BATAVIA, NY – In the 2017 ULMS race at Genesee, Max Blair saw his sure-fire win go out the window with a mechanical issue with under five laps remaining; on Saturday Night he took the lead away with under five laps left and made amends for his heartbreak a year earlier.
Blair, of Centerville, PA, drove around the outside of veteran Chub Frank coming to complete lap 25 and then drove off to claim the $3,000 top prize in the ULMS 30-lap feature vent. Despite being a little off early in the night, the series point leader proved why he is the standard on tour.
Early in the feature, the battle for the lead was contested between Chub Frank and Bryce Davis. Frank was utilizing a second Boom Briggs No. 99 on the night after damaging his car on Friday and was just a little off on the setup while Davis was primed to get his first tour win at a track he had run on multiple occasions. Lap after lap, Davis hounded “Chubzilla” but could not complete the pass. On lap 18, Davis looked under the leader going in to turn one, only to stab the breaks when the door was slammed shut. That encounter, broke the brake line on the No. 94 and forced the Canisteo driver to the pits 12 laps shy of the finish.
On the ensuing restart, Blair, along with Boom Briggs, would chase down Frank for an amazing three-car battle. Once again, Frank made sure to make his No. 99 as wide as possible, but Blair was able to remain patient until Frank had no choice but to let him go off of the fourth corner coming to five laps remaining.
“To race your childhood hero and go after a win is all you can ask for,” stated Blair in Victory Lane. “This track was the best I’ve ever seen it tonight. There will multiple grooves and as smooth as glass.”
The win was Blair’s eighth on the ULMS tour this season. Chub Frank was able to cross in second, just ahead of Boom Briggs, who ran the quickest time of the night in hot laps at 15.562 seconds. Mikey Wonderling would outduel quick timer Mike Maresca as they rounded out the top five.
Matt Steffenhagen finally broke through to score his first win in the Sportsman Feature. Steffenhagen, of Delevan, fought hard to drive in front of Zack Sam on the original start and then never relinquished that position to claim his first win in his own No. 86. The race was slowed on multiple occasions due to caution flags, but Steffenhagen was never seriously challenged by Zack Sam on any of the ensuing restarts. When the caution flag flew with one circuit left, Steffenhagen was afraid of screwing up but he was flawless to become the seventh different winner in the division in 2018. Dave Conant would drive by Zack Sam on the final lap restart for his to capture second, while Jim Harbison and AJ Custodi ran strong throughout to complete the top five.
The 360 Late Model Feature event took a unique look halfway in to the 15-lap event as all three winners in 2018 had dropped out, allowing the rest of the field to battle for their first win of the season. John Zimmerman had the field under command early but broke on lap five to open up the event. With four laps remaining, Zack Carley was able to rim ride around the outside of Tommy Kemp and then hold off Tom Baker to capture the victory. Baker had his best run of the season to finish in second while Kemp settled for third. Shawn Hazlitt and Rich Hale completed the top five.
Josh Pangrazio stayed hot in the Street Stock division, winning his third feature in the last four races. Panrazio, of Elba, started in fourth but quickly moved up to second and began to apply pressure on early leader Doug Jones. Pangrazio took the lead on lap six and set sail until the only caution of the feature occurred on lap fifteen. The rest of the field was no match for Pangrazio as he cruised to his fourth win of the year. Jesse Qutermous would snatch away second on the final lap from Doug Jones while Mike Jackson and Dennis Cummings completed the top five.
Three-time track champion Brad Shepard scored his first Mini Stock Feature win of 2018, taking the lead from Cole Susice in lapped traffic on lap nine and then pulling away for a popular victory. The race had a host of restarts, and Shepard showed his strength throughout. On the final restart with two laps remaining, Dante Mancuso would drive up to finish in second, with Chris Leone stealing third from Cole Susice at the line. Brandon Shepard completed the top five.
Bailey Logsdon scored her sixth win of the season in the Bandit Feature, taking the lead from Riley Gordon on a lap four restart and then pulled away, despite thinking that she was being hounded for much of the race. Gordon was focused more on holding off Adam Jackson for second, and was able to do so by just a few feet at the finish line.
Next up at the Genesee Speedway is “The Gladiator” on Thursday, August 16th as Big Block Modifieds invade Batavia for the first time in recent memory. Sportsman, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and Bandits are also on the card. For more information, visit www.Genesee-Speedway.com.
Genesee Speedway Results: 8/11/2018-
Ken Barrett Chevrolet Night
ULMS Super Late Model Feature (30 Laps)- MAX BLAIR, Chub Frank, Boom Briggs, Mikey Wonderling, Mike Maresca, Greg Oakes, Bob Doorman, Doug Eck, Dave DuBois, Andy Boozel, Wyatt Scott, Nate Hill, Mike Smith, Al Brewer, Jason Dobson, Bryce Davis, Chris Hackett, Danny Kienitz.
Lap Leaders- Frank 1-24, Blair 25-30.
Heat Winners- Maresca, Briggs, Blair.
Time Trials Quick Time- Marecsa 15.779 seconds
Cornerstone Eye Associates Sportsman Feature (25 Laps)- MATT STEFFENHAGEN, Dave Conant, Zack Sam, Jim Harbison, AJ Custodi, Kyle Inman, Shane O’Grady, Austin Susice, Zach George, Austyn Fugle, Chuck Mogavero, Cameron Tuttle, Ray Bliss Jr, Gordy Hermanson Jr., Chase Matteson, Cody Wolfe, Adam Chaddock, Dalton Martin, TJ Newton, Carl Inman, Ray Bliss, Sarah Johnson, Kyle Wendt, Dustin Gorhan, Josh Wilcox, Mike Denning.
Lap Leader- Steffenhagen 1-25.
Heat Winners- Custodi, Bliss, Sam.
Johnson Automotive 360 Late Model Feature (15 Laps)- ZACK CARLEY, Tom Baker, Tommy Kemp, Shawn Hazlitt, Rich Hale, Jacob McConnell, Brian Kotarski, John Zimmerman, Dave DuBois.
Lap Leaders- Zimmerman 1-4, Kemp 5-11, Carley 12-15.
Heat Winner- Baker.
Yasses Trucking & Construction Street Stock Feature (20 Laps)- JOSH PANGRAZIO, Jesse Qutermous, Doug Jones, Mike Jackson, Dennis Cummings, Kenny Begnouche, Ryan Allen, Vic Behrens, Phil Schepis, Byron Dewitt, Dave Bansmer, Mike Kelly.
Lap Leaders- Jones 1-5, Pangrazio 6-20.
Heat Winners- Cummings, Dewitt.
Pellegrino Auto Sales Mini Stock Feature (15 Laps)- BRAD SHEPARD, Dante Mancuso, Chris Leone, Cole Susice, Brandon Shepard, Bill Weller Jr., Eric Brumsted, Duane Powers, James Gayton, Trinity Reynolds, Deanna Jackson, Tony Kulesza, Olivia Coniber, Jessica Schleede, Ashley Blech, Elliott Arnold, Eric Weis, Dominic DiLiberto, Chris McGuire, Chris Walton, Joe Kilby, Ruben Coffey, Tyler Oakes.
Lap Leaders- Brumsted 1-3, Susice 4-8, Brad Shepard 9-15.
Heat Winners- Susice, Mancuso, Leone.
DML Sealing Bandits (12 Laps)- BAILEY LOGDSON, Riley Gordon, Adam Jackson, Greenley George, Hailey Wais, Randy Gregory, Alexis Traxler, Jessica Traxler, Brian Gregory.
Lap Leaders- Gordon 1-3, Logsdon 4-12.