Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – ACCORD, NY – It was an unseasonably warm late October afternoon at the southern edge of the Catskill Mountains for Accord Speedway’s Halloween Havoc event.
It was a festive atmosphere as many of the young fans came in costume and participated in a contest and gathered up some Halloween treats.
On the track, it was Hunter Lapp who took home a filled up pumpkin as he dominated the 30 lap Sportsman race for the win.
Invading racer Walt Hammond Sr. was the early leader before Joe Judge moved to the lead. On lap 8, Lapp moved past Judge to take the lead. Lapp then proceeded to check out, leaving the rest of the field racing for 2nd. Hammond Sr. had drifted to 4th, but on lap 23, moved past Judge to take 2nd.
At the finish, it was Lapp, well out in front for the win. Hammond Sr. crossed the line in 2nd, but received a post race disqualification. This placed Judge 2nd with Walt Hammond Jr. finishing 3rd with A.J. Konopka 4th and Josh Marcus 5th.
Jared LaBagh, making the start in the Darryl Collins 76, crossed the finish in 5th, but he also was disqualified post race.
Lapp discussed the different competition in Victory Lane.
“Those guys (Hammond Sr. & Jr.) are good people. They travel all around. I did wear out some good competition tonight. We had a good car tonight, best it was all year in my opinion.”
But returning as an Accord regular in 2023 paid off for Lapp Saturday.
“We know what the track is going to do once we get ready for the feature. I think that was the difference tonight.”
It was a big night for the Henry Racing Team. Walter Henry IV grabbed his first ever feature win in the Junior Slingshots. Shortly thereafter, his dad, Walt Henry, was the winner in the pure stocks.
Henry IV dominated his race, winning by 2 1/2 over Brayden Marks in 2nd and Addisyn Roger in 3rd.
Henry had a good early race battle with Bob Sleight before moving to the lead. Jayden Sleight was involved in an early race caution and after some quick pit work returned to the race. Moving up in the field, he made things interesting late in the race as he moved in on Henry in lapped traffic.
Henry was able to hang on for the win with Jayden Sleight 2nd, Bob Sleight 3rd, Mike Corbin 4th and Aiden Demorest 5th.
As you would expect in Victory Lane, Henry was more happy for Walter that he was for himself.
“Nothing beats that win right now for the kid, that’s the most important thing right there. Whatever I give him, he works with it. He tells me what he has problems with. And he did a kick ass job. He’s my inspiration.”
Rob Carmello was the winner in the All Star Slingshots. Makaela Predmore finished 2nd.
Joe Smith was Saturday’s Rookie Sportsman winner. John Woinoski was 2nd, Lenny Heimich III 3rd, Joe Markle 4th and Larry Race 5th.
Jim Bleau was Saturday’s 4 Cylinder winner. Dave Donovan finished 2nd.
Each winner on Saturday received very cool looking Halloween theme plaques designed by Accord Track Photographer, Kevin Berryman. Nice job, KB.
One final event remains on the Accord Schedule for 2023. The popular Gobbler closes out the northeast dirt racing season on November 25th.