From Steven Ovens
VERNON, N.Y. (June 25, 2021) – The Super Gen Products with Champion Power Equipment CRSA Sprints joined associate sponsor A-Verdi Storage Containers and headed East to the Brett Deyo-promoted Utica-Rome Speedway. A huge crowd turned out for the 243rd event in CRSA Sprints history and 15th event ever held at the “Home of Heroes” dating back to the inaugural season in 2006.
Alysha Bay has experience at Utica-Rome in “Cole Cup” competition with the 360 sprint cars, competing with her 305 sprinter. But Friday night was a whole new deal as she was competing against a field of 24 sprint cars all vying for glory at the track made famous by the likes of Richie Evans, Mitch Gibbs, Bobby Varin, Stewart Friesen and Matt Sheppard.
All 24 cars took the green flag from Utica-Rome chief starter Joe Kriss but he would quickly have to exchange his green flag for his red flag as a massive accident involving 8 cars broke out on the backstretch. Chase Moran and Tom Fletcher both got upside down with cars scattering every which way trying to avoid contact. Brandyn Griffin and Steve Glover also went pit side with heavy damage and could not refire.
Once the green flag was displayed Bay took to finding any and all grip along the low lane of the speedway to jump out quickly to a four-car length advantage. The fast mover behind the Alysha’s Cut & Curl machine was Stephentown, NY’s Matt Tanner who was making a rare appearance in CRSA competition driving the 56 car for owner Mike VanDusen.
While Tanner had cracked into the Top 5 for the first time all night, another driver suffered misfortune in getting upside down over the banking in Turn 1. Manchester, NY’s Ethan Gray, known in 2021 as the “Mullet Bullet,” turned the Ballard Sports 17E over drawing a red flag.
A stretch of green flag laps in the middle portion of the race saw Tanner start to take a bite out of the lead that Bay was able to get on every start and restart. Tanner was taking the long way around the top of Utica-Rome’s fast half-mile but had to have near-perfect laps to make up time with big runs off of Turn 2 and Turn 4.
The race would be slowed one final time on Lap 18 when 16-year old South Onandaga resident Tucker Donath, making his first ever CRSA Sprints start after graduating from go-karts, spun just ahead of the leaders in Turn 2. This set up a thrilling green-white-checkered finish.
Bay opened up just enough of a gap on the green flag to keep Tanner an arm’s reach back for the two-lap dash to Kriss’ checkered flags. Tanner didn’t give up on running the top lane but there just wasn’t enough time to build up enough momentum to mount a challenge. Bay took her first Utica-Rome Speedway checkered flag by two car-lengths and 0.387 on the stop watch.
“I told everyone this year I wasn’t going to run the full CRSA Sprints schedule, but Utica-Rome was definitely on my list. I love this place,” said Bay.
There was no doubting that laps on the track in the past running against the 360 sprint cars was a benefit in searching for a groove to make speed.
“I was having a better time finding moisture and grip in Turns 1 and 2. They said the 56 was running the top but I stayed where this car likes to run and never saw him.”
Tanner was happy to put a good run together, race close with his longtime girlfriend Emily in the heat race and bring home a podium finish.
“Great night all around, we got to race side by side in the heat. She gave me a run there. Then in the feature we drove up through and happy to have the VanDusen’s give me an opportunity to drive for them tonight in front of a good crowd,” said Tanner.
Dana Wagner is starting to get things righted around after some recent tough luck at Weedsport Speedway.
“We had the car rolling good, just need to get better at that redraw stuff,” explained Wagner. “It’s hard coming from the back like that but we will keep working on it and come back and do it again.”
The Powdertech Powdercoating Hard Charger Bonus went to Spencer, NY’s Kyle Pierce who started in position number twenty and charged eleven spots to finish ninth.
Rookie competitor out of Hannibal, NY- Jordan Hutton made an exciting move late in the race to crack into the Top 5 and slide into the fourth spot. This move on a late race restart earned him the “Maguire Family of Dealerships Magnificent Move of the Race.”
The award drivers are appreciative of but don’t necessarily want to see at night’s end was awarded to Chase Moran after his race ended just as quickly as it got started, flipping down the Utica-Rome back straightaway. A 24th place finish earned Moran the “Midstate Basement Authorities Out of the Basement” award.
CRSA Fonda Notes:
The cutest new addition to the CRSA Sprints family “Reed Matthew” and his mom Emily VanInwegen and dad Matt Tanner driving the Mike VanDusen owned No. 56 would join CRSA for the first time in 2021. In fact, Emily and Matt found each other on the front row for Heat Race No. 1. A huge welcome back and congratulations to both drivers, Reed and families.
Cory Sparks returned to CRSA Sprints competition on this night, as did Mike Kiser who scored a podium finish on June 5 at Fonda.
Tom Fletcher was aboard the No. 53 that has two series wins on the year with Bobby Parrow at the wheel. Unfortunately for Fletcher, his night ended on the hook as he paired up with Chase Moran for a double flip down the backstretch. Add Ethan Gray to the bad luck bus as they finally got their mechanical woes corrected but got upside down in Turn 1 during this night’s A-Main.
Next on the schedule for the Super Gen Products / Champion Power Equipment CRSA Sprints is a trip to West Haven, Vermont and the Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Saturday July 3rd in a 305/360 Challenge Race with the SCoNE (Sprint Cars of New England) 360 Sprint Cars. Quickly followed by a Friday night trip to Afton Motorsports Park on Friday July 9th.
The CRSA 305 Sprints are powered by Super Gen Products with their Champion Power Equipment located in Newark, NY. Associate sponsors for the 2021 CRSA 305 Sprints include Midstate Basement Authorities, CNY Farm Supply, the Maguire Family of Dealerships, Powdertech Powdercoating, Hoosier Racing Tires, Insinger Performance with their Stinger Race Fuel and is owned and operated by Mike Emhof Motorsports.
For more information on the series, results, points and 2021 schedule please visit our website www.crsa.myracepass.com
Please visit the Super Gen Products with Champion Power Equipment CRSA Sprints on Facebook (@CRSAsprints) and on Twitter (@CRSAsprints).
SUPER GEN PRODUCTS CRSA SPRINTS @ UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY OFFICIAL RESULTS- Friday June 25th, 2021:
A-MAIN RESULTS (20 Laps): 1. 48A-Alysha Bay ($1,000); 2. 56-Matt Tanner; 3. 25W-Dana Wagner; 4. 66-Jordan Hutton; 5. 3A-Jeff Trombley; 6. 48JR-Darryl Ruggles; 7. 41J-Josh Flint; 8. 13T-Trevor Years; 9. 9K-Kyle Pierce; 10. 29-Dalton Herrick; 11. 28-Ron Greek; 12. 18C-Dan Craun; 13. J27-John Cunningham; 14. 99-Mike Kiser; 15. 22M-Matt Priscott; 16. 3-Tucker Donath; 17. 4-Hank Katz; 18. 19EM-Emily VanInwegen; 19. 17E-Ethan Gray; 20. 1HD-Cory Sparks; 21. 75-Brandyn Griffin; 22. 121-Steve Glover; 23. 53-Thomas Fletcher; 24. 41-Chase Moran
Powdertech Powdercoating Hard Charger Bonus: 9K Kyle Pierce +11
Maguire Family of Dealerships “Magnificent Move of the Race”: 66 Jordan Hutton
Midstate Basement Authorities “Out of the Basement” Bonus: 41 Chase Moran
Heats (8 laps)
#1: 56 Matt Tanner, 48JR Darryl Ruggles, 19EM Emily VanInwegen, 66 Jordan Hutton, 99 Mike Kiser, 41J Josh Flint, 29 Dalton Herrick, 22M Matt Priscott
#2: 25W Dana Wagner, 3A Jeff Trombley, 75 Brandyn Griffin, 48A Alysha Bay, 121 Steve Glover, 18C Dan Craun, 9K Kyle Pierce, 4 Hank Katz
#3: J27 John Cunningham, 17E Ethan Gray, 13T Trevor Years, 28 Ron Greek, 53 Tom Fletcher, 41 Chase Moran, 1HD Cory Sparks, 3 Tucker Donath