Johnson Scorches Frozen Fulton Speedway Opener
Fulton, NY – Cool weather would set the stage for Fulton Speedway’s Season opener on Saturday night. 33 of the big block Dirt modified machines registered for the evenings action, and with Fulton being the only Dirt track running in the area, many of the top names in area modified racing were on hand at the high banked , ¼ mile clay oval looking for some very valuable, and much needed, early season seat time.
Baldwinsville, New York’s, Jimmy Phelps was quick to shake off the frigid temperatures at the lake side oval, laying down a blistering 16.360 second lap in hot laps right out of the hauler. Later, in heat race #4, Phelps, driving his family owned, J&B Installations sponsored 99J, would later parlay that quick time in to a heat race victory, by holding off veteran Alan Johnson, in the Nativepoker.com # 14J and a hard charging Timmy sears in his immaculate #83. Other winners in the Modified heat races were Fulton’s own John Barker Jr. in the car # 12, The Gypsum Express #42, driven by Pat Ward, and out of Edwards, NY piloting the #19 car, Tim Fuller.
The night’s feature event was set, a 45 lap affair for 25 Dirt modified racers with $2,300 going to the evenings victor. From the drop of the green flag Pat Ward ran the 42 out to an early lead, and may have stayed out front comfortably until an early race yellow came when Tim Fullers 19 came to an abrupt and inexplicable stop on the high banks in between turns one and two. That by itself would not have been so bad, but early in the race, with the front pack of drivers still running door-to-door and nose to tail, the 99J of Jimmy Phelps got into the back of Fuller’s machine hard. Phelps would have to retire quickly to the pits to change the right front on his Troyer mount. As the field came around once again to green Phelps rejoined them, still on the lead lap, in the 25th spot.
From that point, the March was on for the 14J of Alan Johnson. Methodically, Johnson, driving for car owner Jeff Rudalavage, in the Native Poker sponsored car, began picking away from his 8th place starting position. On lap 22, Johnson cruised to the lead and never looked back, leading the final 23 circuits of the race.
Following Johnson to the checkered flag were Pat Ward in the 42, the 19 of Tim Fuller, Kevin Bates driving the 42 B, (47) Scott Prentice, a hard charging Jimmy Phelps in the 99J, the 27J of Danny Johnson, (99) Ryan Phelps , (24)Jim Witko Jr. & rounding the top 10 John Barker Jr. The Big blocks return to the Fulton Speedway next week at 7 pm.