DOES IT AGAIN, WINS FIFTH OUT OF SIX AT FIVE MILE POINT; TONTI, CLEVELAND,
SHOEMAKER AND DECHOW ALSO SCORE WINS
KIRKWOOD, NY Although he seems to do it a different way each week, Mitch Gibbs always ends up with the same result. The Norwich, New York Modified standout romped to his fifth win Saturday at Five Mile Point Speedway. Jerry Tonti, Jeff Cleveland, Mahlon Shoemaker and Steve Dechow also took home feature wins at the quarter mile.
The massive amount of rain that had fallen during the week made for a challenging surface, but also created an extremely exciting night of racing. Ed Harris jumped to the early lead in the Modified feature with veteran Chuck Kennison, Dave Locke and Jim Potts all on his tail. A tremendous battle ensued between those four while Glenn Knapp worked his way to the front. Harris relinquished the lead to Kennison on lap ten with Knapp quickly moving into second by lap 11. The two veterans had a great battle going for the lead as Dana Wagner moved to the front from his 11th starting spot. Wagner and Potts made it a four car battle for the lead until Knapp broke on lap 18. Gibbs came from the consi for the second straight week and didnít appear to be moving forward from his 19th starting spot. He sat back in 12th with 10 laps to go and then got down to business. In just five laps he had moved into the runnerup spot and set his sights on Kennison.
Kennison was hooked up on the high side, which is where Gibbs was working as well. Wagner stayed with them both in an exciting three car battle for the lead. Kennison gave up the top to hold off Wagner on the bottom and Gibbs went around them both with four laps to go to take the lead and his fifth feature win in six weeks. Wagner was able to get past Kennison to score his second straight second place finish. Kennison was third ahead of Potts and Butch Klinger. Sixth through tenth went to Dan Hineline, Rich Keehle, Jim Allen, Billy Thornton and Harry Marvin, Jr.
Jerry Tonti raced to the lead on the first lap from his third starting spot. Once in front, he held off a determined Ralph Shoemaker, Jr. to claim his first Street Stock feature win of the season. Rookie Shoemaker was an impressive second ahead of Pat Nolan, Mike Mills and Pete Sobol. Positions six through ten went to Ken Sparks, Jr., Don Russell, Jason Bartsch, Bill Saxe and Randy Rolison.
Jeff Cleveland took two weeks off to get married but didnít miss a beat when he returned to action on Saturday. Cleveland turned in his second straight dominating performance in the Grand American Modified feature to claim his second career win.
Cleveland lapped all but the top three enroute to the win. Two time winner Mike Stoddard was second ahead of Charlie Gilbert, Joe Cole and Gordy Isham. Sixth through tenth went to Bob Chapman, Pete Hoover, Kevin Cole, Joe Novak and Scott Vanderpool.
Mahlon Shoemaker took the lead from Harry Cook, Jr. on lap seven of the Pure Stock feature and raced to his third win of the season. Randy Percival edged out Roger Salai for second by a bumper. Cook was fourth ahead of Walt McClenon. Rounding out the top ten were Jim Ortiz, Bryan Lindsey, Mike Lartz, Dan Babcock and Todd Sutliff.
Steve Dechow took the lead from Brian Garvey on lap four and raced to his fourth Figure 8 feature win of the season. Garvey was second ahead of Fran Reed, Stewart Padaso and Jim Palmer.
This Saturday is American Food and Vending Night highlighted by a Race of Champions Qualifier for the Grand American Modifieds. They will be joined by a full show of 358 Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks and Figure 8ís. Pit and grandstand gates open at 4:30 p.m. and race time is 6:30 p.m.
COUNTER POINTS Gibbs will now have a bounty on him. A $100 bonus will be paid to any driver that can beat him on the track. That means Gibbs has to be running at the end and be on the same lap as the winner for the bounty to be claimed. Heavy rain during the week made for an uncharacteristically rough track Potts fourth was a career best in a Modified. Once again the entire show was completed by 10:00 p.m.
358 MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH: MITCH GIBBS, Dana Wagner, Chuck Kennison, Jim Potts, Butch Klinger, Dan Hineline, Rich Keehle, Jim Allen, Billy Thornton, Harry Marvin, Jr., Tom Rose, Ed Harris, Joe Biasi, Loren Holland, Art Bray, Rocky Rosetti, Glenn Knapp, Brian Malcomb, R.C. Faigle, Dave Locke, Don Hart, Jr., Bobby Puckett, Dennis Dietrich, Dave Calaman. DNQ: Jim Christ, Dan Morden, Ray Menard, Danny West.
STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH: JERRY TONTI, Ralph Shoemaker, Jr., Pat Nolan, Mike Mills, Pete Sobol, Ken Sparks, Jr., Don Russell, Jason Bartsch, Bill Saxe, Randy Rolison, Guy Park, Jerry Liford, Byron Pitcher, Scott Bennett, Brett Spoor.
GRAND AMERICAN MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH: JEFF CLEVELAND, Mike Stoddard, Charlie Gilbert, Joe Cole, Gordy Isham, Bob Chapman, Pete Hoover, Kevin Cole, Joe Novak, Scott Vanderpool, Jason Makosky. DNS: Fred Proctor.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH: MAHLON SHOEMAKER, Randy Percival, Roger Salai, Harry Cook, Jr., Walt McClenon, Jim Ortiz, Bryan Lindsey, Mike Lartz, Dan Babcock, Todd Sutliff, Jack Champion, Jerry Whitmarsh, Harry Marvin III, Jeremy Shaw, Robert Lee, John Zedanovich, Ted Baker, Bill House, Mark Andrus, Harold Goodell, Shephard Blodgett. DNS: Bob Tyriw, Larry Champion.
FIGURE 8 FEATURE FINISH: STEVE DECHOW, Brian Garvey, Fran Reed, Stewart Padaso, Jim Palmer