OSWEGO, NY – Oct. 8, 2017 – Dave Marcuccilli proved himself the car to beat by earning the Unique eCigs Pole Award Thursday and put the exclamation point on it Sunday afternoon by leading all 75 laps en route to his second consecutive Chevy Performance 75 Sportsman Modified Feature.
“Obviously, the ultimate goal whenever you race is to win. But to earn the pole and win at Super DIRT Week two years in a row, that’s awesome,” said Marcuccilli, who celebrated his 41st birthday Thursday with a win at Brewerton Speedway.
Marcuccilli and fellow front-row starter, Matt Farnham, separated themselves from the field in the early going as Rocky Warner moved into the third position.
Marcuccilli survived a multitude of double-file restart challenges from Farnham in the first half of the race. A lap 35 caution for third-place running Kevin Root set up what will likely become the most talked about restart of the event.
On lap 38, Marcuccilli and Farnham started side-by-side, as they had four previous times in this race. Only this time, Farnham got good grip in the middle of the Speedway and paced the field down the backstretch and into turn three. All of this for nothing, as Chris Thurston putted to a stop bringing out the caution and reverting the lead back to Marcuccilli.
“I got lucky with that caution. Farnham got by me and I don’t know if I would have been able to get him back,” Marcuccilli said. After that, Marcuccilli was much crisper on restarts and extended his lead to a comfortable margin.
Marcuccilli reached the back of the field and put the lapped car of Thurston in between himself and Farnham on lap 60. With Marcuccilli forced to slow in traffic, Farnham again began working the middle of the dirt oval through traffic, closing in on the No. m1 as he navigated traffic.
As things were getting increasingly hectic in traffic, Tyler Thompson brought out the caution giving Marcuccilli a clear track. One last yellow with five to go gave Farnham and the rest of the field one final shot to steal the win from Marcuccilli, to no avail as he went on to win by 1.309 seconds.
“Traffic was definitely tricky. I had to almost come to a stop to avoid hitting cars. I apologize to them, but I had to go. I knew Farnham was coming,” Marcuccilli said describing the late-race traffic.
Farnham settled for second while Connor Cleveland worked his way forward from ninth to complete the podium. Ron Davis III, who was devoted to the top of the Speedway, and Warner completed the top five.
“We were set up for the bottom. That [lap 38] restart we had a pretty good run off of one and two. We didn’t need that caution,” Farnham said in the understatement of the afternoon.
Cleveland was pleased with his team’s podium finish and praised his fellow racers. “That battle I had with Davis in traffic was probably the most fun I’ve ever had in the car,” he said. “The car really came to us at the end. It was an awesome track and we’re glad to finish with a top three.”
Adam McAullife, Tyler Trump, 17th-starting Will Shields – who earned the Rookie of the Race award, 20th-starting Robert Bublak Jr. and Glenn Forward completed the top ten. Twenty-two of the 30 cars finished on the lead lap.