RANSOMVILLE, NY – Defending DIRTcar Sportsman Modified champion Cody McPherson showed his characteristic grit and tenacity in battling his way to Victory Lane in the DIRTcar Sportsman West Region Series opener.
The 30-lap, $1,250-to-win Feature started with pole sitter Brett Senek and Cameron Tuttle in the front row followed by Chad Chevalier and McPherson in row number two. Senek steadily commanded the lead for the first half of the race, with Tuttle and McPherson fiercely battling each other for the runner-up position. Tuttle consistently ran the outside groove while McPherson took his chances on the inside of the track.
The top runners were completely reordered in less than a lap when Senek lost his stride going into Turn 3 on Lap 18. Tuttle and McPherson were poised ready to strike when the moment hit, with both contenders making the pass. McPherson didn’t let up in the slightest, as he saw a second opportunity to strike when Tuttle lost speed on the outside coming out of Turn 2 on Lap 19. McPherson stepped on the gas, passing him to become the new leader.
He stayed out in front with a comfortable lead, looking as if he was going to remain uncontested to the finish line, when a late race caution with three laps to go kept the competition interesting.
The St. Catharines, ON resident lined up with defending track champion Derek Wagner on his outside, who was ready to give him one last challenge to his lead. McPherson powered out in front after the restart largely uncontested, finishing the last three laps and driving his #7 machine to Victory Lane.
“I just ran the bottom because it was the smoothest way around but I saw Tuttle making some good ground up top,” said McPherson. But, once I got the lead I didn’t know where I wanted to run. But the track is a lot better. Kudos to the track.”
Wagner fended off a hard-charging Tuttle on the outside for the remaining three laps to keep his runner-up position after charging from ninth place. Tuttle finished in third to round out the podium.
“I found the top the first couple laps,” Tuttle said. “After five or 10 laps, it got rough, and I had to switch it up a little bit. It was fun with all these guys. The track changed a lot, but we made it work.”
Senek finished in fourth, and Dave DiPietro finished in fifth. The free Hoosier Racing tire was awarded to Randy Chrysler.
DIRTcar Sportsman West Region Feature Finish – 30 laps – 1. Cody McPherson ($1,250) 2. Derek Wagner 3. Cameron Tuttle 4. Brett Senek 5. Dave DiPietro 6. Jessica Kriegisch 7. Justin McKay 8. Cody Adamczak 9. Jordan Moden 10. Chad Chevalier 11. Randy Chrysler 12. Tom Princiotta 13. #23n 14. Larry Vick 15. Kyle Richner 16. Tyler Moore 17. Noah Mamo 18. Jim Habison 19. Robert Henning 20. Abbie Castile