BATAVIA, NY – The luck of the redraw fell right into the hands to Phil Vigneri III who currently sits second on points at this home track, the Genesee Speedway. Starting on the pole for the first leg of the DIRTcar Sportsman West Region US was key for his $1,000 triumph over a stout field of competitors.
Vigneri took to the outside on the original start, drove into turns one and two on the outside, came out down the back stretch with the lead. It was a lead he would keep for all 35 laps.
The feature event only saw one caution on lap two. With the final 33 laps going caution free, the biggest obstacle for Vigneri was lapped traffic. “Man, I was getting a bit frustrated. Not at the other cars as they needed to do what they had to. They were trying and stay on the lead lap,” Vigneri went on, “But I just kept thinking I was losing what lead I had and they were closing in. Drives you a little crazy not knowing where everyone else is.”
“I felt so strong on the start and went right to the top. They put water down during intermission and it made the top real fast,” he went on after being told he had a sizeable lead running up top. “Leading here for some reason seems to be a big advantage. When you follow someone, you just can’t see that well and you can miss your marks. I think that’s what was happening tonight.”
When Johnny Veach waved the double checkers it was Vigneri taking the win with an exciting battle for second behind him between Ryan Barrett and Jim Harbison. They both had to deal with the same lapped cars as the leader right to the final laps making for nail biting moments.
At the end of the 35 laps, it was the second generation Barrett taking his best DIRTcar Sportsman finish ever with a welcomed runner-up finish. “Wow!”, simply said by Barrett, “This is my best finish ever and to do it in a Series race I just can’t believe it.”
Getting a hug from his dad showed the emotions of the finish. “When I drew a good starting position I just wanted to stay some and finish good,” noted the driver of the sharp #21, “I car was a bit off in the heat but we made the right changes and I just still can’t believe I got second.”
Harbison has two wins at his home facility in 2022 and showed why he is a threat to try for a track championship. He said afterwards that he gave it all he could, “Man, that was a workout, going all those laps without a caution really keeps you up on the wheel,” Harbison mentioned, “It would have been interesting if there was a yellow but we will take third. It’s a good finish.”
Another Genesee winner in 2022 Noah Walker took fourth with Canadian invader Billy Bleich rounding out the top five. Several contingencies were being offered as Sam Hoxie won a free Hoosier tire with Ray Bliss, Jacob Bansmer and Clifford Gregg winning $50 VP Certificates.
The next events for the DIRTcar Sportsman Western Region US will be Thursday, June 30 at the Land of Legends Raceway doubling up with the Central region and then the following night for the Chris Moore Memorial at the Ransomville Speedway.
DIRTcar Sportsman West Region US Finish – 35 Laps – Phil Vigneri III ($1,000), Ryan Barrett, Jim Harbison, Noah Walker, Billy Bleich, Cameron Tuttle, Kyle Richner, Mike Fowler, Dave Conant, Dalton Martin, Larry Vick, Brandon Michaud, Jordan Moden, Ray Bliss, Sam Hoxie, Jacob Bansmer, Brad Rouse, Brett Martin, Gordy Hermanson, Noah Mamo, Jessica Kreigisch, Clifford Gregg. DNS – Justin McKay