Makin’Tracks – First Timers and Destruction at Brewerton and Fulton – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

Someone asked me recently why I write about anything other than Modifieds?

Simple answers, “Drivers in other divisions are racer too.”

If weekly tracks had to survive on Modified crowds I would estimate the life span of those facilities would be about as long as snow last in August. Without the other classes crowds simply wouldn’t be large enough to continue.

I like the innocence of some of the support divisions.

A perfect example was Saturday night at Fulton where there were some first-time winners. Certainly it is noteworthy that Todd Root had a new car and new engine that he’s using for the bigger shows in the Fall, winning from the front row. He has had a less than desired season after proving to be one of the best in the Sportsman last year. Todd moved up to the 358 class and finally it paid off for him in leading green to checker.

However, Keara “Kiki” Backus is a young lady who has watched her dad for years. A week ago at Utica-Rome I misidentified her as she and her boyfriend ran basically identical cars except for the letter “r” on the side of one. She came home fourth that night and the other 48 was involved in a wreck. I thought it was her, but it wasn’t.

So there is no mistaking that on Saturday night she won her first Novice Sportsman feature.

It was sort of sad. You see a combined victory lane sent her to wait with the other Novice winner Scott Mallette as the Late Models were running.

The former promoter of the track would always encourage combined victory lanes, but when it was a first time winner would get them to victory lane immediately to capture the moment.

So there was Kiki in the dark infield, launching herself out the window faster than a cat on a hot tin roof, she threw her hands to the heavens, jumped up and down, got on the roof and simply had the time of her life. It should have been in the middle of the front stretch in front of one of the largest Fulton crowds of the year.

Eventually, after that three-tenths of a second win over Robert Gage,she got to the front stretch for her moment in the spotlight. I thought the Sears family had the largest victory lane photos, but the Backus one will take up a wall in the garage when it is finally posted.

Trashed Mods

Friday night was one of those nights where thousands of dollars disappeared in one quick instant.

In the Mod main on the 23rd lap two cars go together coming down the Brewerton frontstretch. They continued one, but mayhem broke out behind. There was Tim Kerr sitting sideways and everything went to the outside. Pat Ward saw the entire left rear suspension exit his car, Tim Sears had the cage and frame pushed forward as Robbie Bellinger was launched over Kaitlyn Hile and there was Bellinger sitting atop the 83x. Damage was extensive, and I mean extensive. Fortunately, everyone was okay.

The next night at Fulton Tim Sears indicated that frame was a total loss.

Trailer Races

Okay so many of the folks at Fulton were there to watch races, but they were there to watch the trailer race.

It is a common sense thing that different things attract different people and no matter why they are there they are at least in the stands.

Maybe the “trailer racing” fans might actually see some racing they like and come back.

That’s Promotion 101. Give the fans what they want.

The trailer race was more than interesting. It was fun. It was different. It was something that should grow in leaps and bounds in future years.

It was a crowd pleasing entertaining event that saw a four wheel vehicle being towed as well as a sea do, boat and campers including one that jaws 33’ long that simply fell over in turn one.

You go to the races to have fun and the next morning at breakfast my son-in-law, daughter and four grand daughters continually talked about it.

Pit Stops

Larry Wight appeared to be in a comfortable position in the Demon main, but with 11 laps to go, after four solid laps of heated competition, Mad Max McLaughlin moved past and went on for the win…

Point leader Jimmy Phelps continues to display consistency on a weekly basis with a fourth in the Brewerton Mod main…

Chris Hile’s third, behind Max and Larry, was one of his best finishes of the year…

Jeremy Smith on hand and he will be headed to Arizona to watch his son play football on the next few Friday’s. He noted that Billy Decker would be at Brewerton for the final few shows. Jeremy was on hand to get his big block tuned for the Malta STSS event…

Sportsman winners were Nick Krause and Corey Barker…

Amy Holland entered the night sixth in points, but the early feature accident took her out and she was credited with last…

Mod Lite Zach Babcock tried to miss a spinning Clayton Brewer III and eventually ended up atop a yuke tire. It looked like the 88 was trying to hatch the stale, powdered donut…

Pat Ward had a radius rod disconnect early in the evening and exited the heat…

In the Four Cylinders Jack Taskey was supposed to be in the 113 instead of Nate Powers, but apparently they switched and no one told the announcers…

Sam Carista might be out in a new car his son Ed built this coming week…

Andy Noto lost a battled to a yuke tire early in the evening…

Sportsman feature one saw Tony Finch II, Mike Fowler, Amy Holland, Jake Pettit, Mike Button and Zach Babcock all get together early on in turn two…

Mod Like main saw a tremendous three car battle midway through the race between Mike Mullen, Doug Williams and eventual 8 time feature winner Justin Williams…

New faces at Fulton included Richard Murtaugh III, Kyle Young, Kyle Rood along with Scott Mallette and Jersey’s Tom Princiotta in the Sportsman and Matt Kitts in the Late Models. Jason Occhino is apparently selling out and Kitts purchased his car…

High point man Alan Fink finished 1.8 seconds ahead of Mike Phelps in the second Sportsmea race…

Among DQ’s in that race were Steve Marshall while Ryan Hatherall was a DNS as he left the track early in the night…

Dorian Wahden also chalked up his first Sportsman win and did so by six tenths of a second over Jessica Power…

In Sportsman points leader Fink won, second Zach Sobotka was eighth, third Nick Krause third, fourth Jack Gill ninth and fifth Chris Mackey was third…

In Mod action the midway battle between second through fourth Jeff McGinnis, Bobby Herrington and Tim Sears Jr. was fun to watch…

Sears ended up second, but was nearly 4 seconds behind the winner…

17 Mods started the main, while also in the pits were 56 Sportsman, 16 Novice and 16 Late Models…

Chris Fleming and Sean Beardsley put on one of the top races of the year in the Late Model main as at the line the 93 of Beardsley was one tenth of a second ahead of Fleming, but Sean didn’t pass post race weight requirements and Fleming got the win…

Tim Sears Jr. was in the Kingsley 9 and came home third…

One final self-serving note I would like to thank Jessica Power, Amy Holland and Keara Backus for spending time or talking with my granddaughters. None had ever been to the races before and being able to see female drivers was important to them. It gave them a connection and one indicated “I am an Amy Holland fan. Can I get a t-shirt?” Later they were joined by my grandson and son. My family aren’t race fans so to have two of my children and five of my seven grandchildren at the track was really fun for me.

That’s it for this time. Comments, news, notes etc. send along to foley395@hotmail.com