By Bill Foley
Dalton Slack never anticipated that every Saturday night he would end up racing his small-block Modified at the Fulton Speedway.
Merrittville was only a short ride from his home in Welland, Ontario, but after the June 23 chaos over tires, he, along with Mat Williamson and Gary Lindberg, found alternatives for Saturday night.
Saturday night, the switch began to pay off for Slack at Fulton.
Starting on the outside of the front row, he eventually ended up following Billy Dunn through the first 18 laps before Dunn was sent pitside with a flat tire.
The Canadian led for several laps and put on a wheel-to-wheel racing exhibition, with eventual winner Larry Wight only to be relegated to second until the new track champ Tim Sears Jr. passed him on the 28th lap.
Slack settled for a well-driven third for his best feature finish of the year at the Route 57 speedway.
Talking with Dirt Track Digest, he said, “We were good. We’ve been really, really bad here lately. We just haven’t been good, and the driver hasn’t been good. Finally, tonight we got a good starting spot. I was leading, and Billy (Dunn) got past me. I started following him and found a good line, got my rhythm, and then he got a flat tire.”
Continuing, he said, “Experience beat me tonight. You know, Timmer and Larry are just so good here. They’re probably the best who have ever raced here, so finishing third, we can’t hold our heads down. I would love to win, but we are evolving here at the track.”
Coming at midseason, this was a different animal than he was used to, and he knew it wouldn’t be easy.
Dalton explained, “It’s tough coming here because it’s a 20th place handicap. So if you don’t run here weekly, you have to start 20th or further back. So it teaches you how to pass cars, but at the same time, at home, there is one Mat Williamson. Here there are 10 of them. So it’s really hard to win here. I am more than happy with the third tonight.”
Why did he pick Fulton Speedway to switch to after leaving Merrittville?
Slack said, “We’ve always liked it here. It kind of suits my driving style when it gets really slick. I tend to do better on tracks like this, as I can just roll my momentum.”
Continuing, he said, “We needed to get our small block program a little bit better, and there’s nobody better to race against than here. It’s a great atmosphere. We have so many people with Scott Jeffery and all that, and they’re just really good people.”
Did the sail panels help him at all on Saturday night?
With a huge smile, he said, “I’m a sail panel kid till I die. I don’t know if they made a difference tonight, but there is something about the momentum, and they just look cooler.”
The new face in the pits was more than welcomed by Fulton, as one track’s loss is definitely another track’s gain.