RPW Column: Tyler Johnston Tops Accord’s Sportsman Field For $5,000 Joe G’s Great Race Payday
Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – ACCORD, NY – When there has been big money on the line for the Sportsman division at Accord Speedway in 2022, Tyler Johnston has been the man to Beat.
Earlier this season, Johnston won the big money Phil Goetschius Memorial race.
And on Saturday night, Tyler scored another big money win as he led the field for all 50 laps to win the Joe G’s Great Race. The win was worth $5,000 to the Johnston team.
“To win these big races is awesome,” Johnston said. “Championships are good, but these big wins are awesome.”
Johnston had a very fast car. And a couple of good draws was a recipe for success for Tyler on this night.
“Picking a good number was key, I wanted to run the outside.”
Johnston, starting 2nd in the future, got the jump on the start with RJ Carson and Drew Boniface trailing. Carson kept up a pretty good pace wth Johnston until lap 18 when contact with the wall going into turn 1 ended his race. This put Boniface into 2nd. Even with a number of restarts, there was no change at the front. All Johnston had to do was safely maneuver through lapped traffic.
“I was able to hit my marks very well,” stated Johnston. “The number of cautions limited the lapped traffic, It’s the biggest win of my career, absolutely.”
Over the 2nd half of the race, Kevin Stevens and Jared LaBagh had a good race behind the leaders over the 2nd half of the race. Stevens prevailed to finish 3rd with LaBagh finishing 4th. brian Krummel advanced from mid pack to finish 5th. Justin Colmes was 6th, James Friesen 7th, Jimmy Wells 8th, Joey Scarborough 9th and Hunter Lapp 10th.
The race was sponsored by Mid Hudson Concrete Products in memory of Joe Giaghinta.
In the Halloween Havoc part of the event, the Pure Stock feature got off to a very rough start as a big crash on the backstretch involved a number of the cars in the 24 car starting field. Veteran racers jay Smalley and Ray Tarantino suffered the brunt of the damage. Both the #22 of Smalley and the #75 of Tarantino needed to be cradled off the track.
Once some green flag racing got going, it was John Hechinger leading closely followed by Dave Demorest. When Demorest pitted with a flat, it was his nephew, Aiden Demorest, who took up the chase. But the 2022 Accord Speedway held his line and never wavered. At the finish, it was Hechinger with the win over Aiden Demorest. Bob Sleight Jr. was 3rd with Walt Henry 4th and Dave Demorest 5th. Preston Demorest was 6th with Jayden Sleight 7th, Hank Morin 8th, Phil Funchion 9th and Chet Stanton 10th.
Late in the race, Jessie Palmateer also ended up with a tremendously damaged car. Fortunately, despite the severity of damage, S,ally, tarantino and Palmateer were not injured.
Jeff Hager, in the Hager Bros. #65X finished in 18th place. What makes this significant is that for this particular car, it is the 33rd consecutive season that it has appeared in at least one competitive race, That’s a pretty amazing streak for both the car and for Hager Bros. Racing.
Frank Twing Jr. dominated the action in the Rookie Sportsman, distancing Ron DeLease who finished 2nd. Mike Mikulski finished 3rd with Mark Connoly 4th and Mike Yonta 5th.
Tim DeGrote was elevated to the winners position in the Fireball 4 Cylinders when the apparent winner, Tyler White, was disqualified. Brandon Conklin was 2md, Chris Dyer 3rd, Jeff DeGroat 4th and Jason Peck 5th.
On November 26th, the curtain comes down on the 2022 Dirt Racing season in the northeast as the popular, post Thanksgiving event, The Gobbler, will be taking place. Leave the leftovers behind and get together with your racing family for one final event in 2022.