Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – ACCORD, NY – An excessively warm day combined with very dusty conditions in hot laps got Friday night’s racing card at Accord Speedway off to a rough start.
But in the end, the racers, fans and Accord management persevered and the racing was completed.
Anthony Perrego and Jerry Higbie were Friday’s big winners at Accord as they each came away with a Modified feature win.
Perrego got the lead at the start of the feature held over from 5/19 and led all 30 laps en route to his victory. While accidents took out some contenders, Perrego was able to withstand several restarts as the Vinny Salerno 4* drove into Victory Lane.
While happy with the victory, Anthony was sympathetic over what’s been happening this season at Accord.
“You know, I feel bad for Gary with everything he has going on. Having a 100 degree day didn’t help,” Perrego said in Victory Lane. “But after they worked on the surface it was pretty good. It’s good to see people here and he’s working hard. Once he turns this place around, he is going to have a very racey track.”
Corey Cormier finished 2nd with Jerry Higbie 3rd, Justin Holland 4th and John Ferrier 5rh. Scott Ferrier was 6th with Randy Green 7th, Mike Ricci 8th, Allison Ricci 9th and Dillon Steuer 10th.
In the regularly scheduled feature, Jerry Higbie adjusted his driving to the changing track conditions and when opportunity presented itself late in the feature, he turned it up a notch and raced to a popular win.
“In the beginning of the race, I knew where it was going to be slippery. I tried to keep pace with Dillon (Steuer) because I knew he was fast,” Jerry said.
Danny Tyler was the early leader and looked to be the car to beat. But after leading the first 16 laps, Steuer really put the pressure on and took the lead on lap 17. Tyler bounced back and regained the lead the next lap. Steuer and Tyler ran very close right up to 5 to go when the close racing saw them make contact which saw Higbie move into 2nd. One lap later, Jerry got a good run on Tyler and took the lead.
At the finish, it was Higbie with a 1.1 second margin of victory over Tyler. Craig Mitchell was 3rd with Corey Cormier 4th. Anthony Perrego recovered from an early race pitstop to finish 5th. Steuer ended up 6th with Scott Ferrier 7th, Allison Ricci 8th, Shane Jablonka 9th and Joe Judge 10th.
“As the race went on, it got more slippery and slower. I slowed my pace down, but I was still catching them. I was amazed when they came back to me. And when they were racing hard, I was able to move in and I had enough speed to hang on,” Jerry said.
Travis Green emerged as the winner in a very competitive Sportsman feature.
Drew Boniface got the jump at the start over pole sitter Green and led the first 5 laps until Travis regained the top spot. But it was a great race between Green and Boniface as they dueled side-by-side for several laps. A halfway restart saw Hunter Lapp move into 2nd. Lapp was able to gain some on Green in the late stages of the race, but Travis held on for the win with 6/10ths of a second margin of victory over Hunter.
Boniface finished 3rd with Mike Doty 4th and Kyle Smith 5th. Mike Travis was 6th, Isabella Van Orden 7th and Mike Formont 8th. The balance of the field did not finish.
It’s a good win,” said Travis in Victory Lane. “I did not think it was going to get that slick, but it did way more than I anticipated. We can be better, but if it can stay like that all year, it will be fun racing.”
Walt Henry, driving car #715 to honor the memory of his mom, continued his winning ways on the local racing circuit as he drove through the field to capture Friday’s Pure Stock win.
Shawn Williams finished 2nd with Wayne Taylor 3rd, Gary Ronk 4th and Brian Walsh 5th. Completing the top 10 were Preston Demorest 6th, Jayden Sleight 7th, John Velde Jr. 8th, Jared Palmer 9th and Joe Narok 10th.
The Accord Speedway Vintage Modifieds were in action Friday and it was Harry Baldwin taking the win in the Don Goodrich Memorial Race. Jim Fugel was 2nd, Larry Ricci 3rd, Mike Brown 4th and Jeff Hager 5th.
Tim DeGrote was Friday’s 4 Cylinder winner followed by Cameron Reichenbaugh in 2nd, Ed King 3rd, Bruce Illenberg 4th and George Barringer 5th.
The Rookie Sportsman saw Brock Miller taking the checkers over Justin Miller in 2nd, Jason Brewer 3rd, Mike Mikulski 4th and Lenny Helmich III 5th.
In the All Star Slingshots, it was AJ Albreada with the win. Madison Lewis was 2nd, Sophia Spear 3rd, Rob Charmello 4th and Alex McCann 5th.
In his first ever Accord Speedway appearance, Braxton Dembek was the winner in the Junior Slingshots. Calleigh Stritmater was 2nd, EJ Hatch 3rd, Aiden Wingard 4th and Tavin Wingard 5th.
Next Friday, August 4th, is the return of a fan favorite, Camera and Autograph night. Come on out and enjoy this fun filled night at the bullring!!