ACCORD, NY – Home-track advantage played into the hands of Jerry Higbie on Tuesday night at Accord Speedway.
Higbie, of Newburgh, N.Y., earned his first-career Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco Modified victory at ‘Battle of the Bullring 6’ against an all-star field.
Higbie, a regular at the quarter-mile oval on Friday nights, pocketed $5,200 for his efforts with the Steve Lowitt-owned No. 48 in Race No. 3 of the series’ Halmar International North Region: $5,000 from the posted purse and $200 courtesy of Superior Remodeling as the Halfway Leader.
“I’ve always wanted to win one of these (Short Track Super Series) races,” Higbie said. “I felt this race would be our best shot at it. I have the most laps here. We got a couple of good draws tonight, we had a fast car and I couldn’t believe it when Stew spun. Stuff happens fast here.”
Higbie’s aforementioned ‘Stew’ referred to Stewart Friesen, the Modified superstar turned NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver who picked the pole via a redraw of top qualifiers prior to the start of the feature.
Friesen’s Halmar International No. 44 launched off the front row and set a blistering pace during the race’s opening laps while Higbie, who started second, ran in the runner-up position.
However, the race took a dramatic turn on lap 10 when Friesen, who was encountering the back of the 28-car starting field, spun in turn three to draw the yellow.
Higbie now had control of the field driving a Hig Fab Chassis he built in his own shop.
While Higbie led the race’s remaining 40 laps, it was far from an easy drive.
Current Accord Speedway point leader Anthony Perrego, who started eighth in Brian Smith’s Superior Remodeling No. 44, emerged as a contender. Perrego, during longer green-flag runs, pulled up to Higbie’s back bumper, diving to the inside of the leader.
“These kids are young and fast,” Higbie said of his challenger in Perrego.
Higbie became the 24th different winner in 55 STSS events contested since the series was formed in 2014.
Perrego, of Montgomery, N.Y., settled for a $3,000 runner-up finish.
“Jerry had a good car tonight,” Perrego said. “I thought I had a chance on the longer runs, but I couldn’t get there.”
Jeremy Smith of Triangle, N.Y., turned his 2018 STSS misfortune around with a strong third-place finish. Smith exchanged the final podium position in the race’s late stages with Wurtsboro, N.Y.’s Danny Creeden, who drove to a fourth-place result after starting 10th.
After rolling off the grid in 16th, track regular Jimmy Wells of Rosendale, N.Y., completed the front five.
St. Catharines, Ont., driver Mat Williamson was the race’s Land Hoe Maintenance LLC Hard Charger, receiving $200 cash and a number of product certificates after driving the Behrent’s Performance Warehouse No. 3 from 22nd to finish sixth in his debut at the speedway. Mike Gular of Boyertown, Pa., authored another steady drive to finish seventh in the Terry Fasnacht-owned No. 2A, followed by Billy Decker of Sidney, N.Y., who started 21st after a heat-race melee; Sprakers, N.Y.’s Friesen, recovering from his spin; and Tyler Siri of Horseheads, N.Y., who ran inside the top-five for much of the event.
Beyea Custom Headers heat winners were Higbie, Craig Hanson, Duane Howard and Tyler Boniface. Brett Tonkin and Tyler Dippel split the consolations.
Montour Falls, N.Y., driver Dale Welty invaded Accord Speedway for the first time in his long career and walked off with a $1,000 STSS Sportsman payout in the division’s wild 25-lap feature.
After a rough-and-tumble first half of the main, green-flag racing prevailed in the race’s second half. Welty, Corey Cormier and Kyle Rohner battled three-wide lap after lap for the top spot.
In the end, Welty’s high-side momentum carried him to the Sunoco Race Fuels checkered flag.
“This track reminds me of my home track Skyline Raceway Park (in Blodgett Mills, N.Y.),” Welty said. “I never ran here before today, but I’ll be back. You can run all over this place.”
Cormier settled for second after working the inside of Welty, with Rohner, Travis Green and Daniel Morgiewicz completing the front five.
Travis Brockner of Kenoza Lake, N.Y., won the 20-lap Street Stock main worth $350. Brockner held off the advances of Walt Henry in the final laps after early challenger Livy Johnson spun from contention. Ray Tarantino, Steve Williams and Greg Sleight trailed.
BULLRING BITS: Rain and lightning circled the speedway throughout the afternoon hours, with a brief shower at approximately 3:30 p.m. Precipitation was reported south and west of the speedway, but the show went on in its entirety….
The Modified feature was in the books by 9:37 p.m. after the night’s events started at 7 p.m. in a fast-paced show….
Rough night for leading Northeast winner Matt Sheppard, who required the use of a provisional to make the main event. Sheppard had switched to a back-up car for the consolation and struggled to 15th after getting entangled in a melee near the end of the 50-lap main….
The Jeremy Smith team, despite a heat-race tangle for Billy Decker, emerged with three solid finishes: Smith’s third and Decker’s eighth in the Modifieds plus a ninth-place run in the Sportsman for Darren Smith….
Up next for the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco is the rescheduled ‘Anthracite Assault’ North vs. South combined point event at Big Diamond Speedway in Minersville, Pa., on Monday, July 16. Joining the STSS Modifieds (50 laps, $5,000 to win) on the card are STSS Sportsman racing for $1,000 to win (20 laps) and XCel 600 Modifieds (20 laps).
To learn more about the 2018 Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.
The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Allstar Performance, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, HyperCo, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Land Hoe Maintenance, K&N, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, QA1, Race Pro Weekly, Racing Optics, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, Vahlco, Velocita, Weld & Wilwood.
BATTLE OF THE BULLRING 6 RESULTS SUMMARY – ACCORD SPEEDWAY JULY 3, 2018
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Halmar International North Region Race No. 3 Feature Finish (50 laps): JERRY HIGBIE, Anthony Perrego, Jeremy Smith, Danny Creeden, Jimmy Wells, Mat Williamson, Mike Gular, Billy Decker, Stewart Friesen, Tyler Siri, Duane Howard, Brett Tonkin, Nick Nye, Rich Ricci Jr., Matt Sheppard, Brian Krummel, Richard Smith, Andy Bachetti, Rick Laubach, Tyler Dippel, Craig Hanson, Ryan Godown, Frank Cozze, Mike Mahaney, Danny Tyler, Tyler Boniface, J.R. Hurlburt, Brian Malcolm.
Did Not Qualify: Steve Davis, Allison Ricci, Joseph Judge, Rich Ricci III, Rich Eurich, Jimmy Horton, Kurt Hundeland, Mike Ricci, Mike Trautschold.
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire): Tyler Siri (10th) & Nick Nye (13th)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Open Sportsman Race No. 1 Feature Finish (25 laps): DALE WELTY, Corey Cormier, Kyle Rohner, Travis Green, Daniel Morgiewicz, Joe Conklin, Craig Whitmoyer, Joey Coppola, Darren Smith, Jared Miller, Leo Fotopoulos, Alex Van Pelt, Cole Hentschel, Kevin Ward, Nick Plumstead, Dominic Roselli, Cole Stangle, Charles Loiodice, Michael Talmadge, Kevin Borden, Tyler Johnston, Nick Mady, Chris Jordan, Brandon Kuhn, Matt Shultz.
Street Stock Feature Finish (20 laps): TRAVIS BROCKNER, Walt Henry, Ray Tarantino, Steve Williams, Greg Sleight, Joel Murns Jr., Livy Johnson, Amber Van Orden.