Column By: ROBERT SYMONDS / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – Over 50 Modifieds packed the Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown NY on Saturday night for the Carl “Fuzzy” Van Horn Tribute. Modified drivers would compete for 71 laps and $7,100 going to the winner.
Andy Bachetti and Anthony Perrego fired off turn 4 and the field roared to life. Bachetti took off with the lead while Perrego remained in close tow. Stewart Friesen made quick work of Brian Krummel by getting a big run off turn 4 to take the 3rd spot away and try to chase down the leaders.
Looking ahead as the field kept up an intense fast pace around the 5/8 mile clay oval, Perrego was able to slide past Bachetti on lap 17 to take the lead away. At the same instance, Friesen was able to move up into the runner-up position as Bachetti slipped back to 3rd.
It would take an additional 29 laps before Friesen was able to get passed Perrego in lap traffic to take the race lead on lap 46. A caution flag on lap 49 would slow the field for the first time in the 71 lap event.
On the ensuing restart, Friesen jumped out to the early advantage and lengthened the gap between himself and Perrego. Perrego’s runner up position became threatened by Modified’s most winningest driver, Brett Hearn. Hearn had maintained the third position since lap 22 but had not pressured Perrego until this restart.
Trying to get past Perrego on the bottom, Hearn saw the yellow lights once again light up down the front straightaway and the field would slow again. A late race problem for Perrego put him out of contention on lap 64 but would only ever lose 1 lap to the leaders. However up in front it was all Stewart Friesen as he held off Brett Hearn from the Carl Van Horn Tribue win!
Carl “Fuzzy” Van Horn Tribute (71 laps)- STEWART FRIESEN, Brett Hearn, Mike Gular, Andy Bachetti, Kenny Tremont, Brian Krummel, Jimmy Horton, Tyler Dippel, Tommy Meier, Matt Janiak, Craig Mitchell, Anthony Perrego, Billy VanInwegen, Jeff Heotzler, Sam Martz, Danny Creeden, Chris Whitehead, John Ferrier, John Lieto, Jerry Higbie, Rich Eurich, Brendan Finley, Gary Edwards. Steve Dodd