I-88 Speedway Race Report

by Steve Clapperton

I-88 Speedway recap for May 30, 2014

Mirabito Energy Products Night

Modified Winner Bob Hamm
Bob Hamm wins the modified class on 06/06/2014

Sportsman Winner Cory Pike
Cory Pike wins in the Sportsman class on 06/06/2014

IMCA Modified Winner Gary Smith
Gary Smith wins in the IMCA class on 06/06/2014

Street Stock Winner Matt Roberts
Matt Roberts wins in the Street Stock class on 06/06/2014

4 cylinder Truck Winner Sam Pennacchio
Sam Pennacchio wins in the 4 cylinder truck class on 06/06/2014

CRSA Sprints Winner Mike Kiser
Mike Kiser wins in the CRSA Sprints class on 06/06/2014
Images © SJS Photo
Click on image for larger version.
It was a night for new faces in Victory Lane at I-88 Speedway on Mirabito Energy Products Night as all six divisions saw first time winners in the 2014 season at the speedway. Sophomore driver Cory Pike of North Norwich grabbed his first career win in the Sportsmen division with Windsor's Bob Hamm picking up the win in the Modified feature. Matt Roberts of Nineveh won his first Street Stock feature at the speedway since returning to the division for this season. In the Capital Region Sprint Agency feature, Cooperstown's Mike Kiser took the checkers with Gary Smith of Harpursville taking the win in the IMCA Modified feature. Sam Pennacchio of Niagara Falls ON made a return trip to the track worth the drive as he picked up the win in the Empire Sport Trucks feature.

Hamm started on the outside of the front row for the 30 lap Greg Page Construction Modified feature and took the lead at the drop of starter Raymond Kennerup's green flag. Hamm quickly opened up a five car length advantage over second running Jeff Leslie of Fly Creek. A lap 11 caution bunched the field for a restart but Hamm again opened a lead over Leslie and third running Paul Jensen of Edmeston.

At the halfway point of the race Hamm continued to lead over Leslie, Jensen while Auburn's Tim Currier and Brian Weaver of Windsor battled for fourth place, swapping the position on two occasions. As Hamm opened a straightaway lead, Jensen challenged Leslie for second, while Norwich's Mitch Gibbs had joined the race between Currier and Weaver.

With two laps remaining Hamm encountered lapped traffic but could not be caught as he picked up the win becoming the sixth different winner in six races. Jensen passed Leslie on the last lap for second with Weaver finishing fourth and Currier fifth.

"It always helps starting up front" said Hamm in Victory Lane. "I think we all know that. You gotta stay there."

Pole sitter Cory Pike took the lead at the start of the 20 lap Sportsmen feature. With Kevin Coons running second, Pike started to open up a lead over the Walton driver as sixth starting Alan Barker took to the outside line and moved into third place by lap 5. On lap nine, Pike had opened a half straightaway lead when Barker, of Norwich, passed Coons to take over second place.

With lapped traffic starting to become a factor, Barker had cut Pike's lead to 8 car lengths with five laps remaining. With two laps remaining, Barker had caught the leader when the first caution flag of the event flew. When the race restarted Pike was able to hold off Barker to take his first career win, Barker finished second with Delanson's Pat O'Hanlon third, Coons fourth and Charlie Hendrickson Jr. of Bethel fifth.

When asked about having defending track champion Alan Barker in second with two laps to go Pike said,"He was right behind me. I knew he was, but I just gave it all I got and made sure my belts were nice and tight and we went on and hung on for the ride."

Paul Harrington of Sidney came off turn four in the lead of the 20 lap Street Stock feature after a three wide run down the backstretch. Harrington wouldn't hold the lead for long as third starting Matt Roberts grabbed the top spot on the second circuit. Two laps later Matt Bowman, of Windsor, pulled under Harrington to take over second.

At the halfway point of the race Nineveh's Roberts and Bowman had opened a half straightaway lead over Harrington, Dustin Harris and Doug Polhamus. As the laps progressed Roberts opened a six car advantage over Bowman. With Unadilla's Harris slipping past Harrington for third place.

At the line it was Roberts taking his first Street Stock win of the season after switching from the IMCA Modified division during the off season. Bowman finished second with Harris third, Harrington fourth and Windsor's Doug Polhamus fifth.

"We've been going good everywhere except for here. This has been a little bit slower for us here. We started up toward the front, but we stayed there" said Roberts after his win.

Gary Smith of Harpursville took the lead at the start of the 20 lap IMCA Modified feature from the pole position with outside front row starter Mike Stoddard running second. Stoddard, of Kattelville, surrendered the second spot to Binghamton's Matt Cole on lap seven coming off turn four.

A lap eight caution for a spinning Gary Roberts bunched the field for a restart with Smith leading, Cole running second, Stoddard third, Brian Steigerwald fourth and Harpursville's James Cornell fifth. On the restart Cornell slipped under Norwich's Steigerwald to take over fourth and a lap later passed Stoddard for third.

Cole brought out the caution on lap 14 when he spun in turn three trying to get a run under the leader. The restart put Cornell on Smith's back bumper with Stoddard up to third, Cobleskill's Will Ward fourth and Kurt Decker of Afton fifth. When the race restarted Ward passed Stoddard coming off turn two to take over third.

After a lap 16 caution for a spinning Steigerwald, Decker took over fourth and on the 18th lap drove under Ward to move into third place.

On lap 18 Ward, Decker and Stoddard tangled coming off turn two bringing out the caution ending the night for both Decker and Stoddard. Ward was relegated to the rear for his involvement in the caution.

At the line it was Smith picking up his first win of the season, Cornell finished second with Matt Cole working his way back to the front finishing in third. Ken Winn of Harpursville finished fourth with Brian Mills of Deposit fifth.

"Been about a year since we won a race here, I think" said Smith after the race.

Mike Kiser of Milford took the checkers in the 25 lap CRSA feature. Starting on the pole, Kiser pulled away to a half straightaway lead and despite dealing with heavy lapped traffic, went on to take the win. Scott Goodrich of Middletown finished second with Milford's John Matrafailo third, Emily VanInwegen of Sparrowbush fourth and Dalton Herrick of McDonough fifth.

Niagara Falls ON's Sam Pennacchio made a triumphant return to I-88 Speedway winning the Empire Sport Trucks feature after starting last in the 13 truck field. Pennacchio used the outside line around the speedway to move to the front, taking the lead from Afton's Pete Christiansen on lap 7. Chris Sherman of Afton finished second with Unadilla's Ralph Cuozzo Jr. third, Brandon Clapperton of Sidney fourth and Erik Wagner of Afton fifth.

"It's the third time here and twice not hitting the wall. It's a good day" said Pennacchio after the race.

Friday, June 6, 2014 Racing -- Mirabito Energy Products Night - Results

Greg Page Construction Modifieds (30 Laps):

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

Chambers and O’Hara Sportsmen (20 Laps):

Cory Pike, Alan Barker, Pat O’Hanlon, Kevin Coons, Charlie Hendrickson Jr., Brandon Walters, Travis Smith, Bill Spoonhower, Dwayne Jackson, Mike Decker, Chris Jordan, Randy Green, Butch Klinger, Skip Pickwick, Aaron Shelton, Gary Card Jr., Duane Knapp

Vernooy’s Automotive Excellence IMCA Modifieds (20 Laps):

Gary Smith, James Cornell, Matt Cole, Ken Winn, Brian Mills, Tyler Stoddard, Tim Vandemark, Brian Steigerwald, Will Ward, Kurt Decker, Mike Stoddard, Bill Ward, Gary Roberts, Mike Butler, Beau Ballard, Bob Collins

Olum’s Street Stocks (20 Laps):

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

McDonald’s Empire Sport Trucks (15 Laps):

Sam Pennacchio, Chris Sherman, Ralph Cuozzo Jr., Brandon Clapperton, Erik Wagner, Allan Hodge, Rick Wagner, Bob Crandall, Wayne Jennifer Van Dyke Dusen, Bill Cooper, Dustin Wilber, Pete Christiansen, Todd Stanton

CRSA Sprints (25 Laps):

Mike Kiser, Scott Goodrich, John Matrafailo, Emily VanInwegen, Dalton Herrick, Dustin Purdy, Geoff Quackenbush, Jeremy Quick, Dan Hennessy, Josh Pieniazek, Joe Kata, Robert Gray, Tyler Chartrand, Bill Jaycox, Warren Alexson, Art Kiser DNS Danny Varin