Story By: DAWN MAYNARD / AFTON MOTORSPORTS PARK – AFTON, NY – With the final points race only one week away, the racing between the top drivers in points heat up. One hundred and nineteen teams were on hand all hoping to grab those valuable points.
The first event on the program was the Pit Stop Auto Crate Sportsman. Darell Quackenbush and Kyle Smith brought the twenty-six car field to the green. Twenty-five laps would make up the feature. Gary Smith and Todd Titus currently are in the points hunt. They started in sixth and seventh positions. Darell Quackenbush grabbed the lead with Kyle on his rear bumper. It was a quick two laps as Gary Smith brought out that caution. He spun, sending himself to the rear of the field. It was a slow start to the feature as cautions plagued the event. Once the teams settled down there was lots of side by side racing throughout the pack. The battle up front was tight as both drivers Quackenbush and Kyle Smith were hungry for the win. Coming from eleventh position and working the outside was Dale Welty. Kyle Smith took the lead away from Darell Quakenbush, but Dale Welty was working on third heading to the front. Dale moved into the lead on the inside of the Smith machine. Matt Brewer was also working his way to the front. The final caution came out involving seven teams in turn one. That took out Gary Smith who was in the points battle. He would end up finishing in twenty-first. On the restart Welty was able to retake the lead. Matt Brewer would steal second, with Todd Titus now in third. Dale opened up a huge lead over Brewer. As the laps wound down Titus was now working on the Brewer machine. Dale Welty went back to the high side of the track. He was able to hold off Matt to grab his third feature win of the season. Matt Brewer would bring home his car in second. Blaine Klinger and Dave Rosa who started fourteenth and fifteenth respectively would finish in third and fourth. A great top five finish for Kyle Smith. Todd Titus finished in eighth place. This will make the final points race this Saturday exciting for the fans.
LIL’ Dave Excavation Factory Stock made their way onto the track. Mahlon Shoemaker and Justin Slezak took the green. Several new teams were on hand to participate. The winner of the event would take home a cool $800. The current point leader Rich Green started in the eleventh position. He suffered a mechanical failure during the qualifying race. The twenty lap event would see several cautions. This would keep the field tightened up helping Green make his way to the front. Mahlon Shoemaker would have the early lead, as Justin Slezak got shuffled out of the top spot. Tommy Groover was now working on the Shoemake machine. He grabbed the lead and set sail. Rich Green was now in fourth making his way to the front. On lap three one of the drivers hit the yuke tire bringing out the caution. On the restart Groover and Green would battle for the lead. These two drivers would race each other hard, but clean for the next few laps. Tommy would have command of the lead, but Rich was doing everything in his power to make the move. With seven laps left in the twenty-lap feature Tommy now was opening up a lead. Mahlon Shoemaker and Rich Green were working on each other for the second position. Green got the second position now working on Tommy. Rich was working inside and outside, eventually getting the lead away from the Groover machine. When the checkered flew Rich grabbed another feature win. Mahlon Shoemaker was second, Tommy Groover was third, Justin Slezak was fourth and Mike Chilson brought home the fifth position.
The favorite division ZMK Construction Modified feature event brought twenty-seven drivers to the track. Jeremy Hamilton and Nick Mady made up the front row. A caution on the opening lap for Tyler Yeagle who got loose, but was able to keep going. That backed up the field catching Jim Introne Jr. He suffered damage and went pit side on the hook. This now brought the Mady brothers, Nick and Brian to the front row for the restart. Brian would grab the lead, from Nick. Seth Zacharias who started in fifth was now looking to steal away the lead. Seth was on the outside of the track working it hard. Lap four had a caution for debris, which would tighten up the field. On the restart Seth and Brian would make up the front row. Brian would retain the lead, but Seth was setting sights on the top spot. Lap eight would be the one that Seth took control of the feature event. It has been a tough season for the Zacharias team as motor problems have cost them three engines. As the laps ticked off traffic would play a big part in this game. Brian was able to grab the lead away from Seth. Seth didn’t give up as he kept trying to regain the lead. Coming from the twelfth position was Shaun Walker. Also using the outside Walker clicked off the positions. He was now in third trying to move around Seth for second place. He did get to second, but Seth managed to regain the position. As the final laps rolled around Brian Mady grabbed his first victory in his Teo Modified. Seth Zacharias, Shaun Walker, Dennis Clapperton and Dominic Roselli Jr,. rounded out the top five. Great run for Dominic Roselli Jr., who was piloting the backup car owned by Justin Holland. He started in the thirteenth position coming home with a top five.
The Carquest of Unadilla Front Wheel Drives made their way onto the track. Rich Wagner and Robert Burch brought the field to the green. Rich grabbed the early lead with Shawn Mills on his bumper. Shawn would steal the lead, but the action behind him was heating up. Coming from fifth was his son Collin who has the current point lead. He and his dad raced for the lead with Collin taking it away on lap ten. Andy Bolles and Shawn would battle for second and third. The final caution would come out on lap thirteen keeping the field tight. This allowed all of the top three to work each other trying to steal the position. With only two laps left in the fifteen lap event. Collin managed to hold off his dad Shawn and Andy to grab another feature win. Newcomers Tyler White and Jeff Weeks finish in fourth and fifth. This win helps Collin open up his points lead.
The Rinker Insurance 600cc Modifieds were up next. Darwin R. Greene Jr. and John Hoover made up the front row. It didn’t take the current point leader Ryan Jordan long to grab the lead. He was challenged by Aiden Miller and Matt Cole for the lead. Ryan has recorded many feature wins during the 2023 season, keeping the field at bay. Aiden who started in fifth made his moves to work his way to second. Matt Cole battled with Aiden with the hopes to steal the second position away. As the twenty lap feature came to a close Ryan Jordan recorded another feature win. Aiden Miller, Matt Cole, Darwin R. Greene Jr., and qualifying race winner Ryan David-Kadarondak rounded out the top five.
The final feature event was the Big E’S Shed Sleddin’ & Sales Limited Sportsman. Derrick Shaffer and Jason Shedd brought the field to the green flag. Jason Shedd grabbed the lead in the fifteen lap feature event. Jason has struggled with his car during the season. He was challenged by Tom Davey who started right behind him. They battled hard throughout the feature, with Jason being able to hold him off. As the laps wound down Shedd was able to hold off the Davey machine to record his very first feature win. Jason stated that he had to thank Jim Cummings for his win. He and Jim switched cars during the last race here at Afton. Jim helped work out some of those racing bugs that can plague a driver. Jason went on to say that it helped him bring home the feature win. Tom Davey was second, newcomer Tyler Bobar was third, many time feature winner Dylan Nichols was fourth and newcomer Jerry Roys was fifth.
Coming up on Saturday, September 2nd, the track will hold the End of Summer Showdown. This event will feature the children fans that attend the races. Bicycle races and BackPack Giveaways will be part of the championship night events. All the normal divisions will be on hand along with the Factory Stocks. Championship points will be awarded in all the divisions crowning the 2023 champions. Be sure to mark your calendars for this event and bring the younger fans to the track.
ZMK Construction Modified Feature – BRIAN MADY, Seth Zacharias, Shaun Walker, Dennis Clapperton, Dominic Roselli Jr, Brandon Loucks, Cody Higbie, JR Hurlburt, Brett Tonkin, Alex Tonkin, Ken Titus, Darwin Greene, Nick Mady, Shane Jablonka, Bobby Puckett, Nick Nye, Derek Cornish, Tyler Yeagle, Brian Puckett, Joe Krum, Jeremy Hamilton, Doug Polhaumus, Billy Fiske, Jerry Higbie, Jim Introne Jr, Danny Creeden (tail retaliation), Justin Holland (DQ).
DNQ – Travis Brockner, Brad Burman, Geoff Quackenbush
Heat Race Winners – Cody Higbie, Dennis Clapperton, Justin Holland, Brian Mady
Consi Winner – Brian Puckett
Pit Stop Auto Crate Sportsman Feature – DALE WELTY, Matt Brewer, Blaine Klinger, Dave Rosa, Kyle Smith, Garrett Zacharias, Scot Torbitt, Todd Titus, Jared Green, Aidan Elliott, Allan Hodge, Trey Palmer, Alex Hughes, Brett Wooster, Charlie Towner, Bill Davey Jr, Joe Buchanan, Darell Quackenbush, Brian Durbin, Travis Green, Gary Smith, Eric Winsor, Craig Pope, Dustin Harris, Brandon Christ, Jim Cummings
DNQ – Steve Anderson, Dan Burman, Luke Powell, Ed Owens, Mike Travis, Nate DeGraw, Brad Shaffer, Fred Christ
Heat Race Winners – Brian Durbin, Matt Brewer, Craig Pope, Gary Smith
Consi Winner – Charlie Towner
Big E’s Shed Sleddin’ & Sales Limited Sportsman Feature – JASON SHEDD, Tom Davey, Tyler Bobar, Dylan Nichols, Johnny Williams, Devon Green, Hayden Coons, Derek Roe, Jerry Roys, Josh Hurlburt, Dan Eichler, Buddy French, Derrick Shaffer, Stephen Winsor, Buck Brown, Brad Hurlburt (DNS).
Heat Race Winners – Derrick Shaffer, Tom Davey
Rinker Insurance Agency 600cc Modified Feature – RYAN JORDAN, Aiden Miller, Matt Cole, Darwin R. Greene Jr, Ryan David-Kadaronak, Brenton Payne, Steven Cole, John Hoover
Heat Race Winners – Ryan David-Kadaronak
Carquest of Unadilla FWD 4 Cylinder Feature – COLLIN MILLS, Shawn Mills, Andy Bolles, Tyler White, Jeff Weeks, Tim Degrote, Mike Jenks, Robert Burch, Randy Lane, Kamrin Krause, John Maynard, John Mason, Rich Wagner, Brandon Conklin, Dave Nixon, Kenny Underwood
Heat Race Winners – Shawn Mills, Collin Mills
Lil’ Dave Excavating & Stanton Cattle Co Factory Stock Feature – RICH GREEN, Mahlon Shoemaker, Tommy Groover, Justin Slezak, Mike Chillson, Logan Eaton, Billy Shoemaker, Max Moser, Adam Gilbert, Luke Mills, Kevin MacDonald, Todd Sutliff, Charlie Gilbert
Heat Race Winners – Justin Slezak, Kevin MacDonald