By: BOBBY SWEENEY
CENTER LISLE, NY – Ronnie Davis III nailed down a perfect night at Thunder Mountain Speedway, with Davis leading 23 of 30 laps in the DIRTcar 358-Modified feature event to score both the win and track title, his first since moving into the Modified ranks in 2018.
Jeff Taylor showed the way through a caution-filled opening stage to the 358-Modified season finale, setting the pace over a rash of cars battling for second. With cautions come restarts, and using the restarts to his advantage was points leader Davis. Following a lap six restart, Davis shot from fourth to second, and on a lap seven restart, Davis went to the lead.
Mike Maresca had won the last two 358-Modified features, looking to finish the season with three wins in a row. By lap ten, Maresca was in third, hunting Taylor for second while Davis motored away. At halfway, Maresca was all over Taylor, but couldn’t get the pass done.
With ten laps left, Davis’ lead peaked at three seconds. Reasoning behind the lead peaking was heavy lapped traffic, with cars scattered everywhere in front of the leader. Meanwhile, Maresca had uninstalled his kitchen sink to throw at Taylor, trying everything available to grab second. On lap 22, Maresca finally got the pass done.
After working over Taylor for 15 laps, Maresca instantly went chasing down Davis. Davis, swamped in traffic, saw his lead cut in half by lap 25, but Maresca soon had to face the same traffic. A four-wide pass in the final laps bought Davis all the time he needed, allowing Davis to get to the finish line first en route to his second victory of the year and first Modified championship. Marsca claimed second, with Taylor, Michael Stanton, and Alan Barker completing the top five.
“We just treated it like any other night and tried not to get nervous,” Davis said of his title-winning run. “Heck, I think my crew was more nervous than me, but this was probably the best car I’ve had all season. Coming to a new track and winning the title is certainly a confidence booster, and hopefully we can carry this momentum and confidence into next year with hopefully a normal season.”
DIRTcar 358 Modified Feature: RONNIE DAVIS, Michael Maresca, Jeff Taylor, Michael Stanton, Alan Barker, Colton Wilson, Brandon Walters, Corey Cormier, Tyler Meeks, Tom Eiklor, Glenn Forward, Lance Willix, Rusty Smith, Garett Rushlow, Chris Curtis, Daniel Morgiewicz, Pat Ward, Chris Stevens, Marshall Hurd, Darren Smith, Cody Higbie, Jordan McCreadie, Shayne Spoonhower and Michael Mandingo