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Written By The Mountain Eagle on 11/20/23 | 11/20/23

Stewart Friesen of Sprakers was the winner on Sunday, picking up $10,500 in the Hard Clay Finale at Orange County Fair Speedway.  Biittig photo

Hard Charger Award winner, Ryan Odasz poses with Promoter, Brett Deyo and Hard Luck Award winner, Corey Cormier after the Hard Clay Finale on Sunday at OCFS.  Biittig photo

By Ed & Betty Biittig

Stewart Friesen claimed his 41st STSS win while also closing out the 2023 season for the Bob Hilbert Sportswear STSS Fueled By Sunoco in the ‘Hard Clay Finale’ on Saturday at Orange County Fair Speedway.  

The 50-lap race for STSS Modifieds paid $10,500 to win and Friesen took the big check home to Sprakers. 

In victory lane Friesen said, “I’m just proud to be here in (Bicknell Racing Products) Victory Lane. This place is special to me; I’ve been racing here since I was 16 in a Sportsman car.”

“If this was it, I’m glad I got the last one, but I sure hope like heck we’re back here in April,” Friesen continued.

Joining Friesen on the podium was, Anthony Perrego and Andy Bachetti.  The Hard Charger of the race was Ryan Odasz, receiving $1000 for his charge from 24th to finish ninth.  Ryan also received at $50 gift card from Behrent’s Performance Warehouse for his ninth place finish and a cash award of $500 as a top ten finisher.  The Hard Luck award of another $1000 check went to Corey Cormier.  

Heat race winners receiving $50 were Max McLaughlin, Brett Tonkin, Danny Johnson, Danny Varin and Anthony Perrego.  

Matt Sheppard flew in from Texas to race on Sunday and he wrapped up the North Region Championship in the STSS.  Matt’s current standing for this season is with 32 wins and a total of 496 career wins.  

Sunday’s field of 52 Modifieds brought together some of the best in our sport and among them this season there is a total of 117 wins.   

Ed spent the day on Sunday at the oldest track in the state, 104 year old, Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, NY.  

Brett Deyo and company finally got a break with the weather being bearable in the early afternoon but as nightfall crept in it turned cool.  Ed was fortunate to be invited to the warm tower of Assemblyman, Chris Tague and the jester was greatly appreciated.  

Much of the talk of the day was regarding the possibility the Sunday’s “Hard Clay Finale” might truly be the final race held at the historic oval.  It was the latest race ever held at the track.  When we left the speedway last season there was a strong possibility of a pending sale.  This year it seems that parties involved in the process are keeping it close to the vest.  If true it will be a sad day for our sport.

Winner on Saturday at Georgetown Speedway in Delaware was Alex Yankowski of Covington Township, Pa.  Yankowski raced regularly at Fonda and Utica-Rome this season but came up short of victory lane until Saturday’s Gary Simpson Memorial race.  

Yankowski drove the Gary Simpson owned No. 12K during the 2021 season and he said in victory lane, “Gary was an awesome guy and it’ great to have Kerrigan, Gary’s daughter here.  We’re thinking of the whole Simpson family.” 

The Millman’s NAPA 32-lap Modified event paid $12,000 to Yankowski.  Joining him on the podium was, Jordan Watson and Mike Gular.  

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