Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – It did not take Tyler Boniface long once he pulled into Orange County Fair Speedway victory lane on Friday to give his decision on whether he would take the cash or the spot in the Eastern States 200.
What he said was firm and direct.
By winning Friday’s Longshot Race, Boniface could have either pocketed the $2,000 money or give up the cash for a guaranteed spot in Sunday’s 60th running of the 200.
“I got to take the spot in the 200. It’s such a big race. If I got a flat tire or something on Sunday, I would be sitting in the stands watching. We can make the 2 grand in the race, so we are going for it,” Boniface said.
The Longshot Race was open to drivers who did not qualify in their heat and who did not have any tyle of Modified win during the 2021 season.
“It’s not the race I wanted to win, but I was happy to be able to put it on the top. We just don’t want to take any chance on Sunday,” Boniface continued.
Tom Hindley and Billy VanInwegen led the racers to the green flag of the 25 lap event. Hindley jumped out to the lead. Boniface was on the move early from his 6th starting spot, running in the high groove. And it didn’t take Tyler long to move into the lead.
VanInwegen was able to keep it fairly close and moved in on Boniface late in the race in lapped traffic. But once back in clean air, Boniface was safely ahead and took the win by 7/10ths of a second over VanInwegen. Tyler Jashembowski made a good run through the pack to take 3rd with Kevin Root 4th and Richard Smith 5th.
Sixth thru 10th were Bob McGannon, Corey Lowitt, Hindley, Joe Bonetti and Zach Vavricka.
With Boniface passing on the $2,000, that money gets divided up by the Longshot Race finishing positions 2 thru 5.