Column By: BROOKE JOHNPIER / RPW – RANSOMVILLE, NY – The night started off with my mom, dad, and me getting over to the track at around 4:30.
We turned on some music, and sat there tailgating for about thirty minutes when our good friend rolled up. For the remainder of the time in the parking lot we sat there talking to him, and our two other good friends.
After that, we all headed into the racetrack to get settled in.
It wasn’t long before we got our food, and sat down for the night. After we sat down, the Hot Laps started, and they came out in the order of how they would come out for the rest of the night: Novice Sportsman, Streetstock, Sportsman, Modified, and Mini Stock. Luckily, there were no wrecks in Hot Laps (at least that I can remember). And once those were done, in typical fashion, the invocation followed by the national anthems being played occurred.
Once the opening ceremonies were done, the Heat races started. They came out in the same order that they came out for Hot Laps, so that meant that the Novice Sportsman were coming out first. There was a lot of racing action in these Heats, including Camerown Rowlands spinning out in Turn Four, but that was the only bad thing that happened for those races. The victors of the Novice Sportsman races were DJ Rosinski, and Dillon Adamczak.
Next, the Streetstocks came out. There were more Streetstocks than usual tonight, due to the John Susice Memorial race, but there were a lot of familiar faces as well. Again, there was a lot of hard-packed action during the races. There were a few wrecks and spinouts, which resulted in the yellow flag being thrown, but besides that nothing else bad really happened. The winners of those two races were Josh Pangrazio, and John Zimmerman.
After the Streetstocks came the Sportsman. The first Sportsman Heat race was pretty interesting. The start was called off due to Dylan Duhow not getting the initial start, but when the field was in order to start again, Duhow started on time and completely walked away from the field. Jim Harbison would give him a run for his money, but in the end the winner was Mr. Duhow. He would be followed by Cameron Tuttle in the second Heat race of the night.
Next up was the Modified division. Shockingly enough, the same thing that happened with the first Sportsman Heat race happened with the first Mod Heat race…except it happened twice instead of once. But, once the field got straightened out, and people stopped jumping the start, Scott Kerwin would keep the lead for his Heat, and would end up victorious in the end. Erick Rudolph would end up following in Kerwin’s footsteps, and would go on to win the second Modified Heat race of the night.
Last but not least, the Mini Stocks came out for their Heat races. Lanes were used, positions were swapped, and rubber was transferred onto quarter panels during these races. But in the end, Mr. Ryan Plante and Mr. Cole Susice would be your victors for these races.
After the Heat races were over, they had two exhibition races for the Go-Karts that run weekly on Thursday nights at Ransomville. They have their own little track on the infield called “The Little R.” Each week, the younger generation of racers race around their own dirt track just like the older racers do. And tonight they showcased just what exactly those young men and women do on a weekly basis, and to be honest, it was pretty cool. After the exhibition races were over, the big cars came back out onto the track to start the feature races of the night.
The first class out was the Novice Sportsman class. There was a lot of action going on throughout the race, including the winner having to continuously fight for the first place position. Wayne Swinson and Mike Kramarz went at it for the entire fifteen lap feature. But at the end, Swinson would end up being the victor, and would end up getting his time in Victory Lane.
After the Novice Sportsman was the main feature of the night: Streestock. The reason why they were the main feature tonight was because it was none other than the John Susice Memorial race. They started the race off with driving John’s old, restored truck around the track behind the pace truck, as well as a ‘57 Chevy that’s also been re-done. Seeing those vehicles go around the track brought a tear to both my, and my parents’ eyes, because my dad used to work with John at Modern Disposal back in the day, and my dad knew John very well. On the second lap around the track, the old vehicles went in and it was just the pace truck left. But that wouldn’t last long as the race would start, and the car were whipping around the track. After the thirty lap main event was over Josh Pangrazio (who was also a Heat winner) was the winner of the 2023 John Susice Memorial race. Him and Mr. Swinson would get to have their Victory Lane ceremonies, and then the Sportsman came out.
I don’t know how far it was into the action-packed race, but a caution was thrown because a car had spun out. But the car that had spun out had also moved a tractor tire down on the bottom of Turns 3 and 4 way out, and it looked to be a serious safety hazard. Well, the track crew didn’t do anything about it, so Cameron Tuttle stopped his car right by the tire, and wouldn’t move until the tow truck came over to him. Long story short, Cameron moved as soon as the towing crew officials got done talking to him, and the tire was moved back into its proper position as soon as Tuttle left the scene. After this, the race would start up again. Lots of action ensured that Nelson Mason won the twenty-five lap race.
After the Sportsman came the Modifieds. This was a very exciting and interesting race. For the entire thirty laps, the two gentlemen in the front spots (Erick Rudolph and Gary Lindberg) were fighting it out. But lap twenty-five of thirty though, Lindberg had walked away from Rudolph and was lapping the slower cars of the field. Lindberg would go on to win the race…or so we all thought.
After the Modifieds came the last feature of the night: Mini Stocks. This race was jam-packed, but pretty simple. When the initial green flag was waved, Ryan Plante took the lead. Over the course of fifteen laps, Plante would keep that lead, and would get to be in Victory Lane after Gary Lindberg had gotten his “15 Minutes of Fame”. Or so we thought…
When Plante came out for Victory Lane, it was announced to the crowd that Lindberg was not the winner of the Modified race, but Erick Rudolph was. This was due to the fact that Gary did not pass the after-race inspection by not meeting the weight requirements. So, as my dad and I were heading over to the pits to see some people, Erick Rudolph and Ryan Plante got to be in Victory Lane, not Plante and Lindberg.
As aforementioned, my dad and I went over to the pits. Most of our time there was spent talking to Chad Brachmann’s dad, Mike, of whom my dad used to work with. They talked about old times, and I contributed a little to the conversation. During that time, it began to rain just a little bit, so my dad and I headed off to see other people, and then go home. We saw Mat Williamson, and then walked back to the truck to drive home.
All I have to say about tonight was that it was awesome. And all I have to say to you, the reader, is that if you haven’t been to Ransomville Speedway yet, come on out! You don’t know what you’re missing, and it’s great entertainment. No matter if you’re old, young, male, or female, I guarantee that you will enjoy it no matter what. I know I do.
Until next time!