2013 Season Champions Crowned
Malta, NY — September 6, 2013 — The highly successful 2013 season at Albany-Saratoga officially ended Friday night with a full house of race cars and a large crowd of faithful fans in the grandstands. While Brett Hearn and Rob Yetman had earned their crowns the previous week, this week saw the remaining weekly division champions fight for their bragging rights.
In the Sportsman class Jeremy Pitts of Clifton Park, NY earned the track title with a 22 point lead over runner-up finisher Derrick McGrew of Ballston Spa, NY. Both entered the night with two feature wins in the season, but the second place feature race finish by Pitts helped him clinch the track title.
The ‘Run What Ya Brung’ Sportsman 50-lap headline feature event had 27 entrants with wings, sail panels, topless and several other modifications take to the track for the $1,000 to win Sowle Trailer Repair sponsored event. Scott Duell, driving the Lazzaro AutoBody No. 14X was the class of the field leading the entire 50 laps. Duell survived several restarts and strong challenges from McGrew and Pitts, setting a blistering pace throughout the feature race.
Duell, who had not won a feature this season, was elated with his consistent performance throughout the night, from warm-ups to the checkered flag. Following Duell across the finish line were Jeremy Pitts, Derrick McGrew, Andy Durie of Stillwater, NY and Mike Ostrander of Ballston Spa, NY.
Stan Wetmore of Oak Hill, NY set the fast pace for the 10-lap Vintage Modified feature that had 11 entrants including three first-time ever Vintage drivers—Mike Sowle in a former Ray Dalmata no. 643, Ed Hauser in a former Jack Johnson no. 12A coupe, and Francis Oliver in a former Tony Villano no. 37 coupe. Wetmore, a former Lebanon Valley Speedway Modified champion, drove away from the field that saw John Consentino, Link Pettit, Don Greco (driving the Sowle no. 643), and Frank Blanchard round out the top five.
For Randy Miller, his fourth win in the Street Stock division, was out of reach until a strong outside move by the no. 12 driver on the Bill Duprey no. 44D coming off the third turn on a lap 26 restart put him out front for the remaining four laps. Very close behind and finishing out the top five were 2013 track champion no. 44D Bill Duprey, no. 00 Josh Coonradt, no. 44 Ken Conroy and no. 45S Justin Smith.
The 25-lap Pro Stock feature event was the final race of the season for the drivers for the AIM Warrior Series and paid $1,000 to win. Although the point champion for the track had been determined the week before, the race was hard fought and had the crowd cheering throughout. Kim Duell, driver of the Lazzaro AutoBody no. 14, had not won a race all season long. He was not to be denied this night.
Duell, of Porter Corners, NY, was not even in a top five position until lap 12. On the 15th circuit Duell had moved into third. On lap 18 he was in second and on lap 19 he took the lead with a smooth, strong inside move between turns three and four over Byron Wescott and took command from that point forward.
This was Kim Duell’s first win of the season and the 14th of his career at the speedway and he had to survive seven cautions to do so. Duell and his son Scott, who won the Sportsman class, gave the Lazzaro AutoBody team cause to celebrate on the closing night at the ‘Great Race Place.’
Finishing the top five positions in the Pro Stock class were Brandon Emigh of Ballston Spa, NY, Byron Wescott of Ballston Spa, NY, Pete Broderson of Ballston Spa, NY and Kenny Martin of Scotia, NY.
Track champion for 2013, Rob Yetman of Castleton, NY, struggled throughout his qualifying heat dropping from the pole position to the rear with new carburetor issues. The team quickly went to work, changing back to their previous setup and ran the second fastest lap during the feature event. Starting at the rear of the field, and knowing he had to make the long haul to Autodrome Drummond Speedway (CAN) the next morning, Yetman chose to pull in the pits once he determined the car was running well.
It took three attempts but once the green flag flew and a lap got completed, it was Timothy Davis of Bennington, VT with his third victory of the season in the Novice Sportsman class. Davis had to survive several caution periods that saw a number of cars end up being towed to the pits with damage.
Finishing in second through fifth in the Novice Sportsman class were Pete Jeske of Mechanicville, NY, Ron Casey of Manchester Center, VT, Ricky Davis of Arlington, VT and third-generation driver Christopher Ronca of Clifton Park, NY. Track champion Chris Murray of Fair Haven, VT finished a disappointing 11th after being collected in a lap 13 tangle with Randal Sousie in turn two.
In the 4-Cylinder Combined feature it was a strong run by Todd Goldstein in the no. 8D that put him in the lead from his 10th place starting position. The final win of the night was also Goldstein’s eight win of the season.
Finishing behind Goldstein in the 15-lap combined feature were Mark Lindblade in the no. 17s, Jake Currier in the no. 12D, Dan Older in the no. 8S and Dan Collins in the no. 40S.
The Capital Region Sprint Car (CRSA) Tour made its first stop at the Malta oval this season and Danny Varin picked up his second win of the season with the touring group with a hard-charging, crowd-pleasing run. Crossing the finish line behind Varin were Cory Sparks, Chad King and Josh Pieniazek.
The 22-car field held three heats that were won by Danny Varin, Cory Sparks and Jeff Van Steenburg. The Magsarus Hard Charger for the night was Tyler Chartrand who finished eighth and had advanced 14 positions.
The final event closing the gates on the 2013 season was a 4-6 Cylinder Enduro feature of 25 laps that was won by Brandon Uline followed by Ron Case, Brett Horlacher, Patrick Lynch and Brittney Sprague.
Mini Mumbles…Cody Bleau, who finished third in points for the season, had a difficult night and was unable to start the feature event… Derrick McGrew set fast time in early warm-ups for the Sportsman class turning the track at 16.259 sec. for 88.l566 mph… Nick Lussier was in a former Mark Kislowski car for the Sportsman class after having wrecked his own no. 3 the previous week…Yetman will focus solely on the DIRTcar Series Pro Stock races between now and Super DIRT Week… The track was the first ever to hold a CRSA race in 2006 and last hosted the CRSA in 2009…
Note: I needed the night off so many, many, many thanks to Joann Davies for writing the final press release of the 2013 race season. I have decided not to return next season to writing the ‘Press Releases’ [I knew going in I wasn’t a release writer and going out, I’m still not] and ‘Malta Mumbles’ for the speedway. I had a blast the past two seasons trying to write releases and I had one of the best seats in the house for some of the greatest racing I have witnessed in years but the hours involved were cutting into my Saturday a.m. role at our business. Many thanks to all of the racers for reawaking my love for watching a great race — I saw so many of them in the past two years. I wanted to be part of my old friend Lyle’s dream of running a racetrack and I am so proud of what I witnessed — he is doing such a great job. I will be back to cover racing for my Albany Times Union and Area Auto Racing News assignments… again, thanks ~ Robin.