I-88 Speedway Race Report

by Steve Clapperton

I-88 Speedway recap for June 20, 2014

Mirabito Energy Products Night

Modified Winner Mike Mahaney
Mike Mahaney wins the modified class on 06/20/2014

Sportsman Winner Brandon Walters
Brandon Walters wins in the Sportsman class on 06/20/2014

IMCA Modified Winner Matt Cole
Matt Cole wins in the IMCA class on 06/20/2014

Street Stock Winner Brenton Miller
Brenton Miller wins in the Street Stock class on 06/20/2014

4 cylinder Truck Winner Pat Votra
Pat Votra wins in the 4 cylinder truck class on 06/20/2014

SRP Sprints Winner Bill Nichols
Bill Nichols wins in the SRP Sprints class on 06/20/2014
Images © SJS Photo
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Defending Modified track champion Mike Mahaney became the seventh different winner in as many races on Vernooy's Automotive Excellence Night at I-88 Speedway on Friday night. Mahaney, of King Ferry, started fifth in the 22 car field and slipped under Chad Cook coming off turn two on lap 11 to take the lead.

"We got a big race coming up Tuesday" Mahaney said in reference to the upcoming Race of Champions event at the speedway on June 24.

"I think we've got a real good shot at it now… a lot of confidence after tonight. It was tough to get by Chad there, but once I did I thought I'd search around just in case somebody'd come up on me because I've had a number of races in the past where I'd run one line the whole race and then somebody'd come up and pass me on the last lap and I didn't want that to happen so I searched around and found couple grooves that worked for us."

Cook, of Deposit took the lead from the pole position and held off Fly Creek's Jeff Leslie during the early potion of the race before Shaun Walker slipped past Leslie on a lap 3 restart to move into second. Leslie surrendered third to Mahaney one lap later with Mitch Gibbs moving past Leslie on lap six.

Mahaney continued his run to the front passing Masonville's Walker using an outside line coming off turn two on lap 8. Gibbs drove under Walker one lap later coming off turn four. After a lap 17 caution for Tyler Siri of Horseheads slowing after making contact with the front stretch wall, the race restarted with Mahaney leading, Cook running second, Gibbs third, Windsor's Brian Weaver fourth and Walker fifth. Mahaney quickly jumped out to a half straightaway lead and went on to take the win. Gibbs finished second, Walker third, Cook fourth and Brett Tonkin of Carbondale PA fifth after starting 11th.

Brandon Walters of Unadilla took the lead from Harpursville's Gary Card at the start of the 20 lap Sportsmen feature. After a lap five caution for debris on the backstretch, Walters jumped out to a five car length advantage over second place Card.

A caution on lap six, a result of Afton's Skip Pickwick and Duane Jackson of New Berlin tangling on the front stretch, regrouped the field. On the restart Walters again jumped out to a comfortable lead.

Walton's Butch Klinger used an outside line to move into second place with five laps remaining. Rob Barker's roll after contact with the front stretch wall coming out of turn four brought out the red flag with four laps remaining. Barker of Mount Upton, was uninjured in the incident. Bethel's Charlie Hendrickson Jr. was running third at the time of the red flag but had to pit when the yellow was brought out due to a flat right rear tire.

Klinger pressured Walters for the final four laps of the event but was unable to make the pass for the win. Klinger finished second with Alan Barker of Norwich third, Harpursville's Travis Smith fourth and Randy Green of Wallkill fifth.

"That last restart kinda scared me a little bit. We had a little push into one and two and then I see someone peeking their nose down, so I kinda had to shut the door down in three and four. The car was good all night. Coming into the feature I was a little bit skeptical. The car came around pretty good on the top. I wasn't sure top, bottom, because as the leader early you really don't know where to go." Walters said after the race.

Brenton Miller of Athens PA picked up his second Olum's Street Stock feature win of the season. Miller took the lead from Edmeston's Jim Gould on the second lap after starting fifth on the grid. Seventh starting Matt Roberts of Nineveh passed Gould for second on a lap 5 restart with Windsor's Doug Polhamus following two laps later.

Polhamus would pass Roberts for second on lap 8 while Miller pulled away from the field opening a full straightaway advantage by lap 13 and cruising to the win. Polhamus finished second with Roberts third, Gould fourth and Sidney's Paul Harrington coming from the back of the pack to finish fifth.

"We tore this thing up last Saturday night. Ripped the right side off it, ripped the hood off it, I mean the bumpers were ripped off it. A lot of work went into this week." Said Miller. "To get a good run out of it, that's awesome. We made a few adjustments a couple of weeks back and obviously we haven't been able to try them here because of the rain and weather on Friday nights. The cars been great ever since. I was eager to get back here and see if they would work here and as of tonight they worked."

Binghamton's Matt Cole continued his June hot streak taking his first IMCA Modified feature win of the season on championship night for the division. Cole's week started off with a win in the Empire Series race at Yates County Speedway in Dundee. Starting eighth Cole worked his way to the front taking the lead from second starting Gary Smith on lap 8 and cruising to the win in the 25 lap event. Smith finished second with Harpursville's James Cornell third, Kattelville's Tyler Stoddard fourth and Brian Steigerwald of Norwich finishing fifth.

"It's been a great week. We got the car going really, really good. Last two races it's been a rocket ship" said Cole after the race.

Pat Votra of Marathon picked up the win in the Empire Sport Trucks 20 lap championship event in his first appearance of the season. Wayne Van Dusen Jr. of Norwich finished second with Unadilla's Ralph Cuozzo Jr. third, Sherburne's Allan Hodge fourth and Bob Crandall of Unadilla fifth.

Bill Nichols of Binghamton picked up the win in the 16 lap SRP Sprint feature over Candor's Kyle Pierce, Afton's Dave Smith, Alan Lockwood of Afton and Cliff Pierce of Candor.

Friday, June 20, 2014 Racing -- Vernooy's Automotive Excellence Night -- Results

Greg Page Construction Modifieds (30 Laps):

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

Chambers and O’Hara Sportsmen (20 Laps):

Brandon Walters, Butch Klinger, Alan Barker, Travis Smith, Randy Green, Pat O’Hanlon, Harold Humphrey, Dwayne Jackson, Kevin Coons, Skip Pickwick, Charlie Hendrickson Jr., Mike Decker, Duane Knapp, Lenny Miller, Claude Hutchings Jr., Rob Barker, Tyler Ward, Aaron Shelton DQ Gary Card (Carburetor)

Vernooy’s Automotive Excellence IMCA Modifieds Championship (25 Laps):

Matt Cole, Gary Smith, James Cornell, Tyler Stoddard, Brian Steigerwald, Rich Green, Tim Vandemark, Will Ward, Billy Ward, Mike Stoddard, Beau Ballard, Brian Mills, Bobby Collins, Kurt Decker, Gary Roberts, Mike Butler

Olum’s Street Stocks (20 Laps):

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

McDonald’s 4 Cylinder Trucks Championship (20 Laps):

Pat Votra, Wayne Van Dusen Jr., Ralph Cuozzo Jr., Allan Hodge, Bob Crandall, Erik Wagner, Rick Wagner, Chris Sherman, Tom Witter, Bill Cooper, Dustin Wilber, Damon Decker, Tom Akshar, Brandon Clapperton

SRP Sprints (15 Laps):

Bill Nichols, Kyle Pierce, Dave Smith, Cliff Pierce, Alan Lockwood, Dakota Anderson