KIRKWOOD, NY — Mike Dougherty pulled off a huge upset on Saturday night by besting a great field of Modified talent for the opening night 30 lap feature win. The victory was worth $1,500 for Dougherty.
Despite the victory being deemed unexpected or an upset Dougherty left no doubt that it wasn’t a fluke with his dominating performance throughout the 30 lapper. For Dougherty it was his first ever Modified victory but he did it was a car that was smoking for the second half of the race and had a left front flat tire for the final 10 circuits.
Jeff Crambo and Dougherty led the 24 car starting field down to the green. Crambo led the first 4 laps until Dougherty powered past on lap 5. The race would remain caution free until lap 14 when Rusty Smith and Mike Loney spun in turn 2. At this juncture Nick Petrilak was now up to second place after starting in eighth. Both Dougherty and Petrilak were doing all their work on the extreme outside of the quarter mile oval. Crambo, Mike Colsten and Anthony Perrego made up the top five at the mid-way point of the race.
Dougherty maintained his strong pace on the outside of the speedway as the second half of the event took place but his Modified began to smoke leaving everyone in attendance wondering if he could go the distance. The final two laps saw Dougherty and Petrilak continue their battle for the win as Colsten and Perrego were joined by last week’s winner Dan Creeden for a great third place battle. Dougherty went on for his first ever win with Petrilak, Colsten, Perrego and Creeden rounding out the top five. Kevin Bates stormed from his 20th starting spot to 6th place at the finish but his great run was hampered by a lack of cautions as the lead pack was able to race away from him. Only three cautions occurred on laps 14, 16 and 17. The first 14 laps were caution free along with the final 13.
Brian Alsdorf and Greg McCloskey led the Crate Sportsman field down to the green flag for the 20 lap feature event. McCloskey immediately jumped out front and opened up a quick lead. A pair of “one’s” had the attention of the fans during the early going as Brad Weaver (1k) and last week’s winner Kyle Roehner began to advance through the field. Weaver started sixth and Roehner started 11th. The first caution of the feature flew on lap 10 and on the single file restart Weaver was now on the back bumper of McCloskey. The top two pulled ahead from the field as Mike Schane and Steve Babicek battled for third. Weaver would get close to McCloskey on numerous occasions but could not make the winning pass. For McCloskey it was his first ever FMP victory. Weaver, Schane, Babicek and Roehner rounded out the top five. Unfortunately Babicek came up light on the scales moving Mike Austin up to fifth at the finish.
The 20 lap IMCA Modified feature event found Ray McClure and Bob Maynard in the front row. A caution immediately flew in turn one at the start as Brian Steigerwald got together with McClure causing a multi car tangle. On the restart Keith Lamphere would have the point but James Cornell was on the move as he over took the lead on lap 3. The duo ran side by side for a number of laps with Lamphere making his way back past Cornell on lap 13 for the race lead. He would not relinquish the lead again and went on for the victory. Matt Cole rallied late again for the second spot with Cornell, Eddie Sites and Tyler Stoddard rounding out the top five.
The 15 lap Factory Stock feature event saw history made as Joe Donahue, III became a third generation feature winner at Five Mile Point Speedway. Donahue led the entire distance of the feature that was slowed by only one caution. His grandfather “Irish” Joe Donahue is one of the original 50 Greatest Drivers at Five Mile Point Speedway. His father was a Modified standout that will always be remember for beating Ken Schrader in a heated Modified feature in the early 90’s. Ryan Brockner wound up finishing second with Ned Fitch, Bubba Peters and Chuck Culbertson rounding out the top five.
Kenny Underwood took the lead on lap 2 of the Lightning Cat Expert main event and went on to lead the duration for the victory. Underwood is now approaching the 90 win mark with his Saturday victory. Josh Wilder was second followed by Matt McKernan, Don Doster Jr. and Adam Gilbert. Lightning Cat Novice action was won by Randy Lane. Lane led the caution free 12 lap event from wire to wire. The Slingshot victory went to Dalton Maynard.
Counter Points…Both Dougherty and Petrilak were looking for their first FMP Modified victory with their epic battle for the lead…Behind them were the heavy hitters from the past three seasons…Mike Colsten was the 2013 and 2014 Modified Track Champion…Anthony Perrego was the winningest Modified driver in 2014 and Dan Creeden was the winningest driver in 2015…The Modified field was 35 strong on Saturday eclipsing the prior Saturday mark of 32…The big night of racing was in the books at 9:41 p.m…The Modifieds return to action on Saturday, May 7th with another $1,500 to win show for Spring Championship night. They are off this weekend as the speedway hosts the return of the 360 Patriot Sprint Cars on Sunday, May 1st. The STAR Series Crate Sportsman will have a $1,000 to win show along with a big program of racing that begins at 5 p.m. this Sunday.
-Five Mile Point Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Five Mile Point Speedway Facebook