Makin’ Tracks: Brewerton & Fulton Worth Watching Entire Show – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

It was a tale of two cities as far as Modified racing went at Brewerton and Fulton this past weekend.

Friday night the 800 pound gorilla finally got off the back of Matt Hulsizer despite another 800 pound gorilla was chasing him. Hulsizer, who has a brand new Bicknell this year, has been progressing well and lately is a candidate to be among the top eight on a weekly basis. That is unless something breaks (unfortunately it has a few too many times for this team).

The first gorilla was the fact that he has been snakebitten the past couple of years while the second beast was Billy Decker.

A year ago Hulsizer would flirt with a top finish only to limp to the pits with something totally unexpected breaking. You really wondered how he kept putting himself through the torture.




However, on Friday night he was leading and when Billy Decker got alongside late in the race you could see the near race long leader possibly seeing heartbreak once again. What happened in the final few laps was classic as the duo put on one hell of a racing exhibition battling for the lead.

Decker had gotten past Ryan Bartlett on the 29th lap and simply went in hot pursuit of the leader.

In the end Hulsizer got his third career win at Brewerton, by five tenths of a second over the 91, and they have been spaced pretty far apart with one in 2012 and the other in 2015.

The next night at Fulton the 55 found itself starting back in 11th, but as the race wore on he was consistently picking off the competition one car at a time and when the checker had fallen there he was in fifth for probably his best weekend in a long time. There is no doubt this team deserved this moment.

In victory lane the soft spoken, man of few words said, “I’m pretty happy. We’ve been racing hard and been in front. We’ve been fast all year, but stuff just breaks. Hopefully this will help turn things around. I knew I had to go up to block Billy if I was going to win. I had to use lapped cars as a key to keep him behind me.”

Friday night at Brewerton point leader Larry Wight came across in eighth at the end of the 35 lapper, but Saturday was a totally different story.

Saturday night the old announcing adage “you can’t win a race in the first two laps” totally went out the window.

Larry Wight saw a hole and a hole it was. He went to the fourth, and I mean actually, the fourth lane as the green fell. Into one he barreled, upstairs he went and suddenly he had gone from 10th to second in just two laps. It didn’t take him long to capture the lead and despite a couple of yellows he coasted to his fourth win of the year.

The night before with the same car he finished a bit off the pace at Brewerton, but explained, “We made a lot of changes overnight on this and they all seemed to work.”

So as August arrives he sits atop the Brewerton and Fulton point standings while is single diget behind Billy Decker in the race for the Super DIRTcar Series Championship.

So one night you had nail biting, nerve wracking battle for the win and the next night the great action happened in the first few laps for the lead (but there was plenty behind the winner).

LaPage Gives Up Night of Racing for Crew Member

Patrick LaPage said that he would be skipping Fulton until he could get another trailer for his Sportsman. Steve Guinn is the main wrench on the 34 and Patrick wants the give the former Georgia resident a chance to race the Late Model. He noted that “Steve works so hard and deserves to race.” LaPage had an eventful week as hauling his car back from Paradise on Wednesday night after a practice session two tires on his hauler blew on the Thruway. The jack was too small to lift the trailer and they unloaded the car on the shoulder of the highway.

The fired up the generator and went to work changing tires.

He noted, “It was an easy tire change, but it was scary. There were so many cars and trucks that had room to move over to the other lane who simply didn’t. I really can feel for the guys who go out there and do it for a living. Why can’t people just move over when there is something like that on the side of the road?”

Fake Finish

In this era where everyone is shouting “Fake News” I actually witnessed and announced my first “Fake Finish” on Friday night.

There must have been one of those moments we all have from time to time in a Modified heat.

When the cars crossed the line with seven laps on the infield. board Dave Farney threw the white flag and obviously the checker followed on lap eight. I announced the finish and talked about the cars to be handicapped in the main event.

However, out of the corner of my ear I heard “two more laps.” So the field realigned to complete laps nine and ten. It cost Roy Bresnahan a handicap position, but earned one for Andrew Ferguson.

It was just one of those weird moments.

Don’t Leave Early

Sometime folks walk to the exit after the Modified feature, but sometimes other classes put on shows to remember.

Such was the case on Saturday night as both Sportsman features were really worth watching.

In the first one it appeared the long drought for Mike Button was close to ending, but young Will Shields began the challenge. Suddenly Ron Davis III joined for a three-wide multi-groove action down the stretch. With three laps to go Shields took the lead and two laps to go Davis went to second. Shields won by .4 tenths of a second and Button was 1.3 seconds behind.

Shields thanked Matt Sheppard and Mike Mahaney for helping him with shocks and set up.

In the second Mike Stanton finally was able to get it all together and it appeared Nick Krause along with Jeremy Pitcher might spoil the party. The three battled and I mean battled for the lead as the top three spots changed lap after lap.

Stanton also won by .3 tenths of a second while Pitcher was .9 of a second behind. Corey Barker was 1.2 seconds behind in fourth.

Brewerton Pit Stops

Chris Cunningham lost a transmission on the 29K in heat action, but his crew (joined by Tim Kerr’s gang) got a new one in and Chris came home with a pretty good fourth in the Sportsman main…

Joe Isabell had his new Sportsman out for the first time and it just getting his feet wet with it…

A new Bicknell chassis was parked in front of the Larry Wight hauler. I asked and was told “It’s Todd Root’s new car”. Last week in victory lane Root talked about his winning car that had been heavily damaged and the discussion between fixing it and getting a new car. Well, they fixed the wreck and got a new car…

Mod Lite field was pretty darn good with an influx of five Quebec based teams. Karine Thibault told me, “We run at Drummond, but we’ve had so much rain we just want to race.”

So Alyson Prince, Stefan Bernier, Reg Limieux (who works out of Fort McMurray, Alberta) and Alexia Roux joined the field. The next night Steve Comeau joined them to make it a half dozen. It was great to see this as it provided Fulton with a 17 car field and Brewerton with 20…

Eric Williams from Horseheads made his first Sportsman appearance. He said “I use to run Outlaw, but now I am running where ever.”…

It might have been the first time the purple 30 Four Cylinder wasn’t pit-side as Stephanie Seeley was having health issues and Sam Carista isn’t racing right now…

Tough points hit for Chad Phelps who came into the night fifth in Mod points. On the second lap Max McLaughlin snuck under him, contact was made. Phelps slowed dramatically and said on Saturday, “The shocks on both sides of the front end, a wheel, tire, side bars, body mounts and body panels needed work as well as replacing an axle bracket. It was a tough thing for us.”…

Ron Davis ran the last seven or eight laps of the Sportsman main with a left rear flat. He finished a lap down in 20th for one of his poorest finishes of the year…

Brian Myers got the front stretch wall in the Mod Lite main and was first car out of the feature…

Jeff Sykes and Mike Muller put on one heck of a show in the ML main with Sykes winning by .3 of a second…

Mike Mahaney had a solid top five Mod finish.

Apparently there was a handicap change for the Mods and Sportsman as if a car has won a feature event this year it can start no better than sixth in the main. Not the usual last three race format…

Adam Roberts had a front spindle breaking as his right front tire was riding along facing the grandstand…

Alan Fink is having a career season and won by 1.4 second over Tyler Trump in the Sportsman main…

Mod Lite driver Keith Stevenson drove the majority of the night with his front end totally out of alignment.

Fulton Pit Stops

New drivers in the pits included ML drivers Steve Comeau and Jeff May along with the other five Quebec drivers. Dane Keller Jr. made his LM debut as did Scott Ford and Joey Buonagario. Andy Noto was driving the back up Chad Phelps car. Tim Abate, Brandon Thompson and Larry Taylor were new Novice faces. New Sportsmen included Michelle Courcey in Mikey Wight’s car, Lebanon Valley Speedway regular Bob DeLeone and Tyler Singleton…

Novice driver Robert Gage purchased a 22j from Jeremy Dygert, hammered the front stretch wall in his heat tearing up the right side, but the crew got it back together for the feature…

The front end of Tim Kerr’s 07 collapsed in heat action after Kody Graham had slowed down while in a qualifying spot…

The second Sportsman main a tremendous three wide battle between Jessica Power, Todd Roots and Tyler Trump was a great one as that went on for the final 10 laps At the line Jessica was .071 of a second ahead of Root for fifth place…

Kaitlyn Hile a solid second in the second Mod heat. Apparently Novice driver Thompson had one of her old cars in action…

Mod Lite driver Tom Mackey spun while leading the main event and collected second place Zach Babcock…

Casey Sykes has only been at Fulton twice and after having no luck the first time the young ML driver won the feature…

Third place battle in Mod main between Adam Roberts, Ryan Jordan and Jim Witko was fun to watch in the early stages…

Ryan Jordan has a season best second place…

Kyle Rood and Joe Abbass chalked up first time Novice feature wins. Abass inherited the win after several time winner Tom Juno came up too light on the scales…

Disappointing as only 6 Four-Cylinders were in the Fulton Speedway pits and by lap three of the feature only 3 remained. Fourteen year old Quinn Wallis was followed by Joe Buske Jr. (and they actually rubbed in the pass for the lead) while 12 year old Dylan Curcie was third.

Send along notes, news and comments to foley395@hotmail.com