Makin’ Tracks – World Finals Finale – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

Thank God for second chances as our Beast of the Northeast Modifieds really needed a second chance after their Friday night feature that was run on Saturday afternoon.

Boy did that second chance provide fans who might not be familiar with our cars a chance to see what they can do under true track conditions.

Saturday afternoon the 40 lapper had plenty of drama and mishaps, but the 40-lap marathon actually saw drivers running out of fuel.

Saturday night Matt Sheppard started on the “okay this one is over before it starts” pole position and took off.

Unlike the afternoon when the leaders never caught up to traffic the night time show was totally the opposite as Tim Fuller was really in an advantageous position while running in second place.  Once Sheppard caught traffic, he cut into the lead lap after lap. Eventually Fuller got the lead in dramatic fashion and got the win.

The fans really had to like what they saw.

Saturday was a long day for everyone with action starting shortly after 1:30 p.m. And after interviewing WoO champ Donny Schatz it was after midnight before I got to the car and the Dirt Track Digest team finally headed for dinner.

There were three features on Saturday which were carried over from Friday night’s curfewed event and then a full show. The Modified main at night was the best overall feature of the in the dark portion of the show; the fans went wild over the explosive fire works laden full field parade laps and there was a little bit of everything for everyone.

Pit Stops

The title of this track should be “The Gernade Track of the South” as motors were expiring on a regular basis. Folks told me Sprint car blow em up regularly, but the Mods never do at this level.

Keith Flach lost one (maybe two),Erick Rudolph, Steve Bernard, Mat Williamson, Chris Hile, Jeremiah Shingledecker were just some I saw…

Jimmy Phelps along with Max McLaughlin were also forced to backup mounts after they had a “mechanical issues” as well…

Danny Johnson had rear end shock problems in both main event and was forced to pit…

Several, and I mean, several flat tires. If you looked at the treads on the tires they were fine.  It appeared many were cut with others coming off the bead. Matt Sheppard was leading in the afternoon when he suffered flat. Someone said they figured that flat tires this season have cost Matt at least 16 possible victories. That is mind boggling…

Mike Maresca and Tim McCreadie only two guys doing double duty in LM and Mods…

Stewart Friesen flew in from Texas to race a Buzz Chew back up. However, Mike Mahaney had a steering box go and hit the wall in hot laps for the first main and the second car got dinged up in the feature. Friesen ended up in Chad Jeseo’s other car and started at the tail end of the main where he ended up 15th…

Tim McCreadie just puts on a show.  He started 25th in the day time and was three-tenth’s of a second behind Hearn at the finish…

Seventeen cars finished on the lead lap of the last Mod SDS show of the year while 10 cars were a lap down…

Justin Wright came from due for a 13th…

Steve Bernard was running J.F. Coriveau’s car. The 54 lost a motor and Coriveau sent his car down from Quebec. Finishes of 11th and 12th were notable…

Vets aren’t ready to let the kids take over yet as Brett Hearn and Tim Fuller got the win.  Hearn had a smile all weekend as they came out of the trailer in perfect form…

Rich Scaglioitta was sixth in the opener had his best SDS run of the year and he started back in 27th. In the Saturday B-Main he spun in turn one, drove down on the grass, turned around and kept going. He had a provisional so no need to bring out the yellow…

Josh Hohenforst stopped during the red for a mix up that happened after McLaughlin’s car stopped coming out of four on a restart. When action resumed Josh couldn’t refire. He said he had enough fuel, but the banking on the front stretch was affecting getting fuel to the engine. He never did get going again and finished 20th. The battle with Yan Bussiere for the third and final spot in the B was something else to watch as the Drummond promoter got the spot…

Demetrios Drellos’ fifth in the second main was the best ever SDS finish for him…

Tim Kerr put 30 tear offs on before the 40 lapper and said, “I hope it’s enough.”…

Tough weekend for Rudolph as he started 19th in one and way back in the other after losing a motor.  The chase for the crown was over before it began as no hype coming over the PA was going to help.  Ideally you hoped that it all comes down to wheel-to-wheel racing, but we all know better than that…

Pat Ward ran up front most of the first main and was sitting around fifth, but faded at the end…

Adam Roberts and his dad (and former racer) Steve chased the tour all year long. They appeared to have finished 10th in points. He ran out of fuel with two laps to go in the first feature and ran 39 laps for 25th in the last race. He was close to his first top ten of the year in the first main. He’s looking forward to doing it again next year…

Gary Lindberg won two B Mains in his first trip to Charlotte…

Jimmy Phelps captured a B also and was followed by Pat Ward for the Saturday night portion of the show…

Max McLaughlin talked about the fire in the toter. While teams were up the hill lining up for the Mod main late Friday night smoke started pouring from the HBR toter. Their dog was in it and Dave Reedy rushed to pry to door open injuring his hands,but rescuing the dog while Late Model star Chris Madden, who was parked nose-to-nose with the hauler, had a brand new hauler himself and responded with a fire extinguisher. Track crews got there and Max said there was damage as “the ceiling is down”. The source of the first appeared to be the refrigerator…

With Eldora back on the schedule next year a couple of teams said they were skipping Charlotte and doing Ohio in mid-summer. When you are a non-touring team you just have to do what works for you and while also figuring out where you can have fun.  Little teams talked about the expense and lack of financial return in making this trip. The event is sold out, but the Mod guys aren’t paid relative to what the Sprints and Late Models receive. If this is selling out isn’t it time to boost the Mod purse to the levels or the other two. After all we’re told by announcers all weekend long that these are the three premier divisions in the World Racing Group…

The Sprints and Late Models had plenty of notes, but maybe I can get to them at a later date. Within the next couple of days I’ll have a chance to transcribe my interviews with 10 time World of Outlaw champ Donny Schatz and first time Late Model crown wearer Mike Marlar.

Hope you enjoyed the DTD coverage of the World Finals at Charlotte.  I have to thank Cristina Cordova as well as the coordinators in the media tent for all courtesies. To the interns Riley, Zach and one name I forgot thanks for the shuttle rides…

G.T. Smith told me three years ago “once you come here you’ll never stop coming back.”
He was right and glad to be a part of the DTD team once again…

Now if I can just get to cover Eastern States and Knoxville Nationals…

Any new, notes, information or corrections about my miscues in typing send along to foley395@hotmail.com