|Special Event Results 9/28|
KIRKWOOD, NY…Mitch Gibbs continued his mastery of the quarter mile by dominating the 33rd running of the Binghamton Pepsi-Cola Southern Tier 100 on Saturday night at Five Mile Point Speedway. Denny Decker came home victorious in the Northeast Pure Stock Championship.
With 62 358 Modifieds and 52 Pure Stocks in the pits, the fans were treated to an action packed night of racing. Six heats and three consi’s whittled the starting field to 25 Modifieds with Billy Thornton and Gibbs on the front row. Thornton jumped in front at the drop of the green with Gibbs settling into second ahead of George Kostelansky, Brian Malcomb and Butch Klinger.
Gibbs made what would prove to be the winning move on lap eight when he powered ahead of Thornton for the lead. Two time Southern Tier 100 winner Mike Colsten started 19th after winning the first consi and quickly worked his way to the front. He was up to seventh by lap 15 and moved into third behind Gibbs and Thornton by lap 30.
Colsten raced into second on lap 41 and set his sights on the high flying Gibbs, who brought 11 feature wins into the night at the Point this year. The complexion of the race changed on lap 47 when a major pileup occurred on the backstretch. Six cars were knocked from contention. At that point several drivers dropped into the pits including second place Colsten.
When racing resumed, just past the halfway point, Gibbs was still in front ahead of Thornton, Kostelansky, Klinger and Ed Strada. The man on the move was Alan Rudalavage, who got caught up in a couple of skirmishes early. Rudalavage worked his way through the pack along with Rich Keehle, who had to use a provisional and started in 25th.
Rudalavage moved up to second but could never mount a serious challenge on Gibbs, who had opened more than a straightaway lead. Gibbs was slowed late by lapped traffic but carefully weaved his way through to claim the win.
It was Gibbs’ 12th win of the season, moving him within one win of the single season record of 13 held by 14 time track champion Chuck Akulis. Rudalavage was second ahead of Keehle, Glenn Knapp and Willy Decker. They were the only cars left on the lead lap. Sixth through tenth went to Strada, Kostelansky, Thornton, Dan Vauter and Ralph Mele.
Five heats and two consi’s were needed to set the 27 car starting field for the Northeast Pure Stock Championship. Shane Wolf and Todd Burgess led the field to the green flag. Wolf held the early lead with Denny Decker quickly moving into challenge from his fifth starting position.
Decker moved into second on lap four and then chased Wolf for many laps with Bobby Boynton, Burgess and Buck Mills close behind. Decker made his move and took the lead on lap 21 of the 50 lap STAR Series event.
With Decker in front and Wolf close behind, Five Mile Point track champ Mahlon Shoemaker was on the move from his 15th starting spot. Shoemaker moved into third with ten laps to go and put the pressure on Wolf for second. With Wolf having to fend off Shoemaker, Decker was able to open about a three car advantage.
Decker would race to the win with Wolf a close second ahead of Shoemaker, Sean O’Connor, who started 27th, and Dave Bellis, who came from 17th. Sixth through tenth went to Nate Evans, John Cooper, Mark Shipman, Randy Percival and Shawn Walker.
Friday’s Southern Tier Championships for Sportsman, Street Stocks, Grand American/IMCA Modifieds and Four Cylinder Stocks was rained out. That race has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 12th at 6:00 p.m.
Racing will continue the following week with the running of the Southern Tier Open Weekend. The weekend will kick off on Friday, October 18th featuring the high powered 360 Sprint Cars along with an open Sportsman show and Grand American/IMCA Modifieds. Race time on Friday is 7:00 p.m. The weekend wraps up on Saturday, October 19th with the 50 lap Southern Tier Open for Big Block and Small Block Modifieds along with STAR Series finales for the Pure Stocks and Four Cylinder Stocks. Race time on Saturday is 5:00 p.m.
COUNTER POINTS…Gibbs took home 93 six packs of Pepsi, courtesy of race sponsor Binghamton Pepsi-Cola, for each lap he lead…He can tie the single season win record by winning the October 19th Southern Tier Open…The 62 Modifieds is the most since 70 cars signed in for the 1991 Southern Tier 100. The record was 81 cars in 1989...Gibbs broke the tie, becoming the 17th track regular to win the race, compared to 16 wins by invaders…The B&D Exhaust Pure Stock bonus, which goes to a driver that can win the heat and feature, was not claimed so it will carry over to October 19th. If the winner of the Pure Stock Southern Tier Open also won his heat, he will claim a $300 bonus, making it $800 to win the 30 lap feature.
BINGHAMTON PEPSI-COLA SOUTHERN TIER 100:
MITCH GIBBS, Alan Rudalavage, Rich Keehle, Glenn Knapp, Willy Decker, Ed Strada, George Kostelansky, Billy Thornton, Dan Vauter, Ralph Mele, Butch Klinger, Don Hart, Jr., Mike Colsten, Bobby Puckett, Brian Malcomb, Dana Wagner, Dennis Dietrich, Paul Kinney, Bob Lane, Dave Locke, R.C. Faigle, Brian Davis, Mike Jackson, J.R. Hurlburt, Brian Weaver.
NORTHEAST PURE STOCK CHAMPIONSHIP:
DENNY DECKER, Shane Wolf, Mahlon Shoemaker, Sean O’Connor, Dave Bellis, Nate Evans, John Cooper, Mark Shipman, Randy Percival, Shawn Walker, Buck Mills, Barry Hyatt, Dan Babcock, Darl Ellis, Ernie Martin, Bob Tyriw, Tom Garren, Paul Harrington, Todd Burgess, Bobby Boynton, Corey Bond, Jess Snell, Roger Salai, Toby Sparks, Charlie Holcomb, Rick Sharpsteen, Kurt Decker.