Makin’ Tracks – Cornwall Speedway Fuller, Raabe, Bernard Talk About Classic 150 – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

33-Modifieds on a quarter-mile dirt track for 150 laps.

That was the setting for the Oh Canada 150 at Cornwall Motor Speedway on Thursday night.

I know you are probably thinking “that must have been a yellow flag fest” or “it must have been a marathon.”

Truth is that this was something totally different than anyone could have imagined.




The 33 cars went 62 laps before the first yellow and then on lap 97 another yellow came out.  That was it, two yellows, and more than 25 cars finished.

Winner Tim Fuller, who started 11th, said, “The last 30 laps I was as busy as I have ever been on the race track. They were three wide in front of me and people were swapping positions.”

No matter which way he looked traffic was ugly and it never got better.

It was the fourth small-block win of the year for the Fuller in the Mike and Barbara Maresca owned, St. Lawrence Radiology sponsored 19.

You could tell just looking at Fuller that this was a relief as he noted, “We’ve had a tough season. It means everything to get this win tonight. Mike and Barbara are very supportive, but it has been frustrating.”

Of the race itself Fuller explained, “The car finally got racing. I didn’t have enough engine in the first 60 or 70 laps, but then the W-16 started to come in. Raabe raced a heck of a race. This car just got better as the race wore on.”

Continuing he said, “I wasn’t worried about the 11th place starting spot. After all it is a 150 lap race. “

Fuller continued, “I have to give credit to Chris Raabe as he raced me clean.”

He put blame on himself for the rugged season as he explained, “We have been doing a lot of testing and it’s my own fault as we were trying some oddball stuff.”

Eventual runner up finisher Chris Raabe took the lead with an outside move on Steve Bernier on the 48th lap. However, there were just 19 laps left when Raabe slipped high in two and Fuller went past and was never again headed.

Raabe had to be disappointed as he said, “The car was pretty good ,and in fact, we had a fairly good car all day. The last 50 laps hurt us. He had a 50 pound difference (Fuller running W-16 motor) and I think that did make a difference. I think he would have gotten us eventually tonight. It is a big race so second is good.”

Steve Bernard seemed to be in good shape, but had to settle for third after running second with just 25 laps to go.

Bernard said, “The battle was really tight, it was a hard one. I thought I was faster down low, but my guys tell me that I was a little bit faster when I was riding the cushion in one and two and down in three and four. After that last restart I felt like my car was a little bit slippery so I didn’t want to go outside to protect my position a little bit. I saw that Fuller was really fast, was trying everything, once he got by he was really flying. Chris had a wonderful car as well, he was able to go pretty much everywhere. I was able to also. It was an awesome race car. Overall, top three, 150 laps, to come to a track we don’t come to often, with all those good drivers, we are really pleased.”

In the end the two were followed by Bernard, Carey Terrance, Kyle Dingwall, Luke Whitteker, Chris Herbison, Jordan McCreadie, Steve Bernier and Corey Wheeler as there were several good runs from deep in the field.

The 150 was just one of those races that had fans on the edge of their seat all night long. It was just on lap 12 when the early leader Bernier hit traffic and that log jam of cars never relinquished its grip throughout the race except for the two minor yellows for stopped cars on the speedway.

With the compactness of the track it didn’t take long to get right back into the traffic gridlock.

Pit Stops

41 Small Blocks and 30 Sportsman and maybe a half dozen Mini Stocks (who were scheduled for two 15 lap features)…

Sportsman main rained out after 14 laps…

The track knew it had a narrow window with weather coming in and rolled off the show in rapid fashion with only one track prep intermission…

Brett Hearn was in the house in Michael Parent’s 25H. He had difficulties and pitted for tires at one time, but got locked down around 18th to 22nd for most of the later stages of the race. He drew tenth starting spot. He got the wave around on lap 64 after the first yellow…

Just 12 laps under caution as first 100 cautions counted and the last 50 were green. Officials asked the drivers in the pre race meeting if that would work for fuel and they all agreed…

Kayle Robidoux was the early leader as he passed Bernier on the 38th lap to lead. He lost the handle on the car in turn two midway through and couldn’t keep it on the track…

At 100 it was Raabe, Barnard, Terrance, Bernier, Robidoux and Fuller as Tim was up to 6th…

Just past 100 Fuller, Barnard and Terrance were vying for second, but Carey slid high between three and four and wasn’t a factor after that…

With 25 to go Fuller was third…

The yellow flag remained in starter holster most of the night with only a few minor single car slow downs or spins…

Corey Wheeler came out of the B Main as did David Hebert and Mike Maresca…

Three 22’s in a row on the inside of the line up with Roy Delormier, Danny Johnson and Mario Clair…

Brian McDonald had an all out four wide, yes four wide, moment in the first B Main. He started seventh and made a bonsai move off two that got him to third on lap two. It was a jaw dropping moment to see four wide on a tight quarter-mile. Parade lap yes, racing never…

Surprised Erik Rudolph was a no show but was unable to make it with the hectic schedule he has this weekend including racing action at Ransomville Speedway on Friday and Monday as well as two features Sunday at Utica-Rome…

Fast time Simon Perreault and he was quite impressive. He was closed with a 13.389…

It was a packed house in the richest race in the history of Cornwall Speedway…

Cornwall has a tight, compact pit area. I can’t imagine what it is like when Sprints are in the house…

For fans that get stuck parking a long distance away they run a shuttle bus from parking lot to main gate…

Best Poutine I’ve ever had…

I am a popcorn fanatic and you should have seen my eyes light up when the girl asked if I wanted butter on the bag…

I was a first-timer at Cornwall and it well worth the trip two and half hour trip from Central New York…

Many thanks to Tim and Hugh in the tower for the shout-out to DTD as I was able to ride shotgun with Mike Mallett on the tour…

Any comments, news or notes send along to foley395@hotmail.com

Mike Mallett contributed to this report.