RACING: Smith wins the Fall Open 75; Markham takes Super Stock 50 Lapper
by Gary M. Spaid
The final night of racing at Spencer was well worth the wait as some eighty cars filled the pit area for the first annual Fall Open. The 2012 Spencer track champion, Rusty Smith, continued his dominance at the speedway earning his fourth feature win of the season in the 75-lap Sunoco Modified finale.
North Country driver Tommy Markham, powered his number 21 to victory in the 50-lap Super Stock race, which was littered with bonus and lap money. Markham drove the sole Ford in the starting field.
Rookie driver, Shawn Frarey took top honors in the 15-lap Auto Value Four Cylinder Scorpion feature, his first win in that division. His best finishes before this was four third place finishes throughout the 2012 season.
In the Super Six division, the 20-lap feature win went to the 2012 Spencer track champion, Brian Hallett. It was Hallett’s eighth feature win of the year.
Finally in the Casey Midgets, Camden Barber dominated the action taking the 20-lap feature victory.
Twenty-three Sunoco Modifieds roared down to take green in their 75-lap feature run. Outside pole sitter, Chris Finocchario took the early lead followed by Bobby Lippa Jr. and Rusty Smith.
The first yellow flew on lap five for a spin off the first turn. The restart proved a pivotal moment in the race as six cars were involved in a “spark shower” filled accident on the front chute. Involved and out of the race were Kurt Totten, Ryan Beeman, Tommy Catalano, Jan Leaty and Eddie Hawkins. Totten’s car was hit multiple times as it slid into the infield.
Finocchario held the advantage on the restart with Smith now in second. Smith made his move for the lead on lap nine. One lap later the yellow flew for the third time in the race, when Tom Wiest looped his machine exiting the fourth turn. A fourth yellow followed, two laps later, when Jerry Dineen spun exiting turn four and made contact with the front stretch wall.
Smith led Kevin Timmerman on the restart, as the field was able to burn off fourteen green flag laps. On lap 27, Mike Ide slowed on the back stretch to bring out the yellow. Again the yellow flew two laps later for spin by Daryl Lewis Jr. in the second turn.
The remainder of the 75-lapper was run under green flag conditions with Smith and Timmerman pulling away from third place runner, Finocchario by nearly a half a lap. Andy Jankowiak, running in fourth, held a seven car advantage over Eric Stritzel in fifth.
In the late stages of the race, Stritzel was challenged by Mike Leaty for fifth, but held on to the position at the checkers. Smith took the win over Timmerman by just a few car lengths.
Ten yellow flags and a red flag slowed the 50-lap Super Stock race, The worst accident of the event came on lap seven when five cars crashed entering the third turn causing the track to be blocked the race to be red flagged. Involved was Jim Steffenhagen Jr., whose car slammed the outside wall. Others in the accident included Nate Peckham, Terry Cheetham, Jason Duke and Jason Dinzler. Only Cheetham was able to continue.
The leader from the drop of the green had been pole sitter Gary Noe. Noe lost the led to Chris Zacharias for just on lap, lap 9, when the yellow flew as Joe Miller spun in the third turn. The restart saw Noe retake the lead when Zacharias spun coming down the front chute along with the number 69 of Billy Gleason, who was running in third.
Zacharias was not done yet. He restarted at the rear of the field and charged back up to eighth, when he was black flagged for having his truck deck flapping in the wind. With the yellow out, he was able to correct the problem and again return to the back of the field. Up front Mike Scott made the move on Noe to take the lead on lap 21.
Zacharias was again the cause of the yellow, lap 29, when he spun in the second turn after again getting back up to eighth. Three more yellows for minor spins came on laps 34, 41 and 43. On lap 46 the yellow flew when Noe made contact with Scott, spinning the leader out in the third turn. Noe was sent to the rear along with Scott, but failed to fall all the way back. He would later be penalized for restarting ahead of three cars on the lead lap.
Dave Markham, who had been running in third, now found himself in the lead with track regular Kris Hillegeer in second. Markham was able to hold off Hillegeer over the final four laps to take the win. Hillegeer finished second followed by Willie Strusz, Gleason and Noe. Noe was moved back to eighth, three cars, and fifth went to the 2012 track champion Terry Cheetham.
The 20-lap Super Stock race saw just eight cars take the green with Brian Hallett leading all 20 laps in a race that ran green-to-checkers. Following Hallett across the finish line were Van Grant, Adam VanHall, Jeff Davis and Gary Miller to round out the top five.
The 15-lap Auto Value Scorpion feature saw Shawn Frarey also led the entire distance. He was challenged for the lead by Mike Bradshaw, the 2012 division champion. But Bradshaw had to settle foe second followed by Bro Bradshaw, Zach Willis and Travis Montgomery. This race also went green-to-checkers.
Finally in the Casey Midgets, Camden Barber grabbed the lead from Kyle Hutchinson on lap three. The start of the race saw two yellow flags. The first yellow was for contact between Gordy Steffan and pole sitter Charlie DiRosa in the second turn. DiRosa would sit out the rest of the race. The second yellow flew when Jim Fleichman slowed on the track.
Barber would lead the rest of the distance. On lap 15, the yellow flew when Chris Barber spun in the second turn. On lap17, the red flag had to be displayed when Brandon Zavarbella flipped his car in the first turn. The car was righted and Zavarbella returned to action at the back of the field.
Camden Barber went on to take the feature win followed by Andy Jankowiak, Sean Nye, Kyle Hutchinson and Nelson Rung. For Barber it was his second win of the year at Spencer, also having taken the feature win back on July 6.
SPENCER NOTES: It was announced that the Spencer Speedway annual awards banquet would be held November 9, at the Palmyra VFW on Route 31, in Palmyra, NY. Banquet tickets are just $30 each and will be available through October 20, by calling the speedway at 315-589-3018. Look for more information on the Spencer Speedway website…On Friday night, before the races were reset for Saturday, the kids were treated to the “Kids, Coins and Candy” promotion which saw some 3500 nickels and 107 pounds of candy up for grabs. This promotion was run during the time officials were discussing the rain soaked speedway conditions….On the topic of rain. Heavy rains hit the speedway no more then 15 minutes following the final checkered flag of the night. This rain lasted most of the rest of the night.
The Final Top Ten in Sunoco Modified Spencer Tack Points: 1) Rusty Smith 847, 2) Kevin Timmerman 759, 3) Mike Leaty 750, 4) Tony Hanbury 713, 5) Ryan Beeman 710, 6) Eddie Hawkins 677, 7) Matt Lees 656, 8) Daryl Lewis Jr. 634, 9) Tommy Catalano 623, 10) Andy Lewis 613.
The Final Top Ten in Super Stock Spencer Tack Points: 1) Terry Cheetham 925, 2) Mitchell Wright 850, 3) Brandon Larner 566, 4) Willie Strusz 538, 5) Billy Gleason 500, 6) Brian Gordon 346, 7) Steve Malin 256, 8) Jim Steffenhagen Jr. 178, 9) John Avery 149. 10) Joe Miller 126.
The Final Top Ten in Super Six Spencer Tack Points: 1) Brian Hallett 960, 2) Brandon Allen 784, 3) Adam VanHall 742, 4) Van Grant 733, 5) Erick Ruffell 710, 6) Tim Faro 702, 7) Hugh Vine Jr. 688, 8) Rick Wilson 680, 9) Denny Coyle 438, 10) Jeff Davis 360.
The Final Top Ten in Auto Value Scorpion Spencer Tack Points: 1) Mike Bradshaw 930, 2) Kevin Bertolone 807, 3) Joe Clark 779, 4) Zach Willis 777, 5) Alison Knoepfler 763, 6) Shawn Frarey 751, 7) Dave Bradshaw 722, 8) Beth Dennie 706, 9) Russell Peets 705, 10) Bro Bradshaw 574.
Spencer Speedway is located just fifteen minutes east of Rochester, NY, along Route 104 in the Town of Williamson. Spencer Speedway is the local “NASCAR Place to Race” for Central New York. Points earned each week at Spencer are counted into the national NASCAR Whelen All-American Points. We’ll see everyone in 2013!
FALL OPEN NIGHT SUMMARY
HEAT 1: K. Totten, K. Timmerman, A. Jankowiak, D. Lewis Jr., A. Catalano.
HEAT 2: R. Smith, M. Leaty, B. Lippa Jr., C. Finocchario, Eddie Hawkins
HEAT 3: T. Catalano, R. Beeman, J. Leaty, J. Dineen, T. Wiest
FEATURE (75-laps): RUSTY SMITH, Kevin Timmerman, Chris Finocchario, Andy Jankowiak, Erik Stritzel, Mike Leaty, Jake Vernon, Daryl Lewis Jr., Bobby Lippa Jr., Amy Catalano, Tony Hanbury, Donald King, Neal Dietz, Ed Hawkins, Mike Ide, Jake Boerman, Tommy Wiest, Jerry Dineen, Kurt Totten, Ryan Beeman, Tommy Catalano, Jan Leaty, Eddie Hawkins, Scott Combs-DNS.
HEAT 1: M. Wright, N. Peckham, M. Scott, T. Markham, D. Johnson.
HEAT 2: J. Steffenhagen Jr., J. Dinzler, J. Duke, W. Strusz, J. Miller.
HEAT 3: C. Zacharias, T. Cheetham, B. Gleason, G. Noe, B. Ripley
FEATURE (50-laps): TOM MARKHAM, Kris Hillegeer, Willie Strusz, Billy Gleason, Terry Cheetham, Mike Scott, Bob Ripley, Gary Noe, Mitchell Wright, Jay Canonico, Dave Johnson, Brianna Ramsey, Chris Zacharias, Phil Alhart, T.J. Cochrane, Joe Miller, Brandon Larner, John Avery, Matt Larrivee, Jason Duke, Nate Peckham, Jim Steffenhagen Jr., Jason Dinzler.
HEAT: B. Hallett, V. Grant, J. Davis, A. VanHall, G. Miller.
FEATURE (20-laps): BRIAN HALLETT, Van Grant, Adam VanHall, Jeff Davis, Gary Miller, Paul Moose, Denny Coyle, Todd Guerin
AUTO VALUE SCORPIONS
HEAT 1: S. Frarey, M. Bradshaw, R. Peets, A. Montgomery, A. Knoepfler, J. Dennie
HEAT 2: B. Bradshaw, T. Montgomery, Z. Willis, B. Dennie K. Bertolone, C. Graves
FEATURE (15-laps): SHAWN FRAREY, Mike Bradshaw, Bro Bradshaw, Zach Willis, Travis Montgomery, Austin Montgomery, Kevin Bertolone, Russell Peets, Chad Graves, Alison Knoepfler, Robert Dennie, Jennifer Dennie, Tim Lewis Jr.
HEAT 1: K. Hutchinson, N. Rung, B. Zavarbella, C. DiRosa, S. Gleed
HEAT 2: C. Barber, J. Fleischman, C. Heywood, O. Bednasz, G. Steffan
FEATURE (20-laps): CAMDEN BARBER, Andy Jankowiak, Sean Nye, Kyle Hutchinson, Nelson Rung, Jeremy Haudercourt, Chad Haywood, Jim Fleichman, Chris Barber, Brandon Zavarbella, Gordie Steffan, Charlie DiRosa. Not returning from 9/7 were Scott Gleed and Owen Bednasz.