Story credit: Raceway 7 Facebook page
Conneaut, OH (DATE, 2021): Ninety-nine racers towed into Raceway 7 to start the 2021 season in front of a crowd of fans tired from the long winter. Scoring season-opening wins were Josh Ferry (Evergreen Lake Park Campground RUSH Late Models), Joel Watson (Whelen Engineering UMP Modifieds), Nate Young (Lakeview Ford Economods), Chas Wolbert (Campbell’s Mini Storage RUSH Modifieds), and Pat Hanlon (Sunnyside Farm Transit Mini Stocks). Two red flags were necessary during the evening, the first coming in the second heat for the Mini Stocks when sixteen year old Tyler Fedorko got upside down in turn one, the second for a three car incident in turn four involving UMP Modifieds Justin Sax, JJ Vanmdtzrieder, and Jesse Gould, completely blocking the track. Fedorko was checked out by the safety crew and released.
The first race of the 2021 season was for the Campbell Mini Storage RUSH Modifieds with fifteen of the sixteen cars signed in reporting for the feature lineup, led to the green by Chas Wolbert and Kole Holden. The first yellow of the event came on lap two when Dalton Gabriel got into the retaining rails on turn two. When the race resumed it was Wolbert leading over Justin Shea, Rob Kristyak, Holden, and Jacob Jordan. The order remained the same though lap fourteen of the scheduled twenty when Shea spun from second in turn one. At the restart Holden cruised by Kristyak for second with Jordan fourth and Kyle Martell fifth. The order remained static though to the end of the event when Martell lost power coming to the checkers and dropped all the way to ninth. The top five were Wolbert, Holden, Kristyak, Preston Cope, and Brandon Ritchey.
The Evergreen Lake Park Campground RUSH Late Models were next up with Josh Ferry leading Khole Wanzer, Cory Sines, Billy Henry, and Brenton Santee through lap five when Sines got by Wanzer for second. After contact with Wanzer, Sines wound up in the turn one wall. For his part in the incident, Wanzer was penalized two positions for rough driving for the restart. At green it was now Ferry, Matt Latta, Henry, Wanzer, and Santee. Santee got by Wanzer for fourth at lap six. At the halfway point of the twenty-lap event Dave Airgood and Sines got together on the front straight with Sines spinning on turn one. Ferry now led Latta, Henry, Santee, and Wanzer. At fourteen complete Airgood slowed, dropping all the way to ninth at the finish. The top five stayed that way until caution at lap sixteen when Dennis Dellinger spun in turn two. At lap seventeen Wanzer made the attempt to get by Santee for fourth but did not succeed. The final yellow was at lap eighteen when Gary Young spun in turn two. With the white flag flying, Joe Long got into the top five, dropping Wanzer to sixth. The top five wound up being Ferry, Latta, Henry, Santee, and Long.
The next feature on the card was for the Whalen Engineering UMP Modifieds with former champions Brent Rhebergen and Joel Watson on the front row. Watson immediately took the lead with Rhebergen, Mike Kinney (another former champion), Casey Bowers, and Troy Johnson (yet another former champion) right on his rear bumper. At three laps in, Rhebergen pull off the front straightaway to the infield, elevating Josh McDonald to fifth. Porter was second at lap four. At seven laps Alan Atkinson was challenging McDonald for fifth but did not succeed. Yellow flew at lap eleven when Mark Titus spun in turn one. At thirteen laps Justin Sax, J J Vanmdtzrieder, and Titus spun in turn four, blocking the track and necessitating the red flag. at the restart it was Watson leading Kinney, Bowers, McDonald, and Johnson. When green flag racing resumed Kinney ran alongside Watson through to turn three when Kinney spun, with Vanmdtzrieder, Chuck Steinle, and Jesse Gould all getting involved. With five laps remaining it was Watson, Bowers, Dennis Lunger, McDonald, and Johnson leading the way. Johnson challenged for fifth on the backstretch at lap sixteen, then was even with McDonald at lap eighteen, and obtaining the position on the backstretch. At Mark Osburn’s checkers it was Watson, Bowers, Lunger, Johnson, and McDonald.
The Sunnyside Farn Transit Mini Stocks came to the track with twenty-three of the twenty-six racers in attendance answering the call for their twelve lap feature with Zoey Gill and Pat Hanlon at the front of the field. Hanlon barely led over Gill at lap one with Dalton Speer third, Jessica Harvey fourth, and Brian McGarvie fifth. Hanlon had the top spot to himself at lap three but Speer getting by Gill and then briefly taking the lead on the backstretch at lap five with Hanlon again leading at the line. That scenario was repeated at lap six and again at lap seven. Yellow appeared at lap seven for Tyler Kirk and Alexis Vogt. Hanlon now led Speer, Gill, Harvey, and Mark Lawrence. With two to go it was Hanlon, Speer, Harvey, McGarvie, and Lawrence. With the white flag out, Lawrence suddenly slowed to a stop in turns one and two, elevating Gill back into the top five. The final order of the top five was Hanlon, Speer, Harvey, McGarvie, and Gill.
The final feature of opening night was for the Lakeview Ford Economods with Garrett Calvert and Bill Cunningham pacing the field. Calvert led Cunningham, reigning champion Nate Young, Jarett Young, and Jeremy Double through lap two when Alex Siekkinen spun in turn two. At the green Cunningham spun from second in turn two. On this green it was a three-wide scramble to the lead among Nate Young, Calvert, and Jarett Young with Nate Young gaining the advantage. A yellow for debris on the backstretch slowed the race again. At green it was now Nate Young, Calvert, Jarett Young, Double, and Mitchell Wright. At lap four Jarett Young was second behind his cousin with Calvert now third, Double fourth, and Bob Vogt Jr fifth. Calvert and Double were nearly even at the line on lap six with Calvert barely holding third when Siekkinen slammed the retaining wall coming out of turn four, ending his night. Jarett Young slid up the track in turns one and two, allowing Calvert to take second. The top five were now Nate Young, Calvert, Double, Jarett Young, and Bob Vogt Jr. Joe Dewoody got into the front straight wall at lap seven. Double appropriated second at lap nine after running side by side with Calvert the previous lap. On lap nine it was Travis Creech and Vincent Dipizzo spinning in turns one and two for the next caution. The halfway point had Nate Young leading Calvert, Double, Vogt, and Jarett Young. Jarett Young got to third at lap twelve. The finish was Nate Young, Calvert, Jarett Young, Vogt, and Mike Harmon.
Sunnyside Farms Transit Mini Stocks -26 entrants
Heat 1: Zoey Gill, Tristan Start, Andrew Smith, Mike Barr, Scott Gill, Trisha Jacklett, Robert Wagner
Heat 2: Pat Hanlon, Alexis Vogt, Brian McGarvie, Phil Powell, Andy Richards, Sean Murphy, Tyler Fedorko
Heat 3: Dalton Speer, Alan Sousa, Tyler Kirk, Jacob Wheeler, Ana Vassen, Austyn Richards
Heat 4: Mark Lawrence, Jessica Harvey, Steve Campbell, Chris Bugielski, Derrick Randolph, Howard Garlick
Feature: Pat Hanlon, Dalton Speer, Jessica Harvey, Brian McGarvie, Zoey Gill, Chris Bugielski, Derrick Randolph, Steve Campbell, Austyn Richards, Alexis Vogt, Mike Barr, Andrew Smith, Howard Garlick, Robert Wagner, Mark Lawrence, Jacob Wheeler, Tristan Start, Sean Murphy, Andy Richards, Andy Richards, Tyler Kirk, Trisha Jacklett, Phil Powell, Alan Sousa (DNS), Scott Gill (DNS), Ana Vassen (DNS)
Whelen Engineering UMP Modifieds -19 entrants
Heat 1: Joel Watson, Brent Rhebergen, Josh McDonald, Mark Titus, Jim Plance, Jesse Gould, Chuck Steinle
Heat 2: Casey Bowers, Mike Kinney, Troy Johnson, Justin Carlson, Eric Reinwald, Al Brewer (DNS)
Heat 3: Dennis Lunger, Justin Sax, Alan Atkinson, Dustin Dimattia, Brandon Grossman, J J Vamdtzrieder
Feature: Joel Watson, Casey Bowers, Dennis Lunger, Troy Johnson, Josh McDonald, Eric Reinwald, Alan Atkinson, Justin Sax, Brandon Grossman, Mark Titus, Jim Plance, Mike Kinney, Justin Carlson, Chuck Steinle Jr, Jesse Gould, Dustin Demattia, J J Vamdtzrieder, Brent Rhebergen
Campbell’s Mini Storage RUSH Modifieds -16 entrants
Heat 1: Brandon Ritchey, Justin Shea, Ben Easter, Kyle Martell, Cameron McFadden, Dave Price
Heat 2: Chas Wolbert, Jacob Jordan, Greg Porter, Gage Priester, Doug Rutana
Heat 3: Kole Holden, Ron Kristyak, Preston Cope, Dalton Gabriel, J C Boyer,
Feature: Chas Wolbert, Kole Holden, Rob Kristyak, Preston Cope, Brandon Ritchey, Jacob Jordan, Justin Shea, Ben Easler, Kyle Martell, Gage Priester, Greg Porter, J C Boyer, Cameron McFadden, Dalton Gabriel, Dave Price, Doug Rutana (DNS)
Lakeview Ford Economods -22 entrants
Heat 1: Nate Young, Bob Vogt, Justin Chaddock, Alex Siekkinen, Alex Brockway, Tyler Dunmire, Joe Dewoody, Judson Fell (DNS)
Heat 2: Jarett Young, Bill Cunningham, Mitchell Wright, Travis Creech, Vincent Depizzo, Andrew Pisarchick, Norman Hare
Heat 3: Mike Harmon, Jeremy Double, Garrett Calvert, John Boyd, Kevin Vanderhoof, Brandon Porter, Emily Stoyer
Feature: Nate Young, Garrett Calvert, Jarett Young, Bob Vogt Jr, Mike Harmon, Jeremy Double, John Boyd, Kevin Vanderhoof, Justin Chaddock, Vincent Depizzo, Brandon Porter, Alex Brockway, Emily Stoyer, Joe Dewoody, Tyler Dunmire, Travis Creech, Mitchell Wright, Alex Siekkinen, Andrew Pisarchick, Norman Hare (DNS), Judson Fell (DNS)
Evergreen Lake Park Campground RUSH Late Models -16 entrants
Heat 1: Matt Latta, Khole Wanzer, Dave Airgood, Jim Rasey, Jonathan Stockdale, Konar Loney
Heat 2: Josh Ferry, Billy Henry, Bud Watson, Albert Bull, Chad Sines
Heat 3: Cory Sines, Breyton Santee, Joe Long, Gary Youngs, Dennis Dellinger
Feature: Josh Ferry, Matt Latta, Billy Henry, Breyton Santee, Joe Long, Khole Wanzer, Bud Watson, Cory Sines, Dave Airgood, Jim Rasey, John Stockdale, Gary Young, Albert Bull, Konar Loney, Dennis Dellinger, Chad Sines (DNS)