Racing Around: Varin prevails at Utica-Rome, Pierson at Albany-Saratoga

Danny Varin celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the 30-lap, $10,000-to-win A-main his first career Tezos All-Star Circuit of Champions 410 Sprint Car victory Saturday night at Utica-Rome Speedway.

Danny Varin celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the 30-lap, $10,000-to-win A-main his first career Tezos All-Star Circuit of Champions 410 Sprint Car victory Saturday night at Utica-Rome Speedway.

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The night did not start out smoothly for Danny Varin Saturday night at Utica-Rome Speedway.

During hot laps and on the final lap of his time trial run for the Tezos 410 Sprint cars, flames could be seen shooting out under the left side of his car.
His crew went to work, corrected the situation and Varin rewarded their efforts by winning his heat race, the dash for cash and racing to his first Tezos All-Star Circuit of Champions victory in the 30-lap, $10,000-to-win A-main.

“I’m just at a loss for words right now … I’m on cloud nine,” Varin said in Victory Lane. “We’ve made some recent changes to this car, and it’s really paid off. This is huge for this team. Just a dream come true for everyone involved. Hats off to all the fans who packed this place, and to the track crew and staff. I’m not sure there’s a better track in New York right now.”

In the companion Thunder on the Thruway Series features for the Modified, 602 Crate Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions, Stewart Friesen took home the victory in the 30-lap modified main, while Matt Janczuk took top honors for the sportsmen and Luke Horning came home with the Pro Stock feature win.

Varin started the A-main on the pole, taking command at the drop of the green. He momentarily lost the top spot when he jumped the berm on lap six and Kerry Madsen dove under him to briefly take the lead. Varin recovered quickly and regained the lead at the end of the front stretch.

With the race running caution free, Varin soon encountered lapped traffic, allowing series points leader and Friday night at Outlaw Speedway winner Tyler Courtney to move from his fourth place starting spot into second with 12 laps to go. Varin stayed clear of the lapped cars, picking the right spots to use the traffic as a buffer between himself and Courtney,

Courtney closed to under a second on the final lap but could not catch Varin before the checkers dropped over his hood. Zeb Wise placed third with Friesen, driving the Jordan Thomas No. 79to fourth and Madsen fifth. Sye Lynch, Chris Windom, Greg Wilson, Brandon Spithaler and Dale Blaney roundd out the top 10.

Pulling double duty on the night, Varin and Friesen quickly made their way back to the pit area and strapped into their modifieds for the 30-lap, $4,000-to-win Thunder on the Thruway Series finale. Varin started seventh in the feature and Friesen 13th.

Bobby Hackel IV and Justin Wright battled on the front end of the main event with Hackel leading 14 of the opening 15 laps before retiring pit side with mechanical issues.

Wright took over the lead and held it until Friesen got the break he was looking for with a late-race caution helping him to use the restart to edge ahead for his second win at Utica-Rome Speedway this season.

Wright held on for second over Tim Fuller, Billy Decker, Alex Yankowski, Ronnie Johnson, Willy Decker, JaMike Sowle, Alan Johnson and Jessica Friesen.

Varin was running sixth in the BDR No. 16S before being sidelined with mechanical issues with 10 laps to go. Matt Sheppard, who has nine wins this year at Utica-Rome, did not qualify for the feature after engine trouble in his qualifier ended his night.

Janczuk led all 25 laps of the Crate 602 Sportsman feature to collect his sixth-straight win at Utica-Rome Speedway. Payton Talbot started sixth and finished second followed by Willy Decker Jr., Connor Prokop and Blaine Klinger.

A scramble at the start of the 20-lap Pro Stock feature allowed Luke Horning to move from his fourth starting spot to the lead and never looked back as he pulled away to his second consecutive Utica-Rome victory.

As Horning cruised on the front end, Ivan Joslin, Beau Ballard Bret Belden, Kenny Gates, Nick Stone and A.J. Walters swapped spots lap after lap as they ran in a pack battling for the runner-up spot.

Gates won the battle to finish second, followed by Stone, Joslin and Walters.

Saturday’s racing concluded the annual six-race Thunder on the Thruway Series with Utica-Rome and Fonda Speedways.
Alex Yankowski, Payton Talbot and Nick Stone all successfully defended their 2022 titles. For Stone it is his third-straight Thunder Series Pro Stock title.


Saturday, August 19
Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Feature Finish (30 laps): DANNY VARIN, Tyler Courtney, Zeb Wise, Stewart Friesen, Kerry Madsen, Sye Lynch, Chris Windom, Greg Wilson, Brandon Spithaler, Dale Blaney, Conner Morrell, Zeth Sabo, Matt Farnham, Joe Trenca, Chad Miller, Denny Peebles, Bobby Hackel IV, Nathen McDowell, Jonathan Preston, Paulie Colagiovanni, Jacob Dykstra, Dave Axton, John Trenca.
Did Not Start: Jordan Poirier
3 Bastards Brewing Modified Feature Finish (30 laps): STEWART FRIESEN, Justin Wright, Tim Fuller, Billy Decker, Alex Yankowski, Ronnie Johnson, Willy Decker, JaMike Sowle, Alan Johnson, Jessica Friesen, Dave Constantino, Addison Bowman, Pat Ward, Chris Curtis, Brian Calabrese, Randy Shantel, Nick Nye, Cody Clark, Ron Holmes, Zachary Payne, Brad Godshalk, Jim Walsh, Rocky Warner, Michael Trautschold, Danny Varin, Bobby Hackel IV, Shawn McPhee.
Did Not Start: Matt Sheppard
Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (25 laps): MATT JANCZUK, Payton Talbot, Willy Decker Jr., Connor Prokop, Blaine Klinger, Matthew Richardson, Josh Amodio, Blake Sarpriacone, Tanner Warner, Daryl Nutting, Clayton DuMond, Ed Lukas, E.J. Gallup, Allan Hodge, Seth Martin, Chip Constantino, Addison Bowman, Mike Richmond, Brett Mortensen, Ryan Shanahan, Alex Hughes, Carson Rothwell, Jeremy Slosek, David Dickey, David Hackett, Harry Shaffer, Jim Rothwell, Pat Jones, Dalton Doyle.
Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman B-Main Finish (15 laps): TYLER BOBAR, Zack Welch, Michelle Courcy, John DuMond, J.J. Courcy, Chris Kugler, Matt Perry, Timmy Wilmot, John Williams, Andrew McFadden.
Did Not Start: Brendan Gibbons, Shawn Frost, Rich Talada, Bobby Rhinehardt, Richard Murtaugh, Wesley Sutliff, Jim Nagle, Michael McCallion, Maddy Broedel, Kyle Demetro, Ed Downing.
Next Generation Graphix Pro Stock Feature Finish (20 laps): LUKE HORNING, Kenny Gates, Nick Stone, Ivan Joslin, A.J. Walters, Beau Ballard, Josh Coonradt, Bret Belden, Jason Morrison, Andy Graves, Dennis Joslin, Johnny Holmes, George Cushman, Hunter Keith, Ed Kotary, Michael Achzet, Matt Rose, Nick Santuccione, Randy Cosselman, Jim Normoyle, Dalton Szewczyk.
Algonkin Motel Hard Luck Award: Matt Sheppard


A 15-car pileup on the opening lap of the modified feature scrambled the starting lineup.

Adam Pierson started 15th in the original starting grid. He avoided being involved in the melee and was moved up to seventh in the revamped lineup.

Pierson found a fast lane on the inside of the speedway to get by Mike Mahaney and Matt DeLorenzo to pick up the winner’s check for $4,000 from Friday night’s 35-lap modified feature at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

“It’s my anniversary tonight. My beautiful wife Shawna is here tonight, and we have been married five years. She asked me to win, so we did it,” Pierson said in Victory Lane. “It is unfortunate about lap one there; that is how we got up to seventh. Got that lucky break at the beginning. I just kept rolling the bottom. Congratulations to everyone in the top three. We gave each other room to race so it makes a difference in the race.”

Mahaney followed Pierson under the checkers with Matt DeLorenzo third, Ronnie Johnson fourth and Marc Johnson fifth. Ken Tremont Jr., Brian Calabrese, Jack Lehner Demetrios Drellos and Mike Trautschold rounded out the top 10.

Drellos, who is leading the points standings, sustained heavy damage in the first-lap accident as Marc Johnson’s car ended up on the hood of his modified. Drellos surveyed the damage and ran back to his pit area to help his team prepare to make repairs. With other teams pitching in, repairs were made, including replacing the carburetor and he returned to the track without losing a lap.

The wreck started as the field came down to the green flag. Matt Depew’s left front tire made contact with the right rear of pole sitter Don Ronca sending Depew sideways in front of the pack as they came up to speed.

With his third-place finish, DeLorenzo cut into Drellos’ points lead at The Great Race Place. Drellos now leads DeLorenzo, the defending track champion, by 19 points with two more point events on the schedule.

Tim Hartman Jr. was unable to narrow the gap between himself and 602 Crate Sportsman points leader Andrew Buff as they both posted victories in the dual 20-lap features for the division.

Kim Duell made the most of a late-race restart to slip past Shane Henderson on the final lap of the 25-lap Pro Stock feature to record his 29th career victory to take over the top spot in lifetime wins in the division at Albany-Saratoga.

Mike Parodi and Nick Arnold won the two 15-lap limited sportsman features, while P.J. Cram picked up his fourth win of the season in the 20-lap Street Stock feature and Dave Frame and John Mason collected the Dual Overhead and Single Overhead Cam 4-cylinder mini stock feature wins.


August 18
NAPA MODIFIEDS: ADAM PIERSON, Mike Mahaney, Matt DeLorenzo, Ronnie Johnson, Marc Johnson, Ken Tremont Jr., Brian Calabrese, Jack Lehner, Demetrios Drellos, Mike Trautschold, Josh Hohenforst, Ryan McCartney, Justin Stone, Neil Stratton, Rich Ronca, Rob Pitcher, Brandon Daley, Dexter Stacey, Garrett Poland, Don Ronca, Wallace Stacey, CG Morey, Keith Flach, Derek Bornt, Patrick Meehan, Robert Bublak Jr., Matt Depew, Jack Speshock, Vinnie Visconti.
NORTHEAST PAVING AND SEALCOATING SPORTSMAN (first feature): ANDREW BUFF, Chad Edwards, Mike Benson, Dylan Madsen, Cody Ochs, Taylor LaPlante, Jon Miller, Bryce Breault, Marty Kelly III, Chris Crane Jr., Scott Bennett, David Boisclair, Jeff Washburn, Cody Bleau, Floyd Billington, Dan Grignon, Elliot Lussier, Justin Barber, Taylor Wason, Travis Billington.
NORTHEAST PAVING AND SEALCOATING SPORTSMAN (second feature); TIM HARTMAN JR., Travis Witbeck, Joey Scarborough, Zach Buff, Brandon Darrah, Michael Wagner Fitzgerald, Tyler Rapp, Dave Baranowski Jr., Craig Wholey, Drew Cormie, Mike Coffey Jr., Scott Duell, Jim Osgood, Eric Mack, Tommy D’Angelo, Ron Proctor, Pete Jeske, Daryl Nutting, Alex Bell.
SARATOGA MASONRY SUPPLY PRO STOCKS: KIM DUELL, Shane Henderson, Jay Casey, Jay Corbin, Jason Casey, Luke Horning, Jordan Modiano, Josh Coonradt, Rich Crane, Brandon Emigh, Chad Jeseo, Josh Bussino, Chucky Dumblewski, Phil Difiglio, Kyle Hoard, Jaxson Ryan, Slater Baker, Pete Vila, Dean Charbonneau, Jimmy Eaton.
HAUN WELDING LIMITED SPORTSMAN (first feature): MIKE PARODI, Chase Zimmer, Dylan Grogan, Tanner Coon, Mike Baker, Walter Cook, Chad Gregory, Cordell Younger, David Zelker, Sara Arnold, Dan Seguin, Steve Miller, Zachary Graham.
HAUN WELDING LIMITED SPORTSMAN (second feature); NICK ARNOLD, Connor Crane, Dakota Green, John Santolin, Steve Burch, Mike Arnold, Alex Palmer-Swayer, Kyle Swart, Pat Miner, Connor Prokop, Nick Auspelmyer, Jordan Hill, Ron Delease.
LAKE AUTO PARTS STREET STOCKS: P.J. CRAM JR., Dan Madigan, Jimmy Duncan, Chris Stalker, Matt Mosher, Dana Van Veghten, Jeff Meltz Sr., Josh Hemming, Mike Bussino, Fred Shippee, Dan Buell, Ray Pierre Jr., Jason Barrett, Nick Napoli, Wayne Russell.
GREG’S TOWING FOUR-CYLINDERS: DUAL CAM: DAVID FRAME, Olivia Swinton, Josh Ramsey, David Mullineaux, Justin Ramsey, Shawn Speed, Ashlynn Ramsey, Micah Grant, Chris Danylieko. SINGLE CAM: JOHN MASON, Daniel Joubert, Brandon Tyler, Tom Hill, Kyle Lanfear, Brittany Ladd, Andrew Palmer.


On a night when fans and drivers paid tribute to the late Pro Stock driver Steve LaRochelle, Kolby Schroder picked up his first win of the season in a special 50-lap, double points, double pay modified feature.

Schroder was running second when leader Kenny Tremont Jr. went pit side with mechanical trouble on lap 35.

Chad Jeseo picked up the victory in the featured 20-lap Pro Stock feature honoring LaRochelle. Steve LaRochelle’s father, Paul, drove his son’s car to an 11th place finish in the feature.


Saturday, August 19
MODIFIED FEATURE (50 laps)- KOLBY SCHRODER, Brett Haas, J.R. Heffner, Andy Bachetti, Keith Flach, L.J. Lombardo, Brian Berger, John Virgilio, Wayne Jelley, Eddie Marshall, Ryan Darcy, Timothy Davis, Mike King, Brandon Lane, Kyle Armstrong, Kenny Tremont Jr., Matt Humes, Matt Pupello, Kyle Sheldon, Kenny Aanonsen Jr., Olden Dwyer, Marc Johnson, Ryan Charland, Dave McFeeters.
358 MODIFIED FEATURE (24 Laps) – RYAN LARKIN, L.J. Lombardo, Andy Bachetti, Kim Lavoy, Jeff Watson, Ray Hall Jr., Brian Sandstedt, Ryan Charland, Brian Peterson, Joey Coppola, Peter Carlotto, Jeffrey Reis, Donny Travaglin, Ryan Heath, Montgomery Tremont, Alan Houghtaling, Kevin Petrucci, Olden Dwyer, Lorne Browe and Jason Herrington.
SPORTSMAN 8/12/2023 FETURE RESULTS (20 laps) – TIM HARTMAN JR., Rob Maxon, Cody Cordova, Gary O’Brien, Brady Cordova, Whitey Slavin, Ricky Davis, Cody Bleau, Kevin Ward, Chris Crane Jr., Gerald LeClair, Alan Houghtaling, Kevin Ames, Joe Pravia, Karl Barnes and Chris Lynch.
SPORTSMAN 8/19/2023 FEATURE: KEVIN WARD, Tim Hartmann Jr., Gary O’Brien, Rob Maxon, Whitey Slavin, Ricky Davis, Gerald Leclair, Brady Cordova, Chris Crane Jr., Karl Barnes, Cody Bleau, Chris Lynch, Cody Cordova, Alan Houghtaling, Kevin Ames and Joe Pravia.
PRO STOCKS FEATURE (20 Laps) – CHAD JESEO, Tom Dean, Zach Zorrentino, Nick Hilt, Frank Twing, Rick Duzlak, Shawn Petez Jr., Jay Casey, John Rivers, Jason Casey, LaRochelle, Rocco Procopio, Brian Keough, Dave Kokindo, Mike Dianda, Tom O’Connor, Katrina Foster, Doug Sheely, Gary Silkey, Fred Lee, Shawn Perez, Jay Fitzgerald, Save Stickles and Rob Yetman.
LIMITED SPORTSMAN 8/12/2023 FEATURE (15 Laps) – MIKE ARNOLD, Anthony Maxon, Connor Crane, Fred Pavia, Craig Coons, Brian Walsh, Kent Clark, Harold Rabitalle, Scott Zehnacker, Bella Pickard, Mike Engwer, Alex Palmer-Sawyer, Owen Lewis. (DQ) Ira Doull.
LIMITED SPORTSMAN 8/19/2023 FETURE (15 Laps) – CONNOR CRANE, Anthony Maxon, Scott Zehnacker, Mike Arnold, Craig Coons, Own Lewis, Matt Jordan, Mike Engwer, Fred Pavis, Bella Pickard, Brian Walsh, Harold Rabitalle, Kent Clark and Alex Palmer-Sawyer.
STREET STOCK FEATURE (20 Laps) – JEFF MELTZ SR., Chris Stalker, Bob Gibson, Dave Striebel, Jr., Kerri Vandenburg, Lou Gancarz and Franklin Smith.


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