May 22nd, 2004
KIRKWOOD,NY… The stands at Five Mile Point Speedway in Kirkwood, NY were packed on Saturday night as Giant Food Stores teamed up with speedway management to slash prices at the grandstand gate to just one dollar last Saturday night. The fans, both old time diehard fans along with many new fans saw some of the best racing action that could have been asked for. Last lap passes for wins along with three and four wide racing had the fans on the edge of their seats. Butch Klinger brought his Friday night Sportsman ride to his Saturday night track and captured the win. Walton New York’s Walt McClenon made a last lap, last turn pass for the win in the Pure Stocks. Sixteen Year old, Chris Strohl collected the Street Stock win in his first ever start at the quarter mile while Mike Stolarcyk III and Steve Dechow collected the win in the UMP Modifieds and Figure Eight divisions.
For the third week in a row, impending weather had track crews monitoring the radars and skies for severe storms that were present all around the Southern Tier of New York. Eighteen Street Stocks signed into the pit area at the Kirkwood facility. Montrose, Pa’s Chris Strohl should be looking forward Saturday night, June 5th when the Street Stocks run for the second time this season. The high school student became the teacher on Saturday night as he started off his night by winning his first heat race at the track. Following the draw, Strohl began the twenty lap feature on the outside pole. Strohl put his car out front on the opening lap, and lead all twenty laps. Darl Ellis took the 5X ride from his fourth starting spot, and tried to follow Strohl to the front. By the third lap, Ellis had made his way around pole sitter, Randy Tyler to run second. Six cautions in the first six laps did not allow for much passing, but the race went green from lap seven until the final caution flew on lap nineteen, setting up a last lap shootout. Strohl was up to the challenge as he held off the veteran, Ellis at the checkers for his first ever feature win at Five Mile Point Speedway, Ellis held on to finish second. Billy Trego crossed the line in third followed by 2002 Street Stock champion, Brett Spoor in fourth and Paul Rooney completed the top five.
The Figure Eight cars have a limited schedule of appearances this season, Two signed into the pits on Saturday night. Steve Dechow is a veteran of the Figure Eight division at the Speedway, and was the last feature winner in 2002 when the division last ran. Dechow collected his tenth Figure Eight win with Scott “Guido” McGonigle finishing second.
Brad Shaffer started on the outside pole in the UMP Modifieds, quickly establishing himself as the car to beat. Shaffer was the winner one week prior in a dominant performance. It looked like the feature would be a repeat of the week before as Shaffer checked out on the field. The best racing was between Mike Stoddard and Mike Stolarcyk III. The pair ran side by side for seven laps with each taking the measure of the other. Twice, Gary Dence brought his ride in to challenge the pair of Mikes to run three wide. Caution flew on lap eleven as four cars got together in turn three. Stolarcyk got by Stoddard on the restart, and set his sights on Shaffer. Stolarcyk got by Shaffer on lap thirteen and held on for his first win of the 2004 season. Shaffer finished second with Stoddard, Dence and K.C. Cole completing the top five.
The fifteen lap Pure Stock feature was filled with three and four wide racing through out the pack. Josh Ellis started on the outside front row, and quickly grabbed the top spot. Charlie Gilbert followed Ellis to the front from his fourth starting spot. Craig Decker started sixth, and was running third at the end of lap one. The trio challenged each other two and three wide during the opening laps. Decker took the lead from Ellis on a lap eight restart, and held the top spot until Charlie Gilbert passed for the lead on lap ten. Caution on lap eleven, just as Decker had grabbed the lead back from Gilbert. Craig Decker pushed his car hard all race long to that point, but had his effort end quickly. Just after retaking the lead on lap twelve his car went up in a cloud of steam. Walt McClenon had his work cut out for him as well on Giant Food Markets night. McClenon started fifth, and followed Gilbert to the green flag on lap twelve. McClenon and Gilbert kept the pressure on each other until the final lap when Gilbert’s car pushed up just enough in turn three for McClenon to place his 3M under Gilbert. The two were even in turn four, but McClenon got a good bite down low, and edged out Gilbert for the win. Gilbert finished second with Mike Codington coming across the line in third after a fourteenth place start. Two time defending Pure Stock champion, Mahlon Shoemaker finished fourth and last week’s winner, Shane Wolfe was fifth.
The fifty lap Sportsman feature got the green flag from Raymond Kennerup with weather closing in on the speedway. Opening night feature winner, Tim French quickly took the top spot from Rodney Hart. Hart and French ran wheel to wheel for several laps until the first of six cautions slowed the field. French has the set-up for Five Mile Point, and was strong on the restarts, holding off the challenges of Hart. Hart was even with French for three laps, but would then have to fall in line, and address the advances from Mike Trautschild. French held on to the top spot until the final caution flew on lap twenty five. The problem for French was that he was the caution. A part failed in the steering system causing French to not be able to direct the car. Butch Klinger brought his Friday night Sportsman ride to Five Mile Point on Saturday night, and was fast right out of the box. Klinger passed Trautschold on lap eighteen, and challenged Hart on the lap twenty five restart. Klinger got by Hart on lap twenty seven, and with no more cautions crossed the line fourteen car lengths ahead of Hart. Trautschold finished third with Scott Brady and Brett Tonkin completing the top five.
The Big Block/Small Block Modifieds were on hand for an open practice for the Modified teams.
The backstretch grandstand area was open for the first time this season and the fans were treated to a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem sung by Jolene Dechow, daughter of Figure Eight driver Steve Dechow. The backstretch seating section will open weekly beginning on Saturday, June 26th for the running of the Heath Memorial.
This Saturday night will see a full regular show of Big Block/Small Block Modifieds, Sportsman Modifieds, UMP Modifieds and Pure Stocks. There will be Bicycle Races for thekids. Kids must bring their own bikes along with helmets in order to participate. Race time is 6:30 pm. For More information please contact the speedway officeat 607-775-5555 or log on to the speedway website at www.fivemilepointspeedway.net.
GIANT FOOD STORES SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH – 50 LAPS:
BUTCH KLINGER, Rodney Hart, Mike Trautschold, Scott Brady, Brett Tonkin, Randy Thomas, Chris Clemens, Shawn Olenski, Tim French, Garth Tonkin Jr., James Cornell, Ricky Rutt, Jim Toy. DNS:Bruce Gould
GIANT FOOD STORES UMP MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH – 20 LAPS:
MIKE STOLARCYK III, Brad Shaffer, Mike Stoddard, Gary Dence, Kevin Cole, Joe Cole, Scott Bennett, Joe Novak, Jay Conroy
GIANT FOOD STORES STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH – 20 LAPS:
CHRIS STROHL, Darl Ellis, Bill Trego, Brett Spoor, Paul Rooney, Les Gillette, Dan Pompey, Tom Cornell, Randy Tyler, Dave Luff, Jerry Liford, Carl Heater, Nick Petrilak, Todd Sutliff, Bill Price, Jr., Fred Christ, Brian Petrilak, Jim Hughes
GIANT FOOD STORES PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH – 20 LAPS:
WALT MCCLENON, Charlie Gilbert, Mike Codington, Mahlon Shoemaker, Corey Bond, Shane Wolfe, Darl Ellis Jr., Jason Bond, Art Darling Jr., Jeremy Shaw, Matt Spencer, Ken Washburn, John Carpenter, Josh Ellis, Craig Decker, Ted Baker, Chris Wood, Brian Mills
GIANT FOOD STORES FIGURE EIGHT FEATURE FINISH – 10 LAPS:
STEVE DECHOW, Guido McGonigle