RPW Column: A Select Group Of Limited Sportsman Ran For Some Extra Green Friday At Albany-Saratoga
Column By: BILLY HODGES / RPW – MALTA, NY – Going into the 58th season of racing at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, there was a bonus for the Limited Sportsman drivers.
However, it was only between a selective few. The deal was they had to win.
There was $200 total up for grabs with $100-to-win and $100 as a bonus to win out of four specific drivers:
- Alex-Palmer Sawyer 61
- Walter Cook 47
- Nick Auspelmyer 6A
- Michael Arnold 76
It was a tough night for Sawyer who had a steering box break in his heat after three laps while leading.
“I will be back for sure,” Sawyer said. “However, this will definitely be a set back and sucks because we had a fast car.”
Cook started 22nd in the feature and ended up finishing 11th.
“Starting in the back sucks but finishing 11th is a good start to the season,” Cook said. “There were just too many cautions to get anything done.”
Auspelmyer had a great opening night to start his 2023 racing campaign. He started fourth in his heat race and finished third. That put him ninth on the starting grid for the feature. At the end of the night, he came home with a fifth place showing.
“We were able to get our first top 5 of the year tonight and that’s huge,” Auspelmyer said. “A fifth place tonight is awesome because we had a bad fast race car.”
That just leaves Michael Arnold. Early on in the night, the Selkirk, NY driver started ninth in his heat and worked his way to the runner-up spot when all was said and done.
Onto the feature event where Arnold sustained some damage on the first lap in a four-car pile up. However, that didn’t phase him. Arnold soldiered on and took the lead on the eighth circuit.
He never looked back and went on to score the opening night victory.
“We had a fast car all night,” Arnold said. “It was starting to go away late in the race with the damage to the right side but we got the job done.”
Then came the surprise of the extra bonus money.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know there was a Limited Sportsman bonus tonight,” he said. “It’s super that we were able to get the extra because that will definitely help. The damage is going cost us but more sponsors should help us little guys because we definitely need any help we can get. Thanks to them, my family and team. This is a great way to start 2023.”