Makin’ Tracks – Brewerton-Fulton Decker Edges, Mad Max Wins, Huge Wreck and More – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

Sometimes folks simply don’t understand just how hard racers work to put on a show at the local race tracks.

However, if you were on hand on Friday night at Brewerton and saw a violent 11 car pile up and then came to Fulton the next night to see many of those teams back in action you have to be appreciative of what these blue collar teams can do.

Last lap passes, a borrowed winner, first time winner, a multi car red flag accident, a photo finish in a Novice feature and competitive racing highlighted Brewerton and Fulton Speedway over the weekend.

Billy Decker, Larry Wight and Max McLaughlin had the fans buzzing after the regular Mod main. Decker passed Wight with just over a lap to go and Max was breathing hard on their bumpers. Billy won by one-tenth of a second and Max was six-tenths of a second behind.




Decker didn’t as well in the first feature, but was gangbusters in the second.

He said,”We made some great changes between features. Those changes made the car go really good. It was great racing with Larry (Wight). The bottom was slowing down and the middle and top were viable. On a restart I had a plan to get by him, but he drove away from me. Then Max (McLaughlin) began to sneak up on the inside. I had to go and the car rolled good at the right time.”

In the make up Mod event with eight laps to go Jeremy Smith, Timmy Sears Jr. and McLaughlin were three wide for the lead. After Robby Bellinger lost a motor the restart saw Max take over for his first ever Demon victory.

Max edged out Sears and Jimmy Phelps.

Wreck for the Ages

The make up 31 laps took about and hour and ten minutes with the majority of that time used to clean up the multi car wreck on the front stretch that left Larry Wight’s 99L sitting on Tim Kerr’s roof. Collected and sustained major damage were Mike Bowman, Chad Phelps, Pat Ward, Chris Hile, Mike Mahaney, Tom Sears Jr., Jim Witko, and Lee Gill.

Hile noted, “The frame was brand new last week. When Fulton got rained out we started stripping the car that finished second at Brewerton the night before and the new one was rolling on Sunday. The rear of the car was smashed and the impact was so hard that it loosened up the seat.”

The Hile team skipped Fulton on Saturday as Katelyn noted, “We just have to regroup”.

After the accident Hile said, “We had a ton of wheel spin off four and there was nothing I could do as I was just along for the ride. It was terrible as some good race cars were wrecked. These are good working class people who prepare their cars to go racing.”

Chad Phelps was in the middle of the mess, but fortunately he had a back up car and was able to come out for the second feature to finish seventh.

Chad told DTD, “The car is pretty bad. We tore up a lot of stuff, front and rear bumpers, side bumpers, inner body mounts and hoops, the front nose, all shocks; the body was torn up beyond fixing, the left rear tire and wheel. The back up car was close to ready so we didn’t have much to do for Saturday, but the plan was to have Andy Noto drive that on Saturday.”

Tim Kerr was towed off as the last car as it appeared that there would be no way he could return. However, it was back for the second feature much to the amazement of fans.

He said, “It was mostly cosmetic damage as well as the shock and shock tower and the right side header. The whole Cunningham crew helped along with my crew and I have to thank Zack Aubertine for body panels.”

Witko rebounded from a bent up right rear quarter panel to come home third at Fulton the next night.

Mike Bowman’s car appeared to be junk but he too was back racing on Saturday at Fulton.

Mike said, “Damage was extensive, the complete body, front axle, shocks,radius rods, headers and bent frame. Also every bumper except rear and body mount.”

Continuing he said, “I gotta thank my crew Jamie, Larry, Dave and Nick and Joe Krause. They were a huge help and I wouldn’t have made it Saturday if all those guys weren’t here.”

Larry Wight never really rebounded from the accident as eventually steering box problems would put him on the jacks for the remainder of the race. Larry took a hit in the race for the track championship with just two point races remaining.

Borrowed Car Means Victory

A week ago Tim Sears Jr. and his team were downhearted after losing their primary motor at Brewerton.

Well, on Friday night the car that Wight loaned to Matt Hulsizer after he had engine problems, was parked in the Sears pit.

The old 99L was renumbered with black adhesive tape as the 83X. He ran well on Friday and then on Saturday took the lead on the 15th lap and held off Jimmy Phelps.

Mighty happy victory lane as Sears and his huge family celebrated.

What is even more impressive about this is that Wight was the point leader and loaned a car to a guy who was second in points.

Brewerton Pit Stops

Bit of controversy over Sears starting in his original spot in a loaner car as the car he qualified was broken. According to DIRTcar rules this is acceptable as long as it is a different day…

Robbie Bellinger was back and ran very well in the main before losing a motor. So bad a rod ended up in the oil pan. It was his father-in-laws motor…

Great Ryan Bartlett story from the previous week at Can Am. He finished second. Noted that a tie rod and right front tire went flat early. Power Steering also went early. He came back out was leading, but said, “I ran out of arms with two laps to go.” The left front brake rotor also broke making it a tough ride…

Brian Calabrase who is chasing Glen Ridge points was new in the Sportsman field. He indicated he only gets a couple of days off a week and wanted to race at Albany-Saratoga had rained out on Friday. He qualified…

Amy Holland in the pits with her car. She wanted to race, but had four wisdom teeth removed the day before. She was very uncomfortable and didn’t race…

Tyler Trump got there late as he is a fullback for the Sandy Creek varsity football team and practice has commenced…

Good win for Stephen Denton by one second over Zach Sobotka in the Sportsman.

Kyle and Alan Fink finished fifth and sixth respectively…

Dylan Zacharias started a good weekend with a fourth and followed it up the next night in second…

Ron Davis III got collected after contact and finished 13th…

Fulton novice Jake Petit was the final car to qualify in the consi in his first Brewerton visit…

Casey Sykes continues to tear up the Mod Lites with his fifth feature win..

Matching wins was Four Cylinder Chris Bonoffski as he now has five…

Chris Bonoffski in a Sportsman now…

Mod Lite point leader Justin Williams apparently lost a motor early in heat action. He hopped in Kelly Skinner’s car for the main event to chase points…

Patrick LaPage supplied the tower officials with four pounds of Skittles that lasted all weekend. He qualified via the consi. LaPage mixes races with wife time as he will be absent for a Brantley Gilbert concert on Friday, but will be back at Fulton Saturday; Tower asked for Mike and Ikes next week…

Fulton Pit Stops

Billy Whittaker Cars and Trucks Fan Fest was sensational. It was a crowd pleasing event as the midway was jammed with cars and drivers. It seemed a little more relaxed than the autograph nights. Great idea…

Chipmunk cheeked (four wisdom teeth removed) Amy Holland was on hand signing autographs. She brought car to track, but just couldn’t race as she was still sore. Will be back this week…

Once again 45 Sportsman, 23 Mods, 18 Novice and 15 Late Models in Fulton pits…

New faces included Chuck Miller, Rich Riggs Jr. in Sportsman; Brad Williams in Novice; Brent Cross and Jon West in the Mods…

Brett Draper was in a qualifying spot in Sportsman heat only to spin out on last lap to miss a handicap spot…

Mod heat winners were Tim Kerr, Chad Phelps and Jim Witko.  They were all involved in the carnage at Brewerton the night before…

Tom Sears Jr. did everything in his power to pass Witko for third in the feature, but it was to no avail…

Photo finish in the Novice main between winner Tim Abate (only in the car for the third race) and Sportsman newcomer Chris Bonoffski…

Extra curricular activity between Roy Bresnahan and Mike Bowman saw damage again on the 16 as Mike said, “it got the left side again.”

On Monday night he noted, “I’m not sure how much damage there is yet, but the guys have it stripped down and washed. I really won’t know how bad it is until Tuesday.”

He hopes to have it ready for the weekend…

The Mod battle for third between Jim Witko, Ryan Jordan, Jimmy Phelps and Tom Sears was outstanding just past the halfway point of the feature…

It looked like Tim Murphy lost a motor…

Good to see Corey Barker get the monkey off his back, but because of the rain shortening the final race to 13 laps with Alan Fink winning, there was no victory lane due to torrential water falling…

Dylan Zacharias finished second in the final Sportsman race of the night…

Dale Caswell really got going as he won the Late Model main…

Demo derbies on tap with regular show this Saturday night…

Once again any news, comments or thoughts please send my way to foley395@hotmail.com