Story By: STEVEN OVENS / CRSA – GENESEE, NY – Jordan Hutton has had the points lead in the A-Verdi Storage Containers CRSA Sprints powered by Super Gen Products well in hand for the last two months. Blemish-free racing, wins, consistency have all been the components of a fairly dominant 2023 campaign.
Friday night in Genesee County at Kurt and Bonnie Stebbins’ Genesee Speedway, the blemish-free season took a hit and Hutton saw his forty-five point lead get cut in more than half with seven laps remaining in the penultimate CRSA event of the season. Hutton had been chasing second-high point man Dalton Herrick all race long until the driver out of Hanibal, NY slowed on Lap 18 due to what was described as “a four dollar part” within the fuel system.
It was a bad luck deal for Hutton, however on the flip side of the coin, Herrick had about as perfect a night as he could have expected to have. The McDonough, NY driver drew the front row for his heat race and pulled away to his third heat win of the season and giving him enough passing points to make the Top 9 redraw for the 25-Lap A-Main.
Herrick’s longtime girlfriend, crew chief, pit crew and four wheeler operator Takla drew the pole at intermission.
“At this point in the season with Jordan so far out front in points, we’ve really shifted our focus to going after wins,” noted Herrick post-race.
They did just that.
Herrick dominated the 25-Lap feature event in front of a packed crowd for the first night of Genesee’s Topless Crate Nationals. While the race for the lead wasn’t necessarily in question, the racing behind Herrick was something to behold.
John Cunningham was on rails all night long at Genesee, with the Pompey, NY native flirting with disaster lap after lap in the third and fourth turn. When you test the devil, he eventually will bite back and in fact bit Cunningham just prior to completing Lap 10. Cunningham was running second at the time but would drive his way back to a Top 5 finish by the end of the event.
Hutton made quick work on the opening laps to go from his fifth starting spot to a podium position and capitalized on Cunningham’s mistake to go to second. He would hold the runner up spot until he found mechanical trouble on Lap 18.
Nathan Pierce had another breakout run on this night, coming off his first ever CRSA Top 5 finish last weekend at Penn Can Speedway. When Hutton fell out of the race, Pierce claimed the second position and had to drive his very best race to try and fend off the challenges from the race’s Powdertech Powdercoating Hard Charger Tomy Moreau.
Moreau made the seven-hour trip to Genesee and was probably ready to call it a night after hot laps. Moreau had a power steering issue that cropped up during Engine Heat, which they couldn’t get corrected for Hot Laps. With issues persisting, rookie driver Michael Smith gave up the seat in his No. 7S and allowed Moreau to compete in the heat race.
Moreau finished second in that heat, allowing him to make the redraw based on his passing points total. With Moreau’s No. 22 having repairs made for the A-Main, he had to go tail for switching cars which gave up his sixth starting spot. The “Canadian Kid” was the show in the A-Main, working inside the Top 10 by Lap 7, the Top 5 by Lap 12 and battling with Pierce for second on Lap 19.
With five laps to go, Herrick started showing smoke entering the corners. This intensified the battle between Moreau and Pierce- thinking that if Herrick dropped out that race could have been for the lead.
“We had a radiator hose come loose and (the engine) got really hot there at the end. I just wanted it to try and hold on long enough but we may have hurt it in the process,” said Herrick.
“When you’re that close to the end you just have to try and baby it and hope it lasts. This is a big win for us and now we will have to try and win Afton from twelfth. Last year I spun out on the first lap and came from the back to win, so we’ve shown we can do it.”
Herrick was followed across the line by Moreau, Pierce, another impressive run from Ray Preston for fourth and Cunningham who rebounded for fifth.
For his huge recovery from spinning out to race back to a Top 5, Cunningham earned an extra $25 for the Maguire Family of Dealerships “Magnificent Move of the Race.”
Following Genesee, the series will take a weekend off before visiting Afton Motorsports Park on Friday October 6 for the series championship.
A-MAIN RESULTS (25 Laps): 1. 29-Dalton Herrick; 2. 22-Tomy Moreau; 3. 10-Nathan Pierce; 4. 4T-Ray Preston; 5. J27-John Cunningham; 6. 48JR-Darryl Ruggles; 7. 14-James Layton; 8. 21B-Blake Warner; 9. 30-Kirsten Dombroski; 10. D9-Dustin Sehn; 11. 410-Jerry Sehn Jr; 12. (DNF) 66-Jordan Hutton; 13. (DNF) 48A-Alysha Bay; 14. (DNF) 33Z-Sydney Weatherbee; 15. (DNF) X-Dan Bennett; 16. (DNF) 18C-Dan Craun; 17. (DNF) 7S-Michael Smith; 18. (DNS) 121-Steve Glover
Powdertech Powdercoating Hard Charger Bonus: 22 Tomy Moreau +14 Spots
Maguire Family of Dealerships “Magnificent Move of the Race”: J27 John Cunningham
Heats (8 laps)
#1: 1. 29-Dalton Herrick; 2. 22-Tomy Moreau; 3. 66-Jordan Hutton; 4. 10-Nathan Pierce; 5. 14-James Layton; 6. (DNF) 410-Jerry Sehn Jr
#2: 1. X-Dan Bennett; 2. 48JR-Darryl Ruggles; 3. 21B-Blake Warner; 4. D9-Dustin Sehn; 5. 33Z-Sydney Weatherbee; 6. (DNF) 121-Steve Glover
#3: 1. J27-John Cunningham; 2. 4T-Ray Preston; 3. 18C-Dan Craun; 4. 30-Kirsten Dombroski; 5. (DNS) 48A-Alysha Bay; 6. (DNS) 7S-Michael Smith