RANSOMVILLE, NY – Davie Franek of Wantage, New Jersey made his first ever visit to Ransomville Speedway a memorable one on Friday night as he captured the 25-lap Patriot Sprint Tour A-Main presented by A-Verdi Storage Containers, All Metal Works and Just Signs & Designs.
In other Friday night action at the “Big R”, Kyle Inman of Darien, N.Y. won the Investors Service Sportsman feature. Jaren Israel of Ransomville won his 50th career Ki-Po Chevrolet Street Stock feature. Former track champion, Chris Leone of Niagara Falls, won the Gippster’s Collision Mini Stock feature. David Fingerlow of North Tonawanda, N.Y. picked up his first win of the season in the Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman.
Pole-sitter Jordan Thomas grabbed the early lead in the Patriot Sprint feature. Thomas pulled away to a large lead as the first half of race played out caution-free. The race was halted just after halfway when rookie and third-generation driver Kyle Phillips flipped his car in turn three after contact with Roger Lavesque.
Franek, the Patriot co-points leader entering the race, had started sixth in the field of 16 cars. He passed the driver that he shared the points lead with, Joe Trenca, for second place on lap 8. The red flag allowed Franek to erase the margin he needed to catch Thomas, and two laps after the race restarted he took the lead coming out of turn four.
Franek cruised the final 10 laps to pick up his second Patriot A-Main victory of 2019, and seventh of his career. Thomas held on to finish second. Jared Zimbardi finished third followed by Trenca and Pete Richardson. The race was 20th Patriot Sprint A-Main ever contested at the “Big R” with Franek becoming the tenth different winner in those 20 races.
The Investors Service Sportsman feature came down to a late-race battle between Kyle Inman and Andrew Smith. Inman dominated most of the race after passing Kevin Wills for the lead on lap 4, but a pair of cautions inside the final six laps bunched up the field.
Smith made his way past Cody Wolfe for second place on a lap 19 restart, which put him on the bumper of Inman. He took the lead one lap later when Smith and Inman made contact in turn two following a restart.
Inman came storming back to make a last ditch effort for the win on the final lap. He charged hard into turn three as Smith slid up the race track. Inman completed the slide job in turn four, and crossed the finish line in first. Smith settled for second followed by Wolfe, Garrison Krentz and Robbie Johnston.
Jaren Israel came out on top after a caution-free 20 lap feature for the Ki-Po Chevrolet Street Stocks. Defending track champion, Pete Stefanski, grabbed the early race lead from the outside pole position while Israel joined him at the front of the field after starting third.
Israel took the lead from Stefanski on lap 3 as the pair pulled out to a large margin to settle the race themselves. Stefanski made several attempts to regain the top spot, but could not outwit the driver known as “Showtime”. Lapped traffic allowed Israel to pull away in the closing laps to clinch his 50th career Street Stock victory. Stefanski placed second ahead of Bryce Richardson, Cory Sawyer and Pat Dell.
In the Gippster’s Collision Mini Stocks, Chris Leone led all 15 laps from the pole position to score a win in his first start of the season. Opening night feature winner, Mike Kramarz, started sixth and played the role of hard charger on this night. He took second place from Dave Dussault on lap 4, but had to erase the large advantage that Leone had built up.
In the end, time was not on Kramarz’s side as he ran out of laps and Leone took the checkered flag. Cole Susice, Ashley Blech and Ryan Plante rounded out the top five.
The Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman was a war of attrition marred by several on-track incidents. David Fingerlow was the beneficiary of one of those incidents as he inherited the lead on lap 8 after Sam Junkin and Bubby Pawlak tangled while racing for first. Finglerlow held off opening night winner, Butch Zimmerman, to score his first win of the season.
Next Friday, June 7, is the 11th annual Labor Night at the Races to benefit the United Way of Greater Niagara presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of WNY and in conjunction with the AFL/CIO Niagara-Orleans Labor Council. The Krown Undercoating 358 Modified return to action after a week off, and will be joined by the Ki-Po Chevrolet Street Stocks, Gippster’s Collision Mini Stocks and a non-points Sportsman/Novice Sportsman Shootout. Racing starts at 7:15 p.m.
Thanks to Rick Mooney for his assist with this report.
PATRIOT SPRINT TOUR
Heat Winners: Jonathan Preston, Josh Azzi
Dash Winner: Kyle Phillips
Feature: DAVIE FRANEK, Jordan Thomas, Jared Zimbardi, Joe Trenca, Pete Richardson, Jonathan Preston, Kyle Drum, Steve Doell, Josh Azzi, Dan Bennett, Jim Porter, Mark Tychoniewicz, Brad Knab, Jeremy Barnard, Kyle Phillips, Roger Lavesque
INVESTORS SERVICE SPORTSMAN
Heat Winners: Kyle Inman, Garrison Krentz, AJ Custodi
Feature: KYLE INMAN, Andrew Smith, Cody Wolfe, Garrison Krentz, Robbie Johnston, Matt Steffenhagen, Jonathan Reid, Brett Senek, Kevin Wills, Zack Sam, Cameron Tuttle, Austin Susice, Dave DiPietro, Noah Walker, AJ Custodi, Derek Wagner, Darrel Borkenhagen, Brett Martin, Brian Harris, Ed Cain, Dustin Gorhan
KI-PO CHEVROLET STREET STOCKS
Heat Winners: Jaren Israel, Pete Stefanski
Feature: JAREN ISRAEL, Pete Stefanski, Bryce Richardson, Cory Sawyer, Pat Dell, Billy Bleich, Brian Monahan, Chris Dziomba, Pat O’Keefe, Chuck Cala, Anthony Guthrie DNS: Dan Korpanty
GIPPSTER’S COLLISION MINI STOCKS
Heat Winners: Mike Kramarz, Chris Leone
Feature: CHRIS LEONE, Mike Kramarz, Cole Susice, Ashley Blech, Ryan Plante, Anthony Hermanson, Dave Dussault, Steve Matson, Brian Melcher, Chad Desso
STEVENSON’S HARDWARE NOVICE SPORTSMAN
Heat Winners: David Fingerlow, Orval Harris
Feature: DAVID FINGERLOW, Butch Zimmerman, Rob Sauder, Dan Gardner, Mike Martin, Chris Hawkins, Cliff Gregg, Sam Junkin, Clayton Cain, Kenny Washburn, Bubby Pawlak, Orval Harris DNS: Tom Lalomia, Jr., Gregg Rauscher