ANTHONY PERREGO CAPS OUTSTANDING 2014 FMP SEASON WITH SOUTHERN TIER 1OO VICTORY.
CHRIS FLEMING, PHIL VIGNERI, RANDY FOX, WILL EASTMAN AND WENDELL WASHINGTON ALSO RECORD WINS ON A BUSY SATURDAY…
PERREGO THIS TIME SEALS THE DEAL TO CLAIM THE 45TH NATIONAL QUARTER MILE DIRT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP WORTH $6,265
BY JR KENNERUP
KIRKWOOD, NY… One month ago Anthony Perrego of Montgomery, NY felt he gave away the feature win in the American Racer Cup 55 at the Five Mile Point Speedway. On Saturday evening Perrego made sure that he didn't give this feature away as he was only one of two cars who didn't pit for tires during the 100 lap feature. Perrego who started sixth took the lead in turn three of lap 28 from Danny Creeden in heavy lap traffic and then survived a tension laden final ten laps to claim the win worth $5,555. Perrego who won his eighth Five Mile Point feature of the year also collected $575 in lap money and $120 in Gambler's Bonus money.
Alan Johnson who started 19th pitted at lap 50 and came on strong but just ran out of tires to end up second, defending race winner Mike Mahaney started ninth and also pitted at lap 50 to come on strong at the end to end up in third. Sportsman racer Steve Davis out of New Jersey racing in the Peckenham owned Modified for the first time started 20th, didn't pit and used track position to run in the top five after the half way fuel stop to finish fourth. Early race leader Danny Creeden who started on pole had to pit for a flat right rear on lap 73 while running second spun across the line at the checkers to finish fifth.
"We gave away the race a month ago as we went real hard with the tire. Tonight we went with what we did here on a weekly basis and I tried to keep the car as straight as I could and not to abuse the tires. Last month along with the too hard of a tire, we raced too hard early in the race trying to keep up with Jackie (race winner Brown, Jr.), tonight we raced at our own pace and it helped out a lot." The softer tire choice ultimately was the difference for the 8 time Five Mile Point Speedway feature winner.
Danny Creeden and Ryan Olsommer brought the 26 car starting field to green with Creeden jumping out to the lead over Olsommer, Mike Ricci, Jack Speschock, and Anthony Perrego. Passing was plentiful early on throughout the field with Ricci moving into second on lap six and Perrego who was glued to the back bumper of Ricci as he moved into third. Also drawing attention was Craig Von Dohren who was making his first Five Mile Point appearance in 20 years who moved from eighth to fourth in just ten laps.
Perrego got past Ricci for second on lap 14 and the complexion of the race changed for two drivers who were considered pre - race favorites just three laps later as Von Dohren and Mike Colsten tangled and the resulting damage sent both drivers to the pits for the remainder of the event.
On the lap 18 restart Creeden and Perrego took off from the field to set up their own personal battle for the lead while Ricci was left to battle with Mike Mahaney and Shaun Walker for third. Mahaney moved into third on lap 19 while Alan Johnson moved into fifth on lap 24 with the leading pack now entering heavy lap traffic.
Lap traffic played a key role entering turn three on lap 28 as the lap car of Mike Loney blocked the progression of leader Creeden in the middle groove and with the bottom groove open Perrego quickly filled the hole to take the lead. Loney was trying to maintain his lead lap status as anything can happen in these traditional 100 lap races.
Perrego spoke about what was the winning pass. "He ( Creeden ) got into the back bumper of Loney as I think Loney thought that Danny was running the bottom and moved out which blocked Danny. I snuck under both of them to get the lead and after that I could run the rest of the race at my pace. I was able to get through the traffic and once we were able to get singled out, then I could set the pace I wanted to run at."
At the lap 50 fuel stop Perrego held the lead over Creeden, Mahaney, Ricci, and Johnson. With a ten minute break many teams went looking at the right rear of the Perrego machine to see how his tire wear was looking. With 22 cars running at the fuel stop all but seven cars decided to pit at this time for tires and gave up their current position. The big position gain of the pit stops was Jimmy Horton, Jr. who was driving his dad's car as Jimmy after spinning on lap 17 was racing in 16th position, came out of the pits in eighth.
Anthony was asked about all of the attention his right rear was getting at the fuel stop? "All of those guys looked at my right rear and they decided to go in and change their right rear. I got a little nervous when Mahaney, Ricci, and Johnson went in, then it seemed like everyone else followed them into the pits. The guys (pit crew) were second guessing themselves (about not pitting) but I knew that if I kept the car straight that we would make the distance. Plus when you pit and restart at the back there is always that chance of getting in an accident, while at the front you can bide your time and pace yourself along with keeping the car straight."
When the race resumed Perrego led Creeden, Chris Wood, Steve Davis, and Tom Collins, Jr. and this remained the top five until lap 67 when Jeff Crambo moved into fifth. Behind the top five all the cars who pitted were all racing three and four wide battling to get to the front.
Alan Johnson was the first of the cars who pitted at lap 50 to get back into fifth on lap 72 and during a yellow flag period on lap 73 the second place car of Creeden pitted with a flat right rear tire, Johnson moved into third on the restart.
The Creeden flat got Perrego thinking. "I knew all of those guys who pitted at lap 50 were going to have fresher tires with 25 to go. Then when Danny got the flat I got a little nervous because I knew that his tire at the break had just a little more wear than my right rear. But his right rear was softer (in compound) than mine and he could have been driving his car harder than I was."
The excellent racing action intensified even more with twenty laps to go as Horton went from sixth to fourth and two laps later Johnson got past Wood for second while Matt Janiak wheeling the Zubi's owned car moved into fifth on lap 83.
With 15 laps to go Perrego was still in command of a comfortable lead followed by Johnson, Wood, Horton, and Janiak. Steve Davis took fifth on lap 87 while Horton moved into third one lap later and a hard charging Mahaney moved into fifth.
The tire wear started to play havoc with the up front runners as Janiak blew a right rear on lap 90 while in sixth to bring out the yellow, also during the yellow the right rear on the Horton car went flat forcing him to pit. With eight laps to go Mahaney moved into third and started to apply heavy pressure on Johnson for second.
"I really wasn't that worried with all the flats there at the end of the race, "said Anthony. "The only time I got worried about a right rear flat was coming out of turn four on lap 99 coming for the checker."
The two lap to go signal was given to Perrego and at the same time Wood in third slowed to a stop with a flat right rear to bring out the yellow. On the restart Perrego once again pulled out to a comfortable lead as Johnson was left to battle with Mahaney for second while Davis and Creeden raced for fourth and before the lap was scored the yellow lights flashed on for the spun car of Glenn Knapp in turn one. Once again on the restart it was ditto of the previous restart but this time only one lap was scored as the yellow lights came on for the stopped car of Tom Collins, Jr. in turn four.
A one lap shootout was set up with the only question left was would the right rear tire of Perrego last one more lap? The answer was yes as Perrego easily completed the final lap for the win over Johnson, Mahaney, Davis, and Creeden who spun across the finish line after contact with Davis while racing for fourth.
Perrego who won his eighth Five Mile Point Modified feature of the year on this night in basically his rookie season driving the Gary Mann owned New York Truck Parts sponsored Modified spoke about his season at the track. "First year racing the Modified here I can't believe the year we had here. It's something to build off for 2015.”
Perrego who will be running the Super DIRT Series in 2015 was already looking ahead even though he has two more races left to compete in this year. "I'm looking forward to running the Series next year, the competition is tougher, nothing against the competition we race against weekly at Accord and here. But if you want to get better you have to go and race against Brett (Hearn) and the rest of those guys.”
One race that Perrego will definitely have circled on his 2015 racing calendar is the July 14, 2015 Super DIRT Series show at Five Mile Point. "That is one race of the Series I'm really looking forward to as most of those guys haven't raced here that much except for Matt (Sheppard) and Stewie (Friesen) and after racing here all year this year we have this place pretty much figured out.”
Alan Johnson who finished second said afterwards "We pitted at the halfway for a harder tire and we still needed an even harder one, we were just hanging on there at the end. But I'm happy with a second for the team."
Defending race winner Mike Mahaney felt he pitted too late. "We should have pitted before the fuel stop, I didn't know we had that much tire wear at the fuel stop and I was trying to keep the car as straight as I could. After looking at the tires during the break I knew that we had to go in and change tires because I knew that mine wasn't going to last and I was right as the car (Creeden) in front of me at the break had the same compound of tire on as I did and he blew his tire with 27 laps to go. I think we made the right decision to pit but should have pitted earlier but I'm happy with a third.”
Qualifying for the 41 car field saw heat wins captured by Creeden, Mike Colsten, Jack Speschock, Mahaney, and Wood with twin consolations being captured by Joey Colsten and Bob Hamm, Jr. A Non - Qualifiers race for cars who attended the American Racer Cup was held before the racing program and that was won by Joey Colsten.
NQMDTC NOTEBOOK: once again it was proved that racing at Five Mile Point you don't need a ton of horsepower to be competitive as driving talent and ability means just as much. An excellent example took place on Saturday as six Crate Sportsman who raced earlier during the day entered the Modified portion of the program with three of them qualifying for the feature and even one, Jack Speschock won his heat race. Alan Johnson's car arrived with sail panels and they were not legal for this event and they didn't have any normal rear window body panels with them. Local Crate Sportsman racer Todd Titus went back to his garage, which is ten minutes away and got the rear quarter window panels off his dad's Modified and lent them to Alan for the day. A very diverse field was in attendance with drivers representing 17 different race tracks. Mike Clapperton won the other half of the Gambler's Bonus while Mike Loney received the most online votes and received a guaranteed starting spot while Glenn Knapp received the Big Dog Buy In.
45TH SOUTHERN TIER 100 OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH: Anthony Perrego, Alan Johnson, Mike Mahaney, Steve Davis, Danny Creeden, Shaun Walker, Jeff Crambo, Rusty Smith, Brian Malcolm, Matt Janiak, Chris Wood, Joey Colsten, Glenn Knapp, Tom Collins, Jr., Mike Loney, Richard Smith, Jimmy Horton, Jr., Ricky Richner, Mike Ricci, Mike Clapperton, Cory Costa, Mike Colsten, Craig Von Dohren, Bob Hamm, Jr., Ryan Olsommer, Jack Speschock.
DNQ'S; Chris Stevens, Brad Szulewski, Randy Green, Hunter Bates, Roy Shields, Bobby Dmuchowski, Sam Allen, Chuck Allen, Nick Nye, Duane Hiller, Brad Shaffer, Mike Ward, Bobby Hackel, Jr., Mark Behm, Ray Bliss, Jr.
Dale and Sue Smith $500 Halfway Bonus: Anthony Perrego
Tornarlo’s Restaurant (Conklin, NY) Lap 25 Bonuses ($250): split between Danny Creeden, Anthony Perrego, Mike Mahaney.
4 CYLINDERS: Wendell
Washington, Brian Evenden, Jake Gagnon, Mik eKoser, Keith Shey, Rich Wagner, Coby Herzug, Tucker Harpell, Jed
Rowley, Keith Beach, Rick Lunn, Neil Blaisure, Wayne Russell, Wayne Vandusen,
Travis McDonald, Mike Navoe, Damian Bausenwein, Dave Simms, Sheldon Whitman, Tommy Rought, Brett Gleason,
RoC STREET STOCK FEATURE: Randy Fox, Ted Morseman, Gene Sharpsteen, Jon Carpenter, Shane Wolf Jr, Doug Stack, Tyler Yeagle, Eric Boynton, Harry Marvin, Rich Sharpsteen, Chuck Winslow, Dennis Cummings, Robert Hill, Kyle Stark, Tim Gullo, Tj Frost, Ricky Davis, Dan Mathews, Dustin Harris, Eric Chapman, Bob Maynard, Bob Buono, Tom Eiklor, Kurt Stebbins
Chris Flemming, James Cornell, Gary Roberts, KC Cole, Keith Lamphere, Gary Smith, Ken Buck, Matt Cole, Dan Burman, Kurt Decker, Bob Maynard, Tony Harris, Tyler Stoddard
GRIT SERIES SPORTSMAN:
Phil Vigneri, Ken Boniface, Ryan Olsommer, Hunter Bates, Dave Marcuccelle, Jack Gentile, Cory Costa, Chris Lynch, Steve Davis, Todd Titus, Ben Wheeler, Ivan Joslin, Shea Montgomery, Ray Bliss, Jack Seshock, Chris Stevens, Rocky Warner, Brian Krummel, Steve Yankowski, Josh Towner, Dale Welty, Anthony Stockman, Stacey Jackson, Ted Mills, Brian Nelson, Dusty Barton
Will Eastman, Mike Burrows, Joe McCable, Abby Price, Jamie Frantz, Matt Colwell, Jim Ayre, Mark Howanitz, Billy Koch, Aj Miller, Drew Fallis, Grant Schibilia, Cj Jochum, Barry Lee, John Ayre, Steve Sherwood, Joey Josko, Tom Shiner, Shawn Horning, Doug Windhausen, Kyle Fallis, Dana Davis, Brian Brinker, Andy Bowes
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