Malta, New York – It has been an up and down season for defending 2016 Modified Champion Marc Johnson. But on Friday night the “White Knight” put it all together for his first win of the season.
Johnson started fourteenth on the grid as 31 Modifieds took Rich Peterson’s green for the 35-lap “Upstate GMC” Modified feature. Matt Delorenzo was fast on the top side and shot out to lead on lap 3 from his eleventh place starting spot.
Ronnie Johnson, who started fifteenth, was also using the high side of the “Great Race Place” to make his way to second spot. He used the entire surface trying to find a way around Delorenzo.
Meanwhile, Marc Johnson was picking his way through the field using the bottom side of the speedway and finally ran down and passed Delorenzo for the lead on lap 31. From there Johnson pulled away to capture the victory over Delorenzo.
Keith Flach would get up for third with Ronnie Johnson settling for fourth and Peter Britten rounding out the top five
Connor Cleveland put on a show in the “Mark Hughes Memorial Sportsman Event.” The 4th annual race was organized by Derrick McGrew, a former Sportsman competitor and friend of Hughes. Hughes, a two-time winner at Albany-Saratoga himself, passed away in 2014 in a work related accident.
Starting from the thirteenth spot, Cleveland used the high side of the speedway to make his way to third by the caution free half-way point. From there Cleveland moved into the runner-up spot, just two laps later. On lap 21 he appeared to rocket past pole sitter Andrew Buff, who had held the lead from the initial green.
The caution then came out, putting Cleveland back to second, but he was able to take the lead for good on the lap 22 restart. From there Cleveland pulled away to take the win over Buff.
Twenty Four Pro Stocks took the green for the Ron Mensing sponsored “Featherfoot Warrior Pro Stock Feature.” Brandon Gray held off Kim Duell by 6/1000th of a second to capture his first career win at the Malta oval.
James Meehan made it two in-a-row in the Limited Sportsman feature, leading wire to wire and going virtually unchallenged. With one more victory on the season, based on track policy, Meehan will be moved up to the Sportsman division and is looking forward to doing so.
Chase Aussicker held off Al Relyea and Randy Miller for his first win of the season in the Street Stock division.
The Ryan brothers, Steve and Greg, swept the Greg’s Towing and Repair Single and Dual Cam 4-Cylinder features for the second straight week.
Albany-Saratoga will have a quick return to action on Sunday, June 11, with the previously rained out Electric City Riders Motorcycle Event. Gates open at 11 a.m. with racing beginning at Noon.
Then on Wednesday night, June 14, “The Great Race Place” will be hosting “Make-up Madness” with all divisions in action in an added event to the schedule to make up for several early season rainouts. Grandstand gates will open at 5 p.m. and racing starts at 7 p.m.
On Friday night June 16th will be the “Hoosier Daddy” Father’s Day program with all divisions in action featuring the DMA USAC Midgets. Grandstand’s open at 5 p.m. And racing starts at 7 p.m.
For the 2017 schedule and up-to-date Albany-Saratoga Speedway information be sure to visit:
Online at www.albany-saratogaspeedway.com
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Albany-Saratoga Speedway
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About Albany-Saratoga Speedway: Conveniently located at 2671 U.S. Route 9, Malta, NY 12020 the 4/10 mile dirt track is approximately one mile North of Exit 12 off I-87. Racing takes place every Friday night at 7 p.m. from mid-April to mid-September and features DIRTcar Modifieds (Big Block / Small Block combined), DIRTcar Sportsman, Limited Sportsman, DIRTcar Pro Stocks, Street Stocks and 4-Cylinders. “The Great Race Place” grandstand gate opens at 5 p.m.; pit gate opens at 4 p.m. The facility provides the ultimate fan-friendly location for motorsports entertainment including free parking and camping
Albany-Saratoga Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Albany-Saratoga Speedway.