|Special Event Results 10/20|
KIRKWOOD, NY…Mitch Gibbs capped off a dream season on Sunday night by winning the 50 lap Southern Tier Open at Five Mile Point Speedway. The win tied him for the most in a season with the legendary Chuck Akulis. Mahlon Shoemaker and Harold Humphrey were also victorious on the quarter mile.
Butch Cerullo and Mike Colsten brought the field down to the initial green flag in the 50 lapper for Big Block and Small Block Modifieds. Gibbs, who started fourth, showed from the drop of the green that he meant business as he darted past Cerullo, Colsten and third starting Brian Davis to take the lead in turn one of the first lap.
Davis followed him into second as the two gas powered 358 Modifieds pulled away from the field of Big Block and alcohol powered Small Blocks. Davis never let Gibbs get too far ahead as they set a blistering pace around the quarter mile oval. They were quickly into heavy lapped traffic, putting several lapped cars between them and the rest of the field.
Doug Worthing went from eight to third in just four laps as he pulled ahead of Colsten for the position more than a straightaway behind the leaders. Worthing would later drop off the pace as George Kostelansky and 22nd starting Rich Keehle entered the picture.
Sixteenth starting Mike Clapperton also moved into contention at the halfway point. Gibbs and Davis continued to dominate the race with Colstens car starting to come on in the closing laps.
Gibbs had opened a 10 car length lead over Davis by lap 40 when things got interesting. Gibbs got into some water that was laid down in turn one by Dave Jenkins and nearly spun the car. He somehow managed to save it but lost the lead to Davis with Colsten now close behind.
Davis led laps 40 through 42 when the caution flew for Keehle, who got turned around by Clapperton as they were battling for fifth. Clapperton went to the back and Keehle was done for the night.
On the restart Gibbs got a run on Davis and slid up the track in turn one with the two cars making some contact. Colsten was able to slip under Davis to take second as the three leaders charged down the backstretch.
Once back in front Gibbs, the 2002 Track Champion, pulled away from Colsten and Davis and took his 13th checkered flag of the season. In doing so he tied Akulis for most wins in a season at Five Mile Point Speedway.
Defending race winner Colsten came home second ahead of Davis, Kostelansky and Butch Klinger, who had come from the back. Sixth through tenth went to Brian Weaver, Jim Potts, Mike Decker, Brian Malcomb and Worthing.
Another Five Mile Point Track Champion came home victorious. Mahlon Shoemaker took the lead at the drop of the green and led all 30 laps to claim the Pure Stock feature win. If he had a rear view mirror he would have been nervous as John Cooper, Doug Stack and Shawn Walker all had him in their sights throughout the race.
Walker moved past Stack for second with three laps to go. He then pulled alongside of Shoemaker down the backstretch as they were coming around for the white flag. Shoemaker held the fast line over the final lap and took home the win on his home turf.
Walker was a close second ahead of Stack, Gary Roberts and Brad Butcher.
Positions six through ten went to Cooper, Dave Bellis, Randy Percival, Sean O’Connor and Bill Rampe.
Jim Money and Harold Humphrey had a great battle going for the lead in the Four Cylinder Stock feature in the early portion of the race. Money held the top spot until he was slowed by a flat tire. He was able to get it changed and stay on the lead lap with Humphrey taking the lead.
Humphrey would hold the top spot but was feeling heavy pressure in the closing stages from Shawn Mills. On the final lap Mills was literally on Humphrey’s back bumper as they entered turn one. Humphrey was able to fend him off and claim the feature win.
Mills settled for second ahead of Jamie Banta, Mitch Hurlburt and Money, who came from the back to claim fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Scott Johnson, Brian Evenden, Chris Leitner, Terry Onyan and Ed Hammond.
COUNTER POINTS…Gibbs joined Stan Ploski as the only drivers to have won the Southern Tier Open and the Southern Tier 100 in the same year. Ploski did it in 1973...Gibbs silenced the critics by stomping the Big Blocks with his gas powered steel head 358 Motor. Six of the top ten finishers were 358’s…The race was rained out on Saturday and run on Sunday for only the second Sunday race in the tracks 52 year history.
SOUTHERN TIER OPEN FINISH:
MITCH GIBBS, Mike Colsten, Brian Davis, George Kostelansky, Butch Klinger, Brian Weaver, Jim Potts, Mike Decker, Brian Malcomb, Doug Worthing, Mike Clapperton, Carl Nagel, Ralph Mele, Alan Schifler, Dan Hineline, Rich Keehle, Jr., Dave Jenkins, Glenn Knapp, Butch Cerullo, Jeff Rudalavage, Bobby Puckett, R.C. Faigle, Steve Babicek, Harry Marvin, Jr.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH:
MAHLON SHOEMAKER, Shawn Walker, Doug Stack, Gary Roberts, Brad Butcher, John Cooper, Dave Bellis, Randy Percival, Sean O’Connor, Bill Rampe, Dan Babcock, Barry Hyatt, Nate Evans, Dave Denton, Mike Lartz, Louie Gordinier, Shane Wolf, Ernie Martin, Jamie Rosh, Buck Mills, Jack Evans, Harry Marvin III, Todd Sutliff, Mark Shipman, Paul Harrington, Bobby Boynton.
FOUR CYLINDER STOCK FEATURE FINISH:
HAROLD HUMPHREY, Shawn Mills, Jamie Banta, Mitch Hurlburt, Jim Money, Scott Johnson, Brian Evenden, Chris Leitner, Terry Onyan, Ed Hammond, Skip Pickwick, George Crippen, Bob Doolittle, Larry Colton, Mike Darrow, Jack Hill, Rich Powell, Jay Weaver.