ORANGE COUNTY FAIR SPEEDWAY'S "County Waste - X2 Night" ANTHONY PERREGO SWEEPS BOTH 358 MOD FEATURES, SPORTSMAN GRANT HILFIGER AND DANIEL MORGIEWICZ
By FRANK CATIZONE
MIDDLETOWN, NY – Anthony Perrego is suddenly on fire at the Orange County Fair Speedway.
Perrego, after a slow start to the 2019 racing campaign, has left all of his Small Block Modified competition in the dust in July with four straight feature victories and in the process has taken over first place in the points standings.
Perrego also completed an unorthodox sweep to pocket the $6,000 bonus offered by the track by winning the held-over 25-lap feature last Saturday night. The Montgomery driver had won the Modified portion of the racing on May 11 before the remainder of the program was rained out.
In all, Perrego walked home $14,000 richer behind his second Small Block Modified sweep of two 25-lap features this month and moved into a 10th place tie with Bud Christmann on OCFS’s leader board behind his 10th career victory.
All of Perrego’s recent success has come after OCFS put down a new racing surface earlier in July and it has provided a lot more passing with three lanes of track to maneuver on. Times have slowed down by several seconds, but the racing has been much more competitive.
Perrego, who hit on a perfect set-up for the track last season, seems to have regained his magic touch in Small Block Modified action as he vaulted into first place ahead of Brett Hearn in the standings with 636 points behind his last two victories. Hearn (600) now trails Perrego by 36 markers with Jerry Higbie (596), Brian Krummel (582) and Craig Mitchell (570) following.
“The secret to this right now is all Anthony,’’ said car owner Brian Smith. “He hit on a good combination for this track last year and it looks like we’ve found it again.’’
Perrego made a shambles of the 28-car field in the held-over feature as he grabbed the lead from Krummel on the second lap and then coasted to the win ahead of Tyler Boniface, Richard Smith, Mike Gullar and Higbie.
Boniface, after fading during the early stages, came on following the midway point of the event and took second place away from Smith on the 16th lap. But he wasn’t able to run down Perrego and finished more than two seconds behind at the checkered flags.
The Small Block Modified nightcap was a totally different story for Perrego, who started 10th in the 28-car event.
“We really got off to a slow start in that race,’’ said Perrego. “But the car really came on after I got some heat in the tires. We were able to do quite a bit of passing anywhere on the track and I’m certainly pleased the way things have turned around.’’
Hearn, who had the quickest time in the hot lap session, handed Creeden the pole for the nightcap when he spun the number seven on the inversion wheel. Krummel started outside of Creeden and was in control for most of the race.
Krummel passed Creeden for first place on the third lap and was sailing along until Hearn passed three cars to jump into second place on the 16th lap. Hearn passed Krummel a lap later and appeared to be on his way to his second win this season.
But Perrego quickly entered the picture and was right on Hearn bumper as the two drivers raced ahead of the field. Perrego was able to move ahead of Hearn with an outside pass off the fourth turn on the 20th circuit and then went on to complete his second sweep in July.
Hearn held on for a second- place finish with Creeden, Gular, Krummel, Gary Edwards Jr., Boniface, Smith, Jimmy Spellmon and Allison Ricci rounding out the top 10.
“He’s (Perrego) just better than us right now,’’ said Hearn. “That’s all there is to it.’’
In Sportsman competition, Grant Hilfiger picked up his fourth victory of the season and Dan Morgiewicz claimed his intial triumph of 2019 as the track presented a pair of 20-lap feature races.
Hilfiger got the Sportsman competition rolling in the 20-lap opener when he moved past defending track champion Greg Sleight in the first turn on the 11th lap and then went on to finish ahead of Jared LaBagh, Michael Sabia, Sleight and Sammy Martz Jr.
Morgiewicz, meanwhile, earned his first victory since Aug. 26, 2017 when he passed John Brown on the 17th lap and then went on to finish ahead of LaBagh, Brown, Sabia and Martz.
The two second-place finishes enabled LaBagh to move within 18 points of Hilfiger in the Sportsman standings heading into the homestretch of the 2019 regular season. Hilfiger paces the division with 908 points, and is followed by LaBagh (890), Sleight (846), Sabia (818) and Matt Shultz (800).
Small Block Modified Feature Finish, 25 Laps: 1. Anthony Perrego, 2. Brett Hearn, 3. Danny Creeden, 4. Mike Gular, 5. Brian Krummel, 6. Gary Edwards Jr., 7. Tyler Boniface, 8. Richard Smith, 9. Jimmy Spellmon, 10. Allison Ricci, 11. Craig Mitchell, 12. Jerry Higbie, 13. Donnie Wilson, 14. Dillon Steuer, 15. Roger Henion Jr., 16. Michael Sabia, 17. Bob Hentschel, 18. Brendan Finley, 19. Joey Bruning, 20. Kirk Horton, 21. Joe Bonetti, 22. Patrick Reiser, 23. Rich Eurich, 24. Danny Hedges, 25. Tommy Meier, 26. Tom Hindley, 27. Scott Ferrier, 28. Chris Stevens. Did Not Qualify: Ray Jashembowski, Chris Shultz, Anthony Falanga, Mike Kolka, Tommy Vigh Jr., Mike Ricci, Frank Venezia.
Small Block Modified Feature (Held Over From May 11) Finish, 25 Laps: 1. Anthony Perrego, 2. Tyler Boniface, 3. Richard Smith, 4. Mike Gular, 5. Jerry Higbie, 6. Danny Creeden, 7. Allison Ricci, 8. Craig Mitchell, 9. Roger Henion Jr., 10. Jimmy Spellmon, 11. Chris Stevens, 12. Tom Hindley, 13. Joe Bonetti, 14. Michael Sabia, 15. Patrick Reiser, 16. Tommy Meier, 17. Rich Eurich, 18. Danny Hedges, 19. Brett Hearn, 20. Brian Krummel, 21. Dillon Steuer, 22. Bob Hentschel, 23. Scott Ferrier, 24. Frank Venezia, 25. Brendan Finley, 26. Tommy Vigh Jr., 27. Gary Edwards Jr., 28. Joey Bruning. Did Not Start: Matt Janiak, Billy VanInwegen, Shane Jablonka, Jesse Leiby. Did Not Qualify: C.G. Morey, Zack Vavricka, Dominic Roselli, Anthony Falanga, Cole Hentschel, Scott Flammer, Frank Doty, Chris Grbac, Kirk Horton.
Sportsman Feature (1) Finish, 20 Laps: 1. Grant Hilfiger, 2. Jared LaBagh, 3. Michael Sabia, 4. Greg Sleight, 5. Sammy Martz Jr., 6. Joe Bonetti, 7. Charlie Loiodice, 8. John Brown, 9. Christian Rumsey, 10. Clinton Mills, 11. R.J. Smith, 12. Dan Morgiewicz, 13. Matt Shultz, 14. Jake Bedell, 15. Daryl Ford, 16. Howie Finch, 17. Jordan Lawrence, 18. Ken Ryder, 19. Travis Green, 20. Ryan Neiger, 21. Cole Stangle, 22. Bob Jashembowski, 23. Troy Arnold, 24. Austin Smith, 25. Billy Eggers Jr., 26. Joe Conklin. Did Not Qualify: Jeff Higham Jr., Joe Coppola, Mike Bull, Jeff Jones, Robbie Colburn, Ken Ferrier, Rich Coons, Mike Orlando, Milton Mann, Russell Crotty, Marshall Jones, A.J. Smith, Gary Edwards III, Rob Wosyluk, Patrick
Murphy, Bobby Flood, Rich Eggers, Terry Arnold, Jared Miller, Aaron Doolittle, John Aumick, Mel Schrufer, Dylan Smith, Bob Hallabeck.
Sportsman Feature (2) Finish, 20 Laps: 1. Dan Morgiewicz, 2. Jared LaBagh, 3. John Brown, 4. Michael Sabia, 5. Sammy Martz Jr., 6. Matt Shultz, 7. Charlie Loiodice, 8. Greg Sleight, 9. Grant Hilfiger, 10. Joe Boneti, 11. Christian Rumsey, 12. R.J. Smith, 13. Jake Bedell, 14. Jordan Lawrence, 15. Travis Green, 16. Howie Finch, 17. Bob Jashembowski, 18. Ken Ryder, 19. Ryan Neiger, 20. Cole Stangle, 21. Troy Arnold, 22. Joe Conklin, 23. Austin Smith, 24. Daryl Ford, 25. Clinton Mills, 26. Billy Eggers Jr.