KIRKWOOD, NY – Ray Leonard recorded his first ever victory in the 20 lap Insinger Race Fuels Crate Sportsman feature on Saturday at Five Mile Point Speedway. For the second consecutive week the spectator grandstand area was closed to the public as racing went on without spectators in attendance. Not even a one- hour rain delay could deter the teams from getting week number two into the record books.
Other winners were John Ayre (600 Modified), Tommy Groover (Factory Stock), Steve Lunn (FWD Four Cylinder Expert), Doug Newbigging (FWD Four Cylinder Novice) and Avery Decker Juniors.
After a one- hour rain delay the Sportsman feature was the first on the docket and the quarter mile oval was in prime condition. Matt Sobiech and Ray Leonard led the twenty- three car starting field to the green in the Insinger Race Fuels Crate Sportsman feature.
At the drop of the green Sobiech jumped out to the race lead. Sobiech looked strong as he led the way but Leonard stayed close with Blaine Klinger and Gary Smith in tow. Several drivers were making charges from back in the pack during the early going. Brandon Loucks started eighth and Randy Brokaw coming from the ninth spot were advancing early.
Todd Titus started in twelfth and Tom Hampton was an eighteenth starter, both were also advancing quickly.The early up front battle was thrown a curve as the caution flew on lap 5. The leaders came up on the lapped car of Paul Whelski and as Whelski tried to clear to the infield a jingle occurred with the leaders. Sobiech and Leonard both avoided contact but Klinger and Smith tangled. Klinger was able to keep going as Smith came to stop on the backstretch. When racing resumed Smith would restart from the rear and put on a show coming back toward the front. A caution on lap 7 slowed the pace as Nick Plumstead and Tyler Stoddard got together and spun high in turn 1. Both were able to return and rebound with solid runs.
When racing resumed Sobiech continued his race lead over Leonard and Klinger as the trio ran three wide for the lead at one point. By the mid-way point Brad Cicio had advanced seventh to fourth and Brokaw was up to fifth. Sobiech and Leonard ran side by side for several laps for the race lead with Leonard working past on lap 12.
The caution flew on lap 14 for a spinning Fred Smith. On the restart Leonard maintained his lead with Sobiech remaining close in second place. Titus had no broken in to the top five as the battles up front were intense. The white flag came out on lap 19 with Leonard still in charge up front. As the leaders entered turn two Titus made a bid for second that collected Sobiech, himself and Klinger thus brining out the final caution of the event.
During the caution Cicio was sent pit side with what was apparent front end damage ending his great drive. On the final restart Leonard left no doubt as he had a great restart and led the last lap to record his first FMP victory. Loucks finished second with Brokaw third. Gary Smith charged from the back to record fourth place at the wire with Brandon Fritsch finishing in fifth. Signworks Fleet Graphics added $500 among the top three in the feature.
Fifteen 600 Modified drivers took the green in the Schneider’s Market 20 lap main event for the division. Adam Mudge and Bob Hamm, Jr. sat on the front row. At the drop of the green Hamm immediately utilized the high line to take the race lead. John Ayre quickly raced in to second as a tremendous battle took shape up front. Hamm, Ayre and Mudge ran three wide lap after lap for the race lead. On Lap 10 Mudge took advantage of lapped traffic to recapture the race lead as Ayre now slipped in to second place.
The race remained caution free until lap 17 and on the restart Mudge continued to lead with Ayre, Dana Davis, Tyler Smith and Hamm in tow. The top two three battled for the race lead over the final three circuits. On the last lap Ayre made the winning pass on Mudge to collect the victory. Mudge finished second with Davis, Smith and Hamm rounding out the top five. Schneider’s Market/Bob Hamm, Jr. sponsored the winner’s prize money for the second straight week ($250) and Doug’s Speed Shop added $50 making it a $300 victory for Ayre.
The 20 lap Factory Stock feature event was led wire to wire by Tommy Groover as he captured his first victory of the season. The battle for second was outstanding for the first half of the race as Ray Lindquist, Adam Gilbert and Justin Slezak ran three wide lap after lap. While those three battled intensely Groover was able to open up a substantial lead. On lap 16 Slezak worked in to second place firmly and immediately closed the gap on Groover. The race ran caution free for the entirety. At the finish it was Groover, Slezak, Gilbert, Lindquist and Matt Millard.
Steve Lunn started on the pole and led the entire way in the 20 lap FWD 4 Cylinder feature event on Saturday. The race was red flagged twice on lap 1. The first red flag came out after Billy Cowell slammed the wall in turn number 2. He was ok but the car was totaled from the impact. Dave Simms also brought out a red flag when he took a slow roll in turn 1 and landed on the driver’s side of the #38. Simms emerged uninjured and the Kirkwood Fire Department was immediately on the scene of both incidents. Although Lunn led the entire way he was hounded by week one winner Nick Kennedy over the final two laps. Tim Degroat, Kenny Underwood and Tim Vandermark completed the top five.
Doug Newbigging took the lead from Bethany Bertram at the start of the 12 lap FWD Four Cylinder Novice division and never looked back. It was his first FMP victory. Greg Slater wound up second with Bertram, Owen Clark and Zach Haywood completing the top five. Avery Decker was the winner of the Junior Inner Loop 10 lap feature event.