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  • Kayla Peting

Sun Shines At The Small Car Showdown

Nathan Aldrich and Kayla Peting

The spotlight shined bright as The Penn Can Speedway tried something a little different this Sunday, presenting the Small Car Showdown to a crowd of eager fans. With a lineup including a GRIT Series race for the 600cc Modifieds, a $1,000 to win 4 cylinder race, Slingshots by Tobias Empire Series, Junior Slingshot Series, 600cc Winged Sprints, 600cc Non-Winged Sprints and the visiting NY Penn IMCA Modified series the very full card got going under the hot afternoon sun.

It was a good afternoon for teammates as GRIT 600cc Modified action found the Gray’s Trucking team with their seventh sweep of the top two positions at the speedway this season. Dana Davis returned to the speedway and brought the field to green with dancing partner Nate Oropallo to his outside. From the drop of the green Davis launched out to the lead setting a blistering pace as Oropallo chased him around the speedway. Brenton Miller took to the inside of Travis Rooney to take the fourth spot as Brett Gray and Oropallo both had to check up after making contact in turn three all in the first lap. As both drivers gathered it back up the race stayed green, with Davis extending his lead as he motored away from his competitors. Eli Akshar looked to make a move on lap 2 but was shut down as Nolan Smith would hang on to the sixth spot. Gray would challenge Smith next, slipping past before taking the fourth spot from Rooney on the inside to complete lap 4.

Akshar found his way around Smith on the sixth lap, moving into the top 5 while Gray took the third spot from Oropallo. Disaster struck for Davis on lap 7 as his car seemed to be losing momentum and Miller moved into the top spot. Davis took his machine pit side as he came abc around to turn one and would not return. The first yellow of the event came out on lap 10 as John Dinniny slowed to a stop on the inside of turn 3. Miller took the inside as the field shaped up for the GRIT double file restart. With Meller getting a good launch the race was on between Akshar and Oropallo. As the pair ran side by side for multiple laps, Oropallo would come out on top, keeping the position as the yellow flag came out again on lap 16 for heavy contact between Furman and Doug Lattner. Devan Sieben would climb the dirt berm in turns three and four while avoiding the wreck to continue on. Miller and Gray once again got the field up to speed while Sieben’s race came to an end after making contact with Smith on the restart and pulling to the infield with chain issues. On lap 18 Rooney would bobble, allowing Smith and Furman to get by in the waning laps. Miller took the checkered flag with teammate Gray in tow. Oropallo, Akshar, Lattner, Smith, Furman, Rooney and Baldwin rounded out the field at the line.

Brenton Miller is on a hot streak this season going into the coming week with nine feature wins. However, Miller couldn’t be more humble about this season stating he has an excellent team off the track and a teammate that pushes him weekly. “It’s been an awesome season for me and I can’t thank Wade and Brett enough for all they have done” says Miller. Miller is leading the points for the 600cc Modifieds and is looking to continue the streak despite the bounty that is being offered for beating him. Brenton would like to thank the Gray Family, Gray’s trucking, Crawn Trucking, All Things Vinyl by Alicia, Moose Wraps and everyone who helps their race team. He also thanks Shannon for being in the shop with him day in and day out.

With $1,000 on the line the FWD 4 Cylinders drew a strong field of competitors from across the region. After contesting four heats won by Matt Browning, Dakota Fuller, Rich Wagner, and Tim Vandermark the redraw brought Josh Gunn and Dakota Fuller to the front row to set the pace. Fuller launched to the lead as Justin Pope made quick moves, advancing to the second spot outside of Josh Wilder on the first lap. Track regulars Jeff Sterling and Tim Vandermark ran door to door for the ninth spot while Rich Wagner took fifth from Kenny Underwood on the outside. Pope closed the gap to Fuller making his move on lap 5 to take the lead utilizing the outside line. Wagner received a challenge for his recently acquired fifth spot when Corey Valade came alongside Wagner before losing ground and having to fight Underwood to hold on to sixth. Underwood took the sixth spot away while Wagner challenged Browning for third. Browning denied Wagner the spot, holding strong on the outside.

Second changed hands on lap 6 as Wilder worked past Fuller on the inside and set his sights on Pope who was quickly catching lapped traffic at the tail of the field. As Fuller slid backwards Vandermark advanced past for eighth. The strong run for Wagner saw him pass Wilder for the runner up spot as deep in the pack contact between Justin Slezak and Jacob Lamphere sent Lamphere through the infield after narrowly missing the tire in turn two. Lamphere would recover to prevent the yellow as the stretch of green flag laps moved Pope into heavy traffic. Jeffrey Brown moved inside Bryant Beach in turn two the following lap before Brown came under fire from Newbigging on lap 9. Newbigging took the spot as Brown drifted up high in turn 4. Andy Bolles picked up the pace on lap 11 peeking inside Rob Williams. Newbigging picked up another spot on lap 11 making up ground on the inside of Dakota Fuller to make the pass on the inside of turn 2 while farther ahead Browning and Kenny Underwood swapped sliders racing hard for the fourth spot on lap 14.

A lap 15 yellow flag would slow the pace when Garrett Watkins went up in smoke in turn 3 and track crews removed the smoking machine. Under the yellow Slezak headed pit side while Lamphere pulled into the infield. With five laps remaining Pope brought the field under the green flag as Andy Bolles began coming through the field getting past Beach and Miller while Underwood and Browning resumed their battle for third. Underwood carried a good run into turn one on the sixteenth lap throwing a slider on Wagner as the two made contact. Browning would pull to Wagner’s outside before mayhem occurred out of turn four. When the dust settled Newbigging and Kevin Greenfield were stopped on the front stretch, Wagner was rolling slowly in turn 4 and Underwood headed pit side, returning in time to take the green. With only a few laps remaining Pope bolted ahead on the restart while Valade pushed Wilder down the back stretch. Vandermark advanced past Sterling for the fifth spot before the pair slipped around Wilder to make it a battle for fourth. Pope took the win with Browning, Valade, Vandermark, Sterling, Wilder, Bolles, Miller, Beach, Rob Williams rounding out the top 10. Browning would be disqualified, moving everyone except Pope up a spot and putting Fuller tenth.

4 Cylinder feature winner Justin Pope is a regular at the Utica Rome Speedway and was making his third visit to The Penn Can Speedway. He and teammate Valade took the sweep of first and second and has 14 wins so far this season at various tracks. Justin stated “the outside came in really well for me and then I had to pick my holes in the lapped cars''. With the finals laps coming down to a couple of restarts Pope was “just trying to keep it rolling, I was having issues with my clutch at the end”. It was Pope’s first win at the Penn Can speedway after previously having a third place finish, he plans to return for this year’s King of the Can event. Justin would like to thank Creek Side Renovations, Jay’s Graphics, Andrew Pecarolis Motor Sales, and his Father and Crew.

NY Penn IMCA Modifieds visited the speedway for their second of three visits this season contesting a 25 lap feature. The series draws drivers from multiple states, coming from as far as Michigan for the contest. The front row of Aaron Benjamin and J.W. Lamphere picked up the pace as the field took the green flag with Benjamin pulling out to the early lead. Chaos happened early and often throughout the event as the race endured three starts, with AJ Ward spinning in turn 1 on the first, Mike Stoddard spinning in turn four on the second, and Shawn Bruce and Oliver Gage spinning in turn two on the third attempt. When the field was able to get going it was Benjamin in the lead while Rodney Morgan worked Joe Novak through turn 2 and the pair went door to door down the backstretch racing for third. On lap 4 Lamphere would try to maneuver his machine under Benjamin for the lead but a lap 5 yellow for the spinning cars of Bruce, Brad Smith and Rick Watt would force him to wait a little bit longer. The single file restart shook things up as both Benjamin and Lamphere drifted up coming off of turn two and Morgan took his chance, shooting past the top two to take the lead with a power move on the bottom.

Morgan would lead as the field was slowed again on lap 8 for a Bruce and Novak spin in turn four. With the restart came a handful of green flag laps before a 5 car spin in turn four brought the field to the yellow. Lamphere would drift high and fade out of the top 10 when the field came back to green, a pair of lap 14 yellows kept the field slowed as Mcclure slowed in turn 1 followed by a 4 car pileup. When Morgan brought the field back to green Jeff Reay worked inside of Benjamin to take over the second spot on lap 16. The final yellow came on lap 20 as Mike Stoddard took a spin setting up a five lap shootout for Morgan and Reay. Oliver Gage looked inside Smith for seventh on the restart but couldn’t complete the move while behind the pair Mark Griffin worked his way past Novak for twelfth. Brad Sites worked to the inside of Keith Jack Lamphere to move himself into the fourth spot with three laps remaining as Jake Maynard and Brad Smith slipped past Eddie Sites with one lap left. Morgan picked up the win followed by Reay, Benjamin, Brad Sites, Keith Jack Lamphere, Jake Maynard, Smith, Eddie Sites, Gage and Bruce. Feature winner Rodney Morgan was getting a little toasty in his fire suit as the drivers spent the extended time in their cars. Early in the race Rodney said he “was looking to save my tires early on, when they drifted up the track I knew I had to make my move”. Once he was out front Morgan focused on protecting the bottom and not letting anyone pass. The constant cautions broke his rhythm but also never made lapped traffic a factor. Rodney would like to thank his father for his help and work on the car and his wife for putting up with his racing.

The 600cc Winged Sprints were led to the green by Mason Peters and Dustin Roberts who both were running in the wingless feature as well. Peters would take the early lead over Roberts as Kyle Pierce was looking to the outside of Mikey Smith for third. The two cars would battle back and forth before Pierce would take the position and quickly move up to battle Roberts on the inside for second, but would be unable to claim it. Kirsten Dombroski would look to the inside of Thomas James to claim fifth while Pierce was still fighting for second. Pierce would find himself on the inside of Roberts to take away second and start closing the gap on Peters. On lap thirteen, fans would start to see Peters extend his lead by maneuvering through the back of the field. Back a little ways Smith would pass Roberts on the inside to move to third. Peters would get the win followed by Pierce, Smith, Roberts, Dombroski, Mark Potter, and James Thomas to round out the field. Peters stated that the pole position certainly helped him lead from start to end, but would rather chase the leader down than be the one being chased. “The top worked really well and I wish I would have found it sooner” says Peters. He would like to thank Penn Can for putting on the show despite it being a little dusty. Mason would also like to thank his sponsors: Homeboys Seamless Gutters, Bob Graphics, Main Street Bar and Grill, All About Lawn Care, Guhl Motors and Halliday Trucking. He would also like to thank Braydon Chyko for all his hard work on the car and his tire guy Steven.

Several drivers were pulling double duty for the sprints as we turned to the 600cc Wingless feature as the fans once again saw Mason Peters on the pole with Dustin Roberts to his outside to take the green.Peters would take the lead while Kyle Pierce stepped up to challenge Roberts for second, but would be unable to make it stick as the first caution of the twenty lap feature came out. On lap 2, fans would see Ted Meixcell spin in turn three before joining at the tail end of the field. Peterswould select the inside line with Pierce to his outside for the restart and as the green would fly they would stay side by side before Roberts would take the lead. The field would spread out a bit until the caution would come out on lap ten for Meixcell and Mark Potter spinning in turn three. Potter and Mexicell would head pit side and not return. Peters would lead the line of drivers to the green with Pierce right on his bumper. Bob Snyder would pass Tony Parlanti for sixth as Pierce would try to claim the lead from Peters using the highline. Lap 14 would see a caution as Snyder and Parlanti would spin in turn four before heading pit side. Peters would once again lead the field with Pierce itching to take the lead running behind him in second. Pierce would look to the outside of Peters to take the lead and the two would pull slider after slider on each other which would result in Pierce taking the top spot. The final caution of the feature was on lap 19 where Dennis Stawinsky would come to a stop in turn four and unfortunately leave the track with the assistance of a tow truck. Pierce would lead the field with a green, white checkered and would take the win followed by Peters, Roberts, Wayne Stella, Stawinsky, Snyder, Parlanti, Meixcell and Potter would close out the field. Kyle Pierce is no stranger to Penn Can as he has already won here once this season. Kyle stated that it was a hard twenty lap battle. “I started getting really good runs around lap nine and ten” said Pierce. He would like to thank Casey Williams for allowing him to drive his car. He would like to thank his sponsors: 139 Auto, Midstate, and EC Media.

The Slingshots by Tobias Empire Series was ready to go as Alex Boughton and Andrew Turpin would be on the front row to take the field to green in the 15 lap feature. Turpin would take the early lead as the green would wave over the field. Battles throughout the field would follow as Jason Dufel would maneuver his way around Bob Boughton for fourth. Fans would see Matt Sydork pull to the infield due to issues with the car. Josh Landers would pull double duty and run in his 133 slingshot as well as winning the Junior division. Landers would look outside of Travien Blowers for sixth, but would be unable to claim the spot. Dufel would try to take third away from Tucker Jones by going to the inside, but did not clinch the position. Landers would once again try his luck and look to the inside of Blowers, but would not gain the spot. Bob Boughton would start to slow as Landers passed him and would eventually come to a stop at the top of turn three bringing out the first and only caution of the race. Turpin would bring the field to the green for a single file restart, which would allow Landers to quickly make some moves as he would pass Blowers for fifth on the inside as well as Dufel on the outside for fourth. Blowers would make a few calculated moves before passing Dufel and Landers to claim fourth. Turpin would take the win followed by Alex Boughton, Jones, Blowers and Landers to round out the top five. The win was a welcome rebound for Turpin who has had a rough go recently at Kutztown as well as a flip at Albany Saratoga. Andrew was focused on just letting the car roll and staying smooth throughout the race, finding a diamond line to work the best for him. The young driver already has significant experience under his belt, racing a quarter midget for 7 years before transitioning into a slingshot for the last 4. With the slingshots running a wide variety of tracks Turpin said he found Penn Can to be sizable and wide, while still being tricky as you had to watch out for the bumpy spots in the small car. Andrew would like to thank his family, Dad, Grandfather, sponsors and John Birmingham of Delta Quality Systems.

The Junior division would see Lucas Duncan on the pole with Josh Landers to his outside to lead the field to green for the ten lap feature. Unfortunately, the 74J of Jaden Pierce would not be able to take the green as there were issues with the car and pulled to the infield. Landers would get the early lead leaving Duncan and track regular Trevor Houghton to battle door to door for second with Duncan keeping the second spot. Houghton would not back down as he looked to Duncan’s inside to try and take second, but was unable to make the move for second. Houghton would get loose in turn four and loop it, but was able to keep it moving. Landers would go on to win followed by Duncan, Houghton and Pierce to round out the field.

As the summer starts to wind, unfortunately so does racing season as there are only a few weeks left in the points battle. The Small Car Showdown was a success as it brought several new drivers and fans to the track, but now fans look to Friday. As the points battle is heating up so does the drive for the wins. This coming Friday is a complete show plus a Street Stock Feature make up from a June race and the GRIT Sportsman/Factory Stock will be on the line up. There will also be a chance for kids to ride around the track in a race car! If you would like to purchase the Race Report Productions DVD of the event it can be found at Doug’s Speed Shop at 498 Court Street in Binghamton or on the parts trailer in the pit. To stay current on all that is happening follow us on Facebook at: The Penn Can Speedway and also check out our new website at



2.) 28-Brett Gray 3.) 30NN-Nate Oropallo 4.) 67-Eli Akshar 5.) 101-Doug Lattner 6.) 77X-Nolan Smith 7.) 217-Larry Furman 8.) 54T-Travis Rooney 9.)17-Jeff Baldwin 10.)167-Devan Sieben 11.)12-John Dinniny 12.) 138- Dana Davis 13.) 22-Mollie Mroz



2.) 21V-Corey Valade 3.) 107-Tim Vandermark 4.) 56-Jeff Sterling 5.) 5-Josh Wilder 6.) 354-Andy Bolles 7.) 2-Scott Miller 8.) 5B-Bryant Beach 9.) 9mm-Rob Williams 10.) G55-Dakota Fuller 11.) 16-Kenny Underwood 12.) 8W-Rich Wagner 13.) 1-Dan Nichols 14.) 49Z-Shaun Furman 15.) 29-Doug Newbigging 16.) 11A-Kevin Greenfield 17.) 27E-Jeffrey Brown 18.) 113-Justin Slezak 19.) 87-Jacob Lamphere 20.) 75-Garrett Watkins 21.) 8K-Josh Gunn 22.) 01-Eric Rowley DNS 13H-Travis Hayes, 944-Jeremy Trunzo DQ 88-Matt Browning



2.) 12-Jeff Reay 3.) 5-Aaron Benjamin 4.) 115-Brad Sites 5.) 98K-Keith Jack Lamphere 6.) 69-Jake Maynard 7.) 76-Brad Smith 8.) 15-Eddie Sites 9.) 777-Oliver Gage 10.) 7*-Shawn Bruce 11.) 711-J.W. Lamphere 12.) 11K-Mark Griffin 13.) 99-Rick Watt 14.) 93-Joe Novak 15.) S/23-Mike Stoddard 16.) 22R-Randall Paxton 17.) 20w-AJ Ward 18.) 15m-Ray McClure 19.) 29-Bobby Maynard 20.) 68-Rich McNeal 21.) 69C-Lance Conley



2.) 27-Alex Boughton 3.) 1-Tucker Jones 4.) 44-Travien Blowers 5.) 133-Josh Landers 6.) 85-Jason Duffel 7.)81-Bob Boughton 8.)12- Matt Sydork DNS 9.)6B- Brett Putnam



2.) 771- Lucas Duncan 3.) 10-Trevor Houghton 4.) 74- Jaden Pierce



2.) 44-Kyle Pierce 3.) 45-Mikey Smith 4.) 21C- Dustin Roberts 5.) 30-Kirsten Dombroski 6.) 28- Mark Potter 7.) 93- James Thomas



2.) 98- Mason Peters 3.) 21C- Dustin Roberts 4.) 111- Wayne Stella 5.) 16- Dennis Stawinsky 6.) 11- Bob Snyder 7.) 114-Tony Parlanti 8.) 90- Ted Meixcell 9.) 28-Mark Potter

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