For Immediate Release

BARBERTON SPEEDWAY: The sun was setting on the 2020 season and many things were about to come to a climax. Who would win the final points-paying race of 2020? Who would be the top rookie in each division? Who would win the points championships? Plenty of curiosity surrounded the drivers and crews as 2020’s crazy and quite odd season capped off. With 30 lap features in each feature except Bandoleros, larger car counts, and trick or treat for the young fans of Barberton Speedway (pre-packaged goodie bags), fans were truly in for a treat as drivers tricked one another for positional supremacy.

Ayden Kitchen capped off perhaps one of the best second halves of a season one could have with yet another win. When the race started, Ryan Likens rolled away with the lead while another Ryan had reason to celebrate. By simply starting the race, Ryan Likens had officially won the points championship. While Gardner celebrated, he found himself in 2nd behind Likens and made the pass for the lead on lap two. He would lead a lap before pushing up in turn three. By going wide, he opened the door for Kitchen and Eric Wisniewski to pass him low. Kitchen and Wisniewski ran side by side down the front stretch with Wisniewski leading that lap by a slim margin. Kitchen would power past him in turn one and lead from there. He would take the win after the move by a considerable margin over Gardner and Wisniewski.

Aaron Mulrooney delved into win number twelve with a superb performance over a stacked field of Legend drivers and locked up his championship and the perfect season at the same time. When the green flag flew, Jerry Graley had the lead and showed the field that age is just a number as he put on a clinic for the first couple laps as he held off Mulrooney and Brett Bogner. Mulrooney would make the pass by lap three and begin to pull away from Graley and others. Mulrooney, then, began to put on a clinic of his own as he had his #2 Legend #1 both in position and speed on track. Lapping competitors at an astounding pace, Mulrooney was in another dimension as his competitors battled two and three wide behind (and in front) of him. He would end up winning the race by nearly 6 seconds over Austin Tapia. He celebrated on the front stretch and thanked all the fans for their continued support of Barberton Speedway and is excited to see how 2021 goes for him.

A thriller on trick or treat night? Michael Jackson would approve of the Street Stock feature that saw Late Model-turned Street Stock standout Bryant Smith beat out ageless Bernard Minnick by the slimmest of margins. When the green flag flew, Smith had pole position over another Late Model legend John Ambrose. Smith bested Ambrose into turn #1 on lap three after battling side by side and began to settle into 30 laps of intense racing. While Ambrose hung out to dry on the high line, Minnick made a bold move for 2nd on track and began to track Smith. With both drivers’ lap times separated by less than a tenth of a second (favoring Minnick), the duo began slugging it out for the lead. The duo quickly became a trio, then a quartet as Ambrose and then Dennis Wood joined the fray. While the front four beat and banged for the lead, points leader Jeff Kuykendall made the quartet a quintet and tried to battle Wood for fourth. With the front five battling nose to tail, fans cheered and rooted the drivers on. But all things have to end, and the magic of these legends thrashing for the win had to be decided. With a lap to go, Minnick looked low in turn one but found nothing. Smith was able to pull away down the back stretch, but Minnick fought back. He tried one more low dash for the lead but it was to no avail. Smith took the win and Kuykendall secured his first championship ever!

The Stars and Stripes were Forever as they captured the checkers with Sam Bigham at the helm in the Modifieds. When the green flag flew, Bob Page and Nick Grubbs brought the field to speed and neither gave an inch going into turn one. Still side by side at the conclusion of the first lap, fans wanted to know if anyone would peek out front. Page would peek out to the front and lead a couple laps until a spin halted the action. Page started up front but was quickly passed by Rick Sibila. While Rick Sibila led, he found himself with a rearview mirror full of Bigham. Bigham would eventually take the lead just before halfway and lead from there on out. While on paper it looked like a pretty easy win for Bigham in his Paul’s Car Care #60, there was nothing easy for him. Cautions plagued the race and Bigham found himself restarting against Sibila and Page plenty of times. With the high stakes of big motors, open spinning wheels, high horsepower, and a small margin of error, this race kept fans on their feet and drivers on their toes. Would Bigham be dethroned from his lead or would he win his third career race (and second race in a row with the first coming at Midvale)? That question was answered on the race’s final restart with under ten laps to go as Bigham pulled away and took home the win! Bob Sibila would take home the championship. It was his third at the track.

Riddle me this, who drives car #0 and finally has his first Late Model win at Barberton? George Riddle would be the correct name, and yes, he has a win! Roger Smith took the lead on the first lap of the race and set the pace early. With the points battle coming down between him and Larry Baker, the top finisher would likely be the champion (as the points were tight)! Smith had command over Riddle and looked to win both the battle and the war. Smith had the race locked away but a spin near the back re-racked the field. With Riddle now starting beside Smith, it was bound to be a duel. Riddle raced Smith hard into turn one and took the lead while Smith fell back into the clutches of Mike Mazzagatti and Jesse Adams. Riddle looked to have a smooth race going, but issues began to present as his power steering pump decided to rid the Riddle machine of its services. While Riddle began to work hard to keep his car going strait, Smith and company began tracking him down. This set up a final ten lap battle that saw the front five battling it out much like the Street Stock race a couple features before. Riddle would hang on to get the win with Smith close on his tail. Mazzagatti would come in third and Adams would best Gary Whipkey for fourth. This race was Riddle’s first ever Late Model win at Barberton. Roger Smith would win the championship.

Cody Collmar won the first one, and he won the last one as he took home the season finale in the Compacts. When the green flag flew, Bryan Temple and his OutKast Racing teammates in Jason Price and Dustin Higginbotham brought the field to green. They would stay up front for several laps until they would be passed by Cody Collmar’s former Cavalier, now driven by owner/driver Justin Courtney and Swine Flew Racing’s Todd Daniels. A yellow would keep the OutKast crew in touch with Courtney and Daniels, but Courtney would pull away from all parties on the ensuing restart. While laps ticked away, Courtney found himself under attack from Scott Kitchen and Collmar. Kitchen would try the high side and almost draw even with Courtney. But Kitchen’s car did not appear to enjoy the high side and he would eventually lose second to Collmar. Collmar would begin to size up Courtney and decided to make the pass just before halfway flags would be displayed. Collmar would finish out the race as the leader as he lapped competitors at an astounding pace. He won by four seconds over Courtney. Kenny Betts would take home the points championship as he took advantage of a superb second half of the regular season.

FINISHING ORDERS: (*heat/dash win, taken from Race-monitor)

(+champion)

Bandoleros:

1- A. Kitchen

2- R. Gardner+

3- E. Wisniewski*

4- C. Mazzagatti

5- R. Likens

Legends:

1- A. Mulrooney*+

2- A. Tapia

3- C. Breads

4- T. Likens

5- C. Witt

6- B. Bogner

7- J. Graley

8- H. Zigarelli

9- L. Huckeba

10- B. Lyden

Street Stocks:

1- B. Smith*

2- B. Minnick

3- J. Ambrose

4- D. Wood

5- J. Kuykendall+

6- R. Miller

7- P. Walker*

8- J. Tantarelli

9- J. Raines III

10- J. Mundell

11- R. Satola

Modifieds:

1- S. Bigham

2- B. Page

3- R. Sibila*

4- B. Sibila+

5- S. Jones

6- P. Price

7- M. Walsh

8- J. White

9- N. Grubbs

10- M. Lushes*

11- B. Allensworth

Late Models:

1- G. Riddle

2- R. Smith+

3- M. Mazzagatti

4- J. Adams*

5- G. Whipkey

6- L. Baker

7- D. Martin

8- D. Willis

Compacts:

1- C. Collmar

2- J. Courtney

3- J. Knox

4- S. Kitchen

5- D. Wyckoff

6- A. Smith*

7- K. Betts+

8- D. Garrett*

9- S. Stewart

10- T. Daniels

11- D. Higginbotham

12- B. Temple

13- J. Price

14- M. Tulley

15- K. Wood

16- P. Mangum