September 25, 2015 (Fonda, NY) – Heading into the King Of Dirt Crate Sportsman ‘Clash Of Champions’ finale at Fonda Speedway three drivers had a shot at the crown. After 30 laps it was time for Sign Action Productions victory lane and only one metal wheeling warrior claimed the crown. It took a career year for Rocky Warner to climb onto the throne, but now his peers hail to the king.
Kurtis Hohensheldt and Nick Anatriello led the 31-car field to the green flag with Hohensheldt claiming the early race lead with the Mattice Plumbing & Heating 54h. That lead would be short lived as the yellow flew after just one lap when the HICO Fabrication number 9 of Anatriello slowed with a broken left front shock tower and the New England Air Systems 2 of Tim Hodge was towed back to the pits with front end damage.
On the restart Hohensheldt took the lead once again this time from the JWS Auto Repair 26a of Aaron Burton. Behind the front running pair the West End Towing 24p of Brian Pessolano and the DKM Fabrication 7 of Robert Bublak Jr. made short work of the WD Hewins Excavating 35 of Chris Curtis while battling inside the top five. Just as the Jake Spraker 1J of Rocky Warner set his sights on 5th the yellow flag flew for the 21L of Alissa Cody who hit the wall hard in turn one.
On the restart Hohensheldt went back to the lead, but now Burton was under fire from Pessolano, Bublak Jr., and now Warner who made a big move to climb into the top four. Following Warner to the front was the West End Towing 79 of Dave Constantino who would become a factor later in the 30-lap feature event. The action was just starting to heat up.
Burton made a move to the inside of Hohensheldt for the lead heading into turn one, but it was Warner turning heads as he went three wide in the middle to battle for the lead. Hohensheldt held on until lap nine when Warner was finally able to take the top spot away leaving him to fend off Burton for 2nd.
By halfway Warner had the lead, Constantino had worked his way into 2nd, Bublak was close behind in 3rd, Brian Pessolano was 4th, and the Socha Plaza 1M of Mark Mortensen was battling to keep 5th. With Warner out front it was seemingly a done deal, until lap 19 opened the leaders eyes wide.
The aforementioned Constantino made a wall scraping move on the outside to take the lead from Warner, which he followed up with a daring three wide move through lap traffic. Nicknamed the man of many faces for his costume enthusiastic victory lane ceremonies when he wins was showing signs of Evel Knievel under the helmet as he raced away from the flyin’ squirrel.
While that was happening up front other storylines were developing through the field. The battle for 2nd in points was heating up, as the Dean’s Electrical Services 09 of Connor Cleveland finally was able to reel in the ill handling Dodson Construction 14 of Chad Edwards for position. By winning his heat Cleveland had closed the gap on Edwards and finishing ahead of him would surely lock him into the runner up position in final point standings.
Jason Gray in the Connecticut Valley Auto Auctions 00 was working on locking himself into the Rookie Of The Year honors with moves of his own, but found himself in tough company with the Parillo Services 27m of Derrick McGrew, and the Grennon Project Services 27 of Jeremy Pitts all fighting for position.
Cody Clark in the North Hudson Woodcraft Corporation number 4 was turning heads. Clark started 25th on the grid and worked his way into the top 10 in the later stages of the race. He wasn’t done as the high flying Teo Pro Car was hooked up and hunting a top five position.
Yellow slowed the field on lap 24 when the 88 of John Miller stopped in turn three. The field would restack and Constantino would have to make a tactical decision. Protect the bottom from the fastest Crate Sportsman driver on the planet, or take the top where he had been successful in taking the lead from the same driver.
Constantino would use the bottom on the restart and race Warner to turn one, but it was the Jake Spraker 1J that powered back to the point off turn two. For the next 4 or 5 laps Constantino would try throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Rocky Warner to regain the top spot, but nothing was stopping the Gloversville, NY driver from claiming the ‘Clash Of Champions’ win and the King Of Dirt Crate Sportsman championship in the process.
Rocky and the 1J team took home $1,500 for their efforts thanks to Dean’s Electrical Services and Cleveland Brothers Landscaping who pitched in a little extra to make the Basement Systems King Of Dirt Crate Sportsman Series Presented By Dodson Construction, Kevin Koval’s Adirondack Basement Systems, and Hoosier Racing Tire season finale worth just a little more through the top 10.
Connor Cleveland was able to gain just enough points to secure the runner up spot in points on the final race of the 2015 season for the KOD tour. Cleveland finds himself once again runner up to the flyin’ squirrel, but was able to overcome a tough valley swing to earn the spot.
Chad Edwards was on the heels of Warner through the better part of the King Of Dirt Series, which he managed to claim one of the series higher profile awards. Edwards earned the 2015 Bicknell Warriors Top Honor from Bicknell Racing Products, which he’ll be honored for during the year-end banquet.
Jason Gray had himself a very impressive 2015 King Of Dirt Crate Sportsman Series effort that caught the attention of many. Gray locked up the Race Pro Weekly Rookie Of The Year honors at the Fonda Speedway ‘Clash Of Champions’ finale, which he too will collect at banquet time.
Last but not least Rocky Warner locked up the Dirt Track Digest Lap Leaders award by leading the most laps on tour in 2015. Warner who battled hard to win three of the six races on the KOD tour led 106 laps of the available 250.
Next up for the King Of Dirt Racing Series is the 2015-year end banquet, which currently is tentatively scheduled for the early part of December. Once final touches have been put on the gathering, it will be announced via the social media page and website for King Of Dirt.
KOD NOTES: Rocky Warner claimed the inaugural King Of Dirt Crate Sportsman championship joining fellow Fonda Speedway alum Nick Stone in title town.
Chad Edwards earned the Bicknell Warriors Top Honor award for the highest finishing Bicknell Racing Products driver.
Jason Gray earned the Race Pro Weekly Rookie Of The Year honors at seasons end.
Warner led the most laps during the 2015 KOD tour earning the Dirt Track Digest Lap Leaders award.
Cody Clark had an impressive run in the KOD finale charging from 25th to 4th in his Teo Pro Car.
Albany-Saratoga hot shoe Jeremy Pitts wheeled from 18th to 6th in an impressive run.
When the KOD season concluded the series averaged 44 cars per event, with the Northeast Crate Nationals having the highest count to date with a record setting 65 drivers competing back on September 11th at Malta.
2016 season is already in the works, where the series will only grow. Special thanks to Lyle DeVore, Matt DeLorenzo, all the sponsors, officials, and fans who help keep the dream alive.
09/25/15 BASEMENT SYSTEMS KING OF DIRT CRATE SPORTSMAN SERIES CLASH OF CHAMPIONS PRESENTED BY DODSON CONSTRUCTION, ADIRONDACK BASEMENT SYSTEMS, DEAN’S ELECTRICAL SERVICES, & CLEVELAND BROTHERS LANDSCAPING FEATURE RESULTS (30 LAPS) – 1) ROCKY WARNER, 2) Dave Constantino, 3) Robert Bublak Jr., 4) Cody Clark, 5) Brian Pessolano, 6) Jeremy Pitts, 7) Connor Cleveland, 8) Derrick McGrew, 9) Cody Bleau, 10) Matt Pappa, 11) Chris Curtis, 12) Aaron Burton, 13) David Schilling, 14) Jason Gray, 15) Chad Edwards, 16) Kurtis Hohensheldt, 17) Dan Santabarbara, 18) Michael Sabia, 19) Jon Miller, 20) Ivan Joslin, 21) Mark Mortensen, 22) Joey Scarborough, 23) Tim Hartman Jr., 24) Billy Gray, 25) Greg Havlicek, 26) Floyd Billington, 27) John Proctor, 28) John Miller, 29) Alissa Cody, 30) Nick Anatriello, 31) Tim Hodge.
JTees Screen Printing Heat Race #1 Results (8 Laps) – ROCKY WARNER, Robert Bublak Jr., Derrick McGrew, Chad Edwards, Cody Bleau, Greg Havlicek, John Proctor, Alissa Cody, Cody Clark, John Miller, Floyd Billington. (4R)
JTees Screen Printing Heat Race #2 Results (8 Laps) – NICK ANATRIELLO, Dave Constantino, Aaron Burton, Brian Pessolano, Tim Hodge, Dan Santabarbara, Ivan Joslin, David Schilling, Matt Pappa, Billy Gray. (4R)
JTees Screen Printing Heat Race #3 Results (8 Laps) – CONNOR CLEVELAND, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Chris Curtis, Mark Mortensen, Jason Gray, Jeremy Pitts, Joey Scarborough, Michael Sabia, Tim Hartman Jr., Jon Miller. (4R)
Contingency & Bonus Awards:
Hoosier Tire Certificate – Jon Miller
Elmo’s Speed & Supply Certificate – Chris Curtis
DKM Fabrication Certificate – Aaron Burton
Boyd’s Motorworks Certificate – Kurtis Hohensheldt
Race Pro Weekly Rookie Of The Race – Cody Clark
Horn Lady Motorsports Hard Charger – Cody Clark (25th to 4th)
Dirt Track Digest Lap Leaders – Kurtis Hohensheldt (1-9), Rocky Warner (10-19), Dave Constantino (20-24), Rocky Warner (25-30).
KING OF DIRT AND NORTHEAST CRATE NATIONALS is brought to you in part by sponsors and partners that include: Albany Saratoga Speedway, Fonda Speedway, Lebanon Valley Speedway, Basement Systems, Todd Lutinski’s Dry Zone Basement Systems, Kevin Koval’s Adirondack Basement Systems, Dodson Construction, Hoosier Racing Tire, Elmo’s Speed & Supply, DKM Fabrication, Fox Racing Shocks, Fastline Performance, Beyea Custom Headers& Exhausts, Bicknell Racing Products, Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar &Grill, DeLorenzo Speed Supply, Boyd’s Motorworks, Sign Action Productions, DH Graphix, Bill McGaffin Photography, Grennon Project Services, Lazzaro’s Auto Body, Saratoga Masonry, Horn Lady Motorsports, ASI Racewear, Jtees Screen Printing, Bloomfield’s Florist, Duell Family Racing, Dean’s Electrical Services, 1-800-GOT-JUNK, H&R Motorsports, Ryder’s Lawn Care, Next Generation Roofing, Smokers Choice, Speed’s Garage, Stone Motorsports & Auto Sales, Race Pro Weekly, Doug’s Dirt Diary, Final Reward Trophy, Dirt Track Digest, Sorrenti’s Pizzeria, and Mayhem Motorsports.