By Dave Medler
Brewerton, NY – Billy Decker moved one step closer to the 2008 DIRTcar Modified Championship Friday night at the “D-Shaped Dirt Demon”. Decker got around Pat Ward for the lead on lap-22 and from there went unchallenged for his sixth win of the year in the 35-lap main. Alan Johnson came home second setting up a final week battle for the Track Title with Decker. Johnson trails by only 20-points going into the final points paying event.
Dale Caswell picked up his 12th Victory of 2008 in the IMCA Modified 20-lap Feature. Other winners were Doug Williams, 20-lap ESDCA Mod Lite and Matt Wetterer, 15-lap Four Cylinder Super Stocks.
Fresh off his win last Sunday night at Cayuga Couthy Fair Speedway, Mike Bowman out raced Tony Steiner to lead the opening lap of the 35-lap Modified Feature. Pat Ward and Johnny Hill gave chase early on.
By lap-5 Bowman opened a five car cushion over Ward and Hill as Steiner and Steve Hulsizer tried to close the gap running fourth and fifth.
A slowing Bob Henry Jr brought out the first yellow of the race on lap-6. Henry went pit side but did return.
When the green came back out the most serious incident of the night took place. Exiting turn two, Hill, Steiner and Chuck Bower got together launching Bower off the back straight into the woods. Bowers car suffered serious damage and was done for the night. Hill and Steiner went to the pits to check for damage, both rejoined to race.
With 10-laps in Bowman and Ward ran side by side with Hulsizer, Alan Johnson and Billy Decker racing towards the front. One lap later running the top Ward took over the lead from Bowman.
Hill looped his car in turn one on lap-14 bring out the caution once again. Hill went to the pits and was done for the night.
When the green came back out, Ward was able to take off and put some distance on the field. Bowman and Johnson ran side by side with Decker right on their back bumper waiting for an opening.
At the halfway point Ward led by a few car lengths as Decker rocketed by both Johnson and Bowman to take over the runner-up spot.
With 20-laps in the books Decker cut down Wards lead down to less than a car, Johnson at this point ran a distant third. Bowman and Hulsizer still ran in the top five.
On lap-22 Decker found the bite he needed as he drove by Ward to take over the top spot and looked to run away.
With ten to go Decker opened up a comfortable lead over Ward, Johnson and Hulsizer ran third and fourth with Jim Witko now breaking into the top five.
Over the remaining laps nobody had anything for Decker as he was the first under the checkers by a full straightaway. Johnson kept his title hopes alive going into the final week coming home second. Hulsizer, Witko and Johnson rounded out the top five.
“For pure numbers I think this is the best (season) we have ever had,” said Decker after exiting his Gypsum Wholesalers, No.91. “Brewerton, in my opinion is easily the best track in upstate New York. It lends it’s self to great racing. The fans are great. By in large it’s easy on equipment and it’s a fun place to race.”
Tony Buffa jumped out quickly to lead early in the 20-lap IMCA Modified Feature. The big mover early on was Kevan Cook as he moved from his tenth starting position to third by the second lap.
A quick yellow on lap-4 bunched up the field. On the restart Buffa kept setting the pace but his lead was about to end as he broke going into three sending him to the pits.
On the restart Cook had to contend with Dale Caswell. When the pair exited turn four, Caswell used to the extreme bottom to rocket into the lead. Cook, Rob Keller and Rich Keller had a tight battle for second.
At the halfway point Caswell led by a couple car lengths as Rich Keller used a lap car to get by Rob Keller as Cook also got around Rob Keller.
With six to go the caution came out again tightening the field up for the race to the checkers. Over the remaining laps nobody seriously challenged Caswell as he put his twelfth win in the record books. Rich Keller, Rob Keller, Kevan Cook and Pete Anderson completed the top five.
“I was just going to go out there and play it smooth so I could try and get a points Championship here, we have never got one (at Brewerton). Once we got out front I had to try and win the thing.” Caswell also related he didn’t want to see that late yellow, as he wanted to try to get lapped traffic between him and who ever was chasing him.
Mike Virginia led the opening lap of the 20-lap ESDCA Mod Lite Feature before Mike Bruce to over the top spot one lap later.
Bruce would continue to set the pace till Jeff Blackburn took over the lead on lap-7, Doug Williams followed Blackburn and started to put on pressure for the top spot. One lap later Williams found the speed he needed and blasted by Blackburn.
At the halfway point Williams opened a two second lead over Blackburn. Joe Garafolo, Matt Magner and Justin Crisafulli battled for top five spots.
A yellow with five to go erased the lead Williams built up putting Garafolo on his bumper. Over the final laps Garafolo could stay with Williams but in the end
Williams pulled away for the win. With two to go Crisafulli got around Garafolo for the runner up spot. Garafolo, Joe Gwilt and Rocco Leone rounded out the top five.
After exiting his Brothers car Williams said about his win, “Last week was the first time out in the car, man this thing is fast. Last week I didn’t have a ride, I was going to stay home and listen to the race. Jeff Isabell, he’s awesome I have to thank him.” Williams finished up by relating it’s the exact same setup he has run in any car he ever drove.
Glen Erwin led the opening nine laps of the 15-lap Four Cylinder Super Stock Feature before a right rear flat sent him pit side. Over the remaining laps Matt Wetterer, Chuck Powelczyk and Claude Hutchings Jr had a side by side, nose to tail battle right down to the checkers. Wetterer held on for the win, Hutchings, Powelczyk finished second and third. Randy Knight and Sam Curcie finished a distant fourth and fifth.
“Feels great to get two in a row,” said Wetterer. “I thought the No.17 (Powelcczyk) had to go to the rear, next thing I know he’s right next to me. I guess he just couldn’t get a run to get around me. Claude (Hutchings) gave me a heck of push down the back (straight) it actually helped me when he hit me, the car rocketed past Chuck down the back straight.”
Next Friday August 29 will bring the end to the 2008 point season as Champions will be crowned. On the card will be the DIRTcar Modifieds, IMCA Modifieds, ESDCA Mod Lites, Four Cylinder Super Stocks, Four Cylinder Enduro and Fireworks. Gates open at 5:30 with the first green flag to wave at 7:30.
For more information contact the Speedway office at 315-668-6906 or visit www.brewertonspeedway.com.
(Modified 35-Laps) – Billy Decker, Alan Johnson, Steve Hulsizer, Jim Witko Jr., Pat Ward, Matt Sheppard, Shawn Donath, Kevin Bates, Mike Bowman, Willy Decker, Kyle Lewis, Chad Phelps, Jeremy Smith, Larry Wight, Tony Steiner, Matt Fink, Jimmy Phelps, Billy Dunn, Tom Sears Jr., Johnny Hill, Chuck Bower, Bob Henry Jr., Rick Rogala.
(IMCA Modifieds 20-Laps) – Dale Caswell, Rich Keller, Rob Keller, Kevan Cook, Pete Anderson, JJ Courcy, Bill Anderson, Calvin Painter, Jerry Beck, Mike Chilson, Bill Anderson Jr., Dave Talbot, Greg Kimball, Art Wilson, Rich Riggs, Jim Walsh, Jeff Amidon, Les Hubbard, Mike Jones, Brandon Carvey, Tony Finch, Rich Townsend, Tony Buffa.
(ESDCA Mod Lites 20-Laps) – Doug Williams, Justin Crisafulli, Joe Garafolo, Rocco Leone, Joe Gwilt, Tim Devendorf, Matt Magner, Jeff Barker, Andrew Schartner, Gary Jeffries, D.J Forbes, Frank Sobotka, Jason Broedel, Ken Gamlen, Bob Garafolo, Michael, Occhipinti, Lisa Thomas, Lowell Zehr, Jeff Blackburn, Brenda Rice, Lorrie Herbert, Matt Virginia, Jim Tuttle, Terry Lapham, Jeff Herbert, Ricky Yelle, Ricky Donovan, Dave Trytek, Mike Bruce.
(Four Cylinder Super Stocks 15-Laps) – Matt Wetterer, Claude Hutchings Jr., Chuck Powelczyk, Randy Knight, Sam Curcie, Jessica Herbert, Matt Fay, Lorraine Powelczyk, Stephen Denton, Jody Curcie, Glen Erwin, Michelle Britton, Jerry Curcie, Chris Kranz, Jerry Curcie Sr., Sam Carista.