AFTON, NY – The epitome of a “low-budget” racer, Danny Creeden appropriately won the “Working Man’s Race” of 2015.
Creeden, of Wurtsboro, N.Y., authored a stirring drive to victory in Saturday night’s Halmar International Short Track SuperNationals 8 presented by Olum’s at I-88 Speedway, becoming the eighth different victor in as many editions of the event. He earned $5,000 from the posted purse, $50 from Lias Tire/American Racer as a heat winner, $940 in lap money (including $800 from Dale and Sue Smith and R&B Construction as the Halfway Leader) and $200 from Craig Decker Forest Products for crew chief Rob Bakker.
Creeden’s cash take from the 50-lap big-block/small-block event was a hefty $6,190.
Stewart Friesen, meanwhile, drove from 26th starting position to finish sixth and earned the 2015 Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Hi-Tek Bob Hilbert Sportswear North Region title, worth $15,000. Sprakers, N.Y.’s Friesen, a four-time winner on the series this season, earned the title by 134 markers over runner-up Danny Johnson.
A strong field of 54 Modifieds attempted to qualify for the STSS 2015 finale, with 28 starting the main event.
Delaware’s Matt Jester, who picked the pole via a redraw of top qualifiers. Jester led the opening six circuits before Mitch Gibbs put his No. 2G into the lead. Gibbs, a multi-time track champion, had started from outside the front row.
Creeden’s No. 16X was moving forward from 10th starting spot. Jester’s great run ended with a right-front wheel issue on the 11th lap. At that point, Creeden arrived in the runner-up spot and began his pursuit of the lead.
Creeden was chasing down Gibbs when a yellow on lap 21 set up a pivotal double-file restart.
Gibbs elected to start from the outside lane. Creeden was able to fire off the inside and take over the lead. Once in front, Creeden inched away from Gibbs during the race’s mid-portions.
Lapped traffic became heavy during the race’s final stretch of 29 green-flag laps.
As Creeden picked through traffic, Gibbs, an emerging Mike Mahaney (from 21st on the grid), Paul Jensen, Jeff Heotzler and Friesen diced from second through sixth.
Mahaney, of King Ferry, N.Y., put his Charlie Davis-owned No. 21 into second with less than five laps remaining but had little time to chase down Creeden, who earned the fourth BD Motorsports Media LLC victory of his career. He had previously won at I-88, Accord (N.Y.) and New Egypt (N.J.) speedways.
Jensen, of Edmeston, N.Y., started sixth, faded early and recovered to finish third, with Wallkill, N.Y.’s Jeff Heotzler recovering from a mid-race skirmish to finish fourth in Mel Schrufer’s No. 2A. Gibbs, of North Norwich, N.Y., completed the front five.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively were Friesen, who had been a late arrival to the speedway after competing at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, N.Y., earlier in the day; track regular Brett Tonkin of Carbondale, Pa., who started 16th and had spun on lap four; Bobby Varin of Sharon Springs, N.Y., in the Norm Hansell-owned No. 357 after pitting mid-race; Andy Bachetti of Sheffield, Mass., who made two trips to the pits during the main; and Ryan Jordan of Dryden, N.Y., who ran as high as third in the race’s early laps.
American Racer/Lias Tire $50 heat winners were Heotzler, Jeff Strunk of Boyertown, Pa., Jester, Mike Clapperton of Sidney Center, N.Y., Chad Cook of Deposit, N.Y., and Creeden. The three consolations were topped by Anthony Perrego of Montgomery, N.Y., Mahaney and Kyle Merkel of Gilbertsville, Pa.
On Friday night, Gibbs won the 8-lap Dash for the fastest six cars in Modified practice, earning an automatic redraw position for Saturday’s feature.
By a nose, Brad Weaver of Conklin, N.Y., held off Alison Ricci to win the 25-lap GRIT American Series Crate 602 Sportsman main. Weaver, the son of area star Brian Weaver, was driving a Jamie Batzel-backed No. 1K. Ricci nearly pulled even with Weaver on the event’s final lap working the inside lane. The third-generation driver fell a wheel short of her first I-88 victory.
Josh Keesey, Pat Jordan and Dale Welty finished third through fifth, respectively, after a final-lap skirmish and tech inspection.
Will Eastman of Oneonta, N.Y., pulled off a last-lap, last turn pass of Michael Burrows to win the Saturday 20-lap XCel 600 Modified “tour” event paying $1,000 to win. Eastman drove hard to the inside of Burrows entering turn three on the final lap and was able to annex the win. Burrows, Josh Pepe, Nathan Brinker and Kyle Fallis trailed.
Quebec’s Eric Sunborg took the lead mid-race and went on to win the 20-lap Empire Lightning Sprint event with a strong 19-car field on hand. Sunborg earned $500 for his efforts by defeating Peter Dance, Ty Tilton, Rick Stone and Stephane St. Laurant.
Ray See Jr. of Patterson, N.Y., rode the outside groove to victory in an entertaining 15-lap Vintage Modified Open run on Saturday afternoon. A dozen Vintage Modifieds took part in the event, with Rob Sanford chasing See across the line.
Despite day-long rain and infrequent showers into the evening, Friday night’s preliminary program of the Short Track SuperNationals was completed in full. I-88 was the only track in New York State to race on Friday.
Alan Barker of Norwich, N.Y., led the Friday winners, taking the 30-lap Open vs. Crate 602 Sportsman event. Barker raced from eighth starting spot to take the lead. However, Barker was pressured heavily in the final laps by Harold Humphrey, who had started deep in the field from 18th position.
Humphrey found the inside lane of the speedway to his liking late in the going and fell less than a half car-length shy of the win at the line. New Jersey’s Steve Davis was third, followed by Jimmy Wells and Tim Guild (earning a $200 bonus as the highest-finishing Crate 602 engine).
Doug Polhamus drove to the 20-lap Green’s Flag Car Service Street Stock win, taking home $600 for his efforts. Polhamus was trailed to the finish by Butch Green, Steve Polhamus, Ray Lindquist and Russ Morseman.
It appeared Richie Hitzler was poised for a $1,000 XCel 600 Modified “tour race” payout in the 20-lap main, but Pipersville, Pa.’s Brian Carber had other ideas. Carber, using his Sprint Car experience, drove inside of Hitzler on the final lap to put the Harrar Motorsports car in Victory Lane. Hitzler settled for second, with Will Eastman, Jonathan Josko and Dylan McCrone finishing third through fifth.
Rich Wood of Enfield, Conn., topped the preliminary night 20-lap Empire Lightning Sprint main. Wood cruised to the win over Ty Tilton, Jordan Poirier, Rick Stone and Peter Dance.
The Four Cylinder cars and Trucks were part of a features-only program. Chris Andrew drove a car purchased from Dylan Robinson to the 15-lap triumph in the FWD Four Cylinders, while Bob Crandall held off Doug O’Hara to win the Empire Sport Truck 15-lap main.
Saturday’s event concluded the ’15 STSS points-paying season. The Awards Banquet will be held at the Holiday Inn Lehigh Valley Conference Center in Allentown, Pa., on Dec. 19.
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series or BD Motorsports Media LLC, visit www.shortttracksuperseries.com or www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com, call 845.728.2781 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. “Like” Short Track Super Series on Facebook or follow @ShortTrackSS on Twitter.
The Short Track Super Series is presented by Hi-Tek Race Fuel, American Racer/Lias Tire, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc., Scotty’s Speed & Diesel, East Coast Speed/ECS Auto, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Allstar Performance, ATL Fuel Cells, Bicknell Racing Products, COMP Performance Group (COMP Cams, Driven Racing Oil & Quarter Master), Crane Ignition, Dirt Track Digest, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Henry’s Stainless Steel Exhaust, Hig Fab Chassis, Hyperco, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Lineman Racing, Pilat Graphic Design, Race Pro Weekly, Racers Guide, S&D Bodyline, S&W Awards, Shiley Fabrication, Simplicity Design, Teo-Pro Car, Vahlco Wheels & VP Racing Fuel.
HALMAR INTERNATIONAL SHORT TRACK SUPERNATIONALS 8 PRESENTED BY OLUM’S RACE SUMMARY – OCTOBER 10, 2015
Short Track Super Series Fueled By Hi-Tek Bob Hilbert Sportswear North Region Event No. 8 Modified Feature Finish (50 Laps): DANNY CREEDEN, Mike Mahaney, Paul Jensen, Jeff Heotzler, Mitch Gibbs, Stewart Friesen, Brett Tonkin, Bobby Varin, Andy Bachetti, Ryan Jordan, Nick Rochinski, Danny Johnson, Craig Hanson, Shaun Walker, Tommy Meier, Rusty Smith, Chad Cook, Mike Clapperton, Jackie Brown Jr., Nick Nye, Jeff Strunk, Kyle Merkel, Ken Titus, Matt Jester, Jimmy Becker, Mike Ricci, Anthony Perrego, Scott Ferrier.
Did Not Qualify: Elmo Reckner, Alan Barker, Danny Tyler, Shawn Ward, Billy Van Pelt, Ray See Jr., Justin Holland, Brad Rothaupt, Jim Walsh, Doug Manmiller, Brian Malcolm, Darwin Greene, Colton Wilson, Duane Hiller, Steve Young, Jimmy Wells, J.R. Hurlburt, Colt Harris, Donnie Lawson, Brandon Walters, Rich Ricci III, Chris Ostrowsky, Kyle Rohner, Dave Rosa, Lee DeWitt, Cory Costa.
‘Lucky 7’ Lap Money Breakdown ($1,870): Danny Creeden ($940); Mitch Gibbs ($190); Paul Jensen ($125); Jeff Heotzler ($100); Mike Mahaney ($85); Ryan Jordan ($80); Stewart Friesen ($80); Nick Rochinski ($50); Matt Jester ($40); Brett Tonkin ($40); Bobby Varin ($40); Jackie Brown Jr. ($40); Chad Cook ($20); Danny Johnson ($20); Mike Clapperton ($20)
Allstar Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Paul Jensen (third) & Bobby Varin (eighth)
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire): Ryan Jordan (10th) & Craig Hanson (13th)
American Racer/Lias Tire Heat Race Winners ($50 Each): Jeff Heotzler, Jeff Strunk, Matt Jester, Mike Clapperton, Chad Cook & Danny Creeden
ATL Fuel Cell Bonus ($100 Certificate): Mitch Gibbs (fifth)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Jeff Heotzler (fourth) & Andy Bachetti (ninth)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Bonuses ($100 Certificates): Jeff Heotzler (fourth), Shaun Walker (14th) & Matt Jester (24th)
Craig Decker Forest Products Crew Chief of the Race ($200): Rob Bakker
Crunchco Snacks 11th-Place Bonus ($111): Nick Rochinski (11th)
Dale and Sue Smith/R&B Construction Halfway Leader Bonus ($800): Danny Creeden
Fast Axle Bonus ($50 Certificate): Brett Tonkin (seventh)
Shiley Fabrication Hard Luck Award (Bumpers and Rubrails): Billy Van Pelt (DNQ)
Upstate Auto Top Accord Speedway Regular ($200): Jeff Heotzler (fourth)
Vahlco Wheels Bonus (FREE Wheel): Mitch Gibbs (fifth)
Zubi’s Racing Hard Charger ($288): Stewart Friesen (26th to sixth)
GRIT American Series Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (25 Laps): BRAD WEAVER, Allison Ricci, Josh Keesey, Pat Jordan, Dale Welty, Stacy Jackson, Tim Guild, Kevin Sockriter, Kenny Peoples Jr., Zach Mead, Rich Powell, Randy Gates, Dustin Jordan, Eric Williams, Winter Mead, Pat O’Hanlon, William Gray, Shayne Spoonhower, Shea Montgomery, James Introne Jr., Brett Buono, Matt Brewer, Dusty Barton, Chuck Miller, Jacob Dgien.
Did Not Qualify: Matt Priscott, Donald Bellum, Lee Foland, Justin Cobb, Kurt Hohensheldt
XCel 600 Modified Feature Finish (20 Laps): WILL EASTMAN, Michael Burrows, Josh Pepe, Nathan Brinker, Kyle Fallis, Korey Inglin, Josh Bewley, Jonathan Josko, Richie Hitzler, Brian Blankenbiller, Kyle Inglin, Dennis Adams, Shawna Schibilia, Grant Schibilia, Brian Carber, Car No. 71, D.J. Hunt, Billy Koch, Dakota Barlet, Aaron Bowes, Car No. 008, Wyatt Harrar.
Empire Lightning Sprint Feature Finish (20 Laps): ERIC SUNBORG, Peter Dance, Ty Tilton, Rick Stone, Stephane St. Laurant, Anthony Haas, Yannick Poirier, Jordan Poirier, Nick DeNyse, Lou Torres, Tomy Moreau, Jerry Sehn, Mike Badgely, Chad Bennett, Kathy Bellen, Chris Hirt, Clint Roehrs, Robert Knowlton.
Did Not Start: Shilo Boyce
Vintage Modified Feature Finish (15 Laps): RAY SEE JR., Rob Sanford, Darral Hulburt, Chris Adams, Rob Casti, Buck Gasner, Mike Cole, Link Pettit, Brian Moore, John Hager, Phil Barkins, Jeff Hager.
HALMAR INTERNATIONAL SHORT TRACK SUPERNATIONALS 8 PRESENTED BY OLUM’S RACE SUMMARY – OCTOBER 9, 2015
Open vs. Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (30 Laps): ALAN BARKER, Harold Humphrey, Steve Davis, Jimmy Wells, Tim Guild, Winter Mead, Brett Buono, Aaron Shelton, Jim Britt, Pat O’Hanlon, Hunter Bates, Jack Speshock, Butch Klinger, Nick Nye, Robby Knipe, Randy Gates, Cory Pike, Shea Montgomery, Pat Jordan, Dustin Jordan, Lisa Williams, Craig Pope, Skip Pickwick, James Introne Jr.
Crate 602 Bonuses: Tim Guild ($200), Winter Mead ($100), Brett Buono ($75), Pat O’Hanlon ($50), Hunter Bates (Free Sat. Pass)
Did Not Qualify: Randy Green, Shayne Spoonhower, Brad Brightbill, Charlie Hendrickson Jr., Scott Lee, Paul Harrington III, Ray See Jr., Lee Foland, Michael Coffey Jr., Tom Tophoven, Michael Wahl, Allison Ricci, Chris Daley, Eric Williams, Don Bellen, Stacy Jackson, Rich Ricci III, Zach Mead.
Modified Dash – Winner Earns Saturday Redraw Position (8 Laps): MITCH GIBBS, Billy Van Pelt, Darwin Greene, Chad Cook, Rusty Smith, Jackie Brown Jr.
Street Stock Feature Finish (20 Laps): DOUG POLHAMUS, Butch Green, Steve Polhamus, Ray Lindquist, Ted Morseman, Rich Green, Shane Wolf Jr., Bob Buono, Damon Decker, Earl Zimmer, Robert Norber, Doug Stack, Dan Babcock, Trevor Dudley, Shawn Boynton, Matt Bowman.
XCel 600 Modified Feature Finish (20 Laps): BRIAN CARBER, Richie Hitzler, Will Eastman, Jonathan Josko, Dylan McCrone, Dakota Barlet, Josh Pepe, Bailey Boyd, Brian Blankenbiller, Dennis Adams, Kyle Inglin, Shawna Schibilia, Aaron Bowes, Kyle Fallis, Tim Van Horn, Michael Burrows, Doug Windhausen, Korey Inglin, D.J. Hunt, Dave Baldwin Jr., Jamie Frantz, Nathan Brinker, A.J. Miller.
Did Not Qualify: Grant Schibilia, Wyatt Harrar, Kamdin Maby, Josh Bewley, Eric Boyd, Drew Fallis, Billy Koch.
Empire Lightning Sprint Feature Finish (20 Laps): RICH WOOD, Ty Tilton, Jordan Poirier, Rick Stone, Peter Dance, Anthony Haas, Lou Torres, Clint Roehrs, Jerry Sehn, Kathy Bellen, Yannick Poirier, Nick DeNyse, Mike Badgley, Jason Shedd.
FWD Four Cylinder Feature Finish (15 Laps): CHRIS ANDREW, Don Doster, Chris Bonoffski, Josh Wilder, Todd Stanton, Steve Carpenter, Garrett Rushlow, Justin Holland, George Zeininger, Nick Kennedy, Phil Burns, Kenny Underwood, Rich Wagner, Connie Cornell.
Empire Sport Truck Feature Finish (15 Laps): BOB CRANDALL, Doug O’Hara, Rob Loucks, Wayne Van Dusen, Dustin Wilber, Alan Hodge, Brandon Clapperton.
Did Not Start: Ralph Cuozzo Jr.