Catalano Triumphant At Second Annual Jerry Gradl Mini Indy 50

August 02, 2016 at 2:36 PM

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Holland, New York, July 30th, 2016- Holland International Speedway played host to the Second Annual Jerry Gradl Mini Indy 50 on Saturday night, a race that complemented the Decker Memorial 75 that same night. As a special tribute to Jerry Gradl, Sr., the series ran 50 laps in the feature, with a halfway break at lap 25 for refueling. Charging through the field, Tommy Catalano scored his second win of the year against stiff opposition.

Scott Gleed was the polesitter for the race, and led the field to the green flag. However, on the front straightaway, contact between Kyle Hutchinson and Kent Turnbull caused a 5-car pileup going into the first turn, collecting Greg Richardson, Chuck Kowalske, and Arik McGruder. The race was promptly red flagged due to the scale of the accident. While the drivers escaped unhurt, they would not continue the race.

After the cleanup concluded, the Nye brothers seemed eager to get to the front, and on the restart, Andy and Shawn Nye took the lead from Gleed in the first turn. The frontrunners quickly put a gap between the rest of the field, with Andy, Shawn, Erik Musto, and Dave Wollaber occupying the top 4 with around 47 to go.

Dave Wollaber seemed to have the upper hand that night, as he was able to make his way into first place with 45 laps to go, and appeared to be unbeatable. Wollaber continued to pull away, and with 37 laps to go, he had already put a considerable lead over second place. Around three laps later was when Andy was back at his bumper, fighting to get the lead back.

It was not just Wollaber that the leaders had to deal with; Tommy Catalano was making his way through the field, running 4th with 39 to go, and 3rd with 31 to go. The caution flag came out once again on this lap for Musto, who suddenly lost his motor coming onto the front stretch. On the restart, Andy continued to pressure Wollaber while Shawn defended against Catalano, unable to hold him off before the competition caution. The caution came out on lap 25 as an intermission to allow the drivers to rehydrate and refuel.

Before the halfway break ended, Dave Wollaber forfeited the lead in order to come back to the pits, making it back onto the track in time as the drivers began pacing. Despite this, Tommy Catalano was still a threat to win the race.

Almost immediately on the restart, Catalano starts to challenge Andy, diving to the inside line to try to get the advantage. However, despite Catalano taking the lead with 18 to go, Wollaber had managed to fight his way from last to 5th by this time. With 15 laps left, Wollaber continued to hunt, and took 4th place. Catalano was able to hold onto his lead over Andy, and it seemed as if Wollaber would not have enough time to take it back. Taking 2nd place from Andy with 4 laps to go, Wollaber did not have enough time to catch Catalano, who crossed the line to take the Jerry Gradl Mini Indy 50.

“It is such an honor and humbling experience to win a race dedicated to [Gradl, Sr.],” Catalano said after the race. “Not only a great man, but a great man to the sport of auto racing.”

According to our conversation, his car handled to his liking, and was a car he could put trust into. Not only did his car handle well, but he was also fast enough to catch the leaders from his 8th place starting spot. While he felt he could hang with Wollaber, one of the strongest drivers of the night, Catalano believed that he would have been a tough but not unbeatable, opponent. However, because Wollaber pitted during the halfway break, Catalano wouldn’t battle with him during the second half of the race.[1] 

On August 6th, the NYPA Midget Association races again at Holland International Speedway for Coca Cola, Dunkin Donuts NASCAR Hometown Heroes Night. Adult admission is $12; Students 8-15 $7, and children 7 and under FREE. Family passes are also available for $25. Gates open at 5:45 PM, and racing starts at 6 PM. Visit www.hollandspeedway.com for more information.

 

RESULTS 

  1. Tommy Catalano
  2. Dave Wollaber
  3. Andy Nye
  4. Shawn Nye
  5. Vinney Christiano
  6. Chad Haywood
  7. Charlie DiRosa
  8. A.J. Hessler
  9. Sean McNamara
  10. Scott Gleed
  11. Vinney Christiano III
  12. Patrick Smith
  13. Gordon Steffen
  14. Erik Musto
  15. Kent Turnbull
  16. Kyle Hutchinson
  17. Arik McGruder
  18. Chuck Kowalske
  19. Greg Richardson

DNS: Jeff Patton

 

We would also like to thank all of our 2016 Lap Sponsors. Every one of our sponsors played a large role in helping us honor the memory of Jerry Gradl, Sr., and the event would have been hampered without your help.

 

•           Abbott Rd Pizza

•           Barbara Kolb

•           Barber Family

•           Behm Automotive

•           BGF Racing

•           Bob Nye

•           Bonestar

•           Boston Deli, Inc.

•           Bubbly Sponge

•           Charlie + Diane DiRosa

•           Chuck Kowalske

•           Dan Kubli

•           Danny Knoll

•           Decker Promotions

•           Double Clutch

•           Expert Collision

•           Good Luck Pew Racing

•           Gordon Steffen

•           Ken Hangouer

•           Ken Hutchinson

•           Kevin Wilson

•           Lightning Towing

•           M&B Automotive and Used Cars Sales

•           Mac Solutions Plus

•           Modern Electric

•           Papa Cars Racing

•           Paul Faleski

•           Precision Companies of WNY

•           Redemption Motorsports

•           Richardson Chiropractic

•           Right Financial

•           S&W Automotive

•           Sean McNamara

•           Shawn Lorobo

•           Short Track America

•           Short Track Racing Network

•           Team #49 Racing 4 Cylinder

•           The Colden Station

•           The Smith Family – Memory of Marvin

•           Todd Hammer

•           Tom Reid

•           Uncle Frank’s Trucking

•           USTRA

•           Veterans One-stop

•           Vinnie Christiano III

•           Vinnie Christiano, Jr.

•           Vinnie Christiano, Sr.

•           Wayne Turnbull

•           Wylie Racing Performance

 

J.P. Windschitl

NYPA Midget Association

716-393-7176


Additional information from my conversation with Tommy Catalano.