FULTON, NY June, 5th (By Dave Medler) â€“ Alan Johnson pulled off uncharacteristic and bold move on lap 15 of the 35 lap DIRTcar Big Block Modified feature that propelled him to his 63rdÂ Fulton Speedway win of his career.
Johnson who usually runs the bottom of the speedway was running in 3rd place behind Mike Bowman and Ryan Phelps as the trio entered turn three.
Johnson threw his Pizza Logs No.14j to the top side just inches from the wall, when the three exited turn four Johnson rocketed into the lead.
Once in the lead Johnson held off challenges from Matt Sheppard and Tom Sears Jr. for his first Fulton victory of the 2010 season.
Other winners on RFHâ€™s Military Appreciation Night were, Sammy Reakes IV SUNY Canton DIRTcar Sportsman, Tim Devendorf NAPA Late Models, Doug Cook E&V Energy Novice Sportsman, Keith Zirbel Gladiators and the Midstate Vintage Stock Car Club Ray Preston (Modifieds) â€“ Paul Applebee (Sportsman) â€“ Rob Whipple (Limited Sportsman).
Mike Mahaney and Mike Bowman led the field down to the green to start the 35 lap DIRTcar Big Block Modified Feature with Bowman gaining the early advantage.
With 5 laps showing on the lap counter Bowman opened up a few car length advantage. Mahaney and Ryan Phelps battled for 2nd and 3rd with Rich Scagliotta and Alan Johnson running in the top-five.
Bowman opened a comfortable lead on the field at the 10 lap mark. Phelps, Mahaney and Johnson were in a tight three-way battle for 2nd as Larry Wight ran fifth.
Bowman saw his lead disappear on lap 14 when Michael Storms slowed with a flat, he would return. On the restart Bowman still led but now Phelps and Alan Johnson kept pace.
One lap later as Bowman, Johnson and Phelps entered turn 3, Johnson kept on the throttle running just inches from the wall, and then in one move he drove by both Bowman and Phelps as they exited turn four.
When the race reached the halfway point Johnson was alone out front. Phelps and Tom Sears were in a tight race for 2nd, Bowman and Matt Sheppard showed in the top-five on the scoreboard.
On lap 24 a quick yellow erased the Johnson had built up. This now put Matt Sheppard on Johnsonâ€™s back bumper.
With 5 laps to go Sheppard and Tom Sears could keep pace with Johnson trying different grooves on the speedway but neither could find the speed to get by, as Johnson was the first under the checkers. Matt Sheppard, Tom Sears, Jimmy Phelps and Ryan Phelps rounded out the top-five. Pat Ward, Jim Witko, Dale Planck, Billy Decker and Roy Bresnahan completed the top-ten.
â€œI surprised myself tonight. The car wasnâ€™t that good in the heat race, threw a few things at it and the track slickened up. The car just got better as the night went on,â€ said Johnson about his 63 Fulton Speedway win. He is now only 5 wins behind Donnie Wetmore on the all-time Modified win list.
â€œI had a good starting spot, seventh. At the time I was fortunate to be behind Larry (Wight) on the inside as the lane seemed to move forward. I was just fortunate enough to be in the right lane at the right time. We have had a lot of small issues we havenâ€™t had in previous years, we have just been trying to keep on top of it. Itâ€™s good to get a win here; I didnâ€™t think we were going to this year. Maybe this will start something and we can keep some momentum going.â€
Sammy Reakes out raced Tim Schneider to lead the opening lap of the 20 Lap SUNY Canton DIRTcar Sportsman Feature.
By lap 5 Reakes built up a half a straightaway lead while behind him Schneider, Dave Emmons, Rich Townsend and Billy Clark Jr. raced for top-five spots.
At the halfway point Reakes was on cruise control a full straightaway ahead of the rest of the field. Schneider, Emmons, Clark and Jordan Bennett were second through fifth.
Reakes would see his big lead disappear on lap 17 when Ryan Jordan had a right rear tire come off. Over the final 3 laps nobody had anything for Reakes as he picked up his first win of the 2010 season. Dave Emmons, Tim Schneider, Jeremy Pitcher and Jordan Bennett rounded out the top-five.
SUNY Canton $ 100/ Rudyâ€™s Of Oswego Gift Certificate Hard Charger Award went to Tim Sears Jr..
Alan Fink would lead the first 2 laps of the 20 lap NAPA Late Model Feature before Gordy Button took over the lead.
A caution would fly on lap 3 when Jim Southard got tangled with another car that sent him hard into the back straight wall doing severe damage to his car. On the restart Larry Wight would go from fourth to the lead on lap four.
At the halfway point Wight built up a full straightaway lead on the field. Tim Devendorf, Button, Caswell and Joe Gwilt ran second through fifth.
With 5 laps to go Wight still led but Devendorf cut the lead down to one car length. On lap 17 exiting turn four, Devendorf and Wight made hard contact as Devendorf was scored the new leader. Once in the lead Devendorf was the first under the checkers for his second win a row. Larry Wight , Dale Caswell, Gordy Button and Joe Gwilt rounded out the top-five.
Doug Cook led the first 6 laps of the 15 lap E&V Energy Novice Sportsman Feature. On lap 7 High School student Colton Donath took over the top spot. Donath looked to be heading to his second feature win in 2010. On the last lap, Donath slid up the banking in turn three allowing Cook to drive by on the bottom to grab his first ever feature win in the class. Colton Donath, Joe Harrington, Justin Thomson and Matt Emmons rounded out the top-five.
Keith Zirbel, Skip DeGroff and Mark Johnston put on yet another exciting 20 lap Gladiator Feature with the winner in doubt till the checkers. Finishing behind the top-three were, Eric M Zirbel and Terry Royce.
This Saturday at the Fulton Speedway Syracuse.com presents Family Autograph Night featuring, DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, SUNY Canton DIRTcar Sportsman, NAPA Late Models, E&V Energy Novice Sportsman and Gladiators. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with racing at 7:00 p.m Adult grandstand admission is $12 with everyone 18 years old and younger admitted to the grandstands FREE with a valid I.D card.
For more information please go on line to www.fultonspeedway.com. The track office number is 315-593-6531 with the race line reached at 668-RACE. The track is located on Route 57 just south of the city limits. Free parking and overnight camping is offered for all regular season events.
(DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds 35 Laps) -ALAN JOHNSON, Matt Sheppard, Tom Sears Jr., Jimmy Phelps, Ryan Phelps, Pat Ward, Jim Witko, Dale Planck, Billy Decker, Roy Bresnahan, Chris Hile, Shawn Donath, Mike Bowman, Chuck Bower, Michael Storms, Willy Decker, Chad Phelps, Rich Scagliotta, Roy Shields, Tim Harris, Johnny Hill, Larry Wight, Tony Steiner, Mike Mahaney, and Brian Murphy.
(SUNY Canton DIRTcar Sportsman 20 L:aps) -SAM REAKES IV, Dave Emmons, Tim Schneider, Jeremy Pitcher, Jordan Bennett, Matt Hulsizer, Bill Clark Jr., Tim Sears Jr., Beth Schneider, Rich Townsend, Gregg Kimball, Bob Holland, Rob Humphreys, Gregg Carner, Sean McCarthy, Jon Tesoriero, Joe Kline, Jason Occhino, Bill Flask, Ryan Jordan, Katelyn Kane, Tom Juhl, and Christine Martin. DNS-Bob Bennett and Jason Parkhurst.
(NAPA Late Models 20 Laps)-TIM DEVENDORF, Larry Wight, Dale Caswell, Gordy Button, Joe Gwilt, Dave Reilley, Gus Schmidt, Alan Fink, AJ Kingsley, and Jim Southard.
E&V Energy Novice Sportsman 15 Laps)-Doug Cook, Colton Donath, Joe Harrington, Justin Thompson, Matt Emmons, Scott Kline, Jim Graham, Ed McCarthy, and Josh Blackwell.
( Gladiators 20 Laps) â€“ KEITH ZIRBEL, Skip DeGroff, Mark Johnston, Eric M Zirbel, Terry Royce, Les Baker, Jamie Radley, Dan Dupra, Joe Herbert, Chris Bonoffski.
(Midstate Vintage Stock Car Club 12 Laps) â€“ Ray Preston (Modifieds) â€“ Paul Applebee (Sportsman) â€“ Rob Whipple (Limited Sportsman).