Eastern States Weekend 2016 - Feature Event Results
STEWART FRIESEN, ANTHONY PERREGO, BRETT HEARN, RICK LAUBACH, DOMINIC BUFFALINO, KENNY TREMONT, BILLY VANINWEGEN, ANDY BACHETTI, TOMMY MEIER, LJ LOMBARDO, BRIAN KRUMMEL, SAMMY MARTZ, BOB McGANNON, ROB ROWE, DANNY CRONK, MIKE SABIA, JIMMY HORTON, MIKE MAHANEY, JIMMY PHELPS, DANNY CREEDEN, CRAIG MITCHELL, CHRIS SHULTZ, MIKE RUGGIERO, JEREMY MARKLE, MATT JANIAK, JOHN FERRIER, RONNIE JOHNSON, RICH EURICH, GARY EDWARDS JR., DONNIE ELLIOTT, TIM HINDLEY, MIKE KOLKA, TYLER DIPPEL. SHANE JABLONKA, CRAIG HANSON, EDDIE MARSHALL, JERRY HIGBIE, JOHN LIETO, FRANK COZZE, DANNY JOHNSON, STEVE DODD, BILLY DECKER, KIRK HORTON, JIMMY SPELLMON (DNS)
Small Block Modified:
BRIAN KRUMMEL, TYLER DIPPEL, ANTHONY PERREGO, ANDY BACHETTI, DANNY CREEDEN, TOMMY MEIER, KENNY TREMONT, DOMINIC BUFFALINO, DANNY JOHNSON, MARC JOHNSON, BRENDAN FINLEY, ALLISON RICCI, WAYNE JELLEY, BRETT HAAS, DONNIE ELLIOTT, STEVEN DILLON, GARY EDWARDS JR., ZACH VAVRICKA, JESSIE MUELLER, BOB McGANNON, JERRY HIGBIE, RYAN DARCY, CHRIS SHULTZ, FRANK COZZE, BILLY VANINWEGEN, CRAIG MITCHELL, SHANE JABLONKA, WILLY AUCHMOODY, STEWART FRIESEN, JOHN LIETO, JOHN FERRIER, JIMMY SPELLMON, BRETT HEARN (DQ)
TYLER BONIFACE, JESSE LEIBY, ALLISON RICCI, TIM HARTMAN, CHRIS LYNCH, JARED LABAGH, JOEY FALANGA, JOE CONKLIN, BRAD HORTON, MIKE SABIA, COREY CORMIER, PAT MURPHY, LEO FOTOPOULOS, JIMMY JOHNSON, COLE HENTSCHEL, ROBBIE SPEED, JEREMY PITTS, MEL SCHRUFER, TONY KOWALCHUK, NICK PLUMSTEAD, JOHN VIRGLIO, JOHNNY ILLANOVSKY, PHIL JOHNSON, JOHN CRISCIONE, JEFF HULSEAPPLE, FRANK VENEZIA (DQ), MATT STANGLE (DQ), CHRIS STEVENS (DQ), HOWIE FINCH (DQ)
JIM HAJKOWSKI, CHARLIE DONALD, RAY TARANTINO, EMERSON CARGAIN SR., KYLE WELSCH, SPARKY REILLY, KEVIN COLMAN, LIVY JOHNSON, CHRIS MURPHY, WALT HENRY, EMERSON CARGAIN JR., KEN REED, TOMMY PICKLE, JACK BEAUMONT, MIKE VIGILETTI, ZACH SORRENTINO, TIM DALEY, JIM MAHER, BOBBY SLEIGHT JR., JOHN HECHINGER, JOEL MURNS, SCOTT GUMAER, JIM DUNKIN, GARY O'BRIEN (DQ), WAYNE TAYLOR (DQ)
Eastern States 200 Recap
Posted: October 26th, 2016
By FRANK CATIZONE
MIDDLETOWN – Stewart Friesen brought a packed house to its feet on the final lap of the 2016 racing season as he secured his first Eastern States 200 Modified victory during a heated battle with the event’s all-time winner Brett Hearn Sunday night at the Orange County Fair Speedway.
Friesen, who called OCFS his home for the first time this racing campaign, dove underneath Hearn while racing between the third and fourth turns on the 200th circuit around the five-eighths mile, hard clay oval. Their cars made brief contact while battling for the lead with Friesen coming out on top and Hearn drifting wide towards the outside wall.
Anthony Perrego also was able to slip past Hearn to score an impressive second-place showing in his first race behind the wheel of Bill Pascual’s No. 3 car. Hearn regrouped to place third with Rick Laubach and Kenny Tremont rounding out the top five.
“Brett tried to block the track and I just filled in the gap underneath him,’’ said Friesen about his race-winning move. “I was able to dive down real low and Brett moved too far up. But I knew this was going to be the only chance I had to get past him. We did make some contact, but sometimes you just have to go for it. Things worked out for us this time.’’
Friesen, who also captured this year’s Bud Lite 200 during Super DIRTcar week in Oswego, was easily the class of the 44-car field in the early going from his starting pole position. The Sprakers driver was able to lap cars at will as racing was under green conditions until Jimmy Horton came up with a right rear flat with 26 laps completed.
Several other competitors were forced to the pits throughout the race as the abrasive track conditions took its toll during most of the race.
Perrego, in fact, was forced to the pits with a right rear flat after 28 laps were completed. He would rejoin the field just before the mandatory pit stops could begin after 30 laps were scored. Drivers had to take one mandatory stop at any point of the race from the 31st lap on.
Friesen continued to control matters on the race track as he was able to hold a decisive cushion on the field while many of his competitors – including Hearn – made early their mandatory stops early in the race.
Friesen finally made his mandatory pit stop with 88 laps completed and second-place running Tim Hindley followed him. That turned first place over to Mike Kolka, who remained there to collect the $950 bonus for leading at the halfway point. Kolka would drop out three laps later with mechanical issues to hand Perrego the lead.
Perrego, who still needed to make his mandatory stop, was on top at the 104th lap with Hearn now riding in second place. Perrego would finally make his trip to the pits on the 112th circuit as Hearn assumed the lead for the first time.
Hearn, who was seeking his 12th Eastern States crown, and Tommy Meier were now running first and second as they were in position to produce a repeat of last year’s 200-lapper, which was won by Meier.
Friesen, meanwhile, was racing his way through the field following his stop and stood 10th by the 124th lap. He continued to work his way through the pack and broke into the top five behind Hearn, Laubach, Meier and Mike Ruggiero by the 147th circuit.
Friesen passed Meier to take over third place by the 166th lap and now only had Hearn and Laubach ahead of him. He stood there until a spectacular first-turn accident by Chris Shultz brought out the red light with 180 laps completed. Shultz’ car made hard contact with an inside jersey barrier on gthe homestretch and then landed on its side against the pit lane guard rail. Shultz wasn’t injured.
Friesen jumped ahead of Laubach on the ensuing restart to grab second place before several caution periods during the final 20 laps slowed racing. Friesen, in fact, caused one when he came up with a flat right rear and was forced to pit on the 183rd lap.
But Friesen capitalized on all the cautions down the stretch to move through the field and stood fifth with Bob McGannoin brought out the final caution on the 185th lap.
Friesen worked his way past L.J. Lombardo for fifth place a lap later, and moved into third behind Hearn and Perrego with 10 laps to go. He caught Perrego for second place on the 194th lap to set up his race-winning move on Hearn.
“Brett had a real good race car, but I think having fresher tires at the end really helped us,’’ said Friesen. “We’ve tried all season long to find the right combination at this race track and this race team deserves all the credit for all of their hard work.
“I want to thank Chris Larsen for this opportunity. We’ve struggled to get things right here, but I think we stuck right to our strategy and this was just one heck of a win. It’s something I’ve wanted to achieve for a long time now.’’
Eastern States 100 Recap
Posted: October 26th, 2016
By FRANK CATIZONE
MIDDLETOWN – All the attention was focused near the scales in the pits following the conclusion of Sunday afternoon’s Eastern States 100 Small Block Modified championship at the Orange County Fair Speedway.
A large crowd gathered around that area as Brett Hearn was having his post-race weigh-in following his apparent victory in the event. Hearn, however, was 20 pounds light over the scales as the crowd applauded in delight over his misfortune.
Brian Krummel, who took the checkered flag in second place, took his turn over the scales and even a bigger roar ensued as Krummel made weight, and was awarded his first Eastern States victory and the $15,000 that went along with it.
Krummel also checked out legal during the post-race inspection as he picked up the biggest triumph in his racing career behind the wheel of the Dave Zubikowski No. 17Z racer. The Middletown driver recenely became Zubikowski’s main driver and presented his owner with a tremendous win.
“This is just awesone,’’ said Krummel, after getting on the roof his his winning car and bowing to the crowd in victory lane. “I don’t like winning races this way, but I’ll take it. This is my biggest victory ever and I still can’t believe what happened.
“We had a very good race car and I really felt we had a good chance to win. But Brett’s car was really fast and I just couldn’t stay up with him. I didn’t mind finishing second to him, but this feels a whole lot better.’’
Krummel was the early leader in the race as he got the jump on Craig Mitchell when the initial green flag waved. Hearn slipped into second place as he passed Mitchell on the third lap and then put his sights on Krummel.
But Krummel was able to maintain first place over Hearn despite several restarts early in the race. Hearn was able to slip past Krummel with an inside move just before the starter’s stand to complete 20 laps. But he wasn’t able to shake Krummel as the race progressed as the two drivers remained that way until the finish.
Hearn, who still hasn’t won a major race this season, was able to stave off each challenge Krummel had to offer.
“I was able to get underneath Brett several times in the race, but just didn’t have enough momentum to get past him,’’ said Krummel. “He knows this race track and is really tough to get past. I made one last ditch effort to the outside, but he was able to block me and that was pretty much it.’’
That was until Hearn moved to the scales and was disqualified for being light.
Krummel, meanwhile, couldn’t have been happier for himself and the entire Zubikowski racing team.
“We’ve had a great season and this just makes it that much better,’’ said Krummel. “This is a great group of guys we have working on this car and I can’t be happier for Dave, and the trust he has in me to race his car. What a great feeling this is.’’
Tyler Dippel was awarded second place following Hearn’s disqualification with Perrego, Andy Bachetti, Danny Creeden, Meier, Ken Tremont Jr., Dominick Buffalino and Danny Johnson rounding out the top 10.
Jim Hajkowski was awarded the victory in the Street Stock 25-lap feature when Gary O”Brien was disqualified following the first leg of the Street Stock Shootout Series.
This was the first leg of the series that also involves Bethel Motor Speedway and Accord Speedway.
Last year’s winner Charlie Donald was awarded second place with Ray Tarantino, Emerson Cargain Sr. and Kyle Welsch rounding out the top five.
Eastern States Sportsman Recap
Posted: September 26th, 2016
By FRANK CATIZONE
MIDDLETOWN – Tyler Boniface put an exclamation point on his most successful season ever at the Orange County Fair Speedway Friday night as he led the entire distance to capture the 50-lap championship for the Sportsman division during the 55th annual Eastern States Weekend Racing Festival.
Boniface, a 23-year-old driver from Pine Bush, got the jump on pole-sitter Jared LaBagh at the drop of the initial green and never looked back as he posted his fourth win this season behind the wheel of the R.J. Smith owned No. 4RJ. The win was worth a first-place prize of $1,000 as well as all of the lap money posted for the event.
“This has been a heck of a season and I can’t thank R.J. Smith enough for letting me drive his car,’’ said Boniface. “I lost the motor in my car sometime in July and R.J. allowed me to use the car to salvage some points. But we did so good in the car that he let me drive it for the rest of the season.’’
The switch to Smith’s car enabled Boniface to win three features and several other top finishes as he walked away with his first track championship at OCFS in impressive style. Smith’s closest rival Jesse Leiby finished 98 points off his winning pace.
Boniface used an outside pass entering the third turn to wrestle first place away from LaBagh and then started putting quite a distance between himself and the rest of the 30-car field as the race progressed for the first 18 laps without any cautions. Chris Stevens, meanwhile, was also able to move past LaBagh into second place with a pass off the second turn on the 14th lap.
“I was having trouble with my car locking up,’’ said LaBagh, who continued losing positions as the race progressed. “I thought I was losing my power steering or was possibly getting a flat tire. I slowed right down after one restart because the car just wasn’t handlng.’’
LaBagh, while riding fourth, lost several positions following a restart at the midway point and never proved to be a factor from that point on.
Boniface, meanwhile, continued his dominance as Stevens continued to follow in second with Frank Venezia, Howie Finch III and Matt Stangle racing in the top five. Boniface had one anxious moment later in the event when Stevens passed him following a restart. But another caution on that start restored his lead.
“I was having carburetor issues, and my car was spitting and sputtering on the restarts,’’ said Boniface. “But I I was able to clean it out after that restart and the car was good to the finish.
“I also had some problems with lapped traffic early in the race. But those drivers are also racing for position. I can’t blame them. This is a tough track to race on and we’re all trying to finish the best we can.’’
Boniface continued his dominance when racing resumed until Phil Johnson slowed action with 33 laps completed when he spun between the third and fourth turns. Venenzia passed Stevens on the ensuing restart and remained in second place until the finish.
Stangle took over third place on the 49th lap as Stevens had to settle for a fourth-place showing when the checkered flag waved and Jesse Leiby rounded out the top five.
However, during the post-race inspection, both Venezia and Stevens were disqualified for racing with illegal cams on their engines. That moved Stangle into second place with Leiby, Allison Ricci, Howie Finch, Tim Hartman, Chris Lynch, LaBagh, Joe Falanga and Brad Horton rounding out the top 10.
Sportsman Feature Finish, 50 Laps: 1. Tyler Boniface, 2. Matt Stangle, 3. Jesse Leiby, 4. Allison Ricci, 5. Howie Finch, 6. Tim Hartman, 7. Chris Lynch, 8. Jared LaBagh, 9. Joe Falanga, 10. Brad Horton, 11. Mike Sabia, 12., Corey Cormier, 13. Patrick Murphy, 14. Leo Fotopoulos, 15. Jimmy Johnson, 16. Cole Hentschel, 17. Joe Conklin, 18. Anthony Falanga, 19. Robbie Speed, 20. Jeremy Pitts, 21. Mel Schrufer, 22. Tony Kawalchuk, 23. Kyle Plumstead, 24. John Virglio, 25. John Illanovsky, 26. Phil Johnson, 27. John Criscione, 28. Jeff Hulseapple. Disqualified: Frank Venezia, Chris Stevens.
Eastern States Time Trials Recap
Posted: October 26th, 2016
By FRANK CATIZONE
MIDDLETOWN – Stewart Friesen will have the best seat in the house Sunday afternoon when the 55th edition of the prestigious Eastern States 200 takes center stage for some of the best Modified drivers in the Northeast and Canada during the Weekend Racing Festival at the Orange County Fair Speedway.
Friesen, one of the top Modified talents for the past several seasons, was the only driver to break the 21-second barrier in time trials Friday afternoon as he grabbed the pole for the 200-lap grind with an impressive time of 20.999 seconds around the five-eighths mile, hard clay oval.
Friesen, fresh off his impressive victory in the Bud Lite 200 at the Oswego Speedway on Oct. 9, was among the final group to take time during the day as OCFS track officials worked feverishly to get the racing program completed. The Sprakers driver turned in an initial lap of :21.026 to knock Brett Hearn off the pole. He bettered that with an average speed of 107.655 miles per hour on his second trip.
Friesen, who was a weekly competitor at OCFS for the first time in 2016, is still searching for his first win here this season as well as his first Eastern States 200 crown. But the task won’t to any easy one with several top Modified drivers on hand as well as a mandatory pit stop each driver must take after 30 laps have been completed in the event.
Hearn, who has a record 11 Eastern States Modified titles to his credit, will surely give Friesen all he can handle. The Vernon Township, N.J., driver has amassed 303 victories during his OCFS career and will start alongside Friesen in the front row after posting the second quickest time of 21.041 seconds.
Both Hearn and Friesen will also be contenders in this afternoon’s Eastern States 100 championship for the Small Block Modified drivers. Both will be looking to qualify for the race during time trials, heat races and consolation events. The Capital Region Sprint Agency (CRSA) 305 sprint car drivers will also be in action with qualifiers and a 25-lap feature. Racing gets underway at 11:30 a.m. with time trials.
There is a first-place prize of $15,000 at stake for the Small Block Modified winner. The winner of Sunday’s 200-lapper will earn $35,000. If one driver sweeps both races, a $10,000 bonus will be added – meaning one driver could collect at least $60,000.
Hearn and 2016 Modified track champion Tommy Meier came close to that feat last season. Meier won the 200-lapper but finished second to Hearn in the 100-lap title race for the Small Blocks. Hearn was a close second to Meier in the 200.
Former Eastern States winner Billy Decker turned in the third quickest Modified time aboard Vic Coffey’s No. 32C car with a time of 21.133 seconds. He was followed by Tim Hindley (:21.181), Meier (:21.187) and Jimmy Phelps (:21.261).
There are already 36 cars penciled in for Sunday’s 200-lap race with the remainder of the field coming from a series of consolation races. Those winning heat events were Danny Creeden, Brian Krummel, Danny Johnson, John Ferrier, Ronnie Johnson and Jerry Higbie.