FULTON, NY – One of the most popular racers with the fans at the Fulton Speedway, Pat Ward from Genoa, NY, won the exciting Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar 358 Modified feature Saturday night.
Ward would first battle teammate Larry Wight for the race lead and then would hold off a hard-charging Tim Sears Jr. in a drag race to the finish exiting turn four coming down to the checkers in the 35-lap feature.
Other winners on Penn Power Group night were Wade Chrisman & Alan Fink (SUNY Canton DIRTcar Sportsman) Kevan Cook (Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux RUSH Late Models) Chris Bonoffski (E&V Energy Novice Sportsman) Jordan Thomas (Patriot Sprint Tour).
Larry Welling and Phil Vigneri would lead the 358 Modifieds down to the green with Welling taking the early advantage in the 35-lap feature.
Welling held a slim lead at lap 5 while Bobby Herrington, Pat Ward, Vigneri and Mike Bowman were in a tight fight for second through fifth.
Ward, using the top groove of the speedway, would move to second on lap-7 and one lap later would bolt out to the lead.
With 10 laps showing on the scoring tower Ward drove out to a big lead. Behind Ward, you could have thrown a blanket over Herrington, Welling, Larry Wight and Bowman as they used every inch of the speedway.
At the halfway point Ward and teammate Wight were in a two-car breakaway at the front of the field. Herrington, Tim Sears Jr. who started 15th and Bowman were still in contention for top finishing positions.
After hounding Ward, Wight would find a way by Ward to be scored the new leader. Just two laps later Ward would take advantage of a lapped car Wight was trying to get by and retake the lead on lap 24.
With 10 laps to go Ward held a ten-car length advantage as Wight and Sears ran bumper-to-bumper for second and third. Herrington and Bowman still showed on the scoring tower in the top-five.
On lap 28 Sears moved into second and took off after Ward, setting up a shootout to the finish.
In the closing laps Ward looked like he was on rails as he ran the extreme inside of the speedway putting down quick laps.
The final lap came down to Ward, a lapped car and Sears in a dramatic dash to the checkers. Sears, seeing only the top of the speedway as a chance to win, threw it into the top of three and four hoping to take advantage of a lapped car in front of Ward.
Exiting turn four it was a drag race down the front straight that would see Ward first under the checkers by a slim 0.184 of a second over Sears. Larry Wight, Mike Bowman and Bobby Herrington finished third through fifth.
The SUNY Canton DIRTcar Sportsman filled the pits with 58 cars setting up two 25-lap features.
In the first feature Kyle Perry would lead the opening 2 laps before Joe Sobotka would be scored the leader.
With 5 laps complete, Sobotka held a slim two-car advantage as Perry, Wade Chrisman, Tom Juno and Tyler Corcoran raced for second through fifth.
On lap 9 Chrisman who started 10th was flying using the top of the speedway as he drove into the lead and looked to check out from the rest of the field.
On lap 18 the yellow would wave erasing the huge lead Chrisman had, giving the rest of the field one last shot at him and the win. Over the remaining laps nobody seriously challenged Wade Chrisman as he was the first under the checkers. Chris Mackey, Matt Janczuk, Jackson Gill and Kyle Perry finished second through fifth.
In the second 25-lap feature Dorian Wahdan would lead until a caution on lap 8 when Alan Fink would blast into the lead on the restart.
With 10 laps to go Fink would hold a five-car length advantage while Tony Finch II, Willy Decker Jr., Scott Prentice and Brandon Ford were in a close battle for second through fifth.
The race would come down to a last-lap battle between Fink and Finch as they swapped the lead back and forth with Fink grabbing the narrow win by 0.444 of a second at the checkers over Finch. Scott Prentice was right there for third a close 0.479 behind with Willy Decker Jr. and Brandon Ford fourth and fifth.
In the 20-lap Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux RUSH Late Model feature Chris Fleming and Sean Beardsley would lead the opening 2 laps racing side-by-side.
With 5 laps showing on the scoring tower Beardsley and Fleming were in a two-car breakaway at the front of the field. AJ Kingsley and Kevan Cook ran side-by-side for third and fourth with Jason Parkhurst in fifth.
At the halfway point just before a yellow Beardsley and Fleming came under the starters stand almost dead even.
On lap 13 Cook moved into second and set his sights on Beardsley as the final laps started clicking off.
On lap 17 Cook, using the low grove, was scored the new leader by inches still leaving the winner in doubt. Beardsley threw everything he had at Cook but Cook held his line winning by 0.162 at the checkers. Chris Fleming, Jason Parkhurst and Bret Belden finished third through fifth.
The traveling Patriot Sprint Tour made their only appearance of the season bringing 26 cars with them.
Jordan Thomas would grab the top-spot after a caution on the first attempt in the 25-lap feature.
With 5 laps in the record books Thomas using the high groove and Denny Peebles on the bottom were in a close battle for the lead. Dylan Westbrook, Bryan Howland and Mitch Brown waged their own battle in the top-five.
At lap 10 Thomas still showed the way but was soon to have company as Westbrook cut the lead down to a couple car lengths. Peebles, Howland and Brown still showed on the scoring tower.
With 10 laps to go Thomas and Westbrook were locked in a close fight for the lead while also working through heavy traffic just before a yellow would slow the pace. On the restart Westbrook used the top lane to take the lead.
Just when it looked like Dylan Westbrook was going to victory lane, Jordan Thomas had other ideas. On the final lap Thomas would take advantage of a lapped car and a lane left open to get back by Westbrook and go under the checkers 0.349 of a second ahead for the win. Bryan Howland, Mitch Brown and Jeff Trombley finished third through fifth.
Former 4-Cylinder champion Chris Bonoffski would lead every lap in the 15-lap E&V Energy Novice Sportsman feature. Addison Bowman was strong, finishing second from the last row with Robert Gage, Kearra Backus and Teddy Starr rounding out the top-five.
This coming Saturday, June 9, Syracuse Haulers will present a night of fast, affordable, family, fun racing.
On the race card will be the Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, SUNY Canton DIRTcar Sportsman, Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux RUSH Late Models, E&V Energy Novice Sportsman Plus One-on-One Spectator Races.
To participate in the exciting One-on-One Spectator races, you need a registered and insured road legal vehicle, driver’s license and a helmet. After buying your general admission ticket go the track office in the midway to sign up.
Adult grandstand admission will be $12 with everyone 18 years and younger free. Pit admission is $27 member, $30 non-member. Grandstands will open at 5 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.
Any questions you might have about the 2018 racing season and for marketing opportunities, please contact Cory Reed at 315-593-6531 or [email protected] . For all the latest news go to www.fultonspeedway.com and like the track Facebook page www.facebook.com/FultonSpeedway for weekly and race day updates.