“The Deuce” Dominates For 7th Sherwood Memorial Victory, Punches Ticket To Port Royal Speed Showcase 200
Race Report by: Steven Ovens – September 16th, 2020 – Joe Kaminski Jr. photo –
(WOODHULL, NY) – Recently crowned Woodhull Modified track champion for the twenty-second time, Billy Van Pelt, did it again in the Lyle Sherwood Memorial Saturday night. 15 years after winning the event’s first edition, the driver out of Westfield, PA driving for Kevin and Karen Chilson did it again for the seventh straight year.
While the box score will show that Van Pelt started from the pole position, it is interesting to note that Van Pelt was the very last driver to draw in the Top 12 redraw on Griffith Energy Night. Van Pelt barely qualified out of a stacked heat race on a hammer-down tacky racetrack. But taking the fourth and final qualifying spot had him selecting his starting spot last- only to find the No. 1 chip left to pull.
On a night where racers and fans reminisce of races past involving Sherwood, they had something else to reminisce about as well. Former tag team announcing duo Kenny Shupp and Morgan Colegrove brought the field to green on the microphone in a reunion that was overdue and enjoyed by many in attendance in the pits and those watching at home.
Once the green flag dropped, Van Pelt planned on leaving absolutely no doubt. Within two laps, Van Pelt rocketed out to a 10-car length advantage. Many of the frontrunners you would have expected to be contenders for the win had their fair share of problems. Josh Nobriga spun early from the runner up position, while title contender Cory Costa had to head pitside a few times with mechanical woes and losing a lap.
A lengthy green flag run in the middle of the race saw Van Pelt jump out to an 8.1 second lead- lapping cars almost to within the top five cars in the running order. When the yellow flag flew on Lap 35 of the 40-Lap affair, Van Pelt could see the battle for third place ahead of his Instant Heat Wood Pellets Bicknell.
An extra distance race played right into the hands of veteran Mike Bills in the Herrington-owned No. 1. Herrington started eighth and made a run through the field in the second half of the race to get to Van Pelt’s back bumper for the restart. But Van Pelt gapped Bills by three car lengths on the restart.
Van Pelt extended the lead over the course of the 5-lap sprint to the finish to win his seventh Lyle Sherwood Memorial in a row- an extension of a record nobody is even in the ballpark of touching in 2020.
“It’s an honor to win this race,” said Van Pelt after climbing from Mullen Carpet, Two Rivers Timber No. 2.
“Lyle was a good friend, a neighbor, we raced hard together, we had our battles and friendship along the way too.”
Van Pelt also discussed winning the Guaranteed Starting Spot for the Short Track Super Series Speed Showcase 200 at Port Royal Speedway. A show that this win locked him into that could pay out $53,000-to-win on top of his $1,717 Sherwood Memorial victory.
“We planned on going to that any way, so this is just a bonus for us to be locked in. I hope that I can represent Woodhull Raceway in a high fashion.”
Before the night started with features for the Lyle Sherwood Memorial Night, three divisions decided their 2020 track championships with make up features rained out from Championship Night on September 5.
First was the Joe Willcox Performance Automatics Street Stocks, who saw Glenn Whritenour master the field to put a huge exclamation point on his 2020 championship season with a win. Whritenour wrapped up the title just by taking the green flag to lock it up for this year.
In the regularly scheduled Open Mini Stock event later that night, Dan Gardner absolutely took the field to the woodshed in capturing his second checkered flag of the season. The race went green-to-checkered without a single caution flag with Gardner having upwards or a full straightaway to nearly a half track lead at its largest gap.
Glenn Whritenour battled incredibly hard with Teddy Morseman and Kurt Stebbins for what seemed like the entire race, allowing Gardner to pull that much further away. Whritenour eventually got away free from Morseman and Stebbins but would need a miracle yellow flag to even come close to Gardner.
The Big Jim’s Wicked Tees Mini Stocks held their Championship Night race on Saturday night early in the show. Point rivals Jason Ketrow and Brody Amidon were virtually glued to each other as they sliced their way to the front of the pack. But in the race to the front, Ketrow made his way to the point first and would go on to score the feature win and lock up his second straight track title, with Amidon finishing third in the race and second in points.
In the Open Mini Stock night cap, Larry Colton bounced back from an engine problem in his heat race to come from dead last starting spot to win the 20-lap Feature. Colton’s GFY Chassis has had a highly successful run in these open shows at Woodhull and will likely visit again before 2020 is over.
Levi Riley and Jacob Tubbs split the Big Jim’s Wicked Tees Warriors feature events. Riley scored the win in the points championship make up race early in the night. Then it would 2020 track champion Jacob Tubbs who would score the victory in the night cap. Tubbs then revealed that he would be moving up to the adult division possibly as early as the next event and 2021 for sure.
The Whiteside boys swept Open Front Wheel Drive competition over the weekend. Don Whiteside raced his way to the heat race win. Then it was Brad Whiteside who would claim the win in an absolutely dominating performance in the Feature race.
The RUSH-sanctioned Crate Late Models had a great battle for the race win between brothers Brian and Jason Knowles. Brian “Porkchop” Knowles would lead the race early, but it wouldn’t take long for Jason “The Jet” to take the lead away. Not long after losing the lead, Brian got it back and would claim victory for the first time in 2020 at Woodhull.
Last but certainly not least, the Crate Sportsman feature saw a new face in Victory Lane. But to say a new face might be deceiving because its one of the veteran drivers of the Southern Tier who is willing to and has raced anything and everything he could jump behind the wheel of. Tony Harris would find his way to the race lead after Reese Hackett had his best run of the season in the Sportsman to lead the first 18 laps.
But Harris would find a way by and would hold off Kreg Crooker late in the going to win on Lyle Sherwood Memorial Night.
Woodhull Raceway Results – September 12, 2020 – Lyle Sherwood Memorial / Griffith Energy Night
BB/ SB Modifieds (17 cars)
Heats: Ajay Potrzebowski, Josh Nobriga
Lyle Sherwood Memorial (40 laps): BILLY VAN PELT, Mike Bills, Dayton Brewer, Ajay Potrzebowski, Joe Dgien, Brian Doolittle, Josh Nobriga, Ken Titus, Donnie Lawson, Frank Dunning, Brayden Bills, Sam Allen, Ray Bliss Jr, Walt Chyrywaty, Cory Costa, Larry Keegan
DNS- Brady Fultz
RUSH Late Models (10 cars)
Heats: Kurt Stebbins, Brian Knowles
Feature (20 laps): BRIAN KNOWLES, Jason Knowles, Darin Horton, John Haggerty, Steve LeBarron, Alan Chapman, Joe Layfield, Jim Buck, Jason McGregor, Kurt Stebbins
Crate Sportsman (22 cars)
Heats: Reese Hackett, Ted Morseman, Ajay Potrzebowski II
Feature (25 laps): TONY HARRIS, Kreg Crooker, Reese Hackett, Dale Welty, Bobby Peoples, Jordan Bacon, Ajay Potrzebowski II, Cayden Lawson, Blake Lawson, Teddy Morseman, Tracy Dunn, Nicole Hoag, Matt Sullivan, Danielle Thomas, Ben Feldman, Greg Crooker, Tony Velez, Cole Youse, Kaiden Dgien, Isabel Barron, Carter Crooker, Dylan Gilbert
Joe Willcox Performance Automatics Street Stocks
9/5 High Up Trucking Championship Night Makeup: GLENN WHRITENOUR, Teddy Morseman, Dan Gardner, Brett Crawford, Branden Morseman, Mick Seeley, Luke Boom, Mike Williams, Joe Birdsall, Brett Marlatt
DNS- Austin Allen, John Zimmerman
Track Champion: Glenn Whritenour
Open Street Stocks (17 cars)
Heats: Dan Gardner, Teddy Morseman
Feature (20 laps): DAN GARDNER, Glenn Whritenour, Ted Morseman, Brett Crawford, Kurt Stebbins, Jared Hill, Brett Marlatt, Dylan Cecce, Mick Seeley, Luke Boom, Damian Long, Mike Williams, Aaron Miller, Dale Rissinger Jr, Hank Buchanan, Mark Phelps, Branden Morseman
DNS- Joe Birdsall
Big Jim’s Wicked Tees Woodhull Warriors (9 cars)
9/5 High Up Trucking Championship Night Makeup (10 laps): LEVI RILEY, Tierney White, Jacob Tubbs, Ethan Decker, Blake Parsons, Marshall O’Brian, Jordan Costley, Bradly Morseman
DNS- Chelsea Harris, Jaden Stone
Track Champion: Jacob Tubbs
Heat: Jacob Tubbs
Feature (10 laps): JACOB TUBBS, Tierney White, Marshall O’Brian, Ethan Decker, Levi Riley, Keegan Smith, Jordan Costley, Bradly Morseman, Blake Parsons
Open FWD (8 cars)
Heats: Don Whiteside
Feature (20 laps): BRAD WHITESIDE, Codie Baker, Don Whiteside, Brian Beard, Wesley Houghtaling, Travis Southard, Jeff Lafler, Curtis Rung
Big Jim’s Wicked Tees Mini Stocks
9/5 High Up Trucking Championship Night Makeup (20 laps): JASON KETROW, Ray Hyer, Brody Amidon, Travis Webster, Josh Webster, Chris Woodard, Dylon Morseman, Jason Warner, Rick Amidon, Tyler Houghtaling, Dana Stevens
Track Champion: Jason Ketrow
Open Mini Stocks (16 cars)
Heats: Chris Woodard, Josh Webster
Feature (20 laps): LARRY COLTON, Brody Amidon, Josh Webster, Rick Amidon, Jason Warner, Ray Hyer, Andrew Collins, Jayson Smart, Travis Webster, Brett Gleason, Dana Stevens, Dylon Morseman, Mike Koser
DNS- Chris Woodard, Jason Ketrow, Tyler Houghtaling