Rich Vleck, FULTON, NY, (June 7, 2014)- When Jason Barney’s No. 87 would not fire in hot laps, he felt like just loading up and going home to watch some television, but thankfully for him, he stuck with things and his luck turned around in a big way.
Barney, of Constantia, NY, took the lead from Shawn Donath coming to complete lap four of the Patriot Sprint Tour A-Main and would dominate the remainder of a caution-free A-Verdi A-Main to score his first sprint car win at Fulton.
“I really needed this,” admitted Barney in Victory Lane. “I’ve been really down on myself the last few weeks and began to question if we knew what we were doing anymore. I needed a surface like this to get back in to our comfort zone.
For Barney, it was not just a win at any ordinary track, but at Fulton where he has a lengthy history and some unique memories that were rekindled earlier in the day.
“I got in the truck today and took the old route my dad took when we came here in 1996. I stopped to get an ice cream and said “I really need one tonight dad” and it was good,” said an emotional Barney in Victory Lane.
With Barney’s E&V Energy No. 87 unable to fire for hot laps, he hit the track cold for the heat race, but it did not matter much as the soared to the win despite starting in the eighth position. When the pole was drawn for him, he knew he had a shot to win, but would have to deal with some stiff competition.
Outside polesitter Shawn Donath used an improved high side to lead at the line for the first three laps, but each time, Barney had his car alongside at the stripe. As the lead pair completed lap four, Barney had edged ahead, and by the time the next lap was completed, “Racin Jason” was in front for good.
“I knew Shawn was good through the middle and I was just hoping to get to lapped traffic and use them as picks,” reflected Barney afterwards about an impressive caution-free race where all 24 starters finished. “I would almost slow down to race (the lapped cars) side-by-side for as long as I could because I didn’t want to go any lower and I figured if someone wanted to go around me they would have to go way up and I’ve only seen Billy Pauch do that.”
Barney would stretch his advantage over Donath to a full straightaway around lap 15, and even though Donath was able to chop that lead in half by the final few laps, there was no touching the leader without the aid of a caution.
The win was Barney’s seventh career PST A-Main win, his first on American soil since 2009.
Donath was another driver that needed a solid run after a string of bad luck, so he was pleased with his runner-up showing, recognizing that he was set to the run the top and as the race wore on could not compete with Barney’s line on the bottom.
Sprint car moonlighter Larry Wight put on a quality performance at his home track as he ran up to finish in third. He was unable to take his podium picture in Victory Lane though as he had to strap in to his modified for that feature event.
Cory Sparks won a heat at Fulton for the second year in a row and backed that up with a quality fourth place run. Sammy Reakes IV and Bryan Howland used the Four Laps of Fame Dash to drive up through the pack, as they both moved up six spots to finish fifth and sixth, respectively.
Charlie Donk put together a quality seventh place run, ahead of Jessica Zemken, who finished eighth for the second PST fulton race in a row.
Paul Habeck finished ninth for the second consecutive night despite still feeling ill. Series point leader Jared Zimbardi won the Four Laps of Fame but struggled all night, finishing 10th.
A total of 27 cars packed in to the pits for the seventh PST event of the season and the seventh series race ever held at the 3/8-mile oval. Dave Wickham, George Suprick and Tyler Graves all suffered mechanical problems and would be scratched before the B-Main. The other 24 cars all were able to finish the A-Main.
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Patriot Sprint Tour America Series Results: 6/7/14, Fulton Speedway, Fulton, NY.
A-Verdi A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Jason Barney (87*), 2. Shawn Donath (53), 3. Larry Wight (99L), 4. Cory Sparks (7), 5. Sammy Reakes IV (1), 6. Bryan Howland (51), 7. Charlie Donk (99), 8. Jessica Zemken (1z), 9. Paul Habeck (25H), 10. Jared Zimbardi (35), 11. Tommy Wickham (75), 12. Parker Evans (61), 13. Paige Polyak (19), 14. Scott Just (54jr), 15. Derek Jonathan (81), 16. Steve Collins (67), 17. Zach Weigand (20), 18. Dave Just (54J), 19. John Cunningham (J27), 20. Yan Bilodaeu (123), 21. Shawn Sitler (71s), 22. Brad Knab (38), 23. Clint Ide (3), 24. Dane Lorenc (00).
Lap Leaders- Donath 1-3, Barney 4-25.
Provisional Starters: Knab, Lorenc.
DNQ: Dave Wickham (80), George Suprick (87), Tyler Graves (25G).
Four Laps of Fame (4 Laps)- 1. Jared Zimbardi (35), 2. Scott Just (54jr), 3. Sammy Reakes IV (1), 4. Bryan Howland (51), 5. Derek Jonathan (81), 6. Dave Just (54J).
Heat Races (8 Laps, Top Six From Each Transfer to A-Main)-
Race 1: Barney, Habeck, Donk, Jonathan, Cunningham, Polyak, Knab, Weigand, Lorenc.
Race 2: Sparks, Wight, Zimbardi, Reakes, S. Just, D. Just, Sitler, Barney, D. Wickham.
Race 3: Donath, T. Wickham, Zemken, Howland, Ide, Evans, Bilodeau, Collins, Graves.
B-Main (8 Laps, Top Four Transfer to A-Main)- Collins, Weigand, Sitler, Bilodaeu, Knab, Lorenc, D. Wickham, Suprick, Graves.
Patriot Sprint Tour America Series Point Standings (Top 10)- Zimbardi 1257, Polyak 1091, Collins 1065, Knab 1062, D. Just 1039, S. Just 991, Jonathan 990, Kreutter 967, Lorenc 956, Graves 952.
Four Laps of Fame Dash Series Standings (Top Five)- Polyak 17, Knab 14, D. Just 12, Jones 10, Evans 8.
Gater Racing News Hard Charger of the Season Standings (Top Five)- Polyak 26, Adamczyk 17, Reakes 14, Zimbardi and Knab 12.