ORANGE COUNTY FAIR SPEEDWAY'S SEASON OPENER WINS TO BIG BLOCK ACE STEWART FRIESEN, SMALL BLOCK VET BRIAN KRUMMEL, SPORTSMAN REPEATER GRANT HILFIGER, STREET STOCK FIRST TIME VICTOR BOBBY SLEIGHT
Orange County Fair Speedway 'Regular Season Opener' Wins To Big Block Ace Stewart Friesen, Small Block Vet Brian Krummel, Sportsman Repeater Grant Hilfiger, Street Stock First Time Victor Bobby Sleight; 164 Cars Pack Pits
MIDDLETOWN, NY – Stewart Friesen of Sprakers, NY ran down and passed Anthony Perrego in Saturday night's Carl Van Horn Tribute 71-lap Modified feature race, then, once in front, held off a determined late drive by returning Orange County Fair Speedway 'regular' Brett Hearn to win on Opening Night.
The win was worth $7,100 for Friesen and the Halmar Racing Team.
Andy Bachetti led the first 16 laps before first Perrego, then Friesen surged by. Brett Hearn then moved by Bachetti for third on lap 22. The 71-lapper ran for 50 straight laps before the first caution flag flew. Two laps into the restart, Friesen passed Perrego, who remained close behind.
A key moment in the race came on a pair of restarts on lap 62. In the first one, Perrego passed Friesen heading into turn one for the lead but a slowing Chris Whitehead necessitated a second caution, negating Perrego's pass.
Perrego then suffered a flat three laps later, elevating Hearn to second. Though Hearn tried to set up Friesen, he never could, settling for second
Grandview Speedway's reigning Modified champion Mike Gular, who has announced his intention of racing weekly at OCFS, finished a strong third, besting Andy Bachetti over the final five laps. Kenny Tremont, who was actually lapped by leader Friesen at one point, soldiered home fifth.
Brian Krummel needed just five laps to gain the lead from the battling duo of Joe Bonetti and Joey Bruning and ran away with the victory in Small Blocks. The second half of the race ran non-stop testing Krummel in traffic. But runnerup Stewart Friesen never closed the gap enough to make a serious challenge. Dillon Steuer impressed with a third place finish, followed by Tyler Boniface, who had started 22nd, and his Halmar teammate Matt Janiak.
Grant Hilfiger won his second Sportsman feature in two 2019 OCFS starts in a truncated race that was shortened up when frequent accidents and the lateness of the hour conspired to force officials to take the unusual step of counting caution flags, this after reducing the scheduled feature distance from 20 laps to 15. Kevin Ward, who is returning to OCFS after a decade long absence, was second with Joe Bonetti, Jesse Leiby and Matt Shultz next.
Bobby Sleight, Jr., who had finished first in a late 2018 Street Stock feature but was disqualified for technical irregularities in his car's ignition system, was the star of the show in this 15-lapper and this time, got to keep the winners' trophy and the $500 first place prize. Joe Sheffold was second followed by Jim Maher, Ray Tarantino an Emerson Cargain, Sr.
A total of 164 cars competed in the four division card. The next race at OCFS is set for Saturday, April 27. The track will be dark this Saturday, April 20 in observance of the Easter holiday.
Big Block Modified Feature (71 Laps): 1. Stewart Friesen, 2. Brett Hearn, 3. Mike Gular, 4. Andy Bachetti, 5. Kenny Tremont, 6. Brian Krummel, 7. Jimmy Horton, 8. Tyler Dippel, 9. Tommy Meier, 10. Matt Janiak, 11. Craig Mitchell, 12. Anthony Perrego, 13. Billy VanInwegen, 14. Jeff Heotzler, 15. Sammy Martz, 16. Danny Creeden, 17. Chris Whitehead, 18. John Ferrier, 19. John Lieto, 20. Jerry Higbie, 21. Rich Eurich, 22. Brendan Finley, 23. Gary Edwards, 24. Steve Dodd. Did Not Qualify: Jimmy Spellmon, Kirk Horton, CG Morey, Tyler Jashembowski, Donnie Wilson, Stan Frankenfield, Danny Cronk, Chris Shultz.
Small Block Feature (25 Laps): 1. Brian Krummel, 2. Stewart Friesen, 3. Dillon Steuer, 4. Tyler Boniface, 5. Matt Janiak, 6. Joe Bonetti, 7. Danny Creeden, 8. Craig Mitchell, 9. Bretty Hearn, 10. Jerry Higbie, 11. Joey Bruning, 12. Bobby Hentschel, 13. Allison Ricci, 14. Mike Gular, 15. Tyler Treacy, 16. Scott Flammer, 17. Roger Henion Jr., 18. Mike Ricci, 19. Billy VanInwegen, 20. Tom Hindley, 21. Andy Bachetti, 22. Anthony Perrego, 23. Jimmy Spellmon, 24. Mike Ruggiero, 25. Rob Rowe, 26. Jared Petruska, 27. Rich Rutski, 28. Clinton Mills, 29. Danny Carlough, 30. Andy Reeves, 31. Brett Haas. Did Not Qualify: Patrick Reiser, Rich Eurich, Richard Smith, Robert Bernard, Chris Grbac, Robert Parent, Jesse Leiby, Mark Bishop, Joe Conklin, Tommy Meier, Frank Venezia, Bobby Jashembowski, Dominic Roselli, Chris Stevens, Cole Hentschel, Anthony Falanga, CG Morey, Danny Hedges, Brendon Finley, Shane Jablonka, Mike Sabia, John Ferrier, Gary Edwards, Frank Doty, Zack Vavricka, Rich Eggers, Leo Fotopoulos.
Sportsman Feature (15 Laps): 1. Grant Hilfiger, 2. Kevin Ward, 3. Joe Bonetti, 4. Jesse Leiby, 5. Matt Shultz, 6. Howie Finch, 7. Troy Arnold, 8. Jared LaBagh, 9. Mike Sabia, 10. Dan Morgiewicz, 11. Danny Carlough, 12. Kenny Ryder, 13. Robby Knipe, 14. Justin Gozzi, 15. Mel Schrufer, 16. Corey Cormier, 17. Austin Smith, 18. Nick Plumstead, 19. Greg Sleight, 20. Christian Rumsey, 21. Sammy Martz Jr., 22. John Aumick, 23. Joe Conklin, 24. Bobby Flood. Did Not Qualify: Jimmy Johnson, Daryl Ford, Cole Stangle, Jake Mason, Jordan Lawrence, Willis Mann, Rob Wosyluk, Peter Schwartzott, Mike Bull, Jeff Higham, Ryan McCartney, Patrick Murphy, Aaron Doollttle, Jimmy Leiby, Eric Avernego, Bob Jashembowski, Ken Ferrier, RJ Smith, Jason Armstrong, Scott Zehnacker, Jake Bedell, Ryan Neiger, Tighe Sherlock, Kyle Redner, Billy Fiske, Brian Durbin, Len Atkins, Mike Talmadge, John Brown, Winter Mead, Mike Orlando, Billy Eggers.
Street Stock Feature (15 Laps): 1. Bobby Sleight Jr., 2. Joe Sheffold, 3. Jim Maher, 4. Ray Tarantino, 5. Emerson Cargain Sr., 6. Jim Hajkowski, 7. Tommy Pickles, 8. Rob Taylor, 9. Walt Henry, 10. Mike Vigiletti, 11. Emerson Cargain Jr., 12. Charlie Donald, 13. Dan Maher, 14. Paul Maiolo, 15. Ryan Modiano, 16. Bob Miller, 17. Cody Clark, 18. Ron Constable, 19. Kyle Welch, 20. Dave VanSise. Did Not Start: Jack Dekker, Pat Bruno, Jared Palmer.