FULTON, NY – Every Friday Jim Witko and his wife, Barb, load up their Big Block Modified from their Clarks-Summit, Pennsylvania home and tow north passing other tracks to compete at the Brewerton and Fulton speedways.
Why do they do it? Because they want to compete against the best competition there is.
On Saturday night at Fulton Witko with his all black car with no sponsorship lettering, took the lead on the opening lap of the 35-lap Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Modified and dominated until a caution with 6 laps to go that lined-up all the heavy hitters of the division right behind him.
Over the final laps Witko held everyone off including repeated challenges from Billy Decker for the win.
Other winners on Regional Truck and Trailer night were AJ Kingsley, NAPA Late Models, Gordy Button, A-Verdi Storage Containers 305 Sprints, Rylee Gill, E&V Energy Novice Sportsman and Chuck Powelczyk.
SUNY Canton Sportsman feature winner Brandon Hagan had his motor pulled to be taken for tech. When the results are known they will be posted on the track website www.fultonspeedway.com
Before the big block modified feature the pole position was left open for Bud Ward who the racing world lost on July 28 with his son Pat Ward on the front row as they paced the field for one last time in front of a standing and cheering crowd who paid tribute to Bud Ward.
Witko outran Katelyn Kane and the rest of the field to lead the early going of the big block modified feature while the rest of the field scrambled behind him fighting for position.
With 10 laps complete Witko was on the hammer out front building up a full straightaway lead running the top of the Speedway. Behind Witko, Katelyn Kane was running alone in second while Adam Roberts, Matt Fink and Tim Currier fought for third through fifth.
At the halfway point and still caution free Witko maintained his big lead cruising around the top groove. Kane still ran second as Fink started closing in on Kane.
Currier, Pat Ward and Billy Decker were putting on a show for fourth, fifth and sixth.
On lap 25 Witko started catching cars at the back of the pack. An intense battle behind the leader saw Fink, Kane, Currier, Decker and Ward locked in a tight pack racing for second through sixth with Larry Wight who started 18th just a couple cars back of the battle.
A yellow would wave on lap-29 erasing the big lead Witko had when Kane and Tom Sears Jr. locked bumpers on the back straight.
Witko would now have Fink, Currier, Decker, Ward and Wight to contend with for a 6-lap shootout to the finish.
Over the remaining laps Witko stayed on the top of the speedway where he ran the entire race holding off late race challenges from Billy Decker for his third career win on the ‘High Banks’. Behind Witko and Decker, Matt Fink, point’s leader Larry Wight and Pat Ward finished third through fifth.
“Glad that’s over with,” said a relieved and happy Jim Witko with his wife Barb from one of the more popular victory lanes this season. “Man that was a fast race.”
When asked about seeing his huge lead disappear with a caution with 6 laps to go Witko was asked what went through his mind with the big guns of the division lined up right behind him for the restart. “I just hope this thing fires, I was afraid of spinning the tires.”
“Just hit my marks and don’t screw up,” Witko said about seeing Billy Decker at the end of the race. “I knew if I could keep my momentum up and not go over the cushion I’d be alright.”
Recent E&V Energy Novice Sportsman graduate Brenton Joy would lead the opening 4 laps of the 25-lap SUNY Canton Sportsman feature till a caution. On the restart, Tony Finch II who started 10th would blast around Joy to be scored the leader on lap-five.
With 10 laps complete Finch opened a twenty-car advantage running the cushion. Behind Finch, Joy, Jeremy Dygert, Ron Davis III who started 16th and Beth Schneider who started 18th battled for second through fifth.
A quick yellow on lap 12 would take away the lead Finch built up over the field. On the restart Brandon Hagan (from 15th) and Davis set their sights on Finch at the front of the field.
With 10 laps to go Finch and Hagan were in a two-car breakaway at the front as they went at it for the lead. Davis, Joy and Schneider were dicing it out for third through fifth on the scoring tower.
After hounding Finch for a few laps Hagan found the bite he needed down low to shoot into the lead on lap 19.
A caution with two laps to go would give Finch, Davis, Schneider and Chris Hulsizer who came from the consi one last shot at Hagan for the win.
When the green came back out Hagan bolted away from the field for his first ever Fulton Speedway win. Tony Finch II, Ron Davis III, Beth Schneider and Chris Hulsizer finished second through fifth.
Hagan’s motor was taken for inspection after the feature. Until the inspection is completed the finish is not official. When the results are known they will be posted on the track website www.fultonspeedway.com
In the 20-lap NAPA Late Model feature Brandon Ford would lead the opening 8 laps before AJ Kingsley took the lead on lap nine. From lap 10 to the finish Kingsley and Sean Beardsley battled back and forth with the winner in doubt till the checkers that saw Kingsley grab the narrow win. It was Kingsley’s fourth feature win of the year. Behind the top-two were Johnny Hill, Brandon Ford and Harry Halliday to complete the top five.
After coming close in previous starts in the E&V Energy Novice Sportsman track newcomer Rylee Gill led every lap of the 15-lap feature winning in dominating fashion. Ricky Yelle, Trevor Lindsey, Haiden Burdick and Taylor Jackson chased Gill across the line.
Like Gill in the Novice, Gordy Button dominated the A-Verdi Storage Containers 305 Sprint feature out running five-time feature winner John Cunningham.
Chuck Powelczyk took the lead from Skip DeGroff on lap 3 and then pulled away for the win in the Hilton’s Automotive Four Cylinder feature. Skip DeGroff, Robert Jimenez, Justin Buske and Mark Johnston chased Powelczyk across the line.
This Saturday, August 9, The WOLF 105.1 – New Country presents a fast, affordable, family, fun night of racing. On the race card will be the Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Modifieds, SUNY Canton Sportsman, NAPA Late Models, E&V Energy Novice Sportsman, A-Verdi Storage Containers 305 Sprints, Hilton’s Automotive Four Cylinders plus Microd Night.
Adult general admission is $12 with everyone 18 years old and younger free. Pits are $27 Participant/$30 Participant. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.
Mark your calendars for August 13 when TK99/Absolute Auto Sales and the Effect Group present ‘Eve Of Destruction IV’ led by famous Hollywood Stuntman Chris Morena and his crazy Stunt show plus Youth Demo, Small Car Demo, Big Car Demo and the world famous boat races. The show will start at 7:30 p.m. with tickets priced at $15 adults/15 years old and younger $5.
Any questions you might have contact Cory Reed [email protected] (315) 593-6531. For all the latest new go to the track website by visiting www.fultonspeedway.com Like their Facebook page www.facebook.com/FultonSpeedway