Story By: JOE GRABIANOWSKI / DIRTCAR – LAKE VIEW, SC – Nick Guererri, from Seneca Falls, NY, captured the first-ever DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Feature at Lake View Motor Speedway for a $2,000 payday.
Guererri overcame veteran driver, but rookie Sportsman Modified pilot, Willie Milliken and held off a pair of Buff brothers, Justin and Andrew, for the coveted victory.
24 DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds took the green flag after 38 attempted to qualify. The yellow flag flew before the first lap was recorded as Robert Gage, from Hannibal, NY, slowed to a stop on the backstretch leaving a trail of fluid in his wake.
But from there it was game on. The entire 30-laps went non-stop with action all over the beautiful Lake View Motor Speedway surface. Willie Milliken, a local hero of late model racing, looked right at home behind the wheel of the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified.
Lifting the left front confidently off the corners, it looked as though Milliken would run away with the $2,000 check and leave the New Yorkers scratching their heads. Just after the halfway point the leader Milliken caught up with the tail of the field. That’s when Nick Guererri saw his chance for a run on the leader.
Guererri sized up the #26 and dove to his inside. The two remained side-by-side, banging wheels for two laps until Milliken gave way and Guererri took sole possession of the lead.
As the laps ticked down Justin and Andrew Buff closed the gap on Guererri’s Land of Legends Raceway sponsored sportsman. But it wasn’t enough. Guererri held on to win with Justin Buff finishing second and Andrew Buff in third.
“This feels pretty darn good,” Guererri said. “We’re out here freezing but my family is watching at home and I’ve got the most dedicated group of guys right here. They’ve been helping us all week. I appreciate everyone that got us down here and you guys having us. What a race.”
No one knew what to expect from Lake View Motor Speedway and it took some time for the Northerners to nail it down. But Guererri had one track in particular on his mind to help him get settled with the speedway.
“I don’t know about anybody else but we have a track back home called Weedsport Speedway,” said Guererri. “It normally gives me fits but we got our first win there a couple of years ago. This place drives a lot like Weedsport. The bite around the bottom, the hub on the bottom is where I stuck. I just took a liking to it.”
Not only was this the first time for DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds at Lake View but it’s also the first race of 2021 for most of the drivers. Guererri brought down a brand new car and was hoping for positive results despite the unknowns.
“This win lets me sleep tonight,” Guererri said laughing. “This is a new car and I am always nervous going out for the first time in a new car. We’re looking forward to tomorrow and either way, we are coming out of here with a win so one out of two wouldn’t be bad.”
Zachary Payne, from Stanley, NY, was the hard-charger picking up seven positions after starting 18th and finishing eleventh.
Four Heat Races were contested and won by Willie Milliken, Kevin Root, Johnny Scarborough, and AJay Potrzewbowski Jr. Notably, during Heat Race #2, Ryan Heath, from Huntington, MA, rolled several times only to refire and drive the car back to the garage area to race another day.
Brandon Carvey, in the 13th Hour Rising #19C, won an exciting Last Chance Showdown.
Tomorrow the DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds return to action for a 51-lap, $3,000-to-win Feature.
FEATURE (30 laps)
1. 25G-Nick Guererri 2. 42-Justin Buff 3. 92-Andrew Buff 4. 26-Willie Milliken 5. 72NY-AJay Potrzebowski Jr. 6. 34-Kevin Root 7. 38-Zach Sobotka 8. 61-Johnny Scarborough 9. 8-Alan Fink 10. 79-Jeffrey Prentice 11. 7Z-Zachary Payne 12. 1-Robert Delormier 13. 72-AJay Potrzewbowski Sr. 14. 22-Johnny Bruno 15. 42D-Daryl Nutting 16. 19C-Brandon Carvey 17. 2B-Bryce Bailey 18. 22B-Mike Bruno 19. 36-Tyler Murray 20. 5-Derrick McGrew 21. 63-Steven Constantino 22. 01R-Robert Gage 23. 64-Tyler Corcoran 24. 78-Grant Hilfiger