STEWART FRIESEN WINS NIGHT NO. 1 OF STSS RETURN TO RACING AT TRI-COUNTY

Written by Bobby Sweeney

BRASSTOWN, NC – The Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco made a wild return to racing at Tri-County Racetrack, with Stewart Friesen completing a “spin and win” to grab the checkered in the Hurlock Auto and Speed 40-lap feature event while picking up the $3,000 payday.

“It was an awesome race car,” mentioned Friesen.  “Thanks to Halmar, thanks to all my guys.  There is a lot of great things going on.  Halmar is delivering food and trying to raise money to help out people in need.  People Upstate (New York) and in the Northeast hopefully get some satisfaction watching these cars down here in the south.  This is awesome.”

The event was streamed live via Dirt Track Digest TV, kicking off a three-race swing through the Carolinas by the STSS.

Billy Pauch Jr., set the pace at the start of the first Modified feature in two and a half months, with Tyler Siri and Larry Wight battling for second.

Cautions were the name of the game early, with a lap two pileup collecting Mike Maresca, Alan Johnson, and Danny Bouc.

A second major pile-up on lap three was triggered by a rare mistake by Friesen, as the Halmar No. 44 spun and collected Allison Ricci, Erick Rudolph, Tyler Dippel, and sent Richie Pratt on his side.

“I feel awful,” commented Friesen.  “I just got in the slime in three.   I got in there and it got right out from underneath me.  We tore up some cars.  I apologize for that.  That was my mistake.  I’ll be helping a lot of people bang tin tomorrow morning.”

Following another wreck and restart on lap seven, Jared Umbenhauer launched from fourth to second, past Siri and Wight. Umbenhauer immediately pressured Pauch for the top spot, with Pauch high and Umbenhauer low.

By lap 15, Pauch had finally put a car-length between himself and Umbenhauer, turning attention to a charging Friesen.

By the time the yellow flew on lap 21 for Bouc slowing, Friesen had cracked the top five from the tail.

On the restart, Friesen darted by Wight and Umbenhauer to grab second, putting up a heavy challenge on Pauch in an instant.

The pair went to war, with Friesen clawing down low to remain side-by-side with Pauch for laps on end.

High-side momentum kept Pauch out front, with the incessant battle halting on lap 30 for Alan Johnson slowing.

Wight and Umbenhauer were having a battle of their own for third behind Pauch and Friesen, but this battle ended with Umbenhauer heading pit-side with a flat under the yellow.

On the 10-to-go restart, Friesen slid under Pauch in the first set of turns to snag the lead. With clean track, Friesen moved up to the top-side previously occupied by Pauch, but Pauch didn’t let Friesen walk away, remaining within a couple car-lengths in the final laps.

“He was tough,” said Friesen.  “He had the preferred line up ripping the top.  Mr. Cook (Ray Cook, speedway promoter) told us all night long that you ‘got to get up there on the top.’  We finally got up there down in one and two.  It was an awesome race track.  We were able to get off of turn on that second to last restart.”

With two to go, Maresca slowed with a flat tire, restacking the pack.  A flawless restart by Friesen set him up for success, leaving Pauch to fend off Wight. After a wide-open 40 laps, it was Friesen winning the Short Track Super Series re-opener at Tri-County Racetrack.

Wight wrestled the second position away from Pauch Jr., as they came to line.  The Phoenix, N.Y., driver was able to make the low lane go nearly as well as Friesen did up top.

“I could see Billy was having some problems,” commented Wight.  “I could see the flames coming out his car.  I could see he was having an ignition issue or something.  I was able to hit a couple good laps when he was he was trying to hold on.  We were able to race the line there.  It was really fun.”

New Jersey native Pauch Jr., was disappointed with the final spot on the podium after leading much of the race.  He had some ignition issues which hurt is efforts late in the race.

“I would say about lap 10 the ignition box started going out,” cited Pauch.  “I couldn’t go down the straightaways at all.  I just drove my butt off, for the lack of a better word.  I had to keep it wound up.  That one’s tough.  I thought we had the best car.  I wanted to win that one bad.”

Johnson, who started fourth, crossed the line fourth with Andy Bachetti coming from 25th to fifth.

The Short Track Super Series “Return to Racing” is presented by Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply, Mike’s Racing Heads, Competition Carburetion, St. Lawrence Radiology, Evergreen Fuels Inc., K&B Auto, The Scumgang, Midstate Recycling, Manmiller Electric and a host of special award, bonus and purse booster contributors.

Racing continues at Tri-County Racetrack on Friday night at 7 p.m., before the series moves to Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C., on Saturday. All events are available for viewing exclusively on Dirt Track Digest TV.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com,  check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, /Velocita-USA, Design for Vision/Sunglass Central, Evergreen Fuels Inc., ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH Springs, Fast Axle, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, HyperCo, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Land Hoe Maintenance, K&N, MJK Home Maintenance, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, QA1, Racing Optics, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, Velocita, WELD Racing & Wilwood.

HURLOCK AUTO & SPEED RACE SUMMARY – TRI-COUNTY RACETRACK THURSDAY, MAY 21

Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Modified Feature Finish (40 laps): STEWART FRIESEN, Larry Wight, Billy Pauch Jr., Danny Johnson, Andy Bachetti, Billy Decker, Tyler Siri, Alex Yankowski, Danny Creeden, Danny Tyler, Brett Tonkin, Jared Umbenhauer, J.R. Hurlburt, Michael Maresca, Alan Johnson, Allison Ricci, Danny Bouc, David Schilling, Anthony Perrego, Dillon Groover, Jeff Strunk, Richie Pratt Jr, Billy Van Pelt, Tyler Dippel, Erick Rudolph, H.J. Bunting, Matt Sheppard, Peter Britten          

Did Not Start: Jessica Friesen, Jeremy Smith, Josh Delea.

Fan Bonus Money ($100 Each): Brett Tonkin (11th), Alan Johnson (15th), Danny Bouc (17th), Dillon Groover (20th) & Peter Britten (28th)

Bill Brown & Company Heat Hard Charger ($50): Billy Decker (8th to 4th)
Competition Carburetor Fastest Feature Lap ($50): 
Stewart Friesen (13.051 seconds)
Heat No. 1 Winner/Linda’s Speedway ($50): Jared Umbenhauer
Heat No. 2 Winner/Insinger Performance ($50): 
Danny Creeden
Heat No. 3 Winner/Accord Speedway ($50): 
Allison Ricci
Heat No. 4 Winner/Lias Tire Company ($50): Billy Pauch Jr.
KB’S Racing Photos Halfway Leader ($50): 
Billy Pauch Jr.
Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Halfway Leader ($200): 
Billy Pauch Jr.
On-Track Automotive Ironman ($150): 
J.R. Hurlburt (13th)
Pigskin Pros Most Vehicles Passed ($150):  
Andy Bachetti (25th to 5th)
Scumgang Hot Lap Hero ($100): 
Stewart Friesen (12.716 seconds)

Oswego Speedway Cancels Events for June 6 and 13, Discussion for Potential Re-Opening Underway

OSWEGO, NY (May 20, 2020) – Two more Oswego Speedway events; scheduled for Saturday, June 6 and Saturday, June 13, have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With that announcement, the track has officially lost the first four shows of its 70th anniversary season. 

The June 6 program, presented by Oswego County Media Group, was scheduled to include a regular show for the Novelis Supermodifieds and Pathfinder Bank SBS, plus the first of three appearances by the Sunoco New York Super Stock Series. The Speedway is working with NYSS officials to find a makeup date.

On June 13, Burke’s Do It Best Home Centers and Compass Credit Union were to present the fan favorite Twin 35’s for Novelis Supermodifieds, plus racing for the Pathfinder Bank SBS and J&S Paving 350 Supers. At this point, it is unclear whether or not the Twins will be made up this season.  

“It is a gigantic disappointment to lose more events,” said track owner John Torrese. “Our goal continues to be opening as soon as possible. We are in discussions with local officials about a reopening plan. As soon as they say ‘go,’ we will be cutting things loose at the race track.”

Anyone planning to attend future race track events in 2020 are asked to be aware that Oswego Speedway will be strictly enforcing all of the state and local guidelines for a phased re-opening. Last Friday, the Central New York region reached the first of four steps in that process. 

“By the state model, entertainment can not go until phase 4 and that includes the Speedway,” Torrese explained. “If we continue on the right path, we are confident we can be racing by July, and are hopeful to have cars on the track sooner. When the time comes, we will be following all of the necessary public health protocols.”

In the weeks ahead, Speedway fans and teams are urged to check track social media and OswegoSpeedway.com frequently. At this time, the June 20 event is not cancelled, and the schedule remains fluid with several changes anticipated moving forward. Torrese advised against making plans based on the original schedule. 

“When we open, the schedule will likely be re-shaped in certain areas,” he continued. “Teams should expect a few differences in the specifics of shows, like divisions and laps. We will do all we can to get as much racing in as possible. As we receive more information, we will continue to put it out right away. Everyone’s patience and support is greatly appreciated.” 

Teams are again reminded that when the Speedway is given the green light to open, it will do so without hesitation, so equipment should be prepped and ready. All of the required forms needed to compete, including registration sheets, are posted under ‘RULES’ at OswegoSpeedway.com. 

While the track office also remains closed, drivers are asked to mail in all of their paperwork as soon as possible. All cars must be registered for competition in order to see the track, and an updated medical form for the driver must be turned in. 

For fans hoping to purchase or renew tickets and camping, the Oswego Speedway office will be simultaneously reopened once the season resumes.  

To find the latest information, visit OswegoSpeedway.com. You can also LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway, FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or on Instagram @OfficialOswegoSpeedway. 

CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN ADDED TO STSS RETURN TO RACING AT CHEROKEE

GAFFNEY, SC – The Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply “Return to Racing” for the Modified division has gained traction in a few short weeks.

Now, the Crate 602 Sportsman division will have its chance.

This Saturday (May 23), the STSS Crate 602 Sportsman will join their Modified counterparts on the storied Cherokee Raceway in Gaffney, S.C., running a 35-lap, $1,500-to-win, $150-to-start event. Just as bonus bucks are being accepted for the Modifieds, any individuals or businesses may contribute to the pay structure for this event. Those wishing to contribute should PayPal: bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com or Venmo: @Brett-Deyo-1.

“We wanted to give our Crate 602 Sportsman drivers the option to get away on Memorial Day weekend,” STSS organizer Brett Deyo said. “I’ve had so many questions about adding the Crates to a show.  I know it isn’t ideal and the addition comes at the last minute, but the Northeast has been quiet for so long, racers are anxious.

“As soon as this announcement hit social media, my phone has been buzzing, so the interest is there.”

Drivers will follow STSS South Region Crate 602 Sportsman specs (6,200 rev chip and 2,350 lbs. minimum weight). The tire rule is as follows: left-front – 33 compound; right-front – 38 or 44 compound; left-rear – 44 compound; right-rear 48 or 53 compound.

Heats will be determined by a draw for position with a redraw of top qualifiers for the feature. Qualifying events will be 10 laps.

For the Cherokee event only, there is no limit on the number of crew members in the pit area.

The “Return to Racing” for the STSS is highlighted by two events for the Modifieds at Ray Cook’s Tri-County Racetrack in Brasstown, N.C., on Thursday (May 21) and Friday (May 22) paying $3,000 and $5,000 to win for 40 and 50 laps, respectively, before venturing to Cherokee Speedway on Saturday (May 23) with a $4,000-to-win 40-lap Modified event joined by the STSS Modifieds and the track’s “Run What You Brung” full-fender division.

Hot laps begin at 7 p.m. each night, with racing at 7:30 p.m.

These events will be streamed live on Dirt Track Digest TV (www.dirttrackdigest.tv) exclusively with single-night and package pricing available.

Cherokee Speedway is a high-banked, three-eighths-mile oval located at 153 Speedway Road Gaffney, SC 29341. To learn more, call 864.489.1969 or visit www.cherokeespeedwaysc.com.

Tri-County Racetrack, operated by Late Model star Ray Cook, measures one-quarter mile through the center. The speedway address is 10456 Old US 64 Brasstown, NC 28902. On the web: www.tricountyracetrack.net.  Track phone is 828.837.3815.

Reminder: the STSS Modified events at Tri-County are invite only with teams allowed to bring a maximum of 8 people in the pits.

The Cherokee event is open for all competitors – Modified and Crate 602 Sportsman – and there are no pit-area attendance limits.

As of Sunday (May 17), the grandstand areas will not be open to the general public at either facility.

The Short Track Super Series “Return to Racing” is presented by Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply, Mike’s Racing Heads, Competition Carburetion, St. Lawrence Radiology, Evergreen Fuels Inc., K&B Auto, The Scumgang, Midstate Recycling, Manmiller Electric and a host of special award, bonus and purse booster contributors.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com,  check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

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