May 3rd, 2003
KIRKWOOD, NY…Mike Clapperton romped to his first win at Five Mile Point Speedway in six years on Saturday in the 358 Modified feature. James Cornell, Jeff Cleveland and Charlie Gilbert were also victorious at the quarter mile oval.
Dave Locke was the early leader in the 358 Modified main event before losing the top spot to young Dan Vauter on lap four. Vauter, just 17 years old looked impressive as he set a blistering pace around the quarter mile oval.
Youth gave way to experience on lap ten when veteran Glenn Knapp took the lead from his sixth starting spot. With Knapp out front all eyes were on Mitch Gibbs and Mike Clapperton, who started 11th and 12th respectively.
Clapperton moved into the runner-up spot on lap 12 and took just two laps to grab the lead from Knapp. Gibbs moved past Knapp for second on lap 15 and went to work on Clapperton.
Gibbs was able to pull alongside Clapperton on a view different occasions but Clapperton didn’t flinch. Clapperton would cruise to his first win of the season over Gibbs, Knapp, Don Hart, Jr., who came from tenth, and Vauter. J.R. Crouse, Mike Decker, Bobby Puckett, Ralph Mele and Jim Crawn rounded out the top ten.
The Street Stock feature proved to be the race of the night. The youth movement continued as 19 year old James Cornell became the first repeat winner of the year. Pat Nolan was the early leader with Rob Harder, Jerry Tonti and Brett Spoor set up in a torrid battle.
Nolan looked strong before giving up the lead to Tonti on lap eight of the 20 lap feature. 2002 Champ Spoor slipped past Tonti to take the lead on lap 12 and looked as though he might be on his way to the victory. Cornell had other ideas, moving into third from his eighth starting spot on lap 12.
Cornell and Tonti swapped second and third repeatedly, which played into Spoor’s hands. Cornell finally took over second with two laps to go and then went to work on Spoor. As they took the white flag, Cornell went to the top of turn one to pull even with Spoor.
The two ran side by side down the backstretch and through turns three and four. Cornell would win the drag race to the finish by half a car length to claim his second win in as many races. Spoor would settle for second ahead of Tonti, Nolan and Jason Schlafer. Positions six through ten went to Paul Rooney, Randy Tyler, Byron Pitcher, Walt McClenon and Harder.
The UMP Modified feature found Kevin Cole out front in the beginning. Cole had opened a commanding lead but Jeff Cleveland, a nine time winner in 2002, began to chase him down. Cleveland would grab the lead at the halfway point with 2002 champ Stoddard taking second just five laps later.
Cleveland, who missed opening night, cruised to the win the caution free feature. Stoddard was second ahead of Kevin Cole, Joe Cole and Gary Dence.
Charlie Gilbert went wire to wire to claim the Pure Stock feature win along with the B&D Exhaust Pure Stock Challenge bonus. Gilbert won his heat race and the feature, thus picking up a $100 bonus from B&D Exhaust. Gilbert held off opening night winner and 2002 champ Mahlon Shoemaker for the win.
Mark Aldrich, Brett Barrett and Toby Sparks rounded out the top five. Finishing in positions six through ten were Bryan Lindsey, Harry Cook, Jr., Jim Ortiz, Mike Lartz and Tom Garren.
This Saturday features a full show of 358 Modifieds, Street Stocks, UMP Modifieds and Pure Stocks. Gates open at 4:00 p.m. and race time is 6:15 p.m.
COUNTER POINTS…Rich Keehle joined the upside down club in the Modified feature after flipping off of turn three. He walked to the ambulance shaken but okay…Attrition was high in the Modifieds with four blown motors and a broken driveshaft sidelining cars before the feature, including opening night winner Dana Wagner…Track conditions were vastly improved over opening night.
358 MODIFIED SPRING CHAMPIONSHIP:
MIKE CLAPPERTON, Mitch Gibbs, Glenn Knapp, Don Hart, Jr., Dan Vauter, J.R. Crouse, Mike Decker, Bobby Puckett, Ralph Mele, Jim Crawn, R.C. Faigle, Dick Sundgren, Butch Klinger, Dave Locke, Bob Hamm, Dan Morden, Dan Hineline, Dave Rumsey, Dave Calaman, Tom Gervasi, Jim Allen, Rich Keehle, Glen Wilcox. DNS: Jay Straight, Brian Malcolm, Ed Harris, Jim Potts, Dana Wagner.
STREET STOCK SPRING CHAMPIONSHIP:
JAMES CORNELL, Brett Spoor, Jerry Tonti, Pat Nolan, Jason Schlafer, Paul Rooney, Randy Tyler, Byron Pitcher, Walt McClenon, Rob Harder, Ken Taugher, Todd Hurlburt, Fred Christ, Brian MacRabie, Tracy Gregory.
UMP MODIFIED SPRING CHAMPIONSHIP:
JEFF CLEVELAND, Mike Stoddard, Kevin Cole, Joe Cole, Gary Dence, Ralph Shoemaker, Jr., Joe Price, Jr., Rob Loucks, Lee Sharpsteen. DNS: Joel Batzel.
PURE STOCK SPRING CHAMPIONSHIP:
CHARLIE GILBERT, Mahlon Shoemaker, Mark Aldrich, Brett Barrett, Toby Sparks, Bryan Lindsey, Harry Cook, Jr., Jim Ortiz, Mike Lartz, Tom Garren, Dana Gardner, Jeremy Shaw, Corey Bond, Jerry Whitmarsh, Randy Rolison, Charlie Holcomb, Jason Bond, Brian Mills, Ray Marbarker.