Last Saturday night at Holland International Speedway Jake Wylie ran to Victory Lane in very excited fashion to congratulate his older brother Scott on his big win in the 18th annual George Decker Memorial 75. After all the pomp and circumstance was over, Jake had to run back to the pits, get his head back into the game and go out and try to win his own race, the NASCAR Charger 50 from the last starting position.
A half hour later, Scott ran just as eagerly to Holland's winner's circle to offer huge congrats to Jake ,who crossed the line the victor of the NASCAR Charger event. It was a family double win authored by the Wylie brothers. Now Sept. 2, 2017 will be remembered as "Wylie Night at Holland Speedway."
This season mark's the 65th consecutive season of local auto racing participation for the Wylie family. Scott, 33 and Jake, 27 are doing their part to keep the family winning legacy alive.
Scott, driving the Paul Graff owned No. 44 entry, passed George Skora III on the last lap to win the George Decker Memorial 75, Holland's most prestigious race. The Decker race is promoted by Barry and Phyllis Decker in memory of their late father or husband George Decker, a lifelong supporter of local racing.
Jake was driving the No. 81 NASCAR Charger entry Saturday fielded by Pocobello Racing.
"It was a huge honor to win the Decker Memorial," Scott said. "Phyllis and Barry sponsored me back when I started in the Cup Lites. I never personally knew George unfortunately but the Decker's have always supported me. Obviously winning any big race for our family at Holland adds another one to the list.
"I had almost gotten the lead earlier in the race and the caution came out so they put me back in second. Andy J. (Andy Jankowiak) and I kind of got tangled up on the restart and I got shuffled back a little bit. Then after a few more restarts I got to George Skora's bumper coming to the white flag. I took the lead on that last lap going down the back stretch and hung on for the win."
What ensued after Scott crossed the finish line was family and friend celebration No. 1 on the evening.
"This racing is all our family has ever done," Scott said. "We have some cool tee shirts out this year for our 65th season of racing that we're selling. It's an unbelievable history that my family has. I started looking into it this morning. Holland is a huge part of our family history. To win that race Saturday and get out of the car and my brother was there before my car even stopped moving I think, to have my mom and my dad and a lot of my family and friends there, was really special."
Soon it was time for Wylie celebration No. 2, Jake's triumph.
"It was one of those storybook kind of nights," Jake said. "It was something really awesome. We were the last race of the night. I was the first one to my brother's car after he won. The whole family was there. It was hard to calm myself down for my race. As soon as I strapped in I just kind of got in a zone and it really didn't hit me until I was standing on top of my car in Victory Lane. I was so shell-shocked. I just couldn't believe we both were able to pull a win on the same night.
"I had to start my race from last (14th). I just started slow and let everybody get singled out and find their spot. I just started picking them off one by one. I could keep my car on the bottom. I ended up taking the lead on lap 30. Nik Welshans and Josh Hathaway were fighting for the lead. I was able to sneak under Nik and keep the momentum going down the front straight and was able to get under Josh going into Turn One and took off from there."
This was the second time the Wylie brothers won on the same night and at the same track in their careers. The pair emerged victorious in 2014 at Lake Erie Speedway.
The Wylie race winning gene pool also includes, among others, parents Rick and Karen Wylie.
Rick, now retired, is considered one of the three greatest NASCAR Late Model drivers in Holland history along with Art Clark and the late Dick Flaig. Rick gathered seven Holland asphalt NASCAR Late Model championships, second only to Clark, who amassed 11 titles. Rick earned 60 career Holland asphalt Late Model wins.
Karen, also retired, won the 1979 Street Stock championship at Perry Speedway (now Wyoming County International Speedway) when she was known as Karen Ingleman.
"It was great this past Saturday night," Rick said. "As we've watched the boys race the last few years we were hoping the boys would win at the same track on the same night. It was a good time and whenever you can have both boys win on one night is great."
Salute to the champions
Several drivers earned season championships this past weekend at area speedways. They are:
Holland Speedway: Tommy Catalano, NASCAR Pro Modifieds; Nik Welshans, NASCAR Chargers; Dave Wollaber, NYPA Midgets; Anthony Riforgiato, INEX Legends; Marty Hughes, Figure-8.
Ransomville Speedway: Ryan Susice, 358 Modifieds, Matt Farnham, Sportsman.
Freedom Raceway: Adam Hilton, Outlaw Modifieds; Brad Rouse, Sportsman; Dennis Cummings, Street Stocks; Holden Heineman, Mini Stocks.
Genesee Speedway: Dave DuBois, 360 Late Models; J.J. Mazur, Crate Late Models; Kyle Inman, Sportsman; Byron Dewitt, Street Stocks; Dante Mancuso, Mini Stocks; Jessica Traxler, Bandits.
Stateline Speedway: Max Blair, Super Late Models and RUSH Crate Late Models; Greg Johnson, Outlaw E-Mods; Dennis Lunger Jr.,RUSH Pro Mods; John Boardman, Street Stocks; Jim Kibbe, Super Sportsman; Andy Proper, Challengers.
Humberstone Speedway: Chad Chevalier, Sportsman; Chad Homan, RUSH Crate Late Models; Dave Bailey, Street Stocks; Cole Hardy, Mini Stocks; Dylan Llord, Pro 4 Trucks.
Merrittville Speedway: Chad Brachmann, 358 Modifieds; Brad Rouse, Sportsman; Gregg Rauscher, Novice Sportsman; Dave Bailey, Hoosier Stocks; Brent Begolo, Mod Lites; Tony Kelly, 4-Cylinders.