Christian Earns Eastern States Glory, Rookie Virgilio Earns CRSA Title by One Point

posted by MikeVanDusen on 10/23/11
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. - Jamie Christian had never won at the Orange County Fair Speedway until this past Saturday night when he captured the 20-lap Capital Region Sprint series finale as part of the 50th Anniversary Eastern States Weekend.

Christian, of West Winfield, N.Y., led the entire way en route to his sixth career win. The victory gave him a shot at the 2011 championship but at the end of the day he came up one spot short to rookie driver John Virgilio.

“We’ve been here six times and hadn’t had a win yet so this feels good,” commented Christian afterwards. “We were hoping to get the points title too but we missed it by one point and that’s racing.”

For the youngster Virgilio, it capped a season in which he picked up his first career series win as well as his first career championship in his first full-season of Sprint Car competition.

“We set our goals at beginning of the year to have one win, the Rookie of the Year, and a top five in points,” said Virglio. “We didn’t start off year all that great with an 18th at Fonda but we progressed from there. The fifth race out we won. We didn’t win since then but we’ve had a good car, a bunch of top fives and a bunch of top 10s. This feels great.”

Christian started on the outside of the front row with Jeff VanSteenburg on the pole. At the green, Christian took advantage of the outside starting spot and he rode the high line entering turn one to take the lead.

Christian paced the field early with VanSteenburg right behind him. Virgilio, who had started fourth, jumped to third at the green and was chasing the top two.

By the eighth lap Christian was about to catch the tail end of the field when an incident occurred in turn four which saw Tyler Rice get hard into the outside wall after clipping the inside jersey barrier. His car was heavily damaged but he was uninjured in the crash.

Christian continued to lead once action was able to continue. He had VanSteenburg and Virgilio hot on his heels on the big five-eighths mile track.

On lap 16, VanSteenburg got to Christian’s back bumper. He took a couple peaks underneath and this caused him to break his momentum allowing Christian to get away. At this point, Virgilio took advantage of VanSteenburg’s attempt at the lead to move into second just a couple of laps later.

Virgilio tried chasing down Christian as he again got into traffic in the late stages of the race but Christian proved to be too strong.

“It is very hard to pass on this track,” said Christian. “I was concerned with lapped traffic, but I was going to hold my line and make them go around. If they went around they went around.”

Christian earned the win and by virtue of his pass of Vansteenburg, Virgilio earned the point championship by one point in the final tally.

“The only hope I had was that he was going to screw up a little bit,” said Virglio of VanSteenburg. “He’s usually one to move around and not stick to a lane. He tries different stuff until he can get something to work and it didn’t look like he found anything. We kind of took advantage of that and it worked out.”

VanSteenburg, of West Shokan, N.Y., ended up third while John Matrafailo, of Milford, Pa., finished four and Matt Movatz completed the top five.

The drivers of the CRSA will next get together at the Holiday Inn in Oneonta, N.Y., on November 12 for the season ending award banquet. For more information about the CRSA series and the banquet visit their website at

The Capital Region Sprint Agency would like to thank our 2011 sponsors: American Racer Tires, D&D Auto Supply NAPA Hinchmann Racing Uniforms, K&N Performance Filters, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Kelly Racing Fuels, Kreitz Lias Tire, Magsarus Ignitions, Oval Track Parts, Pancho’s Racing Products, Peak Racing Equipment, ProFab Engineering, Pro Shocks, Triple X Racecars, Ultimate Wings, Ultra-Shield Race Products, Upstate Spray Foam, Whitebread Racing Enterprises.

PIT NOTES: 36 cars entered into racing action on this night…Dan Hennessey took a while ride in his heat race when he got into the outside wall in turn one. He rolled several times but was uninjured in the crash…Brittany Tresch and Gary Palmer got together in the heat race causing heavy damage to Tresch’s car. Her car was done for the night.

CAPITAL REGION SPRINT SERIES A-MAIN (20-LAPS): 1. Jamie Christian, 2. John Virgilio, 3. Jeff VanSteenburg, 4. John Matrafailo, 5. Matt Movatz, 6. Chad King, 7. John Cunningham, 8. Ryan Smith, 9. Kyle Reinhardt, 10. Danny Varin, 11. Craig Rochelle, 12. Mike Esposito, 13. Tommy Martocci, 14. Billy Jaycox, 15. Scott Flammer, 16. Scott Goodrich, 17. Frank Lieto, 18. Gary Palmer, 19. Tyler Chartrand, 20. Joey Allen, 21. Art Kiser, 22. Brett Jaycox, 23. Emily VanInwegen, 24. Tyler Rice, 25. Matt Tanner 26. Bill Corsa DNQ: Todd Mayo, Dan Hennessy, Brittany Tresch, Phil Peworchik, Brian Pompano, Bill Barry, BK Rizzo, Billy VanInwegen, John Leito, Keith Maintyre

HEAT RACE WINNERS (8-laps): Rochelle, Matrafailo, Cunningham, Rice
B-MAIN WINNER (8-laps): Brett Jaycox

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