FULTON, NY – Saturday night at the Fulton Speedway Potsdam racer Michael Maresca drove the race of his career, winning the 34th Annual Stadium International Trucks Outlaw 200 in front of a huge crowd and against an all-star modified field.
During the majority of the first segment of the 200-lap race, Maresca, behind the wheel of his St. Lawrence Radiology, No. 7mm, Bicknell would chase Matt Sheppard to the lap 100 break.
Whatever changes Maresca made to go back to green for the second 100 laps paid off as he ran down Sheppard and drove into the lead on lap 120.
With only one caution in the late going, lapped traffic was heavy, allowing Mat Williamson to put constant pressure on Maresca driving the bottom of the speedway pulling even with the leader many times.
After seeing Willamson to his inside and sensing that was the fastest way around the speedway, Maresca switched to running the bottom, taking away Williamson’s momentum. That switch paid off as his car was on rails and would hold off Williamson by 0.335 of a second for the wildly popular win.
One of the most impressive drives came from Fulton Speedway regular Tim Sears Jr. in his small block who finished third. Sears started the race in 32nd and steadily worked his way to the front and made a late race charge, battling for the win with Maresca and Williamson.
Gary Tomkins and Billy Dunn would bring the 44-car starting field down to the green with Tomkins bolting out to the early lead in the 200.
Tomkins and Matt Sheppard were able to break away from the field in the early laps and caution periods while the racing behind them was two and three wide on the extremely racy surface.
Both Tomkins and Sheppard ran the quick high side of the speedway until Sheppard, on lap 33 went to the bottom where Tomkins wasn’t.
By lap 40 it was a three-way slugfest for the lead as you could have thrown a blanket over Tomkins, Sheppard and Mike Maresca as they raced not only for the lead but while in heavy traffic.
On lap 47 Tomkins switched to the bottom of the speedway leaving Sheppard the opening he needed to drive into the lead.
Sheppard was able to put distance and cars a lap down while Maresca and Larry Wight were in a tight fight for second with Tomkins and Robbie Bellinger showing in the top-five.
By lap 70 Sheppard built a half-a-straightaway lead still putting cars down a lap with Maresca and Wight in second and third.
Two of the heavy hitters worked their way into contention. Stewart Friesen who started 18th and Mat Williamson who started 16th ran fourth and fifth.
Over the final laps of the first segment Sheppard was the class of the field to the lap 100 break 2.5 seconds ahead of Maresca.
Matt Sheppard, Michael Maresca, Larry Wight, Mat Williamson, Tim Fuller, Billy Decker, Tim Sears Jr., Stewart Friesen, Chris Hile and Danny Johnson were the top-ten. Twenty-three of the 43 starters were on the lead going back to green.
After the second segment of the race got back into a rhythm, Maresca was able to run down Sheppard and then drive into the lead on lap 120.
By lap 130 Maresca was able to put two seconds between himself and the tight fight behind him between Williamson, Sears and Sheppard.
With 170 showing on the scoring tower, Williamson and Sears were able to run down Maresca setting up a showdown to the $20,000 payday.
Over the remaining laps, mired in traffic, there were points where you could have thrown a blanket over the top-three, but it would come down to Maresca and Williamson.
Williamson threw everything he had at Maresca, but Maresca didn’t flinch and moved to the bottom after seeing Williamson lap after lap and then would cruise under the checkers for the biggest win of his career.
Mat Williamson, Tim Sears Jr., Stewart Friesen, Tim Fuller, Matt Sheppard, Larry Wight, Danny Johnson, Dave Marcuccilli and Chad Brachmann completed the top-ten.
This coming Saturday, October 12 will be the 2019 season finale at the Fulton Speedway during Super DIRT Week. On the race card is the revamped ‘Win and You’re In.’ Below is the new and exciting format, admission prices and times.
Wildcard Win & You’re In:
Draw For Twin 25-Lap Modified Qualifiers
Top-Two Finishers In Each Earn $1,000 & $500
Top-Ten In Each Qualifier Advance To The Feature
Top-Four In Last Chance 12 Lap Showdown Advance
50-Lap Wildcard Feature – 1st – $4,000 2nd – $2,500 3rd – $1,500
360 Sprint Car Open Competition 25-Laps – $3,000-To-Win, $300 To Start
All Seats General Admission
Adults – 19 & Older – $30
Students 15-18 – $5
Pits – DIRTcar, ESS, PST – $35 , Non-Member – $40
9:00 am – Camping Lot Opens – Free
2:00 pm – Ticket Booth Opens For Sale & Will Call
4:00 pm – Pits Open
5:00 pm – Grandstands Open
6:30 pm – Hot Laps
7:00 Pm – Racing Begins