GNH Lumber-Outdoor Living-JUNE 2024

Dirt Central | Chasin’ Racin’: STSS Modifieds and High Limit Sprints


By Mark Kane

For Capital Region Independent Media

Three-wide racing action at the Short Track Super Series “Battle of the Bullring” at the Accord Speedway. Mark Kane/For Capital Region Independent Media

What a great week of racing as I made my way to the  Short Track Super Series “Battle of the Bullring” at the tight 1/4-mile  Accord Speedway for the opening round of the River Valley Builders North Region 50-lap event. The 50-lap event paid $9,090.90 in honor of Barry Davis 9D, one of the top wheelmen of his time at the Ulster County oval.


Last year’s event found promoter Gary Palmer face the same situation that Brett Deyo is facing at Fonda Speedway with a new racing surface not cooperating. I have to commend Gary and his fine staff for all the time they have put into the facility as well as the track.

The racing surface on was fast and produced some excellent side by side racing throughout the night.  That was until rain, which they knew was on the way, brought an end to the night on lap 33 of the STSS Modified feature. There is one thing for sure—they pushed the show along as quick as they could trying to get the entire program in for the competitors as well as the great crowd.

A fine field of 56 STSS Modifieds made their way to the pits with Stewart Friesen, Matt Williamson, all-time Accord win leader Rich Ricci Jr., Tyler Boniface, Bobby Hackel IV, and Andy Bachetti picking up the highly competitive heat race wins with Mike Maresca, Joe Judge, and Michael Storms grabbing the tough consi wins.

It was Ajay Potrzebowski and Matt Sheppard leading the tough STSS Modified field to green with Potrzebowski grabbing the early lead with Matt Sheppard, Andy Bachetti, Stewart Friesen, who was battling Danny Creeden for fifth, when the first yellow was out for the 69B of Tyler Boniface, who slowed on the front stretch.

Stewart Friesen powers his way to the high side of Rich Ricci Jr. #55 to win the rain-shortened Short Track Super Series “Battle of the Bullring” at Accord Speedway. Mark Kane/For Capital Region Independent Media

On the ensuing restart Sheppard got shuffled back as Andy Bachetti took over the second position with Potrzebowski leading the way. Behind the leaders they were racing hard two- and even three-wide on the tight oval with positions being swapped back and forth. On the move was veteran Rich Ricci Jr. 55 from the 11th starting spot to just outside the top 5.

As the battle  for the lead was cranking up the yellow was again out. This time it was the 02 of Jack Lehner sitting at the bottom of turn 4 due to nothing but tight racing action. Back to green, up front was heating up with Bachetti and Williamson battling nerf bar to nerf bar hard for second. Right behind them Friesen and Ricci Jr. had a fierce battle going on of their own as Potrzebowski continued to look for his first STSS win.

The field was once again brought back to the leader for a parking lot in turn 4. The restart found Potrzebowski and Bachetti racing hard for the lead out of one and down the back chute with Potrzebowski throwing it in turn 3 and into 4 to hard and spun to the top side of turn 4. Handing the lead to Bachetti, who found out the lead was not a good place to be. Going three-wide in turns 1 and 2 with Creeden and Ricci not making contact, Bachetti slowed and would come to a stop, then took a hard hit on the front stretch.

Once back to green the war was on for the lead as Rich Ricci Jr, and Stewart Friesen would put on a show out front for the lead racing each other clean, Rich running low, Stewie on the top side. Yellows would keep the racing tight and would also find Danny Creeden’s fine run come to an end with the right side of the car down.

As good as the racing was up front it was Alex Yankowski having another solid run, working his way into the top 5 from 15th and Danny Tyler in the Barry Davis 9D look-alike ride having a great run after starting 13th. Back to green and the Battle of the Bullring was living up to its name with great racing as again the battle for the lead continued until the yellow was out. Back to green Ricci Jr had the lead as Friesen pulled even going down the back chute as they raced hard with Friesen being the new leader, a lead he would never give up.

After a lap 33 caution the rain started to fall and looking at the radar the decision was made to call the show as the rain was only going to get harder and continue into the night. Following Friesen to the line was Rich Ricci Jr., Matt Williamson, Alex Yankowski, Matt Sheppard, Mike Mahaney, 9D Danny Tyler, Tyler Johnson, Mike Maresca, and Marc Johnson.


Then Friday it was off to Utica Rome for the much anticipated HIGH LIMIT RACING.

The crowd started to come early and they kept coming, and they were there to see the 410 WINGED HIGH LIMIT RACING. A standing-room-only crowd was treated to an outstanding night of racing with 40 of the winged warriors ready for racing action along with the 3 Bastards Brewing Modifieds.

High Limit Racing packed the Utica Rome Speedway stands and the fans were treated to some great racing. Mark Kane/For Capital Region Independent Media

There was a buzz in the air as people tailgated in the parking lot and then would move that same feeling into the speedway. After some track prep it was race time, hmmm, there’s Rico Abreu out on the track taking a closer look at a four-wheeler, something he would do every chance he could. Earlier in the evening Brett Marks set a time of 16.790 for the Capital Trailers Quick Time as Justin Peck, Parker Price Miller, Rico Abreu and Tyler Courtney, won the four heats that produced some great two- and three-wide action, with Chad Miller picking up the B-Main.

It was feature time and 24 of the baddest 410 Sprinters in the country were ready to take the green in the four-wide salute. Now it was time to get down to work, an office with plenty of power under the hood and a wing on the cage. It is High Limit Feature time.

The green was out and they laid it all on the line, going three-wide through turns one and 2, with Brett Marks powering his way to the front with Abreu, Justin Peck, Spencer Bayston, and James McFadden in the top 5, with a hungry bunch breathing down their tail.

Being fast right out of the box there was no surprise when Marks started to pull a slight advantage early over the field, but as quick as he had pulled away Abreu started to close in, and closed in fast. The talented Abreu had not won on the HIGH LIMIT RACING season, but that all changed when he made his move powering down the front stretch, becoming the new leader out of turn 2.

Justin Peck #13 and Brent Marks #19 race out of turn 2 at the Utica Rome Speedway High Limit Racing event. Mark Kane/For Capital Region Independent Media

Now it was Justin Peck looking to get the second spot, racing hard with Marks as McFadden was not far behind. On the move was Tyler Courtney and Brad Sweet who had won the night before at Outlaw Speedway. With Abreu in a comfortable lead, but not pulling away, the race or war for second was heating up as Peck and McFadden swapped positions.

The race for the top 5 found Tyler Courtney and Marks having a great battle when Marks jumped the cushion and Courtney drove into fourth, only to have Marks work his way back to fourth. Going green to checker the feature was action packed with great side-by-side racing out of these true professionals at what they do. 

Rico Abreu held on for his first win of the year with Justin Peck, James McFadden, Brent Marks and Tyler Courtney rounding out the top 5.

Rico Abreu picked up the win at the Utica Rome Speedway High Limit Racing 410 Winged Sprint Car show. Mark Kane/For Capital Region Independent Media

The 3 Bastards Brewing Modifieds found Pat Ward picking up the win that had the crowd on their feet. He is a true veteran of dirt modified racing and it was great to see the 42P back in victory lane, and holding off Alex Yankowski and Matt Sheppard. 

It was a great week of racing. If you haven’t had the chance to get to a race yet this year, don’t wait too long. You will miss some amazing racing. 

Please continue to support the sponsors that help keep the racing alive.

Popular veteran Pat Ward brought the Utica Rome fans to their feet with his first win in six years. Mark Kane/For Capital Region Independent Media
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