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For Immediate Release – August 30th, 2016 – SWL Awards photo -
(WOODHULL, NY) – Billy Van Pelt set out to win a third straight Insinger Performance 370 Modified championship in 2016, with car owner and friend Grant Hilfiger. Several months into the season, Van Pelt found out this would be their last opportunity to do so as Hilfiger will shift his focus from motorsports to his growing and successful businesses.
The rest of Van Pelt’s competition probably agreed that a seventeen-time track champion didn’t need any extra motivation to win races and go for championship number eighteen. But with his fifth victory of 2016 on Saturday night, Van Pelt found himself standing in Instant Heat Wood Pellets Victory Lane celebrating another “W” and another notch on the track championship tally.
Van Pelt wasted no time from his seventh starting position, attacking Brady Fultz who led the opening lap on a lap one restart. Fultz was fast and riding through the middle lane, but Van Pelt was stuck lick glue to the bottom line and hooking up well to a tackier than normal surface.
Once out front, Van Pelt drove out to an insurmountable lead and it’s likely a good thing he did so. The track encountered a lengthy green flag run after the first caution flag on lap one, changing the surface during the course of the twenty-five-lap race.
“Oh man, I was worried about the adjustments I made,” said Van Pelt afterwards. “The race track started to flip right there in the middle of the feature, so it did get a little bit loose. But being that we didn’t have a caution, I couldn’t make any adjustments.”
While Fultz drove a great race in second, Eric Fisher also found the bottom lane that Van Pelt used to success in his Bully Hill Vineyards, Fisher Tree Service No. 37c. Fisher would ultimately get by Fultz for the spot at the checkered flag, but not before going side-by-side for countless laps through the mid-portion of the feature. Lap traffic became a factor late, creating challenges for drivers in the middle to high lane like Fultz.
While Van Pelt’s car changed in handling, he had pulled out to a lead far enough that an ill-handling car at the end would make no difference in the outcome. Van Pelt raced away to win number five of the season, also clinching the 2016 track championship.
How did Van Pelt feel about clinching and bringing home three-straight for Grant Hilfiger Racing?
“I am just thrilled with what we’re doing,” reflected Van Pelt. “Grant is super happy. I just really wanted to be on top of our game when we parted ways.”
Van Pelt could have left off right there, but he clued fans in on his 2017 plans that appear to already be in place. It seems as though his nickname ‘The Deuce’ will be making a return, and the whispers of retirement have been squashed.
“I’ve already got next year’s car lined up. Not going to say who it is, but it will be a No. 2 next year. Everybody can look out for ‘The Deuce’.”
With one championship clinched, Chris Daugherty was ready to clinch a championship of his own. Daugherty took care of business in his heat race, claiming an additional bonus point for finishing third. Daugherty would carry a little bit of luck as well on Swarthout Recycling Night as he would pick the pole position in the redraw for the twenty-five-lap NAPA Crate Sportsman feature event.
Daugherty would never allow anyone to get alongside the No. 22jz, as Daugherty led every lap enroute to his seventh victory of 2016 at Woodhull. The one driver who had a chance to contend with Daugherty though, was Addison, NY pilot Stacy Jackson.
Jackson started twelfth on the starting grid after winning last Saturday night. He would have a great chance to get alongside Daugherty, as he was faster on the outside lane in his Last Lap, Realty USA No. 22j.
But as Jackson closed in on Brandon Butler for second and Daugherty for the lead, Butler put up a great fight for second. A restart where Butler and Jackson contested the second spot allowed Daugherty to get out in clean air just far enough to keep the contenders at arm’s reach.
Jackson would get by Butler for the runner-up position, but Daugherty was the story as he claimed the win and the 2016 track championship with one point show remaining. Butler finished third over Josh Keesey in fourth and Dayton Brewer the top five. Brewer may have had the fastest car on the track, but a lap one spin from contact would make Brewer come from the back of the pack.
“Hats off to everybody that helps us out,” said Daugherty. “If it wasn’t for all of those people, we wouldn’t be in this position tonight to be able to lock this championship up with one race to go.”
With the success they have had, not just in 2016, Daugherty was asked if this championship meant more than any of his previous championships?
“There’s not any one that means more than the others, but the year we have had, this one is special.”
The second to last point race left many possibilities for the drivers of the SWL 360 Late Model division. Bruce Miller was searching for a track championship at Woodhull, and would need just a solid night to wrap it all up.
Steve LaBarron and Brett Marlatt started on the front row as the green flag dropped. Marlatt was racing Jason McGregor’s No. 67j machine for the night and did quite well.
LaBarron got the lead into turn one but Marlatt grabbed it out of turn two. A caution on the completion of lap two was the first caution of the night. Mick Seeley in the No. 31 got turned around and the No. 14 of Rick Loucks tried to avoid him, but also spun just missing Seeley.
On the restart Marlatt led and continued to lead until lap seven. On lap seven though, Miller started working the inside to get by Marlatt and at the line Miller had the lead by a nose.
Glenn Whritenour started at the back and was making his way up through to third putting pressure on Marlatt for second. Miller continued to lead and started to extend it as Whritenour passed Marlatt and now LaBarron was starting to put pressure on Marlatt.
Whritenour tried to get by Miller, but ran out of time and Miller won the twenty-lap event. Whritenour came in second and LaBarron came in third.
“I’ve never really been a points racer,” said Miller. “Woodhull has never been a track that is suited to my driving style. But we have really found a pretty good setup here.”
“We put in 100% effort all the time, but it’s a pretty unique challenge to hit the set up right here.”
Miller was able to lock up the title with former BRP Can Am 360 Late Model Series tour director Gary and Karen Montgomery in attendance.
Kurt Stebbins wasn’t able to lock up the track championship just yet, but took a big step toward his first Woodhull title with a win on Saturday night. Stebbins was lucky enough to draw the pole position for the feature and wouldn’t let anyone steal his spotlight on the third-mile bullring.
Glenn Whritenour looked as though he might give Stebbins a great challenge for the win, but Whritenour veered right into the pits in turn 1 during his bid for the lead. This put all eyes on Teddy Morseman, who is Stebbins’ only real challenger as far as the championship is concerned. Morseman ran within the top five for most of the night, but broke on the final lap, coming to rest before the checkered flag flew- relegating him to eighth place as he finished a half-lap ahead of all lapped machines.
Tracy Dunn had a fast car himself on Saturday night, but a sealed tire was the suspected culprit on a lap five restart. The drive of the night went to Dan Gardner, who put in his best run of the season in his No. 62. Gardner finished third.
“This means the world to me right now,” said Stebbins. “We did our homework and we came home with the victory again. There for a few laps, I tried the middle but ended up bringing it back down to the bottom.”
Karl Born and John Hand Jr. started on the front row of the twenty-lap Daugherty Auto Sales Mini Stocks event. Hand grabbed the lead and the cars fanned out to four wide coming out of turn two.
Born continued to lead laps one and two. On lap three, Ron Dailey Jr. got turned around and the No. 73 of Chip Warner also got sideways. However all of the cars involved managed to keep it under green flag racing. Born continued his lead.
By lap six most of the cars had fanned out with Karl Born having a half a straightaway lead.
The No. 4d6 of Ray Hyer made his way up to second and was on a mission to pass Born. Born maintained the lead, taking it easy through each set of corners. Hyer was right behind him trying to make up ground between him and Born. He would run out of time and Born brought home the win.
“I was scared to death because I had steam pumping out of it and the oil pressure was going down, but it held together so we’re happy tonight,” said Born with a laugh. “It was about 260 degrees, which was cooler than it was last week.”
Born credited the win to a fellow competitor, who gave him a good pep talk before the races started on Saturday.
“I have to thank Ray Hyer. He stopped in my trailer and we had a talk. Ray gave me a few pointers and it sure worked. Also want to thank my dad who is always tuning in from Florida to see how we’re doing with the car.”
The Woodhull Auto Supply Front Wheel Drive division was dominated in their twenty-lap feature event by Matt Prescott in the No. 93. Prescott led the event, but the race was on for second place.
Codie Baker, Shawn Gleason, Ron Hill, Nate Freeland and several others were locked in a tight pack for the runner-up spot for the entire second half of the race. Baker would end up with the second position at the checkered flag, which brought him into a tie for the Front Wheel Drive point lead with Shawn Gleason who finished sixth.
The championship will be on the line next Saturday night between Gleason and Baker.
Ajay Potrzebowski pretty much put the Daugherty Auto Sales Warriors championship out of reach on Saturday night, with another victory on the high banks. The now thirteen-year-old pilot out of Horseheads, NY kept fellow competitor Cole Youse just far enough behind the No. 72, to not allow Youse to get a run.
Potrzebowski now leads by nineteen points over Youse in the championship, which will be officially decided this coming Saturday night.
Quinn Roberts and Stone Keller were victorious in the 270 Micro Sprints return to Woodhull Raceway this past Saturday.
This Saturday at Woodhull Raceway will be championship night presented by Kibbe Oil and Gas Field Service. Race time is set for 6:30PM.
Race fans are encouraged to sign up for the fastest alerts from Woodhull Raceway’s Rained Out Alert system by sending the text message “WoodhullAlert” to 84483, message and data rates may apply.
For more information race over to www.woodhullraceway.com, Like Woodhull Raceway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WoodhullRaceway or Follow Woodhull on Twitter @WoodhullPR.
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 and the Short Track Super Series Modifieds in mid-August.
Woodhull Raceway Swarthout Recycling Night Official Results August 27th, 2016
INSINGER PERFORMANCE 370 MODIFIEDS, 16 cars (25 Laps): BILLY VANPELT (5), Eric Fisher, Brady Fultz, Art Goodier, Josh Nobriga, Kenny Peoples Jr., Russell Morseman, Mike Bills, Donnie Lawson, Ryan Tracy, Dillon Groover, Dave DuBois, Boyd McTavish, Brian Doolittle, Aaron Jacobus, Frank Dunning
H1- Art Goodier, Mike Bills, Frank Dunning
H2- Billy Van Pelt, Josh Nobriga, Kenny Peoples Jr.
NAPA CRATE SPORTSMAN, 20 cars (25 Laps): CHRIS DAUGHERTY (7), Stacy Jackson, Brandon Butler, Josh Keesey, Dayton Brewer, Collin Brown, Jake Dgien, AJ Costley, Tim Guild, Stevie Hartman III, Jerry Aldrich, Tracy Stanford, Dan Michaud, Jason Gleason, Brandon Martin, Scott Tubbs, Chris Hay, Greg Young, David Mayo
H1- Stacy Jackson, Brandon Martin, Jake Dgien
H2- Dayton Brewer, AJ Costley, Chris Daugherty
H3- Collin Brown, Tracy Stanford, Josh Keesey
SWL AWARDS 360 LATE MODELS, 7 cars (20 Laps): BRUCE MILLER (6), Glenn Whritenour, Steve LaBarron, Brett Marlatt, Kurt Stebbins, Rick Loucks, Mick Seeley
H1- Glenn Whritenour, Brett Marlatt, Kurt Stebbins
JOE WILLCOX PERFORMANCE AUTOMATICS STREET STOCKS, 13 cars (20 Laps): KURT STEBBINS (4), Tracy Dunn, Dan Gardner, Brett Marlatt, Jeredd Dennis, Branden Morseman, Zane King Jr., Teddy Morseman, Dennis Cummings, Trevor Tompkins, Allison Pierce, Matt Hamilton, Glenn Whritenour
H1- Glenn Whritenour, Dan Gardner, Branden Morseman
H2- Tracy Dunn, Kurt Stebbins, Brett Marlatt
DAUGHERTY AUTO SALES MINI STOCKS, 11 cars (20 Laps): KARL BORN (2), Ray Hyer, Chris Woodard, Ron Dailey Jr., John Hand Jr., Chip Warner, Rick Amidon, Corky Grant, Jeffery Daugherty, Scott Lehman, Derrick Puryear
H1- John Hand Jr., Chris Woodard, Chip Warner
H2- Ray Hyer, Karl Born, Corky Grant
WOODHULL AUTO SUPPLY FWD, 11 cars (20 Laps): MATT PRESCOTT (1), Codie Baker, Nate Freeland, Dave Richmond, Ron Hill, Shawn Gleason, Chris Shelley, Carl LaBarron, Joe Gillespie, Adam DelGrosso, Ryan Austin
H1- Nate Freeland, Ron Hill, Shawn Gleason
H2- Dave Richmond, Matt Prescott, Codie Baker
DAUGHERTY AUTO SALES WARRIORS, 6 cars (10 laps): AJAY POTRZEBOWSKI JR. (6), Cole Youse, Trevor Hamilton, Brody Amidon, Kayley Potrzebowski, Noah Talada
270 MICRO SPRINTS 8/13/16 MAKE UP, 28 cars (20 laps): QUINN ROBERTS, Jeff Haefke, Stone Keller, Brian Marriott, Mason Peters, Lance Spotts, Alex Shaffer, Daniel Wertman, Kyle Traver, Rick Francis, Dave Hawkins, Marcus Miller, Tom Sigley, Dakota Wertman, Scott Hawkins, Chad Douglas, Hunter Patterson, Dana Stevens, Elgin Barnes, George Stymus, Jared Zionkowski, Denny Rinehimer, Nicholas Whitesel, Derek Johnson, Shawn Freeland, Steve Haefke Jr., Troy Whitesel DNS: Gary Keister
270 MICRO SPRINTS, 28 cars (20 laps): STONE KELLER, Denny Rinehimer, Mason Peters, Jeff Haefke, Jared Zionkowski, Jeff Weaver, Brian Marriott, Dave Hawkins, Kyle Traver, Lance Spotts, Dakota Wertman, Troy Whitesel, Tom Sigley, Rick Francis, Steve Haefke Jr., Skeetz Hockenbroch, Dana Stevens, George Stymus, Elgin Barnes, Quinn Roberts, Daniel Wertman, Gary Keister, Scott Hawkins, Chad Douglas, Alex Shaffer, Nicholas Whitesel DNS: Hunter Patterson, Derek Johnson