RPW Exclusive: Eastern States Looking To Be Successful For Several Sportsman Competitors

Column By: ANNMARIE VAN ALLEN / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – Leaving nothing to chance at Orange County Fair Speedway for Eastern States weekend, several Central & Western New York invaders proved they were at the Middletown oval to win and nothing less.

Capturing three of the six Sportsman heat races were racers Kevin Root, Tyler Murray and Matt Janczuk.

Murray, who picked up his most recent win at Land of Legends Raceway during OktoberFAST, showed impressive speed to take the victory in his heat race Saturday. One of the younger drivers on the field at just 17 years old, Murray doesn’t let age intimidate him.

“We’ve only run 10 or 11 races this year,” Murray stated. “We started building the race shop but planned to take the year off. Then, we started following Larry (Wight).”

Tyler states that everyone at Gypsum and the Wight team has helped to get him to where he is today. The list continued with a number of sponsors and help that Tyler wanted to thank for making his first time run at Eastern States a success right out of the gate!

“It makes it a lot easier when your mind’s at ease rather,” he said. “Now we don’t have to think we gotta do this on the racecar or we gotta do that.”

Murray continued that he’s extremely grateful for his crew and how prepared they are for this weekend.

“To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best,” he said. “We’re definitely running with the best here.”

Geneva, NY’s Kevin Root is no stranger to capturing checkered flags. He’s won 12 races this si far this year, including races at Weedsport and Can-Am Speedways during OktoberFAST.

Having a fast car all season, Root talked about his goals for Eastern States.

“I need to have patience and just being there at the end,” Root said.

The veteran of the Sportsman ranks said he’ll continue next season with the Vinny Salerno-owned Four Star Motorsports team.

Matt Janczuk also put an upset on the field of fellow Sportsman competitors in his heat race, winning handily.

“COVID has made for a lot of traveling this year,” Janczuk said. “However, overall, it has made me a better, driver racing different tracks.”

When speaking of the goals for the feature event, Matt is realistic.

“This is my first time at Orange County,” he said. “We have had a fast car, so far. As long as we can maintain the speed we had in the heat and pass cars come feature time, I think I can get to the front.”

Not only did these three gentlemen secure their spots in the Saturday feature, four other Central & Western New York drivers locked in their starting spots with fast times including Alan Fink, Kyle Inman, Zach Sobotka and Tommy Collins.