DAVE WOLLABER WINS JERRY GRADL SR MEMORIAL MINI INDY 50

August 28, 2017 at 10:35 AM

DAVE WOLLABER WINS JERRY GRADL SR MEMORIAL MINI INDY 50

 

HOLLAND, NY… (August 26, 2017) North Tonawanda, NY’s Dave Wollaber continued his winning ways at Holland International Speedway on Saturday evening, as he won the prestigious Jerry Gradl Sr Memorial Mini Indy 50 for the NYPA TQ Midgets on VSP Marketing Group presents First Responders Night. In other action from Saturday night, multi-time Getzoni Nationwide Insurance Agency NASCAR Pro Modified champion Neal Dietz Jr from Holland, NY won the Pro Modified feature. Tim Welshans from West Falls, NY earned another victory in the Bank of Holland Chargers. Ben Russo from Lancaster, NY won the main event for the Advance Auto Parts Hornets. Anthony Riforgiato from Portland, NY won the INEX Legends feature. Marty Hughes from Holland, NY continued his perfect season by winning the M&M U Pull-It Figure 8 feature.

 

At two different ends of the racing spectrum, veteran Charlie DiRosa and second-year driver Tony Petrea brought the field of NYPA TQ Midgets to the green flag for the annual running of the Jerry Gradl Sr Memorial Mini Indy 50, with third place starter Erik Musto blasting into the lead. At the end of lap one, Musto led Dave Wollaber, Kyle Hutchinson and Tommy Catalano were up to second, third and fourth respectively. Just three laps into the event, Wollaber would work by Musto to take over the lead. The caution would come out on lap 25 for a mid-race break to fill the fuel tanks and make slight adjustments to the cars, with Wollaber controlling the field over Jonathan Reid, Catalano, Andy Nye and Mack DeMan, who made his first visit to Holland in several seasons. AJ Hessler would flip to bring out the red flag on lap 26, after making contact with a spinning Tony Petrea. The battle for the lead shaped up to be a good one as Wollaber and Catalano exchanged the lead for several circuits before Wollaber took the lead for good with just three laps remaining and would go on to score the win.  Hutchinson would take second late from Catalano with Andy Nye, Mack DeMan and Bobby Holmes rounding out the top six finishers.

 

Defending Getzoni Agency NASCAR Pro Modifieds champion Tommy Catalano went around two-time Holland titlist Amy Catalano on lap two of the 30 lap main event and quickly raced into the lead, with Eddie Hawkins and Neal Dietz Jr settling into second and third respectively early on. The car on the move in the early portion of the race was Kirk Totten, just before a lap 16 caution for Totten as he suffered a blown motor entering turn three. After the lap 16 restart, Dietz would go on by Hawkins on lap 17 and then set his sights on race leader Tommy Catalano. On lap 22, Dietz would make his move on “The Rocket” as Dietz would complete the pass exiting turn four to take the lead. With Dietz up front, the battle was on behind him between Catalano, Scott Wylie, and Patrick Emerling. Dietz would drive on to score the win over Catalano with Wylie, Emerling and Hawkins completed the top five.

 

Tim Welshans would take the lead from his pole position on the opening circuit of the 25-lap feature for the competitive Bank of Holland Chargers division. Nik Welshans and Josh Hathaway battled for second for most of the distance, just a couple of car lengths back of race leader Tim Welshans, as the trio were the class of the field on this night. Welshans would score the win over brother Nik and Josh Hathaway completed the top three. Dave Vona crossed the line in fourth but was penalized after a rough-riding incident with Scott Gleed during the feature event.

 

Past Advance Auto Parts Hornets Champion and recently married Ben Russo brought out “old reliable” for the first time this season and he was fast right out of the trailer. After starting 11th in the main event, Russo was up to fourth by lap four. Craig Orr and Marty Hughes set the pace and battled for the lead, until Orr cleared Hughes on lap seven. Just one lap later, Russo and Bob Bogner had their presence felt as they went by Hughes to move into second and third respectively. Russo would take the lead from Orr on lap nine, and would drive on to a full straightaway lead and would take home the victory over Orr, Louis Carbone, Bogner and Jeff Szafraniec completing the top five in the caution-free event.

 

Anthony Riforgiato would take the lead from his pole position in the main event for the INEX Legends. Riforgiato would lead all 20 circuits to get the win over Josh Marchese, fresh off a first career win in the division two weeks ago, and Brad Salatino. Marchese and Salatino would battle for several laps for second until Marchese would clear free of Salatino. Salatino would also score the win in the INEX Bandoleros who were also in competition.

 

“The Mad Man” Marty Hughes continued his dominance over the M&M U Pull-It Figure 8’s as he earned another victory. Hughes scored the win over Tyler Pastorious and Joe Mastrocicco.

 

NEWS AND NOTES:  After a qualifying heat skirmish with Timmy Catalano, Patrick Emerling raced in his back up car that Matt Druar was scheduled to drive. Multi-time Hornet champion Jeff Szafraniec brought out his Charger for the first time this season, and since having their first child, Samantha Szafraniec was also back behind the wheel of her Hornet, before turning the wheel over to Bob Palmer for the Hornet feature after Palmer had transmission issues in qualifying heat action.  

 

Holland’s historic 58th season continues on Saturday, September 2nd for the 18th running of the George Decker Memorial 75. A full Holland NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program will also be presented on Season Championship Night! The Chargers will be running a 50 lap event and the Hornets will be running in the inaugural Butch Palmer Memorial 32. Pit gates will open at 2:30 pm with grandstand gates opening at 4:45 pm with heat racing getting underway at 5:00 pm sharp!

 

RACE RESULTS – First Responders Night

NYPA TQ MidgetsDAVE WOLLABER (Started 4th), Kyle Hutchinson (7), Tommy Catalano (6), Andy Nye (8), Mack DeMan (18), Bobby Holmes (16), Erik Musto (3), Mark Schulz (10), Vinnie Christiano Jr (5), Vinnie Christiano III (11), Chad Heywood (13), Jack Blackburn (19), Charlie DiRosa (1), Kevin Wilson (12), Jamie Pew (14), Tony Petrea (2), Jim Musto (17), Jonathan Reid (9), AJ Hessler (20), Pat Smith (15) Did Not Start: Chuck Kowalske

Qualifying Winners (From 8/12): Andy Nye, Tommy Catalano

 

Getzoni Nationwide Insurance Agency NASCAR Pro ModifiedsNEAL DIETZ JR (Started 5th), Tommy Catalano (3), Scott Wylie (8), Patrick Emerling (11), Eddie Hawkins (2), Timmy Catalano (9), Eldon King III (10), Amy Catalano (1), Sam Fullone (6), Jeff Ruddy (4), Dean Kroll (12), Kirk Totten (7) Did Not Start: Matt Druar

Qualifying Winners: Kirk Totten, Scott Wylie

 

Bank of Holland ChargersTIM WELSHANS (Started 1st), Nik Welshans (3), Josh Hathaway (2), Jim Loffredo (8), Jeff Szafraniec (9), Scott Gleed (6), Dave Vona (7), Chris Handley (4), Steven Hill (5)  

Qualifying Winners: Nik Welshans, Jim Loffredo

 

Advance Auto Parts HornetsBEN RUSSO (started 11th), Craig Orr (1), Louis Carbone (6), Bob Bogner (3), Jeff Szafraniec (4), Marty Hughes (2), Bob Palmer (10), Josh Hill (5), Dale Lombardo (7), Adam Killingbeck (9), Joe Mastrocicco III (13), Zack Smith (12), Travis Murphy (8), Tyler Pastorious (14) Did Not Start: Samantha Szafraniec

Qualifying Winners: Josh Hill, Louis Carbone

 

INEX LegendsANTHONY RIFORGIATO (Started 1st), Josh Marchese (4), Brad Salatino (3), Matt Mead (2), Lars McElravy (5), Terry Lindstrom (6), Michael Riforgiato (7). Did Not Start: Breanne Gilligan  

Qualifying Winner: Anthony Riforgiato