MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – The top-30 starters for the longest-running 200-lap dirt modified race in the country are set after preliminary action Friday night at Orange County Fair Speedway.
Larry Wight will lead the field to green for the Eastern States 200, this year paying $20,000 to win at the five-eighths-mile, Brett Hearn-promoted New York dirt track.
Early in the day it was Edwards, N.Y., veteran Tim Fuller setting fast time in time trials with a lap of 23.165 seconds. He was followed by Jimmy Phelps, Mat Williamson, Larry Wight, Tim Sears Jr. and Max McLaughlin among the top six qualifiers.
Those half-dozen drivers locked themselves into the Race for the Pole later in the night.
Heats for the 200-lap feature were won by Jeff Heotzler, Tommy Meier, Matt Sheppard, Tyler Dippel, Stewart Friesen and Anthony Perrego, who all locked into the Race for the Pole as well.
It then came down to Wight, from Phoenix, N.Y., who won the 20-lap race and will start first in the Eastern States 200.
Wight passed Fuller for the lead on lap seven and drove off to a 5.547-second victory over Max McLaughlin. Fuller crossed third ahead of Friesen and Sears Jr.
Phelps, Meier, Williamson, Sheppard, Perrego, Dippel and Heotzler filled out the finishing order and will make up the rest of the front six rows, in that order.
Notables who have not locked into the field yet for the Eastern States 200 include several Capital Region campaigners in Kenny Tremont Jr., Marc Johnson and Andy Bachetti, along with Australian veteran Peter Britten, L.J. Lombardo and Ryan Godown.
Small block modified time trials were dominated by Phelps, who posted a lap of 23.132 seconds to lead the way in that category.
Phelps was followed by Billy Decker, Sears Jr., David Schilling, Rocky Warner and Ben Bushaw. Small block heats were won by Wight, Gary Edwards Jr., Andy Bachetti, Kevin Root, Friesen and Tyler Boniface.
Sportsman 602 Crate Modifieds also locked in the top six from time trials, and Alan Fink was the fastest with a lap of 23.824 seconds.
He was trailed by Tommy Collins Jr., Matt Janczuk, Joe Bunning, Zach Sabokta and Mel Schruffer. Heat winners were Jordan Lawrence, Root, Tyler Murray, Gary Edwards Jr., Janczuk and Mel Schrufer.
Consolation events for the Sportsman class were won by Joe Toth and Tyler Corcoran.