Makin Tracks – Pat Ward Savors Each Win & Much More at Fulton – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

A cookie cutter victory lane it wasn’t.

I get so tired of the routine victory lanes that I watch on television where the only emotion is from the announcer holding the microphone.

That is why Saturday night was so sweet. Admittedly, one of the most popular big-block Modified drivers, who currently is driving a small-block, climbed out of the car at Fulton, sat on the side, looked to the sky, put both of his clenched fists high into the air and hammered the top of his 42P.

Pat Ward had won his first feature event at Fulton since 2013. It doesn’t seem that long ago, but according to the history books..it was. The veteran driver edged out Tim Sears Jr. by .184 of a second.

“The Genoa Giant” savors each win. He told me a couple of years ago that he never knows if it will be his last one. So he simply soaks it in and celebrates like a kid on Christmas morning.

When Larry Wight took the lead from Pat on the 23rd lap there weren’t many folks in the place who thought that Pat would be back in front when 24 was on the board.

Pat climbed out and said, “Wow what a race. That track was more to my liking tonight…dry and slick. You just had to be right on the yuke tires tonight. I knew that Larry was coming and Timmy (Sears) was right there. I didn’t want to go to the outside as the car wouldn’t turn.”

It was a sweet win, but as a fan you have to wonder what it’s like for Pat and Larry to put personal feelings aside as they run so close. It shows what racing is as each goes all out against the other to win, but when it’s over their long friendship continues as though nothing happened on the track.

For fans it is something to savor much like a win today by Alan Johnson or any of the legends in the sport who have been on top for so long, but you know that their career is winding down.

Pat wasn’t the only one celebrating after nail-biting wins as Kevan Cook finished .162 of a second ahead of Late Model competitor Sean Beardsley while in the Patriot Sprints Jordan Thomas, son of “The Spider,” edged Dylan Westbrook by three tenths of a second and Alan Fink was .444 of a second ahead of Tony Finch Jr., and .479 of a second ahead of Scott Prentice in one Sportsman main. The most decisive win of the night included a 1.4 second Wade Chrisman Sportsman win over Chris Mackey and the 1.2 second victory for Chris Bonoffski edging Addison Bowman in the Novice.

It was a long night, but well worth it as fans never knew really who was going to win until the final circuit.

Pit Stops

22 small-blocks, 58 Sportsman, 14 Late Models and 15 Novice Sportsman in the pits…

Tim Sears Jr. came off with a second place after the week before dropping back due to either fuel, ignition or carburetor problems. They found whatever they were looking for…

Novice Sportsman driver Addison Bowman donated two bikes along with the two from Burdick Ford for the Junior Fan Club give a way…

R.J. Ritskes, son of Oswego former super driver and sometimes announcer Randy Ristkes, in one of Tyler Thompson’s rides. He spun and touched wall in hot laps…

Mohawk regular Anthony Rasmussen in the house for the first time with his Sportsman…

Cody Wolfe and Larry Taylor, new Novice runners…

Jordan McCreadie, entering the night third in points, got collected in an early race jingle thus knocking him out with shock tower woes. He started the night in third in points, but got only two laps in and finished 21st…

Sportsman heat wins went to Kyle Perry, Tim Abate, Corey Barker, Scott Prentice, Tom Juno and Willy Decker Jr…

Todd Root slowed while leading his Modified heat and did not return…

Glenn Forward had a power wire failure in his Mod prelim…

Bob Herrington, Ronnie Davis III and Tim Sears won heats for the Modfieds…

LM driver Chris Fleming can’t catch a break and had to “settle” for third…

Chrisman continues to impress in the Sportsman as he won from 10th starting spot. Entering the night he stood a very respectable sixth in the point standings…

Larry Wight’s Sprint effort came up short as Tom Wickham made contact with the 99L just across the starting line to commence the feature. There was heavy front end damage to the 99L and he was first car out…

Solid effort as winner Jordan Thomas and runner-up Dylan Westbrook put on a crowd pleasing effort in their battle toward the checker. Thomas caught Westbrook in traffic between three and four on the final lap…

Sears got second on the 28th lap as he raced under Wight…

Ronnie Davis III was second in points going in and early on spun in turn four to send him to the rear. He rallied for tenth…

The eye appealing tussle for fourth in the Mod main saw Mike Bowman get Harrington at the line as he picked up fourth by less than seven-hundredth’s of a second…

Tyler Trump continues to get the handle of the 358 with a sixth…

Jeff McGinnis spun out early and rallied for seventh while Rich Rickner and Billy Whittaker came home eighth and ninth…

Sprint car driver Denny Peebles was running up front with the top three, but broke on the 12th lap…

Jake Brown saw his Sprint Car lose a battle with a yuke tire during the main…

Thought Bryan Howland did a farewell tour last year, but he finished third in the main just a second behind the leaders…

Chuck Hebing had an off night as he struggled in his heat and settled for sixth…

Max Hill was seventh or so with a lap to go, but spun out in turn four and finished 14th in the LM main…

Matt Janczuk started 15th and came home with a well driven third in the Sportsman as he chased Chrisman and Chris Mackey…

Two time Sportsman feature winner Jackson Gill settled for fourth…

Kyle Perry pitted while at the front of the field two weeks ago due to overheating, but rebounded well for a solid fifth after winning the Sportsman heat…

Tyler Corcoran, son of Jeremie and Lori, gets better and better. A solid sixth for the teen…

Jessica Power, second in points entering the night, finished in 13th. She tangled with Tom Juno with nine laps to go, went to the rear and came back for a decent finish…

Well, rain got the other two weekend stops at Brewerton and Utica-Rome so that is all I’ve got this week.

Send along news, comments, concerns etc. to foley395@hotmail.com