By MANDEE PAUCH
BROCKVILLE, ONT – Erick Rudolph made a clean sweep during Brockville Ontario Speedway’s Fall Nationals as he picked up Friday nights DIRTcar Small Block Modified feature and Saturday nights Super DIRTcar Series feature, both in his No. 62 Small Block Modified.
“I was behind Friesen for ten or fifteen laps or so,” Rudolph said. “I was able to get around him a little bit before halfway. The track took some rubber. Then the lap cars came involved. I kept my nose clean. Towards the end of the race we had some restarts where we were able to keep her out front.”
On the drop of the green flag Jimmy Phelps and Stewart Friesen pulled away from the field as they went side-by-side until Friesen hooked his car up to the outside groove and set sail.
Friesen was just closing in on lap traffic until the first caution of the night was brought out on lap seven due to a slowing Max McLaughlin with a left front flat.
Rudolph took advantage of the lap 12 restart as he slipped passed Phelps for second.
It didn’t take long for Rudolph to start putting pressure on Friesen as Rudolph drove to the outside of the track and went by Friesen to claim the top spot on lap 27.
Matt Sheppard showed his nose on the lap 46 restart and advanced into the third spot, moving in on Friesen but action was soon halted as a caution was brought out once again on lap 47.
Rudolph led the field at the halfway mark over Friesen, Sheppard, Danny Johnson and Keith Flach.
Johnson reclaimed third from Sheppard then flew by Friesen on the top for second on lap 55.
Rudolph, with a sizable lead over Johnson, caught the back end of the field for the first time of the night on lap 61.
As Rudolph worked his way through lap traffic Johnson, Sheppard and Friesen were slowly closing the gap.
Larry Wight, who started twelfth, snuck his way into the top five by lap 65.
A lap 73 caution allowed the field to close up once again as both small block drivers, Rudolph and Johnson, led the field to the lap 75 restart.
It was tight racing throughout the field as cars went two and three wide but it was the front row everyone had their eyes on.
Sheppard dove under Johnson and slid up across him coming out of turn four as he advanced into second on lap 76.
A late caution on lap 87 gave the field one more try to make some moves.
Rudolph pulled away on the final restart as Sheppard searched high and low for a faster lane.
Sheppard made up some ground as he started closing in on Rudolph.
With two laps to remaining, Sheppard was on Rudolph’s bumper looking for a way to make his move. Sheppard ran out of time as Rudolph crossed the line by 0.431 seconds over Sheppard to capture his first Super DIRTcar Series win of the season and second of the weekend at Brockville Ontario Speedway.
“You never know with Sheppard. He’s a fierce competitor. I’m sure he wanted to win just as much as I did. If he had anything for me or could have made the move I’m sure he would have. He was right there. If I made a mistake I’m sure he would have been there,” Rudolph said.
Rudolph was confident with his car after Friday night’s victory that he knew what to do come Saturday. “We set the car up a little bit different tonight than what we had Friday night. Tonight it was a little slipperier.”
Race Notes: 36 modifieds attempted to qualify and 30 modifieds started the feature event. Dale Planck won the Pole Position Raceway Fast Time Award with a time of 15.284 seconds in the No. 96m small block modified. Eight cautions were brought out during the feature; lap 7, 18, 31, 39, 47, 73, 84 and 87.
The Super DIRTcar Series will be off for a week as drivers and teams get ready for the Bad Boy Off Road World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Oct. 27-29th. That will be the final stop for the Super DIRTcar Series as the 2016 Big Block Modified Champion will be decided and crowned.
Follow the series on Twitter @SuperDIRTcar, or click www.SuperDIRTcarSeries.com.
Super DIRTcar Series Statistical Report; Oct. 15, 2016; Brockville Ontario Speedway, Brockville, Ont.
A-Main (100 Laps) – 1. 62-Erick Rudolph, 2. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 3. 27j-Danny Jonson, 4. 44-Stewart Friesen, 5. 99L-Larry Wight, 6. 66x-Carey Terrance, 7. 33-Ryan Arbithnot, 8. 21-Yan Bussiere, 9. 43-Keith Flach, 10. 18h-Peter Britten, 11. 91-Billy Decker, 12. 88-Mike Mahaney, 13. 151-Brian McDonald, 14. 23-Danny Bilodeau, 15. 6h-Max McLaughlin, 16. 42p-Pat Ward, 17. 21k-Randy Chrysler, 18. 20-Brett Hearn, 19. 19-Tim Fuller, 20. 16-Gage Morin, 1. 96-Jean-Francois Corriveau, 22. 7m-Mike Maresca, 23. 1*-Steve Bernier, 24. 9J0Jordan McCreadie, 25. 07-Tim Kerr, 26. 47s-Corey Wheeler, 27. 98h-Jimmy Phelps, 28. 63-Chris Herbison, 30. 96J-Jason Riddell
Heat 3 (8 Laps) – 1. 62-Erick Rudolph, 2. 21-Yan Bussiere, 3. 43-Keith Flach, 4. 91-Billy Decker, 5. 20-Brett Hearn, 6. 96-Jean-Francois Corriveau, 7. 96J-Jason Riddell
Group 3 Qualifier – 1. 62-Erick Rudolph, 15.426; 2. 21-Yan Bussiere, 15.763; 3. 43-Keith Flach, 15.876; 4. 91-Billy Decker, 15.932; 5. 20-Brett Hearn, 15.951; 6. 13-Kevin Hamel, 16.172; 7. 14-Rick Wilson, 16.218; 8. 96-Jean Francois Corriveau, 16.225; 9. 96J-Jason Riddell, 17.164