill & Renee Benge 1st Non-Qualifier $50: Dalton Martin.
Tom Garlick 2nd Non-Qualifier $50: Brandon Grover.
Enertech Global Sportsmanship Award $100: Daryl Nutting.
Marine Blue Best Appearing Car Award $100: #113Jr.-Frank Guererri Jr.
S&B Tech Sales Longest Tow Award $100: Dylan Gibson.
Paul Barrow Racing Stables Ageless Wonder Award $50 (oldest driver entered): Tim Lafler.
Melissa Lagas Young Star Award $50 (youngest driver entered): Alex Payne.
Hile Heating & Cooling Worst Number Drawn at Check-In Bonus $100: Zac McDonald.
DNQ(8): 1f-A.J. Lloyd, 7w-Torrey Stoughtenger, 10-Karl Comfort, 22-Brandon Grover, 22g-Dylan Gibson, 38s-Kevin Stevens, 48-Kearra Backus, 132-Dalton Martin.

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