ELBRIDGE, N.Y. – Second place just wasn’t good enough for Brett Hearn.
The Vernon, N.J., native took the runner-up spot at Wednesday’s 358-Modified Series race at Cayuga County Fair Speedway, but Thursday’s 75-lap series race at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park gave him the second chance he needed to make it to victory lane.
“We finished the deal tonight,” said Hearn, who fought hard for first in Weedsport Wednesday, but finished second to World of Outlaws Late Model Series star Tim McCreadie. “We didn’t give it away at the end.”
Despite success in qualifying events, making fast time in time trials and winning his heat, Hearn’s redraw put him in the 11th starting spot. Pole-sitter Lee Gill took the early lead, but Hearn was able to make his way up and challenge Gill in lap 16, passing in lap 18. The two raced neck-and-neck for several laps, Gill getting the chance to reclaim the lead off a double-file restart in lap 35. However, Hearn took the top spot back in lap 48 and sped along “The Fast Track” to build a hefty lead over his follower.
“We had to get through a lot of cars to get to the front,” Hearn said. “I had a little scare there with the 7 car went by me on that one restart, but after my tires got hot again everything was good.”
A yellow flag with six laps to go put another obstacle on Hearn’s path to victory lane, especially with “the Doctor” Danny Johnson, last year’s small block winner at Rolling Wheels, at his tail. Hearn kept pace and powered ahead, keeping his lead through the checkered flag.
Johnson, also interested in improving his performance at Cayuga County Fair Speedway, was not disappointed with a run that took him from 17th on the starting grid to second at the finish line.
“The car ran a lot better than it did at Weedsport,” said Johnson, who finished fourth at Wednesday’s 358-Modified Series event. “The crew did a great job getting the thing ready and making the right decisions.”
Early race leader Lee Gill stayed strong, finishing third. Rounding out the top five are Danny O’Brien in fourth and Tim McCreadie in fifth.