By BILL FOLEY
Larry Wight had hoped to come into the night with a decent draw for the big-block Modifieds at Weedsport on Sunday. That didn’t happen.
He said, “Well, I didn’t draw well. I pulled 65.”
Thus the stage was set for a come from behind night that eventually resulted in a three car classic 35-lap feature battle as he came home with his first Weedsport big-block win since 2011. Tim Fuller passed Anthony Perrego at the finish line to sweep into second place.
Wight was relegated to eighth starting position in heat number three where he followed Ronnie Davis III across the line to earn a spot in the draw.
However, the draw that did go his way saw him on the outside of the front row and at the feature green he grabbed the lead and held on for what turned out to be a wild ride.
Perrego dogged him in the last half of the race, taking the lead on occasion only to have Larry retake the point.
Traffic reared its ugly head and that nearly turned the tide for not only Perrego, but Tim Fuller.
Larry said, “The lapped car made us earn it. The 18 (Sean Beardsley) held his line. The middle of the track was dusty like baby power and I couldn’t carry the momentum I needed. I was glad when he got alongside the 7s (Torrey Stoughtenger) as that blocked Anthony.”
In victory lane he said, “About halfway I couldn’t make time in the middle and I just had to hunker down when I saw the 4. We were inches apart for five laps or so.”
It was his first win at Weedsport in a big-block in 11 years and he noted, “I have won in a small-block during Super Dirt Week, but the wins just weren’t there in the big-blocks. We were there, just not enough.”
Fuller, who found himself in the runner up position, had mixed emotions as he told DTD, “It was tough out there, but it was a good show. We just needed more laps. Actually, I believed this was a 40 lap race and I wondered why they yelled at me to slow down on 35.”
Continuing, he said, “A race like that goes by so fast. It’s intense. We had a small-block tonight. I really could move all over and the track just got racier as it went on, but I needed more laps.”
Perrego took the end result philosophically after finishing in third.
Reflecting on the race he said, “The lapped cars jammed up the 99 and I went to the middle and drove as hard as I could. There was little grip on the backstretch. The double file traffic didn’t help and the 99 was moving up on the straights to protect the outside. Not finishing second sucks, but we are here to learn.”
He noted this was a shakedown for the upcoming 100 lapper and said, “We’ve improved here. We need to run here. We run Orange County and it is slick, but this is a totally different slick. We made strides and got better.”
Chad Phelps was surprised he was even able to race much less come home in an uncontested fourth place.
The New Haven, N.Y. driver was in a heavy crash on Friday night at Brewerton and noted, “We got a heavy hit in the left rear. We replaced a spool, bell, tubing, axle, shock and spring.”
Looking back at the feature, he said, “It’s all right, especially after Friday night. We thrashed on the car all day Saturday and most of today. I thought we were gaining in the end. The car just seemed to get better as the race went on. I didn’t have any trouble at all with traffic and at the end I saw the leaders were in traffic and I felt I was coming.”
Fifth place Ronnie Davis III said, “It was all about track position tonight. The bottom was the place to be and I started fourth. That hurt. I definitely wanted to be on the bottom. There was no cushion left at all and I just needed more laps tonight.”
The 35 lapper to close out the Empire State Challenged was one to remember and for many of the drivers it set the stage for the opening night of SummerFast with Weedsport kicking off the week.