By Rich Vleck
BATAVIA, NY, (June 6, 2022) – June may have just started, but at the Genesee Speedway, only two races remain this month, and they figure to be two of the biggest events of the year.
This Saturday, June 11th, the Genesee Speedway will host the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints for only the sixth time in their 39 years. The winged 360 sprint car division returned to Batavia in 2021 after a 14-year hiatus and put on a thrilling show with some incredible battles for the top spot, with Davie Franek of Wantage, NJ taking home the win. Defending ESS Champion Jason Barney was a winner at Albany on Friday and will seek redemption from a tough night at Genesee last year. Scott Kreutter and Chuck Hebing are among the drivers with wins in their career at the 1/3-mile oval and put on a show last year.
With the sprint cars in town, the night will have a special start time of 5:00 p.m. All six weekly divisions will be in competition, with Saturday’s show presented by A-Verdi Storage Containers. A-Verdi has been a long-time supporter of dirt racing in New York State and has been a partner of the Genesee Speedway for more than five years. A-Verdi provides temporary storage and office solutions for any environment across the state. For more information, visit www.Averdi.com. The ESS Dash will be presented on the night by IndyKart Raceway, which offers the ability for anyone to race indoor electric go karts with speeds up to 45 mph at The Marketplace Mall in Henrietta, NY. Check them out at www.indykartraceway.com.
Not long after the dust settles on Saturday’s sprint car showcase, Genesee Speedway will roar back to life on Thursday, June 16 with the first of two midweek shows in 2022. Johnson Automotive will present the second annual “Light Up the Night for Kenzie”, a birthday race for MacKenzie Kulesza, an ultimate race fan and daughter of Mini Stock competitor Tony Kulesza, who lost her life in an accident in November of 2020.
The highlight of the memorial night will be a 25-lap Mini Stock event which is sure to bring in outside competitors, especially with KB Graphics donating a vinyl wrap to the winner. The race will also feature lap sponsors and specialty awards. Also on the night will be a fireworks display which will be sure to be memorable.
All weekly divisions will be on hand, plus the only appearance of the season by the Pro Mods. The Novice Sportsman will be running a feature only. Race time is slated for 7:00 p.m. Presenting sponsor Johnson Automotive, located in Batavia, has served the community for 20 years now with full-service auto repair.
Once the final checkered flag falls on this Thursday Night Thunder program, it will put a quick end to racing in June, as there will be no Saturday Night racing on the 18th and the 25th. With 16 days guaranteed between events, teams will be anxious to get to Victory Lane before reaching this season’s halftime period.
Six races into the 2022 season, 25 different drivers have picked up a feature win at Genesee Speedway, including six different winners in each of The Detail Shop Mini Stock Features. Bill Weller Jr. leads the points in that class, while Seth Johnson leads the DML Sealing Bandits, the youth mini stock class, off the strength of three victories. Bailey Logsdon has taken over the top spot in the Ron & Newt’s Sales & Service Novice Sportsman after winning her first heat race this past Saturday.
Bill Taylor has command of the Yasses Trucking & Construction Street Stock points with six top-2s, but has to once again repair his No. 1 after a tough race Saturday. Doug Ricotta leads the Cornerstone Eye Associates Late Models standings, but one slip up could open up the door for former track champions Jimmy Johnson and JJ Mazur, as well as former 360 Late Model champions Jon Rivers and Dave DuBois.
While the season is still young, the points battle in the Stirling Lubricants Sportsman is one to start to focus in on. Just seven points separate the top five drivers, each of whom have a feature win under their belt. Defending champion Cameron Tuttle currently holds the top spot, but Phil Vigneri III and Jim Harbison are just a single point behind. Noah Walker and Dave Conant, the last two feature winners, are currently tied for fourth.
For more information, visit http://www.Genesee-Speedway.com.