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Author Topic: Fate And Hard Work Give Tommy Catalano The DLMX Victory  (Read 694 times)

Torpedotom

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Fate And Hard Work Give Tommy Catalano The DLMX Victory
« on: August 28, 2017, 12:45:00 PM »
In front of the largest crowd in years, local driver Tommy Catalano put on a show, but was thought to have come up short until first finisher and NYSS dominator, Chris Finocchario, refused an engine inspection. What a contrast for these two; Chris continued his domination by winning his heat, drawing the pole position and leading all 50 laps of the main event. Tommy on the other hand was loaned back his old chassis with only one week to prepare, father Dave Catalano was nursing some physical issues and even had arm surgery the morning of the event. During practice, an axle bearing broke, and an unsuccessful repair caused his early exit in the heat. A competitor loaned Tommy a spare axle which allowed him to qualify by winning the 24 car B-Main, starting from the rear. Starting near the back of the 26 car field, with great driving and with other fast cars failing to finish, Tommy gave the crowd a show running side by side with Finocchario but settling in for what was thought to be second place at the finish.

A field of 45 cars formed 5 strong qualifying events with every driving fighting for the last qualifying spot to avoid the B-Main. The heats ended with some wrinkled fenders but none of the starters crashed out as feared might happen. The B-Main was the battle all anticipated as only 4 of the 24 cars would qualify for the A-Main. Two multi car wrecks delayed the start of Catalano’s run but the attrition helped him get near the front pack by lap 4. That’s when Dale Lazzaro’s rear bumper and Tommy’s front bumper clanged sending Lazzaro hard in to the back stretch wall. After a few more laps Catalano passed early leader Shaun Frarey and Terry Cheetham. Also making a spectacular run through the field was Nate Robinson taking the fourth and final qualifying spot. But there was a twist. The winner of the Shirley Zacharias B-Main could accept $500 and call it a night or transfer to the A-Main. If declined each of the finishers had to weigh the same options. With everyone choosing to move on the $500 went to 5th place finisher Eric Hadley. Two NYSS provisional spots were awarded to Briana Dinzler and Matt Larrivee. Both drivers were delighted as they had both suffered crashes and mechanical issues earlier in the evening.

With fireworks announcing the starting formation, fans, drivers and crew were ready and excited. With 3 previous DLM winners in the field the story was about to unfold. The first 5 laps saw great action all around leading to a spin but no damage for Steve Pesarek. The restart had its issues as several mid pack cars had contact resulting in rookie Kenny Atkins riding the wall tires before resting at an odd angle ending Atkins night. The next restart would roll into several laps of green flag racing. Finocchario and the other fast cars set a fast but steady pace, lapping about half the field. The next caution was due to a pack of slow cars battling for position and holding up an impatient Finocchario. The lap 33 restarts got the officials involved as Chris and Lee Sharpsteen worked hard to unsettle their competitor. The race for second was heated as Jake Wylie tried every way to get past Lee, eventually diving for an opening and spinning out, collecting Lee and the next group of fast cars, Jim Steffenhagen Jr. and Tim Gullo. Sadly, Jim and Tim would be out due to damage received. With and Jake and Lee coming back from the rear, Tommy Catalano was now contending with Chris for the win. Fans were on their feet to watch Tommy and Chris battle and they followed Lee and Jake as they roared through the field. Wylie was using some elbow to get through the field as laps were winding down but contact while passing Dylan Bancroft for third sent Jake on a long slide and hard hit into the front stretch concrete. Shortly after, Lee retired leaving Tommy as the sole challenger to Chris. The final 5 laps kept those fans standing and cheering as Chris took the checker followed by Tomy Catalano, Dylan Bancroft third and being watched by his proud father who was at his first race after being severely injured in a shop accident.  Fourth went to Willie Strusz and fifth was another B-Main qualifier, Nick Robinson. After Finocchario’s DQ, the "lone racer" Nate Peckham became the official fifth place finisher.

Jody London thanks everyone who helped make this an event to remember along with his father. With a total payout of over $20,000 from all forms of sponsorship, purse and donations. This event has clearly become the annual event for Super Stock teams. Thanks again to each of you.

HEAT 1: T. Gullo, J. Wylie, B. Coyle, J. Schoonmaker.
HEAT 2: N. Peckham, S. Pesarek, J. Steffenhagen Jr., D. Bancroft.
HEAT 3: R. Fink, M. Spencer, G. Noe, K. Atkins.
HEAT 4: S. Wylie, W. Strusz, M. Hyman, S. Dinzler.
HEAT 5: C. Finocchario, L. Sharpsteen, Z. Willis, C. Vogler.

  B-MAIN (20-laps): TOMMY CATALANO, Nick Robinson, Shaun Frarey, Terry Cheetham, Eric Hadley, Rob Miszcak, Bob Ripley, J.R. Mooney, Joel Gleason, Jeff Whalen, Brianna Dinzler, Mike Nichols, Ray Marshall, Matt Larrivee, Dale Lazzaro, Scott Underwood, Kelly Miller, Roger Worden, Ron Underwood, Brandon Larner, Todd Blair, Joe Miller, Kevin Ide, Jason Dinzler, DNS: Aaron Higgins

  FEATURE (50-laps): TOMMY CATALANO, Dylan Bancroft, Willie Strusz, Nick Robinson, Nathan Peckham, Mike Hyman, Terry Cheetham, Robert Fink, Josh Schoonmaker, Chris Vogler, Scott Dinzler, Shaun Frarey, Brianna Dinzler, Mark Spencer, Lee Sharpsteen, Jake Wylie, Scott Wylie, Zach Willis, Tim Gullo, Jim Steffenhagen, Matt Larrivee, Billy Coyle, Steve Pesarek, Gary Noe, Kenny Atkins DQed: Chris Finocchario
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 12:59:04 PM by Torpedotom »
Tom Fecteau
I've got a lot of stories and a few of them are even true. I've just forgotten which are which.