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For Immediate Release – January 24th, 2019 – Joe Kaminski Jr. photo -
(WOODHULL, NY) – What can really be said about the 2018 Crate Sportsman season other than wow!?
In the NAPA Crate Sportsman division, an epic battle was waged between veteran Kenny Peoples Jr. and young gun Jake Dgien. A bitter rivalry that played out all season long and showed everyone what Saturday night short track scrapping and clawing is all about. Did things get heated at times, sure, but from that everyone saw the shear drive and passion both teams had to try and take that championship trophy home to their race shops.
Dgien was the model for consistency, scoring three wins, ten Top 5’s and twelve Top 10’s on the season. Peoples would score two wins, but suffered trouble on just a night more than Dgien did which proved costly.
It was a dog fight for this championship and created quite a rivalry between the two teams that often spilled over into the general admission area of the raceway. The grandstand was electric for Championship Night with the stands in turn four filled with dayglow green and orange shirts. It reminded many of us why it is we love this sport we spend so much time supporting.
Dgien sparked his season with two wins in the first three races to start the year. In contrast, Peoples rode some late season magic with a huge win on the night memorializing his nephew, Jake Davis, on August 4 and following that win up with another just two weeks later August 18.
In the end, a second place finish by Peoples and a fifth place finish by Dgien on Championship Night gave Dgien the edge by a mere three points. After a full season, the championship for People came down to a finish well outside the top ten on Aug 11 that was just too much to overcome. Dgien’s consistency, even on nights he didn’t win, proved to be the difference.
Brett Buono was a threat all season long, though his first win of the season never came until the Fall specials in finishing third in points. With so many focused on Dgien and Peoples at the top of the heap, many overlooked Buono who even had a mathematical shot at the title on Championship Night. Brandon Butler (1 win) and Tim Guild (2 wins) completed the top five points finishers.
Westfield, PA hot shoe Cole Youse was named Crate Sportsman Rookie of the Year.
The end of the year will leave racers and fans waiting until the March 15-17 Arnot Mall Car Show in Big Flats, NY to gather together once again to bench race in preparation for the 2019 season. The season will kick off on April 6 and 13 with open practice sessions, weather permitting, before kicking off with a special event on April 20 and the complete weekly program with Big Block/Small Block Modifieds on April 27.
For more information visit www.woodhullraceway.com or visit Woodhull Raceway on their Facebook and Twitter pages.