Ryan Susice Garners Gladiator Top Prize at Genesee
Rich Vleck, BATAVIA, NY, (October 13, 2018)- Two months after its original date, the long-awaited return of the Big Block Modifieds at Genesee Speedway took to life on a chilly afternoon with a host of drivers hungry to claim the final checkered flag of the season at Genesee, in the end one driver proved to be the top gladiator, dominating the rest of the lions.
Ryan Susice, of Ransomville, took the lead from Todd Gordon on lap 15 of the forty lap feature and then set sail in Wally Wade’s No. 84 to drive way for the $2,000 top prize. Susice was able to utilize a line higher than what most others were able to run a half-second faster than any other driver could hang with.
“After the heat races I wasn’t really sure what we had for these guys, there are a lot of good guys here and we were a little off but we really got it for this feature,” said Susice in Victory Lane holding the Spartan Head Trophy. “I could tell by the lap counter that I had a pretty good lead so even when we got in to lapped traffic I knew I was in pretty good shape.
Susice started the feature in fifth and saw Todd Gordon and Joe August Jr battle it out for the early lead. Greg Martin and Boyd MacTavish were also part of the fray up top but on a lap 7 restart Susice rode up to second and then began to hound Gordon’s No. 28. Over the long 20-lap green flag run he moved in to the top spot and then build a massive lead. Two late restarts allowed Gordon to apply a bumper coming to green but nothing was enough to overtake Susice.
Todd Gordon’s final attempt to upset the leader would end up costing him second place, as Ron Cartwright Jr moved by to claim the runner-up spot after starting in 13th. Gordon would settle for third with Scott Wood moving by Body MacTavish to cross in fourth as the Niagara Frontier drivers rounded out the top five.
Four weeks ago in the Topless Crate Nationals, Kyle Inman used a sweetheart move to setup leader Cody Wolfe to move around him to win the Sportsman 40-lapper, on Saturday he made almost an identical maneuver to end the season $1,000 richer. Inman, of Darien, notched his fourth win of the year in the GRIT Series Finale amidst a wild three-car battle for the top spot.
“Cody and I talked about that battle before the race and I kept trying to show him low and show him low side and set him up and was finally able to get him up on the top,” said Inman in Victory Lane. “My car had a really bad push but we were able to work through it and tried it on the top and basically closed my eyes to make the pass off of turn two.”
Early in the race it was Wolfe and Dylan Zacharias exchanging the lead on a myriad of starts and restarts. After two laps the decision was made to add water to control dust, which was needed but also changed the dynamics of the surface drastically. As the race went green though, it was Inman and Rouse driving up through to go after the leaders. On lap 17, Zacharias pulled up in turn two with a problem and was done for the race. With a single-file restart, Inman began to stalk the leader but had to watch for Rouse who was ready to pounce on any misstep.
On lap 27, Inman looked low off turn four and almost saw Rouse drive around him for second but barely got back to the top side, where he set up his slingshot pass in to the lead for his fourth win of the season. A lap later Rouse would move up to finish second while Wolfe would settle for third. Dave DiPietro and Ricky Newton completed the top five.
Kurt Stebbins was pulling double duty on the night and looked to claim a Street Stock Mini Series Championship; after he failed to do that he turned his focus to his Late Model and said he stumbled on something, as he ran away to his first Genesee win in the division. Stebbins led all 25 laps without challenge to become the 8th different Crate Late Model winner in Batavia in 2018. The race ran off relatively caution-free which allowed Stebbins to amass more than a four second lead at points in the race. Scott Gurdak would make his long tow pay off with a runner-up finish, while local Billy DuBois had a career night, finishing in third. Kyle Murray and Chris Fleming rounded out the top five.
Doug Jones finished the 2018 season on an incredible hot streak, collecting $1,000 for his fifth straight win in the Street Stocks Feature. Jones started on the pole and led all 20 laps without much challenge for the top spot. As he was driving away to a comfortable victory, the battle was on for second and the Street Stock Mini Series Championship. Josh Pangrazio drove up to second and had to finish ahead of Kurt Stebbins to claim the title, but midway through the race, it appeared Stebbins would be able to drive up by him. With five laps remaining, Stebbins slid up high, lost a spot and allowed Pangrazio to drive away to second and claim the title. Track Champion Dennis Cummings drove up third while Stebbins fell back to fourth. Byron Dewitt rounded out the top five.
Brad Shepard claimed his third win of the season in the Mini Stock Feature and once again did it in dramatic fashion. Shepard, a three-time track champion, moved by Don Whiteside coming to two laps to go utilizing the bottom of the track for a series of laps to make the pass. It was a wild five-car-scramble for the lead as Shepard hounded the leader. Once Shepard got to the lead, he was able to drive away to claim a comfortable victory while Whiteside had to fight hard for second. Dante Mancuso crossed in third but did not meet post-race tech, which gave the spot to Cole Susice. Chris Leone and Rich Conte rounded out the top five.
A chilly afternoon was met with 100 cars in the pit area, including 23 for the Big Block/Small Block Modifieds. At intermission, a helmet pass was done for racer Rich Conte, whose infant daughter Meilla passed away Friday from Leukemia. Over $1700 were raised, including $500 from Dennis Cummings, who won the Street Stock Champions Dash and then donated the money to the fund. Next up at the Genesee Speedway is the 2018 Awards Banquet on Saturday, December 15. For more information, visit www.Genesee-Speedway.com.
Genesee Speedway Results: 10/13/2018-
A-Verdi Fall Finale Night
“The Gladiator” Modified Feature presented by Wraptile Graphics and Professional Drainage Systems (40 Laps)- RYAN SUSICE, Ron Cartwright Jr., Todd Gordon, Scott Wood, Boyd MacTavish, John Venuto, Jimmy Maier, Justin Wright, Phil Vigneri, Tom Neale, Tony Pangrazio, Phil Vigneri III, Chris Ostrowsky, Mike Bills, Joe August Jr., Greg Martin, Kyle Coffey, Ray Bliss, Shannon Whaley, James Sweeting, Dan Michaud, Jim Zimmerman, Bryan Faulkner.
Lap Leaders- Gordon 1-14, Susice 15-40.
Heat Winners- Sweeting, Bliss, Wood.
GRIT Sportsman Feature (30 Laps)- KYLE INMAN, Brad Rouse, Cody Wolfe, Dave DiPietro, Ricky Newton, Zach George, Adam Leslie, Robbie Johnston, Zack Sam, Butch Zimmerman, Dalton Martin, Tim Schram, Mike Denning, Gordy Hermanson Jr, John Sekoll, Dylan Zacharias, AJ Custodi, Mike Fraiser, Anthony Muscato, Jim Harbison, Austyn Fugle, Doug Smith, Ray Bliss.
Lap Leader- Zacharias 1, Wolfe 2, Zacharias 3-10, Wolfe 11-26, Inman 27-30.
Heat Winners- Newton, Leslie, Harbison.
Did Not Qualify- James Michael Friesen, James Henry (DNS).
Crate Late Model Feature (25 Laps)- KURT STEBBINS, Scott Gurdak, Billy DuBois, Kyle Murray, Chris Fleming, Alan Chapman, Jimmy Johnson, Dave DuBois, Doug Ricotta, Greg Mrzywka, Bill Holmes, Beamer Guzzardi, JJ Mazur, Ryan Hoolihan, Jon Rivers, David Pangrazio, Paul Norman, Zach Weich (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Stebbins 1-25.
Heat Winners- Guzzardi, Chapman.
Street Stock Feature (20 Laps)- DOUG JONES, Josh Pangrazio, Dennis Cummings, Kurt Stebbins, Byron Dewitt, Pat Powers, Bill Taylor, Tommy Kemp, Jason Quigley, Dan Brumsted, Mike Kelly, Jesse Qutermous, Vic Behrens, Glenn Whritenour, Bob Babbitt, Jeffrey LaLundy (DNS), Damian Long (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Jones 1-20.
Heat Winners- Jones, Stebbins.
Champions Dash- Cummings.
Mini Stock Feature (15 Laps)- BRAD SHEPARD, Don Whiteside, Cole Susice, Chris Leone, Rich Conte, Andrew Doran, Allison Dewitt, Joshua Oles, Chuck Cala, Brandon Close, Brian Gregory, Craig Vlasic, Eric Brumsted, Eric Weis, Olivia Coniber, Fabio Olivieri, Dante Mancuso (DQ).
Lap Leaders- Brumsted 1-2, Whiteside 3-12, Shepard 13-15.
Heat Winners- Whiteside, Brumsted.