The first weekend in October marks the 35th annual Outlaw 200 on the high shores of Fulton Speedway off Route 57.
Friday’s aperitif kicks off with nearly 135 laps of the race: the 40-lap RUSH Late Models Brian Dolbear Tribute race, the DIRTcar Sportsman Shootout playoffs and consolation races, the modified 15-lap Outlaw 200 qualifying, the 25-lap Lite mod, four-cylinder 25-lap function, Hobby Stock 25-lap function, and Novice Sportsman Championship 20-lap function.
The filet mignon and lobster (or main course) starts at 4.30 p.m. on Saturday. The changes will take center stage with 10-lap heat races, 12-lap consolation races, a 15-lap last-chance showdown, and then – the “jewel” of the northeast – the 20,000. $ to win Outlaw 200. There will be a break after the first 100 laps, cars must go to the pits and make adjustments, refuel and change tires to complete the 200 laps.
Cory Reed, marketing director at Fulton Speedway, admits they âdon’t know what we’re getting this yearâ for the modified invaders.
Judging from years past, there will be a healthy number of 100 to 120 modified appearing from all over the Northeast. The 3/8 mile track draws the best of the best from neighboring states.
The cars that will not be able to travel will be Canada’s large contingent of drivers and modified vehicles. Travel restrictions at the border for COVID-19 are still in effect until October 21.
Who do we watch? We really don’t need to look much further than the top five in the points race at Fulton last season. Ronnie Davis III, the modified 2021 champion, leads the way with veteran Pat Ward, Dave Marcuccilli, Larry Wight and Tim Sears Jr. all with shots for the win. One driver who won’t be there is Stewart Friesen, who will be in Talladega to compete in the NASCAR Truck Series playoff race on Saturday afternoon. Erik Rudolph, Matt Sheppard, Matt Williamson, Mike Mahaney, Chris Hile and 2019 winner Mike Maresca are also good choices for the win.
Equally remarkable will be the athletic class, which will be equipped with an enormous number of cars competing for the prestigious victory of the 50 laps.
“The main objective is to get into the show,” said Chris Mackey of Rome, driver of the No.3 Fastline-sponsored chassis sportsman Bicknell. âWe will go out on the track with our basic setup and then we will adjust according to the condition of the track. “
Mackey was second in the Fulton Speedway season points hunt and is looking to add Outlaw’s victory to his three feature wins this season.
“(We) will show up with the best equipment (we) can and if the car is good you just do your best,” Mackey concluded.
The race could be played between Mackey and No.33x Matt Janczuk of Oneida, who notched six wins to claim his first track championship at Fulton Speedway in 2021.
âThe whole (athletic) class as a whole,â said Janczuk, âis super competitive.â
Janczuk has won the Outlaw Sportsman Race twice and he won Oktoberfast last season (the Outlaw Race was replaced by Oktoberfast in 2020 due to the pandemic). So he knows what to expect and with “hot timed group laps” he hopes to secure a good start in his qualifying race to get a big draw for the function.
âWe’ve definitely been working hard over the past few weeks,â said Janczuk, âgetting the car ready for Outlaw and Super DIRT week.â
Besides Janczuk and Mackey, Amy Holland, Zach Sobotka, AJ Miller, Willy Decker Jr., Tyler Corcoran, Alan Fink and Tyler Murray are all possible winners.
Fasten your seat belts, the race is about to become real.