MALTA, N.Y. — Jackie Brown appeared to be headed to his first Albany-Saratoga Speedway DIRTcar modified feature Friday night, but just as Mike Mahaney found out a week ago, 35 laps is a lot tougher distance to win at than 30.
With the lap counter at 32, 11th starting Brett Hearn rocketed by Brown to notch his 134th win at the three-eighths-mile oval.
“I was better in the middle than on top,” tipped Hearn. “With guys two and three wide in front of me, there was nowhere to go for a while, but once things cleared out, we were good to go.”
Polesitter Neil Stratton led early on with the third starting Brown in hot pursuit. The duo could pull away from the field but multiple yellows kept bringing them back. Meanwhile, Hearn and Kenny Tremont were making their customary mad dashes from deep in the field and by lap 10 they were fifth and seventh, respectively.
Stratton and Brown’s night almost ended on the frontstretch at halfway, when Kyle Armstrong and CG Morey tangled right in front of them. They escaped, but Hearn stood fourth on the restart with his sights on the lead.
Brown shot down Stratton on the green, with Tremont and Hearn swapping fourth back and forth until Hearn turned the wick up a notch and scooted by Matt DeLorenzo and then Stratton. He then drove around Brown with three to go and shot out to a comfortable margin of victory.
Brown held on for second ahead of Tremont, DeLorenzo and Stratton.
Hunter Sanchez scored a popular win in the Street Stocks, defeating division kingpin Randy Miller, while Chris Johnson notched a $1,000 win in the Sportsman Shootout, besting Robert Bublack and Tim Hartman Jr.