By BOBBY SWEENEY
VERNON, NY – In the last 358-Modified race two weeks ago, Billy Dunn was so close to the lead he could smell it, but never got to have it. He got his chance this week.
At the start of the feature Dunn rocketed out front at the start of the King of Dirt Victoria 40. Dunn’s early stalker was Rocky Warner, with Dunn down low and Warner blasting the cushion. After a couple tries, Warner got the run he needed and flew to the top spot on lap eight, but hopped the cushion the next time around and handed the lead right back.
Warner didn’t stay down for long, slowly reeling in Dunn again. Lapped traffic helped speed up the process, as Dunn got pinned down low behind a lapped car. This allowed Warner to pull the same move he did earlier, driving to the front once more on lap 16. Dunn didn’t fade, hanging with Warner until the first caution of the race on lap 19 when Lucas Heintz spun in turn four. Bobby Varin went spun around in turn one while fourth on the restart causing the next one to be single file.
Once racing resumed, Warner and Dunn went to their respective positions on the top and bottom grooves. Dunn got a great restart, pulling alongside Warner down the backstretch, but Warner pushed on the cushion entering turn three. This gave the lead back to Dunn, and this time Warner couldn’t respond. As Dunn pulled away, Warner then fell into the clutches of Lance Willix for second.
On lap 26, Warner didn’t hit the cushion right and dropped the right rear tire off the edge. Willix now had a firm hold of the runner up position, and Pat Ward also got past Warner. Up front, Dunn’s lead had now mounted up to an entire straightaway.
Lap after lap, Dunn added a few more feet to his lead, and all Willix could do was watch from a growing distance. After 40 fast laps on a steaming hot night, Billy Dunn claimed a dominating victory in the King of Dirt Victoria 40. Willix chases in second, followed by Ward, Warner and Alan Johnson.
Pete Stefanski rolled around Justin Knight in the early stages of the 30-lap Gene Kotary Memorial for the Pro Stocks, and once he was out front, Stefanski ran away and hid. A caution free race never allowed Knight a second shot at Stefanski, as Stefanski rolled to the win by a monster margin.
The 358-Modifieds were not the only King of Dirt series in town for the night, as the KoD Sportsman joined the card with a 30-lap main. Dave Marcuccilli was set out to do one of his classic beatdowns, starting by grabbing the lead very early in the feature. Kyle Kiehn gave chase early, but efforts were futile as Marcuccilli rolled out to a big advantage within a few laps.
A couple cautions kept others close, and Matt Janczuk was prepared to mount the biggest challenge of anyone. However, nobody had anything for Marcuccilli, as the driver of the M1 cruised to dominating win over 10th and 11th starters Janczuk and Kyle Inman.
“I’ve always run well in these King of Dirt races,” Marcuccilli said of his first KoD win, “but Rocky Warner always seemed to take them away from me. He’s not here anymore, so we were finally able to get one.”
WILBER-DUCK CHEVROLET AND GENE KOTARY MEMORIAL RACE SUMMARY
KING OF DIRT 358-MODIFIED SERIES FEATURE FINISH (40 LAPS)-BILLY DUNN, Lance Willix, Pat Ward, Rocky Warner, Alan Johnson, Bobby Herrington, Demetrios Drellos, Jessey Mueller, Marc Johnson, Billy Whittaker, Mike Mahaney, Bobby Varin, Jeremy Wilder, Jack Lehner, Lucas Heintz, Allison Ricci, Matt Pupello, Steve Way, Billy Shantel Jr., Randy Shantel, Don Ronca, Brian Murphy, and Brad Godshalk.
KING OF DIRT SPORTSMAN SERIES FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)-DAVE MARCUCCILLI, Matt Janczuk, Kyle Inman, Connor Cleveland, AJ Filbeck, Kyle Kiehn, Michael Sabia, Andrew Buff, Chad Edwards, Taylor Lamb, Brian Calabrese, Dave Moyer, AJ Miller, Mark Effner, Rocco Leone, Tyler Thompson, Brian Hudson, Stephen Denton, Jeff Taylor, Marty Kelly III, Rob Maxon, Ricky Quick, Chris Cunningham, Joe Williams Jr., Alan Fink, Charles Tibbitts, David Schilling, Corey Barker, and Chris Mackey.
GENE KOTARY MEMORIAL TED’S BODY SHOP PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)-PETE STEFANSKI, Justin Knight, Kim Duell, Shane Henderson, Nick Stone, Travis Welch, Mike Welch, Frank Hyatt, Marc LaLonde, Aaron Page, Jim Normoyle, Kenny Gates, Mike White, Ernie Staelens, Jerry Streeter, and Andrew Walters.
ROOKIE SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)-DAVID BOISCLAIR, Casey Cunningham, Scott Mallette, Jeff Fesko, and Alexis Jacobs.