May 15th, 2004
KIRKWOOD, NY…Despite persistent showers, Five Mile Point Speedway was able to complete the 54th season opening events at the quarter mile oval. Don Hart, Jr. was the winner of the special 50 lap Modified feature event. Tim French took top honors in the Sportsman, Brad Shafer was the UMP Modified winner and Shane Wolfe was victorious in the Pure Stocks. All of the racing was sponsored by Five Star Equipment.
The 50 lap Modified feature event got off to a shaky start as Bob Hamm, Jr. and Defending Track Champion Dan Vauter tangled on the first lap in turn 1. Hamm ultimately ended up on his roof but was able to return later in the event after making repairs. When the racing resumed Joel Batzel set a lightning fast pace as he vaulted into the lead. Don Hart, Jr. was in tow as he kept pace in the second slot. Racing throughout the pack was three and four wide as the Hoosier Racing Tires took a liking to the tacky quarter mile.
Brian Weaver began to advance from his eleventh starting slot toward the front of the field as he was up to fifth position by the eleventh circuit. All eyes were also following Alan Rudalavage as he charged from the thirteenth starting position up to the back of Weaver as the two tried to make their way to the front of the field. It would be a short time later that Hart worked past Batzel for the lead with Butch Klinger and several others battling for the top five. The caution flew on lap 19 and on the restart Hart would see Rudalavage along side in the front row. At the drop of the green Rudalavage jumped the start and was placed back to second on the next restart.
The battle for the lead became a three wide race for the lead when racing continued as Hart, Weaver and Rudalavage charged into turn one. Hart still maintained his lead as the laps began to wind down. With only ten laps to go Weaver continued to make numerous charges for the lead with Rudalavage, Batzel and Dana Wagner waiting for any error. Brian Davis and Jim Crawn were also looking to break into the top five as several tremendous battles took place. The final caution of the event would fall on lap 42 when Batzel spun in turn four. Fortunately the entire field was able to miss him. Again Hart had to contend with Weaver on the restart with Weaver able to pull alongside but never actually take the lead. At the finish Hart would hang on for the victory and a qualifying spot in the "Victoria 200 All-Star" event. Weaver would finish second followed by Rudalavage, Wagner, Crawn, Davis, J.R. Crouse, Klinger, Vauter and Glenn Knapp completing the top ten.
The 20 lap Sportsman event saw Tim French lead from wire to wire for return of the popular division to weekly competition at the Point. French and Brandon Buck led the field down for the drop of the green with French showing the quick way around the quarter mile oval. Only one caution would slow the event on lap 14 as Buck hoped to be able to make a move for the lead. But again when racing resumed French pulled away and avoided lapped traffic to go on to the victory. Buck wound up second followed by Brett Tonkin, Rodney Hart and Randy Thomas.
Brad Shaffer used his outside front row starting position to also lead wire to wire in the 15 lap UMP Modified feature event. The event went without a single caution flag with Shaffer holding off Joe Cole for the victory. Scott Bennett, Mike Stoddard and Mike Stolarcyk, III completed the top five.
The outside groove again proved to be the fast way around the quarter mile oval on Saturday night as Shane Wolfe took advantage of his outside front row starting spot to lead the distance in the 20 lap Pure Stock feature. Wolfe went on to a relatively comfortable victory despite some close calls with lapped traffic. Mahlon Shoemaker finished in second followed by Craig Decker, Jeremy Shaw and Charlie Gilbert.
This Saturday night Giant Food Markets presents "Pack the Track" night at Five Mile Point Speedway. Grandstand admission is only $1 with race time set for 7 p.m. For more information please contact the speedway offices at (607) 775-5555 or log on to www.fivemilepointspeedway.net for more.
FIVE STAR EQUIPMENT 50 LAP MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH:
DON HART JR., Brian Weaver, Alan Rudalavage, Dana Wagner, Jim Crawn, Brian Davis, J.R. Crouse, Butch Klinger, Dan Vauter, Glenn Knapp, Brian Malcomb, Bobby Puckett, Billy Thorton, Russell Hendrickson Jr., Matt Smith, Nick Barassi Jr., James Cornell, Joel Batzel, Bob Hamm Jr., Rich Keehle, Dave Rumsey, Dave Calaman, Dan Hineline, Mark Plummer, Kirk Horton. DNQ- Ken Hineline, Brian Corcoran, Jerry Northrup, Tim Gutekunst, Jim Crist
FIVE STAR EQUIPMENT SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH:
TIM FRENCH, Brandon Buck, Brett Tonkin, Rodney Hart, Randy Thomas, Brian Decker, Garth Tonkin Jr., Ricky Rutt, Chris Clemens, Jim Fugel, Bruce Gould DNS - Mike Lartz, Chris Grbac
FIVE STAR EQUIPMENT UMP MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH:
BRAD SHAFFER, Joe Cole, Scott Bennett, Mike Stoddard, Mike Stolarcyk III, Kevin Cole, Gary Dence, Jim Fugel, Jay Conroy.
FIVE STAR EQUIPMENT PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH:
SHANE WOLFE, Mahlon Shoemaker, Craig Decker, Jeremy Shaw, Charlie Gilbert, Josh Ellis, Mike Codington, Jason Bond, Corey Bond, Walt McClenon, Johnathan Carpenter, Art Darling Jr., Chad Stone, Ken Washburn
FRENCH'S AUTO PARTS/INTERSTATE AUTO PARTS SPORTSMAN BONUS:
FIVE MILE POINT SPEEDWAY RANDOM DRIVER AWARD:
JOSH ELLIS (Pure Stocks)