Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – The Arkel Motors Sportsman Division took center stage at the Orange County Fair Speedway on Saturday night.
Third generation racer Travis Green scored his first ever win in the opening Twin 20 race with Gary Edwards Jr. capturing the second 20.
Bobby Waters was the early leader, pacing the field for the first 7 laps until the only caution flag of the race waved. Dominic Roselli Jr had moved into 2nd by lap 4. It was Green, who started 6th, taking the lead on the restart with Roselli Jr. maintaining 2nd.
The race went caution free the rest of the way. At the finish, it was Green, becoming first time OCFS winner, with a 2.7 second advantage over Roselli. Drew Boniface, Mike Sabia and Kasey Hufcut completed the top 5. John Farissier was 6th, Tyler Peet 7th, Edwards Jr. 8th, Waters 9th and Jake Bedell 10th.
After a spin of the wheel, the top 9 were inverted for feature #2. Edwards Jr got the jump on Waters. By lap 2, Farissier had moved up to 2nd and began the pursuit of Edwards Jr. With the field spread out, the race moved along smoothly and went non-stop.
As the race entered 3/4 complete, Farissier was closing in on Edwards Jr. By the white flag, Farissier was taking a look inside of Edwards Jr, but the veteran driver was able to hold on for the win by just over a half second over John. Peet finished 3rd. Boniface had another top 5 with a 4th place run and Waters was 5th. The rest of the top 10 were Roselli Jr. 6th, Hufcut 7th, Sabia 8th, Brian Krummel 9th and Green 10th.
Sabia came into the event trailing Cody Higbie in the Sportsman points by 16. With Sabia’s finishes of 4th and 8th with Higbie finishing 13th and 14th, the points race will be very close between these two racers once the points are tabulated.
Joey Conklin raced to his 2nd Precision Hydraulic and Oil Rookie Sportsman win of 2022. The 8th starting Conklin was up to 3rd by lap 2 and took the top spot from early leader Mark Shupp on a lap 4 restart.
The race went non-stop from that point on and at the finish, Conklin had a 4.1 second cushion over Shupp. Mike Mikulski finished 3rd with Kevin Murphy 4th with Thor Holmgren 5th. John Doty was 6th, Fred Pavia 7th, Shawn Murphy 8th, Donnie Campbell 9th and Chris Diamond 10th.
It was a scene reminiscent of the last time there was the North East Parts Group Street Stocks ran at. As was the case on July 16th, Jack Beaumont out front, looking for that 1st OCFS win. But a late race pass by Bob Sleight netted him the Street Stock win at OCFS Saturday.
Ron Constable was the early leader with Jim Hajkowski leading lap 2. Beaumont passed Hajkowski on lap 3. By Halfway, Sleight was running 3rd and took 2nd on lap 9. The three drivers, Beaumont, Sleight and Hajkowski, ran in a tight pack the next few laps. Sleight was able to get on the outside of Beaumont on lap 12 to make the pass for the lead.
At the finish, it was Sleight by 1.1 seconds over Beaumont with Dillon Gannon taking 3rd late in the race. Hajkowski was 4th with Charlie Donald 5th. Mike Vigiletti was 6th, Constable 7th, Ryan Modiano 8th, Walt Henry 9th and Codi Clark 10th.
Racing returns to OCFS on Saturday, August 6th. The United Rentals DIRTcar Modifieds will be in action and the championship field will be trimmed to 8 at the conclusion of their 30 lap race. The H.O. Penn 358 Small Block Modifieds will also be racing along with the Sportsman. And it will be a big night for the Street Stocks as it will be the 7th running of the Marky Traverse Memorial Race, a favorite event amongst the Street Stock competitors.