Mike Perrotte was real fast during his qualifying event and real fast again when it mattered ― during the Modified feature event. Perrotte used his outside pole starting position to jump to the early race lead. He led every lap and went unchallenged to go on to win the 35 lap Modified feature event.
The win was his 18th at the ‘Great Race Place.’ Ironically, Perrotte’s last win came five years ago this weekend, June 6th, 2008.
“It feels wonderful, you don’t know if you are going to win again,” said Perrotte of the gap in time. “The guys work hard, they don’t give up and that is what it is all about. I’m glad to be here and I’m glad that it is back to dirt.”
Some nice additions to the prestigious top five were Chris Johnson, Donnie Corellis, Erik Nelson and Marc Johnson. The group put forth several exciting efforts, swapping race positions back and forth before the event concluded.
Five time feature event winner Brett Hearn got caught up in an incident when he had no place to go, that left the Madsen Motorsports car with damage on the right rear quarter panel. The modified point leader ended up with a 19th place finish [at the end of the event Hearn was set back three race positions for an earlier race infraction].
It looked like it was Joey Budka’s turn to place his name in the books as a 2012 race winner at Albany Saratoga Speedway for the 25-lap Budget Sportsman division. Budka took an early race lead but on the 18th time around the speedway Budka had sparks coming from the rear of his racer, and a few laps later he slipped up on the track and Tom Proctor took the race lead.
Proctor, who looked promising all night long, held on to the lead until the 23rd time around before giving it up to Mark Hughes. It was Hughes first win of the season.
“I knew I couldn’t wait, I was trying to be patient,” said Hughes of the win. “The car was great tonight. This feels good.”
Proctor held on for an impressive second place run while Adam McAuliffe , Jack Speshock and Mike Tholin rounded out the top five.
Walt Brownell took over the race lead on the fourth circuit of the Pro Stock feature lap and never looked back, heading on to his first win of the 2012 season. But on his rear bumper he had Dan Older and Joe Santoro who were in a great battle for the runner up position. For the second half of the event the top five were continually swapping positions back and forth.
Santoro crossed the finish line in second and was followed by Dan Older, Bill Smith and Pete Broderson. Santoro was disqualified after the event.
The 20 lap Street Stock feature had you on the edge of your seat. You could throw a blanket over race leader Rowdy Burch, Paul Mulrain and Randy Miller. Mulrain and Miller, both dual winners at the Malta speedplant, were all over Burch.
On the 15 circuit, Miller secured second place and on the same lap took over the race lead. With two laps remaining the duo were side-by-side and entertained the crowd as Mulrain finally took over the lead and the win.
“He left the bottom open and I can’t believe that Randy didn’t go back to the bottom,” said Mulrain during post-race ceremonies. We changed a few things to make it handle and we went a little too far so we changed it back and it worked good.”
The Northeast Vintage Dirt Modified Racing Club were part of the night’s schedule. The club showed up with a dozen vintage automobiles for a 15 lap event. Link Petit lead the entire distance and went on for the win. “It was great to run here tonight and put on a show with this old equipment,” said Petit during post-race ceremonies.
Bits: Sportsman chauffeur Tom Proctor won the third Budget Sportsman qualifying event. Proctor came out of retirement to return to racing this year at the Malta oval. After his retirement Proctor had his daughter Judy behind the wheel back when the Richards family had a dirt surface going at AS. According to announcer Dan Martin, Proctor said ‘the car was sitting around and so was I’… Contact between past Budget Sportsman feature winner Derrick McGrew and Dan Santabarbara left Santabarbara with steering issues and Santabarbara hit the wall pretty hard. Santabarbara was not able to make it out for the Budget Sportsman B-Main… McGrew made his qualifying event but did not qualify and made his way into the feature by a top-five in points status… Rocky Warner is on the drivers roster now that ‘the Ridge’ has gone to Sunday racing… Stewart Friesen also part of the program due to the change with ‘the Ridge’. Jeff Trombley and Stewart put on a great show during their qualifying event with Friesen coming out the victor… Rare appearance seeing five time 2012 feature winner Brett Hearn having to run the consolation event… ‘Win it and You’re In It’ Budget Sportsman B-Mains were won by Chuck Dickinson and Robert Bublak, Jr…. Kenny Tremont, Jr. was showing the fastest times on the clock just prior to feature time for the Modifieds… Danny Varin made his first appearance at the ‘Great Race Place’, Varin was just one spot out of qualifying in the consolation event but made the feature since Hearn was a guaranteed starter. Varin finished the night out with a 27th place run.
Food Service Night Modified (35 Laps) – 1. Mike Perrotte 2. Chris Johnson, 3. Donnie Corellis, 4. Erik Nelson, 5. Marc Johnson, 6. Ronnie Johnson, 7. Jeff Trombley, 8. Ken Tremont Jr, 9. Bodie Bellinger, 10. Rich Ronca, 11. Elmo Reckner, 12. J.C. Flach, 13. Stewart Friesen, 14. Don Ronca, 15. Mark Kislowski, 16. Matt Depew, 17. Hector Stratton, 18. Jason Herrington, 19. Brett Hearn, 20. C.G. Morey, 21. Matt Delorenzo, 22. Pep Corradi, 23. Jimmy Cottrell, 24. Chris Busta, 25. Dustin Delaney, 26. Joe Williams, 27. Danny Varin, 28. Keith Flach, DNS. Bob Savoie, DNS. Neil Stratton, DNS. Justin Barber, DNS. Justin Boehler, DNS. Josh Hohenfordst
Budget Sportsman A-Feature (25 Laps) – 1. Mark Hughes, 2. Tom Proctor, 3. Adam McAuliffe, 4. Jack Speshock, 5. Mike Tholin, 6. Tim Hartman Jr, 7. Nick Lussier, 8. Jack Gentile, 9. Rocky Warner, 10. Bobby Hackel IV, 11. Dave Baranowski Jr, 12. Jeremy Pitts, 13. Anthony Marro, 14. Jack Swinton, 15. Jon Miller, 16. Scott Duell, 17. Mike Ostrander, 18. Robert Budlak, 19. Derek McGrew, 20. Brian Gleason, 21. Stan Lemiesz, 22. D.J. Brundige, 23. Chuck Dickinson, 24. Kenny Aanonsen Jr, 25. Larry Niemiec, 26. Mike Burdo, 27. Joey Budka, 28. Luke Klob, 29. Fred Proctor
Budget Sportsman B-Feature #1 (10 Laps) – 1. Chuck Dickinson, 2. Floyd Billington,3. Jeremy Digert, 4. Frank Hoard III, 5. Elliott Lussier, 6. Shannon Donnelly, 7. Jeremy Pitts, 8. Milo Campbell, 9. Brett Wright, DNS. Rick Lamont, DNS. Andy Durie, DNS. Lenny Peckham, DNS. Dan Santabarbara
Budget Sportsman B-Feature #2 (10 Laps) – 1. Robert Bublak, 2. Butch Wilcox, 3. Paul Dunham, 4. Derrick McGrew, 5. Dan Boni, 6. Pete Jeske, 7. Nick Hotaling, 8. Joe Orlando, 9. Mike Pinke, 10. Chris Murray DNS. Jerry Campbell, DNS. Jason Reome, DNS. Leo Sousie
Toro Pro Stock Series Race (25 Laps) – 1. Walt Brownell, 2. Dan Older, 3. Bill Smith, 4. Pete Broderson, 5. Chad Jeseo, 6. Kevin VanChance, 7. Ken Martin, 8. Rob Langevin, 9. Dean Charbonneau, 10. Pat Zimmer, 11. Ed Thompson, 12. Brandon Emigh, 13. Bernie Companion, 14. Kim Duell, 15. Rob Yetman, 16. Chip Smith, DNS. Dave Emigh, DNS. Scott Bushing, DQ. Joe Santoro
Street Stock (20 Laps) – 1. Paul Mulrain, 2. Randy Miller, 3. Nathan Dahoda, 4. Mark Lester, 5. Jody Thew, 6. Phil Sherman, 7. Rowdy Burch, 8. Jay Severson, 9. Dave Stickles, 10. Scott Lawrence, 11. John Hayes, 12. John Lindblade, 13. Justin Smith, 14. Mike Grogan, 15. J.T. Ronner, 16. Yule Cook
NVDM Vintage Modified (15 Laps) – 1. Link Pettit, 2. Ray See, 3. Stan Woyt, 4. Rob Casti, 5. Jeff Hager, 6. Phil Claussen, 7. Frank Blanchard, 8. Steve Healy, 9. John Constantino, 10. John Walsh, 11. Charlie Schofield, 12. Darryl Hulbert, 13. Barney Waldron