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Old 06-15-2014, 10:02 PM   #1
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Smile Jeff Gregoire wins WNYSRA Series Opener

Jeff Gregoire wins WNYSRA Series Opener Presented by Damorie Construction
2nd Generation racer best of 19 competitors to take home $1,000 prize

Leicester, NY – June 15, 2014: When race day finally arrived on May 31st, it saw the largest contingent of Super Rod racers in over 2 years descend upon Empire Dragway for the inaugural Tread City Tire / Western New York Super Rod Association (WNYSRA) event presented by Damorie Construction. When Jeff Gregoire of Elma, NY arrived with Jim and Jamie Stoneman’s 1993 Chevy S-10 pickup truck, many people probably didn’t give him much chance of winning given that he hadn’t raced at all in 2013. However, Gregoire proved that for some, like himself, racing is just like riding a bike as he came out on top of a group of the best competitors from New York, Pennsylvania, and Ontario, Canada.

After 2 rounds of qualifying, the well-traveled racing team of Corinne & Brian MacMillan from Ajax, Ontario, Canada sat atop the qualifying order with their beautiful 1968 Camaro with a 9.905 elapsed time (ET) on the 9.90 Super Rod index, earning themselves the 10 point bonus for being #1 qualifier. Gregoire found himself sitting in the number 9 position, which wasn’t exactly where he had hoped to start eliminations. With lane choice going to the higher qualified car, Jeff figured that he’d probably be giving up lane choice more times than not. But, as luck would have it, Gregoire ended up with lane choice in 4 of his 5 rounds of competition, which certainly didn’t hurt his chances on this day.

Round 1 of eliminations saw Jeff Gregoire take on John Cira from Rochester, NY in his familiar “Rock ‘N’ Roll Express” ’68 Chevrolet Nova. Cira left the starting line first, but Gregoire forced Cira to go quicker than the 9.90 Super Rod index with a run of 9.866 seconds, giving the victory back to Gregoire with his 9.919 ET. Additional round 1 highlights included Super Rod veteran Jerry Stoutenberg of Rush, NY in his 1964 Plymouth Valiant disposing of #1 qualifier Corinne MacMillan, and Jon Pellicane of Attica, NY defeating Mark Herbold from Elma, NY in the battle of late model Chevy Corvettes. In his victory over Herbold, Pellicane put together a stout 0.020 “package” (total amount of time away from a perfect run, calculated using the racer’s reaction time at the starting line and elapsed time), which ended up earning him a $50 gift certificate from Jiffy-Tite Corporation for the best winning package of the event.

In the 2nd round of eliminations, Gregoire was matched up against #5 qualifier and perennial contender Jon Jablonski of Alden, NY in his 1967 Chevy Nova. Gregoire had a slight lead as they left starting line, and he was able to parlay that into a win when Jablonski got out of shape and had to lift to avoid wrecking his freshly painted ride. Also advancing from round 2 were the aforementioned Jerry Stoutenberg and Jon Pellicane, as well as Tommy Allen of West Seneca, NY in his 1998 Chevy Cavalier, and Jeff Gregoire’s first cousin once removed, Matt Gregoire of Blasdell, NY, with his immaculate 1966 Chevrolet Nova SS.

In the quarterfinals, Jeff Gregoire used an excellent .007 reaction time to take a significant starting line advantage over competitor Tommy Allen. With his very close to perfect 9.899 elapsed time, Gregoire was able to hold off the hard-charging Allen when he went even quicker with a 9.896 ET in the double-breakout race. With Matt Gregoire having a bye-run (single), that left Pellicane battling Stoutenberg for the third and final spot in the semifinals. Pellicane had a small lead as he and Stoutenberg left the starting line, with reaction times of .018 and .031, respectively. But, once Pellicane coupled that reaction time to his excellent elapsed time of 9.903, he mathematically eliminated any chance that Stoutenberg had of winning. In the loss, Stoutenberg finished his evening with a very competitive 9.895 ET.

With 3 cars left in the semifinals, Jeff Gregoire received the bye-run into the finals, which set up the potential for an all Gregoire final if Matt could get past Jon Pellicane. As one might imagine though, Pellicane wasn’t exactly willing to let that happen without a fight. When the green lights flashed for both drivers, Pellicane had the slimmest of starting line advantages with his reaction time of .010 as compared to the .015 reaction time of Matt Gregoire. As he had been doing all day, Pellicane again ran very close to the index with a slightly too quick 9.897 elapsed time. Gregoire was able to get to the finish line first, but in doing so he ran a much too quick elapsed time of 9.851 seconds, handing the victory to Pellicane.

This set up the finals between Jeff Gregoire and Jon Pellicane. Based upon how they had run throughout eliminations, Pellicane probably would have been considered the favorite given the consistent excellent runs that he had strung together to reach the finals. But, the veteran Gregoire certainly wasn’t intimidated as he knew he had just as good a chance at winning as Pellicane. When the cars left the starting line, Pellicane had a slight .009 second advantage with his .028 reaction time versus the .037 reaction time of Gregoire. As the cars approached the finish line, Gregoire was ahead but Pellicane was closing fast, and by the time they reached the stripe it was Pellicane who got there first. However, this was to be another double-breakout affair, with Gregoire taking the win with his slower but closer to the index elapsed time of 9.897 seconds over Pellicane’s too quick ET of 9.874 seconds.

In taking the victory, Gregoire was quick to thank Jim and Jamie Stoneman for allowing him to use their race truck for the day. “Obviously this would not have been possible without Jim and Jamie’s truck, and they gave me a great hot rod today,” said Gregoire. Gregoire added, “I’d also like to thank Phil Harnden and Jason Oldfield of the Western New York Super Rod Association for all of their hard work in putting this great series together.” In addition, Gregoire wanted to thank Tom Coonly and Mike Zak for their help throughout the day, his girlfriend Renee for her support, Joe Passero of Rosehill Auction House, Jason Vitez of Vitez Race Cars, and his mom, Pat, and dad, Phil, who were able to be in attendance to watch their son race to victory.

With one race down, the current top 10 in the point standings are as follows:
  • Position - Driver - Points
  • 1 - Jeff Gregoire - 80
  • 2 - Jon Pellicane - 70
  • 3 - Matt Gregoire - 60
  • 4 - Tommy Allen - 50
  • - Jerry Stoutenberg - 50
  • 6 - Bill Elekes - 40
  • - Vince Gregoire - 40
  • - Jon Jablonski - 40
  • - Doug Lynden - 40
  • - Corinne MacMillan - 40

The complete point standings can be found at the WNYSRA website at http://www.wnysra.com/pdfs/2014_WNYSRA_Points.pdf.

Race two of the 8 race Tread City Tire / Western New York Super Rod Association series will take place on Saturday, June 28th, again at Empire Dragway in Leicester, NY. Gates open at noon, with open time trials for all competitors starting at 1 pm. WNYSRA qualifying sessions are currently scheduled for 2:00 pm and 3:30 pm, with final eliminations slated to start at 5:00 pm. For more information, visit at the WNYSRA website at http://www.wnysra.com.

About the Western New York Super Rod Association (WNYSRA):

The Western New York Super Rod Association was founded in 2014 to provide an outlet for some of the best heads-up, pro-tree competitors in western New York, southern Ontario, and northwestern Pennsylvania to compete in one of the longest running sportsman drag racing categories, IHRA's Super Rod or NHRA's Super Gas. The 8-race series includes 6 events at Empire Dragway in Leicester, NY, and 2 races at Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga, Ontario, Canada, with the winner of one of those two races taking home a coveted NHRA “Wally”. In addition to serving the racers, it is the goal of the WNYSRA to provide their sponsors with unprecedented marketing value for their money through exposure at the track, in printed media, and on-line. For more information, visit the WNYSRA website at http://www.wnysra.com, or find them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/WNYSRA.

About Damorie Construction:

Justin D’Amato and Matt Gregoire are dedicated and hardworking individuals. They both strive for perfection. With Justin’s 9 years of experience as a machine operator and plumber combined with Matt’s knowledge of business and marketing and strong work ethic, they decided to establish a company together in 2008, Damorie Construction, LLC. Justin and Matt started doing work for remodeling contractors handling all plumbing aspects of the jobs. From there, they grew to take on bigger projects with local homebuilders doing all exterior plumbing/utility work for new builds. At that time, numerous employees, large equipment, and construction vehicles were added to the business. With the background knowledge, equipment, and current resources, Justin and Matt have grown to take on large commercial jobs. They started doing site work, fire and domestic water services, sewer mains and laterals, and drainage work while continuing to do the smaller plumbing jobs. With over 6 years of professional quality work, attention to detail, and perseverance, Damorie Construction, LLC, can handle all your plumbing needs whether it is large or small. Contact Justin D’Amato at (716) 984-0202 or Matt Gregoire at (716) 440-6068.

About Tread City Tire & Wheel:

Tread City Tire & Wheel is your one-stop, on-the-spot auto service headquarters for a complete line of quality tires and auto services. For years, Tread City Tire & Wheel has provided Western New York with not only the latest in wheel and tire technology, but also the services required to keep your vehicle looking good and running great, including their extraordinary mobile tire service. At Tread City Tire & Wheel, their friendly and knowledgeable staff, quick and dependable service professionals, and affordable prices all come together to make driving out on a new set of wheels and tires quick and easy. For a personal consultation, stop by one of Tread City Tire & Wheel’s three locations at 89 Thompson St. in North Tonawanda, NY, 3440 Genesee St. in Cheektowaga, NY, or their newest location at 6563 S. Transit Rd. in Lockport, NY, or visit them on the web at http://www.treadcitytire.com/.

Photo Credit: Ron Rigby

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