By Dave Medler
FULTON, NY – Going into Saturday night, it had been since the 2000 race season since the name Mahaney had graced victory lane at the Fulton Speedway when Jim Mahaney won a Modified feature.
All that changed Saturday night when Jim’s son, Mike Mahaney had an epic battle with Chuck Bower, and then had to outlast a last lap charge from Billy Decker to earn his first hard fought Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified feature win that went caution free.
Other winners on NAPA Auto Parts, Tracey Road Equipment, Novelis Can Collection Night were, Jeremy Pitcher SUNY Canton Sportsman and Bodie Bellinger NAPA Late Models. Heavy rain and lightning moved over the speedway postponing the E&V Energy Novice Sportsman, Mod Lites and Four Cylinder Stocks features to a later date.
Shane Donath and Mike Ward led the field down to the green with Donath leading the opening lap of the 35 lap Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified feature. Donath’s lead was short lived, Mike Mahaney using the cushion shot around Donath to be scored the leader on lap two.
By lap 10 Mahaney and Chuck Bower separated themselves from the field as the battled for the lead. Steve Hulsizer, Larry Wight and Billy Decker, who started eleventh, showed in the top-five.
On lap 12 Bower shot to the lead and started putting distance between him, Mahaney and the rest of the field.
At the halfway point, Bower still led, as Mahaney and Wight were able to cut into Bower’s lead as they were trying to put cars a lap down. One lap later, lap 19, Mahaney was able to bottle-up Bower behind a lap car and retake the lead. Wight, Decker and Steve Hulsizer ran third through fifth with still a shot at the win.
While Mahaney and Bower were putting on a show for the fans swapping the lead back and forth all over the speedway in traffic, Decker was rapidly closing in on the top-two.
With one lap to go Decker moved into second and rapidly closed in on Mahaney going down the back straight. Going into three-and-four, Decker shot underneath Mahaney who was still running the cushion. Mahaney had enough momentum built up running the top to out race Decker to the checkers. Chuck Bower, Larry Wight and Steve Hulsizer rounded out the top-five.
“I was just trying not to get the car over the cushion, it was a really heavy cushion, you had to slide into it really soft,” Said Mahaney about the last lap to hold off Billy Decker. “We made a lot of mistakes tonight, but we came through and finished it out.”
“Lap traffic was very difficult tonight because they wanted to run the top because that was the lane. It was tough to get by people, but we eventually got there.”
“This is just unbelievable, my dad (Jim Mahaney) has won a lot of races here, and I grew up watching him win a lot of races here. The last time we were in victory lane was 2000, it’s been eleven years since we’ve been here, and it just means a lot to me.”
Dave Emmons led the opening 4 laps of the 20 lap SUNY Canton Sportsman feature before Bob Henry Jr. grabbed the top spot. Once in the lead Henry started pulling away and looked to heading for his first win of the 2011 season. Jeremy Pitcher moved into the runner-up spot at the halfway point and took off after Henry. Running the cushion, Pitcher was able to run down Henry and grab the lead with just a handful of laps to go. Henry tried fighting back, but Pitcher, ran a steady line, and out ran Henry by 0.437 at the checkers. Dave Emmons, Greg Mrzywka and Greg Kimball finished third through fifth.
An emotional Jeremy Pitcher in victory lane dedicated the win to eight-year Cole Dolbear, one of Pitcher’s biggest fan who lost his life Friday in a tragic golf cart accident.
Pitcher also thanked the Fulton Speedway and their tech crew for proving his GM Crate engine was legal after an extensive inspection of his motor showed he was running the class the way it was intended to be.
Alan Fink led laps 2 through lap 8 before AJ Kingsley wrestled the top-spot away from Fink. Kingsley was on rails out front till lap 17 when he had a rear shock break allowing Dale Caswell to shoot by and be the first under the checkers in the NAPA Late Model feature. A post race weight infraction by Caswell gave Bodie Bellinger his third win of the year in Rookie season in a Late Model. Larry Wight, AJ Kingsley, Sean Beardsley and Alan Fink rounded out the top-five.
Heavy rain and lightning moved in over the Fulton Speedway postponing the E&V Energy Novice Sportsman, Mod Lite and Four Cylinder Stocks features. Make up dates will be announced in the coming days.
This coming Saturday August 20th Summit Auto Group the providers of the Brewerton & Fulton Speedway’s Pace Car, present a full night of racing action, featuring the Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modifieds, SUNY Canton Sportsman, NAPA Late Models, E&V Energy Novice Sportsman, Mod Lites , Four Cylinder Stocks and the popular one-on-one Spectator races.
Gates will open at 5:00 Saturday with racing at 7:00. Adult grandstand admission will be $12 with everyone 18 years old and younger admitted free to the grandstands.
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) – MIKE MAHANEY, Billy Decker, Chuck Bower, Larry Wight, Steve Hulsizer, Pat Ward, Jimmy Phelps, Ryan Phelps, Alan Johnson, Tom Sears Jr., Jim Witko Jr., Mike Bowman, Roy Bresnahan, Matt Janczuk, Shane Donath, Matt Hulsizer, Chris Hile, Matt Fink, Mike Ward, Johnny Hill, Jim Mahaney, Roy Shields, Tim Harris.
(SUNY CANTON SPORTSMAN 20 LAPS) – JEREMY PITCHER, Bob Henry Jr., Dave Emmons, Greg Mrzywka, Greg Kimball, Stewart Garrison, Gregg Carner, Michael Teachout, Joe Kline, Ben Wheeler, Matt Emmons, Rocco Leone, Scott Conover, Beth Schneider, Sean McCarthy, Ricky Donovan, Josh Blackwell, Andrew Ferguson, Jim Spano, Tim Schneider, Katelyn Kane, Sam Reakes, Doug Cook, Bob Bennett.
(NAPA LATE MODELS 20 LAPS) – BODIE BELLINGER, Larry Wight, AJ Kingsley, Sean Beardsley, Alan Fink, Jason Parkhurst, Gordy Button, Tim Sears Jr., Tom Juhl, Steven Coit, Jim Southard, Mike Vaughn, Shayne Tenace, Gus Schmidt, Ryan Halliday, Brandon Kidd, Dave Talbot.