EVANS MILLS, NY – There couldn’t have been a better way to celebrate Father’s Day Weekend, then by being at the Evans Mills Raceway Park on Saturday night.
The Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints made their annual stop at the speedway for the running of the Kevin Ward Jr. Memorial Asphalt Spectacular. The pits were as full as they had ever been and the cars in the parking lot reached all the way to U.S. Rt.11.
The 50/50 jackpot climbed over $1400 and there was excitement in the air all night long.
The Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints were turning 12.8 second lap times, with speeds over 104 mph. The features added to the atmosphere with two races ending in last lap passes for the win.
The Christman Fuel Service INEX Legends were the first features of the night with Zack Christman (#43) and Jason Christman (#92) bringing the field to the green flag. On the start, it was Dalton Rombough (#33) charging up from his fourth starting spot to take the lead. By lap two, Coleby Felber (#14) had worked his way to second place and was pressing Rombough for the lead. Lap 13, saw a caution fly for newcomer Chad Hastwell (#22) for a spin in turn 3, setting up a 2 lap shootout. On the restart, it was Romobough and Felber pacing the field once again. On the final lap, Felber would enter turns 3 and 4 deep, making contact with Rombough, and the two would spin. This would open the door for Tyler Christman (#27) to cross the line first, picking up his second win of the season, and his dad Jason Christman (#92) would finish second and Richard Kuty (#11) finished third.
The next feature was the Excess Storage Pro Late Models. Josh Verne Jr. (#1V) and Mark Barker (#77) would make up the front row. Barker would get the jump on the start, with Jerry Dineen (#11) moving into second place by lap 2. However, Dineen would lose several spots as he exited turn 2 wide. By lap 4, Sid Harmer Jr. (#14) had worked his way up to third, after starting ninth. The only caution would come out on lap 11 for a stopped Rylee Gill (#57). On the restart, Barker would control the rest of the race and go on to earn his first win of the season. Barker was elated in victory lane as he spoke of his past struggles as this was his first feature win of his career. Harmer would finish second and Chuck Meyers (#3) would finish third.
There was a break in the action as the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints parked their cars on the frontstretch and greeted the fans to an autograph session. Many fans young and old were able to get driver cards, pictures, and autographs on hats and T-shirts from their favorite ESS drivers. Lee and Peggy Gill and the Evans Mills Raceway Park also presented their Kevin Ward Jr. Legacy award to two students from the Howard G. Sackett Technical Center in Glenfield, NY. Due to the pandemic, they were unable to award last year’s winner. Each recipient received a $250 scholarship and their names added to the perpetual plaque that will be displayed at the track during the season and at Howard G. Sackett Technical Center during the school year. The 2020 recipient was Mercedes Walwarth and the 2021 recipient was Collin Hulbert.
The Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints were the next feature and proved to be the most exciting of the night. Local favorite, Jeff Cook (#10) started on the pole and Tommy Wickham (#75) would be on the outside pole. Cook would get the early lead and start to put some distance between him and the second place car. Wickham and Dylan Swiernik (#7C) would battle for second. While working through lap traffic Swiernik and Tyler Cartier (#23) would spin and Cartier would tip over onto his side. On the restart, Cook would pull away from Wickham. With 2 laps to go Cook appeared to have the feature in hand, but Wickham had other plans. Wickham would drive hard the final two laps sliding around the corners as Cook held his line on the bottom. Entering the final corners, Wickham would let it hang out on the high side of the speedway, with smoke pouring off his right rear. He would beat Cook off of turn 4 and lead the final lap and pick up the $4000 check for winning the feature. Cook would finish second and Kelly Hebing (#10H) would round out the top 3.
21 Caskinette Ford Sportsman Modifieds would start their feature led to the green flag by Rick Brunelle (#005) and Mike Ramos (#09). Ramos would take the early lead. A quick caution came on lap 1 for a spinning Terry Gardner (#41). Ramos would control the restart and lead until the next caution on lap 14 for Tony Pettinelli (H2NY) and Casey Sykes (#NY1). On the restart, it would be Ramos and Corey Trombley (#006) starting on the front row. It would be Ramos’ night and he would go on to earn his first feature win of the year. Trombley finished second, Matt Caprara (#29) finished third, Levi Arthur (#65) was fourth and Rand Brunelle (#007) would finish fifth.
The Sport Compacts and Thunderstocks would conclude the evening’s events. Tim Greenfield (#73T) and Allison Montgomery (#14) would bring the cars to the line to start the race. Trever Halladay (#23T) would find his way to the front by lap 5. Six cautions would fly during the 20 lap feature, but in the end Halladay proved to be too strong for the competition, earning his 6th win of the year. Chuck Powelczyk (#17) was second and newcomer Billy Matteson (#00) finished third. Kevin Greenfield (#17) picked up the win in the Thunderstocks, followed by by Justin Burns (#11J) and Mike Greenfield (#11A).
Next week, Saturday June 26th, we celebrate the Class of 2021. The Small Block Supermodifieds from Oswego Speedway will be in town, plus we will have the Caskinette Ford Modifieds, Excess Storage Pro Late Models, Christman Fuel Service INEX Legends and the Sport Compacts and Thunderstocks. Pit Gates open at 3pm, General Admission at 5pm, Racing starts at 6:30pm. Pit Pass $30, General Admission $12, Military $10, Children 10-17 $6, Under 9 Free with paid adult.