Erick Rudolph makes late race pass to claim 358-Modified win on A-Verdi Storage Container and Wilber Duck Chevrolet night
VERNON, NY- For the third week in a row, sunshine greeted the fans at the Utica-Rome Speedway this past Sunday July 15, and they were treated to some great short track racing on A-Verdi Storage Container and Wilber Duck Chevrolet night. Erick Rudolph made a late race pass to score the win in the DirtTrackDigest.com 358-Modifieds with Matt Janczuk making it two wins in a row in the Broedel Energy Sportsman. The Ted’s Body Shop Pro Stocks saw Travis Welch charge to the win in the later stages of the race while Scott Mallette was a first time winner in the Rookie Sportsman.
Jack Miller and Randy Shantel led the DirtTrackDigest.com 358-Modified starting field to the green flag with Miller gaining the edge to lead the opening circuit of their 30-lap main event. The field was put under caution at the completion of lap one two cars tangled on the exit of turn two, and the ensuing restart saw sixth place starter Bobby Varin take over the lead. Varin would open up a four second lead during the long green flag session that followed the restart with the rest of the field jockeying for position behind him.
Marc Johnson would be the first one to break through the pack as took over second from Miller on lap seven after starting eighth on the grid with ninth place Erick Rudolph breaking into third a lap later. With 15 laps complete, Varin continued to lead the way over Johnson, Rudolph, Billy Dunn, and Pat Ward.
The caution flag flew on both laps 18 and 20, erasing Varin’s advantage over the field and on both restarts, Varin seemed to have field covered until Rudolph jumped to the outside line after the lap 20 restart. Rudolph went by Johnson as lap 21 was scored and a lap later, Rudolph and Varin were side by side at the flag stand for the lead. Rudolph would nose ahead to be scored as the leader on lap 23 and then clear Varin a lap later. Varin would make one last effort to regain on lap 24 but Rudolph would fend off that effort and began to pull away to score his first Utica-Rome Speedway win of 2018. Varin would come home in second followed by Dunn, Johnson, Ward, Jeremy Wilder, Billy Whittaker, Bobby Herrington, Lance Willix, and Rocky Warner. Dunn would later be disqualified in post-race tech due to unapproved rear end alterations.
Mark Effner would lead the opening 12 laps of the Broedel Energy Sportsman 20-lap feature event as he fended off all challengers during several early race caution periods. 13th place starter Matt Janczuk found the outside line to his liking during the middle stages of the race as he began to pick off cars at a rapid pace until on lap 12, he had finally caught the leader Effner. Janczuk would complete the pass for the lead a lap later and drive off to his second consecutive win. Effner held on for second with Kyle Inman making a late race charge to grab third. Stephen Denton and Charlie Tibbitts rounded out the top five.
Shane Henderson took the lead from Aaron Page on lap two of 20 in the Ted’s Body Shop Pro Stock main and look unstoppable as he took off from the rest of the field. Mike Welch and Travis Welch battled for the runner-up spot in the middle portion of the event with Travis gaining the spot on lap 13. Both Travis and Mike Welch were cutting into Henderson’s lead, but their cause was help on lap 18 when the only caution flag of the event flew for a disabled car on the bottom of turn one. The restart saw Henderson retaining his number one spot momentarily, and the white flag was displayed Travis was able to nip Henderson for the lead at the line. Travis would hold on to the lead to claim his second win of the season followed by Henderson, Mike Welch, Bill Knapp, and Mike Kazlauskas.
Scott Mallette would take the lead at the drop of the green flag in the 15-lap Rookie Sportsman nightcap and he would not relinquish that spot for the remainder of the event as he would take his first win of the season. Alexis Jacobs and Kathy Bellen would round out the top three.
Next Sunday, July 22, will see the kick off the King of Dirt Pro Stock Series plus the annual Mike Martin Memorial for the Broedel Energy Sportsman that will pay $1,000 to win. Also in action on Marble Hill Inn night will be the DirtTrackDigest.com 358-Modifieds and Rookie Sportsman. Another added attraction will be the fan favorite King’s Smash’em and Crash’em Demolition Derby. Racing starts at 7 p.m. with gates opening at 4 p.m. For more information, please log on to www.uticaromespeedway.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. The speedway office can be contacted by calling 215.829.4557.
A-VERDI STORAGE CONTAINERS AND WILBER DUCK CHEVROLET RACE SUMMARY
DIRTTRACKDIGEST.COM MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)-ERICK RUDOLPH, Bobby Varin, Marc Johnson, Pat Ward, Jeremy Wilder, Billy Whittaker, Bobby Herrington, Lance Willix, Rocky Warner, Jack Lehner, Mike Mahaney, Jack Miller, Steve Way, Billy Shantel Jr., Randy Shantel, Lucas Heintz, Aaron Jacobs, and Brian Murphy. DQ-Billy Dunn
BROEDEL ENERGY SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-MATT JANCZUK, Mark Effner, Kyle Inman, Stephen Denton, Charlie Tibbitts, Rocco Leone, Dave Moyer, AJ Miller, Chris Cunningham, Taylor Lamb, Brian Calabrese, David Rogers, Dylan Zacharias, Jeff Taylor, AJ Filbeck, John Strickler, Rachel Zacharias, CJ Castelletti, George Dyer, Jeremy Nestved, Don Bellen, AJ Digsby, and Andrew Buff.
TED’S BODY SHOP PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-TRAVIS WELCH, Shane Henderson, Mike Welch, Bill Knapp, Ernie Staelens, Frank Hyatt, and Jerry Streeter.
ROOKIE SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)-SCOTT MALLETTE, Alexis Jacobs, Kathy Bellen, and Casey Cunningham.