Makin’ Tracks – At Least Fulton Is Running – DTD Excluisve

By BILL FOLEY

The most common phrase I’ve heard in the last month is “This weather sucks!” and it is very appropriate.

However, the past three Saturday nights the Fulton Speedway has completed the entire show while during that same period Brewerton and Utica-Rome dates have been wiped off the schedule.

This coming weekend is the unofficial kick-off to the summer racing season and with temperatures finally creeping up maybe, just maybe, fans can get out and see Brewerton, Fulton, Utica-Rome and then finally a Super DIRTcar Series race at Weedsport.

So Fulton is basically what I can write about and after nearly five months of my computer collecting dust it’s finally time to get back to covering racing.




Fulton has been wacky. You know when Sportsman reach the near 70 mark for a weekly show and there are seven heats and three full features every night it makes for an interesting night. Toss in the 358’s where there were 16 to 18 last year and last Saturday night there were 27 and you have a pretty decent show. Sure the Late Models are around 13 and the Novice Sportsman are less than double figures, but that supplies fans with about 13 heats and six feature events.

Efficiency has been the order of the day at Fulton thus far with a 7 p.m. start and finishing a little after 10:30 p.m. with only the intermission break. As an announcer it is draining and there is little down time, but the fans (and yes the announcer) appreciate a well run, orderly show.

The new year at Fulton has been interesting to say the least. Larry Wight has a hat trick with three straight feature wins in his new small-block. No one really was sure what to expect when John Wight went 358 racing and left the big-blocks in the trailers on Saturday. Would fans buy in? Would drivers buy in?

Well, I would say it looks promising. This year add Dale Planck, Rob Bellinger, Greg Martin, Jeff Sykers, Collin Dubois, Dave Marcuccilli, Jeremy Dygert, Kyle DeMetro, Ben Bushaw, Jason Occhino and Mike Mandigo to the regular night of racing and suddenly the thoughts of maybe having 20 cars weekly has ballooned to a full field.

Back have been regulars Pat Ward, Tom Sears Jr., Tim Sears, Bobby Harrington, Jeff McGInnis, BIlly Whittaker, Ronnie Davis, Glenn Forward, Tyler Trump, Todd Root, Joe Shields, Andy Noto, NIck Krause and Brent Cross while Tyler Thompson(who will run when Oswego isn’t).

Mod action has been pretty decent with the 99L coming from around 18th spot the past two weeks and action throughout the field has been competitive and fun to watch.

Sportsman simply continue to come out of the wood work. Everyone gets in a full 25-lap feature event and gets a heat and hot laps. If it is about getting track time then this division has found a home at Fulton.

Matt Janzcuk, Tyler Corcoran, Brandon Ford, Dylan Zacharias, Joel Hall, Jack Meeks, Dorian Wahdan, and Tony Finch all have feature wins thus far with about 80 different drivers appearing.

It has been a tough year for the Late Models as Fulton is one of the few tracks running them and the others putting the class on the track run the same night at Fulton does. So Brighton, Genesee and Fulton share the cars. For the most part the weekly field is similar to what it has been in years past as this class simply hasn’t taken off with a tremendous amount of momentum.

Chad Homan use to show up from time to time, but he’s been a regular and a two-time winner. Other familiar names include Bret Belden, Jason Parkhurst, Chris Fleming, Dale Caswell, Kevan Cook, Harry Halliday, Max Hill, Tony FInch and Alan Chapman. Another new face has been Kyle Sopaz hauling down from Trenton, Ontario.

So the season is underway. It’s about time.

Pit Stops

Bret Belden appeared headed for the feature win, but got passed on the very last lap for another heartbreak…

Two close Sportsman mains with Jessica Power (best run of the year) finishing .9 of a second behind Wahdan and Chris Mackey was .4 of a second behind Finch. Both runners up put on a solid run…

Mike Phelps deserved a good night as he has been hampered with what appeared to be electrical problems the first two weeks and finished third…

Rookie Chris Bonoffski had a career best fourth…

It was fun watching Amy Holland and here boyfriend Derek Webb runs side-by-side. Amy is off to a solid start and had here “worst” finish of the year, a fifth. She came into the night fourth in points…

New Sportsman included Tim Devendorf (who has apparently sold his Super and will be a regular at Brewerton), Josh Amadio, Jake Holmes, Anthony Rasmussen, Rocco Leone and Rich Riggs Jr….

Kyle Perry continues to show improvement with a career best third…

Michelle Courcy is having some health issues so she isn’t sure exactly what here schedule is….

Feature winner Zacharias was hospitalized earlier in the week, but bounced back to run at the head of the field on Saturday….

Novice drivers Ryan Colbear and Payton Talbot are new faces, but adapting well…

Mod Notes

Two weeks ago Robbie Bellinger was running at the head of the field only to have a spark-plug wire disconnect. He settled for second…

Ryan Arbuthnot had consecutive fourth place finishes, but returned home to Brockville last Saturday. He had been second in points…

Todd Root is quietly impressive in two of the first three weeks with a solid third on opening night…

Tyler Thompson had a third and ran as high as you could go in the second main on the year. It was his first podium finish and it was fun to watch. He’ll run Supers (wings and non) as well as big-blocks and small-blocks with an occasional stop for a well paying Sportsman race…

Dave Marcuccilli is anxious to get the season rolling. He made his debut at Fulton in the 358 and has been steady. This past week he suffered engine problems in hot laps and drove Mike Fowlers Sportsman to 21st with 34 laps to help his point standings…

Dale Planck is enthused on getting back to Fulton regularly. He’s coaching A.J. Miller who keeps improving in his Sportsman…

Jeremy Dygert purchased a Mod from Pat Ward and Jason Occhino’s is a former Larry Wight ride…

Tyler Trump skipped week two for a prom date…

Tim Sears Jr., has been fast, but has had to work his way from the rear on more than one occasion…

Billy Shantel and Brent Cross have been unable to catch a break thus far. FYI Cross spent several years running ARCA and has ‘Dega and Daytona experience under his belt…

Late last year I received some criticism for not putting individual accomplishments in the column. I have to remind folks that it isn’t intentional. If your drivers (son or daughter) has a career best or a story you want to share send it along to foley395@hotmail.com. I would love to share it. Anyone who knows me understands I try to write about every division as they all make racing what it is. Watching 120 cars at one track and then working two others provides my brain with quite a bit to remember (and also forget).

Good to be back at the keyboard and behind the microphone. This trip covering and/or announcing racing continues into year 50. Not sure how much longer, but as long as I’m having fun and can recall who is who we’ll keep going.