By: JAY SHIMEL – EVANS MILLS, NY – On the 20th Anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, Evans Mills Raceway Park hosted its annual First Responders night.
Seventeen local Fire Department and Ambulance Squads brought vehicles that were displayed in the midway. Plus, the US Border Patrol, New York State Police and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department were also in attendance with activities and giveaways for the race fans, both young and old.
The infield grass was painted with 412 stars, to honor the lives of the 412 first responders who lost their lives in the 9-11 attacks. First Responders were lined up behind the stars for pre-race ceremonies which included a moment of silence for fallen firefighter Peyton Morse, all first responders who lost their lives in the line of duty and all the lives lost on September 11, 2001.
During intermission, the first Be a Hero Box Car races were held. 6 young race fans turned a cardboard box into a race car. They had a 4-lap race that included pit stops with a “windshield cleaning”, “tire change” and a “refueling”. All participants went home with a medal and a goodie box. EMRP would like to congratulate all the participants and thank them for the hard work they put into designing and decorating their cars.
The first features of the evening were the Sport Compacts and Thunderstocks, which were led to the green flag by Anthony Pettinelli (#5) and Francis White (#60). Pettinelli would take the early lead and never look back. This race would go caution free and Pettinelli would cruise to the victory. Trever Halladay (#23T) quickly worked to the second position, where he would finish and White would finish third, but take home the Thunderstocks feature win.
Next up was the Excess Storage Pro Late Models. Matt Larivee (#12) and Joel Hall (#77) made up the front row. Larivee would lead lap one, but Joel Hargrave (#71) had other plans by lap 3. Hargrave made the move to the inside on turn 3 to take the lead from Larivee. Chuck Meyer (#3) would follow Hargrave, moving into second place. On lap 7, Rylee Gill (#57) would use the high side to get by Larivee for third. Hargrave would hold off Meyer and Gill to pick up his fourth win of the season.
Jason Christman (#92) and Chris Malbeuf (#10) would be the pole sitters for the Christman Fuel Service INEX Legends feature. Coleby Felber (#14) would take the lead on lap from Malbeuf in turn 3. Tyler Christman (#27) would also get by Malbeuf to take over the second spot on the first lap. The only caution of the feature came on lap 12 for a spinning Malbeuf in turn 2. On the restart, it was Felber reclaiming the lead and picking up the checkered flag. Christman finished second and Zach Anderson (#46) rounded out the top 3.
18 Caskinette Ford Modifieds started the feature which was led to the green flag by Tony Pettinelli (#2NY) and Casey Sykes (#NY1). A caution on lap 1 and 4 for Brady Gill (#1) and Terry Gardner (#41) respectively would slow the field. On the lap 4 restart, Pettinelli and Sykes would make slight contact, allowing Taylor Caprara (#21) to take the lead on the low side of the racetrack. One final caution on lap 16 for contact between Randy Brunelle (#007) and Steven Sherwood (#96) in turn 3 & 4 would come out. Caprara would control the restart and go on to take pick up his second win of the season. Pettinelli finished second, Sykes finished third, Levi Arthur (#65) finished fourth and Andre Roggie (#03) finished fifth.
The final feature of the evening was the 4-Cylinder Trucks. Brandon Clemons (#3) and Skylar Farney (#12) made up the front row. On the start Farney took the lead, but Brodie Davis (#9D) was on the move. By lap 4, Davis had found the front of the pack, dropping Farney to second. On lap 8, Bob Schroy (#33) was able to get by Farney on the low side to take over the second position. Davis would go on to win his third feature in a row, Schroy finished second and Brianna Dinzler (#33B) was third.
Next week, Saturday September 18th, Ken Tibbles Roofing presents the 2nd Annual John Burr Classic. There will be a 75 Lap Caskinette Ford Sportsman Modified Race, plus Excess Storage Pro Late Models, Christman Fuel Service INEX Legends National Qualifier, Oswego Small Block Supermodifieds, New York Super Stocks and Sport Compact/Thunderstocks. Pit Gates open at 1 pm, General Admission at 3 pm, Racing starts at 4:30pm. Pit Pass $35, General Admission $15, Military $12, Children 10-17 $10, Under 9 Free!