“KATIE, BAR THE DOOR. THE OUTLAWS ARE COMING!”
Posted: May 13th, 2013
MIDDLETOWN, NY (May 13)...... Are you ready for the WEEKEND OF SPEED at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York? This coming Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, the historic five-eighths-mile Hard Clay speedway presents two thrilling nights of racing---two headline attractions---the mighty Big-Block DIRTcar Modifieds and the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series.
First up on Saturday, May 18, race meet sponsor Holiday Inn of Middletown presents a full program of heat and feature races for the DIRTcar Modifieds, the Rookie Sportsman, and Street Stocks. The Pit Gate for the Saturday program opens at 3:30 pm, the Drive-In at 4:30 pm, and the Grandstand gates at 5:00 pm. Racing gets underway at 6:30 pm.
Then on Sunday, May 19, current point leader, Owasso, Oklahoma native Daryn Pitman and the rest of the traveling Outlaws, bring the Greatest Show on Dirt to Orange County. Pitman, who drives the Kasey Kahne No. 9 sprint car, surly will be challenged by Steve Kinser, last year’s Orange County STP World of Outlaws Series race winner, as they battle for supremacy on the big Middletown oval.
Presented by Dana Distributors, the night’s racing action also includes the Orange County Sportsman division. On Sunday, the Pit Gate will open at 3:00 pm, with the Drive In and Grandstand gates opening at 4:00 pm. Racing begins at 6:00 pm.
Fans should call the Speedway Office, 845-342-2573, for tickets. A special WEEKEND OF SPEED grandstand ticket package is available. But must be purchased by the end of the business day on Friday, May17.
Information for all Orange County Fair Speedway action is available at the speedway website, www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net, or from at the Speedway Office. Call 845-342-2573 during business hours.
SMALL BLOCK MODIFIEDS AND VINTAGE RACE CARS SPICE UP THE MAY 11 PROGRAM AT ORANGE COUNTY FAIR SPEEDWAY
Posted: May 6th, 2013
MIDDLETOWN, NY (May 6)......The popular Small-Block Modifieds will make their second 2013 appearance on Saturday, May 11 at the historic five-eighths-mile “Hard Clay” Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York. In addition, folks will get a look back at an earlier era as the Vintage Modified race cars will also be in action.
Gary Edwards Jr. won the season inaugural race for the Small-Block Modifieds. He and two-dozen other competitors will be after the trophy, cash prize money, and the glory that comes from winning at one of the country’s oldest speedways.
The evening’s schedule Includes a full racing program featuring DIRTcar-sanctioned Big-Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Small-Block Modifieds, Street Stock race cars, and the Vintage machines in qualifying heats and feature races. The evening’s program is sponsored by Sparta Trucking.
In the headline Modified division, defending champion Jerry Higbie has already posted two wins and is again leading in track points. Jeff Heotzler Sr. and Bobby Varin have also won Modified features in early season racing.
Admission prices for the April 28 race meet remain at $14 adults, $12 seniors, and free for children 12 and under. The full night of racing begins promptly at 6:30 pm.
Looking ahead, the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and racing Stars are returning to Orange County on Sunday, May 19. Tickets are now on sale for this special evening that will also include the Orange County Sportsman drivers and cars. On Outlaw night, the pit gate will open at 3:00 pm, with spectator gates opening an hour later at 4:00 pm.
Information for all Orange County Fair Speedway action is available at the speedway website, www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net, or from at the Track Office. Call 845-342-2573 during business hours.
Week 4 Recap - 5/4/13
Posted: May 6th, 2013
By FRANK CATIZONE
MIDDLETOWN, NY - The Orange County Fair Speedway audience was treated to one of its most thrilling nights of racing in recent memory last Saturday night as Bobby Varin and Scott Flammer both held off late challenges to pick up their first victories of the season.
Varin, recognized as one of the most talented drivers throughout the dirt-track Modified racing circuit, shook off some early-season adversity as he held off Clinton Mills and Tommy Meier by a few car lengths to notch a breath-taking victory in the DIRTcar Modified 30-lap feature.
Varin, who is calling OCFS his Saturday night home for the first time ever, snapped a 10-year winless streak at the track behind his second career win. The Sharon Springs veteran claimed his first win here in the 2003 Eastern States 200.
“I really hope the fans got their monies worth,’’ said Varin, “because that was one heck of a race. But I couldn’t wait until it was over.’’
Varin, who is driving the Atlas Paving No. 66 for car owner Mike Petruska and his three sons, started on the outside pole and got the jump on Richie Eurich when OCFS starter Jerry Enright waved his initial green flag. Varin would never relinquish the lead, but he was pressured throughout the event by Eurich, Mills and eventually Meier.
Mills, who started 19th in the 25-car field after winning the consolation race, cracked the top five by the 13th lap with some daring passes on the outside groove and moved ahead of Eurich for second place five laps later.
Mills began reeling in Varin as the race progressed and was moving in for a possible takeover when Ric Hill forced a caution with 23 laps completed. The two drivers battled it out again with Varin holding a slight lead when Jackie Brown Jr. and Mike Ruggiero got together a lap later for force another pause in the action.
Meier, meanwhile, who started in 17th spot, blasted his way into third place on the ensuing restart as he was able to get past Eurich, Bob McGannon and Chris Whitehead. Meier then began gaining on the two leaders and made it a three-car battle to the finish.
Varin, however, was able to stave off each passing attempt presented by Mills as he blocked the outside groove and maintained his momentum when Mills tried gaining an edge on the bottom. Meier made it close at the end, but ran out of time to challenge for the win.
“That was a lot of fun,’’ said Varin. “I know we’ve had our struggles early in the season, but the Petruskas have some very good equipment. This is a real family affair here with Mike and his three sons. They work very hard to give me a good car to race and I can’t thank them enough. It was good to finally get a win here.’’
Mills was forced to settle for a strong second-place effort with Meier, Eurich, Whitehead, Jerry Higbie, Billy VanInwegen, Chuck McKee, McGannon and John Lieto rounding out the top 10.
Flammer, who has competed in all three open-wheel divisions at the track in 2013, tried his luck with the 305-cubic inch sprint cars and drove home with his first career win at OCFS in the Capital Region Sprint Agency (CRSA) 20-lap main event.
But Flammer had to hold off a last-lap charge by Justin Barger to squeeze out a win by 0.156 seconds at the checkered flag. John Matrafaiolo followed in third place with Tyler Chartrand and Josh Piencek rounding out the top five.
The race was red-flagged before a lap was scored when Jeremy Quick flipped while racing down the backstretch. Quick wasn’t injured.
Mike Esposito then forced a caution with three laps completed when he spun while racing off the fourth turn. Flammer got the jump on Chartrand following the restart and then stretched out his cushion until Jeff VanSteenburg slowed on the homestretch to force a caution.
VanSteenburg’s incident erased a big lead by Flammer and enabled Barger an opportunity to steal a win after 18 laps were completed. Barger moved ahead of Matrafailo for second place a lap later and then closed in on Flammer as the checkered flag was presented.
Young racing sensation Tyler Dippel continued his torrid early-season winning pace as he captured the DIRTcar Sportsman 20-lap feature for the first time this season. Dippel, however, already claimed wins at Lebanon Valley Speedway and Accord Speedway in 2013.
Dippel captured his qualifying heat to start the main event in the front row and never looked back as he ciompletely dominated the 23-car field.
Frank Venezia finished a distant second with Anthony Perrego, Jimmy Spellmon, Chris Stevens, Brian Krummel, Danny Cronk, John Illanovsky, R.J. Smith and Tyler McKee rounding out the top 10.
Second-generation driver Jesse Leiby became the third different winner in the Rookie Crate Sportsman division this season as he captured the 15-lap feature ahead of Christian Rumsey, Del Ligouri, Ryan Wood and Matt Burke.
Leiby, who started on the pole, survived several early-race cautions and was able to stay in first place from start-to-finish despite the presence of Rumsey, who picked up his first career victory here a week ago.
Kurt Hundeland was looking to become the fourth different winner in as many races this season in street stock action. But a lapped car loomed in Hundeland’s way on the 11th lap and Stephen Kammer grabbed first place en route to his second victory on 2013 in the 15-lap race.
Jimmy Maher took the early lead as he got the jump on Hundeland before spinning between the first and second turns with three laps down. Hundeland assumed first place and remained there until Kammer’s winning move.
Hundleland settled for second place with Emerson Cargain Sr., Charlie Donald and Ron Constable completing the top five.
DIRTcar Modified Feature Finish, 30 Laps: 1. Bobby Varin, 2. Clinton Mills, 3. Tommy Meier, 4. Richie Eurich, 5. Chris Whitehead, 6. Jerry Higbie, 7. Billy VanInwegen, 8. Chuck McKee, 9. Bob McGannon, 10. John Lieto, 11. Mike Kolka, 12. Craig Mitchell, 13. Chris Shultz, 14. Mike Ruggiero, 15. Jeremy Markle, 16. Steve Dodd, 17. Bill Pascual, 18. Donnie Wilson, 19. Ric Hill, 20. Jesse Kline, 21. Donnie Elliott, 22. Kirk Horton, 23. Tim Hindley, 24. Shane Jablonka. Did Not Start: John Lodini, Scott Flammer. Disqualified: Jackie Brown Jr. Did Not Qualify: Neil Harris, Oscar Borea.
CRSA 305 Sprints Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1. Scott Flammer, 2. Justin Barger, 3. John Matrafailo, 4. Tyler Chartrand, 5. Josh Pienzek, 6. Art Kiser, 7. Ed Newhourser, 8. Chad King, 9. Scott Goodrich, 10. Keith McIntyre, 11. Mark Taylor, 12. Dalton Herrick, 13. Gary Palmer Jr., 14. Jordan Thomas, 15. Parker Evans, 16. Emily VanInwegen, 17. Craig Rochelle, 18. Brian Singer, 19. Mike Esposito, 20. Mike Kiser, 21. Curtis June, 22. Matt Shuart, 23. Bob Shuart, 24. Chuck Alessi, 25. Jeff VanSteenburg, 26. Jeremy Quick. Did Not Start: Mario Page. Did Not Qualify: B.K. Rizzo, Brittany Tresch, Warren Alexson, Darrell Quackenbush, Doug Crews, Joe Kata, Brett Jaycox.
DIRTcar Sportsman Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1. Tyler Dippel, 2. Frank Venezia, 3. Anthony Perrego, 4. Jimmy Spellmon, 5. Chris Stevens, 6. Brian Krummel, 7. Danny Cronk, 8. John Illanovsky, 9. R.J. Smith, 10. Tyler McKee, 11. L.J. Lombardo, 12. Joe Conklin, 13. Matt Janiak, 14. Tommy Vigh Jr., 15. Zack Vavricka, 16. Troy Arnold, 17. Steve Hicks, 18. Bryanna Hurban, 19. Andrew Reeves, 20. Kyle Cicio, 21. Jimmy Devitt, 22. Cliff Fitzgerald, 23. Tyler Boniface. Did Not Start: Frank Doty. Did Not Qualify: Joe Falanga, .
Rookie Crate Sportsman Feature Finish, 15 Laps: 1. Jesse Leiby, 2. Christian Rumsey, 3. Del Ligouri, 4. Ryan Wood, 5. Matt Burke, 6. Zach Mead, 7. Ira Landrum, 8. Travis Jablonka, 9. Otto Bradatsch, 10. Steven Ball, 11. Patrick Murphy, 12. Thomas Strupp, 13. Mike Folchetti, 14. Seth Pacella, 15. Nick Plumstead, 16. Rafaele Carson.
Street Stock Feature Finish, 15 Laps: 1. Stephen Kammer, 2. Kurt Hundeland, 3. Emerson Cargain Sr., 4. Charlie Donald, 5. Jim Maher, 6. Ron Constable, 7. John Hechinger, 8. Harry Shortway, 9. D.J. Ross, 10. Joey Metrando.
ON SATURDAY, MAY 4 “305 SPRINT CARS” RETURN TO
ORANGE COUNTY FAIR SPEEDWAY
Posted: April 29th, 2013
MIDDLETOWN, NY (April 28)......Week four of the 2013 racing season---Saturday, May 4---will bring added excitement to the historic five-eighths-mile Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York when the 305 Sprint Cars make their first appearance on the “Hard Clay” track.
In addition the open-cockpit Sprint Cars, the evening’s schedule Includes a regular four-division racing program featuring DIRTcar-sanctioned Big-Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Rookie Sportsman, and Street Stock race cars in qualifying heats and feature races. The evening’s program is sponsored by R G H Construction.
While there promises to be action in all division plus the Sprint Cars, much attention will be focused on defending Modified point champion Jerry Higbie as he attempts to become a three-time feature winner and pad his point lead in the chase for the 2013 championship.
Looking ahead, the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and racing Stars are returning to Orange County on Sunday, May 19. Tickets are now on sale for this special evening that will also include the Orange County Sportsman drivers and cars.
Information for all Orange County Fair Speedway action is available at the speedway website, www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net, or from at the Track Office. Call 845-342-2573 during business hours.
Week 3 Recap - 4/27/13
Posted: April 29th, 2013
By FRANK CATIZONE
MIDDLETOWN, NY – A jubilant crowd gathered in victory lane for the post-race festivities following last Saturday’s program at the Orange County Fair Speedway.
Because “Hig Fab’’ Nation, anchored by reignining Modified champion and car builder, Jerry Higbie, made a clean sweep of the open-wheel competition – setting off a big celebration for their entire racing team and supporters.
“I’m just so proud of this entire team’’ said Higbie, after capping off the evening with his second victory of the season in the DIRTcar Modified 30-lap main event. “Making a clean sweep here tonight was just awesome for the Hig Fabrications family. It’s been quite a weekend as Jackie Brown Jr. was also able to get a victory with one of our cars at Accord Speedway Friday night.’’
Higbie, who builds chassis for himself and other drivers during the winter months, has become one of the top proprietors in recent years. DIRTcar Sportsman winner Anthony Perrego and Rookie Crate Sportsman victor Christian Rumsey joined Higbie for a group photo following the sweep.
“We (Hig Fab) had 15 of our cars in competition here tonight,’’ said Higbie. “There are more in competition at Bridgeport (N.J.) Speedway, Grandview (PA) Speedway and soon they’ll be some in Canada. We’ve had a busy winter, but it sure feels great to see positive results from our cars.’’
Higbie, after starting seventh in the 25-car field, got a big break just after the initial green flag from OCFS starter Jerry Enright when Donnie Wilson spun between the first and second turns to bring out a quick caution. Pole-sitter Ric Hill also got turned around moments later to force a pile-up in the second turn.
“I was really lucky there,’’ said Higbie, “because the track just opened up and I was no where near the accident. I was just in the right place at the right time. I wasn’t so lucky the week before, but that’s just the way things go sometimes…that’s racing.’’
Bobby Varin, who has struggled in his first full season here, wasn’t so lucky and was knocked out of competion before a lap was scored along with Wilson.
Higbie, meanwhile, vaulted all the way into second place next to Chris Whitehead for the restart and took control of the event. Higbie blasted ahead of Whitehead at the drop of the green and was never challenged en route to his 20th OCFS career win – deadlocking legendary driver Jackie Evans for 18th place on the track’s all-time winners’ list.
“We’re all having a lot of fun this season and all the drivers racing Hig Fab cars are supportive of each other,’’ said Higbie. “We see improvement week to week and I just can’t be more proud of our company.
“ The track was a little different tonight and the racing was more down near the bottom. We were fortunate to pick the right set-up. I joked with Jackie (Brown) that I’ll give him our set up here, if he gives me his at Accord.’’
Whitehead held off numerous challenges offered by Bill VanInwegen Jr. to finish in second place with VanInwegen, Steve Dodd, Clinton Mills, Tim Hindley, Brown, Craig Mitchell, Mike Ruggiero and Mike Kolka rounding out the top 10.
Perrego, an employee in the Hig Fab shop, started outside pole for the DIRTcar Sportsman 20-lapper and never looked back despite the presence of Brian Krummel to score his first win of the 2013 racing campaign.
“We’ve struggled a little bit early this season, but I hope this gets us pointed back in the right direction,’’ said Perrego. “The car worked a whole lot better tonight. It was something else having all three winning cars tonight come out of our shop.’’
Perrego, despite being faced with four cautions, was able to get the upper hand on Krummel after each restart to score his seventh OCFS career victory. Krummel was never ever to mount a serious challenge for the lead and settled for second place.
Andrew Reeves held off repeated challenges by Tyler Boniface to finish in third place. He was followed by Boniface, Jimmy Spellmon, Tyler McKee, Zack Vavricka, Chris Stevens, Matt Janiak and Danny Cronk.
Fourteen-year-old driver Christian Rumsey of Middletown kicked off the Hig Fab sweep by claiming his first OCFS career victory in the Rookie Crate Sportsman 15-lap feature.
Rumsey took advantage of two early accidents to move into a challenging position for the lead. He powered ahead of Travis Jablonka following a second-lap restart and never looked back en route to his initial checkered flag.
“It was tough out there,’’ said Rumsey. “We’ve struggled early on, but the car really came together tonight. Hopefully, this will be the start of good things to come. This was a big night for Hig Fab.’’
Jablonka, who has challenged for a win all three weeks this season, settled for second place with Jesse Leiby, Seth Pacella and Ryan Wood rounding out the top five.
Street Stock veteran Emerson Cargain Sr., who missed most of the 2012 racing season, picked up his first victory of the campaign in the 15-lap main event. He was followed by Jim Maher, Stephen Kammer, Tim Brown and Stan Vishinski Sr.
Cargain, who stands second all-time at OCFS with 35 career victories, grabbed the lead away from John Hechinger while racing off the second turn following a 10th-lap restart. He then went on to pick up his first win since July 23, 2011.
“I had no power steering the last three laps,’’ said Cargain. “I was just hoping to hold on to the lead as best as I could. I had to get this one (win) because my boy (Emerson Jr.) won at Accord Friday night.’’
A wild final lap shuffled the deck and left Jim Maher, Stephen Kammer, Tim Brown and Stan Vishinski finishing in the top five.
Tim Russell, while racing in second place, flipped coming off the second turn after completing nine laps and gathered Mike Vigiletti in the accident. Vigilett’s car was under Russell’s racer when it went airborne and the roof was torn off the car.
Vigiletti’s car sustained extensive damage and he was checked out by the ambulance crew. He wasn’t injured.
DIRTcar Modified Feature Finish, 30 Laps: 1. Jerry Higbie, 2. Chris Whitehead, 3. Bill VanInwegen Jr., 4. Steve Dodd, 5. Clinton Mills, 6. Tim Hindley, 7. Jackie Brown Jr., 8. Craig Mitchell, 9. Mike Ruggiero, 10. Mike Kolka, 11. Donnie Elliott, 12, Chris Shultz, 13. Tommy Meier, 14. Bob McGannon, 15. John Lieto, 16. Neil Harris, 17. Bill Pascual, 18. Jeremy Markle, 19. Shane Jablonka, 20. Gary Edwards Jr., 21. Richie Eurich, 22. John Lodini, 23. Ric Hill, 24. Donnie Wilson, 25. Bobby Varin. Did Not Start: Jesse Kline.
DIRTcar Sportsman Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1. Anthony Perrego, 2. Brian Krummel, 3. Andrew Reeves, 4. Tyler Boniface, 5. Jimmy Spellmon, 6. Tyler McKee, 7. Zack Vavricka, 8. Chris Stevens, 9. Matt Janiak, 10. Danny Cronk, 11. L.J. Lombardo, 12. Frank Doty, 13. Joe Conklin, 14. Randy Sweetman, 15. Tommy Vigh Jr., 16. Kyle Cicio, 17. Bryanna Hurban, 18. Joe Falanga, 19. Jimmy Devitt, 20. Cliff Fitzgerald, 21. John Illanovsky, 22. Frank Venezia, 23. R.J. Smith, 24. Dave Werber.
Rookie Crate Sportsman Feature Finish, 15 Laps: 1. Christian Runsey, 2. Travis Jablonka, 3. Jesse Leiby, 4. Seth Pacella, 5. Ryan Wood, 6. Del Liqouri, 7. Troy Arnold, 8. Danny Hedges, 9. Pat Murphy, 10. Brad Cicio, 11. Thomas Strupp, 12. Bryan Traver, 13. Zach Mead, 14. Steven Ball, 15. Ira Landrum, 16. Kyle Plumstead, 17. Mike Dutka. Did Not Start: Mike Folchetti, Rafaele Carson.
Street Stock Feature Finish, 15 Laps: 1. Emerson Cargain Sr., 2. Jim Maher, 3. Stephen Kammer, 4. Tim Brown, 5. Stan Vishinski Sr., 6. Ron Constable, 7. Joey Matrando, 8. Charlie Donald, 9. Harry Shortway, 10. John Hechinger, 11. Tim Russell, 12. Mike Vigiletti, 13. D.J. Ross, 14. Kurt Hundeland, 15. Chicky Brantfield.
Week 2 Recap - 4/20/13
Posted: April 22nd, 2013
By FRANK CATIZONE
MIDDLETOWN, NY – Jeff Heotzler Sr. has enjoyed a legendary racing career that has spanned five decades at the Orange County Fair Speedway.
Heotzler has produced four Modified championships and reached victory lane 46 times entering last Saturday night’s racing program at the historic five-eighths mile, hard clay oval.
But Heotzler, who has competed in many different cars for several different owners during that time frame, has seen his chances to race diminish in recent years. That’s why his triumph in the DIRTcar Modified 30-lap main event at OCFS was that much more meaningful.
“This was one of the biggest wins I’ve had in a long time,’’ said Heotzler, who joined Will Cagle for fourth place on OCFS’s all-time winners’ list with his 47th career Modified win. “I want to thank Hollywood (car owner Craig Mitchell) and Gary Higbie for giving me this opportunity.’’
Heotzler was aboard Mitchell’s back-up car for the second week in a row and made the best of his opportunity as he stalked leader Chris Shultz throughout the event before finally grabbing first place after a 19th-lap restart.
“I knew the only way I was going to get past him (Schultz) was going to be on a restart,’’ said Heotzler, “but I was having carburetor problems and was unable to pick up enough momentum to get past him. I was finally able to get a good jump on that restart.
“I knew it was my race after that because I was using up the whole track. No one was going to get by me. But I don’t know what’s going to happen after tonight. I’m just thankful for the opportunity and we’ll have to wait and see what happens.’’
Heotzler, who claimed his last OCFS win on Sept. 11, 2010, was able to nose ahead of Shultz entering the first turn following the restart and then came off of turn two with the lead. The veteran driver never trailed after the winning pass, but Tim Hindley made the final few laps very exciting.
Hindley, who finished second to Jerry Higbie on opening night a week ago, was able to move past Shultz for second place on the 21st lap and then started cutting into Heotzler’s advantage. The Monticello driver was once again the fastest car on the track – turning in a fast time of 21.320 seconds (105.535 miles per hour).
But Hindley’s charge fell short and he was forced to settle for second place once again. Mitchell also moved past Shultz to gain third place in the closing stages with Shultz, Clinton Mills, Tommy Meier, Steve Dodd, Higbie, Richie Eurich and Chuck McKee rounding out the top 10.
Mills, who lost his power plant on opening night, had a new JPM-built engine in the Gary Edwards Sr. owned No. 21 Modified and made a strong charge to finish in the top five.
Bobby Varin, while racing in fifth place, lost his opportunity for a strong finish when he glanced off the backstretch wall and received a rear flat tire to force a caution with 12 laps down. Bob McGannon smacked hard into the inside jersey barrier in the first turn with 18 laps down to force the restart enabling Heotzler to assume command of the race.
The new Small Block Modified division made its 2013 debut and Gary Edwards Jr. was able to race home with a decisive victory in the 25-lap main event.
Gary Edwards Jr., the defending two-time Open Sportsman division champion, unveiled a new Small Block racer powered by a General Motors crate Corvette engine and was the class of the starting 21-car field as he notched his first DIRTcar Small Block victory.
“This car is just awesome,’’ said Edwards Jr. “It just stuck to the track like glue and the track management should be applauded for all the work they’ve done preparing this racing surface. It was just awesome and the wider turns are making the racing that much better.
“It’s too bad we now have to wait three weeks to get back out here again. I guess I’m just going to have to come and watch.’’
Edwards Jr. said his only racing plans this season are with the Small Block at OCFS. The Wurtsboro driver has enjoyed success in both Modified and Sportsman at the track in the past, but his was his first visit to victory lane in a Small Block.
Edwards Jr. grabbed first place at the drop of the green and was never challenged as he finished ahead of McKee, McGannon, Scott Flammer, Shultz, John Finley, Jeremy Markle, Mel Schrufer, R.J. Smykla and Jesse Kline.
Joe Conklin reached victory lane for the first time in nearly three years as he captured the DIRTcar Sportsman 20-lap feature ahead of Brian Krummel, Tyler Boniface, Jimmy Spellmon and Tyler McKee.
Conklin, who picked up his last win here on July 17, 2010, wrestled the lead away from Chris Stevens entering the first turn on the 11th lap and then held off a late charge by Brian Krummel to secure his fifth career victory.
“This car is just fabulous to drive,’’ said Conklin. “It has a Hig Fab chassis and this is just awesome. I’m just glad to be back racing.’’
Conklin, who returned to OCFS late last season, took advantage of several cautions to move into a challenging position to overtake Stevens and then had to stave off Krummel’s challenges following several restarts in the latter stages.
“I just wanted to get this race over and get the win,’’ said Conklin, referring to all the restarts. “I was just worried about losing the lead.’’
Defending track champion Charlie Donald rebounded from his opening night disappointment to grab his first win in the Street Stock 15-lap feature.
But it was déjà-vu again for Donald as the caution flew one lap from the finish with Stephen Kammer once again on his tail. Kammer was able to pass Donald for a win in the opener, but Donald held his ground following this restart.
“I couldn’t believe Andy (OCFS race director Andy Brown) said there was another caution on the homestretch after what happened opening night,’’ said Donald. “I just couldn’t believe it. But the car was just fantastic tonight. We had the right set up.’’
Tim Russell raced home in third place with Emerson Cargain Sr. and Ron Constable following.
DIRTcar Modified Feature Finish, 30 Laps: 1. Jeff Heotzler Sr., 2. Tim Hindley, 3. Craig Mitchell, 4. Chris Shultz, 5. Clinton Mills, 6. Tommy Meier, 7. Steve Dodd, 8. Jerry Higbie, 9. Richie Eurich, 10. Chuck McKee, 11. John Lieto, 12. Billy VanInwegen Jr., 13. Mike Kolka, 14. John Ferrier, 15. Jackie Brown Jr., 16. Bobby Varin, 17. Neil Harris, 18. Jeremy Markle, 19. Ric Hill, 20. Bob McGannon, 21. Jesse Kline, 22. Shane Jablonka, 23. Chris Whitehead. Disqualified: Mike Ruggiero. Did Not Start: Donnie Wilson, Bill Pascual.
DIRTcar Small Block Modified Feature Finish, 25 Laps: 1. Gary Edwards Jr., 2. Chuck McKee, 3. Bob McGannon, 4. Scott Flammer, 5. Chris Shultz, 6. John Finley, 7. Jeremy Markle, 8. Mel Schrufer, 9. R.J. Smykla, 10. Jesse Kline, 11. Rob Rowe, 12. Joe Barbagallo Jr., 13. Kirk Horton, 14. Mark Bishop, 15. Richard Smith, 16. Gary Predmore, 17. Bobby Hentschel, 18. Justin Gozzi, 19. Ted Zacher, 20. Danny Creeden, 21. Brian Krummel. Did Not Start: Ken Boniface, Steve Pinto, John Lodini. Did Not Qualify: Joey Bruning. Did Not Race: Tommy Meier.
DIRTcar Sportsman Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1. Joe Conklin, 2. Brian Krummel, 3. Tyler Boniface, 4. Jimmy Spellmon, 5. Tyler McKee, 6. L.J. Lombardo, 7. John Illanovsky, 8. Frank Doty, 9. Bryanna Hurban, 10. Mike Dutka, 11. Tommy Vigh Jr., 12. Joe Falanga, 13. Randy Sweetman, 14. Dave Werber, 15. R.J. Smith, 16. Christian Rumsey, 17. Zack Vavricka, 18. Chris Stevens, 19. Danny Cronk, 20. Kyle Cicio, 21. Anthony Perrego, 22. Matt Janiak, 23. Eddie Burgess, 24. Frank Venezia. Did Not Qualify: Andrew Reeves, Jimmy Devitt, Zach Mead, Troy Arnold, Steve Murray, Cliff Fitzgerald.
Street Stock Feature Finish, 15 Laps: 1. Charliie Donald, 2. Stephen Kammer, 3. Tim Russell, 4. Emerson Cargain Sr., 5. Ron Constable, 6. Tim Brown.
SMALL BLOCK MODIFIEDS RETURN TO ORANGE COUNTY FAIR SPEEDWAY ON JOHNSTONS TOYOTA NIGHT
Posted: April 14th, 2013
MIDDLETOWN, NY (April 12)……..With Opening Night jitters out of the way, the more than 100 Orange County Fair Speedway race car drivers are primed for the second night of exciting stock car racing Saturday night, April 20 at the historic Middletown, New York track. Following a lapse of several years, this week marks the return of the Small Block Modifieds to the Hard Clay on a regular basis. The Small Block Modifieds, previously known as 358 Modifieds, will see action ten Saturday nights this season as well as the traditional Eastern States Championship race.
“With our Sportsman division going to “Crate” engine specs, many of our former Sportsman teams had engines more suited to Small Block Modified status,” said Orange County promoter Mike Gurda. “We’ve also listened to our fans who remember the exceptional competitiveness of this division in the past. And as in the past, our Modified drivers will be eligible to compete in both divisions, giving fans a chance to see our top stars racing in two feature events.”
The sponsor for the night of action is Johnston Toyota of Middletown and Monticello, with racing action getting under way at 6:30 PM.
Admission prices for the April 20 race meet remain at $14 adults, $12 seniors, and free for children 12 and under.
With just a month until the thrilling World of Outlaws Sprint Cars return to Orange County on Sunday, May 19, advance ticket sales and track information is available at the website, www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net, or from at the Track Office. Call 845-342-2573 during business hours.
Week 1 Recap - 4/13/13
Posted: April 14th, 2013
By FRANK CATIZONE
MIDDLETOWN, NY – Jerry Higbie has put together quite a resume during his successful racing career at the Orange County Fair Speedway.
Higbie has won or shared three track championships in both the Modified and Small Block Modified divisions, and reached victory lane a combined 31 times entering the 2013 racing season.
However, Higbie, whose biggest OCFS victory was collected in 2009 in the prestigious Eastern States 200, was missing one thing from his list of accomplishments. The veteran Newburgh driver has never put his racer into the winner’s circle on opening night.
But that all changed last Saturday night as Higbie, taking advantage of a late-race caution, finally realized that elusive victory as he captured the DIRTcar Modified 30-lapper to help open OCFS’s 64th consecutive season of weekly stock car competition.
“That’s a first for me in 25 years of racing here,’’ said Higbie, following his 19th OCFS Modified victory. “I’ve come close before, but have never won a season opener before tonight. I felt like I was going to be a second-place car again tonight because Billy VanInwegen (Jr.) was just a little better than us. But we never stopped going after it and things worked out.’’
VanInwegen, who started outside pole by virtue of his victory in the second qualifying heat, appeared well en route to his first career OCFS win. The young Port Jervis driver used the outside to his advantage to storm past Higbie on the opening green flag from OCFS starter Jerry Enright.
VanInwegen was able to build a big cushion as the event went caution-free for the first 20 laps when last year’s season-opening night winner Chris Shultz brought racing to a halt. But VanInwegen was able to gain the upper hand again on Higbie when racing resumed before Bob MCGannon slammed the third-turn wall for force another caution with 23 laps completed.
“He (VanInwegen) was running a very good race,’’ said Higbie. “I was hoping to get into some lapped traffic to get an opportunity to find an opening around him. The outside was the way to go, but I just didn’t get an opportunity to make a pass for the lead.’’
However, that all changed on the ensuing restart when VanInwegen slipped up a bit. Higbie saw his opportunity and was able to race around VanInwegen and into the lead. Tim Hindley, who was also making outside tracks, followed Higbie into second place.
“He raced away from me on the restart and just left the outside wide open,’’ said Higbie. “It was hard getting into the turns because it was a little slick, especially in the first and second turns. I had to let off the gas and wasn’t getting the momentum needed to try a pass. You had to get outside of that slippery spot and I was able to do that on the restart.
“Billy slipped up there, but he has quite a future ahead of him. I just kept plugging away and we were able to get the win. We’ll take the wins any time we can get them.’’
Hindley, who started ninth in the 26-car field, recorded the quickest lap of the night en route to his second place finish. The Monticello driver toured the five-eighths mile oval in 20.865 seconds for an average speed of 107.836 miles per hour.
VanInwegen settled for third place with Jackie Brown Jr., Mike Kolka, John Lieto, Jeremy Markle, Bobby Varin, Jesse Kline and Chris Whitehead rounding out the top 10. Varin has making his OCFS regular season debut aboard the Atlas Paving No. 66 for owner Mike Petruska Sr.
Jimmy Spellmon, after starting on the pole, led the entire 20-lap distance to capture the DIRTcar Sportsman feature and picked up his third career victory in the division.
Spellmon, who picked up his last OCFS win on July 9, 2011, completely dominated his competition during the evening as he easily won both his qualifying heat and the main event, which was halted three times for cautions.
The most exciting racing was contested behind Spellmon as Frank Venezia and Tyler Dippel battled for second place throughout the race. Venezia held the upper hand until Dippel passed him on the final lap to earn the runner-up spot.
Brian Krummel followed in fourth place with Tyler Boniface, Joe Conklin, Andrew Reeves, Scott Flammer, Darrell Ford and Matt Janiak rounding out the top 10.
Seth Pacella moved a step closer to officially joining the Sportsman ranks as he notched his second career win in the Rookie Crate Sportsman 15-lap feature race.
Pacella, who picked up a win last season on Sept, 15, regained first place following an 12th-lap restart when he blasted ahead of Travis Jablonka. He then held off Patrick Murphy, Rafaele Carson, Danny Hedges and Christian Rumsey to the finish.
Pacella, after starting on the pole, led for the first six laps when Rumsey spun between the first and second turns to force a cation. Rumsey rebounded to place fifth in the 19-car field.
Pacella drifted high between the third and fourth turns following the restart and lost two positions as both Jablonka and Carson passed him. But Pacella battled back and eventually regained first place.
Stephen Kammer took advantage of a last-lap caution to grab his second straight season-opener in the Street Stock 15-lap feature event.
Defending champion Charlie Donald dominated the race as he started on the pole and stayed in first place until Tim Russell’s spin in the second turn with 14 laps completed forced a caution. Kammer was able to race around Donald following the restart and went on to score the win.
Kammer, who won three times last season, picked up his seventh OCFS career win ahead of Donald, Emerson Cargain Jr., Jim Maher and Tim Brown.
DIRTcar Modified Feature Finish, 30 Laps: 1. Jerry Higbie, 2. Tim Hindley, 3. Bill VanInwegen Jr., 4. Jackie Brown Jr., 5. Mike Kolka, 6. John Lieto, 7. Jeremy Markle, 8. Bobby Varin, 9. Jesse Kline, 10. Chris Whitehead, 11. Ric Hill, 12. Craig Mitchell, 13. Tommy Meier, 14. Mike Ruggiero, 15. Shane Jablonka, 16. Donnie Wilson, 17. Clinton Mills, 18. Bill Pascual, 19. Richie Eurich, 20. Bob McGannon, 21. Chris Shultz, 22. Steve Dodd, 23. Kirk Horton, 24. Danny Creeden, 25. Jeff Heotzler, 26. Bruce Kline. Did Not Qualify: John Ferrier, Ken Boniface, Joey Bruning.
DIRTcar Sportsman Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1. Jimmy Spellmon, 2. Tyler Dippel, 3. Frank Venezia, 4. Brian Krummel, 5. Tyler Boniface, 6. Joe Conklin, 7. Andrew Reeves, 8. Scott Flammer, 9. Darrell Ford, 10. Matt Janiak, 11. Tyler McKee, 12. R.J. Smith, 13. Eddie Burgess, 14. Randy Sweetman, 15. Kyle Cicio, 16. Joe Falanga, 17. Danny Cronk, 18. John Illanovsky, 19. Bryanna Hurban, 20. Jimmy Devitt, 21. L.J. Lombardo, 22. Chris Stevens, 23. Anthony Perrego, 24. Dave Werber. Did Not Qualify: Cliff Fitzgerald, Tommy Vigh Jr., Zack Vavricka, John Smykla Jr., Frank Doty.
Rookie Crate Sportsman Feature Finish, 15 Laps: 1. Seth Pacella, 2. Pat Murphy, 3. Rafaele Carson, 4. Danny Hedges, 5. Christian Rumsey, 6. Mike Dutka, 7. Nick Plumstead, 8. Del Liqouri, 9. Al D’Antonio, 10. Troy Arnold, 11. Steven Ball, 12. Kyle Plumstead, 13. George Begg, 14. Guy Harby, 15. Jesse Leiby, 16. Zach Mead, 17. Travis Jablonka, 18. Tyler Tracey, 19. Brad Cicio.
Street Stock Feature Finish, 15 Laps: 1. Stephen Kammer, 2. Charlie Donald, 3. Emerson Cargain Sr., 4. Jim Maher, 5. Tim Brown.
2012 NEWS ARCHIVE - Click HERE to View.
2011 NEWS ARCHIVE - Click HERE to View.