Column By: ADAM CORNELL / RPW – LAFARGEVILLE, NY – Friday night was only the second night of racing at Can-Am Speedway in La Fargeville, New York, but it was filled with firsts.
For Tim Fuller of nearby Watertown, NY, it was his first win in the Whitesboro Plow Shop DIRTcar 358 Modified class at the Nasty Track of the North for the budding 2022 season.
Though Fuller is no stranger to victory lane in the past, the win was not without challenges.
The night started for Fuller with a last place start in the heat race. After coming up just short last week of a victory, Fuller was hyper-focused on getting to the front of his heat to establish a solid qualifying position and better his chances in the feature. Fuller piloted his St. Lawrence Radiology number 19 past the competition and took the checkered flag in first place, completing a last-to-first victory.
For the feature, Fuller’s position wasn’t much of an improvement. He was given position 15 out of 23 to begin the twenty-five lap feature. If he was to have a chance at winning, he was going to have to get on it quick and blaze past several positions so as to not get locked into the pack as the leaders pulled away.
At the drop of the green, Fuller launched out to gain several positions. A lap five caution gave him another opportunity to improve positions and he took advantage on the restart, gaining several more spots. In lap 12 one of the front-row starters, Preston Forbes of Potsdam, NY, started billowing smoke out from his number 29, ending his night with a tow back to the pits. The caution was exactly what was needed for Fuller who had advanced to fourth position by the caution and jumped to second when green-flag racing resumed.
With only ten laps remaining, Fuller put his cross hairs on race leader, Jeff Sykes of Edwards, NY in the 23J. The fact that Sykes and Fuller are cousins didn’t matter to Fuller. He rocketed past Sykes for the lead and never gave it back, driving to his first victory of the season at Can-Am.
“When you’re related, you can’t let him go, it’s about bragging rights on Monday,“ Fuller said after the race as he spoke to Can-Am announcer, Tim Baltz.
Fuller’s victory wasn’t the only first for the evening. Brian Hudson of Adams, NY reeled in his first win of the season in the Bob Johnson DIRTcar Sportsman class.
The firsts kept on coming on the night, with Cole Perry of Belleville, Ontario scoring his first-ever victory in the Donath Motorworx Limited Sportsman class. Perry had to hold off Paul DeRuyter of Inlet, NY to squeak out the victory, beating DeRuyter by barely a nose. Perry began his young career at Can-Am in the karts program, and had, “always dreamed about coming out and winning at Can-Am.”
Another first for the night was in the newly formed Panther Frameworx 602 Crate Sprint Car class. Josh Verne Jr. of Theresa, NY not only secured his first victory in the class, but notched his first victory on dirt, period.
All in all, it was an exciting night for fans and drivers alike as the racing continues to be competitive and entertaining at Can-Am.