Makin’ Tracks – Fulton Speedway Total Class From LM Leaders – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

Race ends, two drivers climb from their cars and just lock it up as they reflect on the action that just took place on the track.

Usually this type of situation is a confrontation as one isn’t happy with what the other did.

However, on Saturday night at the Fulton Speedway in the final race of the night these two drivers, Bret Belden and Kyle Sopaz, hugged in an embrace in the ultimate form of respect.

These two Late Model drivers had put on an instant classic as throughout the 20 laps they simply were like two gladiators throwing everything they had at one another. Even coming off the fourth turn on the final lap Sopaz had the advantage only to lose it by three-hundreths of a second to Belden.




Originally, as the duo left the scales Belden headed for victory lane and Sopaz followed and parked just feet away from the 81. He got out, walked over and stuck his head inside the cockpit.

However, as Belden’s crew raced to congratulate their driver Sopaz stepped back, but upon exiting the car the two hugged in total respect for one another.

Sopaz could have pouted as it was his second runner up finish of the night as he could have been frustrated after losing the make up LM main by a second to Chad Homan, but he displayed nothing but class. No racing into an adjacent pit screaming at another driver, no punches being thrown because he didn’t win. Just class.

That is why I always say, “Don’t leave after the Modified race!!!”

There was more than one less than a second win at Fulton on Saturday as in a Sportsman main Matt Janzuck eked out of tenth-of-a-second win over Brandon Ford, Richard Murtaugh won by four-hundreths of a second in the Novice main and Dale Planck lost to Larry Wight in the Mods by eight-tenths of a second.

The only “romp” of the night came from Austin Germinio, who has been driving for less than a year, as he beat Zach Sobotka by 3.1 seconds in Sportsman feature one. However, Rick Miller, Brett Draper and Wade Chrisman put on a four way battle with Germinio in the mid-stages for a crowd pleasing feature.

It was just one of those good nights of racing at Fulton which started at 7 p.m. and finished around 10:40. That would be pretty good time-wise, but throw in an hour family autograph night and it was efficient.

Pit Stops

Larry Wight is four for five on the year. Solid run from 18th on the starting grid to the win…

Dale Planck noted during the autograph session that they thought they were getting there. He took the lead from Jeff Sykes on the 16th lap and had a 1.7 second lead when the first yellow came out for a slowing Jim Walsh on lap 23…

That restart proved futile for Sykes as he went from second to sixth after a great early run…

Dave Marcuccilli was smoking and then some flames were coming from his exhaust pipe as the power steering line had a leak. The fire bottle did not go off as was originally said. He was back the next night at Utica-Rome for second place in the main…

Tim Sears continues to put on a show and came home third. You gotta love to watch him move…

Nick Krause had a sensational weekend as he finished fourth at Fulton to go along with his fourth the night before at the Demon…

Bobby Herrington made his return as he’s been absent for a while. He noted in 10 years of Mod racing he’s had just one engine problem. However, this time he lost an engine and scuffed two pistons in the other. He finished tenth…

There were 25 Mods in the pits…

In heat action Jeff McGinnis broke an axle and was a DNF and Ben Bushaw tried a coil suspension but it didn’t work and went back to bars for the main…

There were 53 Sportsman with Greg Carner a newcomer with Chuck Miller in a Brent Cross machine, Isaiah Forward was on hand along with a surprise appearance of Amsterdam’s A.J. Filbeck…

Mike Phelps got involved in a feature tangle inflicting heavy damage on the front end of the 99M…

A Novice field of 13 cars where Richard Murtaugh III won his third straight. Team wasn’t even sure they were going to race as he had to be in Pennsylvania the next day…

Ryan Dolbear has moved up to the regular Sportsman division…

Brandon Cretian finished top five, but didn’t go to the scales so was credited with 13th…

New Novice drivers included Josh Van Tassel and Justin Pier who finished fourth and sixth respectively…

Only 7 Late Models started the rescheduled feature as Harry Halliday, Austin Hauser and Darin Horton did not return…

Chad Homan appears committed to chasing the track championship with yet another win…

Kevan Cook had mechanical problems in the first main and was done for the night…

Well this Thursday the restructured 358 series comes to Fulton along with an Sportsman show. The 100 lap Mod field should be outstanding as you never know who is really going to show up, but the DIRTcar release had a bunch of names including Erick Rudolph, Mat Williamson, Steve Bernard, Jordan McCreadie, Lance Willix and a host of others. I’m looking for at least a car count in the mid 40’s.

News, gossip or things I missed that you think should be recognized send along to foley395@hotmail.com