Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – ACCORD, NY – On Saturday, Anthony Perrego became the first three-time winner of the ‘Gobbler’ at Accord Speedway.
Perrego outran a very fast Richard Smith and Andy Bachetti to take the $5,000 check from the Ulster County Bullring.
“Coming here into these special races, so much of it depends on the draw,” Perrego said. “We were able to start up front in the heat and obviously in the feature, we had another good spot . It’s tough passing out there, but we got the job done.”
Starting 3rd in the 50 lap feature, Anthony quickly fell in behind leader Jesse Leiby in the early going. Leiby was able to hold off Perrego on a couple of restarts. Perrego, restarting in the low groove, got a good restart after a lap 6 caution and was able to slide up ahead of Leiby in turn 2 to take command of the race.
While Perrego and Leiby were running 1-2, there were a couple of restarts. The usual restart strategy at Accord is for the leader to choose the high groove. But Anthony chose the low groove and it paid off.
“When he (Leiby) was the leader, we got a good restart on him. I fired off real good on the first restart as the leader. I was a little slow on the 2nd one, but I was able to hold on.
Smith, who started 5th, moved into 2nd on lap 10. He stayed close to Perrego, but he was never able to get close enough for a challenge. At the finish, Perrego was the winner by .78 seconds over Smith with Bachetti winding up 3rd. Accord’s 2022 Modified champion Danny Creeden was 4th with Mike Gular 5th. Completing the top 10 were Corey Cormier 6th, John Ferrier 7th, Rich Ricci Jr. 8th, Bobby Hackel IV 9th and Joe Judge 10th.
“As long as the weather stayed decent, we were planning on racing today,” said Anthony. “We’ve had the car ready for a couple of weeks. We were definitely prepared to come. We were just waiting on the weather, but it was a great day today. Gary had a lot of people here today, that was nice to see.”
Travis Green capped off his championship season with a victory in Saturday’s 30 lap Sportsman feature.
Travis and the other leaders were fortunate to be ahead of a huge 10 car pileup on lap 7. Three cars retired immediately after the crash with others dropping out after.
With the race running much smoother later in the race, Justin Colmes put some pressure on Green, but Travis was up to the task. At the finish, it was Green by 1/3 of a second over Colmes. Kyle Rohner finished 3rd with James Ballestero 4th and James Friesen 5th. Jeff Higham finished 6th with Josh Allen 7th, Mike Doty 8th, Jimmy Leiby 9th and Eddie Owens 10th.
It took the Pure Stock race some lepa to get a good green flag segment. A vicious looking lap 3 crash involved Josh Towner, Aiden Demorest and Preston Demorest. Although one of the driver’s looked a little shaken, none needed medical attention.
When the racing got going, it was Bob Sleight Jr. taking the lead and he went on to win. Bill Deak Jr. stayed close and almost made the pass for the lead when he and Sleight split a lapped car. Deak finished 2nd with Jayden Sleight taking 3rd. Ray Tarantino, back after badly damaging his car in the Halloween Havoc event, finished 4th with Tom Campfield 5th. Jared Palmer was 6th followed by Anthony Tarantino 7th, Scott Gumaer 8th, Shawn Williams 9th and Hank Morin 10th.
Walt Henry picked up the win in the Rookie Sportsman feature, outracing Mike Arnold to the finish. Chase Zimmer was 3rd, Mark Connoly was 4th with Molly Struss 5th. Donnie Campbell was 6th, Dillon Gannon 7th, Chuck Culbertson 8th, Dan Specht 9th and Mike Mikulski 10th.
Tim Degrote was the winner in the Fireball 4 Cylinder feature. Brandon Conklin was 2nd, Jeff Degroat 3rd, Tyler White 4th and Robert Phillips 5th. Spots 6 thru 10 were Chris Dyer 6th, John North 7th, Daniel Joubert 8th, Ken Barringer 9th and Lawrence Wilson 10th.
Blaine Schoenly came out on top in the All Star Slingshots. Ludia Navarro was 2nd with Amber Baccaglini 3rd, Tim Hannen 4th and Patrick Weiss 5th.
Bodie Marks was victorious in the Junior Slingshots. EJ Hatch was 2nd, Preston Trautschold 3rd. Anthony Ciccone 4th and Calleigh Stritmater 5th.