Story By: JOE GRABIANOWSKI / DIRTCAR – RANSOMVILLE, NY – Two outstanding DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series West Region drivers squared off for 30 laps of action with hometown hero Brett Senek edging out veteran Scott Kerwin to pick up his first career Series win.
Picking up the Sean Letts Memorial was an emotional moment for the pilot of the Stirling Lubricants #111.
“I knew Sean pretty well,” said Senek. “He lived right up the road from me. He helped me out and sponsored me when we raced go-karts. Everybody knew him as a nice guy and every night after the races I’d walk up in the stands and he’d ask me how the car was and what I needed to make it better. He was just a great guy gone too soon.”
At the drop of the green flag, pole-sitter David DiPietro and Senek fired evenly. By the end of the first lap, #111 took the lead. DiPietro hung in the top three until he took an unintended excursion into the front stretch “moat” between the racing surface and the wall. He kept his foot down and climbed out before disaster struck. Unfortunately, race contact later ended his night early.
After Senek settled into the lead, Scott Kerwin, from Newfane, NY, began picking off drivers and moving up from fifth. The #1 was on a mission to track down Senek. After a few laps, Kerwin began to catch the #111 and the duel was on.
Kerwin nearly made it happen on a restart when he fired almost simultaneously with the race leader.
“Kerwin was taking the lead going into Turn 3,” Senek described. “He had about a tire on me. He had me pretty much neck and neck by the flag stand. I thought he was really good in Turn 1 and was going to drive around me but luckily I had enough on the top to get into Turn 3 around him.”
Kerwin and Senek were locked in battle most of the race but Kerwin appeared to be marginally faster.
“I knew he was there a couple of times but he’s a really clean driver,” said Senek. “I knew he doesn’t want to tear up his or anyone else’s stuff. He drove a great race.”
Senek, from Ransomville, NY, is the sixth first-time DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series winner in 2021. The expansion of the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series regions has allowed new drivers to start making names for themselves on the tour. Brett Senek joins drivers like Andrew Buff, Tyler Corcoran, and Cameron Tuttle in making waves in Series competition.
Wily veteran Scott Kerwin was happy with a second-place finish and a race car that doesn’t need torches to get it back inside the hauler.
“It’s tough when it’s an outside-demanding race track,” said Kerwin. “I tried a couple of times but got just too loose off. And I am not going to stuff a slide job. I’d rather take a second.”
“It was a good race. He’s [Senek] a good kid.
Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship driver Derek Wagner was a threat late but ran out of laps. He worked his way up to third but couldn’t take advantage of the duel for the lead.
“We started a little way back in seventh,” said Wagner. “There are quite a few cars that can win any week so the competition is tough. We finally found something with the setup. It’s been a tough go this season to get on a roll but this was a great finish. I think I hurt the tires trying to dig around the bottom a little bit. We’ll take third place and overall it was a good night.”
The hard charger of the race was Derrick Borkenhagen, who passed half the field, 11 cars, and finished 10th.
Cameron Tuttle in the #35t now has three straight top-five finishes in Series racing including the big win at Genesee Speedway in race two on the West Region trail.
Join us at Brewerton Speedway on Tuesday, August 17 for the Super DIRTcar Series Demon 100. It’s $10,000-to-win and doles out a guaranteed start at the 49th annual NAPA Super DIRT Week to the victor.
Tickets are on sale now for a $30 presale. Admission will be $33 at the gate. Tickets for students (11-17) are $15. Kids 10 and under are FREE. Pit passes are $35 for DIRTcar members and $40 for non-members.
FEATURE (30 laps)
1. Brett Senek 2. Scott Kerwin 3. Derek Wagner 4. Zack George 5. Cameron Tuttle 6. Austin Susice 7. Dylan Duhow 8. Andrew Smith 9. Derrick Borkenhagen 10. Clayton Cain 11. Brandon Michaud 12. Brian Harris 13. Noah Walker 14. Cliff Gregg 15. Sam Hoxie 16. AJ Custodi 17. Dave DiPietro 18. Brett Martin 19. Kyle Richner 20. Jessica Kriegisch 21. Jordan Moden