By BOBBY SWEENEY
FULTON, NY – In 2017, Fulton Speedway established a new rule. If a division draws more than 40 entries, two features will be run, both featuring full purses and points. Such was the case on Saturday night, where the SUNY Canton Sportsman held their first points-paying race of the season.
Mike Phelps and Jeremy Pitcher compromised the front row for the first 25-lap feature event of the evening, with Pitcher securing the early lead. Pitcher immediately pulled away from the field, establishing a near straightaway lead over Phelps, Tyler Trump, Kyle Fink, and Billy Clark.
Pitcher’s advantage was erased on lap 16, as Dorian Wahdan slowed to a stop with a collapsed front end. Zach Sobotka drew another yellow on lap 17, as he slowed with mechanical issues. However, no driver was able to match Pitcher’s pace, as he drove away once again on the restart.
Ultimately, Pitcher picked up his first win of the year by over a straightaway over Phelps, Billy Clark, Tyler Trump, and Kyle Fink. The win was especially emotional and important to Pitcher, as he explained that 2017 is his final year in racing competition.
Tyler Thompson took command early in the second feature over Glenn Forward and Chris Mackey. In the opening laps, Forward stayed glued to the tail of Thompson, who was searching for his first SUNY Canton Sportsman victory. Forward slipped by Thompson on lap five for the lead as the pair entered the east end of the speedway, but Thompson’s stint in second was short lived, as he slowed and pulled pit-side with issues just two laps later.
A caution on lap nine for Rachel Zacharias slowed the field for the first time, allowing Mackey and Friday night’s winner Todd Root to close. However, Forwards was never seriously pressured and slipped away from the pack on the restart.
Forward cruised to the victory in the second feature while both Kevin and Todd Root battled three wide with Mackey for the runner up position. Kevin Root finished second, followed by brother Todd and Mackey. Mike Button trailed, rounding out the top five.
The 20-lap Late Model feature was dominated by former Modified campaigner Chad Homan. Homan was able to use a front row starting spot to run away and hide from the field. He was only briefly pressured by Bryce Davis. A lone caution on lap 12 for a spinning Jason Occhino slowed Homan’s run. Homan went on to easily picked up his first win at the track. In victory lane, Homan noted he would be competing in at Fulton weekly in 2017, his first home track change since the late 1990’s.
(SUNY Canton DIRTcar Sportsman #1 25 Laps) – JEREMY PITCHER, Mike Phelps, Billy Clark Jr., Tyler Trump, Kyle Fink, Will Shields, Corey Barker, Willy Decker Jr., Ron Davis III, Brent Joy, JJ Courcy, Nick Krause, Jackson Gill, Alex LaJoie, Patrick Picotin, Chantal Provencher, Mike Button, Zach Sobotka, Dorian Wahdan, Jeff Taylor, Bill Megnin, DNS Nate Higgins.
(SUNY Canton DIRTcar Sportsman #2 25 Laps) – GLENN FORWARD, Kevin Root, Todd Root, Chris Mackey, Mike Button, Alan Fink, Jessica Power, Brett Draper, Tony Finch II, Wade Chrisman, Chris Cunningham, Jim Spano, Jeremy Dygert, Cedric Gauvreau, Dylan Zacharias, Pat LaPage, John Strickler, Tom Mackey, Mike Stanton Jr., Torrey Stoughtenger, Tyler Thompson , Rachel Zacharias.
(Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux RUSH Late Models 20 Laps) – CHAD HOMAN, Bryce Davis,Dale Caswell, Matt Parkhurst, Chris Fleming, Billy Eisele, Kevan Cook, Jason Occhino, Bret Belden, Jason Parkhurst, Brandon Carvey, Steve Coit, AJ Kingsley.