Mar 1, 2020 07:25 PM EDT
Driver Profile: BRADY FULTZ CONTINUES A LONG FAMILY TRADITION
Exclusive story by Kenny Shupp Jr.
Same last name, same car number, same Dundee, NY residency, and for second generation driver, Brady Fultz he hopes to continue the family tradition that his father, Dave Fultz, along with uncles Allan Fultz and John Moravec started decades ago in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York.
“It’s some pretty big shoes to fill, stated Brady Fultz from his Dundee, NY home. My dad was a great racer in the Super Stock Division in the 70’s and 80’s as was his brother Alan during his brief stint in the Small Block Modifieds. My moms’ brother, John Moravec had a fantastic career in the Modifieds during the 70’s, 80’,90’s and early 2000’s so racing is in my family’s blood. My dad and uncle Allan primarily ran at Dundee, but Uncle John was a journeyman. He ran Dundee, Woodhull, Canandaigua and traveled the DIRT Series back in the Ithaca Gun days”.
But don’t let the family genealogy fool you, Brady Fultz wants to lay down his own legacy. Now in his 19th season and currently competing in the tough Modified Division in Upstate New York, Brady has a pretty good track record for a young guy and plenty of experience in chassis set up having spent several years as an employee at the Billy Colton owned Troyer Race Cars in Rochester.
“Having grown up in a racing environment I knew that driving was something I eventually wanted to do. From the time I graduated from the Dundee High School in 2006 I was really into chassis set ups and body designs so the deal with Troyer was a perfect fit. Having attended the 2-year Motorsports Program at Alfred Tech from 2006 thru 2008 after graduation I started working for Troyer’s in the fall of that year. I got an apartment in the Rochester area where I stayed all week while working at Troyer’s then I would come home on weekends and race. The experience I gained while working with Billy Colton is invaluable and I enjoyed the work, but the travel was tough so I moved back to Dundee and started working for my uncle John’s business, Moravec Water Wells in Penn Yan where I currently am employed.”
At Troyer’s he was a sheet metal fabricator designing and installing bodies for both dirt and asphalt modifieds.
“When I was involved on the Asphalt side of Troyer, I had the opportunity to work with NASCAR Star, Casey Kane when he periodically piloted the Troyer Asphalt Modified House Car. That was pretty cool!”
Brady currently is involved in the day to day business at Moravec’s as a drilling assistant and pump installer.
Like his father before him, Brady too began his career in the Super Stock Class at Black Rock Speedway, now known as Outlaw Speedway after a brief stint in the Black Rock Bandit Youth Division where he picked up one win in both 2002 and 2003 in the only 2 seasons he competed in the class.
In 2004 he only had hot lap practice in his father, Dave’s Super Stock before racing full time in the division at Black Rock Speedway in 2005. Young Brady was an overnight hit as he competed and won in the Super Stock Division that year. In his first outing he nailed a top 5 finish and ended up the year with 2 feature wins in the class before the family owned operation decided to make the move in 2007 into the upstart 602 Crate Sportsman Division competing at the Black Rock, now knows as Outlaw Speedway as well as the Woodhull Raceway.
Fultz claimed, “2005 was awesome, but in 06 the Super Stock Class saw some major changes as the 360 Late Model Class was pretty much taking things over and our car was no longer competitive. We struggled thru 2006 and the next season we went full bore into the Crate Sportsman Class.”
With the help of fellow drivers, Tim Sebring and Steve Paine the Fultz Racing Family operation was able to into a Crate Sportsman.
“Tim Sebring was instrumental in securing the Suzuki sponsorship for us and Steve Paine provided me with a TEO Pro Car that he had so we were in business. 2007 was a great year for our first time racing a Sportsman as I not only won the Rookie of the Year at Black Rock, but I also won the Track Championship.”
Fultz continued to race the TEO machine until 2009 when the family obtained their first Troyer Race Car, a used machine again out of the Paine Motorsports Shops in Seneca Falls, NY.
Thru the latter part of the years 2007 thru 2013 Fultz focused his attention on the Crate Sportsman racing ono both Hoosier as well as American Racer Tires depending on what race venue he was at.
“2012 was another great year for us, stated Fultz. We had a very consistent year winning 2 feature events at Woodhull Raceway along with 4 features and our second Track Championship at Black Rock. We had gotten pretty good with the Sportsman, so we started taking a very serious look at a 358 engine.”
In 2013 the team continued to race a Crate Sportsman but during the season they took possession of a potent 358 power plant and ran a couple shows at Woodhull that same season.
Fultz and his team did well with the 358 in 2014. They raced two cars that year with one of the Troyers at Black Rock, then known as Yates County Speedway under the promotion of Dan Harpell where he finished 2nd in the final point tally. The 358 was raced weekly at Woodhull where Fultz picked up 2 feature wins and finished 4th in the overall points. Mind you the 358 was at somewhat of a disadvantage as the Woodhull rules allowed power plants up to 370 cubic inches.
“Yes, about everyone there was pushing 370, but we did real well competing against them with our 358. We had the car set up real good which made up some of the difference.”
Beginning at the start of the 2015 season thru the completion of 2019 the team has struggled.
“For the past 5 years we have gone backwards, stated Fultz. I did get a couple wins in “15” at Black Rock and we occasionally ran at Woodhull and did ok, but it was nothing to brag about. My last win in our family owned car came at Outlaw in 2016 and that’s been it!”
However, even struggling thru several seasons the Fultz Family Modified was able to muster top ten point finishes at Black Rock, now known as Outlaw Speedway during the 2016 thru 2019 race seasons with a solid 9th place point finish this last season keeping in mind that since the current ownership of the Outlaw Speedway, Tyler Siri can boast of some of the top Modified pilots in the northeast racing weekly at the Yates County oval. Names like Matt Sheppard, Steve Paine, Alan Johnson, Danny Johnson, Kyle Coffey, Justin Wright, Cory Costa along with Siri headline a who’s who lost of top drivers that compete each week. It is a tough crowd!
“In “17” and “18” we switched to a Big Block engine with the thinking that if we could get the program going good enough, we would take on some select DIRTcar Big Block Modified Series races. The motor we had didn’t really make enough horsepower to compete with the bigger teams, so we just raced close to home.”
At the completion of the 2018 season the team dropped a big small block engine between the rails of their Troyer machine hoping to show improvement, but again Fultz feels like he still needs more power to race with the upper echelon in the sport.
“We have a real good engine and a car that handles well, but we’re still scratching our heads. I know I should be a top five car every week. I’ve been doing this long enough and I have a very capable crew, but we’re still lacking power. This off season we’re going to update the motor even more in hopes of better performance in 2020.”
With the families focus on just Outlaw Speedway they have basically cleaned out their inventory of cars and engines. They will do a 2018 Troyer TD4 Race Car, one engine deal in 2020. The big block Chevy engine is still for sale as of this writing.
“It is so hard to win at Outlaw now. I’m up against no less than four or five teams that race full time, so they have an edge. But I grew up on this track and we still know how to get around here. Dad and I hope this freshened up engine will give us a boost. I’m also switching the chassis over to a coil rear suspension from the traditional torsion bar set up. Between the engine and the chassis, we’re hoping this will do the trick.”
Fultz driving talent has not gone unnoticed by other competing car owners. Veteran owner/driver Herbie Wright of Addison, NY may have retired from actively driving several years ago, however he still continues to own and maintain Modifieds that compete at several Upstate New York speed plants including Outlaw Speedway and Woodhull raceway among others that he will haul to on special occasions.
In 2018 Wright approached Fultz about piloting his car at Woodhull which he agreed to and ran a couple shows during that year. Wright was impressed and offered a full- time ride to the second-generation pilot for the “19” season at Woodhull. Fultz responded with numerous top five finishes and a single win for Wright as well as an overall 6th place finish in the point standings.
“Herbie is a great guy to race for, stated Fultz. No pressure whatsoever. He maintains the car at his place, and I show up at Woodhull with some of my crew members and together we have put together a pretty good program. We talk during the week about set ups and stuff like that. Herbie comes to Outlaw and helps my Dad, Uncle Allan and our crew. We have a very good working relationship.
It should be noted that Fultz driving Wrights car had a great end to the 2019 season at Woodhull with a close runner up finish in the prestigious Lyle Sherwood Memorial Event and they hope to carry the momentum into the upcoming season.
Aside from Wright, his father Dave and uncle Allan Fultz, Brady’s cousin Willie Fultz and close friend Justin Schank all receive credit for making the Fultz Family owned #70 stay competitive. Also, he has the luxury of leaning on his mom, Beth’s brother, John Moravec for advice when it comes to chassis set up. Moravec along with his brother Bill were a force to contend with throughout the 80’s and 90’s and even into the early 2000’s at the Yates County oval and in an era littered with such top named pilots like Malcolm Lane, Mark Oosterhout, Doug Howard, Lance Yonge, Curt VanPelt and eventual Black Rock Speedway owner, and DIRT Motorsports Hall of Fame member, Lin Hough. Moravec was one tough customer winning many feature events.
Brady Fultz and Father Dave know full well the importance of quality sponsors. This is a small, family owned operation doing all this out of their own pockets so the partners that they have are invaluable.
Barney Moravec Water Wells and Moravec Geothermal head up a long list of sponsors that adorn the sides of the #70 machine. Others include Washburn Excavating, LKF Vineyards, OSM Offshore Marine, CB Butler Heating and Air Conditioning, The Decoy Restaurant and Lounge, AC+P Concrete, Himrod Eagle, Raven, Smalley’s Garage and Beyea Custom Headers.
“We haven’t been really pleased with our performance over the past 4 to 5 years at Outlaw Speedway. It’s my home track, it’s in the town where me and my family live. Most of my sponsors are from this area so we’re hoping to turn this around in 2020, stated Fultz. With more power and a new chassis set up we’re hoping to give Matt and some of the other guys a run for their money this season. I feel very confident that I can win the Woodhull Track Championship in 2020 driving for Herbie. Woodhull has a new owner starting this season and we’re excited about our chances there.
“When I was at Troyer Race Cars for all those years one of my duties was to attend Super Dirt Week each year and help in the Troyer set up tent assisting teams with any chassis work or body adjustments. I gained a ton of experience doing that and it was great working with some of the top teams in DIRT.”
It was during that time he became good friends with the folks at HBR which at the time ran a Troyer House Car. Since that time everyone has moved on, but Fultz is still summoned to Super Dirt Week each October at the Oswego Speedway to continue to assist Phelps in any capacity that is needed.
“I still to this day have a close friendship with the guys at HBR and Jimmy Phelps. It’s a pleasure for me to help them in any way that I can.”
When asked if he ever aspired to move into anything other than the traditional northeast modified which he has spent most of his career he stated, “I’ve never really had any interest in Sprint Cars or Late Models. I’ve spent most of my years in a center steer modified and that’s what I enjoy doing the most. Of course, if a big time heavily funded ride came along, I would have to take a very close look at things as it’s getting harder and harder to do this out of our own pockets. But for now, I’m fine with racing my family owned car and driving for Herbie Wright.”