DELEVAN, NY – Mat Williamson, from St Catharines, Ontario, continued his early season heroics, capturing his fourth Modified win of the season, the 30 lap feature at Freedom Motorsports Park’s opener on Friday, May 18th. Williamson, who has scored two wins at Merrittville, along with a victory at Lernerville, where he is a multi-year champion, started third in the thirteen car Outlaw Modified field, which allows Modifieds of all stripes to compete. He quickly took second, while polesitter John Venuto, driving a former Gary Tomkins car, drove out to an early lead.
Williamson patiently stalked Venuto for thirteen laps before easing into the lead. That spot was relinquished when the caution flew shortly thereafter, with scoring reverting to the previous lap, but Williamson promptly repeated the move on the restart and took the lead for good. He drew out to close to a straightaway advantage before a caution on lap 28, for a flat tire on the Venuto car, put veteran Billy Van Pelt, up from seventh, on his bumper for the restart. Williamson was able to hold off a brief challenge to win going away.
Brad Rapp finished third, followed by Jimmy Holden and Phil Vigneri III to round out the top five.
Williamson offered, “I took some right front brake out at about half way, and it got a little better. I don’t know if the 84 (Venuto) was second when he got that flat tire. It was unfortunate for him because he had a good run going. We had a good race up front and I’m happy to be here. We had a good car. We got that long green flag run until that last caution. We were just kind of taking it easy. We expected to see Billy Van Pelt late in the race, but luckily we didn’t see his nose and ended up in Victory Lane.”
Defending Sportsman champion, Brad Rouse, from St Carharines, took advantage of a bad break for leader Adam Leslie to win the 20 lap feature. Rouse took the early lead from Kyle Inman before Leslie wrested the lead from him on lap five and opened a comfortable lead. That all changed on lap nine when Leslie was collected by a lap car spinning in front of him. He was able to continue, but suffered some sheet metal damage that may have affected the handling, as Rouse took the lead on the restart and never looked back.
Leslie held on for second, with Inman, Brian Bellinger, and Austin fugle completing the top five. Rouse allowed, “When he (Leslie) got my me, I’m like, ‘I’m in trouble here,’ because he’s been quick all season. It was nice to drive back around him. It was a good race. We never touched. It’s good.”
In other racing, Bill Taylor, from Arcade, took the lead from Ted Mascho and went on to win the Street Stock Feature over Bill Demick, while Duane Powers, from Belfast, seized the top spot from Ryan Allen on lap nineteen of the twenty lap Mini Stock Feature to score the win.
NOTES: Williamson will be running Freedom on a regular basis as part of the American Racer Cup, while fielding a car for Behren’s Racing in Brett Deyo’s STSS……………Pavement star Andy Jankowiak was on hand driving recently retired Rick Hoctor’s Modified, which he will continue to do when his schedule allows…………Unlike a number of regional dirt tracks, Freedom’s surface was smooth and racy this night, with a minimum of dust. ………………….The ULMS Super Late Model “Ron Baker Memorial” headlines next week’s program.
Outlaw Modifieds: (30 laps) – 1. Mat Williamson, 2. Billy Van Pelt, 3. Brad Rapp, 4. Jimmy Holden, 5. Phil Vigneri III, 6. Adam Hilton, 7. Ray Bliss, 8. John Venuto, 9. Andy Jankowiak, 10, Shayne Pierce, 11. Tony Pangrazio, 12. Ray Bliss Jr., and 13. Scott Boudinot. Heat winners were Pierce and Bliss.
Sportsman (20 laps) – 1. Brad Rouse, 2. Adam Leslie, 3. Kyle Inman, 4. Brian Bellinger, 5. Austin Fugle, 6. Josh Wilcox, 7. Tim Schram, 8. Zach George, and Cody Egner. Heat winner was Leslie.
Street Stocks: (15 laps) – 1. Bill Taylor, 2. Bill Demick, 3. Mike Jackson, 4. Joe Chamberlain, 5. Dennis Harrison, 6. Ted Mascho, 7. Terry Gaylor, 8. Ron Richter, 9. Paul Beil, and 10. Dennis Cummings. DNS: Andy Eastman. Heat winners were Chamberlain and Taylor.
Mini Stocks- (20 laps) – 1. Duane Powers, 2. Matt Mowrey, 3. Ryan Allen, 4. Tyler Oakes, 5. Brendan Schweigart, 6. David Warrior, 7. Damian Clark, 8. Eric Weiss, 9. Holden Heineman, 10. Bill Weller, 11. Rich Conte, 12. Deanna Jackson, 13. Tom Childs, and 14. Austin Woodring, DNS: Richard Kline, and Cara Pitts. Heat winners were Oakes and Weller.