Makin’ Tracks – Brewerton-Surprises and Behind the Scene Look – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

A three race weekend has been unheard of recently, but it nearly happened as Brewerton, Fulton and about three-quarters of the Utica-Rome night were a reality.

Everyone knows I enjoy the behind the scenes activity at the race track and I attempt to write about not only the obvious, but other “stuff.”

Modified driver Ryan Bartlett has broken every week…every week.

Frustration had to be quite high in the 93 pit, but on Friday night he started up front and simply drove away from the field in picking up his second career Demon victory.




Todd Root and Casey Sykes came home in the Sportsman and Mod Lite mains as Root chalked his first ever victory saying, “I’ve never won here. I’ve been second a hundred times, but could never get it. We got it tonight.”

Meanwhile, Sykes who was three pounds light the previous week and saw the victory disappear said, “This is just awesome. Last week I felt just terrible as we were light, but now we got them…finally.” Casey won by just .064 of a second over Isabell.

Mullen Almost Went Home

Two weeks ago the eventual winner (after Casey Sykes was light) nearly went home.

Mike Mullen said, “We were smoking in our heat as the oil filter had crashed and we could do nothing to stop it. We didn’t have another, we had them at the garage, but not here and I sent one of the crew members to area shops, but there weren’t any. So my dad went out on the track during the autograph session and asked every driver if they had one. Josh Kenney did. So we got to race.”

Ryan Halliday Set for Iraq

Ryan Halliday has been having a pretty decent time in his Mod-Lite, but he won’t be racing with us much longer.

He said, “I joined the Army a year an a half ago, and will be heading for Texas and then Iraq on July 6.”

He is an engineer and heavy equipment operator with the 411 Division and noted, “I’m excited, except that I will be away from racing for so long.”

He’s been excited over the success the team has had with the new car.

Ryan explained, “This was a car my Uncle Art (Halliday) built a few years ago and we found it in North Carolina. The folks who bought it were running the K&N Series and wanted to get rid of it. So it is back home. My brother Tucker will be eventually running it as well as the Late Model we are working on.”

Brewerton Pit Stops

Kevin Poitras, a former trans am driver, was at Brewerton as Mohawk rained out. The team started the year with an illegal motor as they had purchased the car, but purchased a new crate and are all set…

T.J. Eldred has been working on Lowell Zehr’s cars for 15 years and Lowell put him out on the track a couple of weeks ago with the third team car. Lowell jokingly said that he might have T.J. in the car next year and he’ll be the crew chief…

J.J. Courcey was behind the wheel of the 13c in remembrance of his grandfather, Joe Messina who use to race in CNY Modifieds decades ago…

Sportsman driver Bailey Groves returned to action, but was off the mark on her return…

Big-block Mod driver Andy Noto was pitside for the first time and lost the Ford power plant in hot laps…

The entire 35 lapper Mike Mahaney and Chad Phelps were second and third and the X-man couldn’t get a run at all on the 77x…

With a Tough track and non stop-main meant top runners had a long way to go. Larry Wight fought his way to sixth while point leader Billy Decker was 10th and other point contender Jimmy Phelps 11th. Tough night for high point guys…

Tim Kerr, running in the top five, had the belt come off the fuel pump on the 26th lap…

Patrick LaPage volunteered to co-announce with me on Friday and probably wish I had accepted his offer when he got turned around in front of the Sportsman feature field. He was a sitting duck on the front straight and got hammered by Stephen Denton while several other cars were also involved…

Another pile-up occurred on the fourth lap that involved Charlie Tibbetts, Tyler Thompson, Jeff Taylor, Joe Sobotka, Glen Forward and others…

Nick Krause is running the best he has in a while…

Mike Stanton Jr. looked good, but Root got him on the outside coming off turn two on the 18th lap…

Jeff Taylor, first year Sportsman driver, finished third in his heat for a career best run…

Tim Kerr, Pat Ward and Matt Hulsizer were the Mod heat winners…

Mike Stanton Jr., Glenn Forward and Nick Krause were Sportsman Prelim winners…

Jamie Radley drove Chris Bonoffski’s car and won his heat, but was in his own Four-Cylinder for the main-event…

Mod Lite heat one saw Lowell Zehr, Josh Kinney, Zach Babcock and Joe Isabell all together throughout the entire event. Great action lap after lap…

Chuck Powelczyk broke and was out for the night in a rare occurrence for the Four Cylinder multi time champion…

Thanks to Brother Kevin Westcott for his track-side interviews with the support divisions.

Adam Buchanan could not attend and Brother Kevin stepped up. Thought it was interesting for a minister to ask Casey Sykes (who had been DQ’d week before) if the win was “redemption” for the previous week.

Send along comments to foley395@hotmail.com.