Makin’ Tracks – Fulton Outlaw 200; Just About Mods – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

Well, it was a bit scary for a moment as late in the qualifying heats on Sunday the track locked down.

The last thing anyone wanted was to have a one lane race track for the Outlaw 200 so the track crew brought out the grader and they went to work. Okay so it took a while, but for at least 140 laps the fans saw multi-groove racing and great movement.

Drivers from at fast back as 45th and 46th as well as some of those just in front of the last row worked their way through the field for what was a pretty darn good 200 (and you usually can’t say that about anything over 50 laps).

Winner Billy Decker started in 13th and won. Mike Mahaney sat back in 37th at the green and was runner up and third place Larry Wight rolled off 45th. Fourth place Alan Johnson just got in via a consi and started 40th to finish fourth. Meanwhile the Doctor was in the house and started 36th and came across the line fifth.




Chris Hile went to the rear of the field twice after pit stops and rallied for ninth while Bobby Varin ended up tenth after rolling off 39th and 11th place Billy Whittaker came up through the field from 42nd.

It was amazing.

The luck of the draw is what determined the heat line ups and this was much, much more exciting and interesting than the routine heads up Super DIRTcar Series Modified races. Certainly it is a nightmare for drivers, but a treat for the paying fans.

Sixty-eight Mods rolled through the Fulton gates which was exactly the same number as a year ago.

Four drivers had earned guaranteed spots on Saturday night as Decker, Gary Tomkins, Chris Hile and Chad Phelps all won heats. Decker did it in the Jeremy Smith car, but Sunday he started the Mike Payne machine (driver qualified and not the car).

Conspiracy theorists were blasted into oblivion as yes a “w-i-g-h-t” grabbed the number one draw, but you had to add an “r” to it as Justin Wright was the top draw. Larry Wight drew 148 so there went the ‘this is fixed’ theory.

Heats were won by Todd Root in his first step out of the Sportsman, Katelyn Hile, Mike Bowman, Dave Rauscher, Danny Varin and Pat Ward with Mat Williamson, Roy Bresnahan and Yan Bussiere captured the consi’s.

The field was set, but added were the fourth place finishers in the consis and these included Billy Whittaker, J.F. Coriveau and Brett Tonkin.

Two others were added and despite criticism adding Larry Wight to the field as a top five in points at Fulton was not anything new as for years the regulars in the point standings in the Mods have been added as provisionals (not promoters’ option) and Erick Rudolph. Billy Van Pelt had won the Freedom qualifier, but the promoter of that speedway asked if Erick could run as BVP wasn’t going to attend. Thus Rudolph stared 46th.

Pit Stops

Justin Wright led from the pole early…

The first yellow was for Katelyn Hile who slowed between three and four on lap four…

Chris Hile brought out yellow on lap 10, but eventually rallied for a top ten finish…

Decker took lead coming out of four on lap 56 from Tim Sears Jr…

Lap 53 Tim Kerr and Chris Hile tangled in turn one…

Lap 57 Andrew Ferguson spun…

Then a long streak of green saw plenty of action and on lap 93 Danny Varin got around between one and two…

Peter Britten put on a sensational run and kept closing in on Decker through the closing stages of the first half. He got caught up with a lapped car a couple of times and then got a flat tire just before the intermission as he fell back to ninth…

The second half saw Matt Hulsizer put on a heck of a run as he was solidly in third place most of the way…

Billy Dunn put on a show and it was nothing short of sensational as he was picking his way through and solidly in second…

Britten continued to build momentum in the second half and got to third on 129…

On 136 Hulsizer saw his front end roll up in the air as he went over the lapped car of Wright…

Yellow came on lap 143 as Roy Bresnahan slowed…

On lap 147 Alan Barker hit a yuke tire…

On lap 151 the front end of Ferguson’s car collapsed after hitting a yuke tire…

On lap 155 there was Britten in second place…

Lap 164 was a nightmare for some as Dunn got around in turn four after contact with a lapped car while running third and collected fourth place Hulsizer and fifth place Mike Maresca…

The restart on 166 appeared to be the show that Britten had been waiting for, but it was slicked up and he slid up the track and found himself shuffled as Williamson, Mahaney, Wight and Rudolph went past…

Third place Williamson got a flat tire in the very late going…

In the end the Doctor came from nowhere for fifth…

Pat Ward steady all day and was sixth…

Britten sadly settled for seventh and he had to be disappointed as he had put on one heck of a show…

Rudolph, Hile and Varin rounded out the top ten…

Dunn eventually finished 13th…

Fulton regulars in the show included Whittaker in 11th, Tim Kerr 20th, Chad Phelps 26th, Hulsizer 27th, Bresnahan 31st, Ryan Jordan 36th, Tim Sears 38th, Mike Bowman 39th and Katelyn Hile 46th…

Brett Hearn got in 43 laps before mechanical woes sent him off the track…

Sportsman driver Ron Davis III was in the top ten most of the race, but dropped out on 156 with mechanical problems. He finished 29th…

Todd Root was 32nd on the night after a steady run throughout. He completed 135 laps…

Solid support for the show by Southern Tier drivers and among the new faces in the pits for the show (along with those already mentioned) were Ryan Arbuthnot (collapsed front end in heat), Brent Wilcox, Mario Clair, Pat Parker, Claude Hutchings Jr., Mike Ward, Kyle Coffey, Jeff Crambo, Adam Hilton, Brett Tonkin, Tyler Meeks, Jeremy Smith, Dave Rauscher, Elmo Reckner, Rusty Smith, Matt Hitchcock, Lee DeWitt, Gary Tomkins, Tom Keyes, Jim LaRock, Nick Nye, J.R. Hurlbutt, Mitch Gibbs, Randy Shantel, Dave Allen. Roy Shields and Mike Dougherty…

Tough break for Dave Allen as he qualified in his heat, was too light and that got 75 year old Roy Shields in the field. Shields finished 25th with 193 laps…

Victory lane was interesting with Billy Decker showing this place is his as he just keeps winning big races here. The win tied him with Alan Johnson with four Outlaw-Victoria wins and now with his fourth win he trails six time winner Billy Pauch by two…

Mike Mahaney was second for the second consecutive year. Disappointed, but he said, “It pays $10,000 for second.” He noted his dad Jim had run the race in decades past and would love to wear the white cowboy hat someday which is symbolic of the victory…

Well, Mods will be back for the win and in show on Saturday night along with the World of Outlaws Sprint cars. They tell us Stewart Friesen and Larry Wight will be in the field for this Fulton 2017 finale…

In the next couple of days I will get time to write about the Sportsman, Novice Sportsman, Mod Lite and Late Model show, but just time today to get the Mod column wrapped up.

Comments and notes to foley395@hotmail.com.