By BOBBY SWEENEY
BREWERTON, NY – Chad Brachmann finally tamed the Demon on Thursday night, dominating the Hurricane 100 at Brewerton Speedway. The Sandborne, N.Y., driver had to work hard right up until the end of the 100-lap race to earn the $5,000 prize.
Mario Clair jumped out to the early advantage over Alan Johnson and paced the field early through a number of early cautions.
While Clair held steady up top, Brachmann was moving fast on the bottom, charging from eighth to second in the first 30 laps. Just two laps later, Brachmann took the lead. While Brachmann was scored the leader on lap 32, he was not alone up front, as he and Clair ran door-to-door for over ten laps, swapping the lead back and forth.
Brachmann eventually broke free just before halfway, but another caution slowed the pace. This time, it was Pat Ward challenging Brachmann, briefly taking the lead on lap 57. After another fantastic side-by-side battle, Brachmann once more secured the lead on lap 66.
“I was just trying to be very patient,” commented Brachmann. “I know what happens at this place when you run the outside. You just glaze the right rear over. I just kept telling myself to stick to my plan.”
The plan worked as Brachmann took off, leaving Ward, Tim Sears Jr., and Danny Johnson in the dust.
Brachmann seemed well on his way to the win, but contact with a lapped car drew the yellow with four laps remaining. While Ward tried his hardest to mount a run up on the top, Brachmann held on for his first Brewerton win.
“I thought to myself that this sucks,” mentioned Brachmann. “Because I was the one that caused the caution because I couldn’t slow down and not hit that lapped car. I was like, son of a bitch I hope that I don’t lose this race.”
Ward gave him Brachmann all he could handle. He worked hard on the top of the speedway as he couldn’t get comfortable running the lower groove.
“It got slippery getting into one and I would lose a little too much time,” stated Ward. “I was good everywhere off of two. He (Brachmann) was just glued to the bottom. He was really good. I went down there with the lapped cars. I wasn’t too awfully bad, but I wasn’t as good as he was.”
Sears ended up a solid third. He was gaining on Ward before catching traffic. Once he got caught up in the slower cars he wasn’t able to hang with the veteran driver.
“When I caught lapped traffic I had to get off the bottom,” cited Sears. “I was really starting roll good. I was getting in a good groove. I just couldn’t get around lapped traffic. If I got off the bottom I couldn’t go anywhere.
Chris Raabe picked up some points in his chase for the title as he finished in fourth, well ahead of point leader Steve Bernard. Erick Rudolph was able to complete the top five.