ELBRIDGE, N.Y. — He may not have made the cut in Friday’s Triple 20s, but Vince Vitale isn’t ready to let that stop him from racing in the NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLII Syracuse 200.
Vitale finished 22nd in his qualifying heat Friday, Oct. 11, at the New York State Fairgrounds, but made it up Saturday with a strong run in the “Win and You’re In” event at Rolling Wheels Raceway to claim a coveted Syracuse 200 starting position.
“Everybody got together and got it done,” Vitale said. “It was so exciting coming here and hoping to win this one. We drew good, and everything kind of fell into place.”
Vitale won his heat race, started on the pole for the 25-lap feature and took the initial lead over Matt Hulsizer. A lap-two caution cut into the race’s momentum with a car off the track in turn thruee, but Vitale maintained his position off the double-file restart.
In lap six, a car got turned around in turns one and two to bring the second caution of the race. Vitale stayed ahead when the field returned to green, but some cars behind him shuffled. Hulsizer fell to fifth with Bauer, Burley and Hile passing him on the inside groove.
The pace picked up with 10 green laps, Vitale maintaining the lead through all of them. As he approached the back of the field in lap 14, lapped traffic became an issue, but Vitale was undaunted.
The yellow flag waved in lap 18 with another accident, this one in turn 3 and involving Shawn Donath, Bob Winters and others. When the field returned to green, Vitale was able to keep the top spot and Hile advanced to third. The top three held on to their positions through the checkered flag, with Vitale in first, Bauer in second and Hile in third. Rounding out the top five are Todd Burley in fourth and Mike Bowman in fifth.
Vince Vitale, Chad Bauer, Chris Hile, Todd Burley, Mike Bowman, Matt DeLorenzo, Justin Wright, Matt Fink, Ryan Susice, Matt Hulsizer, Steve Hulsizer, Ray Bresnahan, Katelyn Kane, Brian Gleason, Adam Jacobs, Roger Chrysler, Shawn Donath, Bob Winters, Dan Vauter, Rick Regalski, Mike O’Brien, Kolby Schrader, Rick Richner, Joe August Jr.