May 12, 2007 08:22 AM EST
Tim Sebring and Brady Fultz Lead Clan of Winners at Black Rock
By RICH VLECK
DUNDEE, NY - Tim Sebring, Brady Fultz and Donnie Smith were three names that were mysteriously missing from the win columns in 2006, but on Friday Night, they all broke through and took home their respective division feature wins.
For the first time in 22 months, Tim Sebring completed the 25-lap Marbles Automotive 358-modified feature with the win, a big relief for him.
“We skipped a year,” said Sebring jokingly in Victory Lane. “We’ve had a real good car and tonight we finally broke through.
Sebring took over the lead from Ron White at the halfway point of the 3rd full-point event for the modifieds in 2007. After White fell out with a flat tire, it was 2005 and 2006 Champion Brian Swarthout that was breathing down Sebring’s neck; but the driver of the No. 45 refused to give up the bottom, which was crucial to his ultimate success.
“I never got off the bottom the whole race,” said Sebring. “I think the top might have been a little better if you had the right setup, but we were set for the bottom and knew that’s where I had to be.”
The Suzuki-sponsored No. 45 TEO became the first driver not named to Steve Paine to win a modified race at Black Rock in 2007. Paine dropped out on lap 9 with mechanical problems, opening up the field to the rest of the pack.
While Sebring was holding off Swarthout, Ray Bliss was again a factor, ending up third. Donnie Lawson was again stout, finishing in fourth, with Chris Clark rounding out the top-5, giving him the nightly Up-and-Comer Award, presented by the night sponsor: Finger Lakes Auto, Truck and Marine/NAPA.
Ron Cartwright Jr. was in the top-five till lap 20, when he got wide in turn four and spun around his No. 2b. Gil Tegg was also a factor until this point, when his No. 22 has problems and headed pit side.
Before Sebring was picking up his honors, his Suzuki-sponsored teammate Brady Fultz was busy picking up a thrilling win in his No. 70 Crate Sportsman.
Fultz became the second winner of the Hoselton Automotive Crate Sportsman winner, joining Todd Henderson. After winning his heat, the rookie competitor jumped out in front on the first lap in the feature. As the race went caution-free, it was Fultz, along with Justin Wright, who ran away from the rest of the pack.
Even though Wright reeled in Fultz, he was not able to pass him. When Fultz cleared the lapped car of Derrick Paddock with two laps to go, he was clear to pick up his first feature win at the racetrack since 2005 in a super stock.
Wright was 2nd for the 2nd straight week, with Todd Henderson finishing third, a 1/2 lap behind, running on seven cylinders. Greg Hixson had his season-best fourth, with Daryl Hilkert rounding out the top-five.
Donnie Smith had tears in his eyes in Victory Lane after finally breaking through for his first career Freedom Village USA Super Stock Feature Win.
After a caution on lap 8 to clean up a Rob Conklin crash in turn 1, “The Jungle Duck” dove underneath race leader Sparky Hills to grab the top spot, refusing to look back the rest of the way.
Among the people that Smith thanked in Victory Lane was Jeremy Wonderling, who broke while leading in the heat race, and did the same coming to the feature’s green flag. Wonderling suffered a broken radius rod to his No. 3J.
Hills was able to hang on for a season-best 2nd, with locals Rich Karlnoski, Quinn Sutherland and Bob Buono completing the top-five.
It was an interesting night to say the least with the Regional Truck Pro Truck/ Street Stocks. First off, the combined division was split into to after a proposed weight adjustment to the truck resulted in two separate programs.
In the street stock event, Rich Sharpsteen found his way to the front on lap 17 of an exciting feature, but upon post-race inspection was found to have illegally tampered heads and disqualified. Nate Peckham was also found to have the same problem, and was forced to surrender his third-place finish. Bubba Burnell crossed the line second and thusly will have the point lead with the first point show in the book. Chris Force and Jared Hill were fourth and fifth in the running order.
Terry Povoski and Chris Leroux were 1-2 for the third week in a row, with Povoski coming out on top for the 2nd time of those three occasions. Povoski took the lead from Jared Hill on lap 9 and would pull away to win the truck-only event.
With another loaded field in the Signs Plus of Kanona Feature, “Cowboy” Rich Sharpsteen II completed a picture-perfect slide job on Brett Crawford for the lead coming off of turn four to complete the third lap and held on the rest of the way to win his first race of the season.
While he has his nickname for wearing a cowboy hat in victory lane, the driver of the “Flying X” sported an Elaine Benes-style “Urban Sombraro” at the end of the night.
Del Cummings was the biggest challenger Sharpsteen had all race long, but ended up 14th after being added around by Jack Ayers coming back to the checkered flag. Derrick Mills would end up 2nd, ahead of Chris McCann, Ray Speicher and Scott Yaw.