PHOTO: Wayne Helliwell’s Late Model sits in the pit area after the 50 lap feature showing its battle scars. Helliwell nearly overcame a rules change that left them at a disadvantage, finishing second in the feature. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)

Friesen Dominates DIRT Modified Feature

— by T.J. Ingerson

WALL, N.J. — The 2011 Late Model Turkey Derby race may go down as the little engine that nearly did after a runner-up finish in the 50 lap Late Model race.

A carburetor rule change that their Bruce Bernhardt-owned team was unaware of put their S347JR Ford ACT spec engine with a two barrel carburetor up against its more powerful big brother D347SR, the Chevrolet ACT Legal ‘603’ spec engine, as well as its own big brother, the Chevrolet ‘604’ spec engine. The Ford D347SR and the Chevrolet 604 are comparable to Super Late Model engines and produce, on average, 50 more horsepower when using the same carburetor as the 603 and S347JR.

But teams were allowed to use a four barrel carburetor, leaving Helliwell to race against some engines that had more than 75 horsepower. But Helliwell, against the odds, went out and nearly won.

‘We came down here with a rules package that they had set up a few weeks ago, with a two barrel carburetor,’ said Helliwell. ‘We bring our ACT S347JR crate, we get down here, and everyone has four barrels, even on the D347SRs and the big Chevrolet engines. We didn’t bring anything, and were stuck with a two barrel. But this [car] just rolled the turns so good that we were able to maintain some of the speed down the straight.’

Helliwell’s run is more impressive after he made contact with the wall after another competitor ran him high on the frontstretch early in the race.

‘We got put in the fence and I think it may have bent the toe a little bit,’ explained Helliwell. ‘But, hats off to [Jarrod Hayes]. He ran a good race and deserved to win.’

Hayes, of Calverton, N.Y., races at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, N.Y. and was able to the lead early and was able to pull way on the exit of the corners with his more hosepower. Helliwell, though, was all over the bumper of Hayes over the final 25 laps and made several moves to the inside of Hayes, but Hayes’ power advantage was too much to overcome.

Helliwell, however, had fun racing at Wall Speedway, which he calls his favorite track.

‘I love this place. I wish the [ACT] tour would come here,’ joked Helliwell. ‘The banking is just unbelievable. It’s just a blast. It’s really tight, hard on the brakes and hard on the throttle. It’s just a real fun, get-up-on-the-wheel and drive.

‘We’re going home with a car that’s in one piece. We shouldn’t have even brought the car back out after Oktoberfest. But we had to come back down, we just can’t enough of this place. We’re not ashamed to go home with second. Everyone had fun and it’s just one more race we did before winter.’

Rob Ormsbee, of Wall, N.J., finished third in the Late Model event.

Stewart Friesen, of Niagara, Ont., won the 40 lap DIRT Modified feature in dominating fashion. The SEF 200 winner at Syracuse Fairgrounds started fifth and made an impressive move on the first lap to work to second place, and then passed then leader John McClelland on the outside on lap five and cruised to the dominating victory. McClelland, of Martinsville, N.J., settled for second and Joey Payne, of Hawthorne, N.J., was third.

The Turkey Derby resumes today featuring the 150-lap Tour-Type Modified feature and 100-lap SK Modified feature. Favorite Jimmy Blewett will start on the pole in the 100-lap SK Modified feature.

Wall Stadium Speedway, Wall, N.J.
Friday, November 25, 2011


Late Model Feature (50 laps)
1. Jarrod Hayes, Calverton, N.Y.
2. Wayne Helliwell, Jr., Dover, N.H.
3. Rob Ormsbee, Wall, N.J.
4. Greg Kleila, Lindenhurst, N.Y.
5. Scott Wylie, Derby, N.Y.

DIRT Modified Feature (40 laps)
1. Stewart Friesen, Niagara, Ont.
2. John McClelland, Martinsville, N.J.
3. Joey Payne, Hawthorne, N.J.
4. Steve Folk, Collegeville, Pa.
5. Dominick Buffalino, South River, N.J.