by John Manzi, publicity director, Monticello Raceway
Monticello, NY — Kyle DiBenedetto bided his time in the early going on Thursday (Aug. 29) and then rallied Mor Winning Ways to a 1:57.1 victory in Monticello Raceway’s Mayflower Mile for drivers whose heritage can be traced back to the United Kingdom.
Now before anyone challenges DiBenedetto’s eligibility in this race, it must be understood that Kyle’s grandmother on his mom’s side was born in the United Kingdom.
“My mother, Joanne Kyle, was an only child so in order to keep the Kyle name going my parents decided that they would name me Kyle,” DiBenedetto explained.
After the late scratch of Elle’s Boy the race got underway with Beal Hanover and driver Peter Gerry hustling out for the lead from the pole position and once he fired up the veteran pacer there was no taking him back.
Gerry and Beal Hanover had seven lengths on the field when they passed the half in :55.3 and although the pacer’s strides were shortening they still had a two length lead as they passed the third stanza in 1:26.2.
“It was a long way home from there,” Gerry admitted after the race was official. “Once I got him (Beal Hanover) going I was just a passenger the rest of the way.”
While Gerry was cutting up the racetrack the eventual winner followed the cover supplied by Badlands And Art and driver Bruce Aldrich, Jr. and DiBenedetto made the most of it.
He was on Aldrich’s back until the pair came off the final turn where DiBenedetto moved Mor Winning Ways out to challenge and they burst to the lead and coasted home an easy two length winner over Badlands And Art. Wumizoomi finished third for Mike Merton. As for Gerry, he finished fifth.
“I got lucky and followed live cover to the head of the stretch and then picked up the pieces,” DiBenedetto explained. “Certainly the fast early fractions helped all of us who were in the back of the pack in the early going.”
When he was told that after winning this race he was ineligible to compete in the upcoming Godfather Pace — another leg of the Heritage Drivers Series in October which is limited to drivers of Italian extraction — DiBenedetto just smiled and said, “That’s OK, today I’m more British than I am Italian.”
Mor Winning Ways is owned by Greg Decker. He paid $16.00 for win.
The race was the fifth leg of the track’s Heritage Driver Series which will culminate in a final — dubbed the All America Cup — and presented later this year after all eight legs are raced. In the series finale only the winning drivers of each preliminary leg will be eligible to compete.
Although a date has yet to be finalized, the next leg of the Heritage Drivers Series will be presented in September. That race — the ninth annual Munich Mile — will be for drivers of German descent.