LAFARGEVILLE, NY – It felt like mid-summer on Watertown Savings Bank night at Chapman’s Can-Am Speedway. Anyone showing their Watertown Savings Bank ATM card at the gate was given free admission. Temperatures during hot laps were in the mid-eighties. But with the grandstands in the shade, it was an enjoyable summer-like night of racing. A full slate of competition included small block Modifieds, Pro Street Stocks, Mod Lites, Sportsman Modifieds, Thunder Cars and Novice Sportsman Mods taking the track.
The first heat race of the night was the Pro Street Stock. 1x Mike White and 711 Russ Marsden started in first and second positions in the first of two heat races for the class. Marsden took the lead out of turn one and led the entirety of the first lap, with White challenging hard for the lead. 3 Rick Dusckas climbed from sixth position to challenge for third, by lap three. But 13 Kenny Hamm was not going to give up the position without a fight. For the final three laps Dusckas challenged and Hamm repelled. At the checkered flag it was Marsden by inches, with White just narrowly falling into second place. Third was Hamm with Dusckas in fourth.
The second heat race for Pro Street Stocks had 3k Shawn Kirby and 11 (272) Tiger Chapman in the top two starting positions. Kirby retained the lead throughout the first lap, with Chapman nestling into second. 19 Robert Scott remained in third with 83 Milt Combs in fourth by lap three. And that’s how it would remain at the checkered flag: Kirby, Chapman, Scott, and Combs in the top four positions.
The 358 Small Block Modifieds took to the half-mile track for their heat race next. At the drop of the green flag it was 15D Kyle DeMetro and 39 Tyler Bartlett in the top two positions. Bartlett grabbed the lead out of turn two, with 1 Craig Collier moving into second place by lap two. 57 Rylee Gill was on the move, improving from sixth position to third by lap three. 9 Billy Dunn, starting in ninth position, was also on moving through the pack immediately, improving to fourth position by lap three. Dunn and Gill sparred for several laps, with Dunn squeezing past, then losing ground all the way up to the final lap. 15D Kyle DeMetro spun out in turn four with a single lap remaining, bringing all the racers back together for a one-lap shootout. On the restart, Collier grabbed the lead with Gill right on his tail. At the checkered flag it was Collier, Gill, Bartlett, Dunn and 10 Josh VanBrocklin in the top five positions.
The Mod Lite Class was up next with 03 Matt Rainville and 73 Rich Rainville in the first and second starting positions. By the halfway point, 19 Frank Nortz had moved up from last position to third. At the checkered flag it was 03 Matt Rainville, 73 Rich Rainville, 19 Frank Nortz and 07 Mike Rainville in the top four positions.
The Sportsman Mods took to the track next in the first of two heat races. 2 Chris Thurston and 72 Delbert LeGrow started in first and second positions. 27w Nick Webb grabbed the lead out of turn one, catapulting up to first from fourth starting position. 271 Tiger Chapman Jr. was hot on his heels in second. LeGrow and Thurston battled for third, with LeGrow taking the high line around the track and Thurston running low. Chapman took advantage of Webb getting a little loose, and grabbed the lead by the checkered flag. The top three at the finish line were Chapman, Webb and LeGrow.
The second heat had 91 Josh Reome and 415 Andrew Wren started in first and second positions. It was side-by-side around the track with Reome grabbing sole possession of the lead by turn four of the first lap 38 Zach Sobotka drove to second position, with 44 David Rogers pulling into third by lap four. 21 Taylor Caprara moved from seventh starting position to fourth by lap six. At the checkered flag it was Reome, Sobotka and Rogers in the top three positions.
The Thunder Cars had two heat races to determine the positions for the feature. The first heat race had 42 Kyle Robinson and 21 Gage Howard in the top two positions. 26m Phil Desormeau III moved up from fourth to second during the first lap, challenging for first place almost immediately. 11J Justin Burns was in third with 32 Chuck Monica in third by the time a lap three caution came out for 21 Gage Howard who had mechanical issues and needed a push to the pits. On the restart it was Robinson and Desormeau in the top two positions. A spin out by Marcinko with two laps remaining brought out another caution. Marcinko took the car to the pits after the spin out. On the restart Robinson and Desormeau sparred once again, with Robinson getting loose in turn four and giving Desormeau a chance. But at the finish line it was Robinson by a bumper and Desormeau in second.
In the second Thunder Car heat it was 17 Mike Greenfield and 17x Pat Sullivan in the top starting positions. Sullivan and 17N Justin Nier got into each other off turn one, with Sullivan nosed into the door of Nier up on the berm. Sullivan was able to peel his car away and continue racing with the rest field, leaving parts of his bumper all through turn two, while Nier had to leave on the hook of a tow truck. On the restart it was 17 Mike Greenfield and 7z Zak Petrie in the top two positions. Petrie grabbed the lead on the following lap, with 17 x Pat Sullivan in third, dragging half of his car in the dirt after his wreck. By the checkered flag it was Petrie, Greenfield and Sullivan in the top three positions.
Novice Sportsman had two qualifying heat races next, with 76G Skyler Greenfield and 24 Jordan Kelly in the top two starting positions of the first heat race. Kelly shot to the lead out of turn one. Greenfield spun across the entire field in turn four and narrowly escaped disaster as the other drivers were able to dodge around the 76G. During the caution 9 Harry Facter took his car to the pits with mechanical issues. It was Kelly and 60 Jackson Gill in the top two positions on the restart. They got tangled up through turn one, and spun in front of the field, once again narrowly avoiding a major wreck. Gill cut a tire and had to limp to the pits, while Kelly was able to rejoin the race at the back of the pack. 1 Cole Davidson took the lead with 34 Eric Nier in second. Kelly dove low for position but got caught up behind Davidson, allowing Nier to slingshot past for first place. Davidson started to fade, and Kelly took over second position by lap four. The final lap saw an all out drag race for the lead, with Kelly pushing low and Nier running high. At the line it was Nier by half a car. Top three finishers were Nier, Kelly, Davidson.
The second heat for the Novice Sportsman Mods had 00 Billy Matteson and 4x Mike Gadbaw in the top two positions. Gadbaw grabbed the lead out of turn one, with 54G Greg Snyder in second. In lap two, Gadbaw got loose through turn two but was able to correct and rejoin the field without a caution, albeit in last place. Snyder put half a track between himself and second place by lap four, but a lap five caution brought the pack right back together. 00 Billy Matteson got caught up on the turn-two berm to bring out the caution flag. On the restart it was Snyder and 30 Hunter Schwander in the top two positions. At the finish line it was Schwander by a nose, with Snyder in second place. 18 Justin Gadbaw took third place.
Fireworks signaled the beginning of the feature races, which also had plenty of fireworks on the track. First up was the 358 Small Block Modifieds in the first of a twin 15-lap feature night. 39 Tyler Bartlett and 10 Josh VanBrocklin started in first and second positions respectively, with 57 Rylee Gill and 93 Ryan Bartlett in the next row, starting in third and fourth positions. VanBrocklin grabbed ahold of the lead out of turn two, with Ryan Bartlett easing into second position. 12 Keith Weston got up onto the berm in treacherous turn two, and brought out the caution, though he was able to get back on the track and rejoin the pack in rear. On the green restart Bartlett checked up and VanBrocklin shot past for sole possession of the lead. 9 Billy Dunn, starting in fifth position, was challenging for second by lap three. Bartlett relented by turn four, allowing Dunn into second to chase VanBrocklin for the lead. By lap six, a battle for fourth position broke out, with 57 Rylee Gill and 39 Tyler Bartlett sparring around the track, trading some paint and rubbing some bumpers in the process. A lap fourteen caution was the break Dunn was looking for, as the pack would be brought back together for a restart and give and set the stage for a one-lap shootout between VanBrocklin the leader and Dunn the challenger. Dunn got the jump on the restart, though VanBrocklin charged hard to the top of the track. Dunn blocked and VanBrocklin checked up, opting to slide back to third rather than spin out Dunn. 93 Ryan Bartlett jumped into second, taking advantage of VanBrocklins braking hard in turn two. At the checkered flag it was Dunn, Bartlett and VanBrocklin, concluding an electrifying race. The stage was set for an epic race in the second feature to follow later in the evening.
The Pro Street Stock class has been one of the most white-knuckled classes at Can-Am so far this season. Tempers have flared and the racing has been top-notch. Once again, the Pro Street Stocks did not disappoint. Saturday night was yet another great night of racing with a twenty-lap feature race. 1x Mike White and 3k Shawn Kirby started in first and second positions, with 711 Russ Marsden and 11(272) Tiger Chapman in the next row, starting in third and fourth positions. Kirby took sole possession of first place on lap one, with White in second and Chapman in third. 13 Kenny Hamm got into the wall in front of the grandstands, and took it into the infield, narrowly missing a major collision as the rest of the pack avoided a seemingly inevitable wreck. On the restart it was 1x Mike White and 3k Shawn Kirby in first and second positions. White had the advantage on turn one, but Kirby dove low through turn two and nibbled at the lead. White faded back to fourth position on the next lap, as Kirby and Chapman raced door-to-door, trading paint through turn four of lap six. Kirby was just creeping away from Chapman along the back straightaway when a caution flag flew and brought the pack back together for a restart. 3 Rick Dusckas had quietly fought his way up from an eighth place starting position all the way to third by lap seven. Another caution saw Chapman in the lead with Kirby in second. At the halfway point it was Chapman, Kirby, Dusckas, White and 45R Preston Forbes in fifth. As the leaders approached lapped traffic in lap eleven, Tiger Chapman clipped 83DA Dustin Bradley, a lapped vehicle, and got into Kirby through turn one. Kirby left with a cut tire, and Chapman was forced to the pits as well. A mix-up with lineup extended the caution for a lap, allowing Kirby to get back out of the pits on the lead lap. The leaders by lap twelve were 1x Mike White and 3 Rick Dusckas, with 45R Preston Forbes in third and 83 Milt Combs in fourth place. By lap seventeen, Kirby had climbed all the way back to fourth position. At the checkered flag it was 1x Mike White, 3 Rick Dusckas, 45R Preston Forbes and 3k Shawn Kirby in fourth, with 711 Russ Marsden in fifth place.
The Mod Lites took to the track next, with 03 Matt Rainville and 73 Rich Rainville starting in first and second positions of the short feature race. At the checkered flag, it was 03 Matt Rainville, 73 Rich Rainville, 19 Frank Nortz, 19k Kaylee Nortz, and 07 Mike Rainville in fifth after leaving on the final lap with mechanical issues.
Next up was the Sportman Mod feature, with 2 Chris Thurston and 91 Josh Reome in first and second positions. 71 Delbert LeGrow and 415 Andrew Wren started in the next row in third and fourth positions, respectively. By turn one it was Reome in the lead, with Thurston in second. Wren and Reome traded paint and rubbed tired right in front of the grandstands as they battled for second position. By lap three, Wren had pulled ahead to retain the position. 27w Nick Webb climbed from sixth position to start, up to third position by lap five. Wren had his hands full trying to keep Webb behind him. Meanwhile, 21 Taylor Caprara, who had started back in tenth position, fought his way into fourth position by lap seven, with 44 Dave Rogers hot on his tail in fifth. The race for third position became heated by lap ten, as Caprara, Wren and Rogers went three wide for a time, all trying to best the others. Wren pulled ahead by lap twelve, but Caprara used a slingshot maneuver through turn one to grab the position away. A lap later, Rogers also passed Wren. With five laps to go, it was Reome, Caprara, Webb, Rogers and Wren. With two laps to go, 271 Tiger Chapman made a move on Wren for fifth position. At the checkered flag it was 91 Josh Reome in first, 21 Taylor Caprara in second, 27w Nick Webb in third, 44 David Rogers in fourth and 271 Tiger Chapman Jr. in fifth positions. It was an exceptionally clean race with nary a caution and solid racing all around.
Thunder Cars rolled onto the track next for their feature. 42 Lyle Robinson and 17 Mike Greenfield started in first and second positions with 17x Pat Sullivan and 11j Justin Burns in the next row, in third and fourth positions. Robinson was quick off the flag and grabbed onto the lead, while 26m Phil Desormeau III launched from sixth position up to second place by lap two. A litany of caution flags bloomed like dandelions by lap three, with several stalls and spin outs slowing the racing action. As racing resumed in lap four, it was Robinson, Desormeau, 7z Zack Petrie, 17N Justin Nier and 16 Matt Marcinko in the top five positions. 32 Chuck Monica edged past Nier for fifth position by lap eleven. 17 Mike Greenfield was black-flagged for safety concerns, as his passenger door was springing open around the turns. He was able to utilize duct tape and ingenuity to get the door secured during a caution and return to racing still on the lead lap. By lap twelve, it was Robinson, Marcinko, Desormeau, Petrie and Monica in the top five positions. By lap fourteen Monica moved past Petrie and challenged Desormeau for third. At the checkered flag it was Robinson, Marcinko, Desormeau, Monica and Petrie.
The second 358 Small Block Modified feature had 12 Keith Watson and 39 Tyler Bartlett in first and second positions to start. 51x Brady Gill and 57 Rylee Gill started in the next row in third and fourth positions. Tyler Bartlett, who was running strong in the lead, was snake-bitten again this season, when his car shut down halfway into the second lap, falling back through the pack and narrowly escaping catastrophe as the rest of the field weaved and dodged to avoid a wreck. Bartlett was able to rejoin the field during the caution to avoid losing a lap. On the restart, 57 Rylee Gill launched into the lead, with 93 Ryan Bartlett hot on his tail in second. 9 Billy Dunn started in seventh position, but by lap three was already moving through the pack, securing the fourth position and angling for third. 10 VanBrocklin was running strong in third position, but got up into the berm on the top edge of the track through turn two and dropped back sixth position. With five laps remaining, it was Rylee Gill, Ryan Bartlett and Billy Dunn in the top three positions, and 51x Brady Gill and 12 Keith Watson in fourth and fifth positions. On the final lap, 10 Josh VanBrocklin was able to power ahead into fourth place, with Brady Gill in fifth. The top five finishers were 57 Rylee Gill, 93 Ryan Bartlett, 9 Billy Dunn, 10 Josh VanBrocklin and 51x Brady Gill.
The final feature of the night was the Novice Sportsman. 76G Skylar Greenfield and 24 Jordan Kelly started in first and second positions with 54G Greg Snyder and 1 Cole Davidson in third and fourth positions, as 4x Mike Gadbaw had to pit during pace laps and was sent to the back of the pack. Kelly launched to the lead immediately, with Skylar Greenfield falling back to second. 34 Eric Nier, starting in sixth position charged up to second place by lap three. Another close call for the night occurred in turn four of lap three, as Snyder and 30 Hunter Schwander got loose and spun out. Both were able to rejoin the race at the back of the pack. Kelly and Nier restarted in first and second positions with 60 Jackson Gill and 1 Cole Davidson right behind them. Gill fired off the green flag to grab second place, pushing Kelly back to third. 4x Mike Gadbaw was forced to the back of the field to start the race, but managed to claw his way back to fourth position by lap five. A lap seven caution brought the double-up restart. Nier and Jackson restarted in first and second positions, with Nier opting for the outside on the restart. It proved to be the right choice, as Nier retained the lead. With five laps remaining it was Nier, Jackson, Gadbaw, Snyder and Hunter Schwander in the top five positions. And that’s how it would remain at the checkered flag. Thus concluded another exceptional night of racing action at Chapman’s Can Am Speedway.
05/28/16 Can-Am Feature Winner – Billy Dunn – 358 Small Block Modified (Feature 1)
358 Small Block Modified (Feature 1): 1) 9 Billy Dunn, 2) 93 Ryan Bartlett, 3) 10 Josh VanBrocklin, 4) 57 Rylee Gill, 5) 51x Brady Gill, 6) 39 Tyler Bartlett, 7) 12 Keith Weston, 8) 15D Kyle Demetro, 9) Craig Collier.
05/28/16 Can-Am Feature Winner – Mike White – Pro Street Stock
Pro Street Stock: 1) 1x Mike White, 2) Rick Dusckas, 3) 45R Preston Forbes, 4) 3K Shawn Kirby, 5) 711 Russ Marsden, 6) 83 Milt Combs, 7) 19 Robert Scott, 8) 32 Ryan Shanahan, 9) 83DA Dustin Bradley, 10) 62 Jonathan Murphy, 11) 272 Tiger Chapman, 12) 13 Kenny Hamm
05/28/16 Can-Am Feature Winner – Matt Rainville – Mod Lites
Mod Lites: 1) 03 Matt Rainville, 2) 73 Rich Rainville, 3) 19 Frank Nortz, 4) 07 Mike Rainville, 5) 19k Kaylee Nortz
05/28/16 Can-Am Feature Winner – Josh Reome – Sportsman Modified
Sportsman Modified: 1) 91 Josh Reome, 2) 21 Taylor Caprara, 3) 27W Nick Webb, 4) 44 David Rogers, 5) 271 Tiger Chapman, 6) 1 Jack Meeks, 7) 415 Andrew Wren, 8) 38 Zach Sobotka, 9) 71 Delbert DeGrow, 10) 72 Mike Prentice, 11) 621 Brian Hudson, 12) 12 Troy Fleming, 13) 25 George Sanford, 14) 92 Mike Mandigo, 15) 2 Chris Thurston.
05/28/16 Can-Am Feature Winner – Lyle Robinson – Thunder Cars
Thunder Cars: 1) 42 Lyle Robinson, 2) 16 Matt Marcinko, 3) 26M Phil Desormeau III, 4) 32 Chuck Monica, 5) 7z Zak Petrie, 6) 17N Justin Nier, 7) 27 Justin Pope, 8) 17 Mike Greenfield, 9) 17x Pat Sullivan, 10) 11J Justin Burns, 11) 5 Don Woodworth, 12) 83 Carl Burdick, 13) 21 Gage Howard, 14) 111J AJ St. Mary.
05/28/16 Can-Am Feature Winner – Rylee Gill – 358 Small Block Modified (Feature 2)
358 Small Block Modified (Feature 2): 1) 57 Rylee Gill, 2) 93 Ryan Bartlett, 3) 9 Billy Dunn, 4) 10 Josh VanBrocklin, 5) 51x Brady Gill, 6) 12 Keith Weston, 7) 1 Craig Collier, 8) 39 Tyler Bartlett, 9) 15D Kyle Demetro, 10) 27w Nick Webb.
05/28/16 Can-Am Feature Winner – Eric Nier – Novice Sportsman Modified
Novice Sportsman Modified: 1) 34 Eric Nier, 2) 60 Jackson Gill, 3) 4x Mike Gadbaw, 4) 54G Greg Snyder, 5) 30 Hunter Schwander, 6) 1 Cole Davidson, 7) 24 Jordan Kelly, 8) 76G Skyler Greenfield, 9) 00 Billy Matteson, 10) 18 Justin Gadbaw, 11) 9 Harry Falter.
Saturday June 4 is Cheney Tire Night. The racing schedule will feature 358 Small Block Modifieds, Sportsman Mods in a twin 15-lap feature, Pro Street Stocks, Thunder Stocks and Novice Sportsman. Pit gates open at 4pm, grandstands open at 5pm with hot laps at 6:10pm and racing beginning at 7pm. Tickets are $12 for adults, kids 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult. Military personnel receive a half price discount with ID.