BREWERTON, N.Y. – official release – Rick Young photo — Brett Hearn came out on top Thursday night after a battle with rival Modified driver Danny Johnson at Brewerton Speedway.
Hearn persevered through a caution-riddled 100 laps to claim victory in the “Hurricane 100,” a NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLIII special at the Central New York track.
“It feels good. It’s been a while since we’ve been this good here at Brewerton,” said Hearn, who lead all 100 laps in Thursday’s feature race. ”I found a line early that I thought was working for me, I stayed out of the black, and I think that was key.”
Hearn drew the pole Thursday and took off at the green flag with the initial lead. The first caution came early as several cars, including the No. 21k of Randy Chrysler, the No. 3B of Chad Brachmann and the No. 71 of Mike Bowman, collided on lap 3. The field returned to green on lap 10, but was quickly back to yellow in lap 11.
Johnson, who started fifth on the grid, was capitalizing off the stop-and-go action and had made his way to third. Soon after the next restart, Johnson rode on the heels of Ryan Susice in second, taking the position on lap 19. Hearn had pulled away from the field, but Johnson charged ahead, hoping to have a go at his longtime rival.
A lap 31 caution for Yan Bussiere, whose No. 21 spun in turn 2, brought the field back together for a restart. Hearn and Johnson restarted from the front row, Hearn selecting the inside group. Hearn was able to stay ahead, but Johnson wasn’t as strong at the green flag and lost a position to Jimmy Phelps in the No. 99J.
However, Johnson gained momentum after a few green laps, and sought revenge on Phelps. He reclaimed second from the Baldwinsville Bandit on lap 41 and set his sights on Hearn.
The pace slowed again on lap 47 as the yellow flag waved for Lance Willix III. Hearn kept his spot on the restart and by lap 60 was speeding into lapped traffic when caution hit the speedway again on lap 68. Off the next restart, a midfield pileup in the front stretch brought a prolonged caution period as track crews cleared the wreck.
Racing resumed on lap 75, and the last quarter of the race wasn’t without its challenges for leader Hearn. The yellow flag waved on lap 77 for Zach Aubertine stopped in turn 4, giving Johnson another opportunity to challenge for lead off the restart. However, Hearn held on through that restart, as well as one on lap 80 after Chad Brachmann’s No. 3B slowed to a spot. On lap 93, the No. 71 of Mike Bowman brought the last caution of the race. Johnson charged ahead at the restart, putting all his will into overtaking Hearn in the last 7 laps, but Hearn’s No. 20 stayed ahead to claim victory.
“You don’t mind the yellows when the laps are counting, but when they’re not counting it’s a little longer,” commented Hearn, who admitted to having some trouble in lapped traffic on the one-third-mile “D-Shaped Dirt Demon.” “The lapped cars were tough at times. They were wandering around and you didn’t really know where to go.”
“Really the key was the car stayed good for 100 laps. Sometimes that’s hard here,” Hearn said.
After many unsuccessful challenges for the lead, Johnson finished second, fending off advances from Phelps.
“I had a great hotrod,” Johnson said in post-race ceremonies following the feature event. “I’m really happy that we’re here in Victory Lane, getting up on the podium and talking to all the fans.”
Phelps finished third and, while he would have preferred the win, was glad for a podium finish.
“We just missed it a little bit. We practiced a little choppy, and the bite just didn’t go away like we thought it would,” Phelps said. ?We started up front with some really good guys, so we’re not disappointed with third.”
RESULTS: DIRTcar 358-Modified Series at Brewerton Speedway (Thursday, October 9, 2014)
A-Main (100 laps):
1. 20 Brett Hearn / Sussex, N.J.
2. 27J Danny Johnson / Rochester, N.Y.
3. 99J Jimmy Phelps / Baldwinsville, N.Y.
4. 66x Carey Terrance / Hogansburg, N.Y.
5. 14J Alan Johnson / Middlesex, N.Y.
6. 6m Mat Williamson / St. Catharines, Ontario
7. 38 Ryan Susice / Ransomville, N.Y.
8. 4* Tim McCreadie / Watertown, N.Y.
9. 14 Stewart Friesen / Sprakers, N.Y.
10. 33 Mike Mahaney / King Ferry, N.Y.
11. 25 Erick Rudolph / Ransomville, N.Y.
12. R70 Ryan Arbuthnot / Renfrew, Ontario
13. 22c Mario Clair / St. Edmond, Quebec
14. 02 Roy Bresnahan / Fulton, N.Y.
15. 44 Zach Aubertine / Chaumont, N.Y.
16. 323 Neal Williams / Pittsgrove, N.J.
17. 21 Yan Bussiere / Drummondville, N.Y.
18. 71 Mike Bowman / St. Catharines, Ontario
19. 99L Larry Wight / Altmar, N.Y.
20. 16x Danny Creeden / Middletown, N.Y.
21. 3B Chad Brachmann / Sanborn, N.Y.
22. 42p Pat Ward / Genoa, N.Y.
23. 12 Brian Sage / Brockport, N.Y.
24. 901 Ryan Godown / Ringoes, N.J.
25. 42B Kevin Bates / Lake Ariel, Penn.
26. 16w Lance Willix II / Theresa, N.Y.
27. 17d Danny O’Brien / Iverary, Ontario
28. 21k Randy Chrysler / Lewiston, N.Y.
29. 91 Billy Decker / Sidney, N.Y.
30. 25H Bobby Herrington / Elginburg, Ontario
Did Not Start:
T21 Roger Chrysler / Lewiston, N.Y.
10c Tim Currier / Auburn, N.Y.
3m Bill Mullin / Iroquois, Ontario
1 Tyler Dippel / Wallkill, N.Y.
93 Ryan Bartlett / Watertown, N.Y.
9H Matt Sheppard / Waterloo, N.Y.
87 Shawn Donath / South Onondaga, N.Y.
14g Brian Gleason / Altamont, N.Y.
18 Anthony Perrego / Montgomery, N.Y.
9J Jordan McCreadie / Watertown, N.Y.
39a Alan Therrien / Victoriaville, Quebec
1R Jeff McGinnis / Ransomville, N.Y.
91L Rick Lauback / Hellertown, Penn.
29B Jeff Brownell, Jr.
66 Kyle Dingwall / South Dundas, Ontario
19J John McKenney, Jr.
19 Luke Stewart / Sydenham, Ontario
21w Kyle Weiss / Hamburg, Penn.
51 Rich Townsend
39 Alex Therrien / Victoriaville, Quebec
C88 Chad Miller