BRIGHTON, Ont. (July 18, 2016) – Phil Potts stole the lead from Kyle Sopaz on a lap 17 restart and led the final 13 laps without difficulty to earn his third win of the season at Brighton Speedwayon Saturday night. The win was particularly impressive for Potts, who started ninth for the 30-lap main event.
“As soon as I hit the gas when we took the green flag, I knew we had a good car,” Potts said of the victory.
The win is also Potts’ second in three weeks, with a second-place finish sandwiched in between. The consistent results are the fruits of the Fowl Mood team’s “cautiously quick” approach.
“Everybody asks what we’re doing different. We’re not doing anything different. Maybe I’m getting a little more used to the car,” Potts commented. “We’re making the same adjustments. We’re not doing anything major at all, which is the way you’re supposed to do it.”
The fifth row starting spot never bothered Potts as he quickly made his way forward. He was in fifth by lap four and up to third for a lap 12 restart. He then battled Tyler Rand for the second spot over a five-lap period, taking the position on lap 16. The pass came at an opportune time as a caution waved on lap 17 and gave Potts a shot at the leader Sopaz on the restart.
“I was lucky enough that the racing gods opened up a few spots for me,” Potts chuckled, “but it’s so much different than years before. Everybody knew then I was going to the high side and if there wasn’t a high side I wasn’t going to do very well.”
Continued Potts: “Now with this new car, I have the ability to go to the bottom, top or, most times, right through the middle. It makes it so much easier for me. I can follow someone and see where their weak spot is and go from there.”
The race ran caution-free after the lap 17 restart and Potts pulled away from Sopaz in his Brighton Recycling/Indewey Excavating/Vanderlaan Building Products No.29 Mustang. Sopaz fought to keep pace on the bottom, but once Potts cleared him and took the bottom lane for himself, the race was all but over.
“I fight with myself because up top feels so much faster than being on the bottom. When I came in, the guys tell me I pulled away on the bottom,” Potts said. “So I have to mentally fight myself to stay on the bottom. It feels so much more exciting on the top and you’re so much closer to the wall.”
The win gives Potts a share of the points lead with Charlie Sandercock. The two drivers sit tied and hold a 50-point advantage over Brandon Mowat. With two months of racing remaining, Potts knows it’s going to be a fight over the long haul.
“I’d rather be the chaser, but I want to be close. We’re back to the cautiously quick, just like we always are. You have to try and maintain what you have and try to get more. I knew it was going to be like this. It’s going to be a tough, tough battle,” he said.
Potts and the Fowl Mood Race Team now get set for a busy stretch of three races in three nights. The team will return to action on Saturday, July 23 at Brighton Speedway’s Summer Smash event before hitting the road for two days with the Go Nuclear Late Model Series. The series visits Humberstone Speedway on Sunday, July 24 and Ohsweken Speedway on Monday, July 25 as part of the Northern Crate Nationals.
Phil Potts – 15 Starts: 3 Wins, 12 Top-5s, 14 Top-10s
The Fowl Mood Race Team’s 2016 season is supported by several dedicated corporate sponsors, including Vanderlaan Building Products, Brighton Recycling, Indewey Excavating and Crow Design.
Prepared By Clayton Johns Media (@cjohnsmedia)
Photo Attachment: Phil Potts battles Tyler Rand for second on the way to his third win of the season at Brighton Speedway. (Rod Henderson photo).