Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – Pat Giuliano made a decision before the 2020 Eastern States Weekend that paid off in a big way.
He put the 2020 OCFS Sportsman champion, the then 12-year-old Tanner VanDoren, into his #51 Sportsman and Tanner drove it to victory in the Eastern States Sportsman Championship Race.
It was Pat’s first win as a car owner and Tanner’s first OCFS win. It was great to see the sheer joy and pride that Pat had in Victory Lane that day.
For the 2021 ESW Sportsman event, Pat has again tapped the services of another top driver to race the immaculate #51 to race for him. Jared LaBagh got some laps in at the OCFS ESW practice session Sunday in preparation for Friday’s 50 lap race.
Pat’s car was raced in the OCFS Rookie Sportsman division this season by his son, Michael Giuliano. Michael had a good season in the Rookies, scoring a win and some other podium appearances. The car sat idle after the Rookie season ended in late June as Michael’s landscaping business keeps him extremely busy.
LaBagh had a good season at OCFS in 2021. His record for the season shows two feature wins, a 2nd place points finish and quite a few other podium finishes. And he is looking forward to racing for Pat at the Eastern States.
“Mike got a hold of me and asked if I would race for them at ESW. I know it’s a good car and I hoping to give it a good ride for them,” Jared said.
LaBagh is a hard charger who always puts on a great show out there in the high groove. Don’t be surprised to see the car with Jared at the wheel make another Victory Lane appearance at ESW.
Some other notes from the practice…
The 2019 ARCA Menard’s Series Rookie of the Year, Tommy Vigh Jr. will be in competition at Eastern States Weekend driving the Big Momma Motorsports #0 Pro Stock.
“I had this chassis from David Demorest,” Tommy said. “We decided to put it together and we are getting sponsorship from Vernon Outdoors and Master Pro Solutions. Thanks to Travis Perrone and Jordan Sheehan for helping to make this happen.”
When last seen at the final regular season Street Stock event, Team Froggy looked to be done for the season. Ron Constable’s #49 looked to be in rough shape and Ryan Modiano’s #07 looked to be far beyond repair. But both drivers were at the ESW practice on Sunday with Ron having a new ride.
“We got this car from Jack Dekker, his #31. We have done some work on it and I’m looking forward to getting out there with it,” Ron said.
“My car is still not in great shape. But I wanted to give it a rip one more time here today. It’s not likely that I will race it next week,” Ryan said.
Here’s one person that hopes that Ryan gives it a go this week. The perseverance of Team Froggy is admirable. well done by both Ron and Ryan.
Cody Higbie, Bobby Flood and Danny Tyler all practicing with sail panels in preparation of the Short Track Series event on Friday.
LJ Lombardo was back at OCFS taking some impressive looking laps. Others from the Valley were Marc Johnson in the 9J, Chris Curtis in the #35 and Kyle Armstrong in the 11A.
Jimmy Johnson, who hasn’t raced in a couple of years, was helping the Cordova racing Team get there #3 car set up. It’s possible that Jimmy may end up racing it in the Sportsman event later this week.
Scott Gumaer and Tim Daly back practicing with the Street Stocks. First time back for both drivers in quite a while.