By FRANK CATIZONE
MIDDLETOWN, NY – Anthony Perrego continued his dominance in Modified racing activity at the Orange County Fair Speedway last Saturday night as he roared to his fourth victory of the season in the 30-lap main event.
Perrego, who is seeking his first OCFS big block Modified track championship, also earned a guaranteed qualifying spot for the King of the Catskills championship event at the Accord Speedway on Sept. 29. He currently leads the Modified standings at Accord as well.
Perrego, who has reached victory lane eight times between both Modified divisions at OCFS in 2018, owns a 41-point cushion over former champion Tommy Meier entering the season finale on Sept. 8. He trails Brian Krummel by 31 points in the Small Block Modified ranks with one race remaining in two weeks.
Perrego, who has chalked up 14 wins around the northeast dirt-track circuit this year, wasted no time displaying his dominance as he jumped into fifth place on the second lap after starting eighth in the 26-car field. He disposed of both Meier and Jeff Heotzler Sr. during the next four laps to sit into second place behind leader John Ferrier by the seventh circuit.
Ferrier, who started on the pole, was enjoying a comfortable lead when Perrego grabbed second and seemed headed to his first win this season. But it didn’t take Perrego long to slice into that margin as he was on Ferrier’s heels in just three laps.
Perrego moved in on Ferrier racing down the backstretch on the 11th lap and then drove around him entering the third turn to grab the lead.
“The outside was really fast tonight,’’ said Perrego. “In fact, this is the best this track has been in 10 years. It keeps getting better each week and I can pretty much get good results at any place on the track. They’ve really done a great job preparing this surface and I just hope it’s as good in two weeks.”
“This is a Billy The Kid house motor that I was using tonight because our motor is in the shop getting freshened up. I’ve had some good results with the motor and so have some other drivers around the circuit.’’
Perrego was no match for the rest of the field after grabbing the lead as he lapped the slower traffic and was able to hide from Ferrier and Meier en route to the checkered flags. Meier passed Ferrier on the final lap to grab second place and kept his title hopes alive in the process.
Ferrier settled for a third place effort with Heotzler, Matt Janiak, Danny Creeden, Craig Mitchell, Jimmy Horton, John Lieto and Jerry Higbie rounding out the top 10.
Fourteen-year-old Connecticut driver Jessie Prichnik grabbed the first victory of his Capital Region Sprint Agency (CRSA) racing career as he drove his 305 sprint car to a narrow win in the 20-lap feature race.
Prichnik led the entire race, but had Jeff Trombley closing in fast during the race’s final laps. Peter Dance, Scott Flammer and Tyler Jashembowski rounded out the top five.
Greg Sleight couldn’t have waited for a better time to put an end to a 13-year winless drought as he regained first place in the Sportsman standings behind his first victory since July 30, 2005 in the 20-lap main event.
Sleight, who fought hard with Jesse Leiby for the top spot, moved ahead of Jimmy Johnson in the standings with one race remaining this season. But Sleight, who leads the pack with 922 points, is just three markers ahead of Johnson, who raced home in eighth place.
Sleight led for the first three laps before Leiby powered ahead following a fourth-lap restart. Sleight returned the favor on a sixth-lap restart and never trailed again as Leiby was glued to his bumper to the finish.
Jeff Hulseapple came home in third place with Tommy Vigh Jr. and Dan Morgiewicz completing the top five.
Jimmy Leiby won the Rookie Sportsman race which was halted after just two laps because of the time curfew.
Dan Maher picked up his first career win in the Street Stock 15-lap feature as he outraced Jim Hajkowski and Jim Maher to the finish.
The third-place effort enabled Jim Maher to extend his lead over Wayne Taylor to 32 points entering the final race of 2018. Hajkowski is 35 points off the pace.
Modified Feature Finish, 30 Laps: 1. Anthony Perrego, 2. Tommy Meier, 3. John Ferrier, 4. Jeff Heotzler Sr., 5. Matt Janiak, 6. Danny Creeden, 7. Craig Mitchell, 8. Jimmy Horton, 9. John Lieto, 10. Jerry Higbie, 11. Richie Eurich, 12. Brendan Finley, 13. Stan Frankenfield Jr., 14. Bob McGannon, 15. Kirk Horton, 16. Jimmy Spellmon, 17. C.G. Morey, 18. Shane Jablonka, 19. Patrick Reiser, 20. Joey Falanga, 21. Tyler Jashembowski, 22. Donnie Wilson, 23. Chris Whitehead, 24. Tyler Treacy, 25. Roger Henion Jr., 26. Chris Shultz. Scratched: Brian Krummel (motor). Did Not Qualify: Gary Edwards Jr., Danny Cronk, Corey Lowitt, Bob Hayes Jr., Rob Rowe, Chris Grbac.
CRSA 305 Sprint Car Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1. Jessie Prichnik, 2. Jeff Trombley, 3. Peter Dance, 4. Scott Flammer, 5. Tyler Jashembowski, 6. Thomas Radivoy, 7. Justin Mills, 8. Emily VanInwegen, 9. Craig Pellegrini, 10. Jerry Sehn, 11. B.K. Rizzo. Did Not Start: Mike VanPelt.
Sportsman Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1. Greg Sleight, 2. Jesse Leiby, 3. Jeff Hulseapple, 4. Tommy Vigh Jr., 5. Dan Morgiewicz, 6. Joe Conklin, 7. Mel Schrufer, 8. Jimmy Johnson, 9. Matt Shultz, 10. Troy Arnold, 11. Howie Finch, 12. Jimmy Devitt, 13. Bob Wosyluk, 14. Jared LaBagh, 15. Jake Bedell, 16. Danny Carlough, 17. Cole Stangle, 18. A.J. Williams, 19. Milton Mann, 20. Lem Atkins, 21. Patrick Murphy, 22. Corey Cormier, 23. Billy Eggers Jr., 24. Tighe Sherlock. Did Not Qualify: Pat Mann, Mike Bull, Brett Weslowski, Pete Goydich.
Rookie Sportsman Feature Finish, 2 laps (time curfew): 1. Jimmy Leiby, 2. John Brown, 3. Charlie Loiodice, 4. Rich Eggers, 5. Mike Talmadge, 6. Jared Miller, 7. Jeff Higham, 8. Mike Orlando, 9. Michael Giuliano, 10. Don Smith, 11. Jamie Doolan, 12. Chris Raser, 13. Shawn Johannessen, 14. Bryan Jones, 15. Chet Doolan, 16. Kevin Murphy, 17. Bob Jashembowski, 18. Jason Armstrong, 19. Anthony Sisco, 20. Ryan Neiger, 21. Russell Crotty, 22. Bob Hallabeck.
Street Stock Feature Finish, 15 Laps: 1. Dan Maher, 2. Jim Hajkowski, 3. Jim Maher, 4. Charles Donald, 5. Wayne Taylor, 6. Mike Vigiletti, 7. Joe Scheffold, 8. Bob Sleight Jr., 9. Rob Taylor, 10. Ryan Modiano, 11. Shawn Maher, 12. Ron Constable, 13. Kevin Skelly, 14. Kevin Schlossareck.