Tyler Corcoran
Tyler Corcoran

Tyler Corcoran
Central Square, NY

Can Am Summer Starter Return to Lance Willix Over Billy Dunn


Can-Am Speedway

Can Am Summer Starter Return to Lance Willix Over Billy Dunn

May 25, 1998 was the last time the popular Summer Starter had been run and during the Golden Jubilee Season at the Can-Am Speedway, staff and management decided to bring it back. The race and finish did not disappoint.

The night began with the return of the DIRT Modified Nostalgia Tour as they made their first appearance at Can-Am since 2019.

The 20 lap affair saw Kingston Ontario’s Aaron Pugh take the lead at the drop of the green, over Rich Townsend, Ian Gordon, Jipp Ortiz and Brad Litzenberger. Pugh was the fastest car on track pulling away to a big lead in the early laps. Local favorite Mark Barker slowed with a problem ending his night early on lap 6. When the green flew, Aaron Pugh continued to show the way with Townsend still second. The night would end for Townsend a few laps later as he sailed off turns 1 and 2 but came back on the track, eventually losing a tire in turn four and was towed to the pits. Once the racing resumed Pugh again flexed his muscle as Gordon and Dave Karl all tried to keep pace. At the finish Aaron Pugh dominated, winning by nearly a half track at the finish. Ian Gordon, Dave Karl, Brad Litzenberger and Bill Leonard rounded out the top 5.

Over to the Donath Motorworx Limited Sportsman as Genavieve Bartlett showed the way early over Logan Brown and Brady Howard. The top 3 pulled away early on and showed they would be the drivers to deal with in the 12 lap event. Bartlett showed the way but Logan Brown slowly reeled in the leader. By lap 7 Brown and got to the back bumper and was waiting for the chance to get by. With 4 laps to go Brown was able to get by Bartlett on the bottom off turn 4 to grab the lead moving Bartlett back to second. At the checkered flag Logan Brown would continue his winning ways, grabbing his third win in four tries this year. Genavieve Bartlett finished 2nd once again, over Brady Howard, Camdin Cook and Anthony Brownell.

It had been 26 years since the Summer Starter had been on the schedule for the Whitesboro Plowshop DIRTCar 358 Modifieds and this year it came back with a bang as 22 small blocks took the green for the 25 lap event. Rookie Remington Hamm showed the way over Jack Meeks, Shaun Shaw, Lance Willix and Ryan Bartlett. All five drivers put on a great show for the fans but Hamm was the fastest car of everyone, as he held a comfortable lead over the veterans behind him. Shaun Shaw would move to second after a battle with Meeks, then set sail after Hamm for the lead. On lap 13 it all came to an end as fuel pump issues slowed any chance of Remington Hamm going to victory lane as the yellow flew. When the green came out veteran Lance Willix was the new leader as he began to author a dominant performance. Willix would draw away from the field, however behind him Billy Dunn and Tim Fuller were on the move after charging from mid pack. Both drivers got to third and fourth with 7 to go as they tried to catch second place Ryan Bartlett. Willix was on cruise control until lap 21 when Derek Webb slowed on the backstretch, bringing out the caution. Another yellow for Jordan Kelly on lap 22 slowed the race as Dunn and Fuller both got by Bartlett for 2nd and 3rd, setting up a classic Can-Am finish. When the green flew for the final time Dunn pulled even with Willix and looked to have the faster lane on the outside. Willix was committed to the bottom and stayed with Dunn at the white flag as Fuller faded at the end in third. The top two raced side by side into turns three and four. Coming to the line Willix was able to power ahead by a car length to score the popular win in the return of the Summer Starter. Dunn scored second over Tim Fuller and Ryan Bartlett, while Jordan McCreadie made a late race charge to get to 5th at the checkered flag.

Taylor Doxtator was the early pace setter at the start of the Bob Johnson Auto Group DIRTCar Sportsman feature. Doxtator began to put on a great drive, looking for his first ever win but Jonathan Murphy was on the move also. Murphy would get the lead on lap 5 of the 20 lap event but on the charge was Mike Fowler. The Fulton native would get to second on lap 8, then ran down the race leader. On lap 11 Fowler used the inside lane to grab the lead as Murphy would have to try and fend off Josh Reome, Tyler Corcoran and Eric Nier to hold onto second. Reome would get by for the runner up spot, but had over a straight away to make up as Fowler was putting on a driving clinic. With five to go a caution was the only way anyone was catching Mike Fowler as he was on cruise control over Reome, Murphy, Corcoran and Nier. With the race going caution free, Mike Fowler put it on auto pilot as he scored his first win of the year, becoming the 4th different winner in four races at Can-Am in the Sportsman ranks. Josh Reome, Tyler Corcoran and Eric Nier followed across the line next with Gavin Eisele edging out Jonathan Murphy at the checkered flag, to grab the number 5 position.

For the last two seasons it has been minimal success and a string of bad luck for Anthony St. Mary Jr., on this night, with a brand new race car, St. Mary would jump out front over Justin Pope and defending track champion Francis White early on. St. Mary had the car to beat as he drove away from the top drivers in the class leaving them all to battle for top five spots. White, Tony Frezzo, Damien Bechler and Corey Valade all staged a great battle, with Frezzo getting the best of all drivers, but still had work to do to catch the leader. With 5 to go St. Mary had clear race track and a big lead, which was not good news for Frezzo and the rest of the pack. After many seasons of bad luck, Anthony St. Mary Jr. finally had everything go his way as he dominated the 15-lap event, taking his first career win in front of his family, who were filled with emotion in victory lane. Tony Frezzo crossed in second over Corey Valade, Francis White and Damien Bechler.

To close out the night, the Panther Frameworx Crate Sprints closed out the evening, with a 15-lap contest. Andrew Hennessy and Josh Verne Jr. would establish themselves as the class of the field, grabbing the top two spots early. Hennessy was out to prove that he was the best car overall. Hennessy would drive away from the two-time track champion on this night, proving he had the best car as Verne did all he could to run him back down. The race would go caution free and, in the end, Andrew Hennessy would finally claim his first Can-Am win after years of trying in Crate Late Models and now Sprint Cars. Verne would grab yet another runner up finish. Veteran Ken Klinkowsky rounded out the top 3

Next week the Golden Jubilee Season marches on as it is the annual Fan Appreciation night. The night will see the first 200 kids age 16 or younger, get a free bike helmet. Victims Assistance Center and Child Advocacy Center Child Fatality Review Team will all be on hand. On the track a full program will take place at 7pm for the Whitesboro Plowshop DIRTCar 358 Modifieds, Bob Johnson Auto Group DIRTCar Sportsman, Donath Motorworx Limited Sportsman, Panther Frameworx Crate Sprints and the Sundance Leisure Thunder Cars. Gates open at 5pm with racing beginning at 7 o’clock.

Feature (25 Laps): 1. 31-Lance Willix[10]; 2. 49-Billy Dunn[11]; 3. 19-Tim Fuller[12]; 4. 39-Ryan Bartlett[8]; 5. 28-Jordan McCreadie[14]; 6. 7S-Shaun Shaw[7]; 7. 45R-Preston Forbes[9]; 8. 3M-Franklin Mackin[2]; 9. 1-Jack Meeks[6]; 10. 23-Cameron Black[1]; 11. 74-Lucas Fuller[16]; 12. 18W-Scott Webb[18]; 13. 27W-Nick Webb[17]; 14. 36B-Dan Beachard[13]; 15. 21R-RJ Tresidder[5]; 16. 21-Andrew Howard[19]; 17. (DNF) 24-Jordan Kelly[22]; 18. (DNF) 66W-Derek Webb[20]; 19. (DNF) 57H-Remington Hamm[3]; 20. (DNF) 9-Tyler Meeks[4]; 21. (DNF) 26-Michael Mandigo[21]; 22. (DNS) 6-Brian Hudson

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 9-Tyler Meeks[3]; 2. 49-Billy Dunn[7]; 3. 45R-Preston Forbes[5]; 4. 23-Cameron Black[1]; 5. 36B-Dan Beachard[2]; 6. 74-Lucas Fuller[4]; 7. 21-Andrew Howard[6]; 8. 24-Jordan Kelly[8]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 57H-Remington Hamm[2]; 2. 7S-Shaun Shaw[4]; 3. 31-Lance Willix[6]; 4. 21R-RJ Tresidder[3]; 5. 28-Jordan McCreadie[7]; 6. 27W-Nick Webb[1]; 7. 66W-Derek Webb[5]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 39-Ryan Bartlett[4]; 2. 19-Tim Fuller[7]; 3. 1-Jack Meeks[3]; 4. 3M-Franklin Mackin[1]; 5. 6-Brian Hudson[6]; 6. 18W-Scott Webb[5]; 7. 26-Michael Mandigo[2]

Feature (20 Laps): 1. 410-Mike Fowler[8]; 2. 91-Josh Reome[6]; 3. 64-Tyler Corcoran[10]; 4. 34-Eric Nier[7]; 5. 18-Gavin Eisele[9]; 6. 62-Jonathan Murphy[2]; 7. 34K-Keegan Nier[5]; 8. 32RS-Ryan Shanahan[12]; 9. FOX28-Tyler Stevenson[15]; 10. ZERO-Xavier Andrews[11]; 11. 52-Jessica Power[19]; 12. 35B-Brennan Moore[14]; 13. 2-Taylor Doxtater[1]; 14. 92-Frank Sibley[4]; 15. 17-Owen Nier[16]; 16. 1D-Paul DeRuyter[3]; 17. 7O7-Greg Brinklow[13]; 18. 18G-Justin Gadbaw[17]; 19. 35D-Dylan Moore[18]; 20. 621G-Trevor Gibbons[23]; 21. 5R-Steve Roberts[20]; 22. (DNF) 33-Alan McDonald[21]; 23. (DNF) 1W-Brad reif[22]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 64-Tyler Corcoran[6]; 2. 1D-Paul DeRuyter[2]; 3. 2-Taylor Doxtater[1]; 4. ZERO-Xavier Andrews[7]; 5. 7O7-Greg Brinklow[4]; 6. 17-Owen Nier[3]; 7. 52-Jessica Power[5]; 8. 1W-Brad reif[8]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 410-Mike Fowler[5]; 2. 91-Josh Reome[4]; 3. 62-Jonathan Murphy[1]; 4. 32RS-Ryan Shanahan[8]; 5. 35B-Brennan Moore[6]; 6. 18G-Justin Gadbaw[3]; 7. 5R-Steve Roberts[2]; 8. 621G-Trevor Gibbons[7]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 18-Gavin Eisele[5]; 2. 92-Frank Sibley[2]; 3. 34-Eric Nier[4]; 4. 34K-Keegan Nier[3]; 5. FOX28-Tyler Stevenson[7]; 6. 35D-Dylan Moore[1]; 7. 33-Alan McDonald[6]

Feature (15 Laps): 1. 87-Andrew Hennessy[2]; 2. 1V-Josh Verne Jr[3]; 3. 30-Ken Klinkowsky[4]; 4. Z28-Tucker Donath[5]; 5. 25-George Sanford[1]; 6. 89X-Chris Nethers[6]

Heat 1 (6 Laps): 1. 1V-Josh Verne Jr[6]; 2. 87-Andrew Hennessy[3]; 3. 25-George Sanford[1]; 4. 30-Ken Klinkowsky[2]; 5. Z28-Tucker Donath[4]; 6. 89X-Chris Nethers[5]

Feature (15 Laps): 1. 111J-Anthony St Mary Jr[1]; 2. 22-Tony Frezzo[11]; 3. 21V-Corey Valade[5]; 4. 60-Francis White[2]; 5. 26R-Damien Bechler[4]; 6. 27-Justin Pope[3]; 7. 21-Daniel Valade[6]; 8. 22J-Jared Gilson[7]; 9. 94-OJ White[9]; 10. 72K-Kayden Paquette[8]; 11. 111-Anthony St Mary Sr[12]; 12. (DNS) 41-Terry Gardner

Heat 1 (6 Laps): 1. 111J-Anthony St Mary Jr[1]; 2. 21V-Corey Valade[5]; 3. 26R-Damien Bechler[4]; 4. 22J-Jared Gilson[2]; 5. 94-OJ White[3]; 6. 22-Tony Frezzo[6]

Heat 2 (6 Laps): 1. 60-Francis White[3]; 2. 27-Justin Pope[6]; 3. 21-Daniel Valade[5]; 4. 72K-Kayden Paquette[2]; 5. 41-Terry Gardner[1]; 6. 111-Anthony St Mary Sr[4]

Feature (12 Laps): 1. 9-Logan Brown[5]; 2. 11-Genavieve Bartlett[1]; 3. 54-Brady Howard[6]; 4. 14-Camdin Cook[3]; 5. 63M-Anthony Brownell[2]; 6. 1W-Kyle Reif[4]; 7. 747-Haily Brownell[7]; 8. 401K-Joseph Fargo[8]; 9. (DNS) 21-Gage Howard

Heat 1 (6 Laps): 1. 9-Logan Brown[9]; 2. 11-Genavieve Bartlett[4]; 3. 63M-Anthony Brownell[5]; 4. 14-Camdin Cook[6]; 5. 1W-Kyle Reif[8]; 6. 54-Brady Howard[3]; 7. 747-Haily Brownell[2]; 8. 401K-Joseph Fargo[1]; 9. 21-Gage Howard[7]

A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 2-Aaron Pugh[2]; 2. 171G-Ian Gordon[6]; 3. 71-Dave Karl[7]; 4. 20-Brad Litzenberger[4]; 5. 11X-Bill Leonard[8]; 6. 11-Jipp Ortiz[3]; 7. 9-Joe August Jr[10]; 8. 37-Alain Tremblay[5]; 9. 66-Tom Church[12]; 10. 28G-Greg Hale[15]; 11. 5-Ace Prentice[16]; 12. 19-Megan Ciglich[9]; 13. 3-Mike Fairbanks[11]; 14. (DNF) 51-Rich Townsend[1]; 15. (DNF) 77-Mark Barker[14]; 16. (DNF) 44-Wesley Harris[13]; 17. (DNS) 40-Tim Hegarty

Heat 1 (6 Laps): 1. 51-Rich Townsend[3]; 2. 11-Jipp Ortiz[1]; 3. 37-Alain Tremblay[5]; 4. 71-Dave Karl[6]; 5. 19-Megan Ciglich[2]; 6. 3-Mike Fairbanks[9]; 7. 44-Wesley Harris[8]; 8. 28G-Greg Hale[7]; 9. 40-Tim Hegarty[4]

Heat 2 (6 Laps): 1. 2-Aaron Pugh[4]; 2. 20-Brad Litzenberger[1]; 3. 171G-Ian Gordon[7]; 4. 11X-Bill Leonard[5]; 5. 9-Joe August Jr[3]; 6. 66-Tom Church[6]; 7. 77-Mark Barker[8]; 8. 5-Ace Prentice[2]

Article Credit: Tim Baltz

Submitted By: Tyler & Michelle Bartlett

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