RPW Column: Tim Sears Jr. Outduels Larry Wight In Caution-Free Weedsport Modified Feature

Column By: MARTY CZEKALA / RPW – WEEDSPORT, NY – Tim Sears Jr. and Larry Wight went to war Sunday night in a Big Block Modified feature. In an undercard to the Empire Super Sprints’ 4th of July Spectacular, the former held off the latter.

Sportsman regular Zach Payne and Sears Jr. made the front row, and the 35-lap feature was underway. Sears would lead the opening lap and faced his first challenge from the young Payne, making his first Big Block start of the year. Payne looked on the inside but failed, as Larry Wight took advantage of this up on the top to take the runner-up spot. Two laps later, Wight was in the same lane up top to get by Sears Jr. for the first lead change of the race.

As the leaders started weaving through lapped traffic, Sears tried to take a piece out of Wight’s playbook by looking on the “Lightnin’ Lane,” but it didn’t work. The extreme high side was the place to be in a Modified at The Port. Just before the halfway point, Sears looked down low for the lead. Side-by-side for numerous laps, Wight would use the backmarker of Sean Beardsley as a pick to retain the lead. With about 15 laps to go, Sears Jr. would switch to the top shelf and Wight on the bottom. Back and forth, the top two kept changing lanes like on the Thruway. With 12 to go, Sears took a peek upstairs, but lapped traffic was side by side in front of them, leaving the top two in a temporary truce, and Wight keeping the lead getting bit on the exit of turn two.

Eight laps to go, Wight was leading by two car lengths on Sears, and that gap evaporated a lap later. Sears finally got the high side to work on Wight and take the lead back. Six laps left, Wight took a peek on the inside of Sears, but the latter shut the door right in “Lightnin’s” face. In clean air, Sears Jr. increased the gap big time on Wight and cruised home to take his 6th modified win of 2021.

“I knew I was pretty good. I just tried the bottom, and he (Wight) got around me in lapped traffic. I was just able to hang with him. We were pretty good everywhere. We’re starting to get this Troyer car really dialed in,” Sears Jr. said in victory lane.

“You could run all over the racetrack. Hats off to the track crew; this was probably one of the better tracks we’ve had this year. A lot of good racing.”

Track promoter Jimmy Phelps rounded out of the podium.

31 Modifieds checked in tonight.

A couple of pit notes, Zach Payne, who finished 5th, made his first Big Block start of the season. A Sportsman regular at tracks like Land of Legends, Payne was supposed to debut the Bicknell Big Block machine for ’21 at the Liberty 100, which was then rained out. Payne told RPW he is planning a move up to Big Block Modifieds full-time next year.

Erick Rudolph, who finished 8th, is planning, per a team member, a trip to Genesee Speedway Thursday night for the annual running of “The Gladiator.” Genesee’s MMXXI version is a yearly Big vs. Small Block Modified event in Batavia. Rudolph is the defending winner of this event back in 2019.

Weedsport’s next Modified event is July 25th with the Super DIRTCar Series’ Hall of Fame 100.

Modifieds (35 Laps)
83x Tim Sears Jr., 2. 99L Larry Wight (1.892s), 3. 98h Jimmy Phelps (4.486s), 4. 3 Justin Haers (8.319s), 5. 7z Zach Payne (8.836s), 6. 21a Peter Britten (9.432s), 7. 19 Tim Fuller (10.431s), 8. 25 Erick Rudolph (10.939s), 9. 32r Ronnie Davis III (13.068s), 10. 5h Chris Hile (14.061s), 11. 42p Pat Ward (14.413s), 12. 34 Kevin Root (14.454s), 13. 56 Garrison Krentz (15.945s), 14. 1x Willy Decker (16.162s), 15. M1 Dave Marcuccilli (16.556s), 16. X Chad Phelps (-1L), 17. W19 Justin Wright (-1L), 18. 36 Ben Bushaw (-1L), 19. 1g Jackson Gill (-1L), 20. 33J Robbie Johnston (-1L), 21. 18 Sean Beardsley (-1L), 22. 63 Adam Roberts (-1L), 23. 27j Daniel Johnson (-14L), 24. 29 Garrett Krummet (-20L), 25. 88 Joe August (-22L), 26. 1m Tyler Murrey (-24L)

Heat Winners: 83x Sears Jr., 88 August, 34 Root, 19 Fuller
Fastest Lap: 99L Wight 17.089s

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