ACCORD, NY – Jackie Brown Jr.’s Thanksgiving leftovers were worth nearly eight grand!
Brown, the Hurley, N.Y., native, recorded the most prolific victory of his career on Tuesday night at Accord Speedway. Brown topped the rescheduled ‘Gobbler’ 50-lap big-block/small-block Modified event from last November in convincing fashion, representing the weekly contingent at the Ulster County quarter-mile oval.
The 43-year-old Brown earned a mammoth $7,808.11 in cash ($7,117.11 from posted purse, $471 in lap money and $220 from the Grandma’s Gravy “Gambler’s” program) for his efforts before a large crowd in a rare April midweek program promoted by BD Motorsports Media LLC and Accord Speedway owners Gary and Donna Palmer. Brown’s cash total was augmented by product contingencies and certificates pushing him over the $8,000 mark for just 50 fast laps!
“I grew up here,” Brown said after exiting his Hig Fab Chassis No. 6X while receiving a warm applause from the local crowd. “To be able to do this, win a race like this here, is a dream come true to me.
“This car was so good tonight. You never know here if anyone is coming, so I ran as hard as I could every lap.”
Brown started second and took the lead from Orange County (N.Y.) Fair Speedway regular Chuck McKee on lap nine following an extended side-by-side battle. McKee occupied the outside lane, while Brown worked the inside lap-after-lap.
With Brown out front, veteran Jeff Heotzler was on the move from eighth starting position in Mel Schrufer’s No. 2A. Heotzler arrived in third on lap 24 and took second two circuits later. With Brown mired in lapped traffic, Wallkill, N.Y.’s Heotzler was closing the gap on the leader.
Heotzler, however, saw his bid end abruptly on the 33rd lap when his car shut down with apparent ignition issues.
Wurtsboro, N.Y.’s Danny Creeden, who had started 11th in his No. 16x small-block, inherited second after Heotzler’s demise. Creeden briefly challenge Brown following restarts on laps 34 and 36, but settled for runner-up pay.
Brown took the checkered by a half-straightaway, earning his first BD Motorsports Media LLC victory. He previously finished second, ironically to Creeden, in the 2013 ‘Battle of the Bullring’ at Accord.
Jerry Higbie Jr. of Newburgh, N.Y., drove from 13th to round out the podium in third. Higbie received an extra $200 as the event’s Hard Charger courtesy of Rock Fantasy Concert & Smoke Shop in Middletown. N.Y. Higbie advanced late in the event, moving into the top three at lap 41.
McKee, after leading the opening eight circuits, placed a solid fourth. The Middletown, N.Y., driver was piloting Chic Sloat’s No. 211. With a late surge, Mike Mahaney of King Ferry, N.Y., finish fifth. Mahaney started 12th driving the Zubi’s Racing No. 11 and passed Shaun Walker on the final lap to earn a top-five result.
Walker, an I-88 (N.Y.) Speedway regular from Masonville, N.Y., finished a solid sixth. Completing the top-10 were teenager Tyler Dippel of Wallkill, N.Y., who started 15th; Grandview (Pa.) Speedway champion Jeff Strunk of Boyertown, Pa., who started 18th and recovered from a lap-20 spin; Danny Johnson of Rochester, N.Y., who was involved in a sixth-lap tangle with Chris Gennarelli’s No. 27J; and inaugural ‘Gobbler’ winner Anthony Perrego of Montgomery, N.Y.
Duane Howard of Oley, Pa., won the 5-lap Zubi’s Racing/Simplicity Design Cash Dash over Perrego, Higbie and Mike Ricci, the four heat winners for the 34 assembled Modifieds.
Consolation victors were Justin Holland of Kauneonga Lake, N.Y., and Andy Bachetti of Sheffield, Mass.
Driving the Vinnie DeCicco No. 55, former Accord champion Greg McCloskey of Kingston, N.Y., won the 25-lap Open vs. Crate 602 Sportsman headliner. McCloskey earned $1,625 in cash for his efforts including lap money using an open engine. He fended off Shohola, Pa., driver Brad Szulewski, who started sixth and Crate 602 Sportsman drivers Rocky Warner of Gloversville, N.Y., and Ed Dachenhausen of Danbury, Conn. Charlie Hendrickson Jr. was fifth after starting from the pole.
United Pump & Tank Crate 602 bonuses went to Warner ($150), Dachenhausen ($125) and Woodhull (N.Y.) Raceway regular Cory Costa ($125), who finished eighth. Dachenhausen received an additional $200 as the top Hunt’s Machine-sealed Accord Crate 602 representative.
Kevin Skelly was the Ron Wright Memorial Street Stock/Pure Stock 20-lap winner. Skelly, of North Branch, N.Y., held off Bob Sleight for a $735 payday, $600 of which came from the posted purse, $80 from the Grandma’s Gravy “Gambler’s” program and $55 in lap money.
Above All Auto Repair of Highland, N.Y., was the lead sponsor of the Street Stock/Pure Stock event, run in memory of longtime crew member and “racing Dad” Ron Wright, who passed away in November 2012. Ron’s son Kyle, a former Pure Stock track champion no longer active in weekly racing, returned to the sport in a car owned by the Johnson family and finished fifth.
Members of the Wright family were present for Victory Lane ceremonies.
Demetrios Drellos of Queensbury, N.Y., was the 20-lap Slingshot winner. Drellos was moonlighting in a Slingshot before making the move into the 358-Modified division this season at N.Y.’s Lebanon Valley Speedway. He earned $410 for his efforts.
The next BD Motorsports Media event, a Short Track Super Series Fueled By Hi-Tek points races, takes place this Sunday, April 19 at N.J.’s Bridgeport Speedway with the ‘South Jersey Shootout’ special. Modifieds race 40 laps for $5,000 to win, $1,000 for 10th and $400 to take the green in the opening round of the Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. South Region presented by Scotty’s Speed & Diesel. Sportsman and Outlaw Stocks complete the card on the five-eighths-mile, while Doug Borger’s XCel 600 Modifieds race for $1,000 to win on the inner quarter-mile oval.
The Short Track Super Series Fueled By Hi-Tek and BD Motorsports Media LLC can be found on the web at www.shorttracksuperseries.com or www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com. Brett Deyo can be reached by phone at 845.728.2781 or via e-mail: [email protected] The series is also on Twitter @ShortTrackSS and Facebook under “Short Track Super Series.”
Accord Speedway, a neat-and-tidy quarter-mile clay oval nestled in the hills of Ulster County, is located at 299 Whitfield Road Accord, NY 12404. The speedway is on the web at www.accordspeedway.com.
GOBBLER GIBLITS: Despite the postponement of the event by nearly five months and an unorthodox April midweek date, the Accord Speedway grandstands were filled with race-hungry fans for the event. The total car count was over 100 for the rapidly run program. The Modified feature was in the books before 10 p.m. despite the busy lineup….
The draw for position in all classes was maintained from last November, with new cars tagging the tail in the Modified, Sportsman and Street Stock/Pure Stock ranks. Timed warm-ups set the Slingshot feature starting order….
Stewart Friesen, who has never won an Accord Speedway feature, qualified via the first heat race but had to scratch from the feature due to a pulley issue with his Jeff Daley-owned No. 44. Friesen searched the pit area and even speedway owner Palmer’s neighboring garage but could not find the needed replacement….
Track conditions were smooth and racy on Tuesday, perfect for racing at the facility. Despite some wet areas in the parking lot, fans and racers were cooperative and entered/exited smoothly….
PA invader Duane Howard looked strong early, winning his heat race and Cash Dash. However, he retired the Mike Petruska-owned No. 66 on the 36th lap while battling for a top-five finish….
Keystone State Sportsman standout Brett Kressley made his debut at Accord and won a heat race impressively. However, a pair of feature skirmishes forced the Orefield, Pa., driver out of the main….
Justin Holland returned to racing after a year away from the sport driving the Joe Grasso-owned No. 19 Modified….
Traveling announcers Jeff Ahlum and Leon Andrus teamed up to call the races as they had been slated to in November….
The ‘Gobbler’ event was a shakedown for the upcoming Short Track Super Series Fueled By Hi-Tek ‘Battle of the Bullring 3’ at Accord on Tuesday, May 19 (rain date: May 20). The 53-lap event offers points toward the $15,000 Bob Hilbert Sportswear STSS North Region championship and will pay $5,300 to win, $1,000 for 10th and a minimum of $400 to take the green for the STSS Modifieds. Sportsman and Slingshots are also on the card….
Modified Feature Finish (50 Laps): JACKIE BROWN JR. ($7,808.11), Danny Creeden, Jerry Higbie Jr., Chuck McKee, Mike Mahaney, Shaun Walker, Tyler Dippel, Jeff Strunk, Danny Johnson, Anthony Perrego, Danny Tyler, Rich Ricci Jr., Andy Bachetti, Tommy Meier, Bobby Hentschel, Corey Lowitt, Tommy Johnson, Craig Hanson, Duane Howard, Mike Butler, Justin Holland, Jeff Heotzler, Bob McGannon, Mike Ricci, Ryan Darcy.