by Tim Baltz, photos courtesy of Brian Nacewicz
FULTON, NY — Thanks to a call from the Slack family asking Billy Decker to drive their race car, 45 DIRTcar 358 Modified drivers received a 60-lap driving clinic by the veteran driver on the high banks of Fulton Speedway on a cool, picturesque Saturday night. The win was worth $4,000 in the kickoff event for the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series.
The Franklin Flyer started on the pole in the Slack #3RS and dominated the entire event, leading all 60 laps for his first DIRTcar 358 Modified Series win.
“It feels good to just get a win,” said Decker, who has four Super DIRTcar Series triumphs at Fulton. “This is a very competitive place. With Jimmy (Phelps) behind, you didn’t want to miss your mark in any of the laps late in the race. He has won a lot here in both big and small blocks.”
“I just have to thank the Slack family for this opportunity,” said the 2022 Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame inductee. “They gave me a good car, and I’m glad it’s in victory lane.”
Runner up Jimmy Phelps was strong all night. He battled in the top five with Billy Dunn and Adam Pierson before taking control of second for good. Phelps closed in the final laps but was only able to close in a couple of car lengths at the checkered flag.
“We were pretty decent, but Billy was really good. I thought we had something for him at the end, but I think those late yellows cooled our tires,” Phelps noted.
Phelps said that the car was better on the longer runs and with the late yellows he felt very fortunate to stand on the podium after the 60-lap event.
The Baldwinsville Bandit was followed across the line by defending DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Champion Billy Dunn, who was happy with a third in the end.
“I’ve had some really fast cars here in the past, but I don’t think I’ve ever finished a race,” said Dunn after his top-three finish. “So, to come out of here with a third, we’ll take it.”
Decker, Phelps and Dunn were followed by Ryan Bartlett, who came from 19th to finish fourth, while Mike Mahaney had a solid night coming home fifth.
Pierson, Ronnie Davis III, Dave Marcuccilli, Tim Sears Jr. and Jackson Gill, who came from 21st, rounded out the top 10.
The DIRTcar 358 Modified Series heads to the Mohawk International Raceway in Akwesasne for round number two on Thursday June 23 for another $4,000-to-win event where Billy Dunn is the defending race winner.
Fulton Speedway, April 30 – 60 Laps – 1. Billy Decker ($4,000), 2. Jimmy Phelps ($2,500), 3. Billy Dunn ($1,500), 4. Ryan Bartlett ($1,200), 5. Mike Mahaney ($1,000), 6. Adam Pierson ($800), 7. Ronnie Davis III ($700), 8. Dave Marcuccilli ($600), 9. Tim Sears Jr. ($550), 10. Jackson Gill ($500), 11. Ryan Arbuthnot ($450), 12. Tyler Meeks ($400), 13. Lance Willix ($375), 14. Corey Barker ($350), 15. Justin Stone ($325), 16. Jordan McCreadie ($300), 17. Michael Parent ($275), 18. Todd Root ($250), 19. Steve Lewis ($250), 20. Matt Woodruff ($200), 21. Derek Webb ($250), 22. Dylan Zacharias ($250), 23. Mike Stanton Jr. ($250), 24. Andrew Ferguson ($250), 25. Taylor Caprara ($250), 26. AJ Kingsley ($250), 27. Erick Rudolph ($250), 28. Mat Williamson ($250), 29. Chad Brachmann ($250), Bob Henry Jr. ($250)
Hoosier Tire – Steve Lewis.