Max Blair and Bruce Miller Take Headliners at Little Valley Opener
By DAVE SULLY
LITTLE VALLEY, NY- In a rare appearance in a Super Late Model this
season, Max Blair, from Centerville, PA, scored a dominating win in his
first start at Little Valley Speedway, while Bruce Miller, from
Wellsville, took a stunning win from the rear in the Duclon Memorial for
the 360 Late Models in front a of a large crowd on a perfect night for
racing on Sunday, May 24th. Bryce Davis, Brent Rhebergen, and Byron
Dewitt also scored wins at Little Valley's first event of the season.
Blair, whose father, Robbie, is a many year veteran in Super Late
Models, with numerous wins, started eighth in the 18 car field for the
25 lap feature, but was on the move early, claiming third by lap five,
while former track champion Jason Dupont took the early lead from the
outside pole, with Dutch Davies in second. Davies battled with Dupont
until he claimed the lead on lap eight. Two cautions saw the top three
still in that order before Blair muscled into second on lap 12.
A caution shortly thereafter put Blair on the rear bumper of Davies for
the restart, from where he wrested the lead from Davies, going wide in
turn four. From there, he drove out to a commanding lead over the latter
half of the race to take the $3,000 winner's check. Davies settled for
second, with Dupont, Mike Knight, and Greg Oakes, who soldiered up from
thirteenth, rounding out the top five.
Blair commented, “I really enjoy racing here. I like this place. This
place was a lot of fun to race on tonight. I really enjoyed myself. This
was only my third time racing this car. The weather hasn't been on our
side for it. I can't wait to come back.” On the race itself and catching
Davies from far back, he added, “At the beginning I was real good on the
bottom. I think I was going to run those guys down. After that yellow, I
don't know what happened. I couldn't hit the bottom any more. I knew I
wasn't going to win if I didn't change something, so we moved up and
found something up there and got her done, I guess.”
The popular Miller, with many wins at the facility, had a little more of
a challenge in the “Duke” Duclon Memorial, named for the man credited
with developing a 360 Late Model design which became the standard for
the division. A lap four caution when he got together with Jim Johnson
relegated him to the rear of the field on lap four of the 20 lapper.
As Tom Kemp and Steve LaBarron staged a spirited battle for the lead,
Miller made a charge toward the front, which saw him up to third
following a lap 11 restart. He remained there until he was able to slip
past LaBarron into second on lap 15, from where he began to immediately
pressure Kemp for the lead. He was able to draw alongside of Kemp in
turn one of lap seventeen and then eased into the top spot coming out of
the treacherous turn two.
From there, he was able to draw away to a safe distance over the final
two laps. Kemp finished second, followed by John Waters, who made a late
pass of Labarron to claim third, with LaBarron and Adam Dupuy completing
the top five. The win was worth a tidy $1558 for Miller, who said, “The
car actually worked pretty well right from the start of the race, but
I'm a little tentative when I'm in mid-pack, so I drive a little bit
wary at the start. Once I got a rhythm going I was able to be a bit more
aggressive. It's definitely an honor to win this race because I knew
Mike. In fact, Mike probably built this car as he started at Close
Racing supply around the time I started racing, so he might have given
me a little nudge out there tonight to get to the lead.” He added, “My
dad just put this engine together, and this is the first weekend we've
run it. If you win at this track, you know your engine is good.”
In other action, Bryce Davis, from Hornell, took top honors in the 15
lap Crate Late Model Feature, capping a race long battle with Brad
Mesler by taking the lead in turn two on the final lap after nipping at
his heels for many laps. Mesler settled for a disappointing second.
Davis offered, “The car was very good. The track was a little rough, and
we had a hard time getting on the bottom, and Brad was really good
tonight. I was waiting for him to screw up, but when he screwed up, I
kept messing up. Luckily we had just enough time to do it.”
Longtime Little Valley competitor in the Super Late Models and, of late,
the E-Mods, Brent Rhebergen, from Clymer, scored the win in the fifteen
lap E-Mod Feature, taking the lead from Vic Vena on a lap two restart
after starting fourth, moving out to a big lead and then weathering a
challenge from Scooter Pangrazio after a lap 12 caution bunched the
field. Pangrazio finished second, followed by Vena.
Rhebergen remarked, “This is really cool. I really like coming here. We
were second every time last year. I thought Scooter was going to get me
there, but it worked out. The car was good.”
Finally, Byron Dewitt, from Leroy, grandson of Gene Dewitt, who
sponsored the legendary Richie Evans for many years, made his Little
Valley debut a memorable one, as he stormed to an early lead and then
held off a dogged Levi Watson before securing the victory over Rob
Stromecki, who took over second on the final lap when Watson spun but
recovered to finish third.
Dewitt, who won a memorial race in his grandfather's honor the night
before at Raceway 5, was elated with the win, declaring, “I've never
been so excited to win a race.”
NOTES: After seeing rain wash out three of the five scheduled
shows last season, it was gratifying that there was no precipitation in
the forecast, which brought out the large holiday weekend
throng..........Seventy-six cars were in the pits, including a healthy
eighteen Super Late Models, along with seventeen 360 Late Models,
thirteen E-Mods, sixteen Crates, and thirteen Street Stocks.......Next
up for Little Valley is the Super Spring Special on Friday, June 12th,
featuring the same five classes. Racing starts at 7:00 PM.
Super Late Models: (25 laps) – 1. Max Blair, 2. Dutch Davies, 3.
Jason Dupont, 4. Mike Knight, 5. Greg Oakes, 6. Chad Valone, 7. John
Lobb, 8. Paul Briggs, 9. Kirk Bradley, 10. John Lacki, 11. Michael
Oakes, 12. Terry Porter, 13. Nathan Hill, 14. Tim Stice, 15. Kyle Bedell,
16. Andrew Eastman, 17. Bump Hedman, and Brent Rhebergen. Heat winners
were Knight, Valone, and Blair.
Crate Late Models: (15 laps) – 1. Bryce Davis, 2. Brad Mesler, 3.
Jason Knowles, 4. Adam Sixt, 5. Dusty Waters, 6. Steve Watson, 7. Mike
Wonderling, 8. Scott Waters, 9. Dan Grigsby, 10. Steve LeBarron, 11.
Chad Schauers, 12. Garrett Mott, 13. TJ Downs, 14. Jim Johnson, and 15.
Andy Michael. DNS: Chad Silleman. Heat winners were Mesler and Watson.
360 Late Models: Duclon Memorial (20 laps) – 1. Bruce Miller, 2.
Tom Kemp, 3. John Waters, 4. Steve LeBarron, 5. Adam Dupuy, 6. Bill
Holmes, 7. Butch Payne, 8. Greg Hallett, 9. Dave Dubois, 10. Kevin
Bollinger, 11. Jim Johnson, 12. Jimmy Johnson, 13. John Zimmerman, 14.
James Freeman, 15. DJ Krug, and 16. Jay McConnell. DNS: Jeremy
Wonderling. Heat winners were Payne and Dubois.
E-Mods: (15 laps) – 1. Brent Rhebergen, 2. Scooter Pangrazio, 3.
Vic Vena, 4. Ken Zimmer, 5. Kirk Bradley, 6. Al Brewer, 7. Jeff Johnson,
8. Joshua John, 9. Carl Ballinger, 10. Steve Samuelson, and 11. Dan
Davies. DNS: Steve Dixon and Kyle Bedell. Heat winners were Zimmer and
Street Stocks: (12 laps) – 1. Byron Dewitt, 2. Rob Stromecki, 3.
Levi Watson, 4. Brad Ullman, 5. Butch Talbot, 6. Brett Marlatt, 7. Butch
Zimmerman, 8. Steve Sklar, 9. Kurt Stebbins, 10. Dennis Cummings, 11.
Randy Taylor, 12. Jason Schoonmaker, and 13. Ted Mascho. Heat winners
were Stromecki and Watson.
For more information regarding the entire 2015 schedule of events,
registration for rainedout.com, class rules, track procedure, officials,
directions to the track, and more, simply log on to
LITTLE VALLEY SPEEDWAY NOW ONBOARD WITH RAINEDOUT.COM
(Little Valley, NY) Fans, employees, sponsors, drivers and race teams
that are involved with the Little Valley Speedway in Little Valley, NY
will now be able to register at
for the 2015 race season.
According to sources at the track, “This will make it much easier for
everyone that is registered on race days when the weather becomes an
issue. In the past it is virtually impossible for everyone to try and
call the track hard line as the phone is virtually tied up all day with
people trying to call in. When the fans, race teams, track employees and
sponsors register at
www.rainedout.com they will receive a message either on their
computer or cell phone letting them know that the races have been
cancelled due to weather related problems.” Registering is easy by
simply going to the track web site at www.littlevalleyspeedway.com and
click onto the blue
rainedout.com logo on the home page. This will take you to the
home page where under, “Search Term” you enter the words, “Little Valley
Speedway, Little Valley, NY. Under the word, “Category” scroll down to
“Motorsports/Auto Racing, click on and find the name Little Valley
Speedway, Little Valley, NY click on and follow the directions on how to
register. The entire process is free and takes less than 5 minutes.
“The whole idea of this is to make it more convenient for the people
that are involved with Little Valley. If it is raining on race day and
we have to pull the plug this is the quickest and most efficient way of
getting the work out to everyone that has registered hopefully saving
folks any unnecessary time and fuel.” That again according to the
management of the Little Valley Speedway.
For more information including the Official 2015 Schedule of Events as
well as news, rules, track personnel, directions to the facility and
more simply log on at www.littlevalleyspeedway.com
Little Valley will be present at the upcoming Olean Center Car Show at
the Olean Mall on March 13-15, 2015 where representatives of the track
will be onboard to hand out schedule cards and answer questions
regarding the upcoming season.