This Labor Day weekend marks the end of the 2016 season championships for a number of race tracks across the country. Two of the tracks in central New York happen among the closest championship battles in America. Ironically. the same two drivers are going for both championships and both of the Dirt Modified points battles are tight heading into the final week.
Jimmy Phelps and Larry Wight both race weekly at Brewerton Speedway in Central Square, NY on Friday nights and Fulton Speedway in Fulton, NY on Saturday nights. Phelps holds the point lead at Brewerton by a mere one point over Wight, while Wight leads Phelps by 23 points over at Fulton.
“It’s been tough. We’ve probably had more issues at Brewerton than we’re typically accustomed to,” Phelps told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We’ve had three or four events where we got torn up early in the race and the crew had to really thrash to get me back on the track and in the hunt. We’ve had a really good car at Brewerton most of the year and just had to work real hard to get consistent finishes. We’re still in the hunt.”
Wight has been able to jump on some of Phelp’s troubles at Brewerton, but at the same time, he is taking advantage of some fresh equipment that he hopes will net him both a championship and money from DIRTcar.
“Jimmy had the lead about four or five weeks ago and we chiseled away at it. It’s a testament to the new car. We just got to keep up on the consistency and finish in the top five to make sure we’re ahead. We made the switch to the Bicknell car, due to consistency on our own part. We wanted to be a little more of a factor in the points race in the Hometrack Series and it seemed to be a good move for us; we’ve been a lot better, winning more races and getting top five finishes.”
The racing at Fulton Speedway has been just as close. For Phelps, things have gone smooth throughout the season, but there have been a few issues as of late, including in an coincidental run-in with Wight.
“At Fulton, we’ve been consistent and haven’t had a ton of trouble. We just had some nights in the last month and a half where we’ve struggled and gave some points away. We kept it close and ended up getting torn up last week, ironically racing with Larry. We’re in a little bit of a hole going into this week, but it’s not out of reach.”
Despite Wight’s edge in the Brewerton standings, he knows full well that he will have to give it his all both on Friday and Saturday to bring home the trophies.
“It’ll be good racing; neither one of us will be leaving anything on the table for sure.”
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos