Street Stocks Join in the 100th Anniversary Celebration at OCFS
By Jordan Sheehan
On a Saturday night at The Orange County Fair Speedway, the only full-fender division that has endured is Street Stocks. Street Stocks at OCFS is a division that started back in the heyday of racing. Once, a division with three separate skill levels at The Hard Clay, it has consolidated over time to the single class that is still run most weeks at OCFS. Many don’t know, but the Street Stock division is run at tracks all across the Northeast, where the winner receives no pay. In 2019, OCFS will pay each feature event winner $500. This increase, might make OCFS the highest weekly paying Street Stock track in the North East. Of course this money will help out the division and make what's already close racing, even closer, and now we're left with wondering who will come in to try and take the top spot from 2018 track champion Jimmy Maher.
Maher picked up five wins out of 11 races in 2018 and took home the points title. On some nights, Maher was dominant, but six times within the 11 races, five other drivers was able to pick up wins. Of those drivers was Jimmy Hajkowski, Wayne Taylor, Charlie Donald, Joel Murns, and Dan Maher. Jimmy Hajkowski will be back in 2019 for a full season, and will be sporting a new look.”The teal is for ovarian cancer. My Mom passed away in September from ovarian and my wife Crissy passed away from ovarian in 2017 at the age of 40.
I also have maroon on the roof number for Crissy. That is for multiple myeloma, the first cancer she was diagnosed with at the age of 26 and battled for 14 years.”
Veteran Street Stock drivers will be back in full swing in 2019. Wayne Taylor will be in action along with a returning Paul Maiolo. Maiolo and Taylor were two of the pioneers in Street Stock and Pro Stocks over the years and both will be looking for a track title to add to their lists of accolades.
Other drivers looking for a successful 2019 season are former track champion Charlie Donald, Team Froggy which consists of Ron Constable and Ryan Modiano, and a stout competitor in Joey Scheffold. Returning to the Speedway in 2019 will be defending Street Stock Shootout Series champion Bob Sleight. Sleight is no stranger to the Hard Clay and will make OCFS his Saturday night home for 2019. “I’m looking forward to it, I haven’t run a full season there since 1988.”
A familiar father and son Street Stocks team will be reunited on track in 2019, as Emerson Cargain Jr. will be back to compete alongside his father Emerson Cargain Sr. Emerson Jr., since his disappearance competed at Accord Speedway and was part of the tech crew on Saturday nights at OCFS in 2018. Emerson Cargain Sr. is the longest competing Street Stock driver at OCFS. Cargain started back in 1982, when the division was still blossoming. The evolution of this division is something Cargain has witnessed full-handedly. “I don’t think you were born yet, but would you believe we had races on Sunday? Not all the time, but we did have some races on Sunday. My memory isn’t as good as it used to be, but off hand I think we raced for $75 to win. My son will be back this year. Young Emerson was done with racing. He sold his car, and then the doctor called me and said I was cleared to race again. I said i was going to run one more full season and the next thing I knew my son had a car being built in the garage.”
In contrast to veterans like Cargain Sr. comes rookies like Thomas Cilurso Jr. Cilurso is a familiar name to OCFS as his dad Tom Cilurso Sr., was a part of the late Pro Stock division. Thomas will be working alongside his step dad and former full fender standout Pat Hedges. The team had a beautifully prepared #4 car at the motorsports show and look to attend a few select shows at OCFS. Hedges is even considering taking out the car once or twice himself.
These drivers and many more will be in action 10 times this season. According to multiple sources, expect a decent amount of fresh faces to join the ranks and make a name for themselves. Make sure you catch the full fender action as it's something you don’t want to miss, especially the Marky Traverse Memorial Race on August 3rd. This great event will be on the same night as the first ever Full Fender Nostalgia Night. The Street Stocks are often overlooked, but host some of the best racing fans can see on Saturday nights. Good luck to all competitors this year in the full fender ranks at OCFS!