BATAVIA, NY – In the return to racing at the Genesee Speedway for the first time in three weeks, five of the six feature winners captured their first win in Batavia this season. The most notable first-time winner was Austin Hauser, where the phrase “It’s never over until it’s over” could never be more true on Saturday Night as a good night turned in to one he will never forget in the blink of an eye.
Austin Hauser, of Grand Island, pulled off an incredible win in the Late Model Feature when he was running fourth taking the white flag for the initial time. Calamity would occur two times before the race was over and throughout the smoke and the wreckage came Hauser with the lead.
Paul Grigsby led the first 24 laps of the feature and was keeping Jimmy Johnson over a half-second behind and appeared to have his first career win at Genesee in sight. Before the duo could get back to the checkered flag though, the lapped traffic they were closing in on tangled, which saw Grigsby and Johnson collide in to them and create the caution flag before the finish. On the ensuing restart, Johnson got to the inside of Grigsby and the two made contact, which was enhanced when JJ Mazur also made contact to the back of Johnson as they worked towards turn three. As they entered the corner though, the prior incident resulted in Grigsby’s No. 24 breaking and the gaggle of cars ran out of space as the field ran down the leader and wadded up most of the field. Only six cars came through unscathed, including Hauser who, by virtue of his position on the previous lap, would inherit the lead.
“When JJ (Mazur) got by me (on lap 22) I was like ‘ok we will finish in fourth I’m good with that’”, admitted Hauser after the race. “When everyone wadded up I just wanted to miss JJ and then was praying nobody came in to the back of me. I had no idea what position I would be in.”
On the final restart, Hauser was able to hold off a strong charge from Dave DuBois to capture his first career win. It was extreme jubilation in Victory Lane and almost shock for the driver and his team.
Dave DuBois would settle for second while Doug Ricotta crossed in third. Tim Schram and TJ Downs rounded out the top five.
Cam Tuttle and Jim Harbison park near one another in the pit area and were even closer racing for the lead in the Sportsman Feature when the narrative of the feature changed in an instant. It would be glory for Tuttle and heartbreak for Harbison.
Tuttle, of Wilson, captured his first win of the season and took over the point lead in the process. Tuttle was perfect down the stretch but it was what happened 10 laps before the finish that set up the final chapter.
On lap 15, as Tuttle was setting up to make a pass on Harbison for the lead, Jonathan Reid tagged the backstretch wall and was about to draw a caution. Unbeknownst to the lead duo, they charged in to turn one and with some contact the 18w of Harbison began to spin and lost his pace when the eventual caution did come out for the in initial incident. Harbison would go pit side under the yellow flag and would be done for the night.
“I hated to see that for Jim I would rather have raced him hard for the win,” stated Tuttle in Victory Lane
After Tuttle and Harbison came together, Tuttle noticed that his car started to react incorrectly. What turned out to be a broken shock tower on the No. 35T was fine for the most part but was still concerning for the youth racer.
“After that restart I felt something and thought I had a left front tire going down,” reflected Tuttle after the race. “I was just hoping it would make it to the end.”
Tuttle’s car would make it just long enough. The shock tower finally broke after getting the checkered flag and would have to be towed to Victory Lane.
Dave Conant would have another solid showing with a second-place effort, his second in a row. Ray Bliss had his best showing of the year with a third place result, just ahead of Kyle Inman who ran up to fourth. Noah Walker scored his first top five result of the season as well.
Dan Schulz has been getting progressively faster over the course of the 2020 season in his street stock and he hit his stride on Saturday Night as he ran down early leader Brandon Sherwood to take the lead on lap nine and then checked out to win the prestigious Gene Dewitt Memorial event. Schulz, of Newfane, collected the $500 top prize put up by the Dewitt Family in memorial of the legendary car owner. The race was shortened to 17 laps after a late-race caution pushed the race over the time limit set for the event. On the final lap, John Zimmerman was able to move around Bill Taylor for second place. Dennis Cummings drove up to fourth while Dan Brumsted finished in fifth.
Chris Leone captured his first feature win of the year in the mini stock division, despite sensing that his axle was close to breaking in the waning laps. Leone, of Niagara Falls, led all 15 laps of the feature holding off Cole Susice throughout the feature until Susice’s axle did break on the final lap. That allowed Brad Whiteside to drive up to finish in second. James Gayton turned over his no. 10 on his roof on the opening lap but would be turned back right-side-up and continue on to race back up to a third place finish. Andy Schumaker and Rocco Leone completed the top five.
Orval Harris became the fifth different winner in as many races for the Novice Sportsman as he took a trip to Victory Lane in his first trip to Batavia. Harris was running in the second spot through much of the race, stalking leader Tim Nies when Nies spun around with three laps remaining. Harris was perfect on the restart and was able to drive off to the win while Scott Wolfe drove up through for a solid second-place showing. Nies was able to rebound in the closing laps to cross in third.
Jake Bansmer was the winner not to win their first of 2020 as he continued his stranglehold of the Bandit Division as he won his fifth feature in six starts this season, leading wire-to-wire to claim the win. The East Aurora driver had to keep Brian Gregory at a distance but was successful in the caution-free event to never allow his closest competitor to challenge as Gregory finished in second. Alexis Traxler completed the podium.
In all 97 cars were in the pits on a beautiful night for racing on a terrific surface. Racing is slated to continue next Saturdaywith another standard program at 6:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.Genesee-Speedway.com.
Genesee Speedway Results: 8/8/2020-
Gene DeWitt Memorial Night
Cornerstone Eye Associates RUSH Late Model Feature (25 Laps)- AUSTIN HAUSER, Dave DuBois, Doug Ricotta, Tim Schram, TJ Downs, Brian Kotarski, Jimmy Johnson, JJ Mazur, Austyn Fugle, Mark Sundt, Paul Grigsby, Alan Chapman, Nick Snayczuk, Billy DuBois, Billy Holmes, Brett Ritter, Todd Chapman (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Grigsby 1-24, Hauser 25.
Heat Winners- Grigsby, Hauser.
Stirling Lubricants DIRTcar Sportsman Feature (25 Laps)- CAM TUTTLE, Dave Conant, Ray Bliss, Kyle Inman, Noah Walker, AJ Custodi, Jordan Moden, Kyle Richner, Jimmy Johnson, TJ Newton, Dan Kolb, Jessica Kriegisch, Gordy Hermanson Jr., Chelsie Kriegisch, Jim Harbison, Jonathan Reid, Byron Dewitt, James Henry, Zach George, Larry Vick (DQ), Zack Sam (DNS), Dan Michaud (DNS).
Lap Leader- Harbison 1-15, Tuttle 16-25.
Heat Winners- George, Walker, Bliss.
Gene Dewitt Memorial Yasses Trucking & Construction Street Stock Feature (Shortened to 17 Laps)- DAN SCHULZ, John Zimmerman, Bill Taylor, Dennis Cummings, Dan Machaud, Ted Mascho, Shawn Hazlett, Randy Gregory, Steve Austin, Chris Dziomba, Mike Kelly, Dale Rissinger Jr., Byron Dewitt, Pat Powers, Brandon Sherwood, Jesse Qutermous, Matt Tracey, Damian Long (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Sherwood 1-8, Schulz 9-17.
Heat Winners- Hazlett, Qutermous.
Pellegrino Auto Sales Mini Stock Feature (15 Laps)- CHRIS LEONE, Brad Whiteside, James Gayton, Andy Schumaker, Rocco Conte, Ashley Harbison, Cole Susice, Larry Wise, Curtis Rung, Donald Hermanson, Jessica Schleede, Rich Conte, Joe Beiber, Olivia Coniber, Bailey Logsdon, Julius Guiliani, Eric Brumsted, Jeff Wynes, Cody Wise, Dylan Strade, Shauna Knapp, Robert Knapp, David Dussault, Cody Griffin (DNS), Joe Kilby (DNS), Thomas Lodwick (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Leone 1-15.
Heat Winners- Susice, Wise, Leone.
Novice Sportsman Feature (15 Laps)- ORVAL HARRIS, Scott Wolfe, Tim Nies, Jacob Vick, Michael McCarthy, Brandon Close, Allison Dewitt, Dylan Duhow, John Livingston Jr.
Lap Leaders- Nies 1-12, Harris 13-15.
Heat Winner- Nies.
DML Sealing Bandits (12 Laps)- JAKE BANSMER, Brian Gregory, Alexis Traxler, Greenley George, Jayme Stone.
Lap Leaders- Bansmer 1-12.
Heat Winner- Bansmer.