Matt Rotz Nick Meka Photo

By Marty Czekala
CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. – A new CRSA Sprints series record of 38 drivers checked in to Land of Legends Raceway Saturday to kick off the DisBatch Brewing Company Challenge.

In the end, a first-time winner had to earn his stripes.

Matt Rotz led all 20 laps and held off Bobby Parrow in the final laps to score his first career CRSA win and his first-ever win at Canandaigua.

“It feels like I’ve been working towards this all my life. I finally achieved it,” said Rotz, who is in his fourth year of sprint car racing.

In the final laps, with a series of cautions, Parrow kept closing onto the leader and climbed up the leaderboard to have a chance on Rotz. With two to go, Parrow went for the lead with a run underneath and grabbed, but before Parrow crossed the line, a red flag flew for Cliff Pierce and Jerry Sehn Jr. Both drivers were okay.

This gave Rotz the lead back and defended perfectly over Parrow’s move to get it done.

“Before the last caution, I saw him get under me,” Rotz explained. “I was like, ‘Oh crap, I got to change something up.’ After that restart, I went low where he would go, and it just worked.”

“Matt learned from it,” said Parrow. “He was driving defensively, and I got to hand it to him. He did good.”

The feature began with Alysha Bay and Matt Rotz on the front row. Wing-to-wing after the first lap, Rotz could clear and pull away. While entering lapped traffic near the halfway point, Bay and Ethan Gray could close in on the leader while approaching lapped traffic.

After a 14-lap run, the race’s first yellow flew when Dalton Herrick broke, bringing the field back together.

Outside of Rotz being the top story, it was Parrow making moves down low and up high, especially on restarts, to get a chance at the win. Restarting fifth on the lap 15 restart, he passed John Smith for fourth. Eventually, he would overtake Bay for second approaching two to go before a yellow for Tyler Chartrand, Parrow had a chance to pounce.

He took the lead by passing Rotz low for the lead, but because the red flew before Parrow could take the white, the field reverted to the previous green flag lap. The final restart gave Rotz a second chance to hold off Parrow, which the No. 77 did by a tenth of a second.

“I was gonna see if he was going to block the middle and bottom or go up top,” Parrow said on his restarts, especially on the final restart. “I thought my restarts were okay, but I gotta be better to pass them all.”

Parrow moving past Alysha Bay and Jeff Trombley on the high side in the final laps was the Maguire Family of Dealerships Magnificent Move of the Race.

Tomy Moreau was the Powdertech Powdercoating Hard Charger of the Race, gaining 13 spots to finish fifth.

CRSA will now turn its attention to Weedsport Speedway on Sunday to begin the I-90 Pit Stop Challenge. The action can be seen live on DIRTVision.

A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 77-Matt Rotz[2]; 2. 80-Bobby Parrow[8]; 3. 48A-Alysha Bay[1]; 4. 3A-Jeff Trombley[7]; 5. 22-Tomy Moreau[18]; 6. 10-Nathan Pierce[15]; 7. 23-John Smith[4]; 8. 21Z-Zach Sobotka[20]; 9. 21B-Blake Warner[5]; 10. 8-Dillon Paddock[22]; 11. 18C-Dan Craun[9]; 12. 2-Randy Years[21]; 13. 12-Tyler Chartrand[16]; 14. J27-John Cunningham[17]; 15. 28-Ron Greek[13]; 16. D9-Dustin Sehn[25]; 17. 410-Jerry Sehn Jr[26]; 18. 9K-Kyle Pierce[11]; 19. 4-Cliff Pierce[19]; 20. 25G-Tyler Graves[10]; 21. 17E-Ethan Gray[6]; 22. 26J-Johnny Kolosek[3]; 23. 29-Dalton Herrick[24]; 24. 121-Steve Glover[14]; 25. 33Z-Sydney Weatherbee[23]; 26. (DNS) 66-Jordan Hutton

B Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 121-Steve Glover[1]; 2. 21Z-Zach Sobotka[3]; 3. J27-John Cunningham[2]; 4. 29-Dalton Herrick[5]; 5. X-Dan Bennett[4]; 6. 14X-Lance Dusett[6]; 7. D9-Dustin Sehn[8]; 8. 1NY-Mark Reynolds[7]; 9. 410-Jerry Sehn Jr[9]; 10. 99-Adam Depuy[11]; 11. 22M-Aaron Shelton[12]; 12. 29T-Tori Kaplin[10]; 13. 48JR-Darryl Ruggles[14]; 14. 45-David Ferguson[13]; 15. 18L-Timmy Lotz[15]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 23-John Smith[4]; 2. 48A-Alysha Bay[3]; 3. 3A-Jeff Trombley[9]; 4. 22-Tomy Moreau[1]; 5. 2-Randy Years[6]; 6. 29-Dalton Herrick[7]; 7. 9-Alan Buchanan[10]; 8. 29T-Tori Kaplin[2]; 9. 99-Adam Depuy[8]; 10. 30-Kirsten Dombroski[5]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 25G-Tyler Graves[2]; 2. 77-Matt Rotz[4]; 3. 26J-Johnny Kolosek[1]; 4. 12-Tyler Chartrand[3]; 5. 28-Ron Greek[7]; 6. 121-Steve Glover[9]; 7. 21Z-Zach Sobotka[10]; 8. 1NY-Mark Reynolds[6]; 9. 410-Jerry Sehn Jr[8]; 10. 14-James Layton[5]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 18C-Dan Craun[2]; 2. 9K-Kyle Pierce[1]; 3. 80-Bobby Parrow[6]; 4. 10-Nathan Pierce[4]; 5. 8-Dillon Paddock[5]; 6. J27-John Cunningham[8]; 7. X-Dan Bennett[9]; 8. D9-Dustin Sehn[3]; 9. 22M-Aaron Shelton[7]

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 66-Jordan Hutton[8]; 2. 21B-Blake Warner[5]; 3. 17E-Ethan Gray[2]; 4. 4-Cliff Pierce[1]; 5. 33Z-Sydney Weatherbee[4]; 6. 14X-Lance Dusett[6]; 7. (DNF) 18L-Timmy Lotz[7]; 8. (DNF) 48JR-Darryl Ruggles[9]; 9. (DNF) 45-David Ferguson[3]

The A-Verdi Storage Containers CRSA Sprints are powered by Super Gen Products. Associate sponsors for 2024 include Pit Stop Convenience Stores, DisBatch Brewing Company, Dandy, Joe’s Garage, Westward Painting Company, the Maguire Family of Dealerships, Powdertech Powdercoating, PJC Sprayfoam, Profab Enterprises, Magsarus Ignitions, Hoosier Racing Tire, Insinger Performance with their Stinger Race Fuel, My Race Pass and is owned and operated by Mike Emhof Motorsports.