I-88 Speedway Race Report

by Steve Clapperton

I-88 Speedway recap for May 23, 2014

Newbauer Construction Night

Modified Winner Brett Tonkin
Brett Tonkin wins the modified class on 05/23/2014

Sportsman Winner Alan Barker
Alan Barker wins in the Sportsman class on 05/23/2014

IMCA Modified Winner Will Ward
Will Ward wins in the IMCA class on 05/23/2014

Street Stock Winner Doug Polhamus
Doug Polhamus wins in the Street Stock class on 05/23/2014

4 cylinder Truck Winner Ralph Cuozzo Jr.
Ralph Cuozzo Jr. wins in the 4 cylinder truck class on 05/23/2014

SRP Sprints Winner Dakota Anderson
Dakota Anderson wins in the SRP Sprint class on 05/23/2014
Images © SJS Photo
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Brett Tonkin became the fourth different Greg Page Construction Modified feature winner of the season on Newbauer Construction Night at I-88 Speedway in Afton. Tonkin started fourth in the 19 car starting field before pulling into second place on lap 9. The Carbondale PA driver had a long way to go as leader Brian Weaver had opened up a ten car length lead by the halfway point of the event.

Weaver, from Windsor, started encountering lapped traffic with ten laps remaining allowing Tonkin to cut the gap. On lap 21 with Weaver behind a lapped car, Tonkin pulled to the inside of the speedway in turn one and slipped past the leader.

Tonkin went on to take the win by half a straightaway with Weaver crossing the line second, Mike Mahaney of King Ferry finished third with Masonville's Shaun Walker fourth and Brad Alger of Oneonta fifth.

"We've had the most terrible luck the last couple of weeks and we've worked hard and worked hard and it finally came and paid off" Tonkin said in a post-interview. "Sometimes it pays to be in second place in that deal. I was gaining and gaining and gaining, but he's so good, I mean he's won hundreds of races" he said of Weaver. "I thought I was in real trouble at the start….but I kept pecking away and pecking away and I was gaining and gaining and gaining and finally we went into one and that lapped car, I don't know if he was slowed up by that lapped car, and I was able to sneak by him and it all worked out."

In the Chambers and O'Hara Sportsmen feature Alan Barker collected his third trophy of the season. Barker, the defending track champion from Norwich took the lead from Afton's Skip Pickwick on lap 6 coming off turn two and by the half-way point of the race had opened up a full straight away advantage over a five car battle between Pickwick, Butch Klinger, Nick Nye, Charlie Hendrickson Jr. and Brandon Walters.

On lap 13 Walton's Klinger and Nye passed Pickwick to move into second and third place while Barker maintained his advantage. At the finish it was Barker taking the win, Klinger crossed the line second with Brandon Walters of Unadilla third. Cortland's Nick Nye finished fourth driving Gary Card's crate engine powered Sportsmen with Hendrickson of Bethel rounding out the top five.

"It was like it was on a rail tonight. It went really good" said Barker.

Harpursville's Gary Smith took the lead at the start of the 20 lap Vernooy's Automotive Excellence IMCA Modified feature. On lap three Will Ward took over the top spot coming off turn four. With Ward leading, Binghamton's Matt Cole passed Smith to take over second on a lap 5 restart.

At the halfway point, Ward, of Cobleskill led with Cole second, Nineveh's Gary Roberts running third, James Cornell fourth and Smith in fifth. During a caution period on lap 14 Ward's car began to show signs of smoke. When the race restarted, Ward maintained the lead while Roberts slipped under Cole to take over second.

Ward held on to take the win with Roberts second, Harpursville's Cornell third, Cole fourth and Bill Ward of Cobleskill crossed the line in fifth.

"I wasn't going to stop, the thing was reading like 260 when I came across the checkers…I was afraid I wasn't going to make it." Ward said in reference to the smoke coming off the car during the later stages of the race. It was Ward's first win of the season and second career win at I-88 Speedway.

Sidney's Paul Harrington took the lead from early race leader Steve Polhamus of Windsor on lap 2 of the 20 lap Olum's Street Stock feature. Harrington held the lead until lap 8 when Nineveh's Matt Roberts took over the top spot.

Harrington recaptured the lead on lap 9 but relinquished it one lap later to Windsor's Doug Polhamus who went on to take his third win of the season. Brenton Miller of Athens PA finished second with Lockwood's Tom Savercool third, Steve Polhamus fourth and Harrington fifth.

"It was awesome racing with Brenton (Miller) and Paulie (Harrington) right there when we were running three wide for the lead. That was as cool as it gets" Polhamus said after the race.

Unadilla's Ralph Cuozzo Jr. grabbed his third Empire Sport Truck feature win of the season over Allan Hodge of Sherburne, Chris Sherman of Afton, Dustin Wilber of Unadilla and Bob Crandall, also from Unadilla.

Dakota Anderson of Candor picked up the win in the SRP Sprint 15 lap feature.

Friday, May 23, 2014 Racing -- Newbauer Construction Night - Results

Greg Page Construction Modifieds 30 Laps:

Brett Tonkin, Brian Weaver, Mike Mahaney, Shaun Walker, Brad Alger, Darwin Greene, Tyler Siri, Tim Currier, Mitch Gibbs, Chad Cook, Paul Jensen, Bob Hamm, Jeff Leslie, J.R. Hurlburt, Dana Wagner, Nick Nye, Sam Allen, John Siedlecky, Marcus Dinkins

Chambers and O’Hara Sportsmen 20 Laps:

Alan Barker, Butch Klinger, Brandon Walters, Nick Nye, Charlie Hendrickson Jr., Pat O’Hanlon, Skip Pickwick, Kevin Coons, Travis Smith, Bill Spoonhower, Dwayne Jackson, Cory Pike, David Coene, Aaron Shelton, Gary Card Jr., Tyler Ward Crate Bonus: Nick Nye

Vernooy’s Automotive Excellence IMCA Modifieds 20 Laps:

Will Ward, Gary Roberts, James Cornell, Matt Cole, Bill Ward, Jared Spalding, Brian Steigerwald, Mike Stoddard, Kurt Decker, Beau Ballard, Brian Mills, Bobby Collins, Gary Smith, Tim Vandemark, Keith Lamphere

Olum’s Street Stocks 20 Laps:

Doug Polhamus, Brenton Miller, Tom Savercool, Steve Polhamus, Paul Harrington, Eric Boynton, Jim Gould, Matt Bowman, Fred Christ, Matt Roberts, Dave Cronk, Ralph Cuozzo Jr., Lloyd Washburn, Dustin Harris, Larry Truax

McDonald’s Empire Sport Trucks 15 Laps:

Ralph Cuozzo Jr., Allan Hodge, Chris Sherman, Dustin Wilber, Bob Crandall, Wayne Van Dusen, Todd Stanton, Pete Christiansen, Brandon Clapperton

SRP Sprints 15 Laps:

Dakota Anderson, Bill Nichols, Kyle Pierce, Cliff Pierce, Chaz Ford, Alan Lockwood DNS: Jordan Jaindl