By Robby Knowles
Canadian racer heating up for NAPA Super DIRT Week riches
VERNON, NY — Oct. 8, 2019 — Mat Williamson took home the $4,000 top prize in the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Pre-Game 100 Tuesday night at Utica-Rome Speedway.
Williamson, of St. Catharines, Ontario, had a lucky redraw and led the 30-car field to the initial green flag. Jordan McCreadie hung with Williamson for the first couple laps before Williamson pulled away, beginning his dominant drive.
Eighth-place starting Erick Rudolph was the early mover of the redraw cars, cracking the top five by lap-15. Much of the field was running on the outside of the track, but Rudolph and Mike Mahaney were running the inside line with success.
On lap 25, Williamson had a half back stretch lead, but the battle for second between McCreadie and Alan Therrien was back and forth. The two drivers traded positions until a lap 29 yellow flag flew for Lance Willix’s rear end issue.
The race resumed with a lap-33 restart where Mahaney and Larry Wight went four-wide, splitting Rudolph and Ryan Arbuthnot in turn two. The group raced four-wide down the back stretch, before Arbuthnot and Rudolph backed out of the four-wide affair entering turn three.
Mahaney’s car was stout in the middle stages of the race and as he worked around Therrien on lap 52 to take the second spot away. A lap 59 yellow flag setup a restart with Williamson and Mahaney. Williamson elected to start from the outside and brought the line with him. Wight shot from the fourth spot up to second and challenged Williamson off the second turn. Williamson would maintain the lead through the third and fourth turns.
Wight began cutting down his deficit with 25-laps remaining, but off of turn four on lap 81, a trail of smoke ended Wight’s rally. Mahaney inherited the second spot, with Rudolph close behind.
Williamson ran upon heavy lapped traffic on lap 93, but effectively worked his way through to go on to a comfortable margin of victory.
“I have to thank my guys for giving me a fast hot rod all night,” Williamson said. “We hope to keep things rolling with the 358 series races at Weedsport and Brewerton this week.”
Rudolph came on strong late to finish in the second position, while Mahaney completed the podium. Arbuthnot and Therrien finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
The DIRTcar 358-Modified Series returns to action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9, for the Hurricane 100 at Weedsport Speedway.
DIRTcar 358 Modified Heat 1: LARRY WIGHT, Mike Mahaney, Dave Marcuccilli, Billy Whittaker, Gary Lindberg, Kyle Dingwall, Matt Janczuk, Yan Bussiere, Fred Carleton, Marc Johnson
DIRTcar 358 Modified Heat 2: MAT WILLIAMSON, Erick Rudolph, Alan Therrien, Lance Willix, Greg Martin, Bobby Varin, Chris Curtis, Brett Hearn, Curt Schilling, Joe August Jr.
DIRTcar 358 Modified Heat 3: PAT WARD, Jordan McCreadie, AJ Miller, Ronnie Johnson, Michael Parent, Corey Wheeler, LJ Lombardo, Ryan Poole, Glenn Forward, Kyle Inman
DIRTcar 358 Modified Heat 4: RYAN ARBUTHNOT, Ronnie Davis III, Rusty Smith, Rocky Warner, Chad Brachmann, Ryan Bartlett, Alex Therrien, Collin Dubois, Preston Forbes, Greg Atkins, Brandon Michaud
DIRTcar 358 Modified Last Chance Showdown #1: BOBBY VARIN, Kyle Dingwall, Matt Janczuk, Yan Bussiere, Fred Carleton, Brett Hearn, Curt Schilling, Joe August Jr., Chris Curtis, Preston Forbes
DIRTcar 358 Modified Last Chance Showdown #2: COREY WHEELER, Alex Therrien, Ryan Bartlett, Kyle Inman, LJ Lombardo, Glenn Forward, Ryan Poole, Greg Atkins, Brandon Michaud, Collin Dubois
DIRTcar 358 Modified Pre-Game 100: 1. MAT WILLIAMSON ($4,000), 2. Erick Rudolph, 3. Mike Mahaney, 4. Ryan Arbuthnot, 5. Alan Therrien, 6. Dave Marcuccilli, 7. Rocky Warner, 8. Chad Brachmann, 9. Rusty Smith, 10. Yan Bussiere, 11. Kyle Dingwall, 12. Greg Martin, 13. Ryan Bartlett, 14. Michael Parent, 15. AJ Miller, 16. Gary Lindberg, 17. Larry Wight, 18. Alex Therrien, 19. Bobby Varin, 20. Jordan McCreadie, 21. LJ Lombardo, 22. Kyle Inman, 23. Matt Janczuk, 24. Ronnie Johnson, 25. Ronnie Davis III, 26. Pat Ward, 27. Lance Willix, 28. Corey Wheeler, 29. Billy Whittaker, 30. Fred Carleton.