Makin’ Tracks – Victory & Defeat at Brewerton – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

Never has the old adage “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” been more appropriate than at the Brewerton Speedway on Friday night.

Feature winner Pat Ward was emotional, overjoyed and relieved to snap a string of terrible luck and tough runs while several of his counterparts had nothing but agony as they loaded up their haulers long before the final checkered flag had flown.

Ward was followed by point leader Larry Wight, defending track champ Jimmy Phelps, and Ronnie Davis III.

Victory lane was a bit different for one person as little Audrey Wight stood there and just stared at Pat. She has become so used to seeing her father there at Fulton that I wasn’t sure what she would do.




Well, Pat bent down, swooped up the toddler and held her throughout the on track interview. It seemed like a “family thing” to do.

Larry Wight was runner-up and watching him come from 14th was truly eye catching. There wasn’t a yellow until the 26th lap, but he had already worked his way up to third at the halfway point. In the end he was just 1.4 seconds behind his buddy.

Twenty-one Mods were pit-side thus making certain that every one of those cars were in the feature event.

Well, racing is racing and it doesn’t matter if it is a heat, consi or feature there is no mercy shown between the open wheeled gladiators.

After a relatively calm opening heat that saw Ron Davis and Roy Bresnahan first and second it was time for the chaos.

It appeared that Tom Sears went to the inside of Tyler Trump at the exit of turn four. In what seemed to be a strictly racing accident Trump hit wheel to wheel with Tim Kerr (who was living on the outside).

The impact shot the 07 hard into the concrete and over he went before landing on all fours.

Kerr, who appeared okay other than getting the wind knocked out of him, told DTD late Friday night, “I’m sore, that’s for sure. From looking the car is pretty much junk. Lots of parts are junk. I will get a better idea tomorrow when I get the body off.”

As always many crews and drivers went to the assistance of the driver in need as Tim explained, “Yaeh I got lots of help for sure. They were all helping me to get it to roll into the trailer.”

Unfortunately the bad news didn’t stop there as Chad Phelps was coming off a good week in which he went to one of his “bucket list tracks” Albany-Saratoga for the Big Show where he time trialed second quick in his group, finished third in the heat and drew the pole.

He said, “I ran good for 50 or 60 laps and still was up there in the top five, but the tire was going away. I didn’t have any 400’s and bought a tire from Keith Flach for $50 and we finished 12th.”

That type of night certainly didn’t happen at Brewerton as he slowed dramatically after battling Jimmy Phelps and Tim Sears Jr. Chad parked it on the infield and later told DTD, “We broke the motor. It’s pretty bad and I’m thinking crank, rods, bearings and bottom end.”

So after Andrew Ferguson and Timmer won the heats it was on to the feature.

Ferguson was another driver who went to Albany-Saratoga for the first time and said, “I was one of the few cars with standard suspension, but I felt good there and I would like to go back.”

He did win $750 in the non-qualifiers race and elected to take the money instead of the starting spot. Explaining his decision Andrew said, “I made money. I would have started 30th and to get that amount of money would have had to finish higher than 12th.”

The feature rolled off on Friday night and on lap four he pulled the 34 onto the grass between three and four and simply noted to DTD, “the rear end broke.”

Pit Stops

Casey Sykes won his second consecutive U.S. Air Force Mod Lite main, but it wouldn’t have happened unless Mike Mullen’s team loaned him a fuel pump. Their car salutes legends Hugh Hedger and Dick Clark and in victory lane was Dick’s son Duncan. He had the privilege of calling Clark in races back at Fulton and interviewed him several times at Oswego. Keeping history alive is important…

Runner up Zach Babcock was .6 of a second behind the winner…

Tom Mackey, in the former Josh Kinney, Mod Lite continues to excel. He’s a true contender and came home third…

Buddies Mike Mullen and Joe Garafolo were fourth and fifth…

Garafolo’s 55 was running well in his heat only to lose power. Joe noted, “We had a fuse blow in the wire harness. That was the new motor and must have touched something wrong when putting it back together. It was getting better and better in the feature.”…

In heat action Mackey won by .056 of a second over Mullen…

Thirteen of the 15 cars finished on the lead lap…

Joe August Jr. a season best seventh, just behind Timmer in the Modified feature…

Roy Bresnahan was fifth at the halfway point and settled for eighth ahead of Tom Sears Jr…

Jim Witko scored his first top ten of the year…

Chris Hile went out on lap three with what appeared to be front-end problems.  Hile noted later that he “broke the steering box and I’m lucky I didn’t wreck anything.”…

Finishing 35 laps were 14 of the 20 starters…

The Sportsman are simply exciting as Corey Barker won by .9 of a second over Willy Decker Jr. with Bob Henry Jr. closing quickly for the best run of his season. Solid top tree.

Barker was driving his old car as he explained, “This is the car I started with eight or nine years ago. It was the first time we have brought it out and I wish Troyer would start making these Max Flex cars again. Since day one it loves to stay right around the tires.”…

Billy Clark Jr. has been absent from victory lane for three years and he scored a half-second win over defending track champ Kevin Root who was right there in second. Up until Friday he had a second and fifth to show for his efforts..

In victory lane he said, “This feels good. We tore it apart on Sunday, made some engine changes and just had to figure it. It worked.”…

Colby Herzog came home with his first ever podium finish just 1.4 seconds behind the leader…

Dylan Zacharias had a rare DNF as his right rear hit the wall coming off of four…

Rocco Leone’s entire right rear was torn from the car as he exited turn four three-wide. The trio squeezed tighter together, Leone did a wheelie and hammered the front stretch wall. He rode the wall the length of the front straightaway before coming to a stop with heavy, heavy damage…

Chris Bonoffski won his second Four Cylinder main of the year…

The fire extinguishers came out as fire roared out from under Quinn Wallis in the back stretch before stopping between turns three and four…

Newcomer Tim Boylhart was fourth behind runner up Chuck Powelczyk and Sam Curcie (and Kermit the Frog)…

Heck of a night and toss in a couple demolition derbies it was time to move on.

Any comments, notes, or things I missed send along to foley395@hotmail.com