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