DeLorenzo Scores at The Great Race Place
Race Report By: Tom Boggie /Albany Saratoga Media
Photos By: Dave Dalesandro/MSI Photo
MALTA, NY – The stars all lined up for Matt DeLorenzo Friday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.
He had a good-handling race car, a good starting position … and the fact that Brett Hearn wasn’t racing didn’t hurt, either.
DeLorenzo, who has been tweaking a new Bicknell chassis since the beginning of the season, looked like he finally hit on the right combination Friday night as he recorded his first win of the season in the 35-lap modified feature.
The win came at a good time, as DeLorenzo picked up a $500 bonus from Amsterdam Trailer Repair for the victory, his first since Aug. 19, 2016.
DeLorenzo started fourth in the field and after chasing polesitter Jessey Mueller, got the lead coming out of turn four on lap 4.
But Mueller, who was looking for his first career victory, didn’t let DeLorenzo get away. DeLorenzo got his Bicknell chassis hooked up in the top groove, while Mueller kept trying to make his car work on the bottom.
Ronnie Johnson, who had started 10th, began to battle Mueller for second and looked ready to take over the No. 2 spot following a restart on lap 10, but Johnson then jumped the berm in turn one, letting Mueller get a little breathing room.
Mueller could keep DeLorenzo in his sights, but failed to make up a lot of ground, so on lap 20, he moved up and began using the same line that was working for DeLorenzo. The lane change allowed Mueller close the gap on the leader, and he then got the break he needed with four laps left, when Rich Ronca went off the second turn to bring out the yellow.
But DeLorenzo got a good restart, and easily held off Mueller for the victory. “The car was strong all night,” said DeLorenzo later. “I kept waiting for someone to show me their nose on the inside, but no one did, so I just stayed on top.” Marc Johnson took the No. 3 spot away from Ronnie Johnson, and Bobby Hackel IV completed the top five.
Hearn, who won his first feature of the season at Albany-Saratoga Speedway on June 8, was competing in a Super DIRT Series race at Brewerton Friday night, as was Keith Flach.
Jason Gray got a big scare, but still made his way to victory lane for the first time this year in the 25-lap sportsman feature. Gray got the lead on lap five and won a little battle with Daryl Nutting to maintain the lead, but Gray got into heavy traffic with five laps to go, and then had to take evasive action when Christopher Ronca spun right in front of him in the second turn on lap 21. But Gray avoided any contact and beat Nutting and Robert Bublak Jr. to the checkered flag.
Ed Thompson ended a five-year winless streak in the 25-lap pro stock feature. Thompson started third, and then used a restart on lap five to get the lead for good.
Thompson, who got his first win at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in 2009, but then had to take a couple of years off to deal with health issues, outran Jason Corbin and Brandon Emigh to the checkered flag.
“I think we finally figured it out,” said Thompson In victory lane. “It’s been a rough road with this car for the last couple of years.”
Stephen Kneer chalked up his first win of the season in the limited sportsman feature, while Jared Powell won the mini-stock feature, finishing in front of Steve Ryan and David Frame.
The street stocks ran a pair of features. In the first one, Randy Miller extended his winning streak to five races, but in the second, David Cook ended Miller’s streak.
MODIFIEDS: Matt DeLorenzo, Jessey Mueller, Marc Johnson, Ronnie Johnson, Bobby Hackel IV, Jack Lehner, Bodie Bellinger, Jeremy Wilder, Brian Gleason, Elmo Reckner, Kris Vernold, Neil Stratton, Kenny Tremont Jr., Demetrios Drellos, Don Ronca, Matt Pupello, Matt Depew, CG Morey, Jim Nagle, Jackie Brown, Rich Ronca, Justin Barber, Jeff Rockefeller, Dylan Scribner.
SPORTSMAN: Jason Gray, Daryl Nutting, Robert Bublak, Tim Hartman Jr., Jack Speshock, Connor Cleveland, Andrew Buff, Chris Johnson, James Meehan, Scott Duell, Derek Bornt, Jim Osgood, Dave Constantino, Chad Edwards, Dave Baranowski Jr., Pat Jones, Mike Ostrander, Mike Coffey Jr., Jeremy Pitts, Jake Scarborough, Jason Rheome, Jon Miller, Nick Fretto, Tanner Siemons, Adam McAuliffe, Nick Lussier, Chris Ronca, Fred Proctor, Jesse Edwards, Elliot Lussier, Ken Conroy, Joey Scarborough.
LIMITED SPORTSMAN: Stephen Kneer, Paolo Pascerella, Michael Wagner Fitzgerald, Scott Bennett, John Stowell, EJ McAuliffe, Dylan Bokus, Dan Grignon, Justin Buff, Josh Rozelle, David Boisclair, Thomas VanVorst, Jacab Volpi, Steve Burch, Travis Billington, Josh Hemming, Jim Mattison, James Hinman, Bob Schmidt, Emily Quinn, Derrick McGrew Jr., Bryan Jones Jr.
PRO STOCKS: Ed Thompson, Jason Corbin, Brandon Emigh, Chuck Dumblewski, Dean Charbonneau, Kim Duell, Kenny Martin, Norm Loubier, Nick Arnold, Dan Older, Dave DePaulo, Darrell Older, Dan Madison, Scott Towslee, Rob Langevin, Brandon Gray, Luke Horning.
STREET STOCKS (carried over from May 4): Randy Miller, David Cook, Scott Lawrence, Al Relyea, Damon Anderson, Mark Burch, John Filarecki, Phil Arnold, Pete Vila, Justin Taylor, John Hayes.
STREET STOCKS (regular feature): David Cook, John Filarecki, Randy Miller, Mark Burch, Al Relyea, Damon Anderson, Scott Lawrence, David Shippee, Phil Arnold, Pete Vila, John Hayes, Harold Chadderton, Dustin Stevenson, Jason Bennett, Tim McFarland.
4 CYLINDER SINGLE CAM – Dave LeBarge, Cordelle Younger, Tyler Burch, Robert Garney, Johnny Bennett
4 CYLINDER DUAL CAM – Jared Powell, Steve Ryan, David Frame, P.J.