First For Friesen: Stewart Breaks Through With Deron Rust Memorial $3,521 Small-Block Payday Friday At Georgetown; Large Crowd Takes In Event “Under The Lights”
GEORGETOWN, DE – Stewart Friesen added another line to his bulging resume on Friday night at Georgetown Speedway.
Friesen, the Sprakers, N.Y., traveling star, won for the first time in the state of Delaware, topping the Deron Rust Memorial for small-block Modifieds at the historic half-mile track. And he did it in unlikely fashion. Through the gate, Friesen drew 75 out of 75, starting last in his heat race and surviving a spin in his qualifier to earn a redraw spot.
Friesen then drove forward from ninth in the feature to record the victory in honor of Rust, a former driver and promoter at Georgetown who passed away in 2013. He earned $3,521 for his efforts: $3,396 from the posted purse and $105 in lap money.
“I told the (crew) guys it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish,” Friesen said after climbing from his Halmar International-backed No. 44. “The track was really racy tonight. These guys (Georgetown management) have been working hard here and it shows.”
Local standout H.J. Bunting picked the pole for the 33-lap main and set the pace from the outset. Friesen, meanwhile, charged forward early. Using the speedway’s outside lane, he picked off cars rapidly in the opening laps. Friesen busted into second spot during the race’s first third and began to pressure Bunting at the halfway mark.
At lap 19, Friesen moved up a groove on the speedway and surged ahead of Bunting. Moments later, disaster struck for Bunting, who clipped an infield marker tire in turn four and spun.
“The car was good on longer runs,” Friesen said. “I could see H.J. was starting to ‘hang’ through the corners. I was trying to be patient and bide my time.”
With Friesen out front, Andy Bachetti was making a run forward. Bachetti had rolled off the starting grid 11th and overcame a 360-degree spin on the opening lap. The Sheffield, Mass., driver arrived in second late in the main and chased Friesen across the line.
Bachetti has finished fifth, third and second in his three career Georgetown starts since his debut in the ‘Blast at the Beach’ last August.
“I love the place,” Bachetti said. “I’m looking forward to coming back down later this year.”
Oley, Pa., driver Craig Von Dohren guided Dick Biever’s No. 14s to a third-place finish after running inside the top-five for the entire distance. Matt Jester of Milford, Del., thwarted the late advances of Boyertown, Pa.’s Ryan Watt for fourth. Watt filled out the front five.
Placing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Danny Creeden of Wurtsboro, N.Y., who started dead last (25th) after being collected in a heat-race melee; Melvin L. Joseph Memorial winner Anthony Perrego of Montgomery, N.Y.; a moonlighting Brett Hearn of Sussex, N.J., in the Mike Petruska-owned No. 66; young star Brett Kressley of Orefield, Pa., from 17th on the grid; and Richie Pratt Jr. of Woodbury Heights, N.J., recovering from an early spin.
Collecting bonuses as the top-three PA/NJ sealed spec motors from Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply were Kressley ($500), Pratt ($300) and Brad Trice ($200).
Heat winners for the 25 assembled small-block Modifieds were Bachetti, Jester and Hearn.
Scott Hitchens registered a $700 victory in the 20-lap Crate 602 Sportsman main. Hitchens, the 2015 Delaware International Speedway champion from Dagsboro, Del., capitalized on a front-row starting berth to lead from start-to-finish. Hitchens bested an intense, four-car battle for the lead that raged through the race’s second half.
Hitchens received $600 from the posted purse and an additional $100 bonus posted by the Rust family.
Joseph Tracy bounced back from Opening Day troubles to finish second, followed by Jordn Justice, Connor King and Jeremy Harrington.
The drivers finishing third (Justice), ninth (Dillon Steuer) and sixth (Trent Van Vorst) pocketed $50 and a commemorative award in honor of Rust’s trademark number 396.
Devin Dodson was the benefactor of a draw for drivers placing 11th-15th, adding another $100 to his 12th-place envelope.
A wildly competitive 12-lap Delaware Super Truck main, thrilling the fans with a half-dozen trucks battling for the lead, went to Robert Reed over David Smith, Stanley Pete Jr., Billy Cropper and Robert Paczowski.
Jay Sipple topped the 12-lap Delmarva Charger feature which spun off quickly. Sipple was followed under Warren Alston’s checkered flag by Jerry Barker, Ashley Merritt, Scott Calhoun and Derek Swafford.
The Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Car Club 12-lap feature went to Mark Williams over C.J. Schirmer. The Sportsman winner was David Parsons.
The next Georgetown Speedway event takes place on Friday, May 13 with the first 2016 appearance by the lightning-fast United Racing Club (URC) 360 Sprint Cars. Joining the URC competitors will be the Crate 602 Sportsman, Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Cars, Delmarva Chargers & Delaware Super Trucks.
Georgetown Speedway, originally constructed by Melvin L. Joseph in 1949, is located at the intersection of Route 113 and Speedway Road in Georgetown, Del., just miles from the Delaware beaches and less than a 40-minute drive from Ocean City, Md.
A new website is live the speedway at www.thegeorgetownspeedway.com. Like Georgetown Speedway on Facebook, follow @thegtownspdwy on Twitter, e-mail email@example.com or contact Brett Deyo at 845.728.2781 during business hours for more information.
DERON RUST MEMORIAL RECAPS: A threatening morning/early afternoon forecast subsided in favor of clear skies for the night’s activities. A robust filled the grandstands despite the weather challenges….
A quickly run show saw the small-block Modified feature completed by 9:30 p.m. with only the Crate 602 main to follow….
Drivers’ meeting draws resulted in the following prizes for small-block Modified competitors: FREE American Racer tires – Danny Creeden, H.J. Bunting & Kevin Hirthler; $50 VP Racing Fuels certificates – Kyle Merkel, Anthony Perrego & Blaine Bracelin….
Smooth, slick and wide track conditions prevailed throughout the night. Infield marker tires installed in turns three and four after the opener kept the racing on the track and sand off the speedway’s upper groove….
BIG 98.5, Delmarva’s Classic Rock Station, broadcast live prior to the start of racing on-site….
Sportsman winner Scott Hitchens rebounded from a tough opener that saw the wheel off his Brandon Blades-owned car soar over the speedway’s outer fence toward Route 113….
Brett Hearn’s much-anticipated return to Delaware racing generated a heat-race win. However, Hearn struggled to move forward in the main, finishing eighth….
DERON RUST MEMORIAL RACE SUMMARY – GEORGETOWN SPEEDWAY MARCH 25, 2016
Small-Block Modified Feature Finish (33 laps): STEWART FRIESEN, Andy Bachetti, Craig Von Dohren, Matt Jester, Ryan Watt, Danny Creeden, Anthony Perrego, Brett Hearn, Brett Kressley, Richie Pratt Jr., Kyle Merkel, Ron Roberts, H.J. Bunting, Brad Trice, Shawn Ward, Norman Short, Kevin Gardiner, Scott Van Gorder, Duane Rust, Kevin Hirthler, Trent Willey, John Willman, Kevin Sockriter, Blaine Bracelin, Don Hallowell.
‘Lucky 7’ Lap Money Breakdown ($720): Stewart Friesen ($125); Matt Jester ($105); H.J. Bunting ($105); Ryan Watt ($90); Anthony Perrego ($85); Andy Bachetti ($80); Craig Von Dohren ($80); Danny Creeden ($25); Kyle Merkel ($25)
Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply PA/NJ Spec Head Bonuses: Brett Kressley (ninth – $500); Richie Pratt Jr. (10th – $300); Brad Trice (14th – $200) American Racer/Lias Tire Giveaways (FREE Tire Draw, Drivers’ Meeting): H.J. Bunting, Kevin Hirthler & Danny Creeden VP Racing Fuels Giveaways ($50 Fuel Certificates): Kyle Merkel, Blaine Bracelin & Anthony Perrego
Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (20 laps): SCOTT HITCHENS, Joseph Tracy, Jordn Justice, Connor King, Jeremy Harrington, Trent Van Vorst, Brandon Grosso, Westley Smith, Dillon Steuer, Dave Jenkins, Daniel Hudson, Devin Dodson, Trey Hicks, Jeff Marker, Jason Rush, Trevor Collins, Dylan Betts, Adam White, Carson Wright, Gary Bostwick, Matt Smith, Matt Stangle, Ryan Riddle.
Delaware Super Truck Feature Finish (12 laps): ROBERT REED, David Smith, Stanley Pete Jr., Billy Cropper, Robert Paczowski, Brian Meisenholder, Shane Clogg, Mattie Long, Matthew Smith, Mike Lewis, Kara Klink, Action Jackson, Michelle Jackson, Dale Elliott, Noah Thomas, Rocky Whitley, Robert Smith, Shannon Lewis.
Delmarva Charger Feature Finish (12 laps): JAY SIPPLE, Jerry Barker, Ashley Merritt, Scott Calhoun, Derrek Swafford, Brett Sellers, Ethan Brasure, Bryan Peelman, Randy Merritt, Tanner Marvel, Josh Weichmann, Bud Sipple, Jeff Carey, Joe Waters.
Southern Delaware Vintage Car Feature Finish (12 laps): MARK WILLIAMS, C.J. Schirmer, David Parsons (Sportsman winner), Vic Thomas, Todd Miller, Kelly Putz, Dave Schamp, Todd Miller, Josh Smith, Dwayne Heck, Chris Loveland.