Billy Decker Wins RoC 61st Anniversary Special.
NEWS FROM RACE OF CHAMPIONS DIRT
MODIFIED & SPORTSMAN
DECKER AND PETRILAK CAPTURE
BY JR KENNERUP
In the companion Race of Champions Dirt Sportsman Tour 40 lapper Nick Petrilak of Greenfield Township, Pa. inherited the lead with two laps to go when leader Clay Butler spun in turn three. Petrilak led the final two laps for the $1,000 win over Chris Wood, James Cornell, Sammy Piazza, and Ryan Olsommer.
Gypsum team mates Larry Wight and Billy Decker brought the 30 car Modified feature field to green. Decker using the faster high groove jumped into the lead over Wight, Scott Brady, Ronnie Johnson, and Jimmy Phelps.
Much of the early race excitement was performed by Danny Johnson, Danny Tyler, Rick Laubach, and Matt Sheppard. All four drivers were starting deep in the talented field and all four were using their own groove in working their way to the front.
After a couple of early race incidents the field settled down to race with Decker and Wight still showing the fast way around the quarter mile oval. Behind the leading duo an outstanding battle for positions three through eighth was taking place between Dale Planck, Jim Gabriel, Jr. Stewart Friesen, Ronnie Johnson, Joey Grammes, and Jimmy Phelps.
Gabriel and Grammes dropped back through the field while flat tires derailed the efforts of Phelps and Johnson. This left Planck and Friesen to battle for third while Danny Johnson, Rick Laubach, Pat Ward, and Jeff Strunk raced hard to get into fifth.
Friesen who has owned victory lane at Five Mile Point this year started to work his high line groove with 15 laps to go. This lane switch allowed him to move past Planck for third and he started to reel in Wight for second.
The yellow lights flashed on with two laps to go for the slowing car of Mike Nagel, Jr. and this placed Friesen right on the back bumper of Wight for second. Just as the race restarted Friesen snuck under Wight who was beginning to suffer a right rear flat.
Confusion took the race over on the next circuit as the flagger was going to checker the race one lap short of the official finish. The yellow lights came on to stop the flagger from doing this error and set up a one lap shootout.
The one lap shootout was a no contest as the hottest driver in midweek races this year in Billy Decker easily took the win over Friesen, Wight, Planck, and Laubach.
When asked about the last lap finish RoC Promoter/Five Mile Point Speedway owner Andrew Harpell commented, “We tried to prevent an honest mistake from happening when Ray (race flagger) was about to throw the checkered flags one lap short of the finish.” He added, “We did not revert back to lap 59 again as Larry Wight had a tire going down and we wanted to finish the race as quickly as possible to avoid him having to pit and losing a great run.” “We went with a one lap finish and fortunately the outcome of the race didn’t change on the final circuit.” “Billy Decker was the guy to beat and ultimately was the deserving winner of this event.”
Clay Butler jumped from his outside pole starting spot to take the lead for the 40 lap Sportsman feature. A large rash of yellow flag fever controlled a majority of this race as it took nearly 45 minutes to run the feature.
Some excellent racing for the lead
started to take place just past the halfway point as Nick Petrilak started to
Disaster would strike
POINTS; The Modified feature was advertised previously as a 60 lap $6,000 to
win event. However track management had many requests from their loyal fans to
make it a 61 lap feature in honor of the 61st Anniversary of the
track. The track did extend the feature by one lap and took sponsorships on
this lap leading to $322 being donated by the fans to the leader of the final
lap. All racing teams were parked on the backstretch as the normal pit area was
used for overflow spectator parking for this evening. All 27 Sportsman started
the feature while the five Modified dnq’s were;
Shaun Walker, Mike Clapperton, Jamie Batzel, Mike
Bills, and Jim Crawn. Danny Tyler brought his car adorned with sail panels, but
they’re not allowed at Five Mile Point in a RoC event.
GARY’S U – PULL – IT RoC MODIFIEDS 61ST ANNIVERSARY FINISH; Billy Decker, Stewart Friesen, Larry Wight, Dale Planck, Rick Laubach, Danny Johnson, Pat Ward, Jeff Strunk, Justin Holland, Matt Sheppard, Bobby Varin, Joey Grammes, Danny Tyler, Kevin Bates, Kevin Albert, Mike Colsten, Ryan Watt, Tim Votra, Scott Brady, Mike Nagel, Jr., Jim Gabriel, Jr., Jimmy Phelps, Ronnie Johnson, Joey Colsten, Glenn Knapp, Dan Vauter, Brett Hearn, Doug Manmiller, Nick Rochinski, Ken Titus.
GARY’S U – PULL – IT RoC SPORTSMAN 61ST ANNIVERSARY FINISH; Nick Petrilak, Chris Wood, James Cornell, Sammy Piazza, Ryan Olsommer, Jeff Crambo, Greg McClosky, Mike Dougherty, Ben Bushaw, Claude Hutchings, Jr., Jerry Tonti, Clay Butler, Brad Szulewski, Alex Stanton, PJ Goodwin, Anthony Perrego, Vinnie DeCicco, Chris Stevens, Bryan Batzel, Bill Shire, Dusty Barton, Bob Lineman, Jr., Chance Spoonhower, Mike Austin, Ryan Beltz, Justin Andrews, Brad Weaver.
Gary’s U-Pull It Official RoC Modified Feature Finish 61 laps: BILLY DECKER, Stewart Friesen, Larry Wight, Dale Planck, Rick Laubach, Danny Johnson, Pat Ward, Jeff Strunk, Justin Holland, Matt Sheppard, Bobby Varin, Joey Grammes, Danny Tyler, Kevin Bates, Kevin Albert, Mike Colsten, Ryan Watt, Tim Votra, Scott Brady, Mike Nagel Jr., Jim Gabriel Jr., Jimmy Phelps, Ronnie Johnson, Joey Colsten, Glenn Knapp, Dan Vauter, Brett Hearn, Doug Manmiller, Nick Rochinski, Ken Titus.
Lap 61 Bonus $ Sponsors…In Memory of Five Mile Point Speedway Track Founders Anna and Irving Heat ($100), Keystone Electrical Contractors, Inc. Lake Ariel, PA ($61), Spiegel’s Recycling Elmira, NY go Mike Bills Woodhull Speedway ($21), LogoThis – Logothistee.com ($20), 07 Racing Collectibles Endwell, NY ($20), To 99L Lightning Larry Wight Good Luck from Dillon Falter ($20), Village Train & Hobby Windsor, NY ($10), Good Luck to the New Egypt Speedway (NJ) teams ($10), VanDyke Trash Hauling – Sidney, NY ($10), Webstore.com ($10), RJM Automatic Fire Protection – Phillpsburg, NJ ($10), Martini Room – Grosset Drive Kirkwood, NY ($10)…
Gary’s U-Pull It Official RoC Sportsman Feature 40 laps: NICK PETRILAK, Chris Wood, James Cornell, Sammy Piazza, Ryan Olsommer, Jeff Crambo, Greg McCloskey, Mike Dougherty, Ben Bushaw, Claude Hutchings, Jerry Tonti, Clay Butler, Brad Szulewski, Alex Stanton, P.J. Goodwin, Anthony Perrego, Vinnie DeCicco, Chris Stevens, Bryan Batzel, Bill Shire, Dusty Barton, Bob Lineman Jr., Chance Spoonhower, Mike Austin, Ryan Beltz, Justin Andrews, Brad Weaver.
Gary’s U-Pull It Official Colossal Cat Challenge Feature 20 laps: ANDY BRIGHAM, Nick Griest, Dan Wood, Duane Kinne, Andy Colwell, Travis Hayes, Jeff Hayes, Dave Husnay, Jason Colwell, Bobby Edwards, Robbie Finney, Dennis Keesler.
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