EVANS MILLS, NY – A beautiful August evening welcomed a large crowd for the annual Family Autograph Night presented by Watertown Savings Bank. During intermission, over 50 drivers lined the frontstretch to welcome race fans young and old to take pictures, get autographs and see the cars up close. This event remains to be one of the most popular on the schedule from year to year with both fans and the drivers.
The 4-Cylinder Trucks started the features off for the evening. Brandon Clemons (#3) and Skylar Farney (#12) led the field to the green flag. On the start, it was Bob Schroy (#33) quickly making his way to the lead. Farney would settle into the second position. On lap 5, Evan Thomas (#84) made a strong move to the inside of Clemons to take over the third spot. This would be the finishing order, as Schroy proved to be too strong, picking up his third win in a row.
The Classic Asphalt Modified Series made their second stop at the raceway. The field was paced by a beautiful Maynard Troyer tribute car, owned by Jim Chamberlin of Oneida, NY. On the start, Shiloh James (#16) took the early lead, followed by Andy Ferra (#50). Ferra would spin on the frontstrectch, bringing out the caution. On the restart, James would regain his lead, Ferra quickly recovered to second place, and Tim James (#50) would work into third. That would be the finishing order, until we were all pleasantly surprised in victory lane. Shiloh James had been having handling problems and asked veteran racer Russ Brown of Mannsville, NY to fill in and offer his advice. Russ Brown picked up the feature win in the Classic Asphalt Modifieds.
The Excess Storage Pro Late Models were next up, which were led to the green flag by Josh Verne Jr. (#1V) and Joel Hargrave (#71). Verne controlled the pace for the early laps, with Rylee Gill (#57) finding his sweet spot on the speedway in the second groove. By the second lap, Gill had passed Hargrave for second and began chasing down Verne. The two would race side by side for laps, with Gill finally clearing Verne exiting turn 2 on lap 8. Gill would go on to pick up the feature win, followed by Verne and Chuck Meyer (#3) in third.
22 Caskinette Ford Modifieds started the next feature. Nate Plantz (#11) and Randy Brunelle (#007) made up the front row. Two cautions flew before completing a lap, ending the night early for John Ramsey (#25R). Brunelle would take the early lead and control the restarts as four more cautions were displayed by lap 20. The lap 20 restart would find Brunelle in the lead, followed by Taylor Caprara (#21) and Eddie Hawkins (#33), who was up to third from his 8th starting spot. On lap 28, Hawkins would get by Caprara for second, but would run out of laps, as Brunelle earned his second win of the season. Hawkins finished second, in his second start at the raceway and Caprara was third. Andre Roggie finished fourth and Casey Sykes picked up his first top 5 of the season.
The Sport Compacts and Thunderstocks were the next feature for the evening. David Paige (#20) and Justin Burns (#11J) were the pole sitters. Trevor Halladay (#23T) quickly found his way to the front, followed by Chuck Powelczyk (#17) and Anthony Pettinelli (#5). Halladay had his car on cruise control with a 10-car lead over Powelczyk. He would see his lead evaporated with a lap 14 caution. On the restart, Halladay would keep his lead, until he encountered lap traffic. Halladay went high to pass the slower car just as the slower also went high. Halladay was forced to the fourth lane on the track, allowing Powelczyk to take the lead and go on to win his second feature in a row. Halladay recovered to finish second and Pettinelli finished third. Francis White (#60) won his first Thunderstock feature of the year.
The Christman Fuel Service INEX Legends concluded the features for the evening. Tyler Christman (#27) and Jason Christman (#92) brought the field to the green flag. A quick caution on Lap 1 slowed the field. On the restart, Christman inherited the lead, but Breanna Gilligan (#9) was ready to make a move. On lap 3, Gilligan worked the high side of the track and passed Chirstman exiting turn 2. On lap 4, Coleby Felber (#14) was able to take second from Christman. Gilligan and Felber would run similar lap times until the closing laps. Felber was within striking distance, but could not make a pass. Gilligan picked up her first feature win of the year, Felber was second and Christman finished third.
Next week, Saturday August 21st, S & R Automotive presents First Responders Night and Boy/Girl Scout Night. Evans Mills Raceway Park will honor all Law Enforcement, Fire and EMS Personnel. All First Responders will receive free admission. Boy and Girl Scouts and Scout Leaders in uniform will receive free admission also. 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!