OCFS Sportsman Drivers are Ready to hit The Hard Clay
By Jordan Sheehan
One Thousand Dollars! Yes! $1,000 to win on a regular Saturday night is what Orange County Fair Speedway will pay to win for Sportsman racing action. As previously announced, the increased pay outs are just one of many new things for OCFS in 2019. After this announcement, many teams from all over the Northeast have been confirmed and rumored for racing OCFS in the 2019 season.
Of those teams, will be 2018 Track Champion Greg Sleight. Veteran racer, Sleight, will be back in the Mike Jasiel owned SL8 car which debuted at the 2019 Motorsports Show at the fairgrounds arena. Sleight had one win in 2018, and looks to defend his title unassailable.
Veteran drivers like four time winner in 2018, Jimmy Johnson and one time winner Joey Conklin will be back as well in 2019. Conklin intends to do exactly what he did in 2018, and thats be on the hunt for both track titles in Sportsman and Small Block classes.
With the veteran drivers, comes the influx of Rookie Sportsman graduates. The ever so popular Rookie division has seen many faces come and go since its debut. This year many of the former Rookie Sportsman drivers look to tackle the Sportsman division regularly, among them is John Brown. Brown had his beautiful #76 car at the Motorsports Show and even picked up some awards for the hard work he put into his machine. “This will be my first year running Regular Sportsman at OCFS, so I just want to have consistent runs and hopefully some top 5’s. A win would be really awesome!”
Joining Brown will be Jake Bedell in his #395. Bedell made the switch from rookies at mid season last year, and did well enough to pick up Rookie Of The Year for his division. This will be Bedells first full season competing for points as a sportsman. Jake’s father Howie who is his car owner is looking for a great season for his son. “Jake has put a lot of money and hard work into this years car. We ran an older chassis last season and finally we have a way newer car. Everything on this car is pretty much brand new. We build our own bodies too.”
Jimmy Leiby, another rookie moving up, also had his car on display at the Motorsports show. Leiby and his hand painted bright yellow #9L are looking forward to a competitive season. “I want to get that Rookie Of The Year award. A top ten in points would go great with that too” was among many personal goals Leiby had for 2019.
Joey Bonetti was one of many drivers to compete in Small Block and Sportsman in the 2018 season. Joey was able to grab a top 15 in points for both divisions. As of now he will be back in 2019 looking to advance even further in points and to pick up wins in both divisions.
Among the many sportsman drivers, returning and new, will be Rob Sedita’s, Sedita 1 Motorsports driver Danny Carlough. Carlough who competed in 2018, has a newly lettered #27 Teo Pro Car. Car owner Rob Sedita is behind Carlough all the way for m2019 and even beyond. “Danny’s dedication is second to no one. He’s very respectful of the equipment, the crew, and his competitors. Danny was the first driver at Sedita 1 Motorsports and he will be the last. For as long as he wants to do it this is always his home.”
Another to watch in 2019 is Aaron Doolittle, behind the wheel of the Ralph Davis #45 formerly piloted by Richard Smith and Rafele Carson. Tommy Vigh Jr. will be doing double duty this season as he plans to compete in both Sportsman and Small Block after finishing 5th place in points for the 2018 season. John Aumick will return to the speedway after competing for many seasons at New Egypt Speedway. Rumors state Kevin Ward will call OCFS home after many years as well.
This looks to be one of the most competitive seasons for Sportsman at OCFS. Expect all of these drivers plus and more to compete week in and week out. Good luck to all who plan to compete in the 2019 season!