Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – ACCORD, NY – It has been a few difficult weeks for Danny Creeden at Accord Speedway. Some tough races had seen his points lead in the Modified division shrink to a mere 3 points going into Friday’s regular season finale.
But with a good starting spot, it was Creeden leading all 30 laps Friday to take both the feature win and his 2nd consecutive Accord Speedway Modified Championship. It was Danny’s 3rd win of the season at the Bullring and his 19th all time at the speedway.
Coming into Friday’s action, there were 4 drivers within 11 points for the Modified championship. Danny Tyler and Rich Ricci Jr. were not in action on Friday. So it was left to Creeden and Jimmy Wells to race for the championship.
Joe Judge and Creeden had the front row for the start and it was Danny taking the lead from the high groove. Scott Ferrier, Bobby Hackel IV and Randy Green ran in spots 3,4 and 5 for the first 9 laps until Green got past Hackel. The first caution of the race occurred right at the halfway mark as Hackel slowed.
Creeden led on the restart, putting space between himself and Judge. Joe was comfortably in 2nd as Green passed Scott Ferrier for 3rd on lap 16. The only other change in the top 5 for the balance of the race was Mike Ricci moving into 4th with 3 laps to go. At the finish, it was Creeden in front of Judge by a little over 2 seconds. Green was 3rd with Ricci 4th and Scott Ferrier 5th. Daniel Morgiewicz Jr. finished 6th. Wells started 8th, but by the race end, had only moved up one position to 7th to close out a 2nd place point finish. Brett Graham was 8th, Ken Ferrier 9th and Rich Coons 10th.
“There’s really a stellar field here at Accord. There’s 10 cars that could win every week. It’s a tough field here, very quick racing. Hard racing,” Danny said. “I knew that we would be kind of close to the front tonight. I figured we would fire off and see what we got. We bought the best piece that we could. The motor tonight, I call it ‘scuds’, is coming out tomorrow and we’re putting in a fresh one for the Fonda 200. I’m super happy, our sponsor, Dave Farber (Accurate Collision of Pompano Beach, Fl.) flew up from Florida and surprised me. Dave and Roger, they help me out so much. And I have a great fan base also.”
It’s been a career year for Judge. With 2 feature wins, it’s his first time with multiple wins. And his 2nd place finish Friday moved him into 3rd in the final Modified point tally. But with one look at the feature lineup for Friday, Judge knew his chances of taking a win were slim.
“Having the pole at Accord, you have to start on the inside on the original start,” Judge said. “I know Danny is fast on the outside and I know that I’m fast on the outside. In the beginning, I stayed with him pretty good, but by the end, he was pulling away. But it’s been a good season, 2 wins and 3rd in points. Can’t complain.”
Brian Durbin raced to his 3rd win of the season, holding off persistent challenges from Tyler Johnston, who finished 2nd.
Darrell Quackenbush and Durbin led the field to green. Durbin jumped out front with Quackenbush following. Johnston, starting 5th, took over 2nd on lap 8 and moved in on Durbin. The racing between Durbin and Johnston was fantastic as Brian used the high groove to keep his momentum up just enough to hold off Johnston. Tyler actually nosed out front as lap 15 was scored, but a determined Durbin fought back and held onto the lead.
Johnston kept the pressure on the rest of the way, but at the finish, it was Durbin by just a quarter of a second over Johnston. Ryan Stortini finished 3rd and Cody Higbie 4th.
With a 5th place finish, Travis Green clinched the Accord Speedway 2022 Sportsman championship.
Jimmy Johnson finished 6th with Hunter Lapp 7th, Jared LaBagh 8th, Jared Miller 9th and Aidan Elliott 10th.
Jayden Sleight has had numerous mechanical difficulties the last few weeks. But the young driver got it all going at Accord on Friday as he led from start to finish to take his 2nd win of the season in the Pure Stocks. With his 2nd place finish, John Hechinger is the 2022 Accord Speedway Pure Stock champion. Brian Walsh finished 3rd with Chet Stanton 4th and Gary Ronk 5th. Finishing positions 6 thru 10 were Walt Henry, Bill Deak Jr., Kyle Welsch, Jared Palmer and Bill Deak Sr.
Tim DeGrote won his 4th Fireball 4 Cylinder feature of the year on Friday. With a 2nd place finish, Brandon Conklin is the Accord Speedway 2022 Fireball 4 Cylinder champion. Ed King finished 3rd, Chris Dyer 4th and Ryan Heady 5th.
With her 8th win of the season in the All Star Slingshots, Amber Baccaglini will have the honor of taking the most checkered flags at Accord in 2022 along with the championship. Brett Putnam was 2nd, Tim Hannen 3rd, AJ Albreada 4th and Kirsten Bishop 5th. Sophia Spear, Rob Charmello, Matt Frost, Jim Pollard and Madison Lewis rounded out the top 10.
Calleigh Stritmater won her 2nd Junior Slingshot race of the season on Friday. The Accord Speedway 2022 Junior Slingshot Champion, Brayden Traver, finished 2nd. EJ Hatch was 3rd, Bodie Marks 4th and Preston Trautschold 5th.
Roger Hummer was Friday’s Rookie Sportsman winner. Joey Conklin Jr, in his first Accord Speedway appearance, finished 2nd. Thor Holmgren was 3rd, John Doty 4th and Andrew Sabo 5th.
The fans in attendance were treated to great 9/11 ceremonies which include a parade of Jeeps and an awesome fireworks display. The night was presented by O’Connor & Partners PLLC of Kingston.
Although the regular season at Accord has concluded, there are still 3 great events remaining on the schedule. On October 1st, it will be the Joe G. Great Crate Race. October 29th finds the Halloween Havoc event. And the always popular Gobbler closes out the Northeast dirt racing season on November 26th. Be sure to check out these events and support your local tracks!!
Congratulations to all the 2022 Accord Speedway Champions!!