Column By: ADAM CORNELL / RPW – LAFARGEVILLE, NY – It was a complete victory, Friday night at Can-Am Speedway, for local legend, Tim Fuller.
Fuller, who hails from nearby Watertown, NY, has made Can-Am Speedway his personal playground for the last couple of years.
In 2021, he was track champion, edging out Billy Dunn, also from Watertown, for the crown. Now in 2022, Fuller has continued his dominance.
To achieve his fifth victory of the season, Fuller had to climb up from a tenth position to start. In what’s becoming a trademark move, Fuller jumped up position when the race began with the wave of the green flag. By lap two, Fuller was in third position, already hunting the front.
The racing field at Can-Am is not full of lightweights. Drivers like Jordan McCreadie, the aforementioned Billy Dunn, Ryan Bartlett, Derek Webb, and Lance Willix, are all incredible competitors that all challenge for victory each and every week.
Some nights the track sets up and allows two lanes of racing, other nights, it’s a single fast lane around the track and passing is at a premium after just a few laps. Friday night was such a night. The outside lane, which can be a fast alternative for the Whitesboro Plow Shop DIRTcar 358 Modifieds as they battle for position, didn’t materialize like it has some weeks. This meant that even though Fuller had managed to make his way into third in just a couple of laps, the final conquest to the front was going to be more of a challenge.
Jordan McCreadie found his way into the lead by lap 8 and looked dominant. By lap 9, Fuller had managed to get by the pole setter, Tyler Meeks, and take over second place behind McCreadie. While McCreadie was looking for win number two for the season, Fuller had his mind set on his fifth victory and slamming the door on the competition for track championship points.
It took four more laps for Fuller to find his spot and pass McCreadie cleanly. This late in the season, cautions occur less and less often, and McCreadie received no help from a potential caution restart. Fuller drove into lapped traffic and weaved his way through in expert manner, while McCreadie was hunting for the non-existent secondary fast line around the track.
With just a few laps remaining, Lance Willix of Theresa, NY moved up into third and looked to improve even more, but there wasn’t enough track for he or McCreadie to get past Fuller, who drove to victory lane again, increasing his lead in points, and coming very close to cementing a back-to-back championship for 2022.
“Looking at the lineup, I knew I was going to have to get to sixth [position] if I was going to have a shot at it,” Fuller described after the race. “You know, Jordan just messed up a little bit in [turn] four and I was able to get under him. It was so single file on the bottom and he just got a little messed up on the top there. It happens, but he ran a great race.”
When asked about moving up the leaderboard to third most wins at Can-Am Speedway, tying Doug Carlisle with thirty-seven 358 modified victories, Fuller had this to say: “I watched Doug Carlisle run a lot here, between here, Cornwell, Brockville, he was one of the greatest racers to ever bless this place, so it’s a real neat deal. Climbing up through the ladder here just shows my age, but thankfully, with the Marescas and St. Lawrence Radiology, they have me going strong this year. You know, everything’s working good, which is probably a good thing coming in to the late part of the season.”
It’s always important to peak at the right time, but for Fuller, he’s been at the pinnacle all season long. His worst finishes at Can-Am in 2022 were a 7th place in June and a 6th place finish in July. Other than that, Fuller has finished each race in the top five and has now locked down five wins for the season. No other driver has multiple wins this year at the track.
Tim Fuller drives the number 19, black orange and white car St. Lawrence Radiology, Integra Shocks car. He runs an engine built by Tom Leahy of Leahy Motorsports. It’s a package that continues to perform each and every week.
One step closer to being the reigning 2022 track champion, Fuller will hit the track again at Can-Am on Friday, August 12th.