Story By: KENNY SHUPP / WOODHULL RACEWAY – WOODHULL, NY – Glenn Whritenour has not raced much at the Woodhull Raceway over the past several seasons, but do not let that fool you as the nearby Jasper, NY veteran has thousands of laps around the High Banked One-Third of a Mile Steuben County Oval.
With multiple Street Stock Championships under his belt along with a win in the 2021 Woodhull 100, Whritenour returned to Woodhull to try and defend last seasons win.
Know better as “GW”, Whritenour has been under the radar for the past several months taking some time away from the sport, but when he showed up at Woodhull he was prepared and loaded for bear.
Three qualifying heats and a “Grudge Re-Draw” would set the nineteen car field for the 100 lap Joe Willcox Performance Woodhull 100 as invaders Chris Force and Thomas Moon would bring the field to the opening green flag.
Jimmy Grant, who had never raced at Woodhull during his career immediately took control jumping into the lead from his inside row two starting spot. With four caution flags during the first thirteen laps slowing the pace several top contenders found themselves out of the event early including newly crowned 2022 Class Track Champion, Bret Crawford who was heavily favored coming in. June 25 feature winner, Luke Boom was also out early on with four time 2022 winner, Branden Morseman not even making the opening bell due to engine woes. Throughout the first fifty lap segment and prior to the halfway break, Grant set a torrid pace running around the top of the banking and keeping seventh place starter, Whritenour who was now up to second at bay. As the pair distanced themselves from the rest of the field attrition was beginning to rear its ugly head with more cars falling by the wayside including Teddy Morseman with Dan Gardner having to make a green flag pit stop relegating him some three laps in arears. Both were easily inside the top five when problems set in.
At the halfway break, a ten minute intermission allowed teams to fuel and check tire pressures with cars parked right on the front straight. It was during that time the third place running machine of Earl Zimmer made his way to the pit area not to return.
As the green flag waved for the second fifty lap segment it was Grant once again holding court at the top of the field with Whritenour working several different lines trying to find a way around.
Bedlam in Pepsi Victory lane as Whritenour was mobbed by fans, sponsors and crew members. Photo by Terry Pierce. Southern Tier Customs.
Whritenour would make a power move around Grant and take over the lead which he would never relinquish. However, Grant would keep up the pressure and stay within just a couple car lengths of GW as the two would again stretch the advantage over the now third place running machine of John Carpenter.
The final caution would wave on lap sixty-five for a broken rear on the Willie Easling machine which was a tough blow for the young teenage hot shoe who was on the lead lap and running within the top four at the time of his departure.
With the laps running down and the field stringing out, Whritenour was able to stretch his advantage by a second and a half over Grant and that would be the difference as they flashed across the finish line. Carpenter would hold on and complete the top three podium positions. August 27 feature winner, Mick Seeley was able to overcome a multitude of problems throughout the 100 lap event including involvement in several early race incidents to come home fourth at the completion as Mike Williams, like Seeley would somehow weather the storm of several close calls to round out the top five.
It was bedlam in victory lane as Whritenour was mobbed by a multitude of crew members, fans, sponsors and well wishers along with nightly sponsors Joe Willcox Performance, Schweigart’s Sugar Shack, and Louie’s Gun Shop.
“This has been a tough year, stated Whritenour in Pepsi Victory Lane. I lost my both my dad and nephew over the winter. Dad was a huge inspiration, and he was always there helping on the car. This one is for him!”
Also, GW was quick to thank Loucks Trucking and the Updyke Family for putting up $750.00 for leading lap eighty-one which was Jerry Updyke’s car number when he competed. Unfortunately, Updyke passed away in December 2020.
For Jimmy Grant it was a bittersweet runner-up finish after leading more than half of the century long event, but with a nice second place check coupled with lots of lap money, Grant could make the haul back home with a smile on his face after going toe to toe with the most reorganizable Street Stock competitor in the northeast.
Thousands in lap money and special contingency awards went out to numerous competitors all thanks to the hard work of Joe and Jean Willcox who prior to the feature event announced their retirement as sponsors at Woodhull after a fifteen year run as they plan to relocate out of this region.
In the NAPA Crate Sportsman feature event, it was a green to checkered flag run as Isabel Barron along with Bradly Morseman would lead the field to green with Barron taking control immediately and going onto her second feature win of the season backing up her June 11 victory and adding an exclamation point to the teams 2022 Woodhull Raceway NAPA Crate Sportsman Track Championship.
“We really hit the set up tonight and the car drove perfect. We have been very consistent all season, but I really wanted to win another feature before the end of the season. It was a long dry spell since our first win this season back in June.” That according to Isabel Barron in victory lane.
Finishing in second place at the finish was five time 2022 feature winner, Kenny Peoples Jr. with Blake Lawson coming home third and for Lawson it was another good run for the third generation driver after claiming two feature wins during the ”22” campaign. Kevin Decamp and Bradly Morseman would complete the top five finishers.
Isabel Barron’s career will be a feature story in an upcoming edition of Area Auto Racing News.
Jason Knowles once again knocked it out of the park as he led all twenty laps in claiming his sixth A Main win in the tough Armstrong RUSH Crate Late Model Division. Knowles along with Clayton Tarabori would run one/two throughout most of the non-stop feature event, but it was Steve LeBarron providing some late race fireworks as he was mowing the field down from his third row starting spot. LeBarron was able to catch and pass Tarabori late in the going for second and had Knowles in the cross hairs, but time ran out and that is just how they would finish with Jason Knowles taking the win over LeBarron and Tarabori. Fourth place went to the 2022 Armstrong RUSH LM Track Champion, Brian Knowles with Jason McGregor completing the top five.
Sixteen year old, Kaiden Dgien added to his 2022 win total by taking home win eight on the season in winning the twenty lap Hobby Stock feature. Adam Leubner and Tracy Dunn would bring the twelve car field to green, but it was outside row three starter, Kaiden Dgien powering his way into the top spot and from there would never look back. 2021/2022 Hobby Stock Champion, Jeredd Dennis would keep Dgien honest throughout the entire distance, however Dgien was too much to handle in a machine that was originally constructed and prepared by Jeredd and Carter Dennis. Dillon Philip would begin the feature behind Dgien in row four and race home to a fourth place finish with Tracy Dunn running within the lead pack all race to round the top five.
The Wicked Tee’s Mini Stocks and Front Wheel Drives combined for their twenty lap feature event. Veteran wheelman and former champion, Chris McCann out of retirement would start on the pole and lead the charge into turn one, however it was outside front row starter, Wes Houghtaling taking command after lap one and going on to the popular win. For Houghtaling it was an even dozen trips to Pepsi Victory Lane in 2022, but Ryan Austin was charging to the front from his seventh starting position. Unfortunately for Austin, who had seven feature wins in the FWD Class heading into the event mechanical problems would cut his night short ending a brilliant run against Houghtaling. From there it was clear sailing for the second generation driver as he cruised to the “W” ending his season on a high note and in victory lane a jubilant Wes Houghtaling indicated he will be back in 2023 sending shock waves thru the rest of the field. Coming home second overall was Ridge Cobb in another FWD as well as Kevin Doud in third. Fourth place runner, Cody Morehouse was the first Mini Stock across the line to claim the victory in class with Ray Hyer completing the top five in a feature that was filled with excitement from start to finish.
Congratulations to all competitors.
Special thanks again go out to George Schweigart, his family and staff of Schweigart’s Sugar Shack in Woodhull, Louie’s Gun Shop in Bath as well as Joe Willcox Performance in Westfield as the nightly sponsors.
With that the curtain closes on the 2022 season at the Woodhull Raceway which lost only two events during the entire season with opening night, April 16 succumbing to wet grounds and May 7 to rain and more wet grounds. The last nineteen events of the season were run off without any further weather related stoppages.
Up next it will be the 2022 Awards Banquet set for Saturday, October 1, 2022, right at the track.
The Woodhull Raceway ownership and staff would like everyone to keep the family of Ron Giles in their thoughts and prayers. Giles, from Mansfield, Pa was a wonderful human being and a huge fan of the racing at Woodhull.
For decades, each race night he would provide food for the staff in the scorer’s tower including pizza, wings, fried chicken, etc.
Ron passed away very unexpectedly on September 3 and his presence at the track will be sorely missed. GOD SPEED!
WOODHULL RACEWAY RESULTS. 9/17/2022. UNOFFICIAL
Final race of the 2022 season! Thanks to everyone for all their support during the year. See you all in 2023.
Schweigart’s Sugar Shack, Joe Willcox Performance Automatics and Louie’s Gun Shop Night.
JOE WILLCOX PERFORMANCE STREET STOCKS. (19 cars)
Woodhull 100. GLENN WHRITENOUR, Jimmy Grant, John Carpenter, Mick Seeley, Mike Williams, Dan Gardner, Nate Arnold, Thomas Moon, Leonard Kobbe Jr., Willy Easling, Shane Wolfe Jr., Earl Zimmer, Jared Hill, Chris Force, Mike Wilbur, Ted Morseman, Luke Boom, Brett Crawford. DNS., Branden Morseman.
NAPA CRATE SPORTSMAN. (5 cars)
25 lap feature. ISABEL BARRON (2), Kenny Peoples Jr., Blake Lawson, Kevin Decamp, Bradly Morseman.
ARMSTRONG RUSH CRATE LATE MODELS. (8 cars)
20 lap feature. JASON KNOWLES (6), Steve LeBarron, Clayton Tarabori, Brian Knowles, Jason McGregor, Jacob Tubbs, Rickie Loucks, Joe Layfield.
HOBBY STOCKS. (12 cars)
20 lap feature. KAIDEN DGIEN (8), Jeredd Dennis, Dillon Philip, Tracy Dunn, Brandon Conklin, Glen VanCise, Bill Williams, Dale Houghtaling, Scooter Brown, Paul Dgien, Hunter Williams, Adam Leubner
WICKED TEE’S OPEN MINI STOCKS/FWD COMBINED. (12 cars)
20 lap feature. WES HOUGHTALING (12), Ridge Cobb, Kevin Doud, CODY MORSEHOUSE, Ray Hyer, Chris McCann, Joseph Gillespie, Kurt Babcock, Ryan Austin, Kameron Lepold, Richard Harding, Preston Cobb.
Houghtaling won FWD, Morehouse won Mini Stocks.