DUNDEE, N.Y. — Story and audio by Race Chaser Online New York Dirt Correspondent Steven Ovens — Mark Ranalletta photo —
It’s customary for the post-race press release to start out with the recap of the premier division, the Friendly Dodge & Ford Big Block/Small Block Modifieds. But on Friday night, a young thirteen-year-old driver won over the hearts of the packed grandstand by winning his first career feature at the Yates County oval on D.B. Miles Insurance Agency Night.
Young Jordan Bacon was entering his first career feature event in the Winners Circle Deli Bandit division. Bacon debuted in the best possible way- by winning the race on the last lap. But as exciting as his pass for the lead was, his victory lane interview garnered legend status.
“The first time I ever drove this thing was out in the parking lot,” said Bacon in Victory Lane. Fans cheered as the young driver won over the hearts of the crowd, talking away as though he was a twenty-year veteran in the sport.
Austin Labar jumped out into the early lead in the event, with once again, Joey Clark chasing him down in the ultra-fast No. 1 machine. Clark would dance with the devil on the top side of turns three and four before ultimately spinning to a stop in turn four.
While Labar led out front, Bacon was patiently working his way up through the field. He would take over the third spot on the restart and quickly went to work on second high point man Steven Perkins III. Bacon would make the pass for second as they crossed the line with just two laps to go.
Bacon made his move to the outside on the final lap to take the lead down the backstretch. Labar would shoot to the outside of turns three and four, but would have the rear end come around on him and spin the No. 42 to a stop in turn four. Bacon would streak away to his first career win, Perkins finished second and reclaims the points lead, Irwin with a career run for third, Clark fourth and Labar rounded out the field in fifth.
“I just didn’t want to wipe anybody out because I don’t want to make any enemies right now, first time driving the car,” Bacon said. “I wouldn’t even be driving this car if it wasn’t for that man (Jordan Keefer) so I have to thank him.”
Drivers often say you’ll never forget your first win and for Bacon, on this night, surely he will never forget his first.
Audio Interview with Jordan Bacon:
Lee Bills and Donnie Lawson led the field to Steve Kellogg’s green flag for the thirty-lap Friendly Dodge & Ford Modified feature event. Lawson ran off to the early lead in his Woodhull Auto Supply, RLB Trucking No. 11 and would lead the first half of the race.
The race would be slowed by a caution on lap fourteen and bunch the field back up for a double-file restart. Fast movers through the field included Ron Cartwright Jr who was second from starting third and Billy Van Pelt who moved from the eighth starting spot to third on lap twelve.
The restart saw Cartwright get the advantage down the backstretch and officially lead at the halfway mark. It only took five laps of heat in the American Racers for Van Pelt to start taking a peek under Cartwright for the lead. Van Pelt had a shot on the outside of turn four, but Cartwright came up the track off turn four causing Van Pelt to back off to not catch the concrete wall. Cartwright spoke about the near-miss in Victory Lane.
“That one lap I guess he was on the outside and I didn’t see him there, that happens,” said Cartwright.
The final caution came out on lap twenty-two for Daryl Hilkert who has something break on the front end of the car, shooting him from bottom to top in turn two. Derrick Podsiadlo and Brady Fultz had apparently made great choices on tires as they had worked up to fifth and seventh respectively after starting eighteenth and seventeenth.
The last eight laps was a battle royal for the win between Cartwright and Van Pelt. Van Pelt was able to work all the way down to the bottom to challenge for the lead. As the leaders exited turn four for the final time, Van Pelt was there and the pair drag raced to the double checkers for the victory.
Cartwright would beat Van Pelt to the line by a mere 0.158 seconds at the finish. Alan Johnson was strong and steady for another third place effort, Lawson held on to fourth after leading early and Podsiadlo scored his fifth top five finish of 2016.
“The car was good, we’ve had some problems the last couple weeks so it feels good to be back in Victory Lane,” said Cartwright in Outlaw Victory Lane.
Cartwright was asked if tire choice was the key factor in his win Friday night?
“We do things a bit different than everyone else here. So I guess we guessed right.”
Audio Interview with Ron Cartwright Jr.:
Mike “Action” Jackson picked up his second victory of 2016 on Friday night, in pretty dominating fashion. Zach Ziegenhagen and Mike Buchanan led the race to the green flag and Ziegenhagen was the rabbit early on, leading the first seven laps.
Buchanan, Todd Hayward and Tim Guild were dicing it up within the top five spots until disaster struck on lap seven. Buchanan spun off turn four off the front bumper of the No. 06 of Guild and triggered a four-car pileup in turn four.
Hayward and Buchanan took heavy damage and Loren Lincoln was a victim of circumstance although he continued on for a top five effort. Guild was DQ’ed for rough riding from not only that particular incident, but other transgressions that race officials pointed out earlier in the event prior to the accident.
On the restart, Jackson out-dragged Ziegenhagen to the first turn and it was all over from there. Jackson stretched the lead as Ziegenhagen was on his way to a career-best finish of third. Ziegenhagen held off Tom Collins in the No. 713 for numerous laps in the middle portion of the event, but once Collins got by there was no catching Jackson.
Jackson went on for his second win over Collins, Ziegenhagen, Ross Vleck and Lincoln. Afterwards, Jackson spoke to the crowd about how fast his No. 19J was and clued them in on a problem he had late in the going.
“Actually it wasn’t even running right,” said Jackson in Outlaw Victory Lane. “It started skipping as soon as I took the lead. I thought of all nights, I take the lead and it’s going to skip and even quit? The motor is actually a 2005, we had to have it resealed by Campbell and they did a phenomenal job on it. It’s just old and I love it.”
Audio interview with Mike “Action” Jackson:
Shawn Bruce has been on quite a tear lately in the Farmers Insurance IMCA Modifieds, picking up his third overall win and second in-a-row Friday night. Bruce took the lead from Brandon Smith on lap four and went virtually untouched for yet another Outlaw Speedway victory.
Sparky Hills and Scott Sebring were the front row for the feature and Hills would lead the opening lap in his bright yellow No. 45. Brandon Smith would take over the lead from Hills for laps two and three, but having started in the fourth position, Bruce was making moves and took the lead on lap four.
Will Ward, Rich Karlnoski and Phil Yaw put on quite a show early on for the fans as they fanned out three-wide off turn two on lap number seven. But that battle was far behind Bruce who was on cruise control.
The driver out of Troy, Pennsylvania made it two victories in as many weeks over fellow Troy, PA driver Brad Smith. Smith was good late in the event, but was a tick off compared to Bruce. Ward finished third ahead of Sebring and Brandon Smith.
“This kid sets this car up (pointing to his son) and I don’t know how he does it but I’ve never had a car drive so good,” said Bruce in Victory Lane. “Zach, he’s our grunt man, and we all need them in the pit area,” Bruce mentioned while thanking his car for a fast racecar.
Bruce also spoke to one particular lap in turn four that nearly saw the win evaporate in front of his eyes.
“I knew they were and I drove her in there just a little too hot,” laughed Bruce. “I kind of corrected it and got right out to the wall to not scrub any more speed off. I am just so thrilled.”
Audio Interview with Shawn Bruce:
The hardest fought win of the night probably went to LaVerne Knickerbocker out of Corning, NY in the Creekside Entertainment Street Stock feature event. Knickerbocker had to repass Street Stock point leader Chuck Winslow to reclaim the lead and go on to win- something not very many drivers in the division can say they have done in 2016.
The ‘Double-Deuce Coupe’ of Carl Cleveland and JJ Kreidler led the field to green and it was Kreidler who would take the early advantage at the top of the heap. But just one lap later 2015 Empire 100 Winner CJ Guererri would claim the top spot and lead laps two through seven.
But behind Guererri, there was a pack of dogs nipping at his heels. Knickerbocker was shot out of a cannon on the outside in his ‘Murder Nitro’ No. 187. He would get by Guererri and put the Finger Lakes Landscaping, Costa’s Auto Body and Towing, Trackside Products car out front and hoped to pull away for his second win of the season.
A restart on lap fourteen put Winslow on Knickerbocker’s back bumper and Knickerbocker could only look on as Winslow raced to the lead down the backstretch on lap fifteen. While some fans in the stands may have thought the race was over, Knickerbocker wasn’t settling for second on this night.
“I knew I had a fast car, I just messed up a little bit I was overdriving the car in one and two,” reflected Knickerbocker. “I went back to some of last year’s set up and it worked great for the track tonight.”
Knickerbocker planted the car on the outside in turns three and four and got a great run to reclaim the lead at the line on lap seventeen. He would go on to hold off Winslow’s advances late for his second victory of the season. Guererri, Jon Carpenter and Gene Sharpsteen filled out the top five in a rare Outlaw Speedway start.
“Three and four was nice with a groove on the outside that would hold you right in and keep pulling off the corner,” said Knickerbocker. “It was a good clean race with me and Chuck, that’s how I like to race.”
Audio Interview with LaVerne Knickerbocker:
Rich Sharpsteen and Jarod Brown tried to shake off poor finishes last week by leading the field to green in the twenty-lap Four Cylinder feature event. Sharpsteen was fast out front, but faulty plug wires would spell the end of his night after leading the first four circuits. The Dundee, NY pilot just cannot buy a break in 2016, coming off double championships last season at Outlaw and Woodhull.
Desi Force looked like she might have a career night in the No. 94, but contact with Sharpsteen in turn four on the second lap sent Force around, collecting two other cars. Force did a great job trying not to collect Sharpsteen the leader in the incident, but she would have to drop to the tail for the restart.
It was not a good night to be a top points contender as Erica Bell caught an infield tire and spun to a stop on lap eight. Dave Whetham pulled off the track late in the going after spending his night racing within the top five.
While all of this was going on, 2014 track champion Scott Bradley was on a mission to pick up win number one of 2016. Bradley is also locked into the tight points battle, and did himself a whole bunch of favors by cruising away to victory on Friday night.
JJ Kreidler gave Bradley a great run at the end of the event, trying to dive low in the corners to take the lead. But Bradley had the ponies down the straights to keep Kreidler at bay. Bradley went on to win over Kreidler, Del Cummings, another top five effort for Brad Rathbun Jr. in the No. 91 for fourth and Craig Mahrt was the top front wheel drive car in fifth.
“THAT was fun,” said Bradley in Victory Lane. “I hope it was as much fun to watch as it was to drive.”
Bradley commented on Kreidler’s sportsmanship and great side-by-side racing at the end.
“That was the way to do it right there. It’s a fast car, it just keeps breaking on us. I’m excited for the rest of the year now.”
Audio Interview with Scott Bradley:
Coming up next Friday night at Outlaw Speedway, it’s Pepsi Night in Dundee as all divisions will be in competition as well as Outlaw Speedway’s first Fan Autograph Night. The Friendly Dodge & Ford Big Block/Small Block Modifieds, Crate Sportsman, Crate Late Models, Farmers Insurance IMCA Modifieds, Creekside Entertainment Street Stocks, Four Cylinders and Winners Circle Deli Bandits will all be in competition.
General admission for Fan Autograph Night presented by Pepsi will be $12 for adults 13 and up, Senior Citizens $10 with children 12 and under always being Free at Outlaw Speedway. Pit passes will be $30 on Friday night.
The Winners Circle Deli Bandits will begin at their customary 6:45PM race time. Qualifying heat races will roll off at 7:00PM with the grandstands opening up at 5:00PM sharp. The Pit area will open at 4PM.
For more information race over to www.outlawspeedwayllc.com follow Outlaw Speedway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OutlawSpeedwayLLC or follow us on Twitter @OutlawSpeedPR and Instagram @OutlawSpeedway
Outlaw Speedway is located at 82 Main St in Dundee, NY and holds dirt track racing weekly on Friday nights from mid-April through Labor Day Weekend in September. The speedway also hosts special events on the grounds with special races run during the fall months of September and October. A new era is being ushered in for 2016 as Tyler Siri takes over ownership of the Yates County oval nestled in the heart of the Finger Lakes.
Outlaw Speedway Official Results 7/1/2016:
FRIENDLY DODGE & FORD MODIFIEDS, 18 cars (30 Laps): RON CARTWRIGHT JR. (2), Billy Van Pelt, Alan Johnson, Donnie Lawson, Derrick Podsiadlo, Brady Fultz, Cory Costa, Lee Bills, Gary Tomkins, Tyler Siri, Steve Paine, Justin Wright, Marcus Dinkins, Jim LaRock, Chris Ostrowsky, Daryl Hilkert, Joe Dgien, Jordan Siri
Heat Race Winners: Ron Cartwright Jr., Jordan Siri, Tyler Siri
Lap Leaders: Lawson 1-14, Cartwright Jr. 15-30
CRATE SPORTSMAN, 19 cars (25 Laps): MIKE JACKSON (2), Tom Collins Jr., Zach Ziegenhagen, Ross Vleck, Loren Lincoln, Chris Fisher, Brett Buono, AJ Lloyd, Dale Welty, Stacy Jackson, Doug Smith, Garrett Rushlow, Mike Buchanan, John Austin, Todd Hayward, Brent Ayers DQ: Tim Guild DNS: Chris Silvers, Conner Brown
Heat Race Winners: Tim Guild, Mike Buchanan, Brent Ayers
Lap Leaders: Ziegenhagen 1-7, Jackson 8-20
FARMERS INSURANCE IMCA MODIFIEDS, 12 cars (20 Laps): SHAWN BRUCE (3), Brad Smith, Will Ward, Scott Sebring, Brandon Smith, Phil Yaw, Jesse Velez, Sparky Hills, Bruce Tinsley, Jeff Austin, Tony Harris, Rich Karlnoski
Heat Winner: Scott Sebring, Will Ward
Lap Leaders: Hills 1, Brandon Smith 2-3, Bruce 4-20
CREEKSIDE ENTERTAINMENT STREET STOCKS, 18 cars (20 Laps): LAVERNE KNICKERBOCKER (2), Chuck Winslow, CJ Guererri, Jon Carpenter, Gene Sharpsteen, JJ Kreidler, Gene Balmer, Jeremy Trank, Nate Daggett, Cody Nielsen, John Burritt, Quinn Sutherland, Carl Cleveland, Allison Teed, Ryan Krause, Adam Whipple, Jake Karlnoski DNS: Jayson Smart
Lap Leaders: Kreidler 1, Guererri 2-7, Knickerbocker 8-14, Winslow 15-16, Knickerbocker 17-20
Heat Race Winners: Chuck Winslow, Quinn Sutherland, Jon Carpenter
FOUR CYLINDERS, 24 cars (20 Laps): SCOTT BRADLEY (1), JJ Kreidler, Del Cummings, Brad Rathbun Jr., Craig Mahrt, Dan Smart, Scott Lehman, Derrick Puryear, Erica Bell, Billy Bowers, ShiAnn Labar, Desi Force, Travis McDonald, Jarod Brown, Codie Baker, Matt Mashewske, Dave Whetham, Donnie Clemons, Steve Perkins Sr., Jordan Keefer, Zach Teed, Rich Sharpsteen, Ray Hyer DNS: Chris Percy
Lap Leaders: Sharpsteen 1-4, Bradley 5-20
Heat Race Winners: Rich Sharpsteen, Ray Hyer, JJ Kreidler
WINNERS CIRCLE DELI BANDITS, 5 cars (10 Laps): JORDAN BACON (1st Career Outlaw Speedway Win), Steven Perkins III, Matt Irwin, Joey Clark, Austin Labar
Lap Leaders: Labar 1-8, Bacon 9-10