$3,050 Afton Sportsman Night for Jim ‘Rocky’ Rothwell to Kick Off 2021 SuperNationals
Written by Chris Moore
AFTON, NY – South Plymouth, N.Y.’s Jim ‘Rocky’ Rothwell owned night No. 1 of the American Racer Cup Short Track SuperNationals weekend at Afton Motorsports Park.
Rothwell claimed the $1,500 payday by winning the 30-lap Crate vs. Open Sportsman feature event. In addition to the $1,500, Rothwell posted the “Gambler’s Fee” pre-race for an additional $500.
Rothwell’s night was capped off by winning the American Racer Cup Sportsman Match Races. The highest-finishing driver in American Racer Cup points at each American Racer Cup home track was given the opportunity to represent their home track in the match races.
In all, five different tracks were represented and Rothwell, representing Afton, claimed the $1,000 top prize for winning the American Racer Cup Sportsman match races.
‘Rocky’ Rothwell’s night totaled him $3,050 for his efforts, including a $50 bonus from the New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA).
Rothwell’s quest for the 30-lap Crate vs. Open Sportsman feature began from the fifth starting position at the drop of the green flag.
Rothwell’s charge to the front wasn’t immediate, as South New Berlin, N.Y.’s Payton Talbot and Montour Falls, N.Y.’s Dale Welty were the hard chargers at the drop of the green.
Bethel, N.Y.’s Charlie Hendrickson Jr. started on the outside of the front row and led much of the early going, before the likes of Welty and Talbot got to the front to challenge Hendrickson Jr. for the top spot.
By lap nine, Welty was challenging Hendrickson for the lead and Talbot was working underneath Gene Beadle to try and pry the third spot away.
Welty’s bid became successful after a lap-11 yellow, as Hendrickson chose the outside groove, leaving Welty the bottom, which he used on his charge from his ninth starting position to the lead.
Talbot had gotten to third and Rothwell was beginning to come to life, as he was alongside Talbot in the second row.
On the ensuing restart, Welty drove by Hendrickson and Talbot followed him into the runner-up spot.
The top-two remained unchanged while Rothwell’s car picked up speed, as he worked into the third spot before a yellow flew on lap 23, resetting the field.
The top three put on a classic battle in the seven remaining laps, as Talbot stayed glued to Welty’s back bumper, while ‘Rocky’ Rothwell was throwing caution to the wind, trying to use the outside groove to sweep around both.
On lap 27, Rothwell’s outside line was becoming effective, as he drove around Talbot and set his sights on leader Welty.
Rothwell’s winning move came as he and Welty came to the white flag side-by-side as Rothwell used his outside momentum to carry him to the win.
Welty finished in second and Talbot rounded out the podium finishers. Charlie Hendrickson Jr. held on to a fourth-place run and Walton, N.Y.’s Blaine Klinger rounded out the top-five finishers.
The Modifieds of the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco were on hand, taking timed hot laps to lock two drivers into tonight’s Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply North Region championship race.
More than 30 Modifieds took part in the shakedown for Saturday’s “Working Man’s Race” 50-lap event.
Kauneonga Lake, N.Y.’s Justin Holland (14.693 seconds) and New Paltz, N.Y.’s Allison Ricci (14.735 seconds) were the fastest in each timed session on the night. Holland and Ricci are both locked in to the redraw for tonight’s event.
Altamont, N.Y.’s Jeff Trombley won the dramatic 30-lap CRSA Sprint Car race. Trombley made a late race pass on Hannibal, N.Y.’s Jordan Hutton to pick up the win. Oneonta, N.Y.’s Ron Greek rounded out the top-three.
Trombley officially clinched the series championship with the victory.
Trombley and Hutton had company in the late stages from Wind Gap, Pa.’s Kevin Nagy, as the Keystone State invader was making the outside line work.
Nagy pulled up alongside Trombley for the runner-up spot at the time, before just clipping the outside wall which sent him around in front of the field and ending Nagy’s bid for the win.
Trombley pestered Hutton for several laps before the CRSA point leader was able to use the bottom groove to his advantage to pick up the win.
Tyler Ulsh of Schuylkill Haven, Pa., dominated the Empire State Series 15-lap Slingshot feature event. Ulsh led every lap to pick up the win over Josh Landers and Ryan Raidline. Lucas Duncan was the Junior Slingshot winner.
Racing resumes tonight as the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco crowns champions. The Hurlock Auto & Speed North Region Modifieds and the Precision Hydraulic & Oil North Region Crate 602 Sportsman will round out their championship chases.
The STSS Modifieds will go for 50-laps in the 13th edition of the ‘Working Man’s Race’ in a $5,500-to-win affair. The North Region champion will also be crowned with a $12,000 paycheck to boot.
The STSS Crate 602 Sportsman will race for 25-laps around the three-tenths mile oval in a $1,500-to-win main event.
The Modifieds will also run their American Racer Cup Match races for a $2,000 top prize. The Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series will also be on hand to round out the night.
Afton Motorsports Park is located at 46 East Main Street, off I-88 Exit 7, in Afton, NY 13730. To contact Afton Motorsports Park, e-mail email@example.com or call promoter Ronnie Ford at 607.624.3772.
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, 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, WELD Racing & Wilwood.
AMERICAN RACER CUP SHORT TRACK SUPERNATIONALS 13 RACE SUMMARY – AFTON MOTORSPORTS PARK FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2021
Open vs. Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (30 laps): JIM ROTHWELL ($2,050), Dale Welty, Payton Talbot, Charlie Hendrickson Jr., Blaine Klinger, Tim Hartman Jr., Michael Ballestero, Gene Beadle, A.J. Digsby, Allan Hodge, Brandon Loucks, Jeffry Gallup, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Hunter Lapp, James Gould, Jim Cummings, John Williams, Ava Coons, Gary Smith, Rich Powell, Damon Decker, Ray Leonard, Bobby Hackel IV, Allan Hammond, Rich Ricci III, Michael Grover.
Did Not Qualify: Dave Rosa, Derek Cornish, Dan Burman, Johnathan Fowlston, Todd Buckwold, Carter Miller, Tyler Ward, Fred Christ, Brandon Christ, Jim Introne, Shawn Davis, Jason Fienberg, Trey Palmer, Steve Anderson, John Miller, Tim French, Bryce Bailey, Eric Winsor.
American Racer Cup Sportsman One-on-One Match Races: JIM ROTHWELL ($1,000) over Ray Leonard, Dave Rosa, Payton Talbot, Dale Welty
Short Track Super Series Modified Redraw Transfers: Justin Holland (14.693 seconds) & Allison Ricci (14.735 seconds) – 31 STSS Modified drivers took time
CRSA Sprint Car Feature Finish (30 laps): JEFF TROMBLEY, Jordan Hutton, Ronnie Greek, Thomas Radivoy, Mike Kiser, Dalton Herrick, Trevor Years, John Cunningham, Tanner Emmons, Tyler Emmons, Aaron Shelton, James Layton, Ray Preston, Kevin Nagy, Dana Wagner, Mike Van Pelt, Link Pettit.
Empire State Series Slingshot Feature Finish (15 laps): TYLER ULSH, Josh Landers, Ryan Raidline, Andrew Turpin, Brett Putnam, Alex Boughton, Tucker Jones, Carson Rothwell, Adam Fusco, Bob Boughton, Julia Renwick, Jason Dufel, Lucas Duncan (Junior), Avery Decker (Junior), Sloan Cherko (Junior), Kirsten Swartz, Jaden Pierce (Junior).