By JAY SHIMEL – EVANS MILLS, NY – The warmest night of the season was on tap Saturday night, ironically as the Evans Mills Raceway Park celebrated Christmas In July. There was a whole sled full of presents for all the children in attendance donated by race teams, sponsors and Evans Mills Raceway Park. Race fans were also gifted some of the best racing on the track in recent years.
The Excess Storage Pro Late Models kicked off the evening, which were led to the green flag by Joe Papin and Rylee Gill. Gill would get a terrific start and clear Papin by turn 1. Gill would work the outside groove as Papin stuck to the bottom side of the track. Papin would chase down Gill and take over the lead on lap 6 after racing side by side for 2 laps. Papin would begin to expand his lead in the next handful of laps. The only caution of the feature would be displayed on lap 13 for a spinning Jason Rarick. On the restart, Papin and Gill raced door to door for the final laps. On the exit on of turn two, on the final lap, Papin made contact with Gill, and Gill would have to check up. Papin drove away to his third feature win of the season. Gill would have to settle for second, followed by Chuck Meyer in third.
The Caskinette Ford Modified produced the feature of the evening and perhaps of the year. Jerry Dineen and Tony Pettinelli made up the front row. Pettinelli would take the lead on the first lap and start to check out on the rest of the field. By lap 18 Bryan Sherwood started to make his usual ascension to the front of the field from his 6th place starting position. He would get by Kreig Heroth on the outside, 2 laps later, Sherwood would get by Dylan Bancroft as well. By lap 27, Sherwood would be sitting in second place, almost a straight away behind the leader, Pettinelli. The first of two cautions came on lap 30 for a spinning Anthony Pettinelli. Tony Pettinelli and Sherwood would start on the front row. On the restart, Sherwood had a ¾ car length heading into turn 1. Pettinelli and Sherwood made contact, sending Sherwood spinning around. The ensuing restart saw Pettinelli on the inside and Heroth on the outside. Pettinelli got the restart he needed and took a slight advantage over Heroth. Heroth would fight back on the outside and keep pace with the leader. Coming to the white flag, Heroth would lead lap 34 by inches. Pettinelli would fight back on the inside of turns 1 & 2 and lead by half a car. Heroth charged around on the outside of turns 3 & 4 and drag raced Pettinelli to the finish line. Heroth would cross the finish line first by 0.029 seconds, for his third win and second in a row. Pettinelli, who was looking for his first feature win in 3 years, would have to settle for second. Bryce Bailey, making his first start at the speedway since racing there in the Bandoleros finished third. Joel Hargrave finished fourth, followed by Taylor Caprara.
The Christman Fuel Service INEX Legends followed next. Brody Beckwith and Camdin Cook started on the front row. Cook would get the early jump, but it was Chris Malbeuf leading the first lap. This feature would run caution free as Malbeuf would lead every lap. Kyle Hart tried to chase down Malbeuf in lap traffic, but it would be to no avail. Malbeuf picked up his fourth feature win of the season. Hart finished second and Cook would cross the line in third.
The final feature of the evening saw the Napa Auto Parts Sport Compacts and Next Level Excavation Thunderstocks take to the track next. Justin Burns would take the early lead and set the pace for the first 4 laps. By lap 4 the Sport Compacts had worked their way to the front. Jock Symonds would take over the top spot. A three car pile-up in turn 1, would slow the field for the only time. Symonds would maintain his lead on the restart as Chuck Powelczyk would fight hard on the outside. Symonds had the car to beat as he won his first feature of the season. Powelczyk finished in second and Justin Coachman wound up third. Joe Orvis collected win number 9 in the Next Level Excavation Thunderstocks, followed by David Liscum and Colby Goodale.
The 2Xtreme Monster Trucks return to the Evans Mills Raceway Park for an epic 2 Day Show! Bounty Hunter, Scarlet Bandit and more return on July 30 and 31 at 3pm each day. You can pre order tickets at evansmillsracewaypark.com or 2xtremeracingseries.com. Tickets start at just $15.
Next weekend, Evans Mills Raceway Park celebrates the life of Nicole Berry-Garnsey. The 3rd Annual Nicole Berry-Garnsey Health and Wellness Night will take place as we shine a light on Ovarian Cancer Awareness. The Caskinette Ford Modifieds, Excess Storage Pro Late Models, Christman Fuel Service INEX Legends, Napa Auto Parts Sport Compact/Next Level Excavation Thunderstocks will 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.