Kevin Root Uses Alan Fink’s Misfortune To Take OktoberFAST Sportsman Finale At Weedsport
Story By: BRIAN WALKER / DIRTCAR – WEEDSPORT, NY – Six nights have come and six nights have gone. DIRTcar OktoberFAST presented by DIRTVision is officially in the books.
For the Racing Electronics Sportsman Modified division, a fleet of 91 cars packed the house for a Sunday evening showdown at New York’s Weedsport Speedway. Hosting eight flights of group qualifying, eight heat races, four last chance showdowns, and a 35-lap, $2,00o-to-win feature, the week came to a fitting end with an action-packed finale.
Driving from seventh-to-first, Kevin Root of Geneva, N.Y. wrote his name into the history books as the only two-time Sportsman Modified winner of the inaugural OktoberFAST – backing up his Friday night win at Can-Am.
Becoming the third different leader of the race, Root capitalized on polesitter Adam Fink’s lap 22 mechanical issue and then drove around the outside of Adam Pierson to take command on lap 24, a position he would not relinquish over the final 11 laps.
“I had one badass race car tonight,” an elated Root remarked. “We had our work cut out for us starting seventh, but we got up on the wheel and could roll through the middle so well. This is really awesome. What a great way to cap off the week. This is the one we wanted all week long. I said we had to get two wins this week, and we did just that. Special thanks to DIRTcar for allowing all of us to race this week. I know it’s supposed to be DIRT Week, but it sure still feels like it with these long hours and all the races we’ve ran.”
For Root, who led flag-to-flag at Can-Am on Friday, his journey to victory lane at Weedsport on Sunday came in a much more methodical fashion. Taking the green flag from inside of row four, he moved his No. 34 machine to sixth on lap three and fifth on lap four before finally going to fourth on lap 11.
Locked in an electrifying fight for the second spot, Root went to war with Adam Pierson and Matt Janczuk. Racing under a blanket for the runner-up spot, the battle quickly turned into a bid for the lead on lap 22 when heartbreak struck race leader, Adam Fink.
Fink, of Central Square, N.Y., paced the opening 21 laps from the pole position in dominating fashion, but a driveshaft failure with 13 to go erased his 2+ second lead and sent him to a halt in the infield. With what appeared to be a surefire $2,000 win in his pocket stolen away, Fink was awarded Sunday’s Stirling Lubricants Hard Luck Award.
From there, Pierson of Corinth, Vt. controlled laps 22 and 23, but lap traffic cost him command on the 24th circuit when he was boxed in and Root was able to power around the outside. It was smooth sailing over the course of the final 11 laps as Kevin Root ran off for the DIRTcar OktoberFAST feature win at Weedsport, making him the only multi-time winner in the Racing Electronics Sportsman Modified division this week.
It was an extra special win for Root, who stated Sunday was most likely his final Sportsman Modified race at Weedsport, as he plans to move up and climb the ranks of the DIRTcar Northeast Series going into 2021.
Coming home with a second-place finish, Matt Janczuk of Oneida, N.Y. wrapped up his week with another podium appearance for the No. 33X. Starting four OktoberFAST features, Janczuk delivered a top ten effort in each show that included a win at Fulton, a third-place finish at Can-Am, a seventh-place run at Land of Legends, and his second-place bid at Weedsport.
Finishing in third with back-to-back podium results with the Racing Electronics Sportsman Modifieds was Zach Sobotka of Parish, N.Y. Adam Pierson, who led a pair of laps falling Fink’s failure, ended up with a fourth-place finish as he slipped backwards in the latter half due to a flat left front tire. Rounding out the top five in the finale feature was Mike Fowler of Fulton, N.Y. in the fifth spot.
Closing out the top ten at Weedsport Speedway on Sunday night was Will Shields, Addison Bowman, Tim Hartman, Garrison Krentz, and Richard Murtaugh.
Everyone at DIRTcar Racing and World Racing Group would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the teams who competed, fans who watched, sponsors who supported, and tracks who hosted this spectacular week of OktoberFAST. It wasn’t the 2021 Super DIRT Week that we all imagined, but it was an incredible placeholder in a year ravaged by COVID-19 restrictions. Thank you for your support in helping make this happen!
Feature Results (35 Laps) – 1. 34-Kevin Root [$2,000]; 2. 33X-Matt Janczuk [$1,000]; 3. 38S-Zach Sobotka [$500]; 4. 15P-Adam Pierson [$400]; 5. 410-Mike Fowler [$300]; 6. 82S-Will Shields [$225]; 7. 12-Addison Bowman [$200]; 8. 22-Tim Hartman [$180]; 9. 56-Garrison Krentz [$160]; 10. 33-Richard Murtaugh [$140]; 11. 70P-Alex Payne [$120]; 12. 12G-Matt Guererri [$110]; 13. 132-Dalton Martin [$100]; 14. 7Z-Zachary Payne [$100]; 15. 20K-Kyle Inman [$100]; 16. O8-Jack Speshock [$100]; 17. 5-Brian Krummel [$100]; 18. 21C-Brian Calabrese [$100]; 19. 14A-Zach Arquiett [$100]; 20. 3-Christopher Mackey [$100]; 21. 99M-Mike Phelps [$100]; 22. 92-Andrew Buff [$100]; 23. 18-Gavin Eisele [$100]; 24. 80W-Cody Wolfe [$100]; 25. 64-Tyler Corcoran [$100]; 26. 27Z-Dylan Zacharias [$100]; 27. 1X-Willy Decker [$100]; 28. 138-Sean Beardsley [$100]; 29. 8-Alan Fink [$100]; 30. 29-Nick Heywood [$100]; 31. 87-Rocco Leone [$100]; 32. 14AJ-AJ Miller [$100]. Lap Leader(s): Fink 1-22; Pierson 22-23; Root 24-35. Hard Charger Award: 20K-Kyle Inman[+13]