Brewerton Speedway star Zach Sobotka starts his Super DIRT Week 51 with a meaningful DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series victory
Brewerton Speedway kicked Super DIRT Week 51 into high gear Wednesday night with the annual DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series’ Hurricane Harvey 30. Track champion Zach Sobotka broke his winless streak on the track’s biggest night, fending off challenges from runner-up Cody Manitta.
“This is a special race to everyone that races here weekly,” Sobotka, of Parish, NY, said. “It’s the Hurricane Harvey. To win that two years in a row. You can’t beat it here. It’s the biggest one to win.”
Two seasons in-a-row Sobotka was without a win at Brewerton going into the Hurricane Harvey. And two years in-a-row Sobotka clocked the field to park it in the eye of the storm.
Sobotka started on the outside pole position when the green flag flew to start the 30-lap Feature. He battled hard with polesitter Nelson Mason before finally completing the pass on Lap 5. He kept pushing, but Cody Manitta inched closer every lap.
“I didn’t ever see him there but I had a feeling he was there,” said Sobotka. “That sixth sense feeling you get when someone is there. I know he wasn’t going around the top because it was getting slick. I knew that as long as I stuck to the bottom I could hold it. For the first 90% race I was driving it in hard and letting it float up to the top. I knew the top in three and four would never be great after lap 10. I knew I had to go to the bottom there. It’s like that every week. You can run up there for five to 10 laps but as then it’s gone.”
Second-place Cody Manitta, from Cato, NY, had a faster race car at certain stages but he could not find a way around the No. 38.
“It’s just Sobotka’s experience here,” noted Manitta. “He has multiple track championships here. I finished third to him in the points once. His experience is really the difference.
“This is a Novice Sportsman that I borrowed because my car is at Oswego. We’re going to run it next year because it’s been really good for us so far. It’s got an eighth place at Weedspot and a second place here.”
DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series points leader Andrew Buff, from Latham, NY, finished third after top-three finisher Nelson Mason was disqualified for using illegal fuel.
Mike Fowler’s Super DIRT Week has already been extra challenging. Fowler, from Fulton, NY, experienced engine issues while leading at Weedsport, changed the engine overnight, practiced at Oswego Speedway during the day, and then had to transfer out of the Last Chance Showdown to make the Hurricane Harvey. Once the green flag flew, the No. 410 machine was on the move, picking up 16 spots before the checkered flag fell.
The DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series action shifts back to Oswego Speedway for the remainder of Super DIRT Week 51. On Thursday, Oct. 5, the Series has a practice session at 2:30 p.m. followed by Time Trials to lock in the Top 6 for the Chevrolet Performance 75.
DIRTcar Sportsman Feature (30 Laps): 1. 38-Zach Sobotka; 2. 6-Cody Manitta; 3. 35-Nelson Mason; 4. 92-Andrew Buff; 5. 7M-Cody McPherson; 6. 30-Nicholas Root; 7. 31B-Ryan Dolbear; 8. 52-Jessica Power; 9. 410-Mike Fowler; 10. 5D-Kyle Devendorf; 11. 35T-Cameron Tuttle; 12. 83-Brett Sears; 13. 01-Zach Buff; 14. 23T-Scott Towslee; 15. 111-Brett Senek; 16. 29-Nick Heywood; 17. 42-Daryl Nutting; 18. 5-Tanner Siemons; 19. 11C-Austin Cooper; 20. 0-Billy Bleich Jr; 21. FOX28-Tyler Stevenson; 22. 74-Taylor Vanderzanden; 23. 95-Kearra Backus; 24. (DNF) 06W-Dorian Wahdan; 25. (DNF) 33-Richard Murtaugh; 26. (DNF) 02-David Boisclair; 27. (DNF) 33R-Travis Bruno; 28. (DNF) 399-Nick Giardini; 29. (DNF) 11-Dan Ferguson; 30. (DNF) 2-Taylor Doxtater