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Rudolph Shines Bright at Weedsport

Photo by Jeremiah Fish
Photos by Jeremiah Fish

Rudolph Shines Bright at Weedsport; Root Brothers hold ground to finish on podium

WEEDSPORT, N.Y. – Oct. 5, 2016 – Erick Rudolph and Todd Root kicked-off the 45th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week with victories Wednesday night in the 358-Modified and Sportsman class at Weedsport Speedway. The speedway’s Super DIRT Week Kick Off Party attracted more than 100 drivers between the two DIRTcar Racing divisions to the 3/8-mile oval.

Rudolph jump-started his NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week with a dominant win in DIRTcar 358 Modified Series racing. Rudolph took the lead from Ryan Susice on lap 22 and never looked back on the way to his third series victory this season.

“It feels great. Finally we were able to finish off the whole race here,” Rudolph said in victory lane. “The car was really hooked up on the bottom. I tried keeping it on the bottom even through lapped traffic. I’m glad to be here in victory lane.”

Rudolph was the class of the field over the final 50 laps of the race, but initially it was pole-sitter Brett Hearn who showed impressive speed out front of the field. Hearn had little difficulty building a three-second advantage over second-starting Michael Parent through the first seven laps.

Hearn’s pace was slowed by the first of two cautions on lap seven when Roy Bresnahan spun to a stop at the bottom of turn four. The ensuing restart saw Hearn regain his advantage while Rudolph worked his way to third form the ninth starting position by lap 17 behind fourth-starting Susice.

Hearn’s run came to an abrupt end on lap 21 when he suddenly pulled the car to the pits, surrendering the lead in the process.

“It had a wicked vibration. I thought we broke the bottom end of the motor, so I shut it down,” Hearn said following the race. “Initially we thought it was the engine, but now it looks like it may be the rear-end. Usually in these cases I can pick out what it is and tell you exactly what happened, but I’m a little bit mystified right now.”

The race stayed green despite Hearn’s departure and Susice led lap 21. Rudolph took over the top spot on lap 22 as the leaders began to work through traffic. The second caution of the night on lap 31 halted his effort after third-running Gary Lindberg spun in turn one.

On the restart, Chad Brachmann made his move to get by Susice for the runner-up position and trailed Rudolph by 1.4 seconds at the halfway mark of the 75-lap affair.

As the track continued to slick off, Rudolph migrated further to the inside lane and systematically disposed of lapped traffic to maintain his advantage over Brachmann.

“I felt I had as good a car as him, if not better, but he caught the breaks through the lapped traffic. I got stalled a few times and it let him get back ahead of me by what I gained on him,” Brachmann said.

Rudolph asserted his dominance over the final 20 laps as he pulled away from Brachmann by over three seconds at the checkers. Mike Mahaney rounded out the podium ahead of Susice and Larry Wight.

“We’ve had some good momentum lately and I’m really happy about it,” Mahaney said following his third-place run. “I’m very excited. I’m in to Super DIRT Week and we’re doing well.”

The victory to kickoff the 45th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week will help build momentum for Rudolph and his team entering Saturday’s Riccelli-Northern Salute the Troops 150 at Oswego, the Ransomville, NY native said.

“It boosts the morale of the team a little bit. I’m sure they’re as excited as I am. Now we’re looking for the next one,” Rudolph said.

In the Sportsman class, series points leader Shane Pecore led the 31-car field into the green flag for the 30-lap feature. Pecore, who won his heat earlier in the night, began the highly-anticipated race barreling down the front stretch with two drivers who also won their heat races. Kevin and Todd Root not only shared their heat race victories in common, but are also brothers local to the area.

In the two-caution feature, Pecore led much of the race by less than a half-second margin. His No. 0 racecar stayed in the middle of the track, while the bottom was the line of choice for the Root brothers. Todd Root moved his way into the second-spot early and bided his time at the top. He consistently made up his time cutting the corner in turn two beneath Pecore. There, his No. 15 car gained a few more tenths on the leader.

While Todd Root maintained his bumper-to-bumper distance from the leader, Kevin Root danced in and out of the podium with Central Square, N.Y. native Alan Fink. The top four drivers separated into two’s, leaving the rest of the field behind. With two-thirds of the race completed, the Root brothers began to make their moves.

Though the next seven laps were filled with unsuccessful attempts, lapped traffic proved to be the deciding factor with three laps remaining. Running out of real estate, Todd Root weaved under lapped traffic quicker than Pecore could overtake them. Todd Root claimed the lead, while Pecore began to fade. Kevin Root ran down Pecore within the final laps with his No. 34 car to finish second to his brother.

The victory is the first series win of Todd Root’s career. Beaming ear-to-ear, he said he accomplished one goal of his – finishing in front of his brother.

“I just needed to beat him,” said Todd Root, getting the best of the sibling rivalry. “I was way too tight to run the bottom, and it took too long to find a rhythm on the top. Once I got a rhythm, it was the lapped traffic that played a big role in [taking the lead]. This is big for us. If you wanted to pass the guys in front, you had to go up-top.”

The DIRTcar 358 Modified Series returns to action at Brewerton Speedway for the Hurricane 100 on Thursday night. The DIRTcar Sportsman Series will also be in competition.

Weedsport Speedway Notebook

RACE NOTES: Brett Hearn used his pole starting position to lead the opening 20 laps by a commanding margin before a mechanical failure forced him to retire to the pit area. Hearn’s misfortune was the benefit of Ryan Susice who assumed the lead for a single lap before Erick Rudolph took over the top spot on lap 22. The second and final restart of the race came on lap 31 and Rudolph paced the field without much difficulty through traffic to claim the victory over Chad Brachmann, Mike Mahaney, Ryan Susice and Larry Wight.

Shane Pecore led the 31-car field into the green flag Wednesday night at Weedsport Speedway, but it was Todd Root’s last-minute pass with three laps remaining that led him into the checkers. In those three laps, Pecore fell back to the final podium spot. Kevin Root ultimately made the podium a family affair, finishing second to his brother.

DIRTcar Racing Statistical Report; Weedsport Speedway; Weedsport, N.Y.; Oct. 5, 2016

DIRTcar 358 Modified Class

Feature – (75 Laps) – 1. 25r- Erick Rudolph [9], 2. 3b- Chad Brachman [12], 3. 88m- Mike Mahaney [5], 4. 38- Ryan Susice [4], 5. 99L- Larry Wight [15], 6. 1- David Hebert [7], 7. 42p- Pat Ward [8], 8. 14j- Alan Johnson [14], 9. 357- Matt Sheppard [22], 10. 01- Chris Raabe [19], 11. 39- Ryan Bartlett [24], 12. 66x- Carey Terrance [17], 13. 25p- Michael Parent [2], 14. 25h- Bobby Herrington [30], 15. 16x- Danny Creeden [21], 16. 28z- Gary Lindberg [3], 17. 99j- Jimmy Phelps [20], 18. 21- Yan Bussiere [28], 19. 23- Joey Ladouceur [10], 20. 26- Rich Richner [11], 21. 38w- Scott Wood [27], 22. 949- Billy Dunn [13], 23. 22c- Mario Clair [23], 24. 16w- Lance Willix III [25], 25. 2j- Ronnie Johnson [16], 26. 37s- Tommy Flannigan [29], 27. 02 Roy Bresnahan [18], 28. 20- Brett Hearn [1], 29. 12j- Nick Joy [6], 30. 7m- Michael Maresca [26] Lap Leaders: Brett Hearn 1-20, Ryan Susice 21, Erick Rudolph 22-75

Consi 1 – (10 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to the A-Feature) – 1. 16x- Danny Creeden, 2. 22c- Mario Clair, 3. 16w- Lance Willix III, 4. 38w- Scott Wood, 5. 66- Kyle Dingwall, 6. 56- Vince Vitale, 7. 99w- Craig Whitemoyer, 8. 678- Jon Smith, 9. 49- Don Elliott, 10. 99- Mikael Labreche, 11. 111- Demetrios Drellos, 12. 37s- Tommy Flannigan

Consi 2 – (10 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to the A-Feature) – 1. 357- Matt Sheppard, 2. 39- Ryan Bartlett, 3. 7m- Michael Maresca, 4. 21- Yan Bussiere, 5. 3j- Marc Johnson, 6. 21k- Randy Chrysler, 7. 27j- Danny Johnson, 8. 9j- Jordan McCreadie, 9. 11j- Justin Wright, 10. 21w- Kyle Weiss, 11. 88- Dave Allen, 12. 96- Jean-Francois Corriveau, 13. 4- Tim Murphy, 14. 82s- Roy Shields, 15. 25h- Bobby Herrington

Qualifying Group 1 – 1. 42p- Pat Ward, 15.674 seconds, 2. 3b- Chad Brachmann, 15.687, 3. 38- Ryan Susice, 15.835, 4. 111- Demetrios Drellos, 15.878, 5. 66x- Carey Terrance, 15.955, 6. 16w- Lance Willix III, 16.012, 7. 949- Billy Dunn, 16.046, 8. R70- Ryan Arbuthnot, 16.241, 9. 37s- Tommy Flannigan, 16.262, 10. 16x- Danny Creeden, 16.274, 11. 49- Don Elliott, 16.558, 12. 99- Mikael Labreche, 17.389

Qualifying Group 2 – 1. 23- Joey Ladouceur, 15.718, 2. 25p Michael Parent, 15.764, 3. 25r- Erick Rudolph, 15.858, 4. 38w- Scott Wood, 15.916, 5. 14j- Alan Johnson, 15.941, 6. 2- Roy Bresnahan, 16.039, 7. 66- Kyle Dingwall, 16.155, 8. 678- John Smith, 16.255, 9. 27j- Danny Johnson, 16.277, 10. 22c- Mario Clair, 16.298, 11. 56- Vince Vitale, 16.474, 12. 99- Craig Whitemoyer, No Time

Qualifying Group 3 – 1. 88m- Mike Mahaney, 15.593, 2. 28z- Gary Lindberg, 15.686, 3. 1- David Hebert, 15.895, 4. 99L- Larry Wight, 15.914, 5. 25h- Bobby Harrington, 15.993, 6. 9J- Jordan McCreadie, 16.019, 7. 357- Matt Sheppard, 16.094, 8. 01- Chris Raabe, 16.133, 9. 3J- Marc Johnson, 16.143, 10. 88- Dave Allen, 16.198, 11. 96- Jean-Francois Corriveau, 16.222, 12. 21k- Randy Chrysler, 16.223.

Qualifying Group 4 – 1. 12j- Nick Joy, 15.983, 2. 26- Rich Richner, 15.986, 3. 2j- Ronnie Johnson, 16.060, 4. 21- Yan Bussiere, 16.190, 5. 99j- Jimmy Phelps, 16.210, 6. 7m- Michael Maresca, 16.214, 7. 20- Brett Hearn, 16.345, 8. 39- Ryan Bartlett, 16.358, 9. 21m- Bob McGannon, 16.456, 10. 21w- Kyle Weiss, 16.530, 11. 82s- Roy Shields, 16.881, 12. 11j- Justin Wright, 16.909, 13. 4- Tim Murphy, 17.161

Heat 1 – (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature; Top 3 finishers qualify for redraw) – 1. 42p- Pat Ward, 2. 3b- Chad Brachmann, 3. 38- Ryan Susice, 4. 949- Billy Dunn, 5. 66x- Carey Terrance, 6. 16x- Danny Creeden, 7. 111- Demetrios Drellos, 8. 37s- Tommy Flannigan, 9. 99- Mikael Labreche, 10. 49- Don Elliott, 11. 16w- Lance Willix III, 12. R70- Ryan Arbuthnot

Heat 2 – (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature; Top 3 finishers qualify for redraw) – 1. 25r- Erick Rudolph, 2. 25p- Michael Parent, 3. 23- Joey Ladouceur, 4. 14J- Alan Johnson, 5. 02- Roy Bresnahan, 6. 38w- Scott Wood, 7. 66- Kyle Dingwall, 8. 27j- Danny Johnson, 9. 22c- Mario Clair, 10. 56- Vince Vitale, 11. 99- Craig Whitemoyer, 12. 678- John Smith

Heat 3 – (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature; Top 3 finishers qualify for redraw) – 1. 28z- Gary Lindberg, 2. 88m- Mike Mahaney, 3. 1- David Hebert, 4. 99L- Larry Wight, 5. 01- Chris Raabe, 6. 357- Matt Sheppard, 7. 9j- Jordan McCreadie, 8. 25h- Bobby Harrington, 9. 3j- Marc Johnson, 10. 21k- Randy Chrysler, 11. 96- Jean-Francois Corriveau, 12. 88- Dave Allen

Heat 4 – (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature; Top 3 finishers qualify for redraw) – 1. 12j- Nick Joy, 2. 20- Brett Hearn, 3. 26- Rick Richner, 4. 2j- Ronnie Johnson, 5. 99j- Jimmy Phelps, 6. 39- Ryan Bartlett, 7. 21- Yan Bussiere, 8. 7m- Michael Maresca, 9. 11j- Justin Wright, 10. 21w- Kyle Weiss, 11. 82s- Roy Shields, 12. 4- Tim Murphy, 13. 21m- Bob McGannon

DIRTcar Sportsman Class

Feature – (30 Laps)– 1. 15- Todd Root [3]; 2. 34- Kevin Root [2]; 3. 0- Shane Pecore [1]; 4. 8- Alan Fink [6]; 5. 7c- Glenn Forward [7]; 6. R32- Ron Davis III [10]; 7. c21- Brian Calabrese [8]; 8. 1R- Adam Hilton [11]; 9. 33- Alex LaJoie [13]; 10. 09- Connor Cleveland [16]; 11. 9x- Tyler Trump [20]; 12. r18- Brad Rouse [12]; 13. 111b- Brett Senek [9]; 14. m1- Dave Marcuccilli [15]; 15. b15- Brianna Ladouceur [18]; 16. 38- Zach Sobotka [19]; 17. 17- Tristian Draper [30]; 18. F11- Dan Ferguson [5]; 19. T21- Taylor Caprara [29]; 20. ms7- Michael Sabia [25]; 21. J18- Louie Jackson Jr. [14]; 22. k29- Chris Cunningham [31]; 23. 92- Martin Pelletier [27]; 24. 1v- Jim Spano [22]; 25. 1- Robert Delormier [24]; 26. p15- Aaron Pierson [17]; 27. 1J- Rocky Warner [4]; 28. 82- Will Shields [82]; 29. 7m- Cody McPherson [23]; 30. 52- Jessica Power [26]; 31. k31- Kane Bristol [28] Lap Leaders: Shane Pecore 1-27; Todd Root 28-30

Consi 1 – (10 laps – top 3 transfer to feature): 1. 38- Zach Sobotka; 2. 1v- Jim Spano; 3. ms7- Michael Sabia; 4. k31- Kane Bristol; 5. F16- Earl Rudy; 6. 60- Jackson Gill; 7. 4T- Tony Komuda; 8. g21- Adam Gage

Consi 2 – (10 laps – top 3 transfer to feature): 1. 9x- Tyler Trump; 2. 7m- Cody McPherson; 3. 52- Jessica Power; 4. c21- Taylor Caprara; 5. b31- Corey Barker; 6. k20- Kyle Inman; 7. W99- Ben Wheeler; 8. J87- Mike Button; 9. 04- Zack Sam; 10. c73- Kevin Chaffee; 11. 555- Leo Fotopoulos; 12. g12- Matt Guererri; 13. 96b- Luke Carleton; 14. 43- Martin Hebert; 15. L11- Alissa Cody; 16. 87- Roco Leone

Consi 3 – (10 laps – top 3 transfer to feature): 1. 82- Will Shields; 2. 1- Robert Delormier; 3. 92- Martin Pelletier; 4. 17- Tristan Draper; 5. 81- Austin Susice; 6. J22- Stacey Jackson; 7. 2- Mike Taylor; 8. H20- Tom Collins Jr.; 9. 352- Fred Proctor; 10. 74- Dave Flannigan; 11. x21- Eric Williams; 12. 88- Chris Bellamey; 13. 35- Thomas Cook; 14. k29- Chris Cunningham; 15. 34L- Pat LaPage

Qualifying Group 1: 1. 111b- Brett Senek, 16.490; 2. K31- Kane Bristol, 16.496; 3. 33- Alex LaJoie, 16.548; 4. 60- Jackson Gill, 16.665; 5. 18- Tyler Singleton, 16.669; 6. 1v- Jim Spano, 16.714; 7. 1R- Adam Hilton, 16.737; 8. N11- Ricky Newton, 16.768; 9. 4T- Tony Komuda, 16.985; 10. D73- Dylan Davidson, 17.405; 11. 7s- Torrey Stoghtenger, 17.832

Qualifying Group 2: 1. 7c- Glenn Forward, 16.572; 2. Z27- Dylan Zacharias, 16.587; 3. J18- Louie Jackson Jr., 16.617; 4. 6- Matt Stangle, 16.638; 5. 38- Zach Sobotka, 16.660; 6. c21- Brian Calabrese, 16.663; 7. F16- Earl Rudy, 16.719; 8. 85- Haiden Burdick, 16.827; 9. 7ss- Michael Sabia, 16.894; 10. 88- Chris Bellamey, 17.068; 11. h88- Mike Jackson, 17.109; 12. g21- Adam Gage, 17.242; 13. 75- A.J. Custodi, 17.375

Qualifying Group 3: 1. 15- Todd Root, 16.198; 2. R32- Ron Davis III, 16.305; 3. 52- Jessica Power, 16.327; 4. m1- Dave Marcuccilli, 16.340; 5. b31- Corey Barker, 16.484; 6. 7m- Cody McPherson, 16.495; 7. k24- Nick Krause, 16.540; 8. g12- Matt Guererri, 16.616; 9. c73- Kevin Chaffee, 16.724; 10. J87- Mike Button, 16.999; 11. L11- Alissa Cody, 17.514

Qualifying Group 4: 1. 34- Kevin Root, 16.190; 2. 8- Alan Fink, 16.287; 3. 9x- Tyler Trump, 16.366; 4. K20- Kyle Inman, 16.393; 5. 09- Connor Cleveland, 16.444; 6. c21- Taylor Caprara, 16.456; 7. 87- Roco Leone, 16.553; 8. W99- Ben Wheeler, 16.791; 9. 04- Zack Sam, 16.871; 10. 555- Leo Fotopoulos, 16.977; 11. 43- Martin Hebert, 17.798

Qualifying Group 5: 1. 15p- Aaron Pierson, 16.506; 2. 0- Shane Pecore, 15.547; 3. 82- Will Shields, 16.642; 4. 1J- Rocky Warner, 16.650; 5. 74- Dave Flannigan, 16.689; 6. 352- Fred Proctor, 16.729; 7. H20- Tom Collins Jr., 16.858; 8. 81- Austin Susice, 16.952; 9. 2- Mike Taylor, 16.987; 10. x21- Eric Williams, 17.010; 11. k29- Chris Cunningham, 17.106

Qualifying Group 6: 1. r18- Brad Rouse, 16.313; 2. F11- Dan Ferguson, 16.646; 3. b15- Brianna Ladouceur, 16.650; 4. 1- Robert Delormier, 16.679; 5. 17- Tristan Draper, 16.832; 6. 92- Martin Pelletier, 16.840; 7. J22- Stacey Jackson, 16.903; 8. 35- Thomas Cook, 16.921; 9. 34L- Pat LaPage, 17.401; 10. F91- Bobby Flood, 18.401

Heat 1 – (8 laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to A- feature; Top 2 finishers qualify for redraw): 1. 111- Brett Senek; 2. 1R- Adam Hilton; 3.33- Alex LaJoie; 4. 1v- Jim Spano; 5. 60- Jackson Gill; 6. d73- Dylan Davidson; 7. 4T- Tony Komuda; 8. k31- Kane Bristol; 9. 7s- Torrey Stoghtenger; 10. 18- Tyler Singleton; 11. N11- Ricky Newton

Heat 2 – (8 laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to A- feature; Top 2 finishers qualify for redraw): 1. 7c- Glenn Forward; 2. c21- Brian Calabrese; 3. J18- Louie Jackson Jr.; 4. 38- Zach Sobotka; 5. 88- Chris Bellamey; 6. ms7- Michael Sabia; 7. g21- Adam Gage; 8. F16- Earl Rudy; 9. 6- Matt Stangle; 10. z27- Dylan Zacharias; 11. h88- Mike Jackson; 12- 85- Haiden Burdick; 13. 75- A.J. Custodi

Heat 3 – (8 laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to A- feature; Top 2 finishers qualify for redraw): 1. 15- Todd Root; 2. R32- Ron Davis III; 3. m1- Dave Marcuccilli; 4. 7m- Cody McPherson; 5. 52- Jessica Power; 6. b31- Corey Barker; 7. J87- Mike Button; 8. c73- Kevin Chaffee; 9. k24- Nick Krause; 10. g12- Matt Guererri; 11. L11- Alissa Cody

Heat 4 – (8 laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to A- feature; ; Top 2 finishers qualify for redraw): 1. 34- Kevin Root; 2. 8- Alan Fink; 3. 09- Connor Cleveland; 4. 9x- Tyler Trump; 5. k20- Kyle Inman; 6. c21- Taylor Caprara; 7. W99- Ben Wheeler; 8. 555- Leo Fotopoulus; 9. 04- Zack Sam; 10. 96b- Luke Carleton; 11. 43- Martin Hebert; 12. 87- Roco Leone

Heat 5 – (8 laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to A- feature; ; Top 2 finishers qualify for redraw): 1. 0- Shane Pecore; 2. 1J- Rocky Warner; 3. p15- Aaron Pierson; 4. 82- Will Shields; 5. 352- Fred Proctor; 6. 81- Austin Susice; 7. H20- Tom Collins Jr.; 8. k29- Chris Cunningham; 9. x21- Eric Williams; 10. 74- Dave Flannigan; 11. 2- Mike Taylor

Heat 6 – (8 laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to A- feature; ; Top 2 finishers qualify for redraw): 1. r18- Brad Rouse; 2. F11- Dan Ferguson; 3. b15- Brianna Ladouceur; 4. 1- Robert Delormier; 5. 92- Martin Pelletier; 6. 17- Tristian Draper; 7. 35- Thomas Cook; 8. J22- Stacey Jackson; 9. 34L- Pat LaPage; 10. F91- Bobby Flood

The Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast is brought to fans by many important sponsors and partners, including: Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel), Chevy Performance Parts and NAPA Auto Parts; in addition to contingency sponsors, including: ASI Race Wear, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Fox Shocks, Henry’s Exhaust Systems, Intercomp, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Mike’s Racing Heads, Motorsports Safety Systems, MSD, Pole Position Raceway, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum; along with manufacturer sponsors, including: Beyea Headers, Racing Electronics and TNT Rescue.

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