A Trophy Headed Back to New York & Modified Country
A championship battle ended before it even had a chance to begin on Saturday during the penultimate event of the Winter Heat season at Charlotte Motor Speedway (NC). The top two drivers in the Outlaw division heading into Saturday’s action tangled at the front of the pack just moments after the green flag. Both Eddie Fatscher of East North Port, New York and Matthew Davey went around, but it was Davey who went up in the air and tumbled twice ending his bid for the title.
24 hours later on Sunday afternoon, Davey’s banged up No. 10 was back on the track and was strong enough to come home second to the champion Fatscher, who picked up his sixth win of the season.
"It feels good to win today, but yesterday was a rough day for all of us," said Fatscher. "I am glad we won yesterday, but I hated the fact that Davey rolled over and wrecked his car."
The families were both in good spirits and Davey was able to shake off the scary Saturday wreck to make a strong run and finish second on Sunday.
"I was really thinking we had a shot at another win today and then I just drove it in way to deep in the turn," said Davey. "I am glad we got second in the points and perhaps there are more championships for me down the road."
Fatscher is from Modified country and will be racing at Riverhead Raceway (NY) this season to race alongside some of his mentors.
"I'd love to drive a Modified," said Fatcher. "I follow those guys a bunch and I am fan of Justin Bonsignore and Timmy Solomito.”
All in the Family
Speaking of Families.... The father-son team of Robby and Dillon Faggart were on their game again at Winter Heat with Robby winning the Masters feature and his son Dillon wrapping up the Semi Pro Crown.
"We have had a great time out here at Charlotte," said Dillon. "We won five races in the Winter Heat and four last year. The only thing better would be to race and beat my day."
Dillon finished second in the final feature to Stevie Johns.
Young Lions Battle Ends With Purdy on Top
The checkered flag waved on Alex Reece who took home the win in the Young Lions season finale of the Winter Heat at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Right behind Reece was the champion of the class Chase Purdy who had to drive back from the rear of the pack after an early spin.
"I knew it was early so I had some opportunities to make it to the front again," said Purdy. "It was a great race today and Alex even came over and apologized for the incident."
Purdy made contact with Reece early on sending the future champion for a spin. Reece wanted to let the titlist know it was not an intentional move.
"It feels awesome to win," said Reece. "I wanted to say I was sorry because he spun because my car got out of shape. I would have loved to have won the championship, but I am glad that the contact we had with him didn't cost him the title. "
These two will continue the battle at the Summer Shootout where Purdy is already saying it will be a close battle for the crown.
Finally a Bandits Sweep
Daniel Wilk was the only Bandits driver to repeat as champion in his respective division at the 2015 Winter Heat. Wilk left no doubt as he won all eight races to sweep the entire series. This comes on the heels of Chandler Smith winning nine of 10 races last summer at the Summer Shootout only to lose the last one.
"This is just totally amazing," said Wilk. "The car was tight today so I had to work harder than normal. We just wanted to win every time we raced."
Looking forward, Wilk now has his eyes set on repeating his success at the Summer Shootout. Despite no wins in 2014, he'll be confident come June when he gets to walk back into Charlotte Motor Speedway as a two-time Winter Heat Champion.
"Our Summer Shootout numbers were not the best," explained Wilk. "This will help our confidence heading into the summer. I am not turning 12 till the end of the year so this is where we will be racing for now."
The Pro Championships Stays in Concord
Joey Padgett scored two wins along the way to win the Pro Division title at Winter Heat at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Padgett used podium runs in all but one of his races to stay on top of the points during the final weekend.
"I have to thank everyone that makes this possible for us," said Padgett. "My Grandma, my grandpa, my dad, and Dennis Lambert. We wanted to go for the win today, but it was a little dicey so we laid back and came home with a championship."
The season finale on Sunday went to Michael Torres who won four features this season during the Winter Heat.
The Pro division will get some more fire power as Dillon Faggert will be making the jump along with others come Summer Shootout time.
A First Time Champion in the Masters
It was the first title for Scott Whitaker, who scored his first career championship on the strength of three wins in eight rounds at the Winter Heat.
"We have been running out here for years and we are always in the points," said Whitaker. "Something always seems to happen, a bad break, a broken motor you name it."
This time Whitaker held his cool, made clean passes and was left holding the big trophy at the end of the day.
"I was behind Bruce Silver by one point and he had the points lead," added Whitaker. "I wanted to make sure I got around him clean because I have been sent to the back a few times. We made the pass and now we are the champions."
Beginner Bandoleros End With Another New Winner
Jaiden Reyna became the newest winner in the beginner class for the Bandoleros. After winning his heat, Reyna dominated the feature and picked up the win. Expect to see more out of this division this summer at Charlotte.
- INEX Officials stated the car count was in the 90's for the final weekend of the Winter Heat.
- Plans are in the works to return to the road course in 2016 as construction forced them on to the quarter-mile track.
-On Saturday, 11 races were run over rounds six and seven with no repeat winners.
- Many of the same faces will be in action at Winter Nationals as they return to Orlando SpeedWorld next week. They will race from Monday, February 16 to February 20.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Correspondent - Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com