posted July 22, 2001 11:10 PM
JOHN WALKER CAPTURES FIRST
EVER PRO STOCK WIN AT AFTON!
Afton, NY… After taking a year off
from racing, John Walker returned to
Afton Speedway this season in the Pro
Although he's often been a top five
contender, the number one spot has
always managed to elude the Afton
native, until this past Friday night that is.
Walker started on the pole for the 20
lap feature event, and took the lead at the
start. Walker didn't have it easy though
as Jason Schlafer, of Walton, was hot on
his heels in the second spot, following
Walker through from his third starting
Schlafer, in his sophomore year in the
Pro Stocks, was also looking to try and
capture his first ever feature win. Walker
seemed to have the event in hand, until
the very last corner on the very last lap
when he almost lost the handle, allowing
Schlafer to just about get by underneath.
Walker managed to hang on and pick
up the win by half a car length or so,
while Schlafer finished with a great
second place run. Wade Decker came in
for third, followed by Brian Steigerwald
and Todd Hurlburt.
In DIRT 358 Modified action, Mitch
Gibbs took the lead from Windsor's John
Siedlecky on the second lap of the 30 lap
Gibbs, of North Norwich, went on to
lead the rest of the way, picking up his
second win of the season.
Triangle native Jeremy Smith moved
up from his sixth starting position to take
over the second spot from Siedlecky on
lap thirteen, but could not mount a
challenge on Gibbs. Mike Clapperton
finished third, followed by J.R. Hurlburt
and Jeff Rudalavage.
The win came at a crucial time for
current points leader Gibbs, as his lead
increases from 2 points to 15 points over
Cassville's Craig Pritchard took the
lead at the start of the 20 lap DIRT
Sportsman feature event from his pole
Harpursville's Don Hart, Jr., quickly
took his ride from fourth to second as he
gave chase to Pritchard. Pritchard held
off numerous challenges from Hart, until
losing the top spot to him on the fifth lap.
Points leader Arnie Slade, of
Guilford, was making his way up through
the field from his sixth starting spot, and
moved by Pritchard into second on a lap
Slade put the pressure on Hart, but
was unable to get by, as Hart went on to
take home his third win of the year at
Afton. Slade finished second, for the
ninth time this season, while Chad Cook,
Butch Klinger and Tim French completed
the top five.
It looked as if rookie driver Butch
Green, of Binghamton, was on his way to
his first feature win in the Pure Stock
Green overpowered Maryland's
Charlie Holcomb to take the lead at the
start of the fifteen lap event, as another
young rookie, Shaun Walker, of
Masonville, moved up into second.
Green commanded the top spot,
holding off Walker and Deposit's Denny
Decker, until losing the handle on his
machine just after the half way point,
ending his bid for a win.
Decker went on for his fourth victory
of the season, with Walker in for second.
Green made a good come-back in the
final go finishing with a solid third spot,
followed by Dennis Valentine for fourth
and Holcomb for fifth.
The Flying Fossil, Gordie Isham,
made it to victory lane for the first time
this season in the Dwarf Car division.
Isham, of Windsor, lead from wire to
wire, holding off Uniondale, PA's Steve
Tourje and Sherburne's Duane Knapp en
route to the win.
Knapp and Chris Thompson shuffled
Tourje back to fourth on the final lap.
Alan Barker completed the top five.
The Four Cylinder Stock feature
event had quite an unusual ending to cap
the night off with.
Unadilla's Ralph Cuozzo, Jr., took
the early race lead from the fourth
starting position, with Harpursville native
Russ Hendrickson, Jr., ran in second.
The two ran side by side, as the race's
pace slowed to one caution per each
green flag lap for the first four laps.
The fifth circuit saw Cuozzo losing
the handle, bringing out the fifth caution
period. Hendrickson kept the lead as
they returned to green flag racing, with
Bainbridge;s Skip Pickwick riding
Pickwick briefly grabbed the lead on
lap nine, but his run came to a quick end
as he lost the handle on his machine
bringing out another caution on lap ten.
Cuozzo made it back up to second as
they returned to racing action, and as the
cautions fell again on lap 12, it was
Hendrickson running first with Cuozzo in
After the restart, both front runners
got out of shape and climbed the front
stretch wall, with Hendrickson's car
coming to a rest on top of the wall,
knocking out several lights and downing
a few power lines, immediately bringing
out a yellow/red condition before another
lap was completed.
Due to the tracks unsafe condition,
the race was called complete as of the last
lap scored, lap twelve, giving the win to
Hendrickson, with Cuozzo in second,
Scott Johnson third, Shawn Mills fourth
and George Crippen in fifth.
358 MODIFIED RESULTS: MITCH
GIBBS, Jeremy Smith, Mike Clapperton,
J.R. Hurlburt, Jeff Rudalavage, George
Hoffmier Jr, John Siedlecky, Allen Shiffler,
Skip French, Steve Walsh, Jim Witko Sr,
Pete Nowicki Jr, Shawn Ellsworth, Brad
SPORTSMAN RESULTS: DON HART JR,
Arnie Slade, Chad Cook, Butch Klinger,
Tim French, Joe Rando, Chad O'Hara,
Chris Ostrowsky, Dave Crandall, Jessica
Zemken, Ray Zemken, Bob Conklin, Craig
Pope, Craig Pritchard.
PRO STOCK RESULTS: JOHN WALKER,
Jason Schlafer, Wade Decker, Brian
Steigerwald, Todd Hurlburt, James
Cornell, Harold Humphrey, Jason Youngs,
Dan Howe, Jason Bartsch, Roger Lewis,
Neil Palladino, Pat Nolan, Winnie
Winchester, Russ Card.
PURE STOCK RESULTS: DENNY
DECKER, Shaun Walker, Butch Green,
Dennis Valentine, Charlie Holcomb, Rob
White, Craig Hawley, Rob Loucks, Rodney
FOUR CYLINDER STOCK: RUSS
HENDRICKSON JR, Ralph Cuozzo Jr,
Scott Johnson, Shawn Mills, George
Crippen, Rob Coulman, Tim Clapper, Ron
Cummings, Ken Hotaling, Skip Pickwick,
Joe Bunt, Ralph Jennings Jr, Jason Jaindl,
Chris Koren, Danielle Smith, Ed Leslie
DWARF CAR RESULTS: GORDIE
ISHAM, Duane Knapp, Chris Thompson,
Steve Tourje, Alan Barker, Tim O'Neill, Ed
Knapp, Floyd Clark Jr, Ray Vosburgh