Media Contact: Steven Ovens - firstname.lastname@example.org For Immediate Release – June 15th, 2018 – Joe Kaminski Jr. photo -
(WOODHULL, NY) – Last Saturday night at “New York’s Toughest Bullring” provided that rare opportunity for everyone at the track to celebrate a first-time winner at the track. With as many veterans as Woodhull is blessed to have on a weekly basis, a first-time winner standing in Instant Heat Wood Pellets is rarified air.
Dan Gardner had literally been searching for his first Woodhull win for decades. He had finished second and he had his heart broke on several occasions with race-winning speed. But on an early June night in Steuben County- the Woodhull Raceway Gods looked down on Gardner and gave him the keys to the golden gates to Victory Lane on the frontstretch.
Oddly enough, Gardner’s Uncle Butch passed away almost ten years to the day on the night Gardner would take a racecar adorning his Uncle Butch’s number on it to the winner’s circle. A fact that didn’t get past Gardner during an emotional Victory Lane.
Anyone on the track last weekend that says they had a dry eye during that interview is straight up lying to you. Gardner raced a couple different numbers, but primarily a No. 15 which he ran on an IMCA car several years back. But when his team decided to come back to Woodhull with a Street Stock, it was a no brainer to throw a No. 62 on it in tribute.
As if all of that wasn’t a great story, it was what Gardner did for a young fan earlier in the night that gained him a whole bunch of good karma. Gardner had a young fan run up to him in the bleachers, asking for an autograph on a photo from the Photo Booth.
Seeing the importance of young race fans at the track, Gardner obliged. But he took it one step further when he had someone from the crew go grab one of their Team 62 shirts to give to the young man. The night was made for the little boy at that point.
Then came the Joe Willcox Performance Automatics Street Stock feature. Gardner ran a perfect race from the pole position and caught a couple yellows at just the right time to keep the lead late in the going.
The Osceola, PA driver would go on for the victory to the excitement of his crew, family and the little boy who now was wearing his shirt. The high fives and the smile from that young man in Victory Lane was just the cherry on top of it all. They took a great photo together, documenting what had been an absolutely perfect night.
It will be a night that Gardner and crew will certainly never forget and likely won’t be able to ever top. Although…they’d probably not give any future victories back including a shot at this year’s running of the ‘Woodhull 100.’
Stay tuned throughout the month of June and the rest of the Summer, as dirt track drivers create memories and write history at a racetrack fifty-four years in the running. When George Williams dug out Woodhull Raceway in 1964, events like last weekend were the vision. Victories like the one Gardner celebrated Saturday are just an added bonus on the High Banks.
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Woodhull Raceway is located in Woodhull, NY, just 30 minutes West of Corning, NY and competes weekly on Saturday nights from mid-April through Labor Day Weekend. The track offers several special events including the Patriot Sprint Tour 360 Sprints in May and July and the Short Track Super Series Modifieds in early-August.