WILLIAMSON, N.Y. – In only his seventh start of the 2014 season, Tommy Catalano joined the rest of his family as a NASCAR Sunoco Modified feature winner at Spencer Speedway Friday night.
“It’s always better to start at the back or mid-pack and take a win then to be up front and win,” commented an elated driver. “As the race went on we kept getting better and better. When I got back to the pits it was all high fives and congratulations.”
In Spencer Speedway support action, Donnie Knapp Jr. waited until the final lap and took the lead to win the Four Cylinder Scorpions 15-lap feature. Andy Cocilova led every lapin the Super Six 20-lap main and won the Richard Grant Memorial. Richard Grant has been a long time fan at Spencer and father of Van Grant. He passed away this past week.
In INEX legend action, Bryce Norton picked up his sixth straight feature win. Also on hand were the NY/PA Midgets. Kyle Hutchinson, from nearby Lockport, took the 20-lap feature victory.
The 35-lap NASCAR Sunoco Modified feature took the green with pole sitter Billy Semmler taking the lead. The yellow flew on the second lap when Jan Leaty spun exiting the second turn and got into the wet grass, sliding half the length of the backstretch.
The restart saw Mike Leaty grab the lead from Semmler and rocket off to a ten car advantage. Kevin Timmerman took second from Semmler one lap later. The yellow flew on lap 14 for a tangle between Jan Leaty and Tim Lewis Jr. in the third turn.
For the next couple of circuits it was one-lap-at-a-time, as yellow flag fever hit the field. Still Mike Leaty remained in front. Now, however, Tommy Catalano was in second and on the charge. He dogged Leaty once the race went green on lap 18. Finally Catalano was able to take a shot at the lead. He seemed to move Leaty high in the third turn with just two laps remaining and went on to take the victory.
On the cool down lap, Leaty punted Catalano exiting the second turn, sending him sliding through the grass.
“We considered this action as retaliatory in nature and we have strict rules about it,” said race director Larry Steurrys. “The officials met after the race and imposed a two car penalty on Mike for taking matters into his own hands. If he had waited the penalty could have gone against Tommy for aggressive action in moving Mike high with two laps to go.”