Track Point Leader Billy Decker Defends Home Turf in DIRTcar Series Event

By Dave Medler

Brewerton, NY – Billy Decker in the Gypsum Wholesalers, No.91 took advantage of a late race flat on Dale Plancks, Grow-It, No.77x with a handful of laps left to win the 100-lap Advance Auto Parts Modified Super DIRT Series Friday night at the Brewerton Speedway. For Decker it was his eighth-Series win of the year and third in a row. With the victory Decker extended his series point lead.

“Things are going good, I don’t think we really had a whole lot for the 77x (Planck) he was on fire,” Said Decker after his win on his home track.

Alan Johnson out raced pole sitter Willy Decker to lead the opening lap of the 100-lap grind. Once in the lead Johnson opened a five-car advantage over the rest of the field.

The first yellow for debris flew on lap-4 to erase the lead Johnson opened up. This put Billy Decker right next to Johnson for the restart. Willy Decker, Gary Tomkins and Billy Dunn restarted third through fifth.

Johnson and Decker would race side by side swapping the lead back and forth with neither really gaining an advantage. On lap-16 Decker was able to get by and tried to get away from Johnson.

On lap-20 Decker was able to put some space between himself and Johnson. Gary Tomkins and Matt Sheppard were having a good battle for third, with Billy Dunn running in the top five.

When the race reached the quarter-way point, Decker was cruising up front as Johnson was getting pressure for the second spot from Tomkins and Sheppard.

By lap-35 Decker was mired in heavy traffic, this let Tomkins somewhat close the gap for the top spot. Johnson, Sheppard and Planck who started twenty third from the consi started to make his presence known.

A yellow on lap-37 bunched the field up. With lapped cars between Decker and Tomkins, Decker was able to take off on the restart and build his lead back up.

The most serious incident of the night took place on lap-40. Coming down the front straight Roy Bresnahan and Justin Haers made contact sending Bresnahan hard into the wall. Bresnahan showed his displeasure to Haers as the safety crew removed his car to the pits.

All eyes were now on Planck as he moved into third on lap-41 and one lap later he got around Tomkins for the runner up spot. Tomkins, Sheppard and Johnson were still in the top five.

On lap-45 Planck was able to do what not many have been able to pull of on the series, get by Decker to take the lead.

At the halfway point, lap-50, Planck held a few car length lead over Decker as Tomkins was now a distant third. Sheppard and Johnson raced for fourth and fifth.

With 35-laps to go and Planck trying to get around heavy traffic this let Decker start reel back in the No.77x. Tomkins and Sheppard were also in heavy traffic as they tried to catch the top two. Jimmy Phelps who pitted early was in the top five.

When the race hit lap-70, Decker was able to catch Planck in traffic and set himself right on the back bumper of the leader with traffic still heavy in front of the leaders.
With 25 to go Planck was able to put a lapped car between himself and Decker to open some breathing room. Tomkins, Sheppard and Phelps raced third through fifth over a straightaway behind the two leaders.

With just over ten to go Planck was having a tough time getting around Kevin Bates as once again this let Decker close back in to challenge Planck.

With just over a handful of laps left everyone in attendance could see something was wrong with Plancks car. With five to go Planck bounced his car off the front straight wall with a tire going down.

On lap-96 Decker saw Plancks problem and took advantage taking over the top spot. From there Decker was first under the checkers. Some how Planck held onto second. Tomkins, Sheppard and Phelps rounded out the top five.

“We have a fair amount of experience here at Brewerton. We tried to Be patient, be patient and try not to seal over the tire,” said Decker in how he got to victory lane. When he (Planck) went by me I wanted to go up there and try that groove for a little while.”

Decker finished up by saying what he saw for his pass for the win.” I think he sealed them just a little bit because we could stay even with him them. I saw sparks come off his car on the front straight, I think that’s what made his tire go down.”

Planck, after his third straight runner up finish on the series to Decker rode the wave of emotions on this night. In his heat Planck got in a jingle sending him pit side with front end damage that his crew repaired for the consi. Planck from 23rd to lead and victory in sight had that tire go down.

“I got a little antsy in the heat race trying to get to the redraw and got pinched, I stuck my nose in there where it didn’t belong,” Said Planck why he had to run the consi.

“We came with the notes we had last year and just came up a couple laps short. I could feel the tire going down. I was like, please last five more laps. I looked up on the board and really thought there was a lap left, so I’m a happy guy.”

Tomkins who brought home his best finish on the tour in 2008 spoke about his third place finish. “We really needed this. This is a brand new car from Bicknell we have had few months but haven’t had a chance to really run it. It’s the third race on it. It’s got some potential we will change a few things on it. At least for once we could see this guy (Decker) at the finish.”
In the IMCA Modified Empire Series 25-lap feature it was a Battle Royal between Rob Keller, Rich Keller and Dale Caswell. As all three led at one time in this race that went right down to the finish. When the checkers flew it was Dale Caswell sitting in Victory lane for the Eleventh Time this season.

After the hard fought, physical win Caswell said,”Man , there was a gang behind me, that’s for sure, holy cow. The car was good, I was trying to take my time getting through the field. That was a tough one.” Caswell related how tough it’s getting because the other drivers are getting faster every week.

“I didn’t like getting pushed up on my side, but that’s what racing is here at Brewerton, it’s tight quarters here.” said Rob Keller about his battle with Caswell. “We just wanted to try to take one from him (Caswell) we got a good fast car we’ll get there.”

Rich Keller is coming so close to that first win, but was thrilled with his third place finish. “I’m just satisfied that we can be in contention with these guys. We’re so blessed that we can be out here with these guys. We’re going to get that win there is no doubt about that,” Keller has seven top fives on the year and knocking on the door each week for that first victory.

Tim Devendorf took the lead from Matt Magner just before the halfway point of the 20-lap ESDCA Mod Lite feature. From there Devendorf cruised to his second win of the year. Joe Gwilt, Rocco Leone, Gary Jeffries and Lowell Zehr chased Devendorf across the line.

“The car was good, the track was good. I ran down low where I don’t normally run, the car was pretty good,” stated Devendorf in victory lane. “Good thing I won the race, bad thing I sold the car. It’s going to the new owner right now.” He went on to say he does have another car he will be running next week.

Next week at the Brewerton Speedway it will be Syracuse Crunch night and also Truckers Appreciation Night. Truckers show your CDL License and receive a discount on the grandstand Admission Price. On the race card will be DIRTcar Modifieds, IMCA Modifieds, ESDCA Mod Lites and Four Cylinder Super Stocks.

he racing will be hot and heavy as it’s the second to last points race before deciding the 2008 Track Champions. Gates open at 5:30 with the first green flag at 7:30. Admission prices are Adults 15 and over $12- Children 10 to 14 $5 and Children 9 and under free… Pit Admission – DIRT Members $20 and Non Members $25. For more info contact the Speedway office at 315-668-6906 or visit

( Advance Auto Parts Modified Super DIRT Series 100-Laps) – Billy Decker, Dale Planck, Gary Tomkins, Matt Sheppard, Jimmy Phelps, Alan Johnson, Ryan Phelps Justin Haers, Willy Decker, Brett Hearn, Billy Dunn, Kevin Bates, Frankie Caprara, Stewart Friesen, Jim Witko, Steve Hulsizer, Pat O’Brien, Larry Wight, Mike Bowman, Chad Phelps, Kyle Lewis, Chuck Bower, Chad Homan, Shawn Donath, Stephen Planck, Danny Johnson, Tom Sears Jr., Roy Bresnahan, Steve Paine, Johnny Hill.

LAP LEADERS: A.Johnson (1-5), B.Decker (6-9), A.Johnson (10-15), B.Decker (16-44), D.Planck (45-95), B.Decker (96-100).
CAUTIONS: 4 (lap 5, lap 10, lap 38, lap 41).
HEAT WINNERS: Tomkins, O’Brien, J.Phelps, A.Johnson.
INTEGRA SHOCKS FAST TIME AWARD: Brett Hearn (14.883sec/80.629mph).
TOTAL PURSE: $27,575.

(IMCA Modified Empire Series 25-Laps) – Dale Caswell, Rob Keller, Rich Keller, JJ Courcy, Ryan Scott, Kevan Cook, Bill Anderson, Calvin Painter, Pete Anderson, Larry Bezner, Mike Stolarcyk, Les Hubbard, Greg Kimball,Art Wilson, Gary Roberts, Tony Finch, Jeff Amidon, Mike Jones, Jerry Beck, Dave Talbot, Jim Walsh, Brian Evenden,

(ESDCA Mod Lites 20-Laps) – Tim Devendorf, Joe Gwilt, Rocco Leone, Gary Jeffries, Lowell Zehr, Jeff Barker, Tommy Felicia, Frank Sobotka, Andrew Schartner, Rick Donovon, Bob Garafolo, Terry Lapham, Ken Gamlen, Sam Morse, Matt Magner, Rick Yelle, Jeff Herbert, Jeff Blackburn, Jeff Hays, Mike Bruce, Brenda Rice, Bruce Ackley, Lisa Thomas, Matt Virginia, Joe Garafolo, Mike Virginia, Lorrie Herbert, Jason Broedel, Chris Lane, Doug Williams. (DIG SAFELY NEW YORK B-MAIN) – Doug Williams.