Bobby Varin Impressive in Second Career New Yorker 100 Win
By Mike Mallett
VERNON, NY - Bobby Varin and his Dave Cruickshank owned team went through lots of adversity late in the 2010 season as the team suffered through one problem after another. The team worked hard and they were able to hang on to score a few more wins as well as the Fonda Speedway championship.
On Saturday night at the Utica-Rome Speedway, Varin and company got something else to smile about. Varin led all 100 laps of the New Yorker 100 to claim the $10,000 top prize as well as $2,500 in lap money earning him $12,500 for his victory. It was the second time in his career that he has won the event with his first win coming back in 2008.
“This feels great,” said Varin. “We’ve got a fantastic team here with Dover Brake team. We started out the season phenomenal and then we hit July and everything just fell apart. It was frustrating and nerve racking because of how much effort we put into this. The whole goal is to come out and win races and the guys worked their tales off today and I gave them 100 percent. We’ve got a really good program here.”
Varin started on the pole for the Victoria 200 as well but luck wasn’t on his side as he got a right rear flat just shy of halfway. This time he was able to take advantage of his pole starting position to lead the way for his 24th career win at the speedway. He lapped into the top ten and was never seriously challenged during the race.
“Starting on the pole was important because I could put so many of those cars down a lap early,” stated Varin. “I don’t know what we lapped up to but we had a real good car.”
Pat Ward, a former two-time track champion, finished in second after starting sixth. Alan Johnson came back from mechanical problems on Friday night to finish in third.
Todd Burley, of Spencerport, N.Y., came to the line in fourth while Billy Decker capped of his weekend with a fifth place finish from the 11th starting spot for his LJL Racing team.
GREEN IS OUT: Varin and Sportsman champion Bill Trexler Jr. started on the front row with a star-studded field behind them. Varin wasted little time getting out in front as he out raced Trexler down the back straightaway to take the lead into turn three.
TRAFFIC JAM: 13 laps were complete when Varin reached slower traffic for the first time. He was patient even though Ward was running in second behind him. Over the next ten laps Varin took minimal chances as he kept his Bicknell on the bottom of the speedway and maintained the lead.
PULLING AWAY: As the laps clicked off, Varin opened up the gap on Ward. At one point, Varin’s lead was up to almost six seconds. He was having his way with the slower traffic which allowed him to increase the space between himself and Ward.
BIG BATTLE: As Varin and Ward settled into the top spots in the running order, Johnson and Burley had a duel going for the third position. Johnson caught burley on lap 55 and began apply pressure. The two swapped the position numerous times over the next few laps.
A SINGLE CAUTION: The only caution of the race came on lap 63 for Willy Decker. Decker started the race from 10th and was running near that position when he made contact with the outside wall in turn two. He was uninjured in the crash but his night was done. At this point the top five included Varin, Ward, Burley, Johnson and Matt Sheppard.
GREEN AGAIN: Varin had three slower cars between himself and Ward on the restart. With the clear track ahead he again was able to increase the gap between him and second place. As the laps clicked off he got the lead back up to six seconds.
TRAFFIC AGAIN: Less than 20 laps were left when Varin made his way into slower traffic one more time. Like before he stayed on the bottom of the speedway but he did venture to the top a couple times to see what was there. Ultimately he decided to stay on the bottom and this strategy worked out well as he was able to lap up to the eighth on the field.
“I probably could have lapped a couple more cars but I took it easy,” said Varin. “I never really felt like there was any pressure behind me. I went to the top a couple times and I knew as long as I covered the bottom there was no chance of anyone coming around me. I parked it on the bottom and said the less cars we have near us the less chance we have of wrecking.”
SECOND AGAIN: Varin drove away over the final ten laps of the race as to score his biggest win of the season. Ward meanwhile came up one spot short of claiming his first ever large paying race at Utica-Rome.
“It was a good run for us,” commented Ward. “Bobby (Varin) was in a league of his own. I’m not quite sure how he was so good but I didn’t feel too bad. I kept looking up I thought he might end up lapping me the way he was going. Until the yellow I felt pretty good but I think I sealed the tire up. Second place isn’t too bad.”
WANTING MORE: Ward found something midway through the summer with his Bicknell ride at Utica-Rome Speedway and has had podium finish after podium finish at the of the season. He wished the season was just getting started.
“I think we got some momentum going,” said Ward. “We’ve been in the top three or four wherever we go. If we could just tweak it a little bit more we’re going to be okay.”
A SMILING THIRD: Johnson, of Middlesex, N.Y., was all smiles after taking home a third place finish. He worked hard for the spot as he raced several laps with Burley before getting by and then had his hands full with traffic like the top two.
“I’m really happy to get third,” said Johnson with a smile on his face. “You look at the field of cars that was here today and to race with these guys feels good. It’s been a while. We’ve been off all year but right now we seem to be getting better so things are going in the right direction.”
QUALIFYING: Heat race wins for the 53 cars in attendance went to Willy Decker, Johnson, Sheppard, Varin, Dave Rauscher and Ward. Three consolations were run with Michael Storms, Danny Varin and Larry Wight earning wins. Gary Tomkins won the 20-lap B-Main to earn the last spot into the feature event.
GATES-COLE ASSOCIATES NEW YORKER 100 RACE SUMMARY
DART MACHINERY NEW YORKER 100 MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (100 LAPS)-
BOBBY VARIN, Pat Ward, Alan Johnson, Todd Burley, Billy Decker, Matt Sheppard, Ronnie Johnson, Jimmy Phelps, Steve Paine, Stewart Friesen, Paul Jensen, Jim Davis, Michael Storms, Larry Wight, Vic Coffey, Bill Trexler Jr., Elmo Reckner, Frank Cozze Jr., Dave Rauscher, Mark Kislowski, Willy Decker, Gary Tomkins, Danny Varin, Tim Fuller, and Scott Parliament.
LAST CHANCE B MAIN FINISH-GARY TOMKINS, Matt DeLorenzo, Paul Kinney, Brad Alger, Casey Williams, Alan Barker, Ryan Odasz, Jeff Kotary, Jackie Brown Jr., Josh Hohenforst, Ted Lamb, Alex Tonkin, Brent Tonkin, and Nick Rochinski. DNS-Frank Cozze Sr.
VERNON, NY-Billy Decker, from Unadilla NY, dominated the later stages of the Turning Stone Casino and Resort New Yorker 100 Weekend 50 lap “Thunder on the Thruway” Modified Series preliminary this past Friday to earn himself a $5,000 payday and a guaranteed starting spot into the next day’s New Yorker 100. Other winners on Schachtler Contracting and Zielinski’s Asphalt night included Matt Janczuk in the Sportsman, Tom Denton in the Pro Stocks, and Ricky Breed in the Pure Stocks.
BILLY DECKER OPENS NEW YORKER WEEKEND WITH BIG $5,000 PAYDAY THIS PAST FRIDAY; MATT JANCZUK, TOM DENTON, AND RICK BREED ALSO BIG WINNERS
Michael Storms and Billy Decker brought the Modified starting field down to Matt Burdick’s green flag with Storms grabbing the early lead with Decker on his heels in second. The caution flag quickly flew on lap one when Matt Sheppard went around in turn one which put Sheppard’s chances of competing for the win in jeopardy. Two more quick cautions, one each for Matt DeLorenzo and Larry Wight kept the field tightly packed and when green flag racing resumed it was again Storms setting the pace with Decker still all over him. Decker was finally to slide underneath Storms to lead lap five but the duo ran the entire half mile track side by side for the next several circuits with veteran Decker barely edging out the youngster Storms at the line each time by. The field was slowed on lap 10 when Gary Tomkins slowed in the front stretch which allowed the field to catch their breath. Decker was still out front at this point with Storms, Vic Coffey, Stewart Friesen, and Ronnie Johnson trailing.
Another slowdown on lap 11 for a marker tire on the track and again for Alan Barker’s disabled machine on lap 13 again kept the field tightly packed together with Decker and Storms still continuing their personal battle for the lead. Storms was scored the leader on lap 13 with Decker again nosing to the front on lap 14, but Storms was not giving up as he again charged by the high side of Decker to lead lap 15. Storms was able to keep the lead for the next several laps with Decker in his tire tracks and with 20 laps complete it was Storms over Decker, Coffey, Friesen, and seventh place starter Pat Ward chasing.
The whole complexion of the race changed on lap 21 when Storms suddenly slowed while leading and brought his car to the pits. Decker was now in full command of the event in search of his second $5,000 payday at Utica-Rome Speedway in 2010. A lap 24 caution for Bobby Varin, who had made contact with a marker tire and lost the left front tire due to the contact, again brought the field to together for the last double file restart of the 50 lap main. Decker pounded the gas on the restart and immediately began to pull away with Friesen slipping by Coffey to grab the second spot. When the field completed lap 30, it showed Decker out front with Friesen, Coffey, Ward, and a charging Todd Burley rounding out the top five.
With Decker checking out front, a spirited battle for the fourth spot was going between Ward, Burley, and defending New Yorker 100 champion Steve Paine. The positions swapped lap after lap between the trio as the lap counter clicked off, with Burley holding the edge when final caution flag flew on lap 38 for another marker tire on the track.
With Friesen now directly behind Decker on the restart, the field took the green flag with Decker again flexing the muscle that he had shown all night as he steadily pulled away from the field and remained unchallenged the rest of the way. The final few laps saw Burley, Ward, and Paine resuming their entertaining battle and when the checkered flag flew it was Decker claiming the big win over Friesen, Coffey, Ward, and Burley. Filling out the top ten was Paine, Ronnie Johnson, Frank Cozze, Shawn Donath, and Wight. Along with the $5,000 payday, Decker also earned a guaranteed starting spot for the next day’s New Yorker 100.
Matt Janczuk celebrated the birth of his daughter in the morning by taking the lead of the 30 lap Best of Four Sportsman Series feature event just before the halfway point to score the big $1,500 paycheck. Janczuk, starting ninth, steadily picked his way through the field and passed leader AJ Filbeck on lap 14 and would lead the rest of the way unchallenged. Sportsman track champion Bill Trexler Jr. came from 11th to finish in second while Chris Mackey, Filbeck, and last place starter Claude Hutchings Jr. rounded out the top five.
The Pro Stock also competed in a Best of Four Series event of their own which found track champion Tom Denton scoring another win, his 11th on the year. Denton made the winning pass on lap 18 of 25 when he slid by then leader Bret Belden. Belden held on for second over Rocky Warner, Glenn Forward, and Ed Ostrander. Denton’s win was worth $1,000.
The Pure Stock nightcap saw Ricky Breed emerge the winner on their 20 lap feature that netted Breed $500 for his efforts. Breed started sixth on the grid and methodically picked his way to the front, passing Frank Hyatt for the lead on lap eight. From that point on, Breed would be scored the leader until the checkered flag dropped with champion Chris Carr in second followed by Hyatt, Ron Hawker, and Rob Thieme.
ZIELINSKI’S SPHALT AND SCHACHTLER CONTRACTING
THUNDER ON THE THRUWAY MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (50 LAPS)-BILLY DECKER, Stewart Friesen, Vic Coffey, Pat Ward, Todd Burley, Steve Paine, Ronnie Johnson, Frank Cozze, Shawn Donath, Larry Wight, Willy Decker, Elmo Reckner, Brian Weaver, Casey Williams, Chris Busta, Brad Alger, Matt Sheppard, Paul Kinney, Bobby Varin, Michael Storms, Alan Johnson, Jimmy Phelps, Alan Barker, Danny Varin, Gary Tomkins, Ted Lamb, and Matt DeLorenzo.
BEST OF FOUR THUNDER SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)-MATT JANCZUK, Bill Trexler Jr., Chris Mackey, AJ Filbeck, Claude Hutchings Jr., Bill Shantel Jr., Steve Way, Brad Alger, Heath Carney, Jason Memrick, Aaron Jacobs, Jim Rothwell, David Towns, Mark Mortenson, Darren Keyser, Justin Auspelmeyer, Craig Pope, Roger West, Chuck Allen, Jeff Leslie, Jim Nagle, and Brian Gleason.
BEST OF FOUR THUNDER PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (25 LAPS)-TOM DENTON, Bret Belden, Rocky Warner, Glenn Forward, Ed Ostrander, Jim Normoyle, Jeremy Pitts, Pete Broderson, Mark Effner, Louie Jackson, AJ Digsby, Cale Kaneer, Dave Moyer, John Pearsall, Rick Duanehauer, Brent Tardy, Dave Meeks, Rob White, and Kenny Gates.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-RICKY BREED, Chris Carr, Frank Hyatt, Ron Hawker, Rob Thieme, Dave Bruno, Dave Arbes, Phil Norman, Stan Clark, Bill Mason, Scott Wheelock, Jim Thomas, Keith Stevenson, Brian Owens, Mike Kazlauskas, Josh Stilson, and Ernie Staelens.
Rt 5 Vernon, NY
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