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August 10, 2007

 

Fogarty off to fast Watkins Glen start

By TOM VARTANIAN
Motorsports Writer

The boys are back! Watkins Glen International hosts the NASCAR invasion this weekend. The action gets underway today with the Rolex Sports Car Series hitting the track.
Jon Fogarty captured his sixth consecutive Daytona Prototype pole position of the season Thursday, scorching the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen International short course with a track record lap of 1:07.020, 131.603 mph to take the top position for today’s Crown Royal 200 at The Glen. Fogarty gave the No. 99 Gainsco/Bob Stallings Pontiac Riley its 11th front row start in 11 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve races after qualifying Thursday. Fogarty has seven poles to two for his teammate, Alex Gurney, who took the top spot for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen here in June. Gurney also held the short course record of 1:07.496, established one year ago.
Fogarty broke the track mark with his first lap in the 15-minute session, and bettered it slightly on his second, and final, lap.
Joining Fogarty on the front row will be Nic Jonsson, who ran 130.387 mph in the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley he co-drives with Colin Braun. Max Angelelli will start third in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley qualified by Memo Gidley. Mark Wilkins qualified fourth in the No. 61 AIM Autosport Lexus Riley, followed by Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 39 Cheever Crown Royal Pontiac Fabcar.
The 82-lap race is set to take the green flag at 6:30 p.m. ET, with a two-hour time limit.
The NASCAR Busch Series is back for a third straight year to compete in the Zippo 200 Saturday with the green flag flying at 3:30 p.m. with The Centurion Boats at The Glen Nextel Cup race is scheduled to take the green flag at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information, please contact the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE or log on to the official website at www.TheGlen.com. If you cannot make the races, the Busch Race will be on ESPN2 with the Cup race on ESPN.
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Following up on last week and the incident at Thunder Mountain Speedway in Center Lisle, which resulted in a two-week suspension of No. 169 Sportsman Modified driver Josh Pursell and the indefinite suspensions of Sportsman Modified driver Chance Spoonhower, Modifed driver Billy Spoonhower and former track owner Karl Spoonhower, plus their crews, I received a Monday morning phone call from Karl, who wanted to give his side of the story.
“It was all lies and incorrect information,” Spoonhower said. “Chance was spun early in the race by Rodney Hart and had no trouble going to the back of the pack for the restart. He did that and was working his way forward. Once he passed Pursell, Josh began hitting Chance’s car repeatedly. After the caution came out, Josh kept hitting Chance. When Josh got out of his car, he picked up a rock and was going to throw it at Chance, but he was stopped by others. Many people saw that.
“During this, some guy jumped over the fence between the spectator stands and the pit stands,” Spoonhower continued. “I will admit that I grabbed him. I did not hit him. Another guy tried to come over the fence and he was grabbed by the sheriff deputy. Not long after that, two people ran through the pit gate and began all the problems in the pits.”
As for the resulting fight in the pits, Spoonhower added these thoughts: “I was just protecting my sons like any father would do. Chance did not do a thing nor did Billy. I have even talked with Josh Pursell’s father. The Pursell crew was not even involved in the fight. There is no bad blood or problem between either of our teams.”
Karl Spoonhower also wanted to set the record straight on a couple of other things.
“I will tell anyone who asks why I sold the track,” Spoonhower said. “I was offered $450,000 for it. Wouldn’t you take it? I only sold the track for the money. No other reason was involved.
“I also want to say that I am in no way trying to put Dick Stark out of business,” Spoonhower added. “Why would I want to? There is no reason for me to do that.”
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Racing action continues at Skyline Raceway (Blodgett Mills) this Saturday night with a big six-division racing card featuring the Sportsman Modifieds, IMCA Modifieds, Pure Stocks, Four-Cylinder Stocks, Junkyard Dogs, and Junkyard Pups. Also on tap will be the Walden Oaks Country Club Closest to the Pin contest. Watch your favorite drivers swing a golf club. That is always entertaining. Racing gets underway at 6:30 p.m. For the more information, call the track office at 607-657-8222, the speedway on race day at 607-849-6600 or log onto www.skylineracewayny.com, the speedway’s official Web site.
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The racing action at Thunder Mountain Speedway (Center Lisle) Saturday will take on a special meaning with the running of the George Lewis Modified Memorial Race. There is more than $700 in lap money along with the winnings drivers will receive for just running the race. This is a great race in honor of a late great racer from the Southern Tier, George Lewis. Also on tap will the Sportsman Modifieds, Hurricane Street Stocks, Road Warriors, Road Bandits, as well as the Road Warrior Powder Puff race. Gates will open at 4 p.m. with racing getting underway at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call the speedway office at 607-849-7889 or checking out their Web site at www.thunderracetrack.com.
Thunder Mountain will also have a special show coming up Tuesday. The show will feature a headlining $2000 to win Modified Short Track Super Nationals qualifier with confirmed entries like Gypsum Express racer Billy Decker, Joey Grammes, Mike Gular, Bobby Varin, Brian Weaver, Mike Colsten, Paul Jensen, as well as a host of others. Along with this qualifier will be a $750 to win Sportsman STSN qualifier, Hurricane Street Stocks will do battle with the top 3 finishers garnering a “Hurricane” Harry Uhl Jr. Street Stock Memorial spot, a Fulton Victoria spot, and a STSN qualifying position respectively. Also on tap are the Road Warriors and Road Bandits, with the Bandits racing for a STSN qualifying spot. All of this racing action will be brought to you by Hart’s Logging and Barrett’s Family Dentistry. This show was postponed earlier this season. The gates will open at 4 p.m., with the show getting underway at 7 p.m.
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One of the most popular nights of the 2007 race season will be held tonight at Brewerton Speedway as www.cnyjunkcarswanted.com presents Family Autograph Night. After the qualifying races are complete, all cars and drivers will be brought down to the front stretch as race fans will have full access to visit, get autographs from, and take photos with their favorite drivers. In race action will be the DIRTcar Modifieds, IMCA Modifieds, ESDCA Mod Lites, and 4-Cylinder Super Stocks plus a special appearance by the Midstate Vintage Stock Car Club. Race time at the “D-Shaped DIRT Demon” is set for 7 p.m. For more information, please contact the track office at 315-668-6906, the race line at (315) 668-RACE or visit the track’s Web site at www.brewertonspeedway.com.
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The Midstate Vintage Stock Car Club will invade the Fulton Speedway high banks this Saturday Aug. 11 on Canale Insurance Night. The antique race cars, which feature coupes, coaches, sedans and much more from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s will give fans a glimpse of racing in the yesteryear. Also in race action will be the headline DIRTcar Modifieds in a show-up points event plus the DIRTcar Sportsman, UMP Pro Stocks, UMP Street Stocks, Gypsum Express Crate Sportsman, and 4-Cylinder Enduros. Race time at the Home of the Victoria 200 is set for 7 p.m. For more information, contact the track office at 315-593-6531, the race line at 315-668-RACE, or log on to the track’s Web site at www.fultonspeedway.com.
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This Sunday at Utica-Rome Speedway (Vernon), Bishop Print Shop will present another night of professional short track auto racing with a regular show of 358-Modifieds, Sportsman, Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, and IMCA Modifieds. Also scheduled is the popular Family Autograph Night, allowing fans to interact with their favorite drivers. Gates open at 3 p.m. with racing at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call the track office at 315-725-5709, the Track Phone/Raceday Phone at 315-829-4557 or log on to www.uticaromespeedway.com, the official Web site.
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Sunday is Currier Plastics Night at Cayuga County Fair Speedway (Weedsport). The Big-Block DIRTcar Modifieds return to the fast three-eighths mile oval along with a full card of DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds and UMP Street Stocks, plus special appearances by the Mod Lites and CNY Mini-Sprints. Rounding out the action will be the world-famous Boat Race. Again, this is something I have not seen before, but I am told it is fun to watch. Race time starts at 7 p.m. sharp. For more information, call the track office at 315-834-6606 or log on to www.cayugacountyfairspeedway.com, the track’s Web site.
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Finally, a few follow-ups from the past week. Brent Cross (Cortland) returned to Pocono Raceway for the ARCA/ReMax Series Pennsylvania 200 with hopes of a top-20 finish. Cross qualified 28th in the field and was on target to complete his goal until the final ten laps.
Frank Kimmel and A.J. Henriksen got together near the Tunnel Turn. Kimmel spun hard and hit the wall. A spring from one of the cars came off and went through the radiator of Cross’ car. With all the water drained out, Cross had no choice but to park the car and take a 24th-place finish.
Cross actually dodged the big wreck 12 laps earlier when Bobby Gerhart and several other cars got together in the Tunnel Turn as well. Watching the race on Speed Channel, I saw Cross get on the brakes quick enough to just miss the pile of cars in front of him.
Nextel Cup driver Ken Schrader finished a strong second at Five Mile Point Speedway (Kirkwood) Wednesday night. Schrader finished behind his car owner Dale Caswell in the IMCA Modified Empire State Tour stop that night. Caswell is the current national IMCA Modified point leader and the car that Schrader drove was brand new.
Brandon Planck posted a solid third-place run in the Gysum Express Crate Sportsman feature at Fulton Speedway last Saturday. A nice run in just his second time out in his brother’s car.
Speaking of Steve Planck, he placed in the middle of the pack at Cayuga County Fair Speedway last Sunday after numerous bouts of bad luck and repeated runs from the back of the pack in the Sportsman feature.
Next week, I’ll have more on Robby Gordon, his return to Watkins Glen, his punishment handed down by NASCAR and his helping out the guy he had contact with in Montreal, Marcos Ambrose. It is all interesting, but there is just not room for it this week.
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If you have any racing news to pass along, please contact me at the Cortland Standard Sports Department between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at 607-756-5665, ext. 25 or via e-mail at either sports@cortlandstandard.net or SportsReporter88@yahoo.com.

 

 

Grand Rental rules ‘A’ roost

Led by the 4-for-4 bat of Cody Potter, Grand Rental Station captured its second straight Cortland Men’s Slow Pitch Softball League A Division Playoff Championship.
With its 29-4 win over Gator’s Tavern on Thursday at Dexter Park, Grand Rental swept the best-of-three championship series in two games and ran its two-year playoff record to unblemished 12-0.
In B Division semifinal playoff action, Friends evened its best-of-three series at 1-1 with a 14-5 win over NAPA. The decisive third game at Dexter Park will be tonight at 6:30 p.m. Red Jug Pub swept its semifinal series against Beach House, according to league spokesman Bob Craig, and awaits the winner.
In the C Division finals, the Graph-Tex Collegiate Catastrophe claimed game one with an 11-9 victory over CCRP.
A DIVISION
Grand Rental 29, Gator’s Tavern 4: Grand Rental jumped out to a big lead quickly by scoring 11 runs in the top of the first inning. The nine-run outburst in the fourth made sure the game would end after five innings.
Jamie Buck added a 3-for-3 bat to the Grand Rental attack with two doubles and three runs scored. Seth Montgomery (4-for-5, home run) and Ryan Stevens (4-for-6, triple) each scored three runs while Potter crossed the plate four times. Frank Tibke was the winning pitcher and he went 3-for-4 with two triples to help his own cause.
Sean Babcock was 3-for-3 with one double for Gator’s while Andrew Pierce went 2-for-3.
B DIVISION
Friends 14, NAPA 5: Friends broke a 4-4 tie with seven runs in the top of the fifth inning.
Winning pitcher Jeff Manning swung a 3-for-4 bat with two doubles and a fifth-inning grand slam home run. Chris Willcox was 4-for-4 while Kevin Willcox went 3-for-4 with a triple.
Brian Dyer was 3-for-3 with two doubles to pace the NAPA offense with Greg Zacek also going 3-for-3 with one double.
C DIVISION
Graph-Tex 11, CCRP 9: Down 8-6 after five innings, the Collegiate Catastrophe regrouped and scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning — all coming with two outs — to take the lead for keeps. Key run-scoring singles by Brian Silvers (2-for-3) and Evan Butler (3-for-3) were part of that decisive rally.
Dan DeRancy added a 3-for-4 bat to the winning attack while Zach Greenfield was 2-for-3.
Lead-off man Ryan Eddy was 4-for-4 with three runs scored for CCRP. Jeremy Baker added a 3-for-4, two-RBI effort in the loss, while Rob Benson was 3-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs. D.J. Marks (three RBIs), Matt Stark and Stacey Bischoff belted two hits each for CCRP.
Graph-Tex and CCRP play game two of their best-of-three series at Dexter Park tonight at eight o’clock.

 

 

 

Roadhouse holds off Davelle in title game

DRYDEN — Justin DeGraw went 3-for-3 with two runs scored to lead Roadhouse Pub to a 9-7 win over Davelle in the Duke Erickson Coed Softball Slow Pitch Tuesday-Thursday League  Championship Thursday night.
In the consolation game, Marietta rolled to a 19-5 win over Fabio’s.
Roadhouse Pub 9, Davelle 7: Roadhouse jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, Davelle battled back and trailed 8-7 after five innings. Roadhouse added an insurance run in the top of the sixth.
Dan Harris added a 2-for-2 bat with a double, home run and two runs scored while Bill Francis was also 2-for-2. Brian Taylor chipped in with a 2-for-3 effort that included one double and two runs scored.
Brian Bennett (double), Randy Randall, Brian Enslow, Tim Kirkpatrick and Heather Soso each went 2-for-3 with one run scored for Davelle.
Marietta 19, Fabio’s 5: Marietta took a 6-3 lead in the first inning and slowly pulled away by scoring in every remaining inning, except the fourth.
Josh Brown hit four home runs and drove in eight runs to power the 34-hit Marietta attack. Alicia Chace added a double and triple to the winning attack with doubles also coming from Danielle Swarm and Pat Swarm.
Tom Magee hit a home run and double for Fabio’s with Dean Beverly adding a triple. Glenn Basler smacked to double for Fabio’s.