RPW Column: Big Block’s Final Four, Three-Division Titles & Backpacks Up For Grabs At OCFS Saturday

Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – It’s going to be an extremely busy night at the Orange County Fair Speedway on August 28.

All 4 of it’s regular divisions will be in action. And the OCFS Kids Club has organized a large backpack giveaway.

As the Big Blocks head into Saturday’s action, Stewart Friesen is the only driver to have clinched his spot in the United Rentals Final Four Big Block Championship Race to be held on Thursday, September 2nd. With Friesen’s back-to-back wins, it means that at least 2 of the remaining 7 drivers of the top 8 will be in the championship race by way of their point standings. If Friesen or another OCFS racer who is not in the top 8 would collect the OCFS Big Block win Saturday, the top 3 behind the driver of the Halmar #44 in the standings would transfer into the championship race.

Matt Sheppard, Billy Decker and Anthony Perrego are the drivers who are in the best positions to transfer via their point standings. Sheppard stands at 2196 with Decker at 2180 and Perrego at 2176. It looks improbable for Tommy Meier, Billy VanInwegen, Tyler Boniface and Bob McGannon to transfer with the points, so they will be going all out to win and get in to championship contention.

It’s still a close battle in the H.O. Penn 358 Small Block Modified title race. Perrego holds a 17 point lead over Boniface as they head into Saturday’s action. Boniface was the most recent 358 winner, taking his 2nd victory of the season on August 14. Tyler has really made jumps in the points positions in recent weeks and moved into 2nd following his win.

It’s not a huge lead for Perrego, but Anthony is used to the pressure of being in the championship hunt. In addition to three 358 titles, Perrego has a Big Block championship on his ledger. But the margin is thin and Anthony and Tyler cannot afford any mishaps. If Boniface should falter, Danny Creeden could still move into 2nd as he trails Tyler by 21. Tanner VanDoren and Jimmy Horton in 4th and 5th and they could possibly flip-flop final point positions Saturday.

Joe Bonetti has really been on point the 2nd half of the season and he brings a 42 point lead into Saturday’s Arkel Motors Sportsman division championship finale. After breaking through for his first win on June 12th, Bonetti followed that up with a Sportsman/358 sweep 2 weeks later and has been leading the points since.

Jared LaBagh is 2nd in points and with a 42 point deficit, it seems unlikely that he can overtake Bonetti. But don’t count out the 38 Special for the win Saturday as that car has been extremely fast all year. And Jared is always on the charge out there, a fun driver to watch race.

Bobby Flood and Jeff Hulsapple look to be locked into their current point positions of 3rd and 4th respectively. Josh Allen leads Ryan Neiger by 29 for the final top 5 Sportsman points placing.

Three time champion Mike Vigiletti looks poised to take his 4th championship in the NAPA North East Parts Group Street Stock division. Returning to full time racing this season after taking a year off to heal a back injury, Vigiletti has had a productive season. He has 3 wins this year at OCFS including his biggest win of his career in the recent Marky Traverse Memorial Race.

Vigiletti currently has a 37 point lead over Walt Henry who broke through to get his first win at OCFS in 2021. With 2 wins this season and a number of wins at his Friday track, Accord Speedway, it’s been a good season for Walt. Jim Hajkowski is 3rd in the points with Charlie Donald 4th, Ryan Modiano 5th and Bob Sleight 6th.

As it’s just about time for the school age children in the region to head back to class, the OCFS Kids Club has put together a backpack giveaway. The Kids Club had a very successful bike giveaway in early July and this latest giveaway looks to be successful as well.

“Thank you to all who have donated backpacks to the OCFS Kids Club,” said Christina Contento, the director of the OCFS Kids Club. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of donations which has enabled us to expand the giveaway to include children up to grade 12. Many backpacks contain t-shirts, hats, gift certificates and some other surprises. ”

Those interested in getting a backpack are encouraged to get there early. A wrist band will be necessary to receive a backpack.

“The giveaways start at 4pm and are first-come, first-serve. We wish all the kids a wonderful start to their school year,” Christina said.

It’s been a great comeback season for the OCFS Kids Club. Great job by Christina and Ns. OCFS 2021 Erika Bucksbee. And a shout out to pace truck driver Joe Warne for taking kids for rides in the pace truck. Excellent job by all involved in the 2021 OCFS Kids Club.