EVANS MILLS, NY – After 589 days, Evans Mills Raceway Park returned to racing action on Saturday night. Despite cool temperatures and rain projected in the forecast, a strong crowd of dedicated race fans came out to see all the improvements made to the facility and enjoy the first racing action in almost two years.
After the conclusion of the heats, a quick shower passed over the speedway. The Sport Compacts volunteered to run some laps and were able to quickly dry the track and we were able to get all of the features in without any more delays.
The Sport Compacts led the night off with their 15 lap feature. Allison Montgomery in the #14 and Justin Coachman #7 leading the field to the green flag. The #17 of Mike Greenfield and the #5 of Anthony Pettinelli made contact heading into turn 1 before completing a lap. On the restart, Trevor Halladay’s 23T found the inside line on Montgomery heading into turn 1 and never looked back, leading the rest of the race caution free. Pettinelli recovered from his earlier spin finishing 2nd, Amanda Defoe brought her #61 home in 3rd, Montgomery finished 4th. Mike Greenfield took home the checkered flag in the Thunderstocks with the #17.
24 Caskinette Ford Sportsman Modifieds took the green flag for their 50 lap feature. The winner would collect $1000 and a guaranteed starting spot in the John Burr Memorial Classic scheduled in September. Taylor Caprara #21 and Steve Sherwood #96 would pace the field to start the race. Caprara would lead early with Mike Ramos giving chase in the 09. The first caution came on lap 3 when John Ramsey in the #25R and the #30 of Mason Spencer spun in turn 1 and 2. On the restart, Tony Pettinelli’s, #2NY and Levi Arthur’s #65 were turned around entering turn 1 and Steve Sherwood was slowed as well. The restart found Ramos and the #29 of Matt Caprara beating Taylor Caprara around the outside out of turns 1 and 2 to take the lead down the backstretch. Tyler Catalano #64 and Chris Finocchario #81 found their way around the #21 of Caprara on the next lap. The 3rd caution would fly as Sherwood was off the pace in turn 4. On the restart Ramos and Tyler Catalano got a great jump on Matt Caprara and took over the top two spots respectively. 4 laps later, Ramos exited turn 2 high and Catalano was able to dart under him and take the lead. Nate Plantz in the #11 spun on the backstretch bringing out the 4th caution. Ramsey spun entering turn 3 to bring out the 5th caution at the halfway mark. Catalano was able to hold on to his lead on the restart followed by Matt Caprara, Finocchario, Trever Catalano and Ramos. The 6th and final caution was a spin by Brad Winters in the #92NY in turn 4. Finocchario would elect to start 2nd on the restart. Catalano would lead into turn 1 and Finocchario would clear for 2nd. Trever Catalano and Matt Caprara would battle for several laps for 3rd. Catalano would outbreak Caprara and take over the 3rd spot in turn 1. Tyler Catalano would find lap traffic with 2 to go, but would be able to hold on and take the checkered flag. Chris Finocchario would bring the #81 home in 2nd in memory of his late friend Ted Appleton, Trever Catalano finished 3rd, followed by Matt Caprara and Mike Ramos.
The INEX Legends were next with Zach Anderson in the #46W and the #9 of Brianna Gilligan bringing the field to the green. Anderson got onto the curb and became loose at the start which allowed Gilligan to take the lead and the #46 of David French, #14 of Colby Felber and the #33 of Dalton Rombough to go by on the outside. By the completion of lap 1, French was able to get around Gilligan for the lead, Rombough moved to 2nd, Felber settled into 3rd and Gilligan dropped back to 4th by lap 2. At the halfway mark, Felber spun coming through turns 3 and 4. On the restart, Rombough stayed close to French but was unable to make the pass. French was able to hold on for the win, followed by Rombough, Gilligan, Felber and Anderson.
The new Pro Late Model class concluded the evening with Jerry Dineen in his beautiful red and yellow #11 on the pole with Joel Hargrave to his outside in the #71. Dineen got loose on the start allowing Hargrave to take the lead entering 1. Chuck Meyer moved into 2nd in the #3 and Josh Verne Jr. gave chase in the 1v. Verne moved around Meyer a few laps later and started to close the gap on Hargrave. As the leaders worked through lap traffic, Hargrave was able to hold on and secure his first win on asphalt in his first race. Verne Jr. finished 2nd, 3rd place went to Dineen, 4th to Meyer and 5th was Terry Cheetham.
Next Saturday it is Mother’s Day Weekend at EMRP. Celebrate mom with a night at the races! Pit Gates open at 4pm, General Admission open at 5pm and racing starts at 6:30. Pit admission: $30, General Admission: $12, Military: $10, Children 10-17: $6 and Children under 9 are always free!