July 10th, 2004
KIRKWOOD, NY - Standing in victory lane at Five Mile Point Speedway, Butch Klinger knew he made the right decision.
In the final circuits of last Saturday night's 30-lap Modified feature, Klinger rolled the dice and tried the outside groove. The Walton, N.Y., driver proceeded straight to the front of the field to collect his first win of the season in the headline division at the quarter-mile oval on Armed Forces Night.
Klinger has been victorious at FMP twice in Sportsman competition in 2004, and actually competed with his Bicknell No. 9 reserved for Sportsman action. The use of aluminum wheels and a four barrel carburetor were the only modifications to the car. "I had to find a line," Klinger stated matter-of-factly following the $1,000 score.
Fourth-starter James Cornell roared into the lead on the second lap and set the early pace, opening up a straightaway advantage before the race's first caution flew on lap seven. In search of his first Modified victory, the 20-year-old open-wheel rookie survived several mid-race restarts in his No. J3 Troyer car, holding down the top spot.
Following a restart with ten laps remaining, Cornell's car began to fade and a string of seven cars lined up to battle for the lead. With Cornell holding the bottom, Klinger took a chance on the outside on lap 24. At that time, he was fourth. "The guys in front of me were holding me up," quipped Klinger.
"I was afraid to go up there, because I knew those guys on the bottom were going to come underneath me. My only shot of winning the race was to try it." Building momentum in the upper groove, the 37-year-old cleared Nick Barassi Jr. for second on lap 26, then drove around the outside of Cornell in turn four one lap later.
"The line was getting closer and closer to the wall," Klinger laughed. "But I had to keep my momentum up to clear those guys." The win was especially rewarding for Klinger and his team, who spent the day repairing the car from an incident at The New Afton (N.Y.) Speedway on Friday.
On the final circuit, Kirk Horton cleared Cornell for second, as the 41-year-old Eldred, N.Y., driver recorded his best finish of the season. "I was trying the inside on the 1 (Barassi) and I opened the lane up for him (Klinger) on the top," Horton said. "Then I followed him through.
"I knew I was faster than the two in front of me - finding a way by was tough." Cornell held on for a fine third, ahead of Nick Barassi Jr. and Dana Wagner. Heat victories for the 29 Modifieds in attendance went to Chris Ostrowsky, Klinger, Horton and Rich Keehle Jr. Bobby Puckett topped the consolation.
Brian Decker relied on his experience to win the 20-lap Sportsman feature. Decker stalked rookie Jeremy Holt for much of the distance, before the lead duo encountered lapped traffic in the final six go-rounds. The deciding moment came on lap 15, when Holt momentarily slowed behind Bruce Gould entering turn one.
The Susquehanna, Pa., talent ducked to the inside and took the top spot, then raced on to his second FMP victory of the '04 campaign. "Jeremy ran a good race," Decker said. "He got stuck behind a lapped car. I saw a hole on the bottom and went for it." Holt was a career-best second. Rodney Hart, Garth Tonkin Jr. and Brad Grim completed the front five.
"The Great Oz" Greg Buchanan of Nazareth, Pa., earned his FMP victory in the 20-lap Street Stock main. Buchanan led the entire distance, but repelled a stout challenge from veteran Bill Trego in the final laps. Trego made a pair of inside bids, but Buchanan used the outside momentum to his advantage for the win. Trego, Darl Ellis, Brett Spoor and Carl Heater trailed.
Joe Cole took win number one of the season in the 20-lap UMP Modified main. Cole, who grabbed the lead with the drop of the green, fought off Gary Dence following a final restart on lap 17. Following the Chenango Forks, N.Y., driver across the stripe were Dence, K.C. Cole, Dave Stalker and Jeff Cleveland.
In a competitive 20-lap Pure Stock feature, Art Darling Jr. drove the Roger Sly-owned No. 311A to victory after a crowd-pleasing battle with Darl Ellis Jr. The duo traded the lead back and forth before Chenango Forks, N.Y.'s Darling made the winning move around Ellis in turn two on lap 16. Ellis was second, ahead of Charlie Gilbert, Walt McClennon and Mahlon Shoemaker, who rebounded for fifth after a pair of early race skirmishes.
Racing resumes on July 17 at Five Mile Point Speedway with Community Night. All residents of Whitney Point with proper proof of address will be admitted into the grandstands free of charge. It will also be Credit Union/Banner Night. On the card will be Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks, UMP Modifieds and Pure Stocks. Racing starts at promptly at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact the speedway office at (607) 775-5555 or check out the website: www.fivemilepointspeedway.net.
NOTABLE:Dan Vauter was out on lap seven with a broken bolt in the front panhard bar. Vauter felt a problem with the front suspension in the green flag run prior to the race's first caution….Junior Green made his first start of the season in the Modified division. Green has competed in everything from an I.M.C.A-style Modified to a USAR Hooters Pro Cup car. The Wellsville, N.Y., driver plans to be a FMP regular….Bill Deckelman returned to the Sportsman division….Those serving in the Armed Forces who presented a military ID were admitted into the grandstand free of charge….Members of the Thunderbirds performing at the nearby Broome County Airport made an appearance at the track and signed autographs….Brian Bray made his first '04 start. The Elmhurst, Pa., driver has been saddled by work commitments, so his No. B5 Sportsman has been on the sidelines….
MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH:
BUTCH KLINGER, Kirk Horton, James Cornell, Nick Barassi Jr., Dana Wagner, Rich Keehle Jr., Ed Strada Jr., Don Hart Jr., J.R. Crouse, Steve Walsh, Jim Crawn, Bob Hamm, Dave Calaman, Bobby Puckett, Dan Hineline, Gary Griffin, Glenn Knapp, Junior Green, Jim Allen, Brian Malcolm, Chris Ostrowsky, Dan Vauter, Dave Rumsey, Joel Batzel, Tom Oleski. Did Not Qualify: Tom Gervasi, Brian Corcoran, Jim Corcoran, Craig Hawley.
SPORTSMAN MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH:
BRIAN DECKER, Jeremy Holt, Rodney Hart, Garth Tonkin Jr., Brad Grim, Bill Deckelman, Ricky Rutt, Shawn Olenski, Chris Clemons, Rick Raisner, Rob Harder, Steve Cook, Jim Christ, Jesse Kline, Archie Myers III, Eric Palmer, Brett Tonkin, Brandon Buck, Brian Bray, Jason Heafy, Bruce Gould, Bill Moyer.
STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH:
GREG BUCHANAN, Bill Trego, Darl Ellis, Brett Spoor, Carl Heater, Kurt Decker, Fred Christ, Bill Saxe, Nick Petrilak, Steve Snider, Tom Cornell, Jason Bartsch, Dan Pompey, Les Gillette, Chris Strohl, Ken Hineline.
UMP MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH:
JOE COLE, Gary Dence, K.C. Cole, Dave Stalker, Jeff Cleveland, Scott Bennett, Mike Stolarcyk III, Brad Shaffer.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH:
ART DARLING JR., Darl Ellis Jr., Charlie Gilbert, Walt McClennon, Mahlon Shoemaker, Shane Wolfe, Dee Ramey, Jeremy Shaw, Mike Codington, Josh Parker, Matt Spencer, Allen Metzgar, Jonathan Carpenter, Cory Bond, Brian Mills, Eddie Felker, Ken Washburn, Ted Baker. Did Not Start: Larry Fenton Jr., Rich Sharpsteen.