Story By: CHRIS MOORE / GEORGETOWN SPEEDWAY – GEORGETOWN, DE – Stewart Friesen book-ended the 2020 racing season at Georgetown Speedway after winning ‘The Gobbler’ on Saturday night in dominant fashion.
Friesen earned $4,000 from the posted payout in the 35-lap L&J Sheet Metal Modified event and an additional $2,000 ‘Grandma’s Gravy’ bonus for having perfect attendance in the 2020 Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco. He went home to Sprakers, N.Y., with $6,050 including an Ad-Art Sign Company heat-race victory.
“It’s awesome to close out the season with a win,” Friesen said in Victory Lane. “We’ve been close the last couple of months, a lot of seconds, I appreciate the team’s hard work.”
The hard work paid off in a big way, as Friesen drove his big-block powered Halmar International No. 44 to a 13-second margin of victory over the rest of the field. It was Friesen’s third Georgetown Speedway victory in four appearances this season, having previously won the Melvin L. Joseph Memorial in March and the ‘Blast at the Beach’ in August.
Saturday’s program was originally scheduled for Nov. 28. However, COVID-19 restrictions announced by Governor Carney on Tuesday limiting crowds starting Nov. 23 led speedway management to hastily move the event up seven days. A very respectable fanbase took in the show on an unseasonably warm afternoon.
Potsdam, N.Y.’s Mike Maresca and Pipersville, Pa.’s Danny Bouc made up the front row for the 2020 Northeast dirt-track finale. It didn’t take Friesen long to make his presence known.
The ‘20 STSS and American Racer Cup champion climbed to second on the opening lap – and following a restart – got around Maresca using the outside lane of the progressively banked oval to pull ahead for good on lap two.
Frenchtown, N.J.’s Billy Pauch Jr. charged early, climbing from 10th to second in just six laps aboard the Rick Holsten-owned No. 96. However, lap seven would be Pauch Jr.’s undoing as he slipped over the berm in turn two and fell to mid-pack.
With Pauch Jr. mired in traffic, Middletown, N.Y.’s Anthony Perrego became the driver to watch in Gary Simpson’s No. 12k. Perrego methodically climbed to second over the course of the long green-flag run to end the race.
By the time Perrego got to the runner-up position, Friesen had nearly a half-track advantage.
Perrego finished second, worth $3,150 including the Downstate Dirt & Deals $100 Hard Charger Award and a $50 Ad-Art Sign Company heat victory. Hellertown, Pa.’s Rick Laubach drove the Gary Herrmann No. 7 to a $2,000 podium finish, followed by Maresca and Laurel, Del.’s Kevin Sockriter in a strong ride aboard the Keith Coulbourne-owned No. 55.
Danny Creeden, another New York invader, came home sixth for the second consecutive event at Georgetown. Pauch Jr. rebounded to finish seventh. Dominic Buffalino of Sayreville, N.J., finished eighth in his debut aboard the Glenn Hyneman No. 126 while fighting brake issues in the feature, while fellow Garden State resident Richie Pratt Jr., brought home his family-owned No. 28 ninth and Bouc rounded out the top-10 after pitting for a flat right-rear tire on the Craig and Leslie Pondish No. 6.
The Chesapeake Paving/J.W. Brown Trucking Crate 602 Sportsman 25-lap main event saw Laurel, Del.’s Michael White go wire-to-wire to get his first win at Georgetown in 2020. White earned a very hefty $2,000: $1,500 from the posted payout and $500 in ‘Grandma’s Gravy’ for his perfect attendance at Georgetown and the STSS Crate 602 Sportsman South Region this season.
An emotional White dedicated the win to his wife who is undergoing cancer treatments.
White held off several challenges from an outside-running James Hill to pick up the victory.
Newtown, Pa.’s Joe Toth, the Georgetown Speedway champion, made a late-race pass to take the runner up spot. Laurel, Del.’s Hill, in his debut aboard a new Jeff Brown-owned car, rounded out the podium finishers. Adam White – Mike’s son – finished fourth and Cream Ridge, N.J.’s Ryan Simmons rounded out the top-five.
RUSH Late Models ended their ‘20 racing season with Kyle Hardy towing from Linden, Va., to grab the $1,500 payday in the 25-lap event. Like Friesen, Hardy used the topside of the track to perfection and won in dominant fashion.
Trevor Collins of Seaford, Del., finished second and earned the Sunoco-sponsored Georgetown Speedway championship, worth $750. Collins entered the night leading by just one point over Matt Hill and four points over Amanda Whaley-Robinson, both of whom encountered trouble in the feature.
Georgetown native Billy Thompson was the First State Mobile Dustless Blasting Hard Charger as he came from 13th to third. Dana Walker of Sharptown, Md., finished in fourth and Georgetown’s Joe Pete rounded out the top-five.
Todd Sammons won an exciting Little Lincoln 12-lap feature, his first win of the season at the speedway. Jordan Herbert came home a close second and Bunky White rounded out the top-three. The Little Lincolns raced for an increased $200 to win in their season finale.
Robert Smith outdueled his brother to grab his second win of the Georgetown season in the 12-lap Delaware Super Truck main. Smith came from 11th to pass brother Matt Smith, who finished second, for the win. Kyle Brasure came home a distant third to round out the podium.
Robert Paczkowski won an incredibly eventful 12-lap Delmarva Charger feature, to grab his elusive first win of the year. The Chargers had their highest car count of the season with 14 cars signed in. Jay Lowman and Chris Carroll rounded out the top-three.
Georgetown Speedway held the distinction of opening the ’20 Northeastern dirt Modified season – pre-COVID – on the first weekend of March and wrapped up the year with the Nov. 21 finale.
Next up for the speedway is an Open Practice session on March 6, 2021. The Melvin L. Joseph Memorial weekend is set for Friday-Saturday March 12-13, 2021.
‘GOBBLER’ RESULTS SUMMARY – GEORGETOWN SPEEDWAY NOVEMBER 21, 2020
L&J Sheet Metal Modified Feature Finish (35 laps): STEWART FRIESEN ($6,000), Anthony Perrego, Rick Laubach, Michael Maresca, Kevin Sockriter, Danny Creeden, Billy Pauch Jr., Dom Buffalino, Richie Pratt Jr., Danny Bouc, Derrick McGrew, Tyler Siri, H.J. Bunting, Brad Roberts, Jimmy Zacharias, Trent Van Vorst, Jordan Watson, Eric Williams, Joseph Watson, John Willman.
Did Not Start: Jim Britt
“Grandma’s Gravy” Perfect Attendance Bonus ($2,000): Stewart Friesen
Ad-Art Sign Company Heat Winners ($50 each): Anthony Perrego & Stewart Friesen
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificates): Danny Bouc (10th) & Brad Roberts (14th)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Michael Maresca (fourth) & Richie Pratt Jr. (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Billy Pauch Jr. (redrew 10th)
Bill Brown & Company Heat-Race Hard Charger ($50): Billy Pauch Jr. (gained five positions)
Downstate Dirt & Deals Hard Charger ($100): Anthony Perrego (ninth to second)
EIBACH Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Danny Creeden (sixth)
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Derrick McGrew Jr. (11th)
Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Anthony Perrego (second) & Tyler Siri (12th)
TKS Painting Services Redraw Bonuses: Michael Maresca (pole – $50) & Danny Bouc (outside pole – $25)
Wilwood Brakes Bonus ($75 certificate): Billy Pauch Jr. (seventh)
Chesapeake Paving/J.W. Brown Trucking Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (25 laps): MICHAEL WHITE ($2,000), Joe Toth, James Hill, Adam White, Ryan Simmons, Joey Bruning, Ryan Conrad, Brian Lilick, Wayne Weaver, John Stevenson, Richie Walls Jr., Duane Rust, Greg Taylor, Isabella Van Orden, Jeff Marker, Nolan Openshaw, Stacy Jackson, David Jenkins, Tim White.
“Grandma’s Gravy” Perfect Attendance Bonus ($500): Michael White
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Joey Bruning (sixth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($25): John Stevenson (eighth)
Downstate Dirt & Deals Hard Charger ($50): Duane Rust (18th to 12th)
RUSH Late Model Feature Finish (25 laps): KYLE HARDY ($1,500), Trevor Collins, Billy Thompson, Dana Walker, Joe Pete, Charles Shawver, Robert Smith, Joey Warren, Ben Scott, Mark Pettyjohn, David Dill, David Smith, Curtis Reed, Zac Weller, Matt Hill, William Brent James, Amanda Robinson.
2020 Georgetown Speedway Track Champion ($750): Trevor Collins
G2 Design Heat Winners ($50 each): Trevor Collins & Matt Hill
First State Mobile Dustless Blasting Hard Charger ($50): Billy Thompson (13th to third)
First State Roof & Exterior Cleaning Top Delaware Driver ($100): Trevor Collins (second)
Little Lincoln Feature Finish (12 laps): TODD SAMMONS, Jordan Herbert, Bunky White, Bryan Piercy, Eric Reed, Kirk Lawson, Wayne Seaton, M.J. White, Matt White, Sean Smith.
Delaware Super Truck Feature Finish (12 laps): ROBERT SMITH, Matthew Smith, Kyle Brasure, Jerry Hill, Dick Beauchamp, Zach Phillips, Mark Townsend, Bill Dean, Clay Vincent, Greg Nailor, Steve Shores, Brian Jones, Dale Elliott.
Delmarva Charger Feature Finish (12 laps): ROBERT PACZKOWSKI, Jay Lowman, Chris Carroll, Paul Gary, Justin Dunn, Randy Merritt, Joe Waters, John Chandler, Caleb Ball, Ashley Merritt, Scott Dunn, Chris Yob, Jeremy Long, Chris Myers.
Joe Waters Racing Winner’s Bonus ($50): Robert Paczkowski