By JAY SHIMEL – EVANS MILLS, NY – Father’s Day weekend at the Evans Mills Raceway Park has become one of the most popular event’s on the schedule. This year was no exception. The largest crowd of the year came out to watch the Kevin Ward Jr. Memorial Asphalt Spectacular with the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints.
Before the features, the Ward Family and Evans Mills Raceway Park awarded the Kevin Ward Jr. Legacy Award to Tyler Chereshnoski, a student at the Howard G. Sackett Technical Center and Copenhagen Central School.
Starting the features on the evening were the Christman Fuel Service INEX Legends, which saw a season high, 14 cars take the green flag. Kyle Hart and Jason Christman made up the front row as Hart would lead the early laps. The first caution saw last week’s winner, Breanne Gilligan and Christman get together in the middle of turns 3 and 4. On the restart, Matt Haufe was able to clear Hart as they entered turn 1 and took the race lead heading down the backstretch. Chris Malbeuf worked the low lane by Hart two laps later to move up to the second position. Malbeuf would try to chase down Haufe, but to no avail. Haufe would win his first race of the season in his first start at the raceway. Malbeuf would finish second and Hart settled for third.
The Excess Storage Pro Late Models were next up, which saw an exciting pass for the lead on the final corner of the final lap. Rylee Gill and Joe Papin were the pole sitters as the two proved to be the class of the field. Gill would get the best of Papin on the start and pull away to a healthy lead. Gill would have trouble however navigating through slower lap traffic. Papin quickly erased Gill’s lead and was on this bummer with 2 laps remaining. As the leaders entered turns 3 and 4, Papin dove to the bottom of the track. Gill would get loose coming out of turn 4 on the outside and Papin drove by to pick up his first career feature win. Gill finished second and Sid Harmer Jr. rounded out the top 3.
The Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints rolled out onto the raceway for their 25 lap feature. The winner would take home the $4000 check and additional $3000 in lap sponsorship was distributed throughout the entire field. Dylan Swiernik and Jeff Cook started on the front row. On the start, Swiernik would get a terrific start and take the early lead entering turn 1. Swiernik would check out from the rest of the field. Danny Varin was quickly working his way to the front and by lap 10 he would pressure Cook for the second position. On the next lap, Cook would have trouble getting by lap traffic and Varin would take advantage on the outside and take over the second position. A caution flew on lap 13, erasing Swiernik’s lead. On the restart, Varin powered by Swiernik grabbing the lead on the backstretch. Swiernik would fight back as he drove his #7C deep into turn 3. Varin and Swiernik would touch tires, sending Swiernik into a sliding wheelie and almost onto his wing. Varin was able to continue and another caution slowed the field. On the restart it was all Varin, as he set sail and checked out from the rest of the field. Cook would lose second position to Matt Tanner. Tanner could not catch Varin in the final 12 laps. Danny Varin picked up his fourth win of the season on the Empire Super Sprints biggest payday of the season. Tanner finished second, followed by Kelly Hebing, Tyler Cartier and Jeff Cook.
18 Caskinette Ford Modified took the green flag which was led by Anthony Pettinelli and Matt Sharkey. Pettinelli would take control early and lead the early laps. Taylor Caprara was on the back of Pettinelli and would patiently work the low lane by Pettinelli and take the lead on lap 6. Anthony’s dad, Tony, would follow Caprara and move into the second position. Tony would keep the pressure on Caprara as he followed in his tire tracks lap after lap. Caprara would hold off Pettinelli time after time, but could not pull away. A scary caution came on lap 33 as Scott Dinzler would spin in the middle of turns 3 & 4. Dylan Bancroft would have nowhere to go as he drove on top of Dinzler’s car as the two came to rest. Both drivers were not injured, but their night’s were unfortunately over. This would set up a green-white-checkered finish. Caprara would get the advantage heading into turn 1. Pettinelli would try the high side and low side, but could not find a clean way around the leader. Caprara would win his first feature of the season, Tony Pettinelli would finish second and Anthony Pettinelli would finish a career best third.
The Napa Auto Parts Sport Compacts and Next Level Excavation Thunderstocks concluded the evening with their 20 lap feature. David Paige would lead the first 9 laps until the first caution flew. On the restart, Billy Matteson would get by Paige to take the lead. Joe Pettinelli would take the second position away from Paige as he tried to reel in the leader, Matteson. The race of the feature was for first place in the Thunderstocks. Paige would get heavy pressure from Joe Orvis in the closing laps. Paige would stick to his low lane, lap after lap making it difficult for Orvis to get by. On the final lap, Pettinelli and Orvis could not make the pass for the lead. Matteson and Paige would both win their first features of their careers. Pettinelli would take home second place and Justin Coachman finished third in the Sport Compacts. Orvis and Justin Burns rounded out the top 3 in the Thunderstocks.
Next weekend, Evans Mills Raceway Park welcomes the New York Super Stocks for their first stop of the season. The Caskinette Ford Modifieds, Excess Storage Pro Late Models, Christman Fuel Service INEX Legends, Sport Compact/Next Level Excavation Thunderstocks will also be back in action. Pit gates open at 3pm, General Admission at 5pm and racing starts at 6:30pm. Pit pass $35, Adults $15, Military $13, Children 10-17 $10 and under 9 free with paid Adult.