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Todd Root Wins Sportsman Series Opener With Perfect Night At Fulton

DIRTcar Sportsman Series Central Region Continues April 30 at Utica-Rome

FULTON, NY – April 28, 2017 – Todd Root took the lead from Mike Phelps on lap 15 and paced the remaining 25 laps without difficulty to cap a perfect night at Fulton Speedway’s Highbank Holdup 40 on Friday night. The race was the season opener for the DIRTcar Sportsman Series Central Region.

Root earned the fastest time overall in time trials of the 52 cars in attendance before winning his heat race and then the 40-lap main event on a slick, but smooth Fulton track.

“This is what I was looking for,” Root said in Victory Lane. “We’re going to travel the series this year and I was looking for a really strong run right out of the gate. You don’t get much stronger than this.”

Mike Phelps and 16-year-old Tyler Trump brought the field to the green flag for the 40-lap Feature. Phelps paced the field early before a caution at lap seven for a spun Martin Pelletier slowed the field. Phelps maintained the point on the restart, but was quickly under pressure from Trump.

The fourth-place starting Root maintained pace with a lead trio that also included Jeremy Dygert before using the restart to challenge Trump for the runner-up spot. Root made the most of the track position and assumed the lead on lap 15 after a calculated start to the race.

“We just had to search for the right line,” Root said. “I didn’t really know where the line was going to be. Earlier (in the night) it was low and I figured the track would go away pretty good. Once I started finding my marks the car was really good.”

Root built a steady advantage over Trump, but never ran away. The advantage he had built was erased with the second and final caution of the Feature when Charlie Tibbitts spun his No.T1 car in turn four.

Trump made his best play on the restart and tried to hunt down Root, but fell roughly five car lengths short of the victory. It wasn’t for a lack of effort though, as Trump attempted several different lines over the final 10 laps with hopes of reeling in the leader Root.

“I was just trying to find a different line that was faster with more momentum to get around the track quicker,” Trump said of his strategy. “The high side was the place I wanted to be and Todd always runs there.”

Dave Marcuccelli raced into the third position after starting ninth. The final caution of the race with 14 laps to go hindered his ability to track down the top two.

“I had a long run car, not a short run car,” Maruccelli said. “After that caution, that kind of killed me. We needed another 10 or 15 laps to see if I could get back up there. They were good, so I kind of struggled a little while the right-rear heated up.”

Root, Marcuccelli and Phelps were all heat race winners along with Shane Pecore and Billy Clark Jr. Zach Sobotka and Corey Barker claimed the pair of Last Chance Showdowns to qualify for the main event. Provisional starting spots were awarded to Ron Davis III, Alex LaJoie, Jessica Power, Chris Cunningham and Kevin Root based on 2016 series points and attendance.

The DIRTcar Sportsman Series Central region continues at Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, NY on Sunday, April 30. The Northern Region kicks off on Saturday, May 6 at Autodrome Drummond in Drummondville, QC with the Racing Stock 50. For more information, visit www.dirtcarump.com.

DIRTcar Sportsman Series Statistical Report (Central Region)

Highbank Hold-Up 40 at Fulton Speedway – April 28, 2017

Feature – (40 Laps) – 1. 15-Todd Root, [4]; 2. 9x-Tyler Trump, [2]; 3. M1-Dave Marcuccelli, [9]; 4. 22J-Jeremy Dygert, [3]; 5. 0-Shane Pecore, [5]; 6. 99-Billy Clark Jr., [6]; 7. 14-Jeremy Pitcher, [18]; 8. 48-Matt Picotin, [11]; 9. 7c-Glenn Forward, [17]; 10. 20k-Kyle Inman, [15]; 11. 31-Corey Barker, [21]; 12. 34-Kevin Root, [30]; 13. 52-Jessica Power, [28]; 14. 99m-Mike Phelps, [1]; 15. 24k-Nick Krause, [16]; 16. 11-Kyle Fink, [13]; 17. 38-Zach Sobotka, [20]; 18. 3x-Tony Finch, [19]; 19. 32r-Ron Davis III, [26]; 20. 713-Tom Collins Jr., [23]; 21. 94x-Chris Burex, [13]; 22. 21d-Robert Delormier, [25]; 23. 33x-Alex Lajoie, [27]; 24. 29k-Chris Cunningham, [28]; 25. 3m-Mike Stanton, [8]; 26. T1-Charlie Tibbitts, [10]; 27. 18r-Brad Rouse, [7]; 28. 80x-Mike Button, [24]; 29. 92p-Martin Pelletier, [14]; 20. 4m-Greg Martin, [22].

Qualifying Group 1 – 1. 15-Todd Root, 17.561; 2. 20k-Kyle Inman, 17.676; 3.18r-Brad Rouse, 17.728; 4. T1-Charlie Tibbitts, 17.757; 5. 80x-Mike Button, 17.785; 6. 52-Jessica Power, 17.792; 7. 3-Chris Mackey, 17.810; 8. 713-Tommy Collins, 17.952; 9. 98T-Tyler Thompson, 17.978; 10. 87J-John Strickler, 18.549.

Qualifying Group 2 – 1. 22j-Jeremy Dygert, 17.784; 2. 48-Matt Picotin, 17.922; 3. 24k-Nick Krause, 17.927; 4. 99m-Mike Phelps, 18.012; 5. 21d-Robert Delormier, 18.046; 6. 06w-Dorian Wahdan, 18.089; 7. 34L-Patrick Lapage, 18.119; 8. 27z-Ray Bliss, 18.163; 9. 8-Zac McBride, 18.274; 10. 94-Gabriel Cyr, 18.796; 11. 7w-Tom Mackey, NT.

Qualifying Group 3 – 1. 32r-Ron Davis III, 17.582; 2. 0-Shane Pecore, 17.659; 3. 7c-Glenn Forward, 17.837; 4. 17J-Brent Joy, 17.874; 5. 38-Zach Sobotka, 17.883; 6. 60-Jackson Gill, 17.899; 7. 94x-Chris Burek, 18.025; 8. 3m-Mike Stanton Jr., 18.058; 9. 35-Tom Cook, 18.111; 10. 36-Chantel Provencher, 18.475; 11. 3c-Colby Herzog, 18.564.

Qualifying Group 4 – 1. 8-Alan Fink, 17.655; 2. 11-Kyle Fink, 17.748; 3. 82-Will Sheilds, 17.760; 4. M1-Dave Marcuccelli, 17.769; 5. 14-Jeremy Pitcher, 17.961; 6. 29k-Graig Cunningham, 17.969; 7. 34-Kevin Root, 17.999; 8. 31-Corey Barker, 18.128; 9. 23-Mike Stacey, 18.176; 10. 22c-Cedric Gauvreau, 18.321.

Qualifying Group 5 – 1. 99-Bill Clark Jr., 17.644; 2. 9x-Tyler Trump, 17.688; 3. 4m-Greg Martin, 17.961; 4. 92p-Martin Pelletier, 17.967; 5. 771-Joe Sobotka, 18.164; 6. 3x-Tony Finch, 18.258; 7. 7d-Bill Meginn, 18.844; 8. 7s-Torrey Stoughtenger, 18.939; 9. 33x-Alex Lajoie, 19.034; 10. 1r-Ricky Thompson, NT.

Heat 1 (8 Laps – Top-4 Finishers Transfer to A-Feature; Top-2 Redraw) – 1. 15-Todd Root; 2. 18r-Brad Rouse; 3. T1-Charlie Tibbitts; 4. 20k-Kyle Inman; 5. 80x-Mike Button; 6. 713-Tom Collins Jr.; 7. 52-Jessica Power; 8. 98T-Tyler Thompson; 9. 3-Chris Mackey; 10. 87J-John Strickler.

Heat 2 (8 Laps – Top-4 Finishers Transfer to A-Feature; Top-2 Redraw) – 1. 99m-Mike Phelps; 2. 22J-Jeremy Dygert; 3. 48-Matt Picotin; 4. 24k-Nick Krause; 5. 21d-Robert Delormier; 6. 27z-Ray Bliss; 7. 8-Zach McBride; 8. 06w-Dorian Wahdam; 9. 34L-Pat Lapage; 10. 94-Gabriel Cyr; 11. 7w-Tom Mackay.

Heat 3 (8 Laps – Top-4 Finishers Transfer to A-Feature; Top-2 Redraw) – 1. 0-Shane Pecore; 2. 3m-Mike Stanton; 3. 94x-Chris Burek; 4. 7c-Glenn Forward; 5. 38-Zach Sobotka; 6. 60-Jackson Gill; 7. 17J-Brent Joy; 8. 35-Thomas Cook; 9. 36-Chantel Provencher; 10. 32R-Ron Davis III.

Heat 4 (8 Laps – Top-4 Finishers Transfer to A-Feature; Top-2 Redraw) – 1. M1-Dave Marcuccelli; 2. 8-Alan Fink; 3. 11-Kyle Fink; 4. 14-Jeremy Pitcher; 5. 31-Corey Barker; 6. 82-Will Shields; 7. 29k-Chris Cunningham; 8. 34-Kevin Root; 9. 23-Mike Stacey; 10. 22c-Cedric Gauvreau; 11. 3c-Colby Herzog.

Heat 5 (8 Laps – Top-4 Finishers Transfer to A-Feature; Top-2 Redraw) – 1. 99-Billy Clark Jr.; 2. 9x-Tyler Trump; 3. 92p-Martin Pelletier; 4. 3x-Tony Finch; 5. 7s-Torry Stoughtenger; 6. 7d-Bill Meginn; 7. 4m-Greg Martin; 8. 771-Joe Sabotka; 9. 33x-Alex Lajoie; 10. 1R-Rick Thompson DNS.

Last Chance Showdown 1 (10 Laps – Top-3 Finishers Transfer to A-Feature) – 1. 38-Zach Sobotka; 2. 4m-Greg Martin; 3. 80x-Mike Button; 4. 82-Will Shields; 5. 3-Chris Mackey; 6. 27z-Ray Bliss; 7. 17J-Brent Joy; 8. 52-Jessica Power; 9. 7s-Torry Stoughtenger; 10. 06w-Dorion Wahden; 11. 22c-Cedric Gauvreau; 12. 36-Chantel Provencher; 13. 34-Kevin Root; 14. 94-Gabrial Cyr; 15. 3c-Colby Herzog; 16. 33x-Alex Lajoie.

Last Chance Showdown 2 (10 Laps – Top-3 Finishers Transfer to A-Feature) – 1. 31-Corey Barker; 2. 713-Tom Collins Jr.; 3. 21d-Robert Delormier; 4. 32R-Ron Davis III; 5. 98T-Tyler Thompson; 6. 8-Zach McBride; 7. 29k-Craig Cunningham; 8. 60-Jackson Gill; 9. 35-Thomas Cook; 10. 34L-Pat Lapage; 11. 87J-John Strickler; 12. 7d-Bill Meginn; 13. 7w-Tom Mackey; 14. 771-Joe Sabotka, DNS; 15. 23-Mike Stacey, DNS; 16. 1R-Ricky Thompson, DNS.

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