2017 NYPA MIDGET ASSOCIATION SEASON IN REVIEW
LANCASTER NY October 6th 2017 – After eleven rounds of spirited open wheel action, Kyle Hutchinson was crowned the 2017 NYPA Midget Association Champion over close competitors Erik Musto and Dave Wollaber. Hutchinson, Wollaber, and Andy Nye traded wins all year while young gun Erik Musto proved he has the consistency and pace that it takes to win a championship.
Stay tuned to nypamidgets.com for updates on our banquet as well as the 2018 season schedule. The NYPA Midget Association wants to thank all of the racers and race teams for putting on one of the most intense short track racing programs around. We look forward to having all of our racers and more back racing next year.
Now let’s take a look back at our series regulars and how they fared in 2017 in order of their points finish:
2017 NYPA Midget Association Champion Kyle Hutchinson from East Aurora NY: In 2016 Kyle Hutchinson was barely edged out by Dave Wollaber for the series championship. This year “Hutch” strung a number of top fives together with tremendous consistency and took two checkered flags at the Chapel Hill Speedway and Holland International Speedway respectively. Hutchinson had to fend off early season points leader Erik Musto and as well as Wollaber’s late charge to claim the NYPA season championship.
“Hutch” had a great team and a lot of help throughout the season. Kyle thanked “car owner John Casey and Casey’s Truck Salvage, his girlfriend Bonnie, Wayne Turnbull, and Bill Davies for preparing the car each week. Also thanks to my dad Ken Hutchinson and crew member Jay Snyder.” Kyle looks forward to defending his title in 2018.
Erik Musto number 6 from Lockport NY finished second in NYPA Midget Association points. Musto was a picture of consistency for a majority of the 2017 season. He managed to hold onto the points lead over series veterans from May to August. After his second close shave with championship glory.
Erik noted, “It just turned out that Hutch had his worst finishes the first three weeks of the season and we had our worst finishes in the last three races of the season.” Unfortunately Musto’s Cinderella run was cut short by recurring brake issue, which the team plans to rectify in the offseason.
Erik thanked his family and sponsors: “My Dad and my Uncle Frank, Modern Electrical Construction for their fifteen years of commitment to our family’s racing, Bill Pippard and Pippard Racing ENgines, and Hartway Motors.” The series runner up also wanted to acknowledge Charlie DiRosa and Gordon Steffen for their dedication and hard work. Erik plans to make another charge in 2018 to ensure this place amongst the best short track open wheel racers around.
North Tonawanda native and driver of car number 1 Dave Wollaber is the 2017 Holland International Speedway Track Champion and came in third place in NYPA points. Wollaber’s only low points came when he missed first race of the year and then suffered a wild flip at Lancaster National Speedway resulted in a DNF. Amazingly the car and Dave were back in action the following race. The crash will soon be featured in CC Racer magazine as well so stay tuned for some incredible shots. If not for those hits to his points total, Wollaber may have successfully defended his 2016 title against Hutchinson and Musto.
While Wollaber missed out on another NYPA title, he did however take home the Holland International Speedway NASCAR Hometracks Tier 2 championship. Few drivers have mastered the high speed, high banks of Holland like Dave Wollaber and he put his stamp on that with a prestigious Jerry Gradl Memorial Mini Indy 50 win. Dave is supported by the excellent Englewood Collison team and their stable of TQ Midgets.
In fourth place was Tony Patrea from Tonawanda NY in the number 71 machine. Patrea finished the year with an amazing seven top 10 finishes. The Auto Place Professional Service Center 71 TQ Midget battled hard throughout the year and it paid off with a top five point finish.
Fifth place holds Charlie DiRosa who was a hard charger all year in his signature purple George’s Collision 39 car. Despite battling at the top of the standings all year, DiRosa had difficulty cracking the top ten in the last few series races. However, one of the great season highlights was when Chargin’ Charlie brought the field to green to start the 50 lap Jerry Gradl Memorial Mini Indy 50 on the pole position. The West Seneca native and series organizer finished a season high third at Holland International Speedway.
Andy Nye in the 66 does not run every race with the series but when he does he certainly makes his presence felt. The 66 is a threat at Holland and Lancaster every time he rolls into the pits. Nye finished sixth in points after he scored a hat trick of wins including the season opener at Lancaster National Speedway.
Taking seventh place is one of the most friendly and dedicated guys in the pit area, Kevin Wilson. Wilson, from Alden NY, proudly runs the famous AJ Foyt number 14 on his red racing machine. NYPA looks forward to having Wilson back in the ranks in 2018. The Buffalo Roadhouse Grill, Alden State Bank 14 tallied two top ten finishes in 2017.
Vinnie Christiano brought another Englewood Collision car home for a top ten in points with an eighth place finish. Christiano, from Tonawanda NY, drives the number 2 car from the iconic Englewood stable of TQ Midgets. Eight top ten finishes proved good enough to keep him in points contention throughout the year. Englewood Collision is a staple in local TQ midget racing.
Next up is Bobby Holmes with Shape Shifter Motorsports in ninth. The Holmes family has a rich racing history, especially at Lancaster National Speedway where Bobby Holmes has competed in just about every class. No matter what track, Holmes in the 21x is always a threat to win. Holmes capped his NYPA season at the US Open with a heat race win and second place overall finish losing out to only hot shoe Dave Wollaber. Shape Shifter Motorsports has announced that Bobby Holmes will compete in the entire Area Auto Racing News Indoor Racing Series. Stay tuned for 2018 outdoor plans.
And finally rounding out the top ten in 2017 NYPA Midget Association championship points is Jim Musto, father of runner up Erik Musto. Jim finished a season best seventh at Holland International Speedway. That finish was the difference between a top ten points finish and eleventh place. The Mustos made history being the second father/son duo to finish in the top ten NYPA series after the Christianos accomplished the feat last year.
The 2017 NYPA season truly tested the metal of the Pew Racing team on their way to an 11th place finish in the final point standings. On May 20th at the NYPA season opener at Holland International Speedway, Pew’s season nearly ended. During practice Pew’s number 05 Olive Tree TQ midget flipped violently in turns three and four of the historic high banked ⅜ mile track. Safety crews rushed to his aid and thankfully found him uninjured. The car however, had taken a beating. Incredibly the BGF built roll cage performed as designed and retained its integrity and kept him safe.
The Pew Racing team and the crew at BGF thrashed on the car and had it racing by the next race. From then on Jamie fought hard in and out of the top ten in points battling with some of the best racers in Western New York. Unfortunately Pew flipped again in practice at Lancaster before the final points race and thankfully escaped injury. But because he was unable to compete in the final points race, Jamie was forced to settle for a hard fought 11th in the standings. The tenacious team again fixed the 05 TQ and made a run at the non-points race US Open. Pew Racing prides themselves on never giving up and the results clearly show.
Vinnie Christiano III, another young gun, had a strong NYPA effort this year and took home 12th place honors in NYPA series points. Christiano III pilots the third Englewood Collision car and had three top ten finishes with a season high of 8th place.
Vinnie Christiano III is another fine representative of a new generation of TQ midget racers competing with NYPA. In 2017 he had to balance school work with racing, which takes tremendous amount of focus and diligence. In fact he had to make a mad dash; get to Lancaster to make it in time for qualifying at this year’s US Open. He was very impressive in 2017 and we look forward to watching him develop as a racer.
13th place finisher and Ontario native Tommy Catalano had a very busy racing season in Late Models, Sportsman Modifieds, RoC Modifieds, and of course NYPA TQ midgets. His very fast number 98 car is always up front and a factor to win. Catalano’s ride is one of the few Lafler chassis in competition in the NYPA series-fielded by another one our great racing families-the Brainard’s.
BGF chassis drivers Patrick Smith (14th) and AJ Hessler (15th) finished out the top 15 in points. The 01 and 02 cars’ home track is Chapel Hill Raceway where the series put on a thriller in 2017.
Chad Haywood’s striking red number 42 was not able to make a lot of shows but he finished well enough to secure 16th.
Jeremy Conklin, in the number 19 from Pittsfield NY, made his rookie debut in 2017. His strong effort with the help of his dad earned him a 17th place finish in series points. Every week Conklin’s speed and racecraft improved. Next year he’ll take off the rookie streamers and look to punch his way into the top ten.
The remainder of the points finish is as follows:
- Brandon Zavarella 91
- Sean McNamara 32
- Mark Schulz 33
- Arik McGruder 21
- Chuck Kowalske 44
- Shawn Nye 32
- Jeff Blackburn 7
- Greg Richardson 11
- Andy Janowiak 21x
- Mack DeMan 43
- Ryan Fraser 94
- Adrian Stahle 34
- Jim Fleischman 41
- Ronnie Flaim 01
- Jonathan Reid 88x
The NYPA Midget Association wants to thank all 32 drivers who strapped in under the NYPA banner. Your participation made the show. Furthermore, the season just wouldn’t have come together without these exceptional partners.
The Bubbly Sponge Official Home Maintenance Company of the NYPA Midget Association: The Bubbly Sponge Home Maintenance Company provides high quality window cleaning, gutter cleaning and pressure washing in Buffalo, NY. If you need window washing or pressure washing for your home or business, we’ll make sure the only thing we leave behind is a beautiful, clean view from your windows.
Double Clutch is the Official Motorsports Marketing Partner of the NYPA Midget Association: Double Clutch develops, and executes turnkey social, branding, marketing, sales, and customer acquisition strategies via motorsports marketing 2.0 tactics and tools, for motorsports stakeholders.
Additional information can be found on the Double Clutch website www.WinOnMonday.com
Abbott Rd Pizza is the Official Pizza (and wings) of the NYPA Midget Association: Abbott Rd Pizza is located on 1177 Abbott Rd. in south Buffalo. Call for pickup or delivery 716-826-2628! We believe that service should always be personal, and the ingredients should always be fresh! Our delicious pizzas in Buffalo, New York feature: unbleached, unbromated flour & the finest quality mozzarella cheese. NEW FLAVORS and NEW OWNERS AFTER 40 YEARS! After 40 years of serving fresh pizza in Buffalo, New York Abbott Rd Pizza has refreshed our commitment to quality, Abbott Rd. Pizza is the place you should come for: Great Pizza, Great Specials, Great Catering Services, and a Great Family Atmosphere!
X-press Sign is the Official Sign Provider of the NYPA Midget Association: X-press Sign is a family owned and operated business, offering business signs, LED signs, vehicle wraps and so much more. For over 15 years, we’ve been the go-to resource for many individuals and businesses in Western New York who need high-quality marketing solutions. Our staff has over 50 years of combined experience, so our clients can rely on us to design, create and install exceptional products for their needs in record time.
Lias Tire Racing Division is the Official Tire Provider of the NYPA Midget Association: Lias Tire is the exclusive distributor of American Racer tires in nine states in the northeastern United States, including Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. We have a dealer network set up throughout our territory, and deal both through our dealers, as well as directly with our customers.
In addition to being the nation’s largest distributor of American Racer Racing Tires, we also have an onsite Speed Shop which offers a wide variety of racing products and equipment. The Speed Shop is open 6 days a week to serve our local customers.
Jerry Gradl Motors is the Official New York Auto Service Provider: Since 1958 Jerry Gradl Motors has provided exceptional sales and professional service to western New York motorists. Half of their customers are referrals or repeats, which means they provide outstanding customer service. The Gradl name is a staple in WNY motorsports and will be for years to come. Jerry Gradl Motors has two locations to choose from, one at 711 Niagara Falls Blvd, North Tonawanda NY and the other located at 6704 Transit Rd. Williamsville.
Buffalo RiverWorks is the Official Venue of the NYPA Midget Association: The city’s newest premier waterfront, boating, sports, music and entertainment destination located along the banks of the Buffalo River.
The interior space at RiverWorks will hold: a 5,000 person art, entertainment and concert venue; the first permanent, purpose built, flat track roller derby track in the world; a martial arts dojo; four bars; a restaurant and a concession food area; locker rooms for sports leagues; restrooms and a kitchen. This 60,000 sq. ft. space in the main building can also be converted to use for any event, including but not limited to: concerts, banquets, weddings, corporate events of all kinds, sports tournaments, festivals, trade shows, conventions, art demonstrations and non-for-profit fundraiser event.
Bonnell’s Auto Group is the Official Pennsylvania Auto Service Provider: Bonnell’s Auto Group provides professional high quality auto service to northwest Pennsylvania. Bonnell Collision has two locations for your convenience in Fairfield and Erie Pennsylvania. Also be sure to check out Bonnell’s Rod Shop, which features professional classic and custom vehicle work, Bonnell’s Auto Sales for Signature Certified pre-owned cars, and Bonnell’s Auto Glass for all your windscreen needs. Visit Bonnell’s Auto Group and support the businesses that support short track racing.
About: The NYPA Midget, series sanctions three-quarter midget racing in western New York and Pennsylvania. TQ midgets are known for high stakes, wheel to wheel, short track racing action and have thrilled crowds across the country for over fifty years. The NYPA Midget Association carries on that tradition of excitement at tracks like Holland Speedway, Lake Erie Speedway and Lancaster National Speedway. Check the Double Clutch engineered NYPA Midget Association website www.NYPAMidgets.com for the schedule, points, and news. Find us on Facebook for up to date event information, photos, and more. Be sure to like and share with your friends.