(AFTON, NY) – When asked during pre-race festivities at the CRSA Finale at Afton Motorsports Park, how Dalton Herrick felt going into the last event with a slim points lead?
“I’m just ready for this deal to be over, I hate points racing.”
The second half of the 30-lap finale at Afton proved that as Herrick threw caution to the wind for one of the most exciting finishes of the entire 2022 season. Winning a championship in style wasn’t even a consideration as Herrick simply just wanted to the win the race, kiss the girl and cash the winner’s check. Mission accomplished on all fronts.
John Cunningham and Thomas Radivoy led the field to Jumpin’ Joe Kriss’ green flag for a long, grueling thirty laps around the tricky Afton bullring. Radivoy has had tough luck all season long and would find himself in an unfavorable spot again on the opening lap.
Radivoy got a little high into the marbles in Turn 4 coming to complete lap one and spun the Country Service Center No. 1Q. Radivoy kept going but spun right in front of Herrick who started right behind Radivoy in fourth. Herrick nearly saw his championship plans go up in a crash and also saw second-high point man Jordan Hutton cruise on by during the altercation as Hutton was eyeing a championship himself.
John Cunningham paced the field out front and looked to have the race well in hand as nobody could maintain the J27’s early pace. Cunningham even noted pre-race that he loves Afton Motorsports Park and always seems to find a way to lead at this track. All those good vibes went away on a very unlucky Lap 13.
Two cars spun together in Turn 1 ahead of Cunningham as he barreled off into the corner. Cunningham had nowhere to go and got gathered into the incident and saw his dreams for a CRSA Victory vanish into thin air. Cunningham would recover to finish 14th and took home a decent share of the $1,000+ lap money and contingencies up for grabs on this night.
This gave the lead to Kyle Pierce who had run up front all night long but was just a tick off the speed that Cunningham had showed. Pierce looked to seal up another CRSA Victory, but Herrick, Mike Kiser and Rookie Tomy Moreau all had something to say about it.
Moreau won his second CRSA Heat race of the season in the 2022 Finale and charged from seventh place up to third late in the going. It was a run that helped Moreau secure the 2022 CRSA Sprint Rookie of the Year award. An award that takes any eligible rookie’s finishes from the season, drops their best finish and their worst finish to determine their Rookie of the Year points standings. Moreau would best Greene, NY’s Calvin Wheelock by just four points- the closest Rookie battle in CRSA Sprints history.
Kiser got tangled up in a Lap 2 spin in Turn 2 that would send him to the back of the twenty-car field. That was no deterrent as Kiser battled his way around the bottom of the Afton Motorsports Park to battle Pierce and Herrick for the lead when the final yellow flag flew with five laps to go. Prior to that yellow the trio picked their way through slower traffic, going three-wide on several occasions in a battle appropriate of Finale Night.
On the restart with five to go, Herrick committed to “running the boards” to try and find a way to win. Kiser was going to commit to finding an opening underneath Pierce. Pierce knew he was in trouble as the No. 9K started sputtering low on Stinger Race Fuel methanol as they took the green with five to go.
Coming to the white flag, Herrick got high in Turn 4, opening the door for Kiser to take a shot at Pierce into Turn 1. As the lead trio entered Turn 1, Pierce’s car shut off as Herrick blasted by on the top side and held Kiser up just enough to let Herrick get away. It took the No. 29 all 29 laps to finally get the lead but he led the lap that takes a driver to CRSA Victory Lane and to the pay window.
It also took Herrick to his first CRSA Sprints title, driving a pair of 2012 Eagle chassis mounts he’s been driving for a long time for former car owner Art Kiser.
Pierce’s car picked fuel back up just long enough to carry him across the line in second. Kiser passed the most cars on the entire night to complete the podium. Moreau and Chad Miller rounded out the first five finishers.
“After that first lap when we almost junked it, I said screw it I’ll just run the top because nobody else is up there,” said a jubilant Herrick in Afton Motorsports Park Victory Lane.
When asked how he would recap a season in which he had no DNF’s and never once finished outside the Top 10 on Tour?
“It’s Over! I’m just so glad it’s over. However this thing turned out I just wanted it to be over.”
It was a regrouping year in 2022 as Kiser stepped back a little and Herrick stepped up into more of a leadership role for their team.
“We never really had it in our plans to compete for the championship, we just wanted to sort everything out this year and maybe make a run at it next year. Then we got going and said we might be able to do this.”
Pierce was happy with a podium finish to cap off another strong year but at the same time was heartbroken over what could have been.
“Really glad to finish second after a strong year but a big disappointment for sure. I guess if I had been running the top I would have run out of fuel even faster. We will take it.”
The races Powdertech Powdercoating Hard Charger of the race went to Troy, PA’s Nathan Pierce who passed 10 cars to get to ninth place. Kiser took home an extra $25 as he also earned the Maguire Cars “Magnificent Move of the Race.” Radivoy took home the Midstate Basement Authorities “Out of the Basement” bonus award. Eagle Enterprises $25 Heat Wins went to Pierce, Moreau and Trevor Years. Hardwood Hills Golf Course sponsored two bonuses at $50 each, Halfway Leader and Most Laps Led, both of which went to Pierce. VanDusen Racing bonuses went to Miller and Hutton. The New York State Stock Car Association $25 Last Car on the Lead Lap was awarded to Dana Wagner.
The CRSA Sprints will now make their plans to gather at Vernon Downs on Saturday December 3rd for the season-ending banquet. Tickets, hotel and other banquet information will be forthcoming on all CRSA Sprints platforms.
The CRSA 305 Sprints are powered by Super Gen Products with their Champion Power Equipment located in Newark, NY. Associate sponsors for 2022 include A-Verdi Storage Containers, Midstate Basement Authorities, CNY Farm Supply, the Maguire Family of Dealerships, Powdertech Powdercoating, Pit Stop Convenience Stores, PJC Sprayfoam, Profab Enterprises, Eagle Enterprises, Bonnell’s Rod Shop, DisBatch Brewing Company, Magsarus Ignitions, Hoosier Racing Tire, Insinger Performance with their Stinger Race Fuel, My Race Pass and is owned and operated by Mike Emhof Motorsports.
For more information on the series, results, points and 2022 schedule please visit our website www.crsasprints.com
SUPER GEN PRODUCTS CRSA SPRINTS @ AFTON MOTORSPORTS PARK OFFICIAL RESULTS- Friday October 7th, 2022:
A-MAIN RESULTS (30 Laps): 1. 29-Dalton Herrick ($1,000); 2. 9K-Kyle Pierce; 3. 99-Mike Kiser; 4. 22-Tomy Moreau; 5. 88C-Chad Miller; 6. 66-Jordan Hutton; 7. 28-Ron Greek; 8. 410-Jerry Sehn Jr; 9. 10-Nathan Pierce; 10. 13T-Trevor Years; 11. 112-Mike VanPelt; 12. 4T-Ray Preston; 13. 98-Alex Adamsky; 14. J27-John Cunningham; 15. 5T-Mark Taylor; 16. 7W-Calvin Wheelock; 17. 25W-Dana Wagner; 18. (DNF) 3A-Jeff Trombley; 19. (DNF) 22M-Aaron Shelton; 20. (DNF) 1Q-Thomas Radivoy
Eagle Enterprises Heat Bonuses $25: 9K Kyle Pierce, 22 Tomy Moreau, 13T Trevor Years
Powdertech Powdercoating Hard Charger Bonus: 10 Nathan Pierce +10 Spots
Maguire Family of Dealerships “Magnificent Move of the Race”: 99 Mike Kiser
Midstate Basement Authorities “Out of the Basement” Bonus: 1Q Thomas Radivoy
Halfway Leader Bonus $50 Hardwood Hills Golf Course: 9K Kyle Pierce
Most Laps Led $50 Hardwood Hills Golf Course: 9K Kyle Pierce
5th Place Bonus $25 VanDusen Racing: 88C Chad Miller
6th Place Bonus $25 VanDusen Racing: 66 Jordan Hutton
Last Car on the Lead Lap $25 New York State Stock Car Association: 25W Dana Wagner
Heats (8 laps)
#1: 1. 9K-Kyle Pierce; 2. 1Q-Thomas Radivoy; 3. 66-Jordan Hutton; 4. 3A-Jeff Trombley; 5. 88C-Chad Miller; 6. 5T-Mark Taylor; 7. 10-Nathan Pierce
#2: 1. 22-Tomy Moreau; 2. 29-Dalton Herrick; 3. 25W-Dana Wagner; 4. 410-Jerry Sehn Jr; 5. 98-Alex Adamsky; 6. 22M-Aaron Shelton; 7. 7W-Calvin Wheelock
#3: 1. 13T-Trevor Years; 2. J27-John Cunningham; 3. 28-Ron Greek; 4. 99-Mike Kiser; 5. 112-Mike VanPelt; 6. 4T-Ray Preston