Sprinter Parrow doubles as Guererri, Pangrazio, Burnell close out colossal Canandaigua card
Promoter Paul Cole continued to roll the dice and when the clock struck 11 a lucky 7 turned up as just as many features were completed in rapid fashion to close out the latest ‘Saturday Spectacular’ at Land Of Legends Raceway.
Good fortune also reigned on open-wheel veterans Gil Tegg Jr. and Jimmy Phelps as they survived late race challenges to capture their first Pepsi Big-Block Modified mains of the season while returning wingman Bobby Parrow doubled up with a pair of victories in Mike Emhof Motorsports 305 Sprint Car competition.
DIRTcar Sportsman standout Matt Guererri posted a track-best fifth triumph while full-fender phenoms Josh Pangrazio (Street Stock) and Tyler Burnell (Hobby Stock) returned to the winner’s circle on Lee Depew & Son Trucking Night to extend their respective division point leads.
“Every squirrel finds a big nut once in a while,” remarked Tegg, 49, after the popular Rochester pilot pulled away from all-time Canandaigua winner Alan Johnson to log his first win since May of 2016 using the same chassis. “Up until tonight we’ve had terrible luck, but the changes we made were perfect and things finally went our way.”
Tegg filed in third on the 26-car starting grid to begin the 35-lap Big-Block finale and watched as front row partners Derrick Podsiadlo and Eldon Payne Jr. swapped the lead early. He grabbed second from Podsiadlo on lap eight then crossed the stripe ahead of Payne two laps later.
Starting ninth and weaving his way under and around the frontrunners just as fast, Johnson cracked the top-5 on lap 11 then disposed of Matt Farnham on a lap 14 restart and runner-up Payne with 20 laps still to go. At the halfway point track regulars and tour stars Billy Dunn and Erick Rudolph had also charged into the front-five while points leader Larry Wight stormed from 10th to sixth on a lap 17 restart.
“Everytime we had a caution I said ‘Oh man’ and looked up on the (score) board to see who was there,” noted Tegg, following his fourth career Big-Block win at LOLR. “I knew Alan was second and felt there’s no way I’m starting on the top with him, so we hung low and held on.”
Last week’s winner Dave Marcuccilli slowed in turn four to incur the third and final yellow flag with 10 laps to go yet on this night the red and white Finger Lakes-powered #22G A&G Food Service-Mike Yare Photo-All Star Pizza/Bicknell entry would not be denied.
Tegg easily pulled away on every restart and cruised on to a convincing 10 car-length victory over ‘A.J. Slideways’ with Wight rallying to cop third-place ahead of Rudolph and Dunn. Making a rare appearance this season, multi-time LOLR points champion Matt Sheppard settled for eighth after pitting to change a left rear shock and spring under caution with 13 laps complete.
“The car came right to us and the track was actually awesome,” added Tegg in victory lane. “Hats off to the (grounds) crew here, it was smooth and it was racy. Man, thank God, we’ve been struggling all year. Did a couple things, changed a couple things on the car, and I was crossing my fingers. It just worked out really good and we definitely learned something tonight. Have to thank A&G, All Star and Mike Yare and the guys over at Leland Powder Coating, without everybody’s help we wouldn’t be here.”
In the lead-off 35-lapper delayed by rain the previous weekend, Phelps held off Sheppard to nab the narrow victory under sunny skies over the vacant Ontario County Fairgrounds grandstands. The Baldwinsville driver needed only five laps to overtake pole-sitter Podsiadlo for the lead but the entire distance to secure his seventh checkered flag in wine country.
“We were fortunate the caution came out, Matt definitely had a run on me,” stated Phelps, 45, who could advance no higher than 11th in the nightcap. “Honestly, I got a little lazy there, got trying to protect the bottom. Had been on the top out of (turn) two the whole race so I didn’t know where to go down there. My right rear (tire) was finally giving up on me so I moved down and he got on the outside of me. Fortunately, the yellow came out and we were able to move around a bit and carry more speed.”
A handful of caution periods kept the field tight most of the race with Sheppard needing only seven laps to move from his 19th starting position into the Top-10. He knocked off his nearest foes one by one, getting by Tegg for fifth on lap 13, moving past Johnson on lap 14, then James Sweeting for third at the halfway mark.
Phelps reached heavy traffic with 10 to go and when Wight suffered a flat tire on lap 27, ‘Super Matt’ stole second from Farnham on the ensuing restart. Sheppard closed in to shadow the #98H J&B Installations-Mohawk Northeast-HBR/Bicknell mount and just as he pulled alongside Phelps the fifth and final yellow flag flew on lap 33 as Jimmy Maier’s Troyer machine coasted to a stop high in turn three.
Back under green Phelps opened up a comfortable eight-car advantage over Sheppard, with fast closing Tim Fuller, Farnham and Dillon Groover tallying top-5 finishes at the stripe.
“The first yellow was a little bit of a blessing as we were able to clear some of the traffic,” added Phelps, now with two top-five finishes in seven starts. Didn’t want to see that #9 pop up on the board there in the top-3, that was a little disheartening, but we were able to hold him off as we had good track position.”
Once out front, cautions were never an issue for Guererri nor was track position a given as the Waterloo wheelman was on the gas pedal from the drop of the green in the fast-paced 25-lap Sportsman feature. He started deep in 20th and motored into the Top-10 by lap 10, then needed eight more times around to pass A.J. Lloyd for the top spot en route to the decisive half-straightaway victory.
“It was just a matter of getting in some clean air to see where your car works best,” described Guererri, 30, who went winless last season aboard the potent #12G Tradition Automotive Group-Product 9-Mohawk Northeast/Bicknell ride. His 11th career triumph vaults him past two-time winner Zach Sobotka (finished 7th) in the point standings by a count of 303-299 through 10 starts. “I passed a bunch of cars on the top so I didn’t know if the bottom was any better. Then I got down there on the restart and it was really good so it all worked out.”
Dalton Martin nosed ahead of Nate Peckham to pace the hungry 26-car Sportsman field yet contact on the frontstretch and a reported flat tire as a result ended Peckham’s race with four laps scored. Lloyd bolted past Martin on a lap five restart and built up a commanding lead before C.J. Castelletti looped exiting turn one to force out the third and final caution with 10 to go.
The lap 15 restart proved pivotal for Guererri as he navigated the low lane to perfection, improving from seventh to third, then switching to the high side to pass brother Nick Guererri for second after one more time around. He needed just two additional laps to hunt down Lloyd and speed on by for his first win of the month.
Lloyd, Nick Guererri, Ricky Newton and Brian Ridley rounded out the front-five finishers ahead of last Saturday’s winner Kevin Ridley.
“I saw Nick was second on that restart and said ‘hope he gets that lead,’ he’s had so much tough luck out here,” said Matt, who joined Nick, Paul and Frank Jr. as the Guererri family members claimed all four qualifying heats in Saturday preliminaries. “I had a great restart. A couple of the guys (ahead of me) slid up off the bottom and I was able to capitalize. The car was good no matter where I went with it. Its unbelievable, I can drive anywhere on the track and it works for me.”
Young Payton Talbot from Gilbertsville made the three-hour haul to Canandaigua pay dividends as he put his no. 14 J.C. Landscaping-Northeast Forestry & Tomber Harvest/HigFab entry in victory lane after the 12-lap Sportsman B-Main.
Matching Tegg as he garnered a heat race victory and mirroring Guererri as he emerged as the new division points leader, Parrow made a clean sweep of the MEM 305 doubleheader for car owner Tom Fletcher who missed out on the memorable wins as he spent the weekend camping in the Adirondacks.
“Feels good but what’s really sad is that Tom couldn’t be here tonight,” lamented Parrow, 52, a Class of 2017 Empire Super Sprint Hall of Fame inductee whose only other win at LOLR came for ESS in August of 1992 steering the more familiar #80 winged machine. “Wish he was because it would’ve been his first win but I appreciate him giving me the chance to wheel this car. Been a long time since I drove.”
Fifth-starting Parrow needed just three tours of the half-mile clay oval to duck under pole-sitter Jerry Sehn Jr. in the initial 20-lap A-Main rain-delayed from Aug. 1. A handful of slowdowns for minor spins were all that could hold back the Waterloo warrior as he built up an insurmountable half-straightaway margin at the wire. Trevor Years posted a season-best second-place followed by rehabbing Darryl Ruggles, Sehn and Dan Craun.
“We’re doing it all for fun and I have a guy that’s been with me since I was 12 years old working on go-carts … and he’s still here,” Parrow said. “We’re doing this for Cystic Fibrosis, DC Rauscher and Tommy, he owns the whole deal.”
Handicapped to begin seventh in the 20-lap curtain-closer, the #53 D.C. Rauscher-Wings For Cystic Fibrosis/Eagle entry boasting a Ray Preston-prepared powerplant almost failed to run a single lap as Parrow looped in turn one on the opening circuit. But despite running just a dozen events in the past 20 seasons, he showed little rust as he performed a perfect 360-degree spin and kept going without any contact in the 14-car field.
After running as high as second in the first race before motor issues sidelined for the night her own pink #48A sprinter, Alysha Bay buckled into her father Darryl Ruggles’ neon yellow no. 48jr. back-up car in time to take the early lead in round two. Rookie Ethan Gray swept around her in turn four to gain his first lead on lap seven before Ruggles out-dragged him for the top spot on lap 12.
With defending points champ Ruggles eyeing his second trophy of the season, Parrow instead took control on lap 17 for his second victory of the night, completing a gallant run to the front by nearly a straightaway at the stripe. Gray, Sehn and Years filled out the front-five on the final scoresheet.
“We’re getting better and better, Mike and Charlie keep working with the set-ups every week and tonight we had to do some other changes,” added Parrow, who vaulted from fourth to first on the points chart, now with six top-five finishes in seven events to lead Bay (322-308) heading down the stretch. “The longer we go the better we get. We got a little tire rub down in turn one and it wasn’t by myself this week. It was a great night and we’re having fun getting the car to work a little better every time out.”
Getting the potent no. 7 Skyline RV Sales & Service-Houseman Refrigeration-Impressions Concrete Ford Mustang ride in working condition every week has been a minor issue in Pangrazio’s first full season chasing points at LOLR. The biggest concern has been getting to the front and staying there.
Still, Pangrazio has parked his car in victory lane four times to lead all stock car drivers in 2020.
“We took on a lot of damage (last week) when we went airborne off turn three,” revealed Pangrazio, 37, who fell to Jimmy Grant in last Saturday’s thriller. A leader in nearly every feature event this season, he has now already doubled his career win total in Canandaigua to eight. “Put a new left-rear frame rail in it, freshened two shocks, added all new trailing arms and had a bent center link fixed. Can only crunch a car so long before something gives up on it.”
Everything held together on Saturday and the high-riding racer from Oakfield was able to hold off upset-minded Marc Minutolo to pocket another first-place check. “I ran conservative once I got out front then I seen (Minutolo) on the inside of me going into turn one and I moved up a little bit,” Pangrazio said. “I found a little bit up there and then I moved up and just kept her rollin.’”
Jason Quigley held the early advantage while high-flying Pangrazio took over fourth on lap three after starting 10th in the 20-lap feature. Carl Johnson spun between turns one and two and the lap five restart was all Pangrazio needed as he rocketed from fourth to first to forge a seemingly safe lead.
Minutolo had different ideas, passing Mike Welch for a second time on lap 10 then sliding under runner-up Quigley with eight to go. Minutolo tracked down the leader and actually led by a bumper on lap 15, yet Pangrazio quickly regrouped and regained the lead the next time around.
Minutolo had a second bid lost when he pulled alongside the leader yet the last yellow flag on lap 19 for a slowing Chris Beyea thwarted the effort and afforded Pangrazio a two car-length victory at the line. Welch hung on for third ahead of Grant and Jared Hill.
“My buddy Josh and I are in the (shop) every night working pretty hard on this thing to get her to be fast,” Pangrazio added. “Gotta thank a lot of people that get me here … my girlfriend Rebecca, my mother and Josh, his family is home watching, and all my sponsors. They keep me coming back.”
For the third time in five Hobby Stock races, Burnell took the checkered flag after his no. 57jr. Castle Harvester-Touhey Insurance Chevrolet Camaro left the field in the dust from the outset. Low running Justin Eldredge edged Burnell and Brian Lloyd in a three-wide dash to kick off the 15-lap finale but once Burnell broke free on the second circuit only a rash of yellow flags could delay the inevitable.
“It was dry and slick out there which made it a lot of fun to race on,” said the second-generation 18 year-old from Waterloo. “There were a lot of lanes to try out with such a wide track, and that gave a lot of chances to choose different ways to get around.”
Casey Wagner fell a dozen car-lengths behind under the checkers while WNY traveler Jaren Israel from Ransomville in his first appearance, Jim Claypool and pole-sitter Lloyd settled among the front-five in the caution-infested affair.
Saturday’s 50/50 beneficiary was CCIA (Canandaigua Churches In Action), more specifically its food pantry. CCIA is a not for profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that relies on the generous giving from partners in order to accomplish the important work we do in our community.
With the 2nd Annual Gerald Haers Memorial Big-Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series event rescheduled to Sept. 19, Honeoye Auto Parts has stepped in to support a big tripleheader on Aug. 13. The ‘Thursday Spectacular’ boasts a healthy payday as the mighty Pepsi Big-Block Modifieds chase a $4,000 top prize in the headline 40-lapper. A $1,000 winner’s share awaits the Sportsman while Street Stockers chase a $500 first-place pot.
The return of the lucrative Haers Memorial in September features a unique ‘Triple 20’ heat race format leading up to the 74-Lap Modified main for top tour travelers. Northeast DIRTcar Sportsman Series title contenders will also be in town for a pivotal point show to close out 2020 trackside activity at the Land of Legends.
Race Attendance & Coverage
A reminder that due to the originally scheduled Ontario County Fair this week, no racing is on the LOLR schedule Sat., Aug. 15. All five classes will be in action on Aug. 22 before the Pepsi Big-Block Modified Champion is crowned on Aug. 29. LIVE video coverage will be offered for the remaining race dates and can be viewed on Land of Legends TV for $15.
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As the 57th race season carries on in Canandaigua, be sure to follow the point standings and breaking news online by visiting www.LandOfLegendsRaceway.com. To discuss remaining marketing opportunities available at the track, please contact LOLR GM Greg Emerson via e-mail email@example.com.
Land of Legends Raceway is located at the Ontario County Fairgrounds, east of the city on Town Line Road (County Road 10), with easy access off either Exit 43 (Manchester, Route 21 South) or Exit 44 (Farmington, Route 332 South) of the New York State Thruway, just ½-hour southeast of Rochester.
Land of Legends Raceway Event Summary – August 8, 2020
Lee Depew & Son Trucking presents Saturday Spectacular
Pepsi Big-Block Modified
Feature (35 laps)
1. 22g-Gil Tegg Jr. ($2,000), 2. 14j-Alan Johnson, 3. 99L-Larry Wight, 4. 25-Erick Rudolph, 5. 49-Billy Dunn, 6. 7f-Matt Farnham, 7. 42p-Pat Ward, 8. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 9. 3-Justin Haers, 10. 23-Kyle Coffey, 11. 98h-Jimmy Phelps, 12. 82-Ryan Susice, 13. 19-Tim Fuller, 14. 55-Matt Hulsizer, 15. 77-Lance Dusett, 16. 19w-Justin Wright, 17. 33j-Robbie Johnston III, 18. m1-Dave Marcuccilli, 19. 12x-Dillon Groover, 20. 21x-Eric Williams, 21. 14ny-Daniel Johnson Jr., 22. 28p-Eldon Payne,Jr., 23. 11j-James Sweeting, 24. 44-Russell Morseman, 25. 21-Derrick Podsiadlo, 26. m1x-Tim Murphy, 31m-Jimmy Maier(DNS).
Feature (35 laps / *rain-delayed from 8/1)
1. 98h-Jimmy Phelps ($2,000), 2. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 3. 19-Tim Fuller, 4. 7f-Matt Farnham, 5. 12x-Dillon Groover, 6. 42p-Pat Ward, 7. 25-Erick Rudolph, 8. 11j-James Sweeting, 9. 3-Justin Haers, 10. 14j-Alan Johnson, 11. 99L-Larry Wight, 12. 77-Lance Dusett, 13. 82-Ryan Susice, 14. m1-Dave Marcuccilli, 15. 22g-Gil Tegg Jr., 16. 19w-Justin Wright, 17. 33j-Robbie Johnston III, 18. 23-Kyle Coffey, 19. 31m-Jimmy Maier, 20. 55-Matt Hulsizer, 21. 21-Derrick Podsiadlo, 22. 21x-Eric Williams, 23. 44-Russell Morseman, 24. 49-Billy Dunn, 25. 14ny-Daniel Johnson Jr., 26. m1x-Tim Murphy, 27. 28p-Eldon Payne,Jr., 44v-Phil Vigneri III(DNS), 83x-Tim Sears Jr.(DNS), 63-Adam Roberts(DNS), 88-Mat Williamson(DNS).
Heats (8 laps)
#1: Groover, Payne, Rudolph, Sweeting, Podsiadlo, Johnston, Wight, Susice, Marcuccilli.
#2: Dusett, Sheppard, Farnham, A.Johnson, Ward, Fuller, Wright, Williams, Morseman.
#3: Tegg, Haers, Coffey, Phelps, Dunn, Hulsizer, D.Johnson, Murphy, Maier(DNS).
Speed Connection Sportsman Modified
Feature (25 laps)
1. 12g-Matt Guererri ($750), 2. 1f-A.J. Lloyd, 3. 25g-Nick Guererri, 4. 11n-Ricky Newton, 5. 27-Brian Fish, 6. 20x-Kevin Ridley, 7. 38-Zach Sobotka, 8. 70a-Alex Payne, 9. 56-Garrison Krentz, 10. 7-Paul Guererri, 11. 132-Dalton Martin, 12. 7z-Zach Payne, 13. 3r-Chris Mackey, 14. 9-Tim Baker, 15. 99m-Mike Phelps, 16. 35-Nick Cooper, 17. 6-Cody Manitta, 18. 113jr.-Frank Guererri Jr., 19. 00-Sam Hoxie, 20. 117jr.-C.J. Castelletti, 21. 32-Ryan Shanahan, 22. 31-Kane Bristol, 23. 1x-Andrew Smith, 24. 61-Andrew Jacobson, 25. 90-Nathan Peckham, 26. 93-Tyler Vinson.
B-Feature (12 laps)
1. 14t-Payton Talbot, 2. 7s-Torrey Stoughtenger, 3. 17e-Mark Effner, 4. 23b-Timmy Borden Jr., 5. z1-Chaz Thompson, 6. 4-Emmett Waldron, 7. 92-Rick Martin, 8. 21x-Ryan Barrett, 9. 04-Eric Years.
Heats (8 laps)
#1: F.Guererri, Krentz, Castelletti, Phelps, Fish, Sobotka, Borden, R.Martin, Effner.
#2: P.Guererri, Jacobson, Ridley, Newton, Z.Payne, Smith, Hoxie, Talbot, Stoughtenger, Years.
#3: N.Guererri, D.Martin, A.Payne, Mackey, Bristol, Vinson, Thompson, Waldron.
#4: M.Guererri, Peckham, Lloyd, Cooper, Baker, Shanahan, Manitta, Barrett.
Consolations (8 laps)
#1: Sobotka, Smith, Hoxie, Talbot, Stoughtenger, Borden,Effner, R.Martin.
#2: Shanahan, Vinson, Manitta, Thompson, Waldron, Barrett, Years.
Mike Emhof Motorsports 305 Sprint
Feature (20 laps)
1. 53-Bobby Parrow, 2. 48jr.-Darryl Ruggles, 3. 17e-Ethan Gray, 4. 410-Jerry Sehn Jr., 5. 13t-Trevor Years, 6. 38-Jason Whipple, 7. 18c-Dan Craun, 8. X-Dan Bennett, 9. 9k-Kyle Pierce, 10. j27-John Cunningham, 11. 77-Matt Rotz, 12. 8g-Bobby Gardner, 13. a48jr.-Alysha Bay, 14. 3-Bri Donath.
Feature (20 laps / *rain-delayed from 8/1)
1. 53-Bobby Parrow, 2. 13t-Trevor Years, 3. 48jr.-Darryl Ruggles, 4. 410-Jerry Sehn Jr., 5. 18c-Dan Craun, 6. 9k-Kyle Pierce, 7. 38-Jason Whipple, 8. X-Dan Bennett, 9. 17e-Ethan Gray, 10. 8g-Bobby Gardner, 11. 77-Matt Rotz, 12. 48a-Alysha Bay, 13. 3-Bri Donath, 121-Steve Glover(DNS), 56-Josh Pieniazek(DNS), 75-Brandyn Griffin(DNS), 2-Aaron Jacobus , 7-Andy Jacobus(DNS).
Heats (8 laps)
#1: Bay, Sehn, Gray, Craun, Bennett, Cunningham, Gardner.
#2: Parrow, Ruggles, Years, Pierce, Whipple, Rotz, Donath.
Feature (20 laps)
1. 7-Josh Pangrazio, 2. 25b-Marc Minutolo, 3. 00-Mike Welch, 4. 36-Jimmy Grant, 5. 93-Jared Hill, 6. 5c-Rick Crego, 7. 34q-Jason Quigley, 8. 64-Bob Buono, 9. 57j-Quinn Sutherland, 10. 74-Ronald “Bundy” Metcalf, 11. 37x-Carl Johnson, 12. 122-Chris Beyea, 13. 55p-Parker Smith, 14. 44m-Branden Morseman.
Heats (6 laps)
#1: Quigley, Pangrazio, Smith, Crego, Buono, Johnson, Metcalf.
#2: Hill, Minutolo, Welch, Sutherland, Grant, Beyea, Morseman.
Feature (15 laps)
1. 57jr.-Tyler Burnell, 2. 42-Casey Wagner, 3. 10-Jaren Israel, 4. 18x-Jim Claypool, 5. 13b-Brian Lloyd, 6. 17jr.-Jamie Eldredge Jr., 7. 17j-Justin Eldredge.
Thursday Spectacular, Aug. 13 @ 7pm; Honeoye Auto Parts presents Big-Block Modified-40L $4,000-to-win/Sportsman-25L $1,000-to-win/Street Stock-20L $500-to-win. *No Racing Sat., Aug. 15.
Along with recognizing its weekly 50/50 raffle fund beneficiaries, Land of Legends Raceway is proud to salute several sponsors and corporate partners that continue to help bring its fans the best Saturday night racing show in the Northeast. Listed alphabetically are current division sponsors Mike Emhof Motorsports, Pepsi Geneva Club Beverage, Speed Connection; event sponsors Admar Construction Equipment & Supply Company, Always Locked Storage, A-Verdi Storage Containers, Geneva Club Beverage, Honeoye Auto Parts/Auto Value, Pepsi/Mountain Dew/Lipton Lake Beverage, Phelps Cement Products, Red Osier Restaurant, Sherwin Williams Paint, Tradition Automotive Group; promotional partners Champion Power Equipment, Depew Excavating/Trucking, Dig Safely New York 811, Dobbers Sports Bar, Elab Smokers Boutique, Hoosier Racing Tire, Ontario County Fairboard, Proctor Enterprises, VP Racing Fuels, Weedsport Hall of Fame, Young Real Estate Agency.