Story By: JOE GRABIANOWSKI / DIRTCAR – LAKE VIEW, SC – The gloves were off in South Carolina as the DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds battled for 51 laps at Lake View Motor Speedway.
Andrew Buff, from Latham, NY, improved on Friday night’s second-place result to win the $3,000 South of the Border Showdown prize over Lake View’s inaugural Sportsman Modified winner Nick Guererri.
Justin Buff charged up through the field from 20th to score his second podium in two days. Doubling up on the podium was even sweeter for the Buff family.
“This is all for my grandfather,” said Andrew Buff. “ We lost him two weeks ago due to an illness and he was dedicated to everything for us. He was here with us and we performed for him.”
Starting third, Andrew Buff in his #92 DIRTcar Sportsman Modified, saw an opportunity on the first lap when the front row of Grant Hilfiger and Willie Milliken washed up the track in turn one. The caution waved and Hilfiger pulled his car off the track. With one lap on record, Buff retained the lead.
After surviving a slew of restarts, Andrew Buff crossed the line in first place which earned him $3,000 plus bonuses.
“This is awesome. We made the right tire choice tonight with all the cautions. It paid off,” he said.
The previous night’s Feature winner Nick Guererri never let Buff out of range throughout the 51-lap engagement. Guererri pulled his Land of Legends Raceway TV sponsored car up from his tenth place starting position.
The battles at the front were intense throughout the race. Kevin Root moved his way up to second around the halfway point but on a restart Kevin Root, Nick Guererri, and Justin Buff touched wheels going into turn three and the #34 of Root was sent spinning in front of the field. Several cars piled in and Root’s night was cut short.
“It was tough,” Nick Guererri said. “Everyone was fighting for the same spots.”
The battle for the podium raged until the checkered flag. Guererri could not find a way around the #92 of Buff.
“Buff was good in the middle,” Guererri noted. “He could roll the middle a little bit better than I could. I was a little bit tight. I don’t know what we could have done to loosen it up.”
The second Buff Brother, Justin, was the Vertex Property Management Hard Charger and third-place finisher. J. Buff climbed up through the field, avoiding incidents, and making opportunistic moves.
“It was a long race,” said Justin Buff. “I got tired towards the end with all the yellows. We started 20th so I had to work for it. We broke a rear axle in Time Trials. That set me back the whole night but we never gave up and here we are on the podium.”
Going from a broken axle in Time Trials to a podium finish is the ultimate definition of a hard charger.
FEATURE (51 Laps)
92-Andrew Buff [$3,000] 2. 25G-Nick Guererri [$1,500] 3. Justin Buff [$1,000] 4. 7Z-Zach Payne [$900] 5. 64-Tyler Corcoran [$800] 6. 19C-Brandon Carvey [$700] 7. 61-Johnny Scarborough [$600] 8. 1-Robert Delormier [$500] 9. 26M-Willie Milliken [$400] 10. 79-Jeffrey Prentice [$300] 11. 31B-Ryan Dolbear [$200] 12. 17Z-Seth Zacharias [$200] 13. 410-Mike Fowler [$200] 14. 22B-Mike Bruno [$200] 15. 34-Kevin Root [$200] 16. 72NY-AJay Potrzewbowski Jr. [$200] 17. 36-Tyler Murray [$200] 18. 20X-Kevin Ridley [$200] 19. 01R-Robert Gage [$200] 20. 72-AJay Portrzewbowski Sr. [$200] 21. 8-Alan Fink [$200] 22. 38-Zach Sobotka [$200] 23. 4-Emmett Waldron [$200] 24. 78-Grant Hilfiger [$200]
Saturday Bonuses – South of the Border Showdown
ONYX Industries Fast Time – AJay Potrzewbowski Jr.- $100
Vertex Property Management Hard Charger – Justin Buff – $50.
Sign Works Fleet Graphic Services Hard Luck – Zach Sobotka $100
13th Hour Rising Haunted Hayride 13th at Halfway – Kevin Ridley – $50
#raceforlife Halfway – Andrew Buff – $50
Hoosier Tire – Seth Zacharias
ImageX VP Race Fuels – Chip Constantino
Northeast Paving & Sealcoat Heat Races:
Kevin Root – $50
Johnny Scarborough – $50
Andrew Buff – $50
Ajay Potrzebowski Jr. – $50
Bruno’s Towing Lap Money:
Andrew Buff – $275
Willie Milliken – $125
Zach Sobotka – $25
AJay Potrzewbowski Jr. $125
Nick Guererri – $200
Kevin Root – $100
Zach Payne – $100
Tyler Corcoran – $125
Justin Buff – $150