EVANS MILLS, N.Y.-The weather was perfect for the first John Burr Classic on the 3/8-mile oval at Evans Mills Raceway Park and fans reacted in large numbers. At the time of the race, the field was full and the vehicles parked next to the Steinhilber Straße driveway to be part of the festivities.
Nostalgia-style programs were even available, until the mini-pencil used to get the results. A personal message from the Burr family was inside the cover. More than 60 cars, spread over four classes, filled the pit area.
After eleven heat races, the first highlight of the Sports Compacts was. In the first lap, Andre Roggie’s #03 hit the side and was hit by another car to express caution. Roggie quickly went to the box but returned before the green flag fell to give fans the chance to see if he could come from behind to win. Trevor Halliday in the #61x and Craig Caskinette in the #19 took turns fighting for the first half of the race. But after running in midfield for a while, Roggie opened the wick and shot in the lead in the 11th round. At the end of the 20 laps, it was Roggie for the win, followed by Halliday and Caskinette.
The New York Super Stocks came to their second event of the year at Evans Mills and delivered their usual bumper to bumper and side-by-side battles all over the field. Jacob Gustafson in the Yellow #5 tailed early leader AJ Potrzebowski in the # 172 but managed to take the lead. Unfortunately, a Gustafson lap collected and the front end of the car was T-boned by another machine. Gustafson would go to the box, make repairs and return in time for the green flag to make an incredible run to the back of the field. In goal, it was Potrzebowski for the win, followed by Jason Dinzler in the # 37 for the second and Gustafson again by the field for the third.
Oswego’s Small Block Supermodifieds came out for their 35-lap feature and were given a warning by the first turn that took out Greg O’connor’s #90. After that, it was a quick green run for the open cockpit machines with Mike Bruce in the # 04, followed by Russ Bartlett in the #02 for second and an impressive run from Griffin Miller for third in the #03 in his first ever lap in a super small block. Winner Mike Bruce praised the large crowd and installation and applauded when he said he hoped the SBS traveling series could add some runs to Evans Mills next season.
21 Caskinette Ford Modifieds were available for the first 75 laps John Burr Classic. A single format divides the field into two segments. By the end of the 30 laps, Kevin Timmerman was leading in #17, followed by Mike Ramos in # 09 and Randy Brunelle in #007. all three received bonus money from Tiger Chapman for their positions at the end of the 30 rounds. Pit crews were invited to the track to work on their cars, and a young fan pulled out a #6 card from the hand of race director Jamie Jeffers and reversed the top six for the remaining 45 laps. After the race resumed, two loop crashes caused a delay, with Casey Sykes hitting No. 1 in the front wall of the track and fortunately unharmed. Later, Brad Winters in # 92 would come out of the mold and turn off the track in the Evans Mills fire truck that was parked high in turn three. The rest of the night showed the intense racing competition that was common all year round in this class. Points champion Mason Spencer in the # 30 had regularly walked the field and took the lead with about 30 laps left. Mike Ramos and Kevin Timmerman were there to lobby. Timmerman would lose traction in the high groove and overtake Brunelle and Ramos would come out of shape later and put Brunelle in second place. The car running towards the end of the race was Tony Pettinelli in the #2ny. In the end, it was Mason Spencer for the win with a slam-bang finish between Brunelle and Pettinelli. The two would make contact from the last corner, with Pettinelli being second on the line in a spark. Mike Ramos in the # 09 would be scored in third place to complete the podium.
All in all, it was an Amazing Race Night with a 50/50 jackpot of nearly $ 1400 that went to the winning ticket. T-shirts and pins with the John Burr classic were available, and many were seen at the stands. A lot of John’s extended family was present and a lot of classic racing cars too. It was a great tribute to a great man.
Another event will close the Evans Mills calendar this Saturday, Sept. 28.It’s destruction Excel Tower services Day with spectator races, enduro contests, another skid plate race, a mini van race, a figure 8 race and a grand demolition derby to end the day. The doors open at 12.30 pm and the race starts at 2pm. it promises to be fun ending an amazing first racing season under the guidance of the Gill family. We hope to see everyone this Saturday, September 28!