A Win for Dad: Anthony Perrego Tops STSS Accord Battle of the Bullring Honoring His Father

Written by Chris Moore

ACCORD, NY – A win for Dad.

The Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco honored the late Tom Perrego on Tuesday night at Accord Speedway with the ‘Battle of the Bullring 8’ presented by Land Hoe Maintenance.

After 50 ‘up-on-the-wheel’ laps around the quarter-mile oval, Middletown, N.Y.’s Anthony Perrego was standing in Victory Lane, holding the “big check” with an image of him and his father.

“Dad was definitely riding with me there at the end,” proclaimed an excited Perrego after his $5,440 payday driving the Brian Smith-owned Superior Remodeling No. 44.

The win for Perrego was his third in the ‘Battle of the Bullring’ event at Accord, joining conquests in 2017 and 2014. Perrego now owns seven STSS Modified victories in his career.

A field of 50 STSS Modifieds signed in at the Ulster County facility for the Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply North Region opener.

Five heat races and three consolation events set the 27-car starting field.

Shane Jablonka and Bobby Hackel occupied the front row after the Beyea Custom Headers redraw. Sheffield, Mass., star Andy Bachetti was scheduled for the outside pole, however a broken water pump sent him to a back-up car for the feature. Bachetti started at the tail of the field.

Wallkill, N.Y.’s Tyler Dippel was quickly on the move from his fourth starting position, driving to second in the opening four laps, and running down early leader Bobby Hackel, the Vermont driver who plans to chase STSS North Region points in 2021.

After a lap-four restart, Dippel used the bottom lane to take the lead away and paced a large portion of the event in the Bill Pascual-fielded No. 3. The race behind Dippel was where the action was happening.

Hackel, Jablonka and Scott Ferrier were in a heated battle for second, while a host of others battled at the back half of the top-10.

Following a lap-23 yellow, a long green-flag run played into the hands of Perrego and Canadian Mat Williamson. Slower traffic slowed Dippel’s pace and the remainder of the top-five began closed in.

On lap 42, Jablonka sensed an opportunity as he and Perrego caught Dippel. Jablonka drove hard into turn three but unfortunately tangled with a lapped car and spun, ending his chance at an upset victory.

Perrego lined up next to Dippel on the restart with Williamson in tow.

When starter Joe Kriss waved the green flag, Perrego cleared Dippel for a lead he would not relinquish.

“A lot of experience here at Accord Speedway was the key to that restart,” Perrego said. “Tyler (Dippel) spun the tires a little bit and I was able to get a nose ahead of him into one.”

Despite a pair of restarts in the final eight laps, Williamson could not make the final pass, ending up second in his Behrent’s Performance Warehouse-owned No. 3.

“If I were ever happy to be second, I’m glad it was to Anthony tonight with this race in honor of his Dad,” Williamson said.

King Ferry, N.Y.’s Mike Mahaney spent the entire race near the top-five, coming to life late to grab another STSS podium finish in his George Huttig-owned No. 35. Dippel faded late but held on for a fourth-place finish, with Bloomingburg, N.Y.’s Scott Ferrier recording a fifth-place finish.

Boyertown, Pa.’s Jeff Strunk brought his David Zubikowski-owned No. 88z home with a sixth-place finish while fellow Pennsylvania driver Mike Gular chased him in seventh aboard the Terry Fasnacht No. 2A. Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard was the Smith Site Development $300 Hard Charger, finishing eighth in Derrick McGrew Jr.’s No. 26 after his No. 9S suffered a rocker arm issue during qualifying. Bachetti rallied for ninth in his back-up car, with Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y., completing the top-10 after starting 17th.

STSS Modified heat winners were Hackel, Williamson, Danny Tyler, Perrego and Shane Jablonka. The three consolations went to Brian Malcolm, Billy Decker and Danny Creeden.

The Crate 602 Sportsman kicked off the Precision Hydraulic & Oil North Region on Tuesday night. Pine Bush, N.Y.’s Joey Bruning was declared the winner after apparent victor Kreg Crooker was disqualified following post-race inspection due to a carburetor spacer issue.

The win netted Bruning a $1,500-plus payday and his first career STSS points-paying victory. Bruning led laps four through six but relinquished the lead on a restart. Bruning held second for the remaining 19 laps and it was all he had to do as a result.

Bushkill, Pa.’s Kyle Rohner came home second while 2019 STSS North Region champion Tim Hartman Jr. grabbed a podium finish. South New Berlin, N.Y.’s Payton Talbot finished in the fourth with Tyler Johnston completing the front five.

A healthy field of 36 STSS Crate 602 Sportsman took part in the program.

Robert Beach topped the accompanying 15-lap Four Cylinder feature.

BULLRING BITS: Despite a cool and windy evening, a healthy crowd attended the first complete program at Gary and Donna Palmer’s facility since the 2019 edition of the post-season ‘Gobbler’ event. The speedway did not host any racing in 2020 due to COVID restrictions….

A grinding turn-one incident during a heat-race pileup eliminated all-time STSS winner Stewart Friesen for the night with heavy front-end damage to the Halmar International No. 44….

The pit area was busy with 50 STSS Modifieds, 36 STSS Crate 602 Sportsman and 17 Four Cylinders for a total of 103 race cars….

Anthony Perrego’s spoils of victory included the traditional Accord Speedway “bullhorns” trophy….

Racing resumes for the STSS next Tuesday, May 18 at Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, N.Y., for the ‘Outlaw Showdown’ 50-lap event paying $5,000 to win, $1,000 for 10th and $400 to take the green, Race No. 2 of the Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply North Region.

A race information sheet has been posted on the STSS website: https://shorttracksuperseries.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/OutlawShowdownInformationSheet.pdf

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, FloRacing, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Hurlock Auto & Speed, Velocita-USA, Design for Vision/Sunglass Central, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, Penske Racing Shocks, Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz, Algonkin Motel, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Belmont’s Garage, Superior Remodeling, Spyder High Performance Filters, Fastline Performance, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO & Wilwood.


Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco Modified Hurlock Auto & Speed North Region Event No. 1 Feature Finish (50 laps): ANTHONY PERREGO, Mat Williamson, Mike Mahaney, Tyler Dippel, Scott Ferrier, Jeff Strunk, Mike Gular, Matt Sheppard, Andy Bachetti, Billy Decker, David Schilling, Bobby Hackel, Alan Johnson, Joe Judge, Brian Malcolm, Shane Jablonka, Brett Haas, Jesse Marks, Brett Tonkin, J.R. Hurlburt, Billy Van Pelt, Dan Creeden, Danny Tyler, Nick Rochinski, Justin Holland, Jimmy Wells, Rich Ricci Jr.

Did Not Qualify: Kevin Ward, Alissa Cody, Randy Green, Cory Costa, Derrick McGrew Jr., Mike Ricci, Tyler Treacy, Jim Maher, Geoff Quackenbush, Richard Smith, Doug Snyder, Jeff Heotzler, Tony Kawalchuk, Kurt Hundeland, Jeff Taylor, Kailee Dimorier, Jerry Higbie, Stewart Friesen, Stanley Wilkins, Adam Pierson, Mike Trautschold, Brandon Hightower, Tyler Siri.

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificate): Matt Sheppard (eighth) & Joe Judge (14th)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Tyler Dippel (fourth) & Andy Bachetti (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bucks ($50): Mat Williamson (Redrew 10th)
Downstate Dirt & Deals Hard Luck Award ($100): Nick Rochinski (24th)
Henry’s Exhaust Systems Power Position ($50 Certificate):
David Schilling (11th)
Northeast Racing Happy Hour DNQ Bonuses ($200 Each): Kevin Ward (DNQ – 13.319 seconds) & Randy Green (DNQ – 13.569 seconds)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses:
Anthony Perrego (first – $150); Mat Williamson (second – $75); Mike Mahaney (third – $50); Billy Decker (10th – $25)
Smith Site Development Hard Charger Award ($300): Matt Sheppard (27th to eighth)
Spyder High Performance Filters Bonuses: Scott Ferrier (fifth – FREE Filter); Brian Malcolm (15th – 50-percent off)
Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Mat Williamson (second); Bobby Hackel (12th) & Dan Creeden (22nd)
TKS Painting Front-Row Bonuses: Shane Jablonka (Pole – $50); Andy Bachetti (Outside Pole – $25)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Bonus ($75 Certificate): Mike Gular (seventh)

Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco Crate 602 Sportsman Precision Hydraulic & Oil Crate 602 Sportsman North Region Event No. 1 Feature Finish (25 laps): JOEY BRUNING, Kyle Rohner, Tim Hartman Jr., Payton Talbot, Tyler Johnston, Matt Shultz, Bobby Flood, Hunter Lapp, Cole Hentschel, Rick Wegner Jr., Ajay Potrzebowski II, Daniel Morgiewicz, Michael Ballestero, Nick Plumstead, Josh Keesey, Addison Bowman, Joe Toth, Kevin Stevens, Steve Williams, Dale Welty, Kyle Redner, Brian Calabrese, Travis Green, George Begg, Blaine Klinger, Jamie Yannone, Brendan Gibbons.

Disqualified: Kreg Crooker

Did Not Qualify: Tanner Van Doren, Cody Higbie, Kenny Ryder, Josh Allen, Brian Durbin, Brock Pinkerous, Will Shields, Rich Eggers

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Hunter Lapp (eighth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bucks ($25):
Tyler Johnston (Redrew 12th)
Evergreen Fuels Inc. ‘High-Temperature’ Bonus ($61):
Joey Bruning (winner)
Fastline Performance Bonuses ($100 each): Kyle Rohner (second) & Daniel Morgiewicz (12th)

Four Cylinder Feature Finish (15 laps):
ROBERT BEACH, Mike Travis, Tasha Travis, George Barringer, Dave Donovan, Ray Tarantino, P.J. Bleau, Brandon Conklin, Chris Hall, Richard Smith, Tyler White, Jeff DeGroat, Tim DeGrote, Ken Barringer, Ryan Heady, Nick Hildebrandt.

Did Not Start: Jeff Tubbs.