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Rain Man: Friesen Tops Accord ‘Battle of the Bullring’ Halted By Mother Nature


Short Track Super Series

Rain Man: Friesen Tops Accord ‘Battle of the Bullring’ Halted By Mother Nature

Written by Chris Moore

ACCORD, NY – “Rain man.”

Stewart Friesen emerged victorious in a rain-shortened ‘Battle of the Bullring’ at Accord Speedway with the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled by Sunoco.

The win rewarded Friesen with a $9,090.90-plus payday, as the event honored longtime Accord Speedway favorite Barry Davis, who was on hand for the event paying homage to his legendary Accord career and No. 9D.

A restart at the scheduled halfway point – lap 25 – allowed Friesen to power around Accord’s all-time winningest driver, Rich Ricci Jr., to claim his 45th career STSS victory.

The 33-lap affair served as the opening round of the River Valley Builders North Region and Round No. 4 of the Ollie’s Overall Championship.

“Battling with a Ricci at Accord,” Friesen said with a smile. “What could be more fitting… Rich ran a really good race and was really hitting the bottom well.

“I’m really honored to win the first Barry Davis tribute race,” he added.

Friesen rolled off from the fifth starting position following the Beyea Custom Headers Redraw, while Elmira, N.Y.’s Ajay Potrzebowski II and Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard occupied the front row.

Potrzebowski grabbed the lead in the early going. Sheppard faded to the back half of the top 10 on an early restart, which slid Sheffield, Mass., native Andy Bachetti into the runner-up spot.

Another restart on lap seven led to the ultimate end to Potrzebowski’s run at his first career STSS win.

Potrzebowski got loose on the outside of turns three and four and spun, fortunately avoiding contact with the rest of the field as they went by. The team later reported power steering issues.

Bachetti inherited the lead, followed by Danny Creeden, Friesen, Ricci Jr., and Mat Williamson.

Bachetti’s lead was short-lived however, as he slowed to bring out the caution a lap later.

The completed lap moved Rich Ricci Jr. to the top spot with Friesen alongside as Creeden fell to third.

From there, the battle lit up between the top two, while the rest of the field battled in their own fight for third.

While Friesen chased Ricci Jr., Covington Township, Pa.’s Alex Yankowski began to make his presence known, moving into the top five after starting from the 15th position.

Yankowski then moved by Creeden for fourth just prior to the race’s next yellow flag on lap 14.

The lead duo continued to be the class of the field, with Friesen continuing to pressure Ricci Jr., but yellow flags kept the leaders from getting into any lap traffic.

On the key lap-25 restart, Friesen used the outside groove to beat Ricci Jr. to the line and muscled the lead away for good.

Another yellow flag flew on lap 33, which would ultimately bring out the checkered flag. A light mist began to intensify, causing the rest of the night to be nixed, and Friesen was officially declared the winner.

Friesen was also a rain-shortened winner at Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, N.Y., back in 2019, which coincidentally ended on lap 33 as well.

Ricci Jr. settled for second, one spot shy of his first career STSS triumph.

“I didn’t need all those yellows,” Ricci Jr. proclaimed. “After that Dash for Cash though I knew we had a really good car and I really felt like we were going to get the win.”

Ricci Jr., who took two years off from driving, was behind the wheel of his daughter Allison’s car.

St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada’s Mat Williamson rounded out the podium, extending his lead in the Ollie’s Overall Championship in his Behrent’s Performance Warehouse No. 3.

“I really like coming to this place,” Williamson stated. “It takes a good driver and a good car and not just a big motor.”

Yankowski climbed to fourth in the Tim Millman-backed No. 84y and Sheppard rounded out the top five in his No. 9D, who honored Barry Davis with a slight number change.

Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Elizabethtown, N.Y.’s Mike Mahaney in the George Huttig-owned No. 35; Cottekill, N.Y.’s Danny Tyler, who dawned a complete Barry Davis outer body to honor the Accord legend; Modified rookie Tyler Johnston came home eighth in his family-owned entry; Potsdam, N.Y.’s Michael Maresca finished ninth after starting 19th in the Saint Lawrence Radiology No. 7mm; and Guilderland, N.Y.’s Marc Johnson was the Lisa Decker Memorial Hard Charger of the race, coming from 25th to round out the top-10.

Fifty-six STSS big-block/small-block Modifieds signed in for competition at Accord Speedway.

Heat winners were Friesen, Williamson, Ricci Jr., Tyler Boniface, Bobby Hackel IV, and Bachetti.

Consolation winners were Maresca, Joe Judge, and Michael Storms.

Round No. 1 of the Madsen Overhead Doors North Region for the STSS Crate 602 Sportsman feature was not run due to rain and will not be made up.

All qualified cars will share in the total payout divided evenly ($225 per car) and all participants will receive 50 points.

Accord Speedway management will complete the Pure Stock event on a Friday night to be determined.

The STSS goes green once again in May with the ‘Berks County Brawl’ at Action Track USA in Kutztown, Pa. The STSS Modifieds go for 50 laps and a $5,000 top prize and 75 show up points for all who attempt to qualify. It’s Round No. 4 of the NJ Quality Drywall South Region and Round No. 5 of the Ollie’s Overall Championship. The 600cc Micro Sprints will join the program under Action Track USA rules and procedures.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit, e-mail, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook, @ShortTrack_SS on Twitter or @ShortTrackSS on Instagram.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by Bob Hilbert Sportswear, FloRacing, American Racer, Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, BDR Speed, NJ Quality Drywall, River Valley Builders, Ollie’s, Penske Racing Shocks, Saint Lawrence Radiology, Capitol Custom Trailers & Coaches, Bicknell Racing Products, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Madsen Overhead Doors, Belmont’s Garage, Wegner Automotive, DIG Race Products, ATL, Dirt Draft, Swagger Factory Apparel, F.X. Caprara Car Companies, Algonkin Motel LLC, Beyea Custom Headers, Design for Vision, Sunglass Central, Dirt Track Digest TV, DKM Fabrication, EIBACH, Fastline Performance, Flach Performance Products, Henry’s Headers & Exhaust Systems, JK Signworks, JLR Technologies, Dave Prime Jr. MAC Tools, Schultz Racing Fuel Cells, Superior Remodeling, TV 12 Racing Products, VAHLCO Wheels & Wilwood Disc Brakes.


‘Battle of the Bullring 11’ Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco River Valley Builders North Region Round No. 1 Feature Finish (50 laps): 1. 44-STEWART FRIESEN[5]; 2. 55-Rich Ricci Jr[11]; 3. 3W-Mat Williamson[9]; 4. 84Y-Alex Yankowski[15]; 5. 9S-Matt Sheppard[2]; 6. 35M-Mike Mahaney[8]; 7. 9D-Danny Tyler[13]; 8. 5-Tyler Johnston[6]; 9. 7MM-Michael Maresca[19]; 10. 9J-Marc Johnson[25]; 11. 28-Michael Storms[21]; 12. 02-Jack Lehner[18]; 13. 97-Bobby Hackel IV[10]; 14. 60-Hunter Lapp[27]; 15. 69-Randy Green[14]; 16. 17-Jimmy Wells[16]; 17. 6H-JR Hurlburt[26]; 18. 20F-Scott Ferrier[23]; 19. 16X-Danny Creeden[4]; 20. 6D-Dillon Steuer[12]; 21. 15M-Daniel Morgiewicz Jr[17]; 22. 93M-Craig Mitchell[24]; 23. 82S-Will Shields[22]; 24. 72-Ajay Potrzebowski II[1]; 25. 4B-Andy Bachetti[3]; 26. 3J-Joe Judge[20]; 27. 69B-Tyler Boniface[7]

Did Not Qualify: 28B-Jackie Brown Jr; 7-Travis Green; 97H-Cody Higbie; 44X-Shane Jablonka; 11-Danny Hieber; 21M-Bob McGannon; 22-Billy Fiske; 35C-Chris Curtis; 70A-Alex Payne; 27K-Brett Tonkin; 28T-Michael Trautschold; 29-Ryan Krachun; 280-Justin Holland; 19R-Mike Ricci; 27M-Jared Miller; 24-Ken Ferrier; 35-Francois Bellemare; 8R-Richard Smith; 01-Chris Raabe; 27V-Tanner Van Doren; 83-Chris Stevens; 27J-Danny Johnson; 4P-Anthony Perrego; 91-Felix Roy; 26R-Corey Cormier; 15S-Dylan Smith; 879-Darryl Mitchell; 1JR-Talan Carter; 27-Jason Reome

Thank you to event sponsors Comfort Experts, Rondout Valley Engine Service, NPS – Northeast Paving & Sealcoat & Friends of Barry Davis

Lap Money Breakdown: ($3,187.90 Total): 55-Rich Ricci Jr. ($1,639.90); 44-Stewart Friesen ($534); 9S-Matt Sheppard ($350); 72-Ajay Potrzebowski ($345); 7MM-Michael Maresca ($129); 82S-Will Shields ($100); 20F-Scott Ferrier ($90) – Laps 34-50 returned to Mike Senecal

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificate): Rich Ricci Jr. (second) & Mat Williamson (third)
ATL Fuel Cell ‘Hot Lap Hero’ ($100): Danny Tyler (12.937 seconds)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Alex Yankowski (fourth) & Michael Maresca (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Dillon Steuer (Redrew 12th)
Dave & Jackie Collier Heat Race Winner Bonuses ($90 each): Stewart Friesen, Mat Williamson, Rich Ricci Jr., Tyler Boniface, Bobby Hackel & Andy Bachetti
Winchell Stone & Masonry/H. Jarvis General Contractor/EPO Paving/Loose
Screw Racing Dash for Cash Payout: Stewart Friesen (first - $290); Mat Williamson (second - $190); Rich Ricci Jr. (third - $90); Tyler Boniface (fourth - $90); Bobby Hackel (fifth - $90); Andy Bachetti (sixth - $90)
Eibach Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Mike Mahaney (sixth)
Graham Racing Redraw Bonus ($90): Mat Williamson (Redrew ninth)
H. Jarvis General Contractor First Non-Qualifier Bonuses ($100): Jackie Brown Jr., Brett Tonkin & Tanner Van Doren
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Michael Storms (11th)
Lisa Decker Hard Charger Award Bonus ($626): Marc Johnson (25th to 10th)
Netzley Heating & Cooling Bonus ($100): Michael Maresca (ninth)
PEM Engineering Bonus (Quick Change Gears): Mat Williamson (third)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Stewart Friesen (first - $150 certificate); Rich Ricci Jr. (second - $75 certificate); Mat Williamson (third - $50 certificate); Alex Yankowski (fourth - $25 certificate)
Plum Sweet Creations Last-Place Bonus ($50): Tyler Boniface (27th)
R. Smith Site Development Halfway Leader Bonus ($250): Stewart Friesen
Schultz Racing Fuel Cells Bonus ($100 Certificate): Marc Johnson (10th)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Bonus ($100 Certificate): Danny Tyler (seventh)

Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Crate 602 Sportsman Madsen Overhead Doors North Region Round No. 1 Feature Lineup (Rained Out): 1. 82-David Hackett; 2. 24B-Joey Bruning; 3. T69-Travis Green; 4. 123-Dale Welty; 5. 9G-Mike Nagel Jr; 6. 44-Gordon Smith; 7. 9K-Blaine Klinger; 8. 89-Dylan Madsen; 9. 27-Michael Ballestero; 10. 35-Justin Comes; 11. 38L-Jared LaBagh; 12. 38-Kevin Stevens; 13. 60-Hunter Lapp; 14. 3J-Joe Judge; 15. 4RJ-Kyle Rohner; 16. 26-Derrick McGrew Jr; 17. 12T-Tyler Peet; 18. 77J-Jeff Higham; 19. 12-George Schweigart; 20. 12P-Connor Prokop; 21. 3B-Ryan Behrent; 22. 96-Tyler Treacey; 23. 52-Ron Proctor; 24. 14T-Payton Talbot; 25. 314-Clayton DuMond; 26. M28-Michael Travis

All scheduled feature starters will receive $225, splitting the purse evenly; All participants receive 50 points toward the Madsen Overhead Doors North Region

Did Not Qualify: 40D-Butchie Irwin; 621-Seth Martin; 22P-Nick Plumstead; 03-Joshua Jock; M-KYLE SMITH; 6M-Pat Mann; 225-Derrick Shaffer; 20A-Ashton DeWitt; 17C-Donnie Campbell; 814-Lenny Helmich

Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($25): Kevin Stevens (Redrew 12th)
Fastline Performance ‘Hot Lap Hero ($50): Dylan Madsen (13.589 seconds)

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Bob Hilbert Sportswear
American Racer
Flo Racing
BDR Speed
NJ Quality Drywall
River Valley Builders
St. Lawrence Radiology
Capital Custom Trailers
Bicknell Racing Products
Madsen Overhead Doors
Belmont Garage
Wegner Automotive
Dirt Draft
Swagger Factory Apparel
FX Caprara
Algonkin Motel
Beyea Headers
Design For Vision
Sunglass Central
Dirt Track Digest
DKM Fabrication
Eibach Springs
Flasch Performance
Henrys Exhaust
JK Signworks
Lias Tire
MAC Tools
Schultz Fuel Cells
Superior Remodeling
TV12 Race Product
Vahlco Wheels