FULTON, NY – Billy Decker started his defense of his 2014 Modified Super DIRTcar Series Championship in a big way Saturday night at the Fulton Speedway by winning the 100-Lap ‘Highbank Holdup’ series race. Matt Sheppard who lost the title last season by six points finished second. Danny Johnson came from 27th to finish third. Jimmy Phelps and Tim Fuller rounded out the top five.
In other feature racing, Brad Rouse used a last lap pass getting by James Michael Friesen to win by a half-a-hood at the checkers in the DIRTcar Sportsman Series. In the Outlaw Weekend holdover E&V Energy Novice Sportsman feature Kevin Root took the lead on lap 14 and never looked back in the 20-lap main.
Matt Sheppard bolted out to the early lead to start the 100-Lap ‘Highbank Holdup’ feature with 29 other Big Block Modifieds giving chase.
By lap 20 with two, three and at times four-wide racing throughout the pack, Sheppard held onto a narrow lead while behind him Wight, Stewart Friesen, Jimmy Phelps and Tom Sears Jr. were locked in a tight battle for second through fifth using every inch of the speedway.
With 33 laps showing on the lap counter the leaders caught the back of the field trying to put cars a lap down. It allowed Friesen and Wight to be draped all over Sheppard in a three-way fight for the lead.
A yellow on lap 38 for Rob Bellinger who had a right rear flat, allowed the field to catch their breath from the intense battles all over the speedway.
When the race went back to green Wight shot into the lead. One lap later Sheppard regained the top spot.
On lap 48 Wight regained the lead while Decker moved into second. Just one lap later Decker running the bottom was scored the new leader. At lap 50 Wight drove back by Decker as Sheppard, Fuller, Friesen and Gary Tomkins from 26th were in a tight fight for third through sixth.
From lap 50 to 60 Wight was showing the way with Decker not far behind as the two Gypsum cars weren’t giving an inch to each other. On lap 61 Decker was able to regain the lead.
With 65 laps showing on the scoring tower the most serious incident of the night took place that saw Tim Sears Jr. get upside-down in turn one. Sears got out of his car uninjured.
Before a quick yellow on lap 74 Decker and Wight were in a race of their own at the front of the field. Behind the top-two Sheppard, Fuller and Jimmy Phelps were locked in a battle of their own.
The whole tone of the race changed dramatically on lap 88 when Wight, who was still in contention for the win, suddenly slowed in turns 3-4. It was later reported the rear-end gears broke in the Gypsum Express/No.99L.
Once the green came back out and over the remaining laps nobody seriously challenged Decker as he cruised to the win by 2.315 seconds over Sheppard. Danny Johnson came from 27th to finish third with Jimmy Phelps and Tim Fuller completing the top five.
In the exciting 30-Lap Sportsman DIRTcar Series race it came down to the final checkers to decide the winner.
Defending series champion Mathieu Desjardins would grab the lead at the drop of the green and show the way for the first 20 laps before giving up the top-spot to Brad Rouse.
Over the last 10 laps the winner was in doubt. Rouse would give up the lead to James Michael Friesen with four laps to go. On the final lap Friesen and Rouse ran bumper to bumper and side by side that saw Rouse throw to the top of the speedway in turns 3-4 and pull even with Friesen for the drag race down the front straight to the victory. At the checkers Rouse won by less than a half-a-hood length. The official scoring showed the margin of victory was .088. Mathieu Desjardins, Dave Marcuccilli and Todd Root chased the top two across the line.
In the 20-Lap holdover Outlaw E&V Energy Novice Sportsman feature the race was anything but “Novice” as very few cautions and exciting racing throughout the field made for a good race.
Rylee Gill led the first 15 laps first holding off Steve Abt for the opening 8 laps and then Kevin Root until lap 14 when Root took over the lead. Once out front Root went on to the victory. Rylee Gill, Steve Abt, Hunter Schwander and Dylan Zacharias finished second through fifth.
The race for the Championships starts May 2 with the first points race of 2015. On the race card will be the Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Modifieds/SUNY Canton Sportsman/NAPA Late/E&V Energy Novice Sportsman and Hilton’s Automotive Four-Cylinders. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.
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Any questions you might have about the 2015 season please contact Cory Reed at 315-593-6531 or by email [email protected]