RPW Column: A Change At The Top Of The Orange County Sportsman Points Chase

RPW Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – First-year weekly Sportsman division racer Tanner VanDoren didn’t have the best of night’s this past Saturday at the Orange County Fair Speedway.

After failing to qualify in his heat race, VanDoren was able to win his consi. Starting 21st in the feature, VanDoren was able to survive the cautions to finish 9th and has taken over the OCFS Sportsman points lead. It’s a slim margin, as Joe Bonetti trails trails VanDoren by only 5 markers.

Bonetti and the previous points leader, Dom Roselli Jr, both had a tough go of it Saturday. Bonetti had some heavy damage from a heat race crash which left his crew with a big repair job. But the repairs were made, and Bonetti was able to salvage a 15th place finish. Roselli Jr didn’t have as good of a result. Roselli Jr also had a heat race crash and after starting way back in the feature, a crash relegated him to a 26th place finish. Roselli Jr dropped to 5th in the points, 25 behind VanDoren.

Kevin Stevens moved up a spot to 3rd and Bobby Flood also moved upward into 4th in the standings. Jake Bedell, having a good season in the #395, moved from 8th to 6th in the points. Sammy Martz Jr is 7th, Daniel Morgiewicz 8th, Joe Conklin 9th and Jared LaBagh 10th.

With their 1-2 finish this past Saturday, Matt Sheppard and Anthony Perrego continue to widen the United Rentals DIRTcar point standings gap on the rest of the Modified field. Sheppard blitzed through the pack from his 16th starting spot to take the impressive win Saturday. Perrego is still leading the standings by 7 over Sheppard, who trimmed 3 points off of Anthony’s lead. Since the start of the 2019 season, Sheppard has finished in the top 5 in every feature race. Including the 2019 ESW 358 race, that streak is now 13 races long.

With a 3rd place finish, Tyler Dippel moved into 3rd in the points, trailing Perrego by 68. Billy VanInwegen dropped a spot to 4th while Mike Mahaney remained in 5th. Tommy Meier, Michael Storms, Craig Mitchell, Jimmy Horton and Dillon Steuer round out the top 10.

With the completion of the 2nd H.O. Penn 358 Small Block Modified race, Perrego continues to lead the points by 3 over Gary Edwards Jr. Dippel is 3rd with Storms 4th and Steuer 5th. Only 9 points separates the top 4. Mahaney, Danny Creeden, Bonetti, Tyler Boniface and Allison Ricci complete the top 10 standings.

Bob Sleight Jr continues to pace the Street Stock points. Charlie Donald’s 2nd place finish on Saturday has him trailing by just 2 points. Rob Taylor and Wayne Taylor are tied for 3rd, only 4 points back. John Aumick is 5th and Jim Hajkowski’s win moved him up to 6th.

Racing continues this upcoming Saturday, July 25th, with the Big Blocks, Sportsman and Street Stocks in the events. Although the grandstands and drive in are closed due to New York State orders, the events will be live streamed. It’s a great way to keep up with the action at OCFS while these regulations remain in effect.

The state mandated regulations have forced the cancellation of the Battle of the Midway. But a special event will be taking it’s place. On Tuesday, July 28th, the United Rentals DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds will be competing in the Revenge 40, a $6,000 to win event while the Sportsman will have a pair of 20 lap races. Be sure to check Race Pro Weekly for coverage of these events.