By BOBBY SWEENEY
BREWERTON, NY – Larry Wight is off to a hot start to 2018. The Phoenix, N.Y., driver picked up his second win in less than week on Friday night. After winning last week’s feature at the Fulton Speedway, Wight backed that up with a win on opening night at the Brewerton Speedway
“It’s been a long winter, and man is it good to start the year off like this,” a happy Wight said. “Two weekends in a row we were able to put it in victory lane with two different cars, so we must be doing something right.”
Willy Decker has not ran at Brewerton on a regular basis in years, but one would never know it as Decker darted out to a big lead at the start of the 35-lap feature. By the time Tim Harris slowed for a caution on lap seven Decker had established a straightaway advantage over Rob Bellinger and Wight.
Bellinger didn’t have a very good restart, dropping back to fourth as Wight and Jimmy Phelps rolled past. Another caution waived the next lap for Matt Hulsizer’s broken front end, meaning Decker now had a new challenger alongside for the restart.
This time, it was Decker not firing well on the restart, with Wight throwing a slide job for the lead entering turn one. The next time by, Phelps slid under Decker to put the recent leader back to third. The trio stayed close for the next few circuits, but Wight found his lane on the cushion and pulled away.
Wight was rolling well up top, building up a solid lead. Meanwhile, Phelps was running every lane possible and then some to find a way to close in on Wight, with little avail. Phelps saw his chance and began to close just after halfway, as Wight found himself trapped behind a clod of lapped cars, but Wight cleared them just before a lap 24 yellow for Pat Ward’s spin.
Phelps hung close to Wight on the restart, continuing to try everything to find some extra speed. Wight stayed glued to the top, which was now very high on the racing surface. Ward found himself backwards again on lap 28, giving Phelps a final shot at taking down Wight.
While Wight went back to the top as expected, Phelps gave the bottom another shot and was able to hang even closer to Wight. Lap after lap the lead fluctuated, with Phelps drawing alongside in the center of the turns on occasion. Phelps made one final run on the last lap, digging hard on the bottom of the track. However, it just wasn’t enough, as Wight claimed the opening night win over Phelps.
“I knew that if I hit my marks and ran the top right, I knew there wasn’t enough traction off the bottom for him (Jimmy) to get us,” stated Wight. “As long as I didn’t mess up or give him a lane up top, I knew we would be okay.”
Behind them, Tim Sears Jr., Decker and Gary Tomkins completed the top five.
With 38 Sportsman signed in, Brewerton opted to run two 25-lap mains. The first feature was a caution-free brawl between Kevin Root and Dave Marcuccilli, with the duo slicing and dicing through traffic the entire way. When it was all said and done, it was Marcuccilli snatching the narrow victory.
Corey Barker had never driven anything but a Troyer in his life, until tonight. Barker hopped behind the wheel of Tom Juno’s Bicknell and led the majority of the second feature to score the win.
Justin Williams began his title defense in the Mod-Lite division by dominating the 20-lap affair, showing the field that his new year’s resolution was definitely not to drive slower. Ray Bechler returned to victory lane in the 4-Cylinder main, fending off a number of challenges throughout the feature.
May 18 Opening Night Results
(Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds 35 Laps) – LARRY WIGHT, Jimmy Phelps, Tim Sears Jr., Willy Decker, Gary Tomkins, Rob Bellinger, Chris Hile, Max McLaughlin, Tom Sears Jr., Tyler Trump, Tim Kerr, Jim Witko Jr., Chad Phelps, Roy Bresnahan, Andrew Ferguson, Katelyn Hile, Adam Roberts, Pat Ward, Tim Harris, Matt Hulsizer, Tim Murphy.
(SUNY Canton DIRTcar Sportsman #1- 25 Laps) – DAVE MARCUCCILLI, Kevin Root, Alan Fink, Billy Clark Jr., Tony Finch, Zach Sobotka, JJ Courcy, Tyler Thompson, Ricky Yelle, Amy Holland, Brent Joy, Brandon Carvey, DJ Forbes, Mike Phelps, Rich Townsend, Stephen Denton, Mike Fowler, Earl Rudy, Rick Rogala, Tom Mackey.
(SUNY Canton DIRTcar Sportsman #2 25 Laps) – COREY BARKER, Mark Yorker, Mike Stanton Jr., Nick Krause, Will shields, Chris Mackey, Chris Cunningham, Rick Miller, Joey Buonagurio, Jake Petit, Torrey Stoughtenger, Tye-Scott Rood, Jeff Taylor, Joe Sobotka, Ben Bushaw, Bailey Groves, Joe Abbass, Joe Kline, Chris Bonoffski.
(STARS Mod Lites 20 Laps) – JUSTIN WILLIAMS, Joe Garafolo, Mike Mullen, Zack Babcock, Tyler Winger, Jeff May, Dave Brown, Hunter Lawton, Tom Perkins, Scott Sharpe, Shawn Hort, Jim Dunham, Sam Usborne, DNS – Kelly Skinner.
(JB Logging & Firewood 4-Cylinders 15 Laps) – RAY BECHLER, Quinn Wallis, Chuck Powelczyk, Nate Powers, Jack Taskey, Adam Gates, Sam Curcie, Phil Burns, Rich Wagner, David DeNova, Sabrina Jeffries, Steven Randall, Ken Pitsley, Damian Bechler, Jim Graham Jr., Stephanie Seeley, DNS – Dylan Curcie, Michael Stoughtenger.