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I-88 Speedway – July 24, 2013

I-88 Tidbits

  • Track regular Mike Mahaney led every lap of the Crazy Eights Special modified feature and collected a total of $8,249 in purse and bonus money.
  • Second place finisher Matt Sheppard nearly took the race lead with 11 laps to go in heavy lapped traffic, but the caution flag flew as he dove to the inside of Mahaney.
  • 44 modifieds appeared for the event co-promoted by Brett Deyo and I-88 Speedway.
  • Bruce Miller won the BRP CanAm Late Model Series race held just prior to the modified feature.

July 24, 2013 Video Highlights

Order the complete night of racing on DVD from the GSP Shop

‘Crazy Eights Special’ Modified Feature Highlights

BRP Late Model Feature Highlights

Huge Payday: Mike Mahaney Holds Off Fast-Closing Matt Sheppard For $8,249-Plus Payday At I-88 Speedway In First Crazy 8s Special; Young Driver Celebrates Before Capacity Crowd At Afton Fairgrounds Facility; Diverse Modified Field Attends

(Event Press Release) AFTON, NY – A quick Charlie Davis-owned No. 21 Troyer race car and some good fortune led Mike Mahaney to a huge payday on Wednesday night at I-88 Speedway.

Mahaney, a Friday regular at I-88 who also competes at Fonda and Utica-Rome speedways in New York each weekend, held off the late-race charges of touring series superstar Matt Sheppard to win the first-ever ‘Crazy 8s Special’ at the Afton, N.Y., facility.

The 24-year-old Mahaney took home $8,249 in cash plus a list of contingencies for the triumph in the hotly contested 48-lap main. The co-promotion involving track managers Ron Ford and Jamie Page together with Brett Deyo of BD Motorsports Media LLC drew a capacity crowd to the fairgrounds oval. More than $30,000 in cash and awards were distributed during the evening to Modified racers.

“This is huge,” said a smiling Mahaney, of King Ferry, N.Y., who led every lap of the main. “I’ve got to thank everyone that put this show together. The whole night was awesome.”

Mahaney had initially missed a redraw position during the night’s second heat race. However second-finishing Tim McCreadie suffered engine issues after the checkered and switched cars. That moved Mahaney into the feature draw. He picked the outside pole for the main event.

“We had some good luck tonight,” noted Mahaney, who was leading a major event, the Wade Decker Memorial, in 2012 at I-88 only to suffer a flat tire.

On the start, Mahaney powered off the outside to take the top spot from pole starter Danny Johnson, who was driving the Mike Petruska-owned No. 66. Mahaney opened up a comfortable lead in the early laps. He held a straightaway advantage when the race’s first caution flew on lap 13.

With Mahaney out front, 14th-starter Sheppard was on the move. He cracked the top five on lap 14 and by the 17th circuit, had driven to third. At lap 19, ‘Super Matt’ unseated Johnson for the runner-up spot and began to reel in the race leader.
Mahaney led at the halfway mark – taking home $888 from Olum’s as the leader of lap 24 – but Sheppard was closing.

Mired in lapped traffic, Sheppard’s Jeff Brownell Motorsports No. 9s pulled inside Mahaney on lap 37 when the caution flew for Donnie Lawson Jr., who had spun in turn two. The clear track worked into the hands of Mahaney, who thwarted Sheppard’s charges for the remaining 11 laps.

“I was looking for him,” Mahaney said of Sheppard. “I knew he had to be right there. I have to thank Matt. He raced me clean the whole way.”

In addition to his $8,249 cash take which included $1,248 in lap money, the 88 BC Building Supplies Gambler’s Challenge ($2,000), a $25 bonus as the highest-finishing I-88 regular from ‘Riding the Cushion’ on Facebook and $88 as the leading NYSSCA member, Mahaney received a $100 certificate to Bob Hilbert Sportswear, two free pit passes to the New York Truck Parts ‘Battle of the Bullring’ on Aug. 6 at Accord (N.Y.) Speedway, a $188 certificate to M.R. Grafix, a custom pocket knife from Buck’s Blades and a trophy courtesy of S&W Awards.

Sheppard, 31, of Waterloo, N.Y., settled for second spot in a strong drive from the seventh row. He earned $3,388 plus bonuses for his efforts.

“We didn’t need that caution,” surmised Sheppard, who won a Race of Champions event at I-88 in June. “I thought we had him (Mahaney) there in traffic. We missed leading that lap (37) by a few inches. That would have made the difference.”
Track regular Shaun Walker of Masonville, N.Y., drove from 16th starting spot to finish third ($2,288). Johnson of Rochester, N.Y., placed fourth ($1,688) and Accord Speedway competitor Danny Creeden of Middletown, N.Y., drove from 19th to finish fifth with a late-race advance ($1,488).

Completing the top 10 were Jimmy Phelps of Baldwinsville, N.Y., in the Heinke-Baldwin Racing No. 98H (from 10th) earning $1,288; Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who started dead last (24th) in the Sherlock Motorsports No. 10 and drove to seventh after his Vinnie Salerno-owned car was sidelined ($1,188); Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y., who pitted on lap 13 and recovered in the Gypsum No. 91 ($1,088); first-time I-88 visitor Mike Gular of Green Lane, Pa. ($988); and Stewart Friesen of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. ($888).

McCreadie’s effort resulted in a $248 bonus from Racers Preferred Models as the event’s Hard Charger.

Heat winners, each collecting $88 from One Small Step, were Ryan Watt of Boyertown, Pa., Bobby Varin of Sharon Springs, N.Y., Brian Weaver of Windsor, N.Y., Johnson and Gular. Timed dashes with an invert set the heat-race starting fields. Donnie Lawson of Woodhull, N.Y., and Jerry Higbie Jr. of Newburgh, N.Y., split the consolations.

Forty-four big-block/small-block Modifieds representing New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ontario took part in the event.

Bruce Miller topped the accompanying 30-lap feature for the BRP CanAm Late Model Series. Miller took the lead on lap 17 after a three-wide battle for the lead during the event’s mid portions. Jeremy Wonderling, Mikey Wonderling, Brian Knowles and Mike Wonderling completed the front five.

BD Motorsports Media heads to Accord Speedway in Accord, N.Y., for the first ‘Battle of the Bullring’ sponsored by New York Truck Parts on Tues., Aug. 6 (rain date: Aug. 7). Modifieds run 51 laps for $5,100 to win with Sportsman (Open vs. 602 Crate) racing a 25-lap main with $1,000 reserved for the victor. For more, visit, call 845.728.2781 or e-mail

AFTON AFTERTHOUGHTS: A pre-race ‘Fan Fest’ on the horse track prior to the start of racing drew a buzz. Modifieds and BRP CanAm Late Models were on display with DJ All-Day Entertainment providing the music. The event allowed fans to meet and interact with drivers during a busy midweek program….

Mitch Gibbs, 2012 I-88 Speedway champion, received the Shiley Fabrication Hard Luck Award (a set of bumpers and rubrails) after he was forced into the outside wall at the start of his heat race. Gibbs drove the Chad O’Hara No. 7 in a consolation but failed to transfer….

The win for Mahaney was popular with the large crowd, many of whom stuck around to congratulate the happy victor afterward….

Two of the five heat winners – PA drivers Ryan Watt and Mike Gular – were racing at I-88 for the first time in their careers….

The final checkered flag flew at a reasonable 10:07 p.m. on a work night. The 50-50 winner’s share was $1,266….
The outside groove of the 3/10ths-mile speedway opened up as the night progressed, as evidenced by Jerry Higbie Jr.’s high-line triumph over Pat Ward in the second consolation and widespread passing during the 48-lap main….

The event marked the 15th promotion for BD Motorsports Media, returning to the site of the first event in 2006….

Crazy 8s Special Modified Feature Finish (48 laps): MIKE MAHANEY ($8,249), Matt Sheppard, Shaun Walker, Danny Johnson, Danny Creeden, Jimmy Phelps, Tim McCreadie, Billy Decker, Mike Gular, Stewart Friesen, Ryan Watt, Bobby Varin, Mike Ricci, Vic Coffey, Jimmy Horton, Pat Ward, Rick Laubach, Jerry Higbie Jr., Donnie Lawson Jr., Billy Van Pelt, Brett Tonkin, Doug Manmiller, Mike Clapperton, Brian Weaver.

Did Not Qualify: Don Hart Jr., Chad O’Hara, Jeff Crambo, James Cornell, Billy Van Inwegen, Darwin Greene, Brian Malcolm, JaMike Sowle, Danny Varin, Frank Cozze, Rich Ricci Jr., Rick Mill, Elmo Reckner, Steve Cummings, Adam Roberts, Mitch Gibbs, Paul Jensen, Jim Gabriel Jr., Adam MacGeorge, Jeff Rockefeller.
Special Awards & Bonus Summary

88 BC Building Supplies Gambler’s Challenge ($2,000): Mike Mahaney
Olum’s Halfway Leader Award ($888): Mike Mahaney
Lap Money Distribution: Mike Mahaney ($1,248); Danny Johnson ($145); Ryan Watt ($135); Mike Gular ($120); Bobby Varin ($100); Jimmy Phelps ($90); Vic Coffey ($75); Matt Sheppard ($60); Danny Creeden ($60); Tim McCreadie ($40); Stewart Friesen ($20)
Racers Preferred Models Hard Charger ($248): Tim McCreadie (24th to 7th)
One Small Step Heat Winners ($88 each): Ryan Watt, Bobby Varin, Brian Weaver, Danny Johnson, Mike Gular
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Incentives ($100 each): Mike Mahaney, Matt Sheppard, Shaun Walker
Battle of the Bullring Aug. 6 Accord Pit Passes ($70 value): Mike Mahaney
Riding the Cushion Top I-88 Regular ($25): Mike Mahaney
Riding the Cushion Top Five Mile Point Regular ($25): Brian Malcolm
Riding the Cushion Top Penn Can Regular ($25): Adam MacGeorge
Shiley Fabrication Hard Luck Award (Bumpers and Rubrails): Mitch Gibbs
BFP Specialty $500 Body Credit: Elmo Reckner
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (American Racer Tire): Mike Ricci (13th)
NYSSCA Highest Finishing Member ($88 cash): Mike Mahaney
Tim Long Big Diamond (Pa.) Speedway Bonus ($50): Doug Manmiller
S&D Bodyline Award ($100 credit): Steve Cummings
M.R. Grafix Award ($188 credit to highest I-88 regular): Mike Mahaney
Buck’s Blades Pocket Knife: Mike Mahaney
S&W Awards Custom Trophy: Mike Mahaney

BRP CanAm Late Model Series Feature Finish (30 laps): BRUCE MILLER, Jeremy Wonderling, Mikey Wonderling, Brian Knowles, Mike Wonderling, Ray Bliss, Steve LeBarron, Quinn Sutherland, Jared Hill, Brad LaBarron, Jason Knowles, John Waters.