N. Y.’ s Smith wins big one at 10th Su­perNa­tion­als; Boy­er­town’s Gu­lar on podium

The Hamburg Area Item - - Sports - By Brett Deyo For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

AFTON, N. Y. >> For the 10th time, the “Work­ing Man’s Race” lived up to its name.

Rusty Smith of Ox­ford, N. Y., de­feated a field of 60 big- block/ small- block Mod­i­fieds to win the 10th an­nual Amer­i­can Racer Cup Short Track Su­perNa­tion­als at Afton Mo­tor­sports Park. The win for Smith – worth $ 5,000 – be­came an in­stant ca­reer high­light since he made the tran­si­tion from pave­ment Mod­i­fieds to the dirt run­ning weekly at Afton.

“When this race started, I was in the stands drunk watch­ing like all of you,” Smith said to the en­thu­si­as­tic crowd. “This is awe­some to put my name on the list of Su­perNa­tion­als win­ners.”

Beaut i f ul weather brought out the sea­son’s largest crowd at Afton. The fair­grounds fa­cil­ity was burst­ing at the seams with spec­ta­tors and race cars for the Saturday pro­gram.

Smith thrilled the lo­cals with his per­for­mance in the eighth round of the Bob Hil­bert Sports­wear Short Track Su­per Se­ries ( STSS) Fu­eled By VP Hal­mar In­ter­na­tional North Re­gion.

“This is what the race is all about,” Smith said. “There are a lot of re­ally, re­ally good cars in the pits, but it gives a guy like me a chance to win a big race.

“I knew after the re­draw we had a good com­bi­na­tion for the fea­ture. It ended up be­ing re­ally good.”

In a late mo­ment of drama, Duane Howard – who was sched­uled to start from the pole of the 50- lap STSS Mod­i­fied main – was forced to a back- up ride due to con­tact sus­tained in the Amer­i­can Racer Cup oneon- one match races ear­lier in the night.

That put area Sports­man star Kevin Jor­dan on the point to lead the 29- car field to the green.

It was Delaware star Jor­dan Wat­son, how­ever, who pow­ered into the lead by the com­ple­tion of lap two. As Wat­son led, Smith shot into sec­ond on lap four.

Smith grad­u­ally closed on Wat­son – mak­ing his first- ever New York State Mod­i­fied start – and took over the top spot on the 11th lap.

Penn­syl­va­nia small- block Mod­i­fied star Mike Gu­lar had picked the worst avail­able num­ber – 13 – in the re­draw. Gu­lar was on the charge dur­ing the race’s opening laps and put his Terry Fas­nacht- owned No. 2 into sec­ond on the 15th lap.

Track cham­pion Andy Ba­chetti also be­came a fac­tor dur­ing the race’s mid­stages. Ba­chetti wound his No. 4 up on the top­side of the speed­way. After an ex­tended side- by- side bat­tle, Sh­effield, Mass., star Ba­chetti cleared Gu­lar on the 30th lap for sec­ond.

With lapped traf­fic loom­ing, Ba­chetti looked to close on Smith. A yel­low – timely for Smith – pro­vided clear track.

After the restart, Smith pulled away while Ba­chetti was left to bat­tle once again with Gu­lar.

A fi­nal yel­low on lap 45 gave Ba­chetti his fi­nal shot. Smith was too strong and pulled away to a crowd­pleas­ing check­ered.

“I didn’t worry about who was be­hind me,” Smith said. “I knew what I had to do to be fast.”

Ba­chetti set­tled for a run­ner- up fin­ish but did ex­tend his lead in the STSS Hal­mar In­ter­na­tional North Re­gion stand­ings en­ter­ing the Oc­to­ber 19 fi­nale at Or­ange County Fair Speed­way in Middletown, N. Y.

Boy­er­town’s Gu­lar – mak­ing a rare Em­pire State start – was a happy podium fin­isher. The sec­ond- gen­er­a­tion driver au­thored his drive uti­liz­ing a PA- le­gal spec head en­gine.

In­au­gu­ral Short Track Su­perNa­tion­als win­ner Mike Ricci of Till­son, N. Y., drove a ‘ throw­back’ No. 17 paint scheme to fourth after start­ing sev­enth. Rich Ricci Jr. of New Paltz, N. Y., filled out the front five in the fam­ily owned No. 406.

Fin­ish­ing sixth through 10th, re­spec­tively, were Bobby Varin of Sharon Springs, N. Y., in the Al­ton and Ca­role Palmer No. 76 after start­ing 15th; Nick Nye of Gro­ton, N. Y., after start­ing 11th; 22nd- starter Billy Pauch Jr. of Mil­ford, N. J., driv­ing the Danny’s Pizza Piz­zazz No. 51; early leader Wat­son of Mil­ford, Del; and track reg­u­lar Brett Tonkin of Car­bon­dale, Pa.

Heat win­ners were Rich Ricci Jr., Nick Rochin­ski, Wat­son, Gu­lar, Al­li­son Ricci and Nye. Three con­so­la­tions set the re­main­der of the field with Mitch Gibbs, Cory Costa and Pauch Jr. an­nex­ing the 10- lap vic­to­ries.

Rep­re­sent­ing Bridge­port ( N. J.) Speed­way, Ryan Watt of Boy­er­town, topped the Amer­i­can Racer Cup Cham­pion’s Chal­lenge one- on- one match races. Watt de­feated Duane Howard in the fi­nal round for the $ 2,000 pay­day.

SHORT TRACK SU­PERNA­TION­ALS 10 RE­SULTS OCT. 7 Bob Hil­bert Sports­wear Short Track Su­per Se­ries Fu­eled By VP Hal­mar In­ter­na­tional Round No. 8 Mod­i­fied Fea­ture Fin­ish ( 50 laps): RUSTY SMITH, Andy Ba­chetti, Mike Gu­lar, Mike Ricci, Rich Ricci Jr., Bobby Varin, Nick Nye, Billy Pauch Jr., Jor­dan Wat­son, Brett Tonkin, Tommy Meier, An­thony Per­rego, Al­li­son Ricci, Danny Cree­den, Billy Decker, Nick Rochin­ski, Jeremy Smith, J. R. Hurl­burt, Steve Davis, Ken Titus, Chris Stull, Cory Costa, Richard Smith, Shaun Walker, Mitch Gibbs, Alan Barker, Craig Han­son, Kevin Jor­dan, Duane Howard. Did Not Qual­ify: Harold Humphrey, Ryan Watt, Lee DeWitt, Dar­win Greene, Dan Pom­pey, Matt DeLorenzo, Nick Mady, Kyle Van Duser, Kevin Sock­riter, Brett Bar­rett, Mike Clap­per­ton, Bob Stahl, Jerry Hig­bie Jr., Ryan Jor­dan, Adam Hil­ton, Joe Judge, Tim Mayne, Dan Hine­line, Ricky New­ton, Rich Eurich, Steven Dein­hardt, Frank Yankowski, Paul Jensen, Ray See Jr., Kurt Decker, Steve Young, Dale Welty, Shawn Ward, Brian Mal­colm, Larry Me­kic, Jimmy Wells. Amer­i­can Racer Mod­i­fied Cham­pion’s Chal­lenge: RYAN WATT ($ 2,000) over Duane Howard, Billy Pauch Jr., Nick Rochin­ski, Andy Ba­chetti, Jor­dan Wat­son, Danny Cree­den, Richard Smith and Dan Pom­pey. Track­side Prod­ucts Street Stock Fea­ture Fin­ish ( 20 laps): DY­LAN CECCE, Earl Zim­mer, Kurt Steb­bins, Tyler Yea­gle, Gene Sharp­steen, Jerry Lob­dell Jr., Shane Wolf, Dan Force, Jake Fowl­ston, Trevor Dud­ley, Dustin Har­ris, Da­mon Decker, Dave Cronk, Dar­ren Cox, Zach Sey­er­lein, Bob Mills, Matt Bow­man, Doug Pol­hamus, Chris Meshewske, Dan Maz­zarese, Shawn Stalker, Shawn Boyn­ton, Kody Sites, Lan­son Albanese. Amer­i­can Racer Street Stock Cham­pion’s Chal­lenge ( 15 laps): LAN­SON ALBANESE ($ 500), Da­mon Decker, Dy­lan Cecce, Dan Force, Kody Sites, Doug Pol­hamus. IMCA- Mod­i­fied Fea­ture Fin­ish ( 20 laps): WILL WARD, Jake May­nard, Tyler Stod­dard, Gary Roberts, Ken Buck, Mike Stod­dard, Eric Stumpf, Jeff Austin, Keith Lam­phere, Beau Bal­lard, Gary Smith, Keith Jack Lam­phere, Tony Har­ris, Billy Ward. Vin­tage Mod­i­fied Win­ner ( 15 laps): MIKE HOUGHTALING OC­TO­BER 6 Bob Hil­bert Sports­wear Short Track Su­per Se­ries Fu­eled By VP Sports­man Fea­ture Fin­ish ( 35 laps): CLAUDE HUTCH­INGS JR., Nick Nye, Jimmy Wells, Nick Mady, Bill Deck­el­man, Kenny Ham­mond, Mike Schane, Cody Clark, Brian White, Corey Cormier, Shayne Spoon­hower, Den­nis Clap­per­ton, Kevin Jor­dan, Larry Me­kic, Harold Humphrey, Jack Miller, A. J. Digsby, Craig Pope, Butch Klinger, Travis Smith, Matt Stan­gle, Chris Jor­dan, Hunter Lapp, Leo Fo­topou­los, Al­lan Hodge, Tyler Hart, Steve An­der­sen, Cole Hentschel. Did Not Qual­ify: Don Hart Jr., Kevin Ward, Dan Bur­man, Tom Velez, Ryan MaCart­ney, J. R. Fulper, Craig Whit­moyer, Dave Rosa, Blaine Klinger, Bob Buono, Rich Ricci III, Brian Fish, Kenny Bock, Chad Ray, Kur­tis Ho­hen­sheldt, Jerry Tonti, Mike Grover, Tim French II, Lisa Wil­liams, Daniel Morgiewicz Jr., Rob Loucks, James O’Hara, Den­nis Gree­nier, Eric Leet, David DeMor­est. STSS Sports­man Cham­pion: Corey Cormier Amer­i­can Racer Sports­man Cham­pion’s Chal­lenge: Brian White ($ 1,000) over Kevin Jor­dan, Kenny Ham­mond, Craig Whit­moyer, Claude Hutch­ings, Matt Stan­gle, Brian Fish, Mike Schane, J. R. Fulper and Al­lan Hodge Mod­i­fied ’ 10- Spot’ Dash ( 10 laps): ALAN BARKER, Danny Cree­den, Andy Ba­chetti, Jor­dan Wat­son, Mike Gu­lar, Nick Nye, Paul Jensen, Dan Hine­line, Steven Dein­hardt, Mitch Gibbs ( 22 Mod­i­fieds were on hand). CRSA Sprint Car Fea­ture Fin­ish ( 30 laps): BOBBY HACKEL, Josh Pieni­azek, Dustin Purdy, Dana Wag­ner, Jeff Tromb­ley, Syd­ney Prince, Brian Krum­mel, Dal­ton Her­rick, Tyler Boni­face, Jerry Sehn, Chuck Alessi, Thomas Radi­voy, Chris­tian Rum­sey, Kyle Smith, John Scar­bor­ough, Chloe An­dreas, Peter Dance, Emily Van In­we­gen, Billy Van In­we­gen, Link Pet­tit, Leo Yea­ger, Rick Stone. FWD Four Cylin­der Fea­ture Fin­ish ( 15 laps): PHIL BURNS, Mike Robinson, Tim Van­der­mark, John Ma­son.

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