By STEVEN PETTY
THOROLD, ONTARIO – Third generation driver Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, NY took home $4,444.44 as the winner of the Friends of Brian Stevens Memorial for the 358 Modifieds on Zavitz Financial Strategies and Employee Benefit Solutions night. With the victory, is now a guaranteed qualifier for the 358 Modified Super DIRTcar Series event at Syracuse during Super DIRT Week in October. Max Blair from Centerville, Pennsylvania won the first ever visit by the RUSH Late Model Touring Series in their Victoria Day Classic. Rob Murray from St. Catharines, Ontario would win his second Hoosier Stock feature event of the weekend. John Burt won the first qualifier for the Ballhockey.com Enduro accelerated by Niagara College.
Merrittville regulars Bill Bleich and Tyler McPherson led the field of Pinty’s 358 Modifieds to the green flag for their 44 lap main event with Bleich out into the early race lead with Erick Rudolph battling Tyler McPherson and clearing McPherson for second on lap one. Scott Wood would get around McPherson to take over third by lap seven and began chasing down the lead duo of Bleich and Rudolph. Tim McCreadie, driving the BCL Racing number 7 entry came to a stop in turn four to bring out the races first caution on lap 12. McCreadie would need assistance getting back to the pit area.
The restart would see Danny Johnson get turned around in turn one to bring out the caution once again. The restart saw Bleich and Rudolph take off with Wood, McPherson and Freddie Carleton racing in the top five. Erick Rudolph, the third generation driver from Ransomville, NY would pass Bleich to take over the lead. Wood would pass Bleich for second on lap 17. Randy Chrysler was the driver on the move, starting ninth on the grid, would race his way into the top five by lap 30 after battling with Pete Bicknell and Brett Hearn for several laps. The leaders would hit lap traffic as Rudolph and Wood would check out over the rest of the field. Rudolph would pull away and see the checkered flags first as he would score the win and be a guaranteed starter for the 358 Series race at Syracuse in October. Wood would finish in second and was followed to the line by Tyler McPherson in third. “I never had a better feeling car here than I did tonight” stated Rudolph in victory lane.
PIT NOTES Merrittville Speedway would like to extend a Special Thank You to the Friends of Brian Stevens that helped make the $4,444.44 pay day possible. To view the supporters of the Brian Stevens Memorial – click on http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/Brian_Stevens_4444.html
Special Thanks as well to former Stevens Racing Team Crew Member Ray Samuel for his efforts in putting together the memorabilia display and Brian’s Last Ride in addition to Bill and BJ Willard and Auto FX Graphics and Signs.
RACE RESULTS: MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
44 lap Brian Stevens Memorial for the Pinty’s 358 358 Modifieds: ERICK RUDOLPH, Scott Wood, Tyler McPherson, Tim Jones, Freddie Carleton, Pete Bicknell, Tommy Flannigan, Boyd MacTavish, Bill Bleich, Brett Hearn, Robbie Krull, Mat Williamson, Mike Bowman, Mark D’llario, James Michael Friesen, Travis Miller, Chris Bellamy, Chris Steele, Danny Johnson, Wayne Conn, Chad Brachmann, Tim McCreadie, Billy Dunn, Todd Gordon, Randy Chrysler
Heat Winners: Freddie Carleton, Scott Wood, Brett Hearn