Makin’ Tracks – 358 Series Opens at Can Am – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

Forty 358’s were pitside as the 2019 DIRTcar 358 Series commenced its new season on Wednesday night at Can-Am Speedway in Lafargeville.

As always there was an interesting cross section of cars in what proved to be a highly competitive field.

The teams expected to be greeted by a spring condition surface, but in reality they hit the track to smooth and slick conditions as the track blackened up early on.

Efficiency was a key word for the night as the Mods were over by around 10 p.m. leaving the Thunder Stocks to close out the night.




Excitement certainly wasn’t evident until the feature events hit the track as heads up heats from timed group warm ups set up a follow the leader, warm-up like situation through the qualifiers.

With the track taking rubber there was some passing for positions, but if you had the misfortune of starting deep in the field a mid-field finish might be the best you could hope for.

Billy Dunn and Tim Fuller were the class of the field for the majority of the event as they ran a crowd pleasing wheel-to-wheel lap after lap.

Second place Erick Rudolph did move and went from 11th to second while Mat Williamson was third and started tenth. Michael Parent, better known for his Sprint car exploits, has developed into a solid Modified driver and fourth was where he finished after starting fifth while Mike Mahaney had the Huttig car out and after drawing sixth settled for a top five finish.

Passing was almost surgeon like as drivers would work for several laps before attempting or pulling off key passes. It was all about track position and the key for many proved to be restarts as some drivers, like Tim Sears Jr. and Rudolph, were masterful at getting back on the throttle.

With a handful of laps to go Billy Dunn saw a potential victory grabbed from his clutches and Tim Fuller chalked up a pretty impressive win.

The remainder of the top ten had an interesting mix of drivers with three time Brockville feature winner Ryan Arbuthnot sixth followed by Bobby Herrington, Jordan McCreadie (started 17th), Dave Marcuccilli and Ronnie Davis (started 23rd).

Pit Stops

After having engine problems a few weeks ago Bobby Herrington was overjoyed with seventh as he noted one of the keys for passing was “It was rubbering up in two and you had to get the right angle to get a good run. I think we had a 10th place car, but seventh is pretty good.”…

Tough night for Billy Whittaker as he was in a qualifying position only to have the car die. The team thought it might be a coil on the ignition. He came out, started deep in the consi and came home fifth for a DNQ…

Heats started at 7:12 p.m. and were over at 7:57 p.m. with the Sportsmen 30 lapper hitting the track at 8:45 p.m. and the Mods at 9:15 p.m…

Mod heats went to Rudolph, Steve Bernier, Maracuccilli and Fuller while consis went to Mike Maresca and Carey Terrance…

Nick Webb was towed off in the main after standing up a yuke tire in turn two…

Danny Johnson was in the Stevens 83 and finished outside the top 10…

Corey Wheeler has an outstanding graphics job for his sponsor Fat Les’s Chips. Maybe it’s just that I like chips…

it was an off night for Pat Ward as he timed poorly and finished near the back of his heat. He was a provisional with Todd Root, Ryan Bartlett, Willix and Webb…

Mechanical woes slowed Lance Willix most of the night and he started in the second from last row as a provisional…

Sportsman winner Jessica Power settled in third early in the race, but after a restart simply drove her way around the bottom and took just a couple laps to dispose of first and second. She pulled away from runner-up finisher Taylor Caprara and handled traffic well in picking up the win..

Cedric Gaurveau won the Sportsmen consi and finished a solid seventh place. It was an outstanding run for the Quebec driver…

Dalton Rombough ran in the top three for the majority of the main, but in the end got shuffled to sixth…

Robert DeLormier was a steady third, Brian Hudson fourth and Jackson Gill fifth…

Got a kick out of Jack GIll wearing a Brianna Ladouceur t-shirt…

Solid concession stands with the regular stuff as well as Poutine and Pizza Logs. Hearty servings of french fries…

Well, off to Fulton for Thursday and the DTD staff will be on hand. I won’t be available to write as much as I am announcing the Sportsman division while Tim Baltz comes in for the 358 series.

Any news, notes, comments etc. send along to foley395@hotmail.com