RPW Column: OCFS’s Motorsports Show’s Best Is Jakob Bedford; Emily Fleming’s Ms. OCFS ’22

Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – It’s been a long and painfully slow recovery from the effects that the pandemic has had on local racing in New York. The state had more restrictions that lasted far longer than many of it’s neighboring states. Even the early part of 2021 found things still restricted regarding indoor activities.

Part of those lingering effects forced cancellation for the 2nd consecutive year of the planned edition of the 2021 OCFS Motorsports Show. It’s always been one of the events that winter-weary fans looked forward to start off a new racing season.

But for the first time since March of 2019, the OCFS Arena Building’s doors swung open on Saturday and Sunday for race cars, vendors and fans as it was the long awaited return of the OCFS Motorsports Show.

It was quite the hopping scene Saturday at OCFS with not only the motorsports show, but the Diesels of New York had their first of several scheduled events for 2022. It was reported that over a thousand trucks, maybe even closer to 2,000, jammed the OCFS pit area and drive-in section.

OCFS’s Director of Motorsports, Brett Hearn, was very pleased with the outcome of the motorsports show.

“It was fun. Everything went really well. The DJ did a great job with the crowd. We had a good, steady crowd over the weekend. A lot of people were going down to check out the other activities on the grounds. All in all, I’m very pleased with it. There’s always room for improvement, but not much. This was good.”

It was one of the youngest of the racers in the show who took home the top prize of $1,000 Best in Show, sponsored by Rapid Tire. Jakob Bedford of Thompson, Pa, races in the Lehigh Valley Quarter Midget Racing Club at Pocono Quarter Midget Raceway. He and his family had a very nice set up with Jakob’s car on a raised revolving platform. Their effort also won the Best Display award. Congratulations Jakob and family.

Jimmy Spellmon took 2nd place Best in Show with his sharp looking #28 and Brian Durbin took 3rd with his impressive 2022 ride. Congratulations on the great showing Jimmy and Brian.

Ms. OCFS 2021 was decided in an online type of pageant. With the return of the show, it was again a live event. Emily Fleming, a racer herself and girlfriend of OCFS Sportsman racer Jake Bedell, is the Ms. OCFS 2022. Emily is looking forward to her reign and getting started as an OCFS representative.

“It’s an honor to be crowned Ms. OCFS. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of this year. I’m excited to help get the kids involved and be an ambassador for OCFS.”

A familiar face around the OCFS scene, 50/50 seller Shelby-Jo Murphy was 1st runner-up. Karissa DeGroat was 2nd runner up. Congratulations on your finishes.

Salon Bleu of Augusta, NJ, was the major sponsor of the Ms. OCFS pageant. Melissa and Jerry Wildrick for many years were the main sponsor of the Marky Traverse Memorial Race. For 2022, they graciously were involved with the pageant. Thank you Melissa and Jerry for all that you have done and do.

Ryleigh Jennings won the title of Little Ms. OCFS 2022. Congratulations goes out to all the contestants in both the Ms. and Little Ms OCFS pageants as you all did a great job.

As always, the Pit Crew Challenge was entertaining. Congratulations to the winning team of John Hechinger, Charlie Houghtaling, Easton Houghtaling, Ric Ryder and Tommy Vigh. Their prize was sponsored by NorthEast Happy Hour With Predmore and Murns. Thanks Gary and Joe, great job with your interviews this weekend.

There was a 16 team cornhole tournament. Congratulations to the winners. I do not have the identities of the winners as I was busy with pageant photo work at the conclusion of the tournament. My apologies to the winners.

There was a very awesome moment at the track on Saturday morning. Down on the racetrack surface, ARCA competitor and popular local racer, Sean Corr proposed to his girlfriend, Pro Stock Racer, Roxanne Roy. It was a great scene and I was glad I was able to photograph it for them. Congratulations Roxanne and Sean. It was great to see how OCFS helped Sean pull this off. They had set up the Victory Lane banner and they had a special sign made up for the couple. Well done by the OCFS team.

OCFS Race Director Ken Reed and his wife, OCFS Office Manager Kimberly Reed, have been the driving force to organize the OCFS Motorsports Show for over a decade now. They picked up right where they left off in 2019 and put together another great show. Thank you Ken and Kimberly.

Just before the Best of Show awards, Kimberly and Ken gave out the OCFS Dedication of Service awards to 3 individuals who are so instrumental to the operation of OCFS. They are the Director of Motorsports, Brett Hearn, General Manager Doug Dulgarian and Marketing Director, Peter Reynolds. These men were instrumental in guiding OCFS through the difficult years of 2020 and 2021. It wasn’t until I started writing for RPW and going to the offices a few times that I realized how many details, both big and small, have to be taken care of. It’s fantastic to see them receive these well deserved awards. Congratulations Brett, Doug and Crackers..

In addition to Rapid Tire and Salon Bleu, there were many other businesses and individuals who contributed to the 2022 OCFS Motorsports Show, These include The Short Track Super Series, Palisades Autobahn Indoor Speedway, Accord Speedway, LJM Motors, Bethel Motor Speedway, JTR Motorsports, Copperbarn Coffee Bar, Wicked Truck Worx, ESJ Graphics, NorthEast Happy Hour with Predmore and Murns, Escape RV, Ric Ryder, Texas Roadhouse, D’Andrea’s Jewelers, Inspirational Krafts, RB Artistry, Creative Nail Salon, Giuliano Motorsports, Mike Traverse Racing Photos, Christina Contento and Erika Bucksbee.

Thank you to the drivers and teams who supported the event and contributed to it’s success. Thank you to the fans who showed up and enjoyed themselves.

Now it’s time for racing!! Practice is scheduled for Friday, April 1st from 6:30-9:30. The Short Track Super Series Hard Clay Open, part of the Elite Series, will take place with a Sunday rain date.

 
 
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