Story By: JOHN TIFF / UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY – VERNON, NY – Erick Rudolph scored his fifth DirtTrackDigest.com 358-Modified win of the season in thrilling fashion over Billy Dunn this past Sunday, August 11, on A-Verdi Storage Container and Parks Paving and Trucking night.
Other winners included Chris Mackey in the Broedel Fuel Group Sportsman, holding off point leader Matt Janczuk in the process while Nick Stone was victorious in the Ted’s Body Shop Pro Stocks. Mike Grover dominated the Bernie’s Extreme Performance Parts Rookie Sportsman main event on his way to the win.
Lucas Heintz and Claude Hutchings Jr. brought the DirtTrackDigest.com 358-Modifed starting field to the green flag to begin their 30-lap main event, with Hutchings taking the initial lead. Hutchings would show the quick way around the half-mile oval for the first four circuits, until seventh place starter Lance Willix would slip underneath Hutchings to gain control of the field.
On lap eight, 12th place starter and current point leader Erick Rudolph made his way into second and started to reel in Willix, who had built himself a three second lead. The first yellow of the event flew on lap nine, bringing Willix back to the field and at the drop of the green a great battle for the top spot began as ninth place starter Billy Dunn joined the fray.
Rudolph and Dunn would swap the second spot several times over the next nine laps, pressuring Willix the whole time for a thrilling three-way battle for the win. Dunn was able to pull alongside Willix several times but Willix was up to the task as he would hold on to the lead.
Dunn was finally able to complete the pass as the field completed lap 18, putting Willix in a heated battle for second with Rudolph. A lap later, the caution lights came on, and on the restart, Rudolph was able to clear Willix and he looked to track down the leader Dunn. The yellow flag flew again on lap 20, setting up a dash to the finish between Dunn and Rudolph.
Rudolph seized the opportunity on the restart as he used the high side to power by Dunn for the lead. The final caution of the night came out on lap 23, and Rudolph was able to keep Dunn at bay as he drover to his fifth win of the year at Utica-Rome Speedway. Dunn kept it close as he finished in a very close second with Pat Ward coming home in the final podium position. Billy Whittaker and Willix rounded out the top five while newcomer Dalton Slack, Glenn Forward, Billy Shantel Jr., Hutchings, and Anthony Cardamone completed the top 10.
Brent Joy took the early lead in the Broedel Fuel Group Sportsman 20-lap feature event, using a bold three wide move at the drop of the green to get to the front. A lap seven caution would erase the advantage that Joy had built, putting sixth place starter Chris Mackey alongside him. When the green lights came back on, Joy was able to hold on to the lead initially, but Mackey would make the pass before the next lap was complete to take over the lead. By the halfway point, 13th place starter Matt Janczuk pressuring Joy for the runner-up position and one lap later, Janczuk was in second tracking down the leader.
On lap 13, Janczuk was all over Mackey for the lead as he was able to pull alongside him, but Mackey was able to narrowly fend off his advances. The second and final yellow of the event came out on lap 15, setting up a five lap dash for the win. Mackey was able to hold on to collect his first Utica-Rome Speedway win of the season followed by Janczuk Joy, Alan Fink and Charlie Tibbitts.
Shane Henderson led the opening three circuits of the Ted’s Body Shop Pro Stock main event, with Pete Stefanski taking over the top spot on lap four. Stefanski’s turn atop the leaderboard would end on lap seven at seventh place starter Nick Stone drove by Stefanski for the lead. Stone would lead the remainder of the caution free 20-lap feature to nab his third win of the season, while Stefanski would finish in a close second. Josh Coonradt would survive a race long three car battle to finish third with Henderson and Mike Welch finishing close behind.
In the Bernie’s Extreme Performance Parts Rookie Sportsman nightcap, Mike Grover took over the lead from Ernie Staelens on lap three and never looked back as he dominated the remainder of the 15-lap affair
Racing returns the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday, August 25, when The Wild Animal Park, the Kotary Family, and Turn One, LLC. presents the Wild 100 Ultimate Sportsman Showdown for the Broedel Fuel Group Sportsman plus the Gene Kotary Memorial for the Ted’s Body Shop Pro Stocks. The DirtTrackDigest.com 358-Modifeds will also be in action for their final point event of the season, along with a weekly show for the Bernie’s Extreme Performance Parts Rookie Sportsman.
A-VERDI STORAGE CONTAINER & PARK’S PAVING AND TRUCKING RACE SUMMARY
DIRTTRACKDIGEST.COM 358-MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)-ERICK RUDOLPH, Billy Dunn, Pat Ward, Billy Whittaker, Lance Willix, Dalton Slack, Glenn Forward, Billy Shantel Jr., Claude Hutchings Jr., Anthony Cardamone, Lucas Heintz, Chris Curtis, Jim Walsh, Brian Murphy, Randy Shantel, Collin DuBois, Aaron Jacobs, and Dave Doig.
BROEDEL FUEL GROUP SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-CHRIS MACKEY, Matt Janczuk, Brent Joy, Alan Fink, Charlie Tibbitts, Dave Manchester, Kyle Inman, Dylan Zacharias, AJ Filbeck, Isiah Forward, Willy Decker Jr., Jeff Taylor, CJ Castelletti, Tyler Corcoran, Casey Cunningham, Dave Moyer, Mike Button, Payton Talbot, Mark Effner, Mike Richmond, Tim Falter, Ed Lukas, Scott Mallette, Pat Jones, Rocco Leone, and George Dyer.
TED’S BODY SHOP PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-NICK STONE, Pete Stefanski, Josh Coonradt, Shane Henderson, Mike Welch, Mike Kazlauskas, Frank Hyatt, Jerry Streeter, Aaron Page, Ernie Staelens, and Kenny Gates.
BERNIE’S EXTREME PERFORMANCE PARTS ROOKIE SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)-MIKE GROVER, Dana Camenga, Ernie Staelens, Alexis Jacobs, Bobby Heintz, and Jason Lopes.