FULTON, NY -(By Dave Medler) – Once again the Fulton Speedway and the 28th Annual Sunoco- Fulton Ethanol Facility Outlaw 200 presented by SUNY Canton lived up to its reputation. Forty-five Modifeds started the 200 lap event that provided two-three and sometimes four wide racing in front of a huge crowd Saturday. It was only fitting that the race came down to a green, white, checker finish.
As one fan said after the race, “How many times do you see an entire crowd this huge all standing for a green, white checker finish,” That exactly what happened when Matt Sheppard on the restart got to the outside of Jimmy Phelps in turn two and then threw a huge slide job on Phelps exiting turn four going by Phelps. Phelps held his line and drove back by Sheppard and went onto the exciting $20,000 payday.
Sure the money is great, but with Phelps emotion in victory lane, his first ever Outlaw 200 Weekend Modified win meant more. Phelps grew up as a kid at the track, has countless wins and track championships. Heartbreak always found him in this race until the 2013 version. His name will now forever been in the record books as the 2013 Sunoco-Fulton Ethanol Facility Outlaw 200 Champion.
After doing a huge roof dance celebration on his J&B Installations/Industrial Tire Of CNY/Town Mechanical/Finger Lakes Machine/ No.99j/Troyer/ Phelps talked about the green, white Checker finish.
“I was scared to death. It took two or three laps after a restart to get the tires warm again and get going, I did not need that yellow. It was a hell of a couple last laps, I’m glad were up here, it could of gone either way,” said a relieved and happy Phelps.
After 71 cars went through eight heats and four consolations the 45 car starting field was set for the 28th Outlaw 200.
Matt Sheppard and Tom Sears Jr. driving the Tim Harris #38 would bring the hungry field down to the green with Sheppard grabbing the early advantage.
By lap-10 Sheppard opened a full straightaway lead as he was already catching the back of the field. Tim McCreadie, Pat O’Brien and Larry Wight were locked in a tight battle for second through fourth with Sears a distant fifth.
A yellow would fly on lap-13 when Ryan Watt and Shane Donath tangled in turn one right in front Sheppard.
After hounding Sheppard for four-laps Larry Wight was able to drive by Sheppard and into the lead on lap 17. Wight’s lead only lasted a lap as Sheppard took the top-spot again on lap-18.
On lap-30 Tim McCreadie who was having a strong run suddenly slowed after an engine let go.
Under yellow the top-ten runners were, Matt Sheppard, Larry Wight, Ronnie Johnson, Pat O’Brien, Stewart Friesen, Jimmy Phelps, Peter Britten, Tom Sears Jr., Ryan Phelps and Dale Planck.
Larry Wight was a rocket in his Troyer, No.99L as he went to the front of the field on the restart to be scored the new leader on lap-32.
With 40-laps showing on the scoring tower, Wight opened a half-a-straightaway lead on the field. Behind Wight there was a battle royal going on as you could of thrown a blanket over Friesen, Sheppard, Ronnie Johnson and Jimmy Phelps as they fought for second through fifth.
After breaking free of the battle in the top-five, Friesen took off after Wight. On lap-46 Friesen worked his way by Wight to be scored the new leader.
On lap-50 Friesen, Wight and Phelps were in a three car fight for the lead in heavy traffic. On lap later, lap 51, Phelps moved into second and set his sights on Friesen.
After a couple caution periods and a lot of green flag laps Phelps went to the top of the speedway to get by Friesen and take the top-spot on lap 71.
With 20-laps to go in the first 100-lap segment, Phelps and Friesen ran out front alone, Wight, Ryan Phelps, Sears, Sheppard and Planck ran nose to tail and side by side for position.
Over the remaining laps till the break, Phelps flexed his muscles as he was able to lead by a quarter of a straight away at lap 100. Phelps would collect the halfway $1,000 bonus from Bicknell Racing Products plus $800 graphics package from Pilat Graphic Design.
After a 15 minute break for teams to make adjustments the top-ten would reset like this. Jimmy Phelps, Stewart Friesen, Ryan Phelps, Larry Wight, Dale Planck, Tom Sears Jr., Ronnie Johnson, Matt Sheppard, Danny Johnson, Alan Johnson.
When the green came back out, Phelps and Friesen took off from the rest of the field to resume their fight for the lead.
On lap-109, Larry Wight who was running with the leaders suddenly slowed going pit side. Wight’s crew would make repairs and he would return.
By lap 120 Phelps ran alone out front. Behind Phelps, Friesen and Planck not only raced for position, they looked for a way to close in on the leader. Sheppard ran in fourth as he was starting to make his way towards the front after dropping back late in the first 100-laps. Danny Johnson who ran the extreme outside almost to wall was fifth.
On lap 130, Phelps and Friesen were putting on a show in heavy traffic. Sheppard worked his way into third, with Planck and Danny Johnson fourth and fifth.
Phelps was able to put lap cars between himself and the rest of the field and open some breathing room. While Phelps was out front, Sheppard worked on Friesen lap after lap finally taking the runner up spot on lap 146 and set his sights on Phelps.
With 20 laps to go Phelps and Sheppard ran only a couple cars apart still in heavy race traffic as high attrition wasn’t taking a toll. Friesen, Alan Johnson and Planck still showed in the top-five on the scoring tower.
Till the caution on lap 198 the cat and mouse game was on between Phelps and Sheppard. Lap after lap Sheppard could catch Phelps in the turns on both ends of the speedway. Phelps exit speed off turns two and four let him drive away down the straights. That was until a yellow on lap 198 setting up a green, white , checker finish.
When the green came back out Sheppard was able to pull even with Phelps in turn two as the race was on down the back straight into three and four. Sheppard threw it to the bottom as hard as he could as he slid up in front Phelps exiting four. Phelps never flinched as he let Sheppard lose his momentum and drove back by him and go onto to the $20,000 payday. Matt Sheppard, Stewart Friesen, Dale Planck and Alan Johnson rounded out the top-five.
When asked what it was like to finally win the Outlaw 200 you could hear the emotion in his voice responding, “This is awesome.”
“The track went the way we thought it would go,” Said Phelps. I had a good feeling we could get to the front. I just didn’t think we’d get there that quick. When you lead a lot of laps it starts to make you worry. I’ll take it. We have been so close here so many times. I can’t even explain how awesome this is. Give me 20 minutes, maybe we will talk again, right now I’m speechless.”
Phelps finished up by saying that he went to the first one of the 200’s when he was a little kid and there has been a Phelps on the Fulton track for 20-30-40 years that he can’t even remember that exact number. It was a huge win for the entire Phelps family.
(SUNOCO-FULTON ETHANOL FACILTY OUTLAW 200 PRESENTED BY SUNY CANTON) – JIMMY PHELPS, Matt Sheppard, Stewart Friesen, Dale Planck, Alan Johnson, Danny Johnson, Ryan Phelps, Peter Britten, Billy Decker, Vic Coffey, Ronnie Johnson, Craig Von Dohren, Pat Ward, Tom Sears Jr., Bobby Varin, Gary Tomkins, Pat O’Brien, Tim Sears Jr., Mark Kislowski, Roy Bresnahan, Ryan Watt, Darwin Greene, Robbie Bellinger, Shawn Donath, Larry Wight, Chuck Bower, Tom Kinsella, Mike Mahaney, Jim Davis, Bob Henry Jr., Joe August Jr., Chris Hile, Tim Fuller, Justin Wright, Shaun Walker, Mitch Gibbs, Elmo Reckner,Alan Barker, Dave Rauscher, Justin Haers, Brett Hearn, Steve Hulsizer, Tim McCreadie, Brett Tonkin, Katelyn Kane.
(LAP LEADERS) – Matt Sheppard (1-16) Larry Wight (17) Matt Sheppard (18-31) Larry Wight (32-45) Stewart Friesen (46-64) Jimmy Phelps (65) Stewart Friesen (66-70) Jimmy Phelps (71-87) Stewart Friesen (88) Jimmy Phelps (89-200)
(HEAT # 1) – Ronnie Johnson, Pete Britten, Alan Barker, Bob Henry Jr., Elmo Reckner, Shaun Walker, Billy Clark, Casey Pavlick, Rich Townsend.
(HEAT #2) – Larry Wight, Stewart Frisesen, Pat Ward, Danny Johnson, Mitch Gibbs, Joe August Jr., Dan Vauter, Jason Rood.
(HEAT # 3) – Tim McCreadie, Tim Fuller, Justin Haers, Ryan Watt, Shawn Donath, Matt Hulsizer, Justin Wright, Jim LaRock, Brad Alger.
(HEAT # 4) – Pat O’Brien, Ryan Phelps, Dale Planck, Brett Hearn, Gary Tomkins, Jim Davis, Dave Rauscher, Mark Kislowski, Craig Hanson.
(HEAT # 5) – Matt Sheppard, Bobby Varin, Alan Johnson, Billy Decker, Roy Bresnahan, Matt Janczuk, Mike Bowman, Vic Coffey, Roy Shields.
(HEAT # 6) – Tommy Kinsella, Chuck Bower, Tim Sears Jr., Chris Hile, Adam Roberts, Rusty Smith, Sam Allen, Jim Mahaney, Shane Donath.
(HEAT # 7) – Tom Sears Jr., Jimmy Phelps, Mike Mahaney, Chad Phelps, Jeff Crambo, Katelyn Kane, Chad O’Hara, Craig Von Dorhen, Doug Manmiller.
(HEAT # 8) – Robbie Bellinger, Steve Hulsizer, Brertt Tonkin, Carey Terrance, Darwin Greene, Tye-Scott Rood, Chris Herbison, Tim Schneider Jr., Steve Cummings.
(CONSI WINNERS) –
(CONSI #1) – Billy Decker, Bob Henry Jr., Elmo Reckner, Roy Bresnahan, Shaun Walker, Shane Donath, Craig Hanson, Billy Clark, Casey Pavlick, Matt Janczuk, Jim Mahaney, Mike Bowman.
(CONSI # 2) – Danny Johnson, Craig Von Dorhen, Chris Hile, Mitch Gibbs, Joe August Jr., Adam Roberts, Sam Allen, Tim Schneider Jr., Jim LaRock, Dan Vauter, Rusty Smith, Roy Shields.
(CONSI # 3) – Ryan Watt, Shawn Donath, Mark Kislowski, Katelyn Kane Justin Wright, Matt Hulsizer, Chad Phelps, Jeff Crambo, Rich Townsend, Steve Cummings, Chad O’Hara.
(CONSI #4) – Brett Hearn, Dave Rauscher, Jim Davis, Gary Tomkins, Darwin Greene, Carey Terrance, Tye-Scott Rood, Brad Alger.
Halfway Leader Awards – Bicknell Racing Products – $1,000 – Pilat Graphic Design – $800 – Lettering Package – Matt Sheppard
American Racer Tire Hard Luck Award – Free Tire –
Bicknell Racing Products – $500 To The Highest Finishing Bicknell Car – Matt Sheppard
Finish Line Web Design – $250 Gift Certificate For Last Place Finisher – Katelyn Kane
Power Seal 13th Place Finisher Bonus $200 – Pat Ward
Sunoco Race Fuels – Drum Of Race Fuel For Hard Charger – Danny Johnson
Thomas Video – DVD To The Hard Charger Of The Race – Danny Johnson
Thomas Video – DVD To The Race Winner – Jimmy Phelps
Utica-Rome Speedway – $500 To The First Track Regular/$1,000 If A Track Regular Wins – Matt Sheppard
Wolf Designs – Replica Model Car For The Race Winner – Jimmy Phelps