NEW YORKER 200 SEPT. 12 & 13, 2008
Varin Wins 19th New Yorker 200 at Utica-Rome, Effner Edges Belden in Pro Stock Main
By MIKE MALLETT
VERNON, N.Y. - There is an old saying that says, “Good things come to those who wait.”
Bobby Varin has waited all season to get to Utica-Rome Speedway Victory Lane. He’s had numerous second place finishes with his last win coming in July of 2007. On Saturday night the wait finally came to an end as he was able to win the speedway’s most prestigious event.
Varin, of Sharon Springs, N.Y., won the 19th edition of the Snofest 2009/Dart Machinery New Yorker 200 earning him $10,000 for his efforts.
“I need to thank Dave Cruickshank (car owner),” stated Varin. “We’ve struggled here all year long and we didn’t really come on until=2 0the second half of the season. We had a bunch of second place finishes and it seemed like we were always second best. We picked the right one to win here tonight.”
Mitch Gibbs and Don Mattison brought the 27-car starting field to Matt Burdick’s green flag with Gibbs jumping out to the race lead in his JPM powered Teo Pro car.
The lead for Gibbs was short-lived as Pat Ward used the bottom lane in turns one and two to take the lead on lap two.
Varin moved into the runner-up position after starting sixth on lap eight and ran down Ward as he battled with slower traffic. The duo battled for five laps swapping the lead several times before Varin took control on lap 19.
“We had a really fast race car during the early part of the race and I knew it,” said Varin. “We were able to get to the front pretty quick and take the lead away from Pat (Ward).”
Varin was the leader when the caution came out on lap 36 for Mike Mahaney. Mahaney hit the wall hard in turn four in his No.21.
The restart saw Varin joined by Ward on the front row for the double file start with Varin able to keep the lead away from Ward. Varin drove to the outside while Ward attempted to sneak by him on the bottom of the slick racing surface.
Varin continued to show the way while battling with lapped traffic when the caution came out once again for the 2007 winner of the event Stewart Friesen. Friesen had issues with the rear-end in his No.1 on lap 68.
This time Varin was joined by Gibbs for the restart. Varin got the jump on him but on lap 85 Gibbs was able to drive by Varin in the middle lane of turns one and two.
“Mitch (Gibbs) was really fast at the end of the first hundred,” stated Varin. “I raced him as hard as I could, but he had a faster car than me before the break.”
The pair stayed in that running order when they reached the midway point with Ronnie Johnson, Ward and Jimmy Phelps completing the top five.
After a short break for the Pro Stock feature the cars returned to the speedway only to have Mother Nature force a longer wait. The rain drops fell on and off for 45 minutes before the track crew was able to get the surface back into racing shape.
The event went green once again with Gibbs taking the lead on the drastically different surface. Gibbs ran the middle of the speedway that had been so successful for him in the first half with Varin putting his JPM powered Bicknell right up against the cushion.
The two were battling out in front when they encountered slow traffic on lap 110. While in traffic, Varin and Gibbs were joined by Ward and Johnson in a four car battle for the lead.
That battle continued and didn’t end until Varin snuck through the traffic on the bottom of turns three and four to take the lead away from Gibbs on lap 119.
“I was on pins and needles with the race between Mitch (Gibbs), Pat (Ward) and me,” commented Varin about the race for the lead. “With those lapped cars mixed in there that was some really good racing. I got through the traffic a little better than they did.”
Once he regained the top position, Varin was able to pull away from the field on the half-mile speedway. That lead was taken away for a caution on lap 136. The caution was for Jimmy Davis who stopped on the front straightaway with problems under the hood of his Bicknell.
The yellow bunched the field up once again and gave everyone a chance to get by Varin. As he had been the rest of the race, Varin was flawless on the restart to keep the top position.
The final caution flag flew on lap 155 when Jeremy Vunk’s No.32 slowed in turn four. He was assisted back to the pit area.
The restart gave everyone another ch ance to get by Varin. Johnson took a look underneath in turns one and two but Varin’s momentum on the top side allowed him to drive back by Johnson on the back stretch.
“I saw R.J. (Johnson) poking his nose down there,” said Varin. “You can’t give him any room or he’ll take it and run away with it. You can never count him out.”
Over the course of the closing laps, Varin was able to lap every car on the speedway except for those drivers inside the top four even though he developed a severe push in his car.
“I was really starting to worry there at the end,” commented Varin. “The car really got tight and I couldn’t get into the corners like I wanted to. It kept wanting to shove the nose up over the lip and I’m famous for going over the banking here. I knew if I did that my guys would never let me live it down.”
At the checkered it was Varin winning by over seven seconds with Johnson, who started ninth, settling for a runner-up finish.
Johnson’s second place finish was a one position improvement from last season. The Duanseburg, N.Y., driver tried to get under Varin on the last restart of the race, but he couldn’t get enough of a run on the bottom to take the lead.
“Bobby (Varin) knows this racetrack,” stated Johnson. “He was better than me all that second hundred; we didn’t have anything for him. With all the rain there I was going to be happy with third. We moved up a spot and got a nice payday. We’ll take it.”
After leading several laps during the event, Gibbs, of North Norwich, N.Y., had to settle for a third place finish with his Gary Mann owned ride. Gibbs was the fastest car on the speedway prior to the rain making the track extremely tacky.
“It’s a bit of a disappointment because we had such a fast car in the first hundred,” commented the former track champion. “I knew it was going to hurt me when it rained. When you got a car that is that good on a slick track and then it gets heavy like that you’re not going to have the same result.”
Ward, the 2008 modified champion, brought his Gypsum Racing Bicknell home in the fourth position while Phelps, of Baldwinsville, N.Y., finished fifth with his Finger Lakes powered Troyer.
Mark Effner led one lap of the 25-lap Pro Stock feature event and it was by mere inches.
Effner, a weekly regular at the speedway, started the feature on the outside of the second row and passed Brett Belden on the final lap in turn four to take home the $1,200 payday.
At the drop of the green flag, Shawn Frost took the lead from his pole starting position. Frost held onto the position until lap nine when the caution came out for Harry Marvin III. Marvin spun in turn two.
During the caution, Frost got a left rear flat and that handed the lead over the Chris Mackey.
Mackey held on to the lead until lap 13 when Bret Belden stole it away. Belden took it on the bottom of turns three and four.
Over the next four laps Mackey and Belden exchanged the lead three times with Effner running in third. Belden secured the lead on lap 17 and lead up until the final lap.
On the final circuit, Effner drove to the outside in turns one and two while Belden went low. Effner was able to pull even with Belden on the back straightaway and stayed ahead into turn three.
They were even off the corner but Effner had the momentum that he gained on the top side which allowed him to beat Belden by two inches at the line.
Belden settled for second with Chris Mackey finishing in third. Rob Seavy crossed the line in fourth with Bill Knapp completing the top five.
Sept. 14th VERNON, NY- After a two day delay due to rain, the support division portion of the Dart Machinery New Yorker 200 was completed on Sunday September 14 when Zielinski’s Asphalt LLC presented the Sportsman, SUNY Canton Street Stocks Series, and World Products IMCA Modified Empire State Series. Instead of competing on a cool fall evening as originally scheduled, the afternoon event saw conditions that were more summer like as a bright sunshine baked the crowd in 90 degree temperatures. The crowd was entertained by highly competitive racing action with Brad Alger, Rich Green, and Dale Caswell the big winners when the event came to a close. The action on Sunday was supposed to go off on Friday September 12 until Mother Nature intervened.
Pole sitter Brad Alger grabbed the early lead at the drop of the green of the 50 lap Sportsman main event as he hoped to cap o ff his championship season with a win on New Yorker Weekend. Russ Hefti, coming from the fifth spot, quickly jumped into the second spot at the completion of lap one and went after the rim riding Alger.
By lap five, Alger and Hefti were side by side for the lead with Alger still holding a slight edge over Hefti but a lap later Hefti was able to power by for the lead. Hefti seemingly had firm control of the race when on a lap 20 restart, Jeff Leslie got turned around in front of the field and Mike Button, unable to avoid him, made contact with Leslie and rolled over which brought out the red flag.
On the restart, Alger was able to speed back by the outside of Hefti to regain the lead and at the halfway point it was Alger, Hefti, Jason Rood, AJ Filbeck, and Mike Loney leading the way. Two minor cautions slowed the field in the remaining 25 laps allowing the field to close up on the rear bumper of Alger, but the 2008 Utica-Rome Speedway Sportsman champion was to strong as he claimed the $2,200 payday. Hefti held on for the runner up spot with Rood, Loney, and Filbeck chasing.
Dave Bruno and Larry Bezner led the SUNY Canton Street Stocks to the green flag in their 30 lap season finale with Bezner holding the early edge. As the field came around for the lap two, the two leaders made contact which scattered the field and relegated them to the rear of the field. Nate Peckham was the beneficiary off the mishap as gained the lead.
Peckham would hold off a handful of challengers in the early stages of the race with Dave Mannise, Ron Wadforth, Rick Breed, and Rich Green all taking shots at the front. On lap 11, Mannise would finally squeeze by Peckham for a turn leading the field around the Vernon half mile. When the crossed flags=2 0were shown to the field at the halfway point, it was Mannise leading with Peckham, Green, Breed, and 2008 Utica-Rome Speedway Pure Stock champion Chris Carr chasing.
Just past halfway, the bottom hugging Breed started to slip through the top three positions to grab the lead on lap 21 with Green slipping into second on lap 24. Three circuits went by with Green pursuing Breed for the lead when he finally passed the former DIRT Pro Stock champion for the lead on lap 27. Green raced to his first ever Utica-Rome Speedway win and a $1,000 payday while early leader Bezner recovered from his lap one mishap to finish in second. Breed, Wadforth, and Peckham filled out the rest of the top five at the checkered flag.
The scariest moment of the race came after the field took the ckeckers when Breed’s throttle stuck and he went over the turn one banking at full speed. After going over th e banking, his car went end over end and came to rest as the car showed a momentary burst of flames. Breed would emerge from the carnage uninjured but shaken.
The World Products Empire State Series for the IMCA Modifieds took the track with JJ Courcy grabbing the advantage over pole sitter Lyle Smith. Courcy would pace the field for the first two circuits of the 15 lap A Main until fifth place starter charged by on lap three. Kevan Cook edged Caswell at the line to lap five but Caswell was again out front by the sixth lap. Caswell would remain the leader until the end with Gary Roberts, Cook, Aaron Jacobs, and Courcy rounding out the field.
ZEILINSKI’S ASPHALT RACE SUMMARY
SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (50 LAPS)- BRAD ALGER, Russ Hefti, Jason Rood, Mike Loney, AJ Filbeck, Casey Williams, Greg Doust, Chris Hile, Steve Way, Matt Janczuk, Aaron Jacobs, Jack Miller, Randy Brokaw, Steve Yankowski, Jeremy Vunk, Craig Pope, Jim LaRock, Tom Juhl, Ben Wheeler, Bill Trexler Jr., Jeff Leslie, Mike Button, Steve Anderson, and Tim Nye.
SUNY CANTON STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- RICH GREEN, Larry Bezner, Ricky Breed, Ron Wadforth, Nate Peckham, Dave Mannise, Ron Hawker, Chris Carr, Russ Marsden, Ron Marsden, Dave Pope, Waylan Wilczek, Scott Wheelock, Nick Rizzo, Mike Schultz, Kelly Pope, Jim Thomas, Steve Burton, Phil Norman, Cale Hoffman, Daryl Krebs, Dave Bruno, Tim Janczuk, Andy Potter, Bill Mason, Steve Woodworth, John Eiss, Dan Hofmann Sr., Chuck Cushman, and Rob Thieme.
IMCA MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- DALE CASWELL, Gary Roberts, Kevan Cook, Aaron Jacobs, JJ Courcy, Lyle Smith, Brian Evenden, Tony Finch, Brandon Carvey, Jim Walsh, Rich Riggs, and Chris Fleming.
ALGER, GREEN, AND CASWELL CLOSE OUT DART MACHINERY NEW YORKER 200 WEEKEND W ITH BIG WINS
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