By BOBBY SWEENEY
LAFARGEVILLE, NY – Tim Fuller dominated the 75-lap DIRTcar 358-Modified Series event, taking the victory over Can-Am’s 2018 champion Billy Dunn. Dave Rogers held off Kevin Root in a close Sportsman finish.
Fuller has ran good in his Can-Am appearances this year, posting multiple podium finishes. However, tonight Fuller was finally able to get to the top step of said podium.
“This car was fast from the start, it’s the one we run at Mohawk,” Fuller said. “With the Sprint Cars here, we thought it would be really slippery, so we decided to bring this car here. I actually had a pretty decent redraw and had a good race at the beginning, and lapped traffic got a little tough with it being one lane on the bottom.”
Ronnie Davis III slipped by Billy Whittaker for the lead off an early lap six restart in the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series feature, with Fuller following Davis and into second. Davis didn’t get to stay out front for long, as another yellow soon after allowed Fuller to line up alongside and rocket to the front when racing resumed. Dunn clawed up to third from sixth, but Fuller was long gone.
On lap 24, Fuller’s full straightaway lead over Davis and Dunn was wiped out due to Lance Willix’s spin. However, the caution saved Fuller from dealing with the thick lapped traffic that he had just reached. This allowed Davis and Dunn to close up to Fuller, but Fuller motored away again. Dunn went past Davis for second, with Jordan McCreadie sliding by Davis too.
By halfway, Fuller built up a steady half straightaway advantage over Dunn, a gap that stabilized rather fast. Once more, Dunn was able to catch up to Fuller the easy way as on lap 42 Bob Henry slowed with mechanical issues, but again Fuller was too hard to hang with. Soon after, Larry Wight and Rylee Gill came together in turn three, with Gill sliding to a stop with a broken front end.
By this point, most drivers had migrated to the bottom of the speedway surface. Except for a hard charging Ryan Arbuthnot. The Ontario pilot was the lone soul making headway up top. On the lap 57 restart for the Wight and Gill incident, Arbuthnot found whatever was left up high and drove from sixth to second. One last pile-up in the back of the pack had the yellow flag waive on lap 60, allowing Arbuthnot to line up alongside Fuller.
Over the final laps, Arbuthnot and Dunn fought hard for second, door-to-door for many circuits before Dunn finally broke free. Dunn then went to the top and used some of the line Arbuthnot gained so much ground with, slowly chipping away at Fuller’s lead he quickly built up on the restart.
However, it was too little too late, as Fuller cashed out and took the win in the 75-lap DIRTcar 358-Modified Series event.
2018 Can-Am champion Dunn almost got another one, reeling in Fuller late in the going. He just came up a little short.
“We missed it a little bit tonight,” Dunn noted. “The track was super, super slick, not like it has been the last month or so. Ryan (Arbuthnot) had a really good run, I was lucky enough to get back by him and he showed me a line that almost got me to Fuller, I just ran out of laps.”
Arbuthnot ran the extreme outside of the racing surface much of the night, finding bite where nobody else thought of going. That line ultimately placed him in third in the final rundown after starting 14th.
“We had our work cut out for us, I time trialed terrible,” stated Arbuthnot. “I was in the back and everyone was hunkering around the bottom, and I wasn’t content finishing back there. I had to do something there and went to the top.”
Tim Sears Jr., finished in fourth with Pat Ward fifth.
Dave Rogers took control of the Sportsman field at the drop of the green, leading much of the 30-lap distance without contest. As the laps wound down, lapped traffic got thicker, and Kevin Root closed in. With three to go, Root reached Rogers, drawing even a couple of times. Rogers defended each shot from Root, clearing Root and holding onto the lead. Exiting turn four on the last lap, Rogers slipped high and Root dove low, drag racing Rogers to the finish. Rogers hung on, beating Root to the line by half a car length.
CAN-AM SPEEDWAY RESULTS 9/8 – D.P. BARTLETT & SONS NIGHT
SUNY CANTON DIRTcar SPORTSMAN (30-LAPS): 44-David Rogers, 34R-Kevin Root, 60-Jackson Gill, 1-Jack Meeks, 88X-Xavier Andrews, 41-Dalton Rombough, 57-Anthony Stockman, 76X-Jamie Platt, 415-Andrew Wren, 621-Brian Hudson, 17-Tristan Draper, 18E-Gavin Eisele, 25-George Sanford, 2-Chris Thurston, 38J-Jarrett Herbison, 29J-Joel Hall, 14A-AJ Miller, 81-Tyler Reynolds, 10B-Jamie Brown, 15-Greg Henry, 111-Jim Spano, 76G-Skylar Greenfield, 7S-Shaun Shaw, 4-Cody Clark, 57H-Remington Hamm, 39-Rich Riggs, 14-Addison Bowman, 64-Tyler Corcoran, 18-Justin Gadbaw, 99R-Anthony Rasmussen
WHITESBORO PLOW SHOP DIRTcar MODIFIED (75-LAPS): 19X-Tim Fuller, 9-Billy Dunn, R79-Ryan Arbuthnot, 83X-Tim Sears Jr., 42P-Pat Ward, 9J-Jordan McCreadie, 28-Tyler Meeks, 109-Billy Whittaker, 32R-Ronnie Davis, 27W-Nick Webb, 1J-Rocky Warner, 11H-Justin Haers, 99L-Larry Wight, 111-Demetrios Drellos, 47S-Corey Wheeler, 2-Robbie Bellinger, 151-Brian McDonald, 51X-Brady Gill, 39-Ryan Bartlett, 02-Roy Bresnahan, 21-Larry Welling Jr., 55-Matt Woodruff, 57-Rylee Gill, 7C-Glen Forward, B2-Bob Henry, 22J-Jeremy Wilder, 47-Simon Perreault, 7M-Mike Maresca, 31-Lance Willix II, 45R-Preston Forbes
DNQ-34-George Foley, 29-Tom Conklin, 00-Lou Torres, 16-Aaron Jacobs