By Dave Medler
Coming into the 2011 season at the Brewerton Speedway, Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified pilot Matt Fink said he wanted a top-ten finish, or even better, a top-five finish at the “D-Shaped Dirt Demon” one of the toughest tracks in the entire Northeast to get a win against the best Big Block Modified drivers in the business.
Matt Fink out did both of his goals Friday night as survived a yellow flag with one lap to go, then held off a furious challenge from Mike Mahaney and Stewart Friesen to pick up his first ever victory in front of a cheering crowd in victory lane.
With his win, Fink became the 11th different Big Block Modified winner this season at the Brewerton Speedway.
Other winners on Maple View Garage night were, Kevan Cook Nationwide Insurance IMCA Modifieds, Jeff Isabell Sr. Beaver River Distribution Mod Lites and Claude Hutchings Jr Metalico Four Cylinder Super Stocks. The Midstate Vintage Stock Car Club made a special appearance with Bill Kisselstein, Mike Cole and Jim Kite picking up victories.
Matt Fink out raced Jim Witko Jr. and the rest of the 25 car starting field to the lead the opening lap of the 35 lap Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified feature by a narrow margin over Witko.
On lap 2 Chuck Bower got out of shape exiting turn four catching a uke-tire doing a slow roll on his side. The safety crew was able to put Bower’s car back on all fours as he was able to drive away and rejoin the field.
With 10 laps complete, Fink opened a 10 car length advantage over Mike Mahaney and Larry Wight as Witko and Willy Decker fought for top-five spots.
When starter Dave Farney gave the field the halfway sign, Fink was on cruise control running the cushion building up a full-straightaway lead with Mahaney, Wight, point’s leader Stewart Friesen and Willy Decker trying to keep Fink in sight while in a tight battle in the top-five.
With 10 laps to go and no yellows to tighten the field up, Mahaney and Wight were able to cut Fink’s large lead down to a car length, as the entire top-five not only battled each other, but were in heavy traffic setting up a shootout to the finish.
Fink was just a half lap from the checkers when a yellow flew giving Mahaney and Friesen one last shot at stealing victory away from Fink.
One the restart, Fink held his line on the top of the speedway as Mahaney dove under Fink in turn one sliding up the track as the pair were inches from contact as Friesen was right there waiting for any contact getting the top-two out of shape. Fink didn’t flinch as he held his line and out raced Mahaney and Friesen to be the first under the checkers for his first ever Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified feature win over Mahaney and Friesen. Larry Wight and Dale Planck rounded out the top-five. Pat O’Brien, Jim Witko Jr., Billy Decker, Chris Hile and Ryan Phelps completed the top-ten.
“Words can’t even explain to what this means to me, I grew up here. This place, the people here, is why I’m here tonight,” said an emotional Matt Fink in victory lane as his grandparents Harvey and Joan Fink owned Brewerton Speedway for years as Harvey Fink is the promoter for track owner John Wight today.
“I just got in a good rhythm, but was struggling through lapped traffic. I just couldn’t believe I couldn’t see anybody. I thought they were waving the checker on the last lap but they weren’t. I never had my heart sink so fast,” Fink said about that yellow on the last lap. “I’m just glad I could hold off Mike (Mahaney) I saw him there, we just did what we had to do.”
In the Nationwide IMCA Modified feature, Rob Keller took the lead on lap 3 and looked to run away hide. It was Kevan Cook who was able to chase down Keller and take the lead on lap 13 and then went on to his 7th win of the year. Rob Keller, Brandon Carvey, Rich Keller and Chris Fleming rounded out the top-five.
Jeff Isabell Sr. on a lap 9 restart went from 3rd and bolted into the lead, and then went unchallenged the rest of the way in the 20 lap Beaver River Distribution ESDCA Mod Lite feature. With his win Isabell increased his point lead over Tim Devendorf. Andrew Schartner, Joe Garafolo, Mike Mullen and Doug Williams rounded out the top-five.
Claude Hutchings Jr. made his rare appearance in the Metalico Four Cylinder Super Stocks pay off as he grabbed the 15 lap win over Chuck Powelczyk, Jim Money, Stephen Denton and Keith Shay.
The Midstate Vintage Stock Car Club made an appearance Friday night. Don’t let the word “Vintage” fool you this club goes out and races just as hard as any class. Winners were, Mike Cole (Limited Sportsman) Bill Kisselstein (Sportsman) and Jim Kite (Modifieds).
This coming Friday night August 12th, Syracuse.com presents Family Autograph Night. On the race card will be the Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modifieds, Nationwide Insurance IMCA Modifieds, Beaver River Distribution ESDCA Mod Lites and Metalico Four Cylinder Super Stocks.
Gates will open at 5:30 with racing starting at 7:30. Adult grandstand admission will be $12 with everyone 18 years old and younger admitted free to the grandstand.
Don’t forget to follow Fulton Speedway on Facebook and on Twitter at twitter.com/Fultonspeedway. Brewerton Speedway is also active on both Facebook and Twitter at twitter.com/BrewertonSpdway). Please call Cory Reed at 315-668-6906 or [email protected] with any questions.
(TRACEY ROAD EQUIPMENT BIG BLOCK MODIFIEDS 35 LAPS) – MATT FINK, Mike Mahaney, Stewart Friesen, Larry Wight, Dale Planck, Pat O’Brien, Jim Witko Jr., Billy Decker, Chris Hile, Ryan Phelps, Alan Johnson, Pat Ward, Rich Scagliotta, Steve Hulsizer, Roy Bresnahan, Chuck Bower, Gary Tomkins, Chad Phelps, Willy Decker, Jimmy Phelps, Mike Bowman, Jimmy Davis, Peter Britten, Tony Steiner, Matt Sheppard.
(NATIONWIDE INSURANCE IMCA MODIFIEDS 20 LAPS) – KEVAN COOK, Rob Keller, Brandon Carvey, Rich Keller, Chris Fleming, John West, Glen Erwin, Lou Lavea, Jason Amidon, Becca Eastman, Wayne Wideman, Lee Smedy, Mike Jones, Jeff Amidon, Jim Walsh, Ryan Scott, Andy Keiffer, Greg Blair, Phil Lossen.
(BEAVER RIVER DISTRIBUTION ESDCA MOD LITES 20 LAPS) – JEFF ISABELL SR., Andrew Schartner, Joe Garafolo, Mike Mullen, Doug Williams, Tim Devendorf, Russ Brown, Jim Bogett, Jeff Blackburn, Lowell Zehr, Sterling Miller, Jeff Isabell Jr., Rocco Leone, Rick Demo, Sam Usborne, Joe Isabell, Rob Grezelka, Lane Bush, Jeremy Isabell, Josh DeSantis, Kelly Skinner, Cody Fleming, Ricky Yelle.
(METALICO FOUR CYLINDER SUPER STOCKS 15 LAPS) – CLAUDE HUTCHINGS JR., Chuck Powelczyk, Jim Money, Stephen Denton, Keith Shay, Wendell Washington, Corie Locke, Richard Leahey, Lorraine Powelczyk, Ken Pittsley, Sam Carista, Bill Carista, Jeff Monroe, Art Dupra, Sam Curcie, Ethan Halsey.