Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – ACCORD, NY – One of Accord Speedway’s all time winningest drivers returned to Victory Lane Friday night for the first time in nearly 3 years.
Mike Ricci, driving the Joe Grosso #19 in 2022, outran his nephew, Jimmy Wells, and brother, Rich Ricci Jr. to grab his first win since August 30, 2019.
It was his 80th career Accord Speedway Modified win.
Mike grabbed the lead at the start and maintained it as a number of early cautions slowed the racing. Before lap 10, the race had already transitioned into a single file restart format due to the number of cautions.
When some consecutive green flag laps got going, it was Mike holding off Wells. Jimmy would get good runs on the bottom lane, but Mike, on the high side, had the power to stay in front.
Soon, it was a 3 car race at the front as Danny Creeden moved in to challenge Wells for 2nd. Creeden’s run ended on lap 23 as he pitted and didn’t return.
Mike survived the final restart to take the win over Wells by a half second. Rich Jr. was 3rd followed by Randy Green 4th and Bobby Hackel IV 5th. Danny Tyler was caught up in one of the early cautions, but returned to finish 6th. John Ferrier was 7th, Ken Ferrier 8th, Rich Ricci III 9th and Daniel Morgiewicz 10th.
“We weren’t that good in warmups. We struggled a little bit in the heat race,” Mike said in Victory Lane. “We really didn’t know what to do with the car, so we started changing everything on it, Made some more adjustments. While I was out signing autographs, Joe and the team were getting shocks and springs ready. They made some quick changes and when the car started the feature, it didn’t feel too bad. I knew my nephew was running 2nd and I work on that car. I knew that I had to slow him down on restarts, and get a good run off of turn 2. And then, I could hold him. He had some good runs, I taught him well. But Uncle Mike is still one up on him.”
Tyler Johnston won his 2nd Sportsman feature of the year at Accord on Friday in an efficiently run, caution free race.
Johnston got the jump on the start over Ryan Stortini and never looked back. Jimmy Johnson moved into 2nd on lap 5, but by that time, Johnston was well out front. Johnston had an almost 5 and a half seconds lead at the finish. Jared LaBagh and Travis Green swapped 3rd and 4th a few times before LaBagh grabbed the spot at the finish with Green 4th, Kevin Stevens was 5th followed by Stortini 6th, Brian Durbin 7th, Aidan Elliott 8th , Steve Williams 9th and Darrell Quackenbush 10th.
Walt Henry raced to his 2nd win of the season in the Pure Stocks. Dave Demorest was 2nd, Wayne Taylor 3rd, John Hechinger 4th and JB Morris 5th. Spots 6 thru 10 were Jared Palmer, Chet Stanton, Hank Morin, Joe Narok and Gary Ronk.
Eric Jennings won his 2nd NEWS sprint feature of the season. Charles Weslowski was 2nd, Steve Kyser 3rd and John Rinco 4th.
It is 6 wins on the season for Amber Baccaglini after her Friday victory. Sophia Spear was 2nd, Jim Pollard 3rd and Rob Charmello 4th.
Bodie Marks won his 3rd consecutive Junior Slingshot feature on Friday. It’s his 4th overall win of the season. Brayden Traver was 2nd, EJ Hatch 3rd, Walt Henry IV 4th and Jaden Pierce 5th.
Robert Beach continued to be hot in the Fireball 4 cylinders as he took his 5th win of the season, his 2nd in a row and 4th in the last 5 races. Tim DeGrote was 2nd, Ed King 3rd, Brandon Conklin 4th and Chris Dyer 5th.
Tommy Marshall was a winner for the 2nd time this year in the Rookie Sportsman. Mike Travis was 2nd, John Cole Jr. 3rd, Lenny Hemlich III 4th and Andrew Sabo 5th.
Next Friday, August 26, will find no racing at Accord Speedway as the facility will be hosting Monster Trucks. Racing returns on Friday, September 2.