Pat Ward, a fan favorite where ever he goes, has always been known as one of the most low-keyed drivers in modified racing.
After Saturday night’s win at the Fulton Speedway, Ward exited his car banging on the roof and waving the checkered flag in excitement after a late charge and pass of Chuck Bower in the caution free 35 lap Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified feature.
While most of the modified front runners were using the top of the speedway, Ward found something on the bottom where his car worked as he made his way to the front.
On lap 27, he moved into second and took off after Chuck Bower finally making the winning pass with three laps to go.
Other winners on a Ingles Performance, Ehrlich Pest Control Night were Matt Janczuk, SUNY Canton Sportsman; Dale Caswell, NAPA Late Models; Gary Hoppins, E&V Energy Novice Sportsman; Joe Isabell, Mod Lites; and Skip DeGroff, Four Cylinder Stocks.
Tim Sears Jr. out powered Tim Schneider Jr. to lead the early going of the Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified feature.
With five laps complete, Sears running the top, opened around a ten car length advantage.
Behind the leader, you could of thrown a blanket over Bower, Larry Wight, Schneider and Chris Hile as they raced for second through fifth.
By lap 10, Bower was rapidly cutting into Sears’s lead with Wight just a couple cars behind Bower. Schneider and Ward showed in fourth and fifth.
On lap 15 exiting turn four, Bower pulled a perfect slide job coming up in front of Sears to be scored the new leader on lap 16.
With 20 laps showing on the scoring tower, Bower held a slim, two-car lead over Wight as the laps started clicking off the lap counter. Ward, Tim Sears Jr., and Tom Sears Jr. were still in contention in the top five.
On lap 25, it was going to be a three-car fight over the last laps between Bower, Wight and Ward for the win.
On lap 27, Ward moved into second and took off after Bower.
After running the middle to the bottom of the track, Ward was able to make the winning pass exiting turn four and being scored the new leader as they crossed the line on lap 32.
Once out front, Ward was able to out run Wight to the checkers. Chuck Bower, Dale Planck and Tim Sears Jr. came home third through fifth.
“That was tough sledding — it was pretty slippery out there,” said Ward. “Me and Terry have been putting our heads together, and it’s seems I say this every time we get here, we haven’t been running good enough, but tonight was good.”
Ward related how his car worked really well down low compared to the rest of the field.
“It was pretty decent through three and four and I could get it slowed up enough getting into one,” he said. “I could really get off of two. That’s where I got Larry (Wight) and the other guys coming off of two.”
“Chuck’s (Bower) has been going good again,” Ward continued. “He’s like the rest of us, have a couple good nights, couple bad nights, seems to be the way it’s going for everybody. We just setup for a dry slippery track and it worked out for a change.”
In the wild and exciting 20-lap SUNY Canton Sportsman feature that had two-three wide racing from the front of the field to the back, and lead battles in heavy traffic found a new 2013 winner.
Scott Ford would hold off pressure from a number of drivers leading the first 15 laps with lapped traffic spelling the difference.
Matt Janczuk would use his years of experience going from fourth to lead in one lap, when the top-three were mired in back markers allowing Janczuk to go to the outside groove into the lead and the win on lap 16. Scott Ford, Ronnie Davis III, Kyle Fink and Beth Schneider finished second through fifth.
Shayne Tenace would lead the opening 5 laps of the 20-Lap NAPA Late Model feature before suddenly heading pit-side with mechanical problems.
The story of the race was Dale Caswell as he would dominate the rest of the way winning by over a straightaway. Rick Miller, Alan Fink, AJ Kingsley and Sean Beardsley would come home second through fifth.
The E&V Energy Novice Sportsman put on their best race so far this season. Throughout the 15-lap feature, it was a three-car barnburner between Taylor Lamb, Jeremy Dygert and Gary Hoppins.
Somehow on the last lap, Hoppins would bring a car with obvious suspension problems to victory lane. Taylor Lamb, Jeremy Dygert, Brandon Kuhn and Ricky Yelle would chase Hoppins across the line.
After a long battle with Doug Williams for the top spot, Joe Isabell took the lead late and put his Scott Bloomquist designed Mod Lite in victory lane in the 15-lap feature.
Williams, Jeff Isabell Jr., Rick Demo and Sterling Miller rounded out the top five. Mike Mullen, Josh DeSantis, Lowell Zehr, Justin Williams andJeremy Isabell completed the second five.
Skip DeGroff totally dominated the 15-lap Four Cylinder Stock feature increasing his overall point lead. Justin Buske, Chris Bonoffski, Wendall Washington and Dan Dupra finished second through fifth.