FULTON, NY – There is a classic rock song by Bachman-Turner Overdrive called, ‘Takin Care of Business.’ That is exactly what Larry Wight did Saturday night at the Fulton Speedway in the Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Modifieds. It all came down to 35 laps between Larry Wight and Jimmy Phelps to decide a champion after season long battles that started in early spring on the ‘Highbanks.’
Wight had his car working wherever he put it on the speedway, with racing two and three wide, finding any advantage was tough moving to the front.
Wight found his advantage on the top of the speedway racing hard into third when the first yellow of the race would wave on lap 24. When the green came back out it would take one lap for Wight to drive by Tom Sears Jr. to be scored the new leader. Once out front there was no catching Wight as he won by 2.6 seconds at the checkers.
Ryan Phelps, Tom Sears Jr., Jimmy Phelps and Pat Ward finished second through fifth.
After a rooftop celebration on his Gypsum Express/ Tracey Road Equipment/NAPA Auto Parts/ LJL Kevlar Racing Engines/ No.99L/ Bicknell and congratulations from family, friends and crew members, Wight talked about his win and championship.
“We had a phenomenal car. Today working on the car we found a couple issues that have been hindering us for the past couple weeks. I think it showed that the car is definitely back where it belonged,” he said.
After switching late in the season from a Teo car to a Bicknell, Wight related it took a couple races for him and his crew to get used to the Bicknell and the different set up they needed in it to get rolling. Wight thanked Randy and Bob Slack from Bicknell Racing Products making the transition easier.
When asked what made this championship special he said it was being his second Fulton title in three years and winning it on the last points night.
Wight finished up saying it’s a huge team effort, thanking his wife Brooke, mom & dad and then Scott Jeffery and Jake Pietrowicz who work tirelessly in the race shop and at the track plus teammate Pat Ward sharing information back and forth. It all makes his job easier behind the wheel and with the group of guys he has it makes it that much more fun.
Even though Ron Davis III won the SUNY Canton Sportsman Championship the previous Saturday there were 26 drivers including Davis who wanted to carry momentum into the Industrial Tire of CNY Sportsman Shootout Championship during the 31st annual Outlaw 200 weekend with a victory.
In the 25-lap feature after early yellow fever and the race got into a rhythm, Brett Draper would lead the opening 3 laps before Alan Fink took over the lead. Once out front Fink was the class of the field winning by over two seconds at the checkers. The race behind Fink in the top five was in doubt until they drove under the checkers. Nick Krause, Chris Mackey, Corey Barker and Jeremy Pitcher finished second through fifth.
Alan Fink thanked his crew and Mike DeFreitas for never giving up in what Fink called a rough 2016 racing season.
“The car was good, I think I was in the top five and the throttle linkage broke off,” Ron Davis said after having his Scott Jeffery’s Performance Plus Shock Service/Bratt Farms/No.32R pushed to victory lane to talk about his Fulton championship to go along with the Brewerton title he won Friday.
“We were shooting for it, we have had a great season so far,” Davis said about his two track championships. “Brewerton was a little rough but I beat my goal of five wins. We’re doing all right, hopefully we can get some more,” as the season now shifts into the bigger season ending races.”
There was no sophomore jinx for Chris Fleming in the Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux RUSH Late Models. After winning the championship in his rookie season in 2015 Fleming came back Saturday in a tight point battle and put it in victory lane for the championship.
In the 20-lap feature Fleming took the lead from Jason Parkhurst on lap 6 and lead the rest of the distance.
But the win was a hard fought as he had to hold off repeated challenges from Parkhurst and Kevan Cook. On the final lap Fleming and Parkhurst banged doors coming out of turn two as they drag raced even into turn three.
Going into three, Parkhurst threw a slide job on Fleming but his momentum carried him up the turn four banking allowing Fleming to pull even for a drag race to the checkers.
AMB scoring showed Fleming the winner and champion by a slim 0.114 of a second.
Kevan Cook, AJ Kingsley and Sean Beardsley finished third through fifth.
After a victory lane and championship celebration with family and crew Chris Fleming talked about his 2016 title.
“Five wins this year. We weren’t as consistent as last year to win the title, we did it by winning. Winning is definitely more fun,” he said. “When I saw the white I just wanted to make it back in one piece,”
Fleming was the point leader but any disaster that struck could’ve cost him the championship.
“There was a little contact down there and I thought oh boy here we go. I went into three (Final) lap just trying to make it back (to the finish) I saw him (Parkhurst) slide up the track I saw the bottom open up for the drag race,” he said.
It was a two-car battle for the J&B Logging & Firewood Four Cylinder title between Dakota Bechler and Chuck Powelczyk. Unfortunately for Powelczyk he suffered from engine problems all night ending his run for the title.
In the 15-lap feature Chris Bonoffski continued his late season domination as he won his fifth feature of the year. Dakota Bechler finished second and won the title. Ray Bechler, Justin Buske and Nate Powers finished third through fifth.
When asked if his late season win streak was momentum going into 2017 in the division, Bonoffski related no because he was looking to move into the sportsman.
Dakota in only his third year of racing related it was his first championship.
He went on to say the success to his season was the car his dad Ray Bechler put under him and staying out of trouble on the speedway.
There were two first-time winners in the E&V Energy Novice Sportsman.
In the first 15-lap feature Aron Backus picked up his first victory in any division since he started racing in 1993. He dedicated the win to his dad whose birthday would have been on September 4. Joey Buonagurio, Charlie Tibbits, Kyle Perry and John Strickler finished second through fifth.
In the second 15-lap feature Steve Marshall took the lead from Colby Herzog on lap 7 and never looked back winning by 2.7 seconds at the finish. Colby Herzog, Dwight Nichols, Dave Talbot and Dorian Wahdan finished second through fifth.
Steve Marshall said that his first win was awesome, but it meant more to him to make the team proud. During the week Marshall and the race team take care of his car, John Strickler’s and Mike Button’s sportsman.
With point season over it’s time for the speedway, racers and fans to gear up for the 31st Sunoco Fulton Ethanol Facility Outlaw 200 Weekend presented by SUNY Canton.
Tickets are available by going to www.fultonspeedway.com once there click on the Outlaw 200 tab at the top of the page for tickets, camping information, weekend schedule and everything you need to know for an fun racing weekend.
Any questions you might have please contact Cory Reed at (315) 593-6531.
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