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Monday, May 20, 2019

Sports > General

Morton pulls off classic win in Sherri Barnes Memorial

Guerra takes historic Babich Memorial race

May 13, 2019

By: Photos by Sean Hart Racing Photos
Interstate Batteries Four Cylinder winner Ivan Guerra (Monticello), right, of the Stephanie Babich Memorial Race.
WHITE LAKE -- This past Saturday found Bethel Motor Speedway giving recognition to all the mothers and women involved in racing presented by the Alzheimer's Association. During intermission a ‘memory walk' was held around the speedway to help raise awareness of the disease. Also, many women racers past and present attended the event to support the event which memorialized two women who were integral figures in the track's history.
Sherri Barnes was a long-time supporter of the speedway and was the track videographer for many seasons along with doing many other things behind the scenes. Stephanie Babich was a former four-cylinder racer who became one of the division's stars when the class was implemented years ago. Sadly, both passed away a few years ago after battling through long term illnesses and are missed greatly by those who knew them.

The NASCAR Whelen All American Series found the Tri-Counties Automotive Pro Stocks highlighted on this night in the 21 Lap ‘Sherri Barnes Memorial.' The race proved to be a classic one coming down to the wire at the checkers.
Veteran racer Gene Morton encountered a blown engine the week prior but after working feverishly all week, the tenacious driver took full advantage of his pole position and jumped out to the early lead and was pursued early on by Mac Crawson. Another driver on a mission from deep in the field was Joe Barnes; who was also Sherri's spouse. Barnes drove a masterful emotional tide to the front and overtook second place from Crawson at the halfway point. Lap 12 found a jarring crash when Crawson collided with a returning Kenny Atkins coming down the front stretch and causing significant damage to his racer. The second half of the race found the lead changing several times between Morton and Barnes both wanting to win the race badly. Sophomore driver Gary Gamble came to third and began contending with the leaders making it a three-way race.
Lap 16 found Barnes with the lead despite his car suffering some front-end damage by clipping the wall when running on the outside of Morton. On the final lap, Morton threw a hail Mary move into turn 1 on the highside as Gamble nipped on Barnes on the inside.
Morton came off the high side of turn two like a steam locomotive and powered by Barnes on the outside down the backstretch. Morton and Barnes raced side by side in the final two turns before Morton zoomed ahead barely beating Barnes at the stripe with his TJ Motorsports # 11. Barnes' remarkable race ended with a bittersweet second in the race honoring his former wife. Gamble took home a very strong third.
The Stephanie Babich Memorial race for the Interstate Batteries Four Cylinder Pure Stocks proved to be a historic one for the division. Much of the race was led by expert enduro drivers Mike Travis and Dan Curry who have found much success competing in the four cylinder ranks over the years.
The two drivers put on a torrid battle as they appeared to be very equal in their cars. As the two heavyweights battled door to door up front it allowed the rest of the lead pack cars to stay within striking distance often going three wide while having some close calls negotiating lapped traffic. As the race began winding down, the racing between Travis and Curry got more intense which began escalating with ‘bump and run' tactics collectively. On what became the final lap, the top two drivers got too engaged in their fierce battle momentarily becoming hooked which opened the inside lane of corner four.
Former track champion Ivan Guerra who had been in the lead pack of cars the entire race, was able to smartly shimmy his way into third at the right moment when the leaders became distracted and pulled off a power move on the inside. At the finish, Guerra pulled off an upset victory in the division's longest distance race ever held and was also the biggest win of his career.
For more about last Saturday's races, visit bethelmotorspeedway.com.

Results
Pro Stock Feature: 1. Gene Morton, Woodbourne, NY 2. Joe Barnes 3. Gary Gamble 4. Vinnie Stanton 5. Jim Helt 6. Porter Crawson 7. Larry O'Donnell 8. Kenny Atkins 9. Mac Crawson
Four Cylinder Feature: 1. Ivan Guerra, Monticello, NY 2. Cliff Levison 3. Tabitha Riordan 4. Tisha Curry 5. Nick Curry 6. David Donovan 7. Jeffrey Tubbs 8. John Houghtaling 9. Nicole Nelson 10. Willie Degraw 11. Marisol Torrens 12. Jessey Torrens 13. Tasha Travis 14. Eddie Jones Jr. 15. Brett Kiakis 16. Shawn Maloney 17. Alec Graham 18. Dan Curry 19. Mike Travis DNS. George VanAken DNS. Cody Houghtaling
Modified Feature: 1. Tyler Dachenhausen, Danbury, CT 2. Skip LaPolt 3. Mike Dutka 4. Joe DeGracia 5. John Cote 6. Scott Quick 7. Stephen Kammer
Street Stock Feature: 1. Kyle Welsch, Monticello, NY 2. Joel Murns 3. Bill Deak Sr. 4. Dan Houghtaling 5. Brian Bauernfeind 6. Frank Maiori 7. Patty Falkena 8. JB Morris 9. Chris Peloso 10. Dick Shaddock 11. Phil Funcheon 12. Jay Smalley 13. Scott Sepe DNS.Tom Ciluruso
Sportsman Feature: 1. Jerry Curry, Neversink, NY 2. Ed Dachenhausen 3. Rich Coons 4. Billy Vasaturo 5. Jim Halpin DNS. Chris Cook
Legends Feature: 1. Eugene Drew, West Milford, NJ 2. James Anderson 3. Anthony Bello 4. Tanner Jones 5. Jack Gerzabek
Bandolero Feature: 1. Mike Roth, North Branch, NY 2. Joey Aungst 3. Brian Rygielski 4. Sean McElearney 5. Evan Rygielski 6. Justin Aungst 7. Joey Lamontagne 8. Monika Deckelman 9. Ty Smith 10. Kaden Rogers
Beg. Bandos Feature: 1. Leland Oefelein, Monticello, NY 2. Isaiah Anderson





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