The ‘Working Man’s Race’ Has Produced 13 Winners In 13 Tries; Could 2022 Make No. 14?

Story By: CHRIS MOORE / SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES – AFTON, NY – The event that has produced the most parity in Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco is set for its 14th running.

The American Racer Cup Short Track SuperNationals takes place Friday-Saturday Oct. 7-8 at Afton Motorsports Park.

The weekend of racing culminates with the 50-lap, $5,500-to-win “Working Man’s Race,” a non-points event for the STSS big-block/small-block Modifieds on the Afton Fairgrounds three-tenths-mile.

In 13 previous editions, there have been no repeat winners in the race designed for weekend warriors of the sport.

The first ever edition of the Short Track SuperNationals took place in 2006, when Tillson, N.Y.’s Mike Ricci claimed the inaugural affair.

After two years off, the Short Track SuperNationals ‘Working Man’s Race’ has run every year since 2009 except for 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

From 2009-2013, the Short Track SuperNationals called Five Mile Point Speedway in Kirkwood, N.Y., home.

Boyertown, Pa.’s Kevin Hirthler (2009), White Lake, N.Y.’s Justin Holland (2010), Oley, Pa.’s Duane Howard (2011), Cottekill, N.Y.’s Danny Tyler (2012), and Johnstown, N.Y.’s Craig Hanson (2013) all claimed ‘Working Man’s Race’ glory at the historic facility.

The ‘Working Man’s Race’ joined the STSS when the series was launched in 2014 and returned home to Afton Motorsports Park.

Masonville, N.Y.’s Shaun Walker claimed the first ever STSS-sanctioned ‘Working Man’s Race,’ topping King Ferry, N.Y.’s Mike Mahaney and North Norwich, N.Y.’s Mitch Gibbs.

Wurtsboro, N.Y.’s Danny Creeden (2015), Ringoes, N.J.’s Ryan Godown (2016), Oxford, N.Y.’s Rusty Smith (2017), Sheffield, Mass.’s Andy Bachetti (2018), and Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard (2019) all followed Walker as STSS winners at Afton.

Last year (2021) saw a first-time STSS winner visit victory lane, as Mooresville, N.C.’s Max McLaughlin claimed the 2021 running.

McLaughlin, Walker, and Smith all claim the ‘Working Man’s Race’ as their lone STSS triumph.

This year’s event has been designated as a non-points-paying River Valley Builders North Region race to support the weekend warriors the event built to showcase.

It all kicks off on Friday, October 7 as the CRSA Sprint Cars, Open & Crate 602 Sportsman, Ted’s Body Shop Limited Sportsman, and the Slingshots join STSS Modified timed hot laps and the American Racer Cup Sportsman One-on-One Match races.

On Saturday October 8, the STSS Modifieds return to their roots for the $5,500-plus top prize and the STSS Crate 602 Sportsman crown the Precision Hydraulic & Oil North Region champion in a 25-lap, $1,500-to-win event.

The Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series and the American Racer Cup Modified One-on-One Match Races are also on the Saturday card.

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