Story BY: BRETT DEYO / GEORGETOWN SPEEDWAY – GEORGETOWN, DE – Watertown, New York is a full seven-hour-plus ride to Georgetown, Delaware.
But Billy Dunn felt right at home Sunday afternoon in Victory Lane in the First State.
Dunn, who lives on the New York side of the Canadian-U.S. border, invaded Georgetown Speedway for the Melvin L. Joseph Memorial. After suffering some misfortune on Saturday, he recovered with a Small-Block Modified triumph on Sunday afternoon, earning $4,049 for his efforts in the 30-lap main event.
Dunn, driving the Ray Graham-owned No. 49, parlayed a sixth-place starting position to victory in a thrilling race that was completed in just over 12 minutes.
Friday’s event was pushed back to Sunday after day-long rain doused the speedway on what was to be the first race day of the weekend.
Maryland’s Jeff Brown led the field to the green flag but the caution appeared quickly when Craig Von Dohren’s No. 30 went up in smoke. That was ultimately the race’s only yellow flag.
Brown paced the field on ‘Take 2’ while passing was prevalent on a multi-groove daytime surface.
Anthony Perrego, who started 10th, was the first to make a charge to the front. Perrego arrived in second spot on lap 14 in the Brian Smith-owned No. 44. Perrego ended up over the top of turn three while challenging for the lead two laps later and had to regroup in the second half of the top-10.
Dunn then moved in to pursue the lead pair of Brown and Richie Pratt Jr.
On lap 17, while Pratt was vying for the top spot, Dunn completed a two-for-one pass and put his Pro Power Racing Engines Teo-Pro Car into the top spot.
But the racing was far from over. Boyertown, Pa.’s Ryan Watt, who started 16th, cracked the top-five with 10 laps remaining.
The ‘Electric Company’ took third on lap 23 and second with the white flag in the air, setting for the runner-up spot.
Pratt, of Woodbury Heights, N.J., settled for third, followed by Stewart Friesen of Sprakers, N.Y., who started 18th on the grid, and 11th-starter Larry Wight of Phoenix, N.Y., in the Gypsum Racing No. 99L, edging out Perrego.
After an ignition box went sour moments before the main event, Billy Pauch Jr. started 26th in the Rick Holsten No. 96 and ran as high as fourth before slipping over the top of the banking and settling for seventh.
Brown, New York State invader David Schilling and Mike Gular completed the top-10 finishers.
Matt Hill lived up to his nickname in a thrilling 20-lap RUSH Late Model feature. Hill, who lives within earshot of the speedway in Georgetown, survived numerous restarts and challenges courtesy of his friend Amanda Whaley.
Hill launched off the pole via a redraw of top qualifiers. Whaley, meanwhile, started from eighth position in the No. 4. Whaley found the outside lane of the half-mile to her liking and drove to second by the race’s midway point.
Whaley made several runs at Hill during the final 10 laps but settled for a runner-up finish.
Hill took home the $1,049 top prize followed by Whaley, Billy Thompson, Trevor Collins and Dana Walker.
Ryan Efford rebounded from Saturday electrical issues to win the Sunday 12-lap Delaware Super Truck main, which was slowed by only one caution flag. Billy Cropper, Jerry Hill, Jonah Vincent and Kirk Miles Jr.
A last-lap pass vaulted Ashley Merritt to victory in the 12-lap Delmarva Charger feature. Merritt caught and passed Chris Carroll on the 11th circuit to start her season in Victory Lane. Carroll, Saturday winner Chris ‘Tippy’ Martinez, Chris Myers and Joe Waters trailed.
Racing resumes at Georgetown Speedway on Thursday, April 16 with the annual ‘Battle of the Bay’ Speedweek event featuring the RUSH Late Model touring series ($3,000 to win), Mark Williams Memorial Sunoco Super Late Model event ($3,026 to win), Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Cars, Delaware Super Trucks and Delmarva Chargers.
MELVIN L. JOSEPH MEMORIAL RESULTS SUMMARY – GEORGETOWN SPEEDWAY MARCH 8, 2020
Small-Block Modified Feature Finish (30 laps): BILLY DUNN, Ryan Watt, Richie Pratt Jr., Stewart Friesen, Larry Wight, Anthony Perrego, Billy Pauch Jr., Jeff Brown, David Schilling, Mike Gular, Andy Bachetti, Danny Bouc, Frank Cozze, Eric Biehn, Danny Tyler, Norman Short, Billy Shantel Jr., Trent Van Vorst, Duane Howard, Matt Stangle, Scott Van Gorder, David Van Horn, Tyler Dippel, Brian Hitz, Dylan Swinehart, Craig Von Dohren.
Did Not Start: Robert Dutton, Carson Wright, Brad Trice.
RUSH Late Model Feature Finish (20 laps): MATT HILL, Amanda Whaley, Billy Thompson, Trevor Collins, Dana Walker, Curtis Reed, Mike Wharton, Derek Magee, Ryan Frazee, Charles Shawver, Joe Pete, Ben Scott, Eddie Drury, Kevin Scott Jr., Geoff Carey.
Delaware Super Truck Feature Finish (12 laps): RYAN EFFORD, Billy Cropper, Jerry Hill, Jonah Vincent, Kirk Miles Jr., Zach Phillips, Dick Beauchamp, Tristin Townsend, Dale Elliott, Michelle Jackson, Matt Esham, Kirk Miles Sr., Bill Dean.
Delmarva Charger Feature Finish (12 laps): ASHLEY MERRITT, Chris Carroll, Chris ‘Tippy’ Martinez, Chris Myers, Joe Waters, Paul Gary, Randy Merritt.