By Dave Medler
Coming into the final points night for 2008 Billy Decker and Alan Johnson two of DIRTcar best were poised for one final shootout to decide the Modified Track Championship. Alan Johnson who was working his way to the front suddenly ran into engine problems on Lap-8 of the 35-Lap feature ending his night. At that point Decker with a 20-point lead could of sat back and just cruised to the finish, but he did anything but that. Decker ran down race leader Willy Decker getting to his inside in three and four on the final lap coming up just short at the finish. For Willy Decker it’s been was his second win of 2008.
Other winners on the night included, JJ Courcey, IMCA Modifieds, Doug Williams, ESDCA Mod Lites, Matt Wetterer, Four Cylinder Super Stocks and Bruce Unger, Four Cylinder Enduro.
When the final checkers flew Track Champions were crowned after season long battles. DIRTcar Modified, Billy Decker, IMCA Modified, Dale Caswell, ESDCA Mod Lites, Lowell Zehr and Four Cylinder Super Stocks, Claude Hutchings Jr..
Jeremy Smith and Chad Phelps ran side by side with Smith gaining a slight advantage to open the 35-Lap Modified feature. Kyle Lewis and Tommy Sears were right there making it a tight battle for the lead.
When the feature reached Lap-5 Smith and Phelps while racing for the top spot opened some distance on the rest of the pack as Tommy Sears and Kyle Lewis ran side by for third with Chuck Bower right there in fifth.
On Lap-8 while running in the top five Alan Johnson suddenly slowed with engine problems. His crew thrashed under the hood trying to find the problem, they ran out of time ending his shot at the track title.
When the green flew again Smith bolted back to the lead and immediately opened up a six car advantage as Lewis, Chad Phelps and Sears were slugging it out behind the leader.
By Lap-15 Lewis ran down Smith as they raced side by side for the top spot, Sears was with in striking distance. Jim Witko and Chuck Bower rounded out the top five.
One lap later Lewis who was rim riding rocketed around Smith to take over the top spot.
On Lap-19 Tim Sears slowed with a right rear flat erasing the lead Lewis had built up. This put Smith, Sears, Witko and Bower right on the leaders back bumper for the restart.
Two laps later Smith found the bite he needed in the middle and the bottom to race side by side with Lewis for the top spot. While the race was going on up front Witko, Sears and Willy Decker were having a battle of there own for third through fifth.
With ten to go still running the cushion Lewis built up a half a straightaway lead on the pack. Witko, Smith, Decker and Sears still ran in the top five.
On Lap-27 Willy Decker moved around Witko and took off after Lewis for the lead. One lap later Lewis jumped the cushion in turn four, this allowed Decker to move in on Lewis setting up a battle for the lead.
Decker found the bite he needed running the middle to get by Lewis and be scored the leader on Lap-32, the race wasn’t over yet as Billy Decker moved into second.
On the last lap Billy Decker going into three and four was able to pull even with Willy Decker for the race to the checkers. Willy Decker found the bite he needed grabbing the narrow win at the line. Lewis, Matt Sheppard and Witko rounded out the top five.
After parking his Westmoreland Golf Club, No.1x in victory lane Willy Decker talked about his win. “I didn’t know if this car had another race left in it. This car was getting better as the race went on, but I think the other Decker (Billy) was getting better as I could see him on the last lap,” said Decker on the race for the win. Getting a win at this place is awesome. There are a lot of good cars back in the pits wishing they had one win.” For Decker it was his second win of the season at the Speedway.
“I can’t thank this whole Gypsum Wholesalers team enough for the car they give me every week,” related Billy Decker on his fourth Brewerton Speedway Track Championship. We like to win races, you win races everything else will take care of it’s self,” said Decker about racing for the win instead of sitting back after Alan Johnson dropped out.
“Like I have said in the past Brewerton is easily the best track in the Northeast to race at. It lends it’s self to great racing , it’s easy on equipment, it’s a lot of fun,” finished up the 2008 Modified Track Champion.
In the IMCA Modified 20-Lap Feature Tony Buffa grabbed the lead and led the opening 13-Laps of the feature. One lap later JJ Courcy running the bottom found the power he needed as he went by Buffa into the race lead. Despite late yellows and pressure from Rob Keller, Courcy didn’t flinch as he hit his marks over the final laps picking up his first IMCA Modified Feature win. Rob Keller, Kevan Cook, Larry Bezner and Rich Keller rounded out the top five.
“I’m excited I wanted this all year long,” said Courcy who has come very close all season long for the feature victory. “I’ve been coming here since I was ten years old, this is like a dream.”
Dale Caswell finished in sixth, but it was good enough to sew up his first ever IMCA Modified Track Championship. “On the first lap I got a little excited and hit the cushion and my right front shock broke,” said Caswell about his sixth place run. ” From there on out I had to play defense and try to keep those guys in my sights. I’ve worked hard to get here, the crew has worked hard it feels great to finally get one.” Along with his Title Caswell bagged a dozen wins at the speedway this season.
Jeff Blackburn led the opening four laps of the 20-Lap ESDCA Mod Lite Feature before Jason Broedel took over the led on the fifth go round. Broedel would hold the top spot till Lap-9 when Doug Williams saw an opening and grabbed the lead at the halfway mark. From there Williams went on to his ninth win of the year. Broedel, Rocco Leone, Joe Garafolo and Terry Lapham chased Williams across the line.
“The track was fast as heck again, two weeks in a row, everyone’s fast,” said a smiling Williams. “I have to thank Jeff Isabell, I was out of a ride a couple weeks ago. A couple hours before the race on Friday he bought the car and said here go race. I can’t thank him enough. And the O’Brien family I can’t thank you enough.”
“I don’t know what the think,” said the “Rabbit” Lowell Zehr on picking up the 2008 ESDCA Mod Lite Championship. “It was a wild night,” during the feature Zehr went off the track on the back of the wrecker. “The steering wheel came right off in my hands. The steering rack broke. I thought I was flipping but I was lucky.” Zehr really thanked his crew and sponsors for being with him all year to grab the title.
Chuck Powelczyk and Matt Wetterer put on a wild 15-Lap Four Cylinder Super Stock Feature to end the 2008 season. The two ran door handle to to door handel swapping paint on more than one occasion. When the checkers flew it was Wetter who found victory lane. Powelczyk, Stephen Denton, Sam Curcie and Matt Fay completed the top five.
Claude Hutchings Jr was crowned the 2008 Four Cylinder Super Stock Track Champion.
Bruce Unger finished out 2008 on a high note as he won the Four Cylinder Enduro main. Art Dupa, Josh Herbert, Jerry Herbert and Jon Shumway followed unger across the line.
The Brewerton Speedway will now be silent till Thursday October 9th during Super DIRT Week. On that night one of the best races during the week will take place at the “D-Shaped DIRT Demon” as the 358 Modified Super DIRT Series comes to town for a 75-Lap event. A long with the Modifieds the ESDCA Mod Lites will be there to bring the end of the 2008 race season. Grandstands will open at 5:30 with racing taking place at 7:30. Get there early if you can because with all the race fans in the area for the week this event packs the stands.
For more information contact the Speedway office at 315-668-6906 or visit www.brewertonspeedway.com
2008 Track Champions) Billy Decker DIRTcar Modified – Dale Caswell IMCA Modified – Lowell Zehr ESDCA Mod Lites – Claude Huchings Jr. Four Cylinder Super Stock.
(DIRTcar Modifieds 35-Laps) – Willy Decker, Billy Decker, Kyle Lewis, Matt Sheppard, Jim Witko Jr., Jeremy Smith, Chuck Bower, Shawn Donath, Jimmy Phelps, Kevin Bates, Chad Phelps, Steve Hulsizer, Pat Ward, Larry Wight, Michael Prentice, Johnny Hill, Mike Bowman, Tom Sears Jr., Tim Sears, Matt Fink, Alan Johnson.
(IMCA Modified 20-Laps) – JJ Courcy, Rob Keller, Kevan Cook, Larry Bezner, Rich Keller, Dale Caswell, Les Hubbard, Mike Chilson, Calvin Painter, Tony Buffa Jr., Pete Anderson, Brian Evenden, Rich Riggs, Greg Kimball, Chris Fleming, Rich Townsend, Dave Talbot, Jerry Beck, Art Wilson, Brandon Carvey,Bill Anderson.
(ESDCA Mod Lites 20-Laps) – Doug Williams, Jason Broedel, Rocco Leone, Joe Garafolo, Terry Lapham, Matt Magner, Rick Donovan, Ken Gamlen, Bob Garafolo, Jeff Barker, Ricky Yelle, Jeff Herbert, Jeff Blackburn, Matt Virginia, Mike Mullen, Bruce Ackley, Seth Stone, Lisa Thomas, Lorrie Herbert, Tim Devendorf, Gary Jeffries, Lowell Zehr.
(Four Cylinder Super Stocks 15-Laps) – Matt Wetterer, Chuck Powelczyk, Stephen Denton, Sam Curcie, Matt Fay, Lorraine Powelczyk, Jessica Herbert, Randy Knight, Wendall Washington, Jerry Curcie Jr., Jerry Curcie Sr., Sam Carista, Claude Hutchings Jr., Jody Curcie, John Rellos, Michelle Britton.
(Four Cylinder Enduro) – Bruce Unger, Art Dupra, Josh Herbert, Jerry Herbert, Jon Shumway.