Makin’ Tracks – Brewerton Tomkins Wins, but Not Good Night for All – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

There were way too many “not my night” situations for the Modifieds on Friday night at Brewerton.

Records will show that Gary Tomkins chalked up his first win in seven years at the Demon. They will show he had to withstand yellow fever night.

Billy Decker (ignition) and crash collecting situations for Pat Ward, Chris Hile, Matt Hulsizer, Rich Scagliotta and Mike Bowman.  The steering failed for Jeremy Smith while Robbie Bellinger blew and engine and Tim Sears Jr. lost a battle with a yuke tire that has KO’d the victory hopes of several drivers.

For some teams it was a quick repair while for others it was much, much more to make Fulton the following night.




The Sears crew noted, “The left front was pushed back into the frame and it was a lot worse than we anticipated.”

Meanwhile, Ward explained, “The whole front clip was bent back five inches. I got to the garage at 6 a.m. this morning (Saturday), took the nose off, and it was pretty bad. I patched it, welded it, replaced shocks and took body panels off last year’s car. Finally, I decided to run a new car I had built over the winter at Fulton as I wanted to take it to Eldora.”

In victory lane the ever gracious Tomkins profusely thanked all his crew members and owner for getting him there.

He climbed out of the car, sat on the side, looked to the sky and put up both of his arms in celebration. You could see the smile from the tower.

Gary said, “It has been a long time and it was a long race. It seemed like it took 80 laps. We’ve worked so hard and have had no luck. We had bad brakes last week and we finished it up about three o’clock this afternoon. I am happy for my crew.”

Bellinger appeared he might be headed to victory lane, but the engine blew on the Barcomb 11R.

Tomkins, with respect to his fellow driver, said, “I feel sorry for Rob. It probably would have been a good race right to the finish.”

Jeff Taylor Deserved Better

Sometimes someone who drives a great race doesn’t show up in victory lane or the podium.

Such was the case on Friday night at the Brewerton Speedway.

Jeff Taylor, a rookie with absolutely no previous experience, has had a tough learning curve in the Sportsman division. However, on Friday night it appeared to all fall together as he ran better than he has ever run before.

With a bit of mentoring from Gordie Button, Taylor has slowly progressed.

On Friday, in the Sportsman feature, the owner of The Wild Animal Park was having the drive of his life. There he was in second place with six laps to go. Out of four he came and suddenly he got slapped in the left rear, lost the handle on it, nearly spun out in front of the entire field, saved it, but had sustained damage from the contact to knock him out. He finished 21st.

Racing is far from a fair sport. It isn’t about how hard you work and you will be rewarded.

Taylor had a great run and didn’t deserve to have it end the way it did, but from a car that was struggling to running toward the front for nearly three quarters of the race he is showing improvement.

Pit Stops

James Brown from Lafargeville and Black River’s Jordan Kelly were new Sportsman faces along with Richie Riggs in a Sean Beardsley prepared machine. The Riggs car was a former chassis owned by Matt Stangle from Bridgeport which Sean noted, “We bought it on line.” The frame was delivered and the parts “came from the other car” to complete it…

Mike Mahaney suffered a flat right front tire in his heat and missed the handicap…

Four Cylinder feature winner Chris Bonoffski liked the “sticky track” and noted “I ran full throttle until I could feel as if the rear end was gonna fall out and then I lifted.”…

Billy Decker was running solidly and heading toward the front when ignition problems hit. It was only the second race for the MSD box and a rare DNF for the driver chasing the track title…

Jim Witko is one of those guys who looks over a track and decides if he wants to start in his assigned position or go to the rear at the start. He felt the track was a bit rough on Friday, started in back, was patient and ended up with a ninth place finish…

Chad Phelps had one of his best nights of the year. On a restart with nine laps left he took off to the outside lane and went around Jeremy Smith and Larry Wight. Wight got the spot back later and Phelps settled for third…

Jimmy Phelps was solid and consistent with a fourth place run…

Andrew Ferguson pitted in his heat as he was disgusted with the way the car was handling. He started 22nd. At the midway point of the feature he was 12th. He then missed a five car pile up and the next thing you know he was moving forward and ended with a top five finish…

Tim Kerr missed last week due to kidney stones and despite the fact they haven’t dissipated he raced. Prior to the night action he said, “I hope it’s smooth out there tonight”. It wasn’t. He started 20th, was 11th halfway thru and settled for a sixth. He was sore and tired at the end, but he was happy with his finish…

Zach Sobotka is another guy who deserved better as he led the Sportsman main for 19 laps. Glenn Forward made the track wide as he went under him and Glenn took the lead. Sobotka finished 1.2 second behind…

Solid run for Mike Stanton with a third in the Sportsman.

Ronnie Davis Jr. just had one of those nights. He got jammed up in the feature when someone checked up in front of him and spun in turn one. He rallied, but it was for fifth. Some folks thought RDIII was mad at someone as he was not going to the rear on the restart. Buy Ron noted, “My radio was messed up and I really couldn’t hear. I wasn’t upset with anyone.”…

Casey Sykes is getting this Mod-Lite thing covered well with another feature win. He won by 1.6 seconds over Brian Meyers, but once he got the lead on lap six he appeared comfortable. Going into the night Sykes and Justin Williams (third place) were tied for the point lead…

Chuck Powelczyk is off the mark in recent weeks. No one is use to seeing guys go by him…

22 Mods, 25 Sportsman, 13 Mod-Lites and 9 Four Cylinders as show ended about 10:15 p.m…

As always Syracuse Haulers did a great job of promotion and relay races for recycling with the Junior Fan Club. Thanks to drivers who came out to assist…

Well, that’s it for this time around for Makin’ Tracks at Brewerton. Any news, notes, comments or gossip send along to foley395@hotmail.com