The 2016 Super DIRTcar Series season officially kicked off with a thriller on the high banks of New York’s Fulton Speedway. Three cars fought for the lead and the win with less than 10 laps to go and it was Billy Decker who came out on top as the winner of the High Banks Hold-up 100.
For much of the race it was polesitter Tim Fuller showing the way by pounding the cushion. Fuller lost the lead for a little while near the quarter-distance mark of the race when Larry Wight blew by on the outside.
Fuller blew back by Wight near the halfway mark to retake the lead. He stayed out front until Decker mounted a charge with about 15 laps remaining.
Decker and Fuller battled side-by-side for about four laps with Decker working the inside as low as one could go and Fuller working cushion as high as possible. Decker methodically worked the bottom until he got by Fuller with about 11 laps to go.
Then the yellow flag waved with about six laps to go, and that was the one thing Decker didn’t want to see.
“I didn’t want to see the caution, really,” Decker said in victory lane. “I knew that we were mired in traffic, but I thought I had a car between us at that point. And I didn’t fire good on restarts. It took me a few laps to get going. I was terrible from lap 95 to lap 98.”
Even though Decker said he was “terrible” in the closing laps, he was still able to hold off Fuller and a hard-charging Jimmy Phelps. Fuller and Phelps both gave it one last shot, including a big move by Fuller in turn three on the final lap, but Decker was able to hold on to take the season-opening victory.
“I say I was terrible, but I just didn’t give up the line because of the rubber,” Decker said. “I had to hog up the race track otherwise I wasn’t going to hold Fuller off.”
While Fuller was disappointed that he didn’t get the win, he was able to smile and joke around after the race.
“I love Fulton Speedway,” said Fuller. “I really figured we’d have a good run here. We just weren’t as good on the bottom there as Billy was. We were actually about the same, but he got down there earlier. Sometimes the guy in second has a bit of lane choice when it comes to traffic because he just goes in the opposite spot as the leader. All in all, it was alright. I was glad we got that caution there at the end because we were able to cool those tires off a bit, but it was just tough sledding up there.”
Phelps, Billy Dunn, and Stewart Friesen rounded out the top five.
The Super DIRTcar Series is off for a couple of months until heading to Pennsylvania’s Williams Grove Speedway on June 22.
For more from the Super DIRTcar Series opener from Fulton Speedway check out Speed51’s Speed Central coverage here: http://speed51.com/speed-central-super-dirtcar-series-opener-at-fulton/
Speed51 will have more from Fulton Speedway, including highlights on the Speed51 Network, in the coming days so stay tuned.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Duane Canfield/Speed51.com
Super DIRTcar Series High Banks Hold-up 100
Fulton Speedway, Fulton, New York
|29||83x||Tim Sears Jr.|
|30||62s||Tom Sears Jr.|