By – Gary M. Spaid
Photos – Bev&Ken Dippel Photos
WILLIAMSON, NY – The 2010 Spencer Speedway Sunoco Modified Champion, Kevin Timmerman, picked up his winning ways and returned to victory in the curfew shortened, 25-lap, Sunoco Modified main event last Friday. This event was the opener for the Graff Trucking and Sunoco Race Fuels NASCAR Upstate NY Pro-Modified Challenge series.
“Here we are again, right where we where we left off last year. We were pretty fast, but Mike (Leaty), will be a tough competitor all year long,” stated an elated Timmerman. Leaty dogged Timmerman from lap eight until the end to finish second.
Kevin Timmeran poses in victory lane at Spencer on opening night
Seven yellow flags plagued the scheduled 35-lapper. Finally as time was clicking off toward curfew, an accident a lap 22 forced officials to shorten the race to just 25 circuits. This set up a green-white-checkered finish.
Mike Bradshaw returned to victory lane after going winless last season in the Auto Value 4-Cyclinder Scorpion division.
“Over the winter my dad talked me into dropping the Ford Mustang and fielding a Honda,” stated Mike Bradshaw. “It all seemed to work out tonight. I just can not tell you what this win means to me.”
“The Super Sixes ran a 20-lap main event with Chris Andolino taking his first victory in that division. And Tony Hanbury was on hand to win the 15-lap Legends Cars feature.
In the revived Super Stock division Jim Steffenhagen Jr. nudged his way into victory lane. “I want to dedicate this win to my mom, who has been ill as of late,” stated Steffenhagen. “I lost the power steering on lap two.”
The 35-lap Sunoco Modified main started off with the yellow flag flying as Paul Jeffers spun in the fourth turn. The restart lasted just one lap, with Timmerman in the lead. A mad scramble in the third turn resulted in Dave Catalano returning to the pits with a broken right front wheel suspension and Erich Stritzel on the back of a tow truck.
Timmerman held off Daryl Lewis on the restart followed by Billy Burd and Mike Leaty. On lap seven the yellow was out again, this time for a fourth turn shunt by Bobby Lippa Jr. who came to a rest on the track and Jeffers.
Only one lap was into the record books, when again the yellow flew for a duel spin by fourth place runner Jeff Ruddy and Andy Lewis in the first turn. Just before that yellow Leaty had passed Lewis Jr. for second.
Rookie Travis Grover was the cause of the next yellow, lap 12, following contact with Jake Boerman in the third turn. Grover’s number 30 had to be towed back to the pits, out of the race.
10-Daryl Lewis,Jr. & 54-Amy Catalano do battle in the Sunoco Modified main
A ten lap green lap run was then setup in which Timmerman and Leaty broke free out front. Amy Catalano was on the move, grabbing third with a neat low pass on Lewis Jr. on lap 17. She then took off after the two leaders. However before she was able to catch them the yellow flew when Chris Finocchario made heavy contact with the first turn wall on lap 22.
As the curfew time approached, officials decided to shorten the race to just 25 laps. This set up a dash for the checkers, with Timmerman coming out on top. Leaty, Amy Catalano, Daryl Lewis Jr., and Billy Burd rounded out the top five finishers.
The first feature of the night was the Auto Value Scorpions. Mike Bradshaw grabbed the lead from his pole starting position as a battle between Zach Willis and Alison Knoepfler developed behind him for second. Between laps five and eight a number of yellow flags flew slowing up the pace of the race. All of these were for spin outs around the track.
On lap nine the field settled in and ran for the checkers. Knoepfler was now solidly in second and hounding Bradshaw for the lead. Kevin Bertolone was third and moving in on the two leaders. As the leaders exited the fourth turn Knoepfler tried a bold inside move but just fell short at the finish line. Bradshaw took the win, his second ever win at the track. His first came at the final race in 2009. Knoepfler finished second followed by Bertolone, Mark Knapp and Willis to round out the top five finishers.
The Legend cars circled the speedway turning laps around 75 mph. Only seven cars answered the call for the feature. But during the first three laps three different drivers took their turn at leading the 20-lap race. A spin on the first lap forced the race to be restarted.
On lap three Brett Coon was leading Tony Hanbury and Billy Ray Pruitt. These last two raced side-by-side both driving 42ny numbered cars. On lap seven Hanbury broke free and chased down Coon, passing on lap eight down the back stretch for the lead. Hanbury never had to look back and only one yellow slowed the race pace. That came on lap 13, when Carl Vilardo IV spun around
Hanbury and Coon broke away from the rest of the starting field to finish the 15 lap race first and second. Vilardo IV recovered from his spin to finish third followed by Brad Salatino and Bryce Norton to round out the top five finishers.
The Super Sixes took to the speedway for their 20-lap feature. The drop of the green saw the pole sitter, Tim Faro, take the lead followed by Chris Andolino and Brandon Allen. On lap four Andolino used the high line around turn two to take the lead.
The yellow flew on lap 10 when Faro spun out of second place in the second turn. This moved Ryan Hillegeer, who had passed Allen for second on lap seven, into second. Hillegeer wasted no time and passed Andolino for the lead only to see the yellow fly again, lap 12.
On the restart both Hillegeer and Andolino raced side-by-side for a number of laps, each time either one leading by inches at the start-finish line. Finally on lap 16, Andolino moved ahead . It was now third place, Allen, who brought out the yellow on lap 17 as he slammed heavily into the second turn wall. His impact took out the electric for the turn signal lights, forcing officials to shorten the race and waive the checkers to make repairs. Andolino took the checkers followed by Hillegeer, Van Grant, Faro and Peter Cowell.
The Super Stocks returned with nine cars at the track, however only seven cars answered the starter’s call. At the green Roger Worden took the lead and drove away from second place Kris Hillegeer.
The lone yellow of the race came on lap eight when Tommy Catalano seemed to lose power and come to a stop on the back stretch. The restart saw Hillegeer fall off the pace with Mitchell Wright and Jim Steffenhagen Jr., battling for second. Lap 13 saw Steffenhagen grab second and take off after Worden. Two laps later he stuck the nose of his number 13 under Worden in the first turn and passed for the lead.
At the finish it was Steffenhagen with the win followed by Worden Wright, Hillegeer and Bobby Lippa Jr., substituting for Willie Strusz.
*The “Pack the Track” $6 adult admission promotion worked as an excellent crowd was on hand for the 57th annual season opener.
*June 3 would be the latest in a season to open the racing year since 1955 due to all of the wet weather this year. Drivers passed the helmet through the grandstands at intermission for an injured microd driver and collected nearly $750
*Kevin Timmerman’s win moved him into a tie for seventh on the sportsman modified all-time win list, with 10 wins.
*Steffenhagen’s win in the Super Stocks was the first since 1997, when the Super Stocks were converted into Street Stocks.
NASCAR racing returns to Spencer this Friday, June 10, when it will be Whelen Engineering night featuring all of the same divisions; Sunoco Modifieds, Super Stocks, Super Sixes, Auto Value Scorpions and the Legend Cars. Due to the expected length of the program racing will start at 7 p.m. next Friday.
The Sunoco Modifieds will be running a 100-lap feature, delayed from May 20, as part of the Graff Trucking and Sunoco Race Fuels NASCAR Upstate NY Pro-Modified Challenge series. Adult admission will be just $15. For more information go on Spencer Speedway go to www.spencerspeedway.org.
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 Series championship.
NASCAR INSINGER RACING FUELS NIGHT SUMMARY
HEAT 1: B. Coon, B. Salatino, B. Norton, D. Hanbury.
HEAT 2: T. Hanbury, C. Vilardo IV, B. Pruitt, C. Neumann.
FEATURE (20-laps): TONY HANBURY, Brett Coon, Carl Vilardo IV, Brad Salatino, Bryce Norton, Charlie Neumann, Donnell Hanbury, Billy Ray Pruitt.
AUTO VALUE 4-CYCLINDER SCORPIONS
HEAT 1: M. Bradshaw, M. Knapp, K. Bertolone, A. Montgomery, R. Peets.
HEAT 2: Z. Willis, A. Knoepfler, J. Clark, O. Bradshaw, D. Bradshaw.
FEATURE (15-laps): MIKE BRADSHAW, Alison Knoepfler, Kevin Bertolone, Joe Clark, Mark Knapp, Zach Willis, Bro Bradshaw, Dave Bradshaw, Otis Bradshaw, Dale Lazzaro, Russell Peets, Andrea LaManna, Josh Waite, Richie Gross, Austin Montgomery, DNS: Beth Dennie
HOOSIER SUPER SIXES
HEAT 1: T. Faro, B. Allen, R. Hillegeer, J. Welch, E. Ruffell.
HEAT 2: C. Andolino, V. Grant, B. Hallett, P. Cowell, A. VanHall.
FEATURE (17-laps): CHRIS ANDOLINO, Ryan Hillegeer, Van Grant, Tim Faro, Peter Cowell, Erick Ruffell, Adam VanHall, Rick Wilson, Brandon Allen, John Welch, Brian Hallett.
HEAT 1: R. Worden, B. Lippa Jr., M. Wright, J. Steffenhagen Jr., T. Fecteau.
HEAT 2: K. Hillegeer, T. Catalano, J. Parent.
FEATURE (20-laps): JIM STEFFENHAGEN JR., Roger Worden, Mitchell Wright, Kris Hillegeer, Bobby Lippa Jr., Tom Fecteau, Tommy Catalano, DNS: Billy Gleason, Jeff Parent.
HEAT 1: M. Leaty, A. Catalano, F. Taylor, E. Stritzel, P. Jeffers.
HEAT 2: K. Timmerman, D. Lewis Jr., T. Hanbury, R. Beeman, T. Bradshaw.
HEAT 3: J. Ruddy, B. Lippa Jr., C. Finocchario, B. Burd, E. Hawkins,.
FEATURE (25-laps): KEVIN TIMMERMAN, Mike Leaty, Amy Catalano, Daryl Lewis Jr., Billy Burd, Eddie Hawkins, Ryan Beeman, Tony Hanbury, Jeff Ruddy, Zach Truesdail, Matt Lees, Fred Taylor, Paul Jeffers, Mark Cline, Jake Boerman, Ed Hawkins Sr., Chris Finocchario, Jody London, Travis Grover, Andy Lewis, Toad Bradshaw, Bobby Lippa Jr., Dave Catalano, Erich Stritzel.