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17D DeanNa Shepard Wins First Mini Stock Feature
Tonight was sponsored by the great people at L&L Transmission, and was also a Fundraiser for Buddy Oderkirk. Buddy is a 19 yr old who has a rare skeletal muscle cancer. It is called Alveolar Rhabdomyosacoma. He is currently going through chemo radiation and surgery. The basket raffle, passing the helmet during intermission, other activities were a success in raising funds for Buddy and his medical care. Sorry I don't have the name, but the 50/50 winner also donated their winning to Buddy. How great is that, and how loud does that speak to how great the racing community is.
I would like to, no, I need to apologize to the Johnny's Bar 360 Late Models for all the extra laps prior to the heats and feature. Too dusty in the heats, and had to work the water in for the feature. Thanks to Rich Mogavero (who had to leave the track earlier in the day) for returning and getting the track back in shape for the features. I know fuel isn't cheap and appreciate your patience while we worked on the track.
Deanna (not a mistyped "N" in the title) Shepard has steadily improved and tonight was able to bring home her first feature win in the Rivers Performance Mini Stock feature. Not an easy feat having to hold off the challenge of Bill Weller jr in the #69 car who started sixth. Right there behind Bill were Austin Kotarski's #10, and Brad Shepard in the 1p just waiting for the smallest mistake. That wouldn't happen tonight and which made for a great race. I won't say that her father Brad was was happy to lose, but I am sure he couldn't be happier for another winner.
Thanks go out to her Dad Brad, Betsy, nephew Blake, her crew, C&C Archery, Babbitt Auto Repair, Rick can Fix It, Byron Repair, Shepard Fabrication, RCA Homes, No Finer Diner, East Coast Speed, and D. C. Enterprise. I love seeing first time winners so excited and worked so hard to make it happen. Next step for Deanna I think is to give her Dad the bumper when he is leading, and steal the victory from him. Then again, now that Deanna won, there may be some fuel problems, loose wheels or other "mistakes" in her future. Naaah! Brad wouldn't do tha.....hmmmmmm nope I seriously doubt that Brad wouldn't sabota... uuuuuummmm I would hope that Brad will keep the 17d in top shape. Bill Weller, Brad Shepard, Austin Kotarski and Eric Brumstead are your top five.
Deanna's interview is below.
Onto the racing. Not sure the drivers would agree, but the at least to me, and most fans the wait was worth it. Awesome close racing between the leader Tommy Kemp in the #28 and Dave Dubois' 012 to start the race. Side by side and nose to tail for the first half of the race, until one little blip in turn two for the 28 car, and Dave along with Bill Holmes in the #65 made the pass down low. Tommy would be able to keep the same distance between himself and the leader, but could not make up any ground.
Bill would be able to make the pass for the lead in turns three and four, but slid up just a little and Dave was able to again, take the bottom and retain the lead. Again, Bill could keep the distance the same between him and the leader, but could not gain any ground. When it was over, Dave would take another hard fought victory. On the track, one of the first things Dave said was to he wanted to dedicate this race to Buddy Oderkirk. Sheila Dubois was one of many people who helped set this event up, and everyone at Raceway5 felt honored to be able help out. Bill Holmes, Tommy Kemp, Rich Hale, and John McKay round out the top five.
Check out Dave's interview here.
We had a great field of eleven cars for the D. C. Enterprise Bandits for tonight's feature. On the pole was the #18 of Andrew Doran and after a first lap caution, the #1 of Dante Mancuso would right behind him. Dante would take the early lead until lap 10 when Andrew would take over. We later learned that Dante had a fuel issue that had him drop out of the race. Andrew was lapping the last place car when they got together in turn one to draw a caution. From there David Bohn held the top spot and took home his third feature win on the season.
David has been running and driving the Batavia Sign Company, L&L Transmission, East Town Beverage car well and the results prove it. Hala Allen, Rebecca Traxler, Caleb Wolcott, and Tiffany Rumsey complete the top five finishers. Great to see the class growing in numbers, and also talent.
Yasses Trucking and Construction Street Stocks had one caution on lap one, and from there ran green to the checkers. Byron Dewitt started on the pole and lead each lap, but not without some serious heat from Doug Jones in the 87 car. Doug was right there with Byron most of the race until Byron put lap cars between them late in the race.
As many of you may know, Byron had a back wreck last week at another track and had to strip the car down to get it back in shape. This week Byron made the impressive move not to thank his sponsors, but dedicate all his thanks to girlfriend Gail. She put in a lot of time and effort to getting the car stripped and back in shape for the race. I'd say you have a keeper there Byron. Doug came in second in front of John Gagner, Kenny Begnouche, and Bob Babbitt if fifth.Take a listen to Byron's interview.
Last out on the night would be the Mazur Auto Repair Sportsman. Kyle Inman in the 20k would start on the pole and had to hold off the hard charging 47v Phil Vigneri III and the v17 of John Venuto throughout the race. Scare moment on lap seventeen when Kyle would get slowed down behind a lap car under the start stand. Point leader Shannon Whaley would get into the back of Kyle and Shannon would spin. With no place to go, Greg Mrzywka in the 13x and the 7b of Brian Bellinger would both have hard impact with Shannon.
Brian was seen limping off the track and hope he is doing fine. Just before the caution John was giving Kyle everything he could and was racing side by side. When the race resumed, John was finally able to make the pass going into turn three and take home only his second feature win since opening day. Thanks to sponsors M&T Trucking, Greg Post Services, V Force Performance and of course his family for all their support. Kyle was second with Phil third followed by Shane O'Grady and Tim Downs.John's interview is below.
So another week in the books and next week is Select Collision Night. Remember we are close Saturday, August 15th. That leaves just 3 remaining races before Season Championship racing. Would love to chit chat some more, but we have several pieces of equipment to fix prior to next week.
Stay safe everyone and looking forward to next weeks racing.
Click on a link below to view the article for that week.