WEEDSPORT, N.Y. — Utica-Rome Speedway Sportsman champion Matt Janczuk stood on Weedsport Speedway Victory Hill Wednesday night, capturing his first feature event there in his 17-year racing career.
Twenty-four hours earlier Janczuk had seen his championship car destroyed at Utica-Rome in a multi-car pileup that just about dashed his hopes for the DIRTcar Sportsman Series title.
However, driver-owner Tom Juno had previously offered Janczuk a ride in his Power Seal 25 for Weedsport and Brewerton so Janczuk knew he had a ride.
However, to make matters even more interesting, Juno said, prior to the Weedsport race, “We offered this car to Matt for [NAPA Super DIRT Week] seeing as his was destroyed.”
Standing atop Victory Hill an enthusiastic Janczuk said, “I’m quite emotional right now and I really don’t know what to say. I really have to thank Tom for letting me drive this car.”
Janczuk started sixth on the field and by the third lap he had passed Alan Fink to get to third behind only front row starters Jackson Gill and Adam Pierson.
The lone yellow of the race came out as Matt Guererri had mechanical problems on lap six.
Three laps later Janczuk went inside of Pierson on the back stretch and had second locked up.
Finally, Janczuk took the lead on the 12th lap as the leaders raced down the front stretch and Janczuk went outside for the lead.
“I wanted to get to the top as the bottom was just too slow,” Janczuk said. “I was rolling outside in three just before the caution. I thought maybe I could snooker them and it worked out for us. I’m not sure how good we were, but I gave it all we had. I’ve been chasing the big checks all year and finally got one tonight.”
With non-stop green action Janczuk was in traffic throughout the later stages of the race. Gill was able to close in, but at the checkers was just over a second behind.
Gill, who had his second top five in two nights, wasn’t disappointed.
“The car was much better than last night at Utica-Rome where we were too tight,” said Gill. “We had roughed out a plan and the car seemed that much better tonight. I’m happy with the finish as we finished in front of the guys that we needed to in the point standings.”
Pierson was more than content with his third place despite the fact that he finished 3.2 seconds behind Janczuk.
“I feel really good about tonight,” Pierson said. “It is the best we have finished here this year. We qualified good, made the redraw and started up front. We have done our homework and changed shocks, but we are in one piece. I came here with a goal to finish in the top five and we came home third.”
While the top three were pretty much separated from the field throughout the 30-lap event, the action behind them was highly competitive.
At the halfway point Janczuk was comfortably in front while Gill and Pierson were contesting the runner up spot. Back in fourth Chris Mackey was doing all he could to hold off the challenges of DIRTcar Sportsman point leader Kevin Root while completing the top 10 were Alan Fink, Brett Senek, Andrew Smith, Shane Pecore and Tyler Corcoran.
As the race wore on the only change came when Root passed Mackey on the 22nd lap for fourth.
Completing the top 10 were Fink, Pecore, Senek, Smith and current points runner up Kyle Inman.
Matt Janczuk, Jackson Gill, Adam Pierson, Kevin Root, Chris Mackey, Alan Fink, Shane Pecore, Brett Senek, Andrew Smith, Kyle Inman, Zach Sobotka, Tyler Corcoran, Brian Calabrese, Mark Yorker, A.J. Miller, Brad Rouse, Johnathan Reid, Zach George, Austin Germinio, Cedric Garuveau, Jim Spano, Addison Bowman, Sean Beardsley, Jessica Power, Brianna Ladouceur, Mike Phelps, Fred Proctor, Bob Henry Jr., Will Shields, Matt Guererri.