BATAVIA, NY – The heavy spring rains put the Genesee Speedway on the brink of cancellation on Stirling Lubricants/Champion Racing Oil opening night, but hard-work by the track crew during the afternoon and throughout the night enabled an amazing 99 teams to get their first event at the Genesee Speedway in the books for 2019. It was a night filled with new faces in new races, veterans getting back to Victory Lane, and in the sportsman, one youngster finally breaking through to that hallowed ground.
Cameron Tuttle felt his two top five finishes and 5th place finish points last season were a great feat, but he blew that out of the water on Saturday Night as he kicked off his second year at Genesee with an impressive feature victory.
Tuttle, the 18-year-old from Wilson, NY, took the lead from veteran James Henry on a lap 9 restart and then fought incredibly hard to stay in front and capture the breakthrough victory.
“This is just surreal right now, I don’t know what to think,” admitted an amazed Tuttle. “After I got the lead (from Henry), I wasn’t even thinking about winning, it was just staying in front of him because he’s so good here and I knew he would be tough.”
Tuttle had taken second early in the race and was riding there when a caution flag came out on lap 8. On the ensuing restart, Henry elected to use the inside lane, a rarity at Genesee. Despite not having the odds in his favor, he pulled out in front of Tuttle. A quick caution would immediately occur though, which allowed Tuttle a redemption on his good fortunes, and on the second try he would outduel Henry into turns one and two and muscle the lead away. The race was far from over though as Henry fought hard to take the lead back on lap 12 only for the caution to wave before the duo could make it back to the line for the lap to count. It was another fortunate break for Tuttle that he would not let slip by.
As the laps closed down, the top two sliced through lapped traffic and it appeared that the veteran may have something for the sophomore, but the No. 35T of Tuttle was strong, particularly off the corners and he was able to capture the double-checkered from Johnny Veach.
James Henry would cross in second in his No. 2 while Brett Senek came home third in his Stirling Lubricants No. 111. Zack George and Josh Wilcox completed a strong top five.
The Late Models were the final race of the night, and it required drivers to be selective in the grooves they were utilizing to find success. For one veteran, he matched his precision with an incredibly fast race car to snatch the win.
Jeremy Wonderling, of Wellsville, NY, claimed his first win at Genesee since 2017, taking the lead from Beamer Guzzardi on lap 9 and then setting sail on the field for a comfortable victory.
“Within the first five laps I could tell that the car was really good,” noted Wonderling after the race. “I thought I hard Beamer (on a lap 8 restart, which was called back) but I knew I could just wait for his mistake and got it soon enough as his car washed up.”
Wonderling started in third but fell back on the opening lap as the top groove seemed to have the momentum. A first lap incident for Rob Pietz restacked the field though and after another quirky restart, Wonderling pounced and moved right behind Guzzardi and begin to plot out his plan to inherit the lead. By lap nine it was his.
As Wonderling drove off to the victory, Bill Holmes was able to drive up and get by Guzzardi for second place. Andy Michael was behind Guzzardi in fourth while young Kyle Murray completed the top five in a field of 26.
Josh Pangrazio scored the opening night win for the second year in the row in the Street Stock division, leading all 20 laps using a car he had just picked up a day earlier. Pangrazio rocketed to the lead in the opening set of corners and kept defending champion Dennis Cummings at a healthy distance back throughout, to relegate him to second. Shawn Hazlitt had a fine run to drive up to third, while Tommy Kemp crossed in fourth. Ryan Allen rounded out the top five.
Eric Brumsted had gone 51 weeks since his last win and was finally able to shake the monkey off of his back by winning the Mini Stock Feature. Brumstead, of East Bethany, led all 15 laps but had to fight hard to hold back a hard-charging Ashley Blech who came close to her first win but would have to settle for second. Cole Susice would place in third while Deanna Jackson would narrowly cross in front of Eric Weis for fourth.
Allison Dewitt won the final Bandit race she competed in last season and picked right up where she left off with a convincing performance, leading all 12 laps to win the youth division. Dewitt, of Bergen, held off a stout challenge from Greenley George, who scored her career best in second. Randy Gregory rounded out the podium.
Genesee Speedway is now in full gear and will continue this Saturday, May 11, with another Five Star Program, presented by Batavia Downs. Racing action starts at 6:00pm. For more information, visit www.Genesee-Speedway.com.
Genesee Speedway Results: 5/4/2019-
Stirling Lubricants/ Champion Race Oil Night
MHL Performance Late Model Feature (20 Laps)- JEREMY WONDERLING, Bill Holmes, Beamer Guzzardi, Andy Michael, Kyle Murray, Damian Bidwell, Doug Ricotta, Alan Chapman, JJ Mazur, Billy DuBois, Dave DuBois, Dennis Cummings, Greg Mrzywka, Austyn Fugle, Nick Snayczuk, Dante Mancuso, Mike Jackson, Dave Parker, Mark Sundt, TJ Downs, David Pangrazio, Ryan Hoolihan, Rob Pietz, Khole Wanzer, Jimmy Johnson (DNS), Jon Rivers (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Downs 1, Guzzardi 2-8, Wonderling 9-20.
Heat Winners- Mazur, Pangrazio, Wonderling.
Cornerstone Eye Associates Sportsman Feature (25 Laps)- CAMERON TUTTLE, James Henry, Brett Senek, Zach George, Josh Wilcox, Dave Conant, Sarah Johnson, AJ Custodi, Austin Susice, Kyle Inman, Byron Dewitt, Ray Bliss, Zack Sam, Cody Wolfe, Anthony Muscato, Adam Chaddock, Ray Bliss Jr, Jim Harbison, Matt Steffenhagen, Anthony Pangrazio, Chuck Mogavero, Gordy Hermanson Jr., Tiffany Rumsey.
Lap Leader- Henry 1-8, Tuttle 9-25.
Heat Winners- Wilcox, Inman, Henry.
Yasses Trucking & Construction Street Stock Feature (20 Laps)- JOSH PANGRAZIO, Dennis Cummings, Shawn Hazlitt, Tommy Kemp, Ryan Allen, Jesse Qutermous, Tom Baker, Phil Schepis, Bill Taylor, Bobby Dickinson, Jordan Moden, Tyler Pastorius, Brandon Sherwood, Brian Monahan, Dan Brumsted, Doug Jones, Mike Kelly, Chris Dziomba, Dale Rissinger (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Pangrazio 1-20.
Heat Winners- Baker, Kemp.
Pellegrino Auto Sales Mini Stock Feature (15 Laps)- ERIC BRUMSTED, Ashley Blech, Cole Susice, Deanna Jackson, Eric Weis, Don Whiteside, Rich Conte, Mike Taddonio, Steve Krawczyk, Bill Weller Jr, James Gayton, Olivia Coniber, Don Burger, Brandon Close, Jessica Schleede, Trinity Reynolds, Jessica Traxler, Bailey Logsdon, Gary Hopkins, Andrew Doran, Brandon Shepard, Andy Gayton (DNS), Chris McGuire (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Brumsted 1-15.
Heat Winners- Conte, Brumsted, Susice.
DML Sealing Bandits (12 Laps)- ALLISON DEWITT, Greenley George, Randy Gregory, Alexis Traxler, Evan Farriggiu, Brian Gregory, Amber Hermanson, Jacob Bansmer.
Lap Leaders- Dewitt 1-12.
Heat Winner- Dewitt.