MALTA, N.Y. — Anthony Perrego and Kenny Tremont Jr. hooked up in what would have been a crowd-pleasing battle Friday night at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, but in the end the 14th-starting Perrego prevailed.
While the DIRTcar modified race was shown on pay-per-view, there was no crowd in the bleachers to enjoy the stirring battle as New York continues under restricted conditions due to the COVID-19 virus.
Outside front row starter JaMike Sowle and Peter Britten got caught up in a first turn melee on the initial start, but the second try saw polesitter Rich Ronca shoot out to a small lead over Brian Berger and Don Ronca.
By halfway, Ronca was still in command with Todd Stone a close second but a yellow the next time around brought them back to the field and gave the big guns a chance to close on the leaders.
Perrego, who stood third on the restart, sailed around the lead duo down the backstretch to get the lead while Tremont shot from sixth to third and began working on Stone, who had settled into second.
Another caution on lap 24 brought a restart that saw a skirmish in turn two that left point contender Marc Johnson off the backstretch with a wounded car and brought a single file restart that Tremont took advantage of to blow by Stone for second.
From that point the battle was on, with Perrego riding the cushion and Tremont hugging the infield jersey barriers, though it was interrupted briefly when Johnson’s front end collapsed in turn four with five to go for yet another yellow.
The leaders went back to their chosen lines on the restart and while Tremont could get even in the turns, Perrego’s momentum put him back on top as they hit the straightaways.
“I felt OK on the bottom in one and two and could run there if I had to but in three and four, I got a lot of momentum off the outside so I stuck with it,” said Perrego. “We did some testing this week at Orange County and found some things. Right now, this car is great!”
“It took a while to find out where the car wanted to be,” explained Tremont for his slow start but strong finish. “I was on the bottom for one of those restarts and it liked it there so we got going. After the year we’ve been having, second is a good night for us.”
Keith Flach hit the stripe third ahead of Jack Lehner, point leader Mike Mahaney, Matt DeLorenzo, Rocky Warner, Ronnie Johnson, Stone and Jessey Meuller.
Marc Johnson snared a $400 bonus by edging Tremont in the special modified dash, while Kevin Buff claimed the sportsman feature.