Jim Witko Jr. Surprise Brewerton Speedway Modified Winner
BREWERTON, NY – If there ever was a picture next to the word ‘dedication’ Modified racer Jim Witko Jr. and his wife Barbara would be that photo.
For many years Witko and his wife drive 142-mile one-way weekly from their Clarks Summit, PA home to race at the Brewerton Speedway. On race nights they work on the car with no pit crew, race and then drive back home.
In recent memory Witko hasn’t gotten the finishes up to his standards but he kept showing up and battling despite the results. His ‘never give up’ attitude finally paid off Friday night with a wildly popular win with other racers and fans in the 35-lap Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Modified feature.
In victory lane, Jim Witko attributed the win to two things. This week he took delivery of CC Performance Engine and took time off work to put together a new chassis he had in the back of the race shop. That combination paid off holding off late race challenges from Tyler Trump and Ron Davis III for his first win since 2017.
Other winners on Scott Jeffery’s Performance Plus night were, Kevin Root (DOT Foods DIRTcar Sportsman) Mike Mullen (U.S Air Force Mod Lites) Chris Bonoffski (Fleet Repairs Truck & Trailer Repair 4-Cylinders).
Roy Bresnahan and Tim Harris would bring the 35-lap Modified feature down to the green with Bresnahan grabbing the opening lap lead with Jim Witko taking the top-spot one lap later.
Bresnahan would battle back retaking the lead on lap 5 by inches at the line as Harris, Tyler Trump and Andrew Ferguson raced for third through fifth.
With 10-laps showing on the scoring tower, Bresnahan and Witko were in a two-car breakaway at the front of field. Behind the top-two, Trump, Harris, Ferguson and Ron Davis III raced in a tight pack battling for third through sixth.
After racing side-by-side lap after lap Witko would wrestle the lead away from Bresnahan with a power move on the bottom of the speedway exiting turn four on lap 16.
On lap 20 Witko and Bresnahan still occupied the top-two spots but were about to have company as Tyler Trump and Ron Davis III were quickly closing to make it a four-car battle at the front.
After working his way to second, Trump chased down Witko and was right on Witko’s back bumper with Davis not far behind setting up a 6-lap shootout to the checkers.
Over the final laps Trump and Davis tried to find a way by but to no avail as Witko was on rails on the bottom groove and drove away for a half-a-straightaway win. Ron Davis III, Tyler Trump, Tim Sears Jr. and Larry Wight finished second through fifth.
In the 25-lap Sportsman feature, Joe Sobotka would jump out to the early lead and by lap 5 he was in a two-car breakaway out front with John Strickler with Willy Decker Jr., Kevin Root and Mike Prentice in a tight fight for top-five spots.
On lap 9 Strickler was glued to the bottom and would drive by Sobotka to be scored the new leader.
With 10 laps to go Strickler dashed out to a full straightway lead. Prentice ran alone in second. You could have thrown a blanket over Root, Sobotka, Decker and Mike Fowler in a close battle for third through sixth.
On lap 18 the yellow would wave erasing the almost 3 seconds lead Strickler had.
When the green came back out it would take Kevin Root 2 laps to drive into the lead from the topside of the speedway and then pull away for his fourth win of the year. John Stickler finished his season best second followed by Zach Sobotka, Mike Prentice and Mike Fowler to complete the top-five.
In the 20-lap Mod Lite feature, Doug Williams, Mike Mullen, Brian Meyers, Justin Williams all led early laps in the first half of the race.
At the halfway point Mullen took the lead and looked like he would run away and hide, but Meyers had other ideas. On the final lap, Meyers and Mullen ran bumper to bumper and side by side setting up a drag race off turn four to the checkers that Mullen won by a slim 0.439 of a second at the finish. Casey Sykes, Justin Williams and Joe Garafolo finished third through fifth.
In the 15-lap 4-Cylinder feature Chris Bonoffski took the lead on lap 2 and from there dominated the rest of the distance. Chuck Powelczyk, Ray Bechler, Quinn Wallis and Ken Pitsley came home second through fifth.
This Friday, August 9th NAPA Auto Parts will present a five-star racing program featuring the Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Modifieds, DOT Foods DIRTcar Sportsman, U.S Air Force Mod Lites, Fleet Repairs Truck & Trailer Repair 4-Cylinders plus the Fulton Speedway Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux RUSH Late Models.
Adult grandstand admission is $15 with everyone 18 years old and younger admitted free to the grandstands. Pit admission is $27 Participant, $30 Non-Participant.
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Scott Jeffery’s Performance Plus Night August 2 Results.
(Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Modifieds 35 Laps) – JIM WITKO JR., Ron Davis III, Tyler Trump, Tim Sears Jr., Larry Wight, Tom Sears Jr., Andrew Ferguson, Chad Phelps, Chris Hile, Pat Ward, Jimmy Phelps, Roy Bresnahan, Matt Hulsizer, Billy Decker, Katelyn Hile, Tim Harris, Nick Krause, Collin DuBois.
(DOT Foods DIRTcar Sportsman 25 Laps) – KEVIN ROOT, John Strickler, Zach Sobotka, Mike Prentice, Mike Fowler, Dylan Zacharias, Chris Mackey, Corey Barker, Alan Fink, Willy Decker Jr., Mark Yorker, Stephen Denton, Joe Sobotka, Rich Townsend, Billy Clark Jr., Jim Spano, Jeff Taylor, Tyler Corcoran, Tyler Murray, Quinn Wallis, Earl Rudy, Tim Devendorf, Colby Herzog, Bailey Groves, Brandon Carvey, Amy Holland, Jeff Prentice, JJ Courcy.
(DOT Foods DIRTcar Sportsman B-Main –15 Laps) – Amy Holland, Mark Yorker, Billy Clark Jr., Tyler Corcoran, Alan Fink, Colby Herzog, Earl Rudy, Ryan Dolbear, Bob Henry Jr., Jeff Prentice, Dorian Wahdan, Brandon Chretien, Brian Evenden, Rick Rogala, Riley Rogala.
(Scott Jeffery’s Performance Plus $150 Gift Certificate) – Zach Sobotka.
(U.S Air Force Mod Lites 20 Laps) – MIKE MULLEN, Brian Meyers, Casey Sykes, Justin Williams, Joe Garafolo, Tucker Halliday, Doug Williams, Dave Brown, Tom Perkins, Kelly Skinner, Roger Olschewske, Kyle Demo, Ben Reed, Tom Mackey, DNS Hunter Lawton.
(Fleet Repairs Truck & Trailer Repair 4-Cylinders 15 Laps) – CHRIS BONOFFSKI, Chuck Powelczyk, Ray Bechler, Quinn Wallis, Ken Pitsley, Tim Balins, Clayton Koch, Jacob Dupra, Damien Bechler, Donnie Rider, DNS Evan Wright, Sam Curcie, Dylan Curcie, Jerry Curcie Jr.