Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – Persistent shower activity at about 5:00 pm cast some doubt in the pit area about whether or not that OCFS would be racing on Saturday.
But the OCFS Director of Motorsports, Jeremie Corcoran, had a plan.
It worked out well. The racing on Saturday was excellent.
It was a very good combined effort with the track crew and the drivers all pitching in to get the surface race ready. racing was delayed about an hour and a half.
But when all was said and done. It was Anthony Perrego and the #44 Superior Remodeling team again standing in both the United Rentals DIRTcar Big Block Modified and the H.O. Penn 358 Small Block Modified Victory Lanes.
After the Modified redraw, it was Dillon Steuer and Craig Mitchell on the front row for the 76 lap, $7,600 to win Summer Championship feature start. Steuer was the early leader, but caution was out quickly for Max McLaughlin. After a pitstop, McLaughlin returned to action.
Stewart Friesen used this restart to race into 2nd and began the chase of Steuer. Caution was out on lap 8 for a spin by the pit gate. The race settled down as Steuer continued to lead Friesen. Matt Sheppard was running 3rd and he got by Friesen on lap 29 and Steuer on lap 30. Perrego, running 4th also made consecutive lap passes of Friesen and Steuer to move into 2nd.
As they got into lapped traffic, Sheppard was able to maneuver through it to hold off Perrego. Lap 33 saw Friesen getting by Steuer for 3rd. Friesen and Steuer ran side by side for many laps, exchanging 3rd and 4th spot until Friesen took the spot for good on lap 44.
As Sheppard and Perrego continued to move through the traffic, Anthony started pressing for the lead. Perrego made the pass on Sheppard on lap 62 and held off the 9S the rest of the way, although Sheppard kept it close. The last few laps saw Perrego stretch the lead a bit and he continued on to take the win by 2 seconds over Sheppard. Friesen was a distant 3rd, more than a half track behind. Mitchell had fallen back a few spots in the beginning, but he made gains late in the race to finish 4th. Tanner VanDoren finished 5th. Billy Decker made a stop at OCFS on Saturday and finished 6th, the last car on the lead lap. Steuer was 7th, McLaughlin recovered from his early race mishap to finish 8th, Matt Janiak was 9th and Tyler Boniface 10th.
In the 358 Small Block feature, it was Gary Edwards III taking the lead at the start with Boniface 2nd and Jimmy Horton 3rd. Perrego was quick from his 14th starting spot, taking over 3rd. Both Boniface and Horton made passes on Edwards III in subsequent laps to take those spots back. Perrego continued to set the pace with Horton passing Boniface for 2nd on lap 17. Caution with one lap to go tightened the field, but it was of little consequence to Perrego as he took off on the restart and finished 1.1 seconds ahead of Horton with Boniface 3rd. Steuer finished 4th and Danny Creeden 5th. Rounding out the top 10 were Charles Loiodice 6th, Mitchell 7th, Edwards III 8th, Billy VanInwegen 9th and Bobby Flood 10th.
John Farissier showed early in the evening that he had a very good race car as he won his heat. And he backed that up in the feature, leading wire-to-wire to capture his first OCFS Arkel Motors Sportsman win, holding off a late race challenge from Jared laBagh.
Farissier led the first 3 laps before caution was out. Tyler Banks was running 2nd until lap 7 when 11th starting Mike Sabia took the spot. Although challenged on mid race and late race restarts, Farissier never wavered, always pulling out to a safe lead. LaBagh started 6th, dropped back to 10th before starting to climb back towards the front in Pat Giuliano’s #51. While Sabia was close to Farissier, LaBagh made up ground on Mike. After getting past Sabia on the white flag lap, LaBagh got side-by-side with Farissier on the final lap, but John was able to take the victory by a narrow .088 margin. Sabia finished 3rd, a good points night for Mike who is right up there with the leaders. Josh Allen recovered from an early race incident to finish 4th with Drew Boniface 5th. Ryan Neiger was 6th with Cody Higbie 7th, Dominic Roselli Jr. 8th, Grant Hilfiger 9th and Travis Green 10th.
Kevin Murphy was Saturday’s Precision Hydraulic and Oil Rookie Sportsman feature winner, his first. RJ Sherman put on a great show, racing from 14th starting spot to finish 2nd in the 12 lap race.
Mike Mikulski was the early leader for 3 laps until Murphy made the pass on lap 4. Opening night Rookie winner, Fred Pavia, ran 2nd the middle part of the race until Sherman passed him on lap 8. Sherman challenged Murphy, but he came up just 3/10ths of a second short. Pavia finished 3rd with Mike Weslowski 4th and Donnie Campbell 5th. Mark Shupp was 6th, Mikulski 7th, Walt Henry 8th, Thor Holmgren 9th and in his first Rookie start, Dale Larsen was 10th.
OCFS returns to action on Saturday, July 9th. And it’s a big night as OCFS will be recognizing the construction industry with Construction Night. The OCFS Kids Club will also be having a bike giveaway. So come on out with your youngsters and maybe they can go home with a shiny new bike. The Big Blocks, Sportsman, and Rookies will be in action. And making their first ever OCFS appearance will be the Empire Super Sprints, 360 Winged Sprint Cars. It looks to be a great night at the speedway.
Here’s a note for Accord Speedway racers. Modified racer Brett Graham found a black RaceQuip neck brace on route 209 near Saunderskill. Brett thinks that it belongs to someone who has an open trailer. Contact Brett if you know who may have lost it.