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Jim Harbison and Jeremy Wonderling Win Thrillers at Genesee

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Rich Vleck, (BATAVIA, NY), May 7, 2022- Side-by-side action was the name of the game at Genesee Speedway on Saturday Night as the battles for position were ever-present, including for the lead in the two biggest events of the night.

The Sportsman feature was early favorite for the race of the night, with wild drama found throughout the 25-lap feature, even on the final lap. In the end, it was Jim Harbison scoring the win on Mother's Day Weekend for the second year in a row. Harbison ran back down Noah Walker entering turn one on the final circuit to take the lead, only to have Phil Vigneri III rim-ride around Walker as well and challenge Harbison in to the final corner. Harbison's 18w would get the bite of the final corner and capture the win.

"I'm exhausted," exclaimed Harbison after the race in Victory Lane. "That was an awesome race with Noah, he ran me clean. I messed up in (turn) 1 one time and locked up the brakes and he got by me and I thought I lost it but I was able to get him back."

Byron Dewitt took the early lead, but by lap 3, Noah Walker had taken the top spot despite starting in the fifth spot. On a lap 10 restart, Harbison lined up to the inside of Walker and powered down on the restart to take the lead away. It appeared he would run off but when he slipped up on lap 15 Walker pounced and brought Vigneri and Cam Tuttle in to the mix.

A caution flag on lap 17 would bunch up the field one last time. Walker would drive away but Harbison ran him down using the bottom line, finally getting back in front on the on the last lap; but the race was not over yet.

"I knew (Tuttle) was up with us but I didn't know about Phil," recalled Harbison about Vigneri pulling alongside him on the backstretch on the final lap. "It was just great to have the track have bite on the bottom because that's where I want to be."

Despite not coming home with the win, Vigneri's bonsai run on the top on the final lap was not only awe-inspiring, it was the second-fastst lap any driver turned in that feature. Noah Walker's stout run would result in a third-place finish while Tuttle crossed in fourth. Kyle Richner completed the solid top five.

If the sportsman event was not the race of the night, that title would have to go to the late models. After JJ Mazur led the opening six laps a duel broke out between veterans John Waters and Jeremy Wonderling who battled it out side-by-side for most of the race to sort out the 25-lap feature. Waters took the lead running down Mazur and Wonderling after starting in sixth and seemed to be hooked up on the bottom, but after a lap 13 restart Wonderling's No. 3J started to reel in the No. 11. On lap 18, after pulling up alongside the leader for a handful of laps, Wonderling finally edged ahead at the line, only to see Waters take the lead back two laps later. A lap 21 caution would set up the final restart of the race, a single-file start, which would seem to hurt Wonderling in second, but it allowed him to make a stealth attack as he used the high-line on the lap 22 restart and get by Waters for good.

"I can't thank John Waters enough. He ran me so fair, never pinched me off, and let us race for the lead," stated Wonderling in Victory Lane. "I was bummed to see that caution late because it was single-file and we had been running side-by-side while we were green."

A week after a driveline issue ending his night early, the Wellsville driver still was fighting some handling issues in the first-half of the race. After nearly falling back to fourth, he started to mount a charge and got his car rotating on the top the way he needed. It was his ability to keep his momentum up in the high lane that would enable him to get back to Victory Lane.

John Waters would place in second while JJ Mazur was able to cross in third. Dennis Lunger was the reason for the caution on lap 21 as he stopped while running in third, which allowed Jon Rivers and Jimmy Johnson to move up and round out the top five.

In his first start of 2022, Tommy Kemp dominated the Street Stock Feature to claim the win. It was similar to his first feature of last year when he won on the same weekend. Kemp took the lead on lap two from Sherman Gage and dueled with defending champion Bill Taylor over the final 17 laps of the race, which ran off without a caution flag. Taylor started in seventh but was up to the runner-up spot by lap four, however he was unable to set up a pass on the No. 28 for the lead. Kemp was able to power down on the top of the track, only moving down to move by the lapped cars. Behind that lead duo was a fierce battle for third with heat winner Rich Conte taking that spot. Dale Rissinger and Mike Kelly completed the top five.

D.J. Williams made his first appearance at Genesee pay off in a big way as he took the lead on a restart on lap 3 and cruised to the win in the Mini Stock Feature. After taking the advice of friends, Williams ran the prescribed line to perfection to get by Bill Weller Jr. and then lead the rest of the way in his No. 28. Weller would finish in second while Andy Schumaker was a solid third. Jessica Schleede scored her best career finish in fourth while Josh Schosek rounded out the top five in his first appearance.

Allison Dewitt was the lone winner from week one to repeat on Saturday as she stayed perfect in the Novice Sportsman division as she won both the heat and feature in her No. 16. Dewitt was challenged fiercely by Greenley George throughout the 15-lap event, but in the closing laps George would spin and allow Dewitt to drive off comfortably to the win. Casey Jonathan kept his car clean to finish in second while George would come home in third.

Bryson Hill kicked off the feature action before intermission with a wire-to-wire win in the Bandit division. Hill, drove to the lead from the outside pole and had a healthy advantage until Seth Johnson, last week's winner, ran him down in the closing laps and applied pressure. Hill was able to stay steady for his first Genesee win with Johnson and Tyler Foster completing the podium.

Also on hand on the night was the NY6A 600 Micro Sprint Tour running their first race of the season. Local competitor Nick Groff put on a clinic, winning the 20-lap feature by over 9.7 seconds to capture the checkered flags. Groff's No. 16 was in a heavy wreck last season at Genesee and was able to reclip the front of his car and finally breakthrough at the track he wanted to win at the most. The only stoppage of the race came on the initial start when Ivan Forney wheel-hoped a fellow competitor and drove over the jersey barrier. Jeff Tinkham and Jason Moll completed the top three with solid performances.

Genesee is back in action next Saturday Night with the first appearance by the Sharp Mini Late Models joining the weekly divisions. Racing action will begin at 6:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.Genesee-Speedway.com.

Genesee Speedway Results: 5/7/2022-
Flying Head Smoke Shop Night

Cornerstone Eye Associates RUSH Late Model Feature (25 Laps)- JEREMY WONDERLING, John Waters, JJ Mazur, Jon Rivers, Jimmy Johnson, Dave DuBois, Bill Holmes, Doug Ricotta, Paul Grigsby, Steve Labarron, Billy DuBois, David Stolzenberg, Dave Parker, Dennis Lunger Jr., TJ Downs.

Lap Leaders- Mazur 1-6, Waters 7-17, Wonderling 18-19, Waters 20-21, Wonderling 22-25.
Heat Winners- Waters, Holmes.

Stirling Lubricants DIRTcar Sportsman Feature (25 Laps)- JIM HARBISON, Phil Vigneri III, Noah Walker, Cam Tuttle, Kyle Richner, Jordan Moden, Ryan Barrett, Brandon Michaud, Larry Vick, Michael McCarthy, Tyler Guzzardi, Jessica Kriegisch, Ray Bliss, Byron Dewitt, Dave Conant, Adam Hilton, Dan Kolb (DNS).

Lap Leaders- Dewitt 1-2, Walker 3-10, Harbison 11-14, Walker 15-24, Harbison 25.
Heat Winners- Vigneri, Tuttle.

Yasses Trucking and Construction Street Stock Feature (20 Laps)- TOMMY KEMP, Bill Taylor, Dale Rissinger, Rich Conte, Mike Kelly, Jesse Qutermous, Jacob Vick, Zach Walsh, Nate Arnold, Chuck Mogavero, Ken Begnouche, Sherman Gage, Shawn Hazlett (DNS).

Lap Leaders- Gage 1, Kemp 2-20.
Heat Winners- Conte, Qutermous.

The Detail Shop Mini Stock Feature (15 Laps)- D.J. WILLIAMS, Bill Weller Jr., Andy Schumaker, Jessica Schleede, Josh Schosek, Brad Whiteside, Brian Johnson, Curt Rung, James Gayton, Olivia Coniber, Eric Brumsted, Robert Knapp II, Cody Wise, Devon Tarr, Rocco Conte, Tom Knapp, Cole Susice, Ashley Mackey, Correy Valade.

Lap Leaders- Weller 1-2, Williams 3-15.
Heat Winners- Williams, Weller.

Novice Sportsman Feature (15 Laps)- ALLISON DEWITT, Casey Jonathan, Greenley George, Bailey Logsdon, John Livingston Jr.

Lap Leaders- Dewitt 1-15.
Heat Winner- Dewitt.

DML Sealing Bandit Feature (10 Laps)- BRYSON HILL, Brian Johnson, Tyler Foster, Jaeden Tarr, Joey Swick, Jonathan Logsdon.

Lap Leader- Hill 1-10.

NY6A Micro Sprints Feature (20 Laps)- NICK GROFF, Jeff Tinkham, Jason Moll, Matt Foster, Brenden Wallace, Jerry Gurney, Ron Vedder, Will Fisher, Brandon Igo, Ivan Forney.

Lap Leaders- Groff 1-20.
Heat Winners- Igo, Groff.