Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – Saturday was Championship Night at the Orange County Fair Speedway and it was also quite an unlikely evening of action.
The threat of rain was very high, but the OCFS officials pressed on.
Even with a delayed start and lightning dancing in the sky at the start of the Modified feature, the races were completed. And there was some great racing to be seen at the historic oval on this Saturday night.
In the Modifieds, it was Dillon Steuer taking the victory, his 3rd OCFS career win in the Big Blocks.
Mike Kolka led the first 18 laps, trailed by Matt Janiak until Janiak slowed on 15, bringing out a caution. With Steuer now running 2nd, he made the pass of Kolka on lap 18. Kolka’s great run ended when he slowed on a restart after 20 were down as several cars got into the #25.
This restart saw a big pileup on the backstretch, bringing out the red flag. This really jumbled up the running order as many in the top 10 were involved including Tanner VanDoren and Jimmy Horton.
The last 10 laps were run off smoothly as Steuer put a 5 and a half second cushion between himself and 2nd place finisher, Tyler Boniface. Anthony Perrego was 3rd followed by Brett Hearn in 4th and VanInwegen 5th.
Bob Hentschel finished 6th with Dan Creeden 7th, Bob McGannon 8th, Donnie Wilson 9th and Chris Shultz 10th.
With his 3rd place finish, Perrego is the 2023 OCFS Modified champion. Congratulations to Anthony and to the whole Brian Smith, Superior Remodeling Team.
Danny Creeden, who earlier was awarded the 2023 OCFS Most Popular Modified Driver, added another OCFS win on Saturday, this one in the 358 Small Block Modified feature. Creeden took the lead just past the halfway mark and held off a strong running Jimmy Spellmon for the win.
Tyler Jashembowski was the early leader, leading from the start until a caution with 14 laps down. Creeden had an excellent restart and assumed the lead with Spellmon following him into 2nd. Spellmon kept it very close, but it was Danny taking the win by .825 over Jimmy. Dillon Steuer finished 3rd with Anthony Perrego 4th and Jashembowski 5th.
Sixth thru tenth were Billy VanInwegen 6th, Tommy Meier 7th, Charles Loiodice 8th, Bob Hentschel 9th and Jimmy Horton 10th.
In the tightest points battle of this championship night, Steuer knew that if he kept Perrego within a position or two, he would be the 358 champion. And with his 3rd place finish, Steuer clinched his first OCFS Championship.
Congratulations to Dillon and to the whole David Zubikowski, Zubi’s Racing Team.
Jared LaBagh, racing in the awesome blue scheme that his father, Gary LaBagh raced with, scored the Sportsman victory Saturday as he held off a persistent Tyler Peet for the win.
Anthony Vitale Jr. took off from his front row starting spot and looked very good in leading the first 12 laps of the race. A lap 13 restart did cost Anthony the lead as LaBagh. Peet and several others got past him.
Peet kept pace with LaBagh and at one point, looked to be challenging for the lead. But Labagh didn’t waver and he went on to a half second win over Peet. Gary Edwards III finished 3rd with Brian Krummel 4th and Michael Sabia 5th. Nick Giardini was 6th, Anthony Falanga 7th, Tyler Johnston 8th, Drew Boniface 9th and Kevin Stevens 10th.
Krummel had mathematically clinched the 2023 OCFS Sportsman point title before the night began. Congratulations to Brian and the Whitetail Landscape Contractors Team.
Jack Beaumont continued his late season surge with another Street Stock victory, his 2nd in a row.
Beaumont, racing in the very high groove, took the lead from Ray Tarantino on lap 6. Ray dropped to 4th, but he worked his way back to 2nd. Although Jack pulled out to a lead, Tarantino threatened to retake the lead on a couple of restarts. With 3 to go, Bob Sleight got past Tarantino into 2nd.
At the finish, it was Beaumont impressively out front by 3 and a quarter seconds over Sleight with Tarantino 3rd. Tom Cilurso Jr. was 4th and Walt Henry 5th. Mike Vigiletti was 6th, Charlie Donald 7th, Isaiah Guest 8th, Roger Guest 9th and Ryan Modiano 10th.
Beaumont had only a slight chance to overtake Sleight for the points championship And with Bob’s 2nd place finish, he is the 2023 OCFS Street Stock Champion. Congratulations to Bob and the whole Putman Propane team.
The very popular Eve Of Destruction takes place on Saturday, September 16th. Something different this year is the inclusion of a Sportsman Exhibition Race.