Jun 6, 2020 11:03 PM EDT
AJ SLIDEWAYS MAKES IT 46 CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH A FEATURE WIN BY CLAIMING THE SEASON OPENER AT OUTLAW SPEEDWAY
Shields, Sutherland, Potrzebowski, Ellison, Morgan and Doolittle also find victory lane.
(Dundee, NY) Kenny Shupp JR. PR Director.
After losing the better part of two full months, the Outlaw Speedway was able to swing open the gates for what may well be an abbreviated 2020 race season.
With no fans allowed in the grandstand seating area due to stringent New York State guidelines, the pit area was loaded up with some 117 cars representing the seven regular weekly class of competition as not only was it the season opener, but also the first full point night of the 2020 season.
If you were to ask Alan Johnson some forty plus years ago if he ever envisioned still competing let alone winning in the northeast’s premier dirt modified division, he may have looked at you a little funny. However, the man better known as AJ Slideways is still doing just that, competing and winning on the region's biggest stages and this past Friday night was no exception as Johnson cruised to his first feature win of the year and with it keeps his string of forth six consecutive years of winning at least one modified feature per year.
By the luck of the redraw Johnson started in the front row along with Ransomville, New York’s Eric Rudolph. At the drop of the opening green for the 30 lap Friendly Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Modified feature Rudolph jumped into the early lead and held onto the top spot until the first caution of the event waved on lap eleven for the slowed vehicle of Tommy Collins Jr. On the restart Johnson was able to motor around Rudolph and assume the top spot which he would not surrender for the remaining eighteen circuits. Only one additional caution flag would slow the pace and that was on lap twenty-two for the slowed machine of John Nobriga. By that point Super Matt Sheppard had worked from his eleventh starting spot into second and looked poised to challenge AJ Slideways for the top spot and the win. In the remaining eight laps Sheppard tried every trick in the book to make the pass , but the high flying Johnson as not to be denied and cruised to the popular win by less than a second over the two time and defending Outlaw Speedway Track Champion. The Doctor, Danny Johnson started outside of the second row, ran in the top five the entire race and came home with a well deserved third place finish as Rudolph faded a bit and wound up fourth. Justin Wright put on a steady performance to round out the top five finishers.
Qualifying heats went to Dave Marcuccelli, Sheppard and Ron Cartwright Jr.
2019 DIRTcar Hoosier Tire Sportsman Track Champion, Will Shields picked up right where he left off last season by winning the opening night feature as he beat a solid field of some twenty-one entries. Shields started on the pole, led the first five laps until giving way to third generation young gun, Alex Payne who took over the lead and looked poised to claim the victory. However, Lap thirteen was very unlucky for Payne as his motor expired in a cloud of smoke taking away a sure victory. With that Shields again assumed the lead and covered the field over the remaining dozen circuits to pick up his first win of the 2020 season. Zach Sobotka started sixth on the grid and put on a solid run to claim the runner up position while AJ Lloyd finished out the top three podium positions. Travis Grover claimed fourth at the finish chased across the line by Tim Guild who rounded the top five. Also, of note was the sixth-place finishing Tommy Paine, second oldest son of the Hurricane, Steve Paine. In his first outing as a Rookie, Paine began the feature event inside row two, drove an exceptionally smooth race and completed all twenty-five laps to claim sixth. Like his older brother, Billy who competes in the American Racer Tire Sportsman Division, Tommy Paine too looks to have a very promising future.
Hoosier Tire Sportsman heat wins went to Anthony Kimble, Shields and Payne.
In the Sunrise Insulation American Racer Tire Sportsman Division, it was journeyman driver, Ajay Potrzebowski picking up the popular win and for the Horseheads, NY native. Having spent most of his career traveling across the Twin Tiers of New York and Pennsylvania, Ajay Potrzeboswki has become a household name and it came as no surprise when he picked up the “W”. Having the luck of the redraw on his side, Potrzebowski pulled the pole position for the twenty-five-lap feature and cruised to the win. Zach Sobotka made it two runners up finishes on the night as he once again claimed second in the American Racer shot class as Ted Morseman rounded the top three podium finishers. Former Outlaw Speedway Track Champion, Chris Fisher was fourth while Kenny Peoples Jr. who started deep in the field in sixteenth position drove thru the field to claim fifth.
American Racer Tire Sportsman heats were won by Karl Comfort, Potrzebowski and Dale Welty.
In the Stan’s No Tubes Street Stocks it turned out to be a classic battle between two heavy weights in the division. Quinn Sutherland back once again in the seat of the Schuyler Family Racing 57j and CJ Guererri put on the show of the night as the two beat and banged and slugged it out over the entire twenty lap distance to see who would be the victor. With neither driver giving an inch and with aggressive racing thru lap traffic, Sutherland was able to hold off Guererri for the win. Two-time Track Champion, Glen Whritenour started tenth on the grid and put on a steady drive to claim third at the checkered chased across the line by Aksel Jensen and Gene Balmer. John Carpenter may have had the car to challenge both Sutherland and Guererri as he had caught up to the leaders and looked poised to pass both for the win, however a late race miscue heading into turn one cost Carpenter a trip over the banking and out of contention.
Stan’s No Tubes heat wins went to Carpenter and Jake Karlnoski.
The IMCA Modifieds put on their usual smooth feature performance with 2018 Outlaw Speedway Track Champ, Rodney Morgan finding the short way around the four tenths of a mile clay oval and claiming his first win of the year. He was followed across the line by Bad Brad Smith, Nicole Spaulding, David Scouten claimed fourth as Rick Watt rounded the top five finishers.
IMCA Modified heats went to Bump Scutt and Morgan.
In the companion IMCA Hobby Stock Division it was Wayne Ellison holding off a determined Justin Eldredge to pick up the victory. Ellison started sixth on the opening green flag and passed a number of very good competitors in winning his first feature of the year including two time and defending class champion, Marc Minutolo who finished third. Jamie Eldredge and Bruce Kinner completed the top five.
Hobby Stock heat wins went to Ellison and Kinner.
Finishing up the crowded night of activity was the mighty 4 Cylinder Division as fourteen machines took the opening green flag for their twenty-lap feature. Robert Doolittle, who has run well at Outlaw over the past year was finally able to secure a feature win as he claimed the popular victory. Doolittle, who started outside pole was able to get to the point quickly and come away with the win as he was followed by many time feature winner, Ray Hyer who claimed second. Rick Conte came home for third as he was chased across the line by Scott Lehman Jr. and his father, Scott Lehman.
Heat wins went to Lehman Jr. and Doolittle
The evening started with the running of the first Winner’s Circle Deli Youth Bandit feature event of the 2020 season as Ethan Decker claimed the win.
Congratulations to all competitors.
Coming up at Outlaw Speedway on Friday, June 12 it will be another Super Seven Show featuring the Friendly Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Modifieds along with the Sunrise Insulation American Racer Sportsman and the Stan’s No Tubes Street Stocks. Also seeing action will be the DIRTcar Hoosier Tire Sportsman, the IMCA Modifed and Hobby Stock Divisions as well as the 4 Cylinders and the Winner’s Circle Deli Bandits.
It is anticipated that there will again be NO grandstand seating due to Covid-19 regulations, everyone entering the pit area must wear a mask and observe social distancing and the event will again be PPV on Dirt Track Digest TV. Please continue to follow along on the tracks Facebook account for any changes in scheduling that may arise. Racing starts at 7:30 PM. For more information simply go to www.Facebook.com/OutlawSpeedwayLLC/.
A complete list of the current points as well as other vital information can be found by logging in at www.outlawspeedwayllc.com.