Dominant: Stewart Friesen Earns $50,000-Plus Payday in ‘Speed Showcase 200’ at Port Royal
Written by Chris Moore
PORT ROYAL, PA – Dominant.
One simple word describes the performance from Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen in the second annual ‘Speed Showcase 200’ at Port Royal Speedway.
The win was Friesen’s 32nd career Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco victory. It was also his second $50,000-plus triumph in the last month, after he claimed the ‘Fonda 200’ back on September 18 at Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway.
“It feels good to finally get a win here, this place has bit us so many times, and I just owe it to my awesome race team,” said Friesen of his first career triumph at the ‘Speed Palace.’
Friesen’s run to the checkered began from the 15th position, while Covington Township, Pa.’s Alex Yankowski and Brisbane, Australia’s Peter Britten brought the field to green.
Yankowski, who started on the pole for the second year in a row, quickly rocketed out to the early lead and set the pace.
Yankowski reached heavy lapped traffic just 10 laps in, bringing Britten and Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard to his bumper.
The top-three exchanged the lead multiple times before Sheppard took it for good on lap 17 and began to run away with the top spot.
Sheppard remained out front and relatively unchallenged until Stewart Friesen and Potsdam, N.Y.’s Mike Maresca began to make their presence known in the challenge for the lead.
Lap 53 saw Friesen slide underneath Yankowski for the runner-up spot and Maresca got around Yankowski on a restart a couple of laps later.
Friesen’s challenge for the lead began on that restart, as Sheppard was on the top, in Friesen’s preferred groove forcing Friesen to drop to the bottom.
Friesen was finally able to make the bottom work and drive underneath Sheppard on lap 74 and never looked back to the halfway break.
When the green and white flag flew on lap 100, Friesen had picked up the $200 Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz halfway bonus, with Sheppard and Maresca rounding out the top three.
Multiple yellows, including one red flag that came just shy of the halfway break gave multiple cars opportunities to pit just before the lap 100 stoppage.
Drivers “short-pitting” threw a curveball on the lineup. Friesen restarted the second half of the feature from the 13th position, as 12 drivers elected to stay on the speedway and take fuel only.
Phoenix, N.Y.’s Larry Wight was the first driver to stay on the track, giving him the lead when the field went back to racing. Wight’s lead however was short lived, as it took Friesen just 21 laps to climb from 13th to the runner-up spot.
A restart and a couple laps of racing was all Friesen needed from there, taking the lead away for good on lap 125.
Despite multiple restarts and several challengers including Maresca, Matt Stangle, and Sheppard late in the race, Friesen was up to the task every time.
Friesen drove on to win the ‘Speed Showcase 200,’ which served as Round No. 9 of the Velocita-USA South Region presented by Design for Vision and Sunglass Central.
Maresca was one of the few other drivers who pitted at the halfway break and was able to drive his way forward like Friesen. Unfortunately for Maresca, battery issues plagued him and ended his night on lap 167 while running second.
Sheppard, who struggled for much of the second half of the race, made the right adjustments on a pit stop inside of 50 0laps to go to make his forward for the runner-up spot worth $20,000.
Neshanic Station, N.J.’s Matt Stangle brought his family-owned No. 6 car home with an impressive third place finish. After cycling forward following the halfway break, Stangle hung with the front-runners for the entirety of the last 100 laps. Stangle earned $10,000.
Ringoes, N.J.’s Ryan Godown was one of the most consistently fast cars all weekend and that propelled him to a fourth-place finish and Boyertown, Pa.’s Mike Gular used a late-race charge for a top-five in the Terry Fasnacht-owned No. 2A.
King Ferry, N.Y.’s Mike Mahaney salvaged a sixth-place run in the George Huttig-owned No. 35 after struggling for much of the first 100 laps. Edwards, N.Y.’s Tim Fuller brought the St. Lawrence Radiology No. 19 to a solid seventh-place run and St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada’s Mat Williamson held on with a left-front flat tire in the late stages for an eighth-place finish in the Behrent’s Performance Warehouse No. 3.
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.’s Jack Lehner finished in ninth in his family-owned No. 2 after starting from 29th and Belle Mead, N.J.’s Brandon Grosso rounded out the top-10 in his Grosso Homes no. 32.
Thirty-nine cars took the green in the historic 200-lap feature event.
Sicklerville, N.J.’s Stephen Kemery was the big winner of Round No. 7 of the Belmont’s Garage South Region in the Ice Less LLC ‘Speed Showcase 50.’
Kemery started from the outside of the front row alongside Georgetown, Del.’s Sean Metz.
Several yellows in the first two laps of the race delayed the Sportsman from getting going, but the field went 48 laps non-stop to finish the race.
Middletown, N.Y.’s Brian Krummel challenged Kemery from the lap-four mark all the way to the checkered flag, but never once made a pass on the Garden State driver.
Kemery earned more than $4,000 for his efforts.
Krummel was forced to settle for second and Newtown, Pa.’s Joe Toth took a firm hold of the South Region point lead with just one race remaining with a third-place run.
Flemington, N.J.’s Cole Stangle charged from the 24th starting spot to get fourth and Walnutport, Pa.’s Tanner Van Doren emerged from 16th to round out the top-five.
The two, along with Payton Talbot and Chad Edwards, put on a classic duel for fourth through seventh in traffic, sprawling across the racetrack for position in traffic.
Racing resumes October 22 for the Short Track Super Series at Orange Country Fair Speedway for the ‘Hard Clay Finale.’ The Modifieds run in a non-points race under North Region rules to kick off Eastern States Weekend at the ‘House of Power.’ The event will be 50-laps for $5,000-to-win and $500-to-start.
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.
SPEED SHOWCASE 200 RESULTS SUMMARY – PORT ROYAL SPEEDWAY OCTOBER 16, 2021
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Modified Velocita-USA South Region Presented By Design for Vision & Sunglass Central Round No. 9 Feature Finish (200 laps): STEWART FRIESEN, Matt Sheppard, Matt Stangle, Ryan Godown, Mike Gular, Mike Mahaney, Tim Fuller, Mat Williamson, Jack Lehner, Brandon Grosso, Jared Umbenhauer, Alex Yankowski, Rick Laubach, Larry Wight, Erick Rudolph, Ronnie Johnson, Billy Pauch, Jr., Peter Britten, Jessica Friesen, Joseph Watson, Kyle Coffey, Sammy Martz, John Willman, Jeff Strunk, Joe Judge, Mike Maresca, Frank Cozze, Dominick Buffalino, Jimmy Horton, Alan Johnson, Andy Bachetti, Rusty Smith, Brett Haas, Ryan Susice, Ryan Watt, Anthony Perrego, Rocky Warner, Billy Decker, Ryan Riddle.
Did Not Qualify: J.R. Heffner, Dillon Steuer, Danny Hieber, Jim Britt, Jacob Dgien, Scott Hitchens, David Schilling, Aiden Grover, Addison Bowman, Matt Smith.
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificates): Mike Mahaney (sixth) & Erick Rudolph (15th)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Ryan Godown (fourth) & Jack Lehner (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Ronnie Johnson (Redrew 12th)
Bill Brown & Company Heat-Race Hard Charger ($50): Matt Sheppard (ninth to first)
Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Halfway Leader Award ($200): Stewart Friesen
Design for Vision/Sunglass Central Winner’s Award (Oakley Sunglasses): Stewart Friesen
Dirt Track Digest Qualifying Race Winners ($750 each): Andy Bachetti, Matt Sheppard, Ryan Godown & Billy Pauch Jr.
Henry’s Exhaust System Power Position ($50 Certificate): Jared Umbenhauer (11th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Stewart Friesen(winner – $150 certificate); Matt Sheppard (second – $75 certificate); Matt Stangle (third – $50 certificate); Brandon Grosso (10th – $25 certificate)
Precision Hydraulic & Oil Hard Charger ($600): Jared Umbenhauer (33rd to 11th)
Spyder Performance Filters Bonuses: Mike Gular (fifth – FREE Filter) & Erick Rudolph(15th – 50-percent off certificate)
Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Matt Sheppard (second), Alex Yankowski (12th) & Sammy Martz (22nd)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Award ($75 Certificate): Tim Fuller (seventh)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Crate 602 Sportsman Belmont’s Garage South Region Round No. 7 Presented By ICE LESS LLC Feature Finish (50 laps): STEPHEN KEMERY, Brian Krummel, Joe Toth, Cole Stangle, Tanner Van Doren, Chad Edwards, Payton Talbot, Justin Grosso, Sean Metz, Matt Yoder, A-Jay Potrzebowski II, Michael White, Doug Kline, Bobby Watkins, Grant Hilfiger, Ryan Higgs, John McPhee, Jr., Danny Buccafusca, Brad Grim, Cody Manmiller, David Dickey, Logan Watt, Bobby Bracall, Scott Hitchens, Sammy Martz Jr., Adam White, Sean Weiss, Mike Schane, Jason Reome, Logan Bauman, Robby Dunn, Howie Finch, Ryan Simmons, Dakota Kohler, Tanner Warner, Brad Brightbill.
Did Not Qualify: Kaiden Dgien, Shawn McPhee, Matt Ellery, Chad Sandt, George Gareis Jr., Brandon Watkins, David Manchester, Dave DiPietro, Adam Taft, Ethan Bill, Jim O’Hara, Kenny Bock, Isabella Van Orden, Daniel Morgiewicz, Zachary Merola, Bill Fiske, Dakota Green, Tucker O’Connor, Kinser Hill, Michael Ballestero, Matt Knaub, Johnny Bangs, Mike Butler, Mike Samony, John Stevenson, Mike Schneck.
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Sean Metz (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($25): Dakota Kohler (11th)
Design for Vision/Sunglass Central Winner’s Award (Oakley Sunglasses): Stephen Kemery
Belmont’s Garage Qualifying Race Winners ($200 each): Sean Metz, Chad Edwards, Doug Kline, Stephen Kemery & Howie Finch
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Redraw Bonus ($50 Gift Card): Sean Metz, Stephen Kemery, Brian Krummel, Logan Bauman, Chad Edwards, Joe Toth, Doug Kline, Logan Watt, Howie Finch, Matt Yoder & Dakota Kohler
Fastline Performance Hard Charger Award ($500): A-Jay Potrzebowski II (35th to 11th)
Belmont’s Garage Halfway Leader ($200): Stephen Kemery