By CAMDEN PROUD
NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week’s Gander Outdoors Friday Night Lights program was kicked off with three triple 25 lappers for the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series which saw Camping World 150 polesitter Tim Fuller, outside polesitter Erick Rudolph, and third fastest qualifier Mat Williamson visiting victory lane.
In the first triple, Jimmy Phelps, David Hebert, Larry Wight, Gary Lindberg, Mario Clair, Mike Mahaney, Alan Johnson and Steve Bernier joined Fuller and Sheppard as additional transfers. The top eight non-qualified cars in each triple locked themselves into tomorrow’s Camping World 150.
Carey Terrance, Corey Wheeler, Billy Whittaker, Todd Root, Brian McDonald, Tim Sears Jr, Michael Parent and Jordan McCreadie were added to the field with lock in starters Rudolph and Ron Davis III in the second qualifier.
For the final 358 triple of the night, locked in cars Williamson and Stewart Friesen went one-two, while Pat Ward, Peter Britten, Brett Hearn, Marc Johnson, Louie Jackson Jr, Danny Johnson, Kenny Tremont, and Steve Bernard completed the remaining spots in the top ten.
First Triple 25:
Polesitter Tim Fuller was absolutely dominant in the first Triple 25. He took the lead from outside polesitter Matt Sheppard on lap 1 and dominated the remainder of the first qualifier.
All race long, Fuller, Sheppard, Jimmy Phelps, David Hebert, and Larry Wight rode comfortably in the top five with Gary Lindberg, Steve Bernard, Mike Mahaney, Mario Clair and Alan Therrien mixing things up behind them.
A yellow flag with 3 laps to go for a slowing Lance Willix gave Sheppard a shot at Fuller, but he had nothing at all for the Slack 3Rs.
There were a few surprise DNQ’s in the first triple including Ryan Bartlett, Mike Maresca, Tyler Trump, and Jessey Mueller. All of these drivers will need to try their hand at the last chance races tomorrow afternoon.
RESULTS – 1. 3rs TIM FULLER, 2. 9s Matt Sheppard, 3. 98H Jimmy Phelps, 4. 99L Larry Wight, 5. 1 David Hebert, 6. 28z Gary Lindberg, 7. 22c Mario Clair, 8. 24h Mike Mahaney, 9. 14J Alan Johnson, 10. 25st Steve Bernier, 11. 39 Alex Therrien, 12. 66 Kyle Dingwall, 13. 39b Ryan Bartlett, 14. 7mm Mike Maresca, 15. j7 Brendan Finley, 16. 27w Nick Webb, 17. 9x Tyler Trump, 18. 19m Jessey Mueller, 19. 0 Dan Humes, 20. R2 Rusty Smith, 21. 31 Lance Willix II, 22. 11 Alissa Cody, 23. 28 Tyler Meeks, 24. 53 Brian Murphy – DNS
Second Triple 25:
Erick Rudolph and Modified rookie Ron Davis III lead the second triple 25 to green with Rudolph getting the jump right away.
Wednesday’s winner at the Weedsport Speedway didn’t get very far as the yellow flag was thrown on lap 2 for Billy Dunn, who has struggled so far this weekend piloting the Slack No. 3x.
The restarts, however, did not slow Rudolph down. He was absolutely dominant with the Opticoat No. 25R.
Rudolph caught lapped traffic by lap 11 with Davis, Carey Terrance, Cory Wheeler, and Todd Root in tow.
With two to go, Billy Whittaker made a low side move on Root to take the fifth spot, but that was the only late race pass taking place in this one as Rudolph was gone for his second win of the week by virtue of domination.
Rich Scagliotta missed by one spot with an eleventh, and Billy Dunn got back to twelfth to miss by just two positions after driving back up through the field. Other notable DNQ’s included Bobby Herrington, who was in a qualifying spot when he got a left front tire flat. Rocky Warner was a DNQ as well, along with Glenn Forward, Kody Graham, Eldon Payne and Roy Bresnahan – all recognizable names to Central New York race fans.
RESULTS: 1. 25r ERICK RUDOLPH, 2. 32r Ron Davis III, 3. 66x Carey Terrance, 4. 47s Corey Wheeler, 5. 109 Billy Whittaker, 6. 15 Todd Root, 7. 151 Brian McDonald, 8. 83x Tim Sears Jr, 9 25p Michael Parent, 10. 9J Jordan McCreadie, 11. 8 Rich Scagliotta, 12. 3x Billy Dunn, 13. 25H Bobby Herrington, 14. 1J Rocky Warner, 15. 39a Alan Therrien, 16. 8c Glenn Forward, 17. 21g Kody Graham, 18. 28p Eldon Payne Jr, 19. J82 Joe Shields, 20. 02 Roy Bresnahan, 21. 35 Francois Bellemare, 22. 69 Tyler Boniface, 23. 16 Aaron Jacobs
Third Triple 25:
For the final 358 Modified qualifier of the evening, it was again the bottom lane prevailing as Mat Williamson took the lead from Stewart Friesen on the start.
Williamson was able to put some distance between himself and the No. 44 for the first few circuits before the field was slowed for Alison Ricci, who had a right front tire go down on the No. 55.
On the restart, every restart actually, Williamson flat out ran away. The field was slowed four more times before the race’s completion. First, for a spin by Steve Lewis Jr, second for a flat tire for Matt Janiak, third for a tangle between Justin Haers and Demtrios Drellos, and fourth when Haers spun on a second occasion.
None of those short runs bothered the two Canadian drivers out front, as Williamson and Friesen continued their strong Friday efforts to finish one-two ahead of Pat Ward, Peter Britten, Brett Hearn, Marc Johnson, Louie Jackson Jr, Danny Johnson, Kenny Tremont, and Steve Bernard.
After the race was over, it was determined that Bernard was light on the scales, handing the final transfer spot over to Billy Decker.
Matt Farnham, Janiak, Drellos, Nick Krause, and Ricci were among notable names heading to the last chance event.
RESULTS: 1. 6m MAT WILLIAMSON, 2. 44 Stewart Friesen, 3. 42p Pat Ward, 4. 21a Peter Britten, 5. 20 Brett Hearn, 6. 3j Marc Johnson, 7. 18jr Louie Jackson Jr, 8. 83 Danny Johnson, 9. 115 Kenny Tremont, 10. 7d Billy Decker, 11. 7f Matt Farnham, 12. 17j Matt Janiak, 13. 111 Demetrios Drellos, 14. 49 Andrew Ferguson, 15. 14g C.G. Morey, 16. 69 Randy Green, 17. 45g Sebastian Gougeon, 18. 24k Nick Krause, 19. 55 Allison Ricci, 20. 14s Brian Swarthot, 21. 11s Steve Lewis Jr, 22. 55w Matt Woodruff, 23. 11h Justin Haers, 24. 54 Steve Bernard – DNQ