Vinnie Vitale Wins Brewerton Speedway Modified Thriller Over Matt Sheppard

By Dave Medler - BREWERTON, NY - July 10, 2015 – On a perfect weather night for racing, fans were treated to a full night of racing that featured close finishes and a wild incident in the Modifieds that involved almost a dozen cars.

Vinnie Vitale took the lead on Lap-7 of the 35-Lap Tracey Road Equipment Modified feature and looked to have things in hand until Lap-31 when Matt Sheppard moved into second place from his 23rd starting spot setting up a barn-burner finish.

With Vitale running the top of the speedway, Sheppard started digging on the bottom, setting up a finish that had the winner in doubt till the checkers. Sheppard could draw even with Vitale on different points on the track, but Vitale didn't flinch on the high-side, winning the dash to the checkers off of turn four for his first win of the year.

Other winners on Ingles Performance/VP Small Engine Fuels night were, Jack Meeks (SUNY Canton Sportsman) Jeff Isabell Jr. (Pro Race Cars Mod Lites) Chuck Powelczyk (Hilton’s Automotive Four-Cylinders).

Chris Mackey outraced Andrew Ferguson to grab the lead to lead the opening lap of the 35-Lap Tracey Road Equipment Modified feature before almost a dozen cars were involved in a metal-crunching incident.

Right at the flag stand three-drivers tried to occupy the same space sending cars all over the speedway making contact and ending up in a pile to the entry of turn one with last week’s winner Tim Kerr rolling over. Cars involved besides Kerr were Mike Bowman, Rob Bellinger, Chris Hile, Vic Coffey, Jimmy Phelps, Matt Fink, Jeff Blackbun, Kyle Fink, Larry Wight and Joe August Jr.. All drivers were okay and remarkably the only cars who couldn’t continue were Bellinger, Hile, Bowman and Kerr.

When the green came out Chuck Bower would be the leader at the 5-Lap mark while Vitale chased Bower as he ran alone in the second spot. Behind the top-two, Mackey, Andrew Ferguson, Jim Witko Jr. and Pat Ward were locked in a tight fight for third through sixth before a yellow would wave for Tim Sears Jr. who had a broken driveshaft.

On the restart Vitale had his car working on the top of the speedway as he would drive by Bower to be scored the new leader on Lap-7.

With 10-Laps complete, Vitale and Bower ran nose-to-tail and side-by-side for the top spot with Ward within striking distance. Chad Phelps and Witko were having a fight of their own for top-five positions.

On Lap-15 Vitale and Bower were still in a tight battle for the lead with Ward, Matt Sheppard from 23rd and Chad Phelps  still in contention for a victory.

With 10-Laps remaining Vitale was still the rabbit out front, running the top of the speedway as Bower kept Vitale in sight. Sheppard, Ward, Billy Decker and Chad Phelps were in a tight fight within the top-five.

On Lap-31 Sheppard moved into second and took off after Vitale. Over the remaining laps Sheppard threw everything he had at Vitale, at times pulling even with Vitale on different points of the speedway. The veteran Vitale wasn’t rattled as he ran the top of the track to perfection winning the race under the checkers by 00.289.

Behind Vitale and Sheppard, Chuck Bower, Chad Phelps and Pat Ward would finish third through fifth. Billy Decker, Larry Wight with a beat-up car from the Lap-1 accident, Jim Witko Jr., Joe August Jr. from Lap-1 accident and Jimmy Phelps from the same accident finished sixth through tenth.

Dylan Zacharias would lead the opening lap of the 25-Lap SUNY Canton Sportsman feature before a quick yellow and restart that would see James Carlson take over the top-spot.

With 5-Laps in the books Carlson would open a few car lengths' advantage while behind him Stephen Denton, Mike Prentice, Corey Barker, Gregg Kimball and Steve Abt were locked in a fight for second through sixth.

A quick caution period would happen on Lap-6 that Denton would take advantage of as he blasted into the lead when the green came back out.

With 10-Laps complete, Denton led by four/five cars as Carlson, Barker, three time feature winner Jack Meeks and Gregg Kimball battled as they keep Denton in sight.

At Lap-15 you could have almost thrown a blanket over Denton, Barker and Meeks with Carlson and Ron Davis III showing in the top-five.

On Lap-19 Barker made a wicked cross over move going from the top to the bottom to drive by into the lead. By running the bottom Barker left the top open and Meeks took advantage as he was shown the new leader one lap later.

Over the remaining laps Meeks was able to hold off a determined Barker for his fourth Brewerton win of the year. Todd Root, Ron Davis III and James Carlson came home third through fifth. Stephen Denton, Tony Finch II, Gregg Kimball, Ricky Yelle and Nick Krause completed the top-ten.

In the 20-Lap Pro Race Cars Mod Lite Feature Zach Babcock would lead the opening 2-Laps before Joe Isabell and Jeff Isabell Jr. took over the top-two spots. Jeff Isabell Jr. would be all over Joe Isabell when the yellow would wave on Lap-13. On the restart Jeff Isabell Jr. would use the extreme bottom of the speedway to be scored the new leader. Once out front Jeff Isabell Jr. would outrun Jeff Isabell to the checkers by just over one second. Mike Mullen, Doug Williams and Joe Garafolo would finish third through fifth.

In the Hilton’s Automotive Four Cylinders 15 Lap Jerry Curcie Memorial, Chuck Powelczyk would return to victory lane for the eighth time in nine starts. Powelczyk would take the lead on Lap-9 from Chris Bonoffski and never look back. Chris Bonoffski, Colby Herzog, Sam Curcie and Phil Burns chased the winner across the line.

This Friday, July 17th Universal Metal Works presents Shriners night. On the race card will be the Tracey Road Equipment Modifieds, SUNY Canton Sportsman, Pro Race Cars Mod Lites and Hilton’s Automotive Four-Cylinders.

Adult grandstand admission will be $12 with everyone 18 yrs. old and younger FREE. Pits are $27 Participant/$30 Non-Participant. Gates will open at 5:30 with racing at 7:30.

Any questions you might have please contact Cory Reed (315) 668-6906. For all the latest news go to  and also like the track Facebook page .

(Tracey Road Equipment Modifieds 35 Laps) - VINNIE VITALE, Matt Sheppard, Chuck Bower, Chad Phelps, Pat Ward, Billy Decker, Larry Wight, Jim Witko Jr., Joe August Jr., Jimmy Phelps, Matt Hulsizer, Ryan Bartlett, Chris Mackey, Andrew Ferguson, Kyle Fink, Jeff Blackburn, Ryan Phelps, Matt Fink, Tim Sears Jr., Mike Bowman, Robbie Bellinger, Chris Hile, Vic Coffey, Tim Kerr.

(Omni Services Heat Winners) - Vinnie Vitale, Chuck Bower, Jim Witko Jr..

(SUNY Canton Sportsman 25 Laps) - JACK MEEKS, Corey Barker, Todd Root, Ron Davis III, James Carlson, Stephen Denton, Tony Finch II, Gregg Kimball, Ricky Yelle, Nick Krause, Brent Joy, Mike Prentice, Steve Abt, Chris Cunningham, Joel Hargrave, Mike Taylor, Alan Fink, Earl Rudy, George Dyer, Rich Townsend, Chris Hulsizer, Kelly Smith, Dylan Zacharias.

(Pro Race Mod Lites 20 Laps) - JEFF ISABELL JR., Joe Isabell, Mike Mullen, Doug Williams, Joe Garafolo, Jeff Sykes, Lowell Zehr, Zach Babcock, Jim Bogett, Kelly Skinner, Jessie Hudson, Brian Meyers, Dave Brown, James Dunham.

(Hilton's Automotive Four-Cylinder 15 Laps- Jerry Curcie Memorial) - CHUCK POWELCZYK, Chris Bonoffski, Colby Herzog, Sam Curcie, Phil Burns, Sam Carista, Stephanie Seeley, Rick Wagner, Thomas Mackey, Jacob Dupra, Jerry Curcie Jr..