Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – ACCORD, NY – After winning his first career Accord Speedway Modified feature late in the 2021 season, Joe Judge and his team had high hopes that the momentum would continue in 2022. But that hadn’t been the case as the results weren’t what Joe and the team were looking for.
But that changed Friday night as Judge led wire-to-wire to take the victory in the 30 lap feature and get the team back on an upward swing.
And it made Judge’s birthday that much sweeter.
It was Ken Ferrier and Judge leading the field to green as Joe moved out front. Judge and Ferrier were trailed by Daniel Morgiewicz Jr. as the first 7 laps went green before the first of a number of cautions occurred. Throughout the restarts, the front two remained the same with Scott Ferrier moving into 3rd with Morgiewicz Jr. 4th. Danny Creeden moved into the top 5 on lap 10 and had a good battle with Morgiewicz Jr. for a few laps before he cleared Daniel to move into 4th.
With the race staying green, Judge was able to inch away from Ken Ferrier and the running order did not change much over the second half of the race. At the finish, it was Judge by 1 1/2 seconds over Ken Ferrier with Scott Ferrier 3rd. Points leader Creeden finished 4th with Morgiewicz Jr. 5th. Last week’s winner, Danny Tyler was 6th with Rich Ricci Jr 7th, Jerry Higbie 8th, Jimmy Wells 9th and Craig Mitchell 10th.
“It’s very exciting to win on a birthday, you only get to race on a birthday every once in a while,” Judge said in Victory Lane. “We had a Friday night race on my birthday, and we finally pulled it off. The car was perfect, the best it’s been all year. We had some figuring out to do with the motor. We figured that out. And as they say in Days of Thunder, we had the perfect setup on tires with the stagger and it was perfect.”
Sometimes in racing, you need a little bit of luck. In Friday’s Sportsman 25 lap feature, Brian Durbin had it……and Cody Higbie didn’t.
Durbin and Higbie had the front row at the drop of the green. Durbin got the jump with Higbie taking 2nd and Charles Loiodice 3rd. The pace was fast as the Sportsmen were putting on a great show. Durbin was constantly hounded by Higbie with Loiodice and Travis Green right up there as well. Higbie continued to apply pressure to Durbin, working hard in the low groove. As they went into the turn to start lap 22, Cody got a good run and was able to clear Durbin as they headed down the backstretch.
And that’s when Lady Luck intervened.
A malfunction in the circuits of the track’s lighting occurred with only the frontstretch left with lights. The yellow flew immediately. All cars were able to get slowed down without incident and stopped on the track while the lighting problem was addressed.
Because the lap wasn’t officially scored, the running order reverted back to the last completed lap which placed Durbin back in front with Higbie 2nd. Cody gave it all he had on the final 4 laps to go for the win, but Brian held his line and had good power out of the turns to maintain the lead. At the finish, it was Durbin over Higbie by 0.146 seconds with Loiodice 3rd, Green 4th and Jimmy Johnson 5th. Corey Cormier was 6th, Jared LaBagh 7th, Kevin Stevens 8th, Steve Williams 9th and Aiden Elliott 10th.
Walt Henry looked like he was on his way to a win in Accord’s Friday Pure Stock race. But while leading, Henry suffered motor issues and pulled into the infield on the backstretch of the final lap which saw Joe Narok take the win. Dave Demorest was 2nd, John Hechinger 3rd, Jayden Sleight 4th and Gary Ronk 5th.
Randy Torres won his 2nd straight Rookie Sportsman race Friday over Thor Holmgren, John Cole Jr., Mike Mikulski and Leif Holmgren.
Ashley Rogosich was the All Star Slingshot winner Friday over Amber Baccaglini, Sophia Spear, Rob Charmello and Jayden Gaskins.
The Junior Slingshot win went to Calleigh Stritmater with Brayden Traver 2nd, Brayden Marks 3rd, Bodie Marks 4th and EJ Hatch 5th.
Tim DeGrote was victorious in the Fireball 4 Cylinders with Cameron Reichenbaugh 2nd, Brandon Conklin 3rdm George Barringer 4th and Tyler White 5th.
Racing returns to Accord Speedway on Friday, June 24th.