From Five Mile Point Speedway:
KIRKWOOD, NY…Brian Malcolm entered the 2021 racings season at Five Mile Point Speedway as the back-to-back Modified Track Champion. His bid to win three consecutive championships had gotten off to a slow start but on Saturday he rebounded for his first victory of the season. Malcolm became the third different winner in as many weeks in the Sunoco Modified division this season. Leo McGurrin also became the third different winner in three weeks of point racing in the Insinger Performance Crate Sportsman class.
Barry White and Brian Malcolm sat on the front for the start of the Sunoco Modified feature event by virtue of the re-draw. At the drop of green in the 30 lap main event Malcolm darted out to the race lead. Two cautions on lap 2 slowed the going. The most serious incident saw Gregg Turner spin driver side into the backstretch wall. Turner was shaken from the impact and his car was also totaled in the incident. A separate caution resulted in co-point leader Brett Tonkin heading pit side. He did return before racing resumed.
When racing went back to green Malcolm again set the pace. White stayed within striking distance in second as Brad Szulewski and Glenn Knapp battled for the third and fourth positions. Nick Rochinski entered the evening tied for the point lead and he quickly began to advance from his seventh starting spot. Danny Creeden was also on the charge early from his ninth starting spot. Fans were glued to the charge from Tonkin after he pitted and restarted twenty-second.
The caution flew on lap 10 as Leah Decker spun. Scott Landers went to the pits at the same time and returned before the restart. At this point the top four remained the same with Brian Puckett in the top five and Creeden now up to sixth. On the restart Malcolm again set the tone out front as battles were taking place all over the quarter mile oval. The caution flew for the final time at the halfway mark on lap 15 as Brian Franko broke entering the infield in turn 2.
Again, on the final restart on lap 15 Malcolm opened his advantage over the field. White continued to run in second place but now Creeden had advanced to challenge for the runner-up slot. Szulewski and Puckett continued to battle for fourth and fifth as Tonkin charged back through the field and was solidly in the top ten. On lap 20 Creeden took over the second position and immediately began to chase down Malcolm for the race lead. At this point Malcolm already had a half of straight-a-way lead but Creeden was closing the margin on every lap. Several great battles were taking place at the same time within the top five.
With five laps remaining the leaders entered lapped traffic and this would prove to be the deciding factor. Malcolm navigated the lapped traffic flawlessly as Creeden had drawn up on his back bumper with only two laps remaining. Malcolm went on for the victory with Creeden settling for second at the wire. White had another solid run for third with Puckett claiming his top finish of the season in fourth. Rochinski broke in to the top five at the finish over Szulewski. Tonkin advanced all the way back up to seventh at the finish with Frank Yankowski advancing from thirteenth to eighth. P.J. Goodwin finished ninth with Jason Andrews advancing from eighteenth to tenth at the checkers. Heat winners were Dan Creeden, Barry White and Nick Rochinski.
Leo McGurrin became the third different Insinger Performance Crate Sportsman feature winner in as many weeks of racing action at the speedway. McGurrin led wire to wire in the 25 lap feature event. Defending Track Champion Gary Smith closed within striking distance during the late stages after starting sixth. He was unable to mount a serious challenge as McGurrin was dialed in on the quarter mile. Dominic Roselli advanced from the twelfth starting slot to fourth despite the benefit of only two early cautions on lap 2. The final 23 laps of green flag racing was hard fought as great racing took place all over the speedway. The top five finishers were: McGurrin, Smith, Matt Brewer, Roselli and rookie Doug Smith. For Brewer it was his first start of the season. Heat winners were Brad Weaver, Gary Smith and Seth Zacharias.
Gene Sharpsteen returned to victory lane at Five Mile Point Speedway for the first time in several years. Sharpsteen took the lead from previous race winner Doug Polhamus on lap 4 in the Street Stock feature event. Sharpsteen never looked back leading the final 16 laps on the way to the win. Polhamus, Abe Romanik, Bobby Wagner and Dave Stalker completed the top five. Sharpsteen also won the qualifying heat race earlier in the evening.
Tommy Groover has now gone “three for three” in the Factory Stock division this season at Five Mile Point Speedway. Groover led all 20 laps for the win on Saturday. Kevin McDonald, Charlie Towner, Billy Shoemaker and Jerry Fassett, Jr. completed the top five finishers in another very cleanly run event. Groover swept the evening by also winning his heat race.
Doug Newbigging took the lead from Rich Wagner on lap 11 to claim top honors in the Front Wheel Driver Four Cylinder Expert main event. Newbigging was followed to the checkers by Dave Simms, Andy Bolles, Josh Wilder and Ken Underwood. After leading the first ten laps Wagner had tough luck as a tire went flat sending him to the pits. He did return to finish seventh. Heat wins went to Newbigging and Dave Simms.
Adam Gilbert got past some prior bad luck this season and rebounded to win the 20 lap Futures Crate Sportsman feature event. It was Gilbert’s first open wheel victory and he led all 20 laps. Kyle Smith had his best finish with a second place marker. Ned Fitch was third with previous weeks winners Dale Folejewski and Matthew Backus completing the top five. Gilbert also won his heat race earlier in the evening. Matthew Backus was the other heat winner.
Bob Hamm returned to competition on Saturday and led all 20 laps in the 600 Modified feature event. It was his second victory of the season. Jason Sullivan, David Brown, Jeff Baldwin and Mike Frye were the top five finishers. Hamm also won his heat race.
The Front Wheel Drive Four Cylinder main event was won by Jason Seymour. Bethany Gilbert, Austin Slater, Austin Steigerwald and Cheyenne Bump made up the top five finishers. Cheyenne Bump was the heat race winner.
COUNTER POINTS…Brian Malcolm’s victory entered the evening tied with the legendary Jack Johnson on the all-time Five Mile Point Speedway Modified win list with eight victories…His ninth win now finds him tied with current Modified driver Glenn Knapp…Knapp has more current starts at the speedway than any other active driver…Malcolm is looking to become the first Modified driver to win the Track Championship three years in a row since Chuck Akulis did it between 1994 and 1996…The nightly race schedule at the speedway changed on Saturday as the Modifieds did not hit the track until later in the racing program…Despite high winds and high temperatures the track was in outstanding condition with no tire wear in the headline Modified and Sportsman divisions…Racing continues this Saturday, June 12th with a full program of action…
SUNOCO RACE FUELS MODIFIED OFFICIAL FEATURE FINSH (30 LAPS): BRIAN MALCOLM ($1,200), Dan Creeden, Barry White, Brian Puckett, Nick Rochinski, Brad Szulewski, Brett Tonkin, Frank Yankowski, P.J. Goodwin, Jason Andrews, Glenn Knapp, Jesse Kline, Brandon Fritsch, Joey Colsten, Mark Goodwin, Bobby Puckett, Arthur Bray, Scott Landers, Leah Decker, Brian Franko, Brian Mady, Gregg Turner, Aleia Geisler.
INSINGER PERFORMANCE CRATE SPORTSMAN OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (25 LAPS): LEO MCGURRN, Gary Smith, Matt Brewer, Dominic Roselli, Doug Smith, Brad Weaver, Bryce Bailey, Lance Erwin, Alan Komar, Ray Leonard, Matt Sobiech, Seth Zacharias, Joe Guastella, Dan Solomon, Josh Mondak. DNS Tom Hampton, Tighe Sherlock.
FACTORY STOCK OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS): TOM GROOVER, Kevin McDonald, Charlie Towner, Billy Shoemaker, Jerry Fassett Jr., Daniel Stevens, Austin Manzer, Justin Slezak. DNS Richard Glover.
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE FOUR CYLINDER OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS): DOUG NEWBIGGING, Dave Simms, Andy Bolles, Josh Wilder, Ken Underwood, Brian Salmini, Richard Wagner, John Maynard, Mike Jenks, Gregg Slater. DNS – Tim Vandemark.
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE FOUR CYLINDER OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (12 LAPS): JASON SEYMOUR, Bethany Gilbert, Austin Slater, Austin Steigerwald, Cheyenne Bump, Josh Griffin. DNS – Shaun Furman.
STREET STOCK OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS): GENE SHARPSTEEN, Doug Polhamus, Abe Romanik, Bobby Wagner, Dave Stalker, Jason Butler, Don Reeves, Leonard Miller.
FUTURE SPORTSMAN OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS): ADAM GILBERT, Kyle Smith, Ned Fitch, Dale Folejewski, Matthew Backus, Ethan Decker, Amanda Scholtisek, Joe Buchanan, Billy Fiske, Paul Conklin, Dan Specht, Kyle Walsh.
600 MODIFIED OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS): BOB HAMM, Jason Sullivan, David Brown, Jeff Baldwin, Mike Frye.