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DIRTcar NE Sportsman Modifieds

Cody McPherson Opens DIRTcar Sportsman Series West Region Title Defense With Ransomville Victory

The St. Catharines, ON driver is now second on the Series all-time wins list with 17 victories

Cody McPherson wins at Ransomville

Cody McPherson is one step closer to reaching the top of the DIRTcar Sportsman Series mountain.

After leading all 30 laps to win Friday’s West Region opener at Ransomville Speedway, the St. Catharines, ON driver is now second on the Series all-time wins list with 17 triumphs.

McPherson took the lead from the drop of the green in the caution-plagued 30-lap Feature as he tried to get a rhythm out front. 

Four cautions slowed the field in the first 13 laps as Adam Hilton tried to sneak past the No. 7 on each occasion.  McPherson chose the outside line in the double-file restart on the first two restarts and held the lead. However, the last two restarts put McPherson in position to win. 

McPherson switched to the bottom lane on a Lap 12 restart, which worked in his favor. When the caution came out again on Lap 13, he made the same decision. But this time, Hilton was there to challenge him.

When the race resumed, Hilton powered his No. 3A around the outside of Turns 1 and 2, pulling even with McPherson as they raced down the backstretch. Despite Hilton’s best efforts, McPherson was too strong as his momentum carried him ahead once they reached Turns 3 and 4.

From there, McPherson coasted to the $1,000 win—his second consecutive West Region triumph at Ransomville. 

The win breaks a three-way tie between McPherson, Dave Marcuccilli, and Steve Hall for second on the all-time wins list. He needs two victories to tie Brad Rouse for most Series wins (19).

He said making the right restart decisions was vital in his 17th career Series win.

“The restarts are so hard,” McPherson said. “It’s hard to get momentum going. So, you don’t know if you want the top or bottom. Luckily, we were just able to make the right choices, and once we got past Lap 12, it seemed to go green the rest of the way, which is nice.

“Redrawing number one definitely helped, but we’ll take it.”

While McPherson and Hilton battled out front, Adam Leslie used the yellow flags to his advantage. The Wainfleet, ON driver started 23rd after wrecking in his Heat Race and thundered through the field to finish second. 

McPherson said he knew what to expect if Leslie challenged him for the win.

“Right along the tires (on the bottom), there seemed to be good bite,” McPherson said. “You had to really slow it down getting into [Turn 1] to get off of [Turn 2]. I race with (Adam) Leslie all the time, so when I saw him in second, I knew he was going to be running the top. 

“It got in my head a little bit, but I said if he was going to pass me, he was going to do it on the top, so I said I’ll just stay with what’s working for me right now on the bottom.”

Despite finishing second, Leslie said he was thrilled with his finish after he almost missed the Feature.

“Second to Cody anywhere is a pretty good accomplishment,” Leslie said. “We had a good piece. I have to thank Bob Slack and Tyler. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been out there because we wrecked pretty hard in the [Heat Race].

“I was lucky on some of the restarts that there was such a mess, but it ended up in our favor.”

Hilton settled for third after challenging for the lead in the race’s first half. The Buffalo, NY driver said beating McPherson into Turns 1 and 2 was his only chance of wrestling the lead away.

“[McPherson] would’ve had to go to the top because I was going to stick to the bottom,” Hilton said. “But once Leslie went around me on the outside, I started going up there, and it was working pretty well for me in Turns 1 and 2, but not so much in [Turns] 3 and 4. 

“But Cody was really sticking to the bottom; he would’ve had to venture to the top for one of us to have gotten by him.”

Cam Tuttle, who set Quick Time and won his Heat Race earlier in the night, finished fourth, and Brett Senek rounded out the top five.

UP NEXT: The DIRTcar Sportsman Series West Region returns to action on Saturday, June 1, at Merrittville Speedway for the Ivan Little Memorial. Drivers will wage war in a 40-lap Feature, paying $4,000 (Canadian)-to-win.

DIRTcar Sportsman Series West Region Feature (30 Laps): 1. 7-Cody McPherson[1]; 2. 15-Adam Leslie[23]; 3. 3A-Adam Hilton[4]; 4. 35T-Cameron Tuttle[7]; 5. 111-Brett Senek[5]; 6. 44-David Conant Jr[3]; 7. 71-Jacob Bansmer[8]; 8. 23-Kevin Wills[2]; 9. 3-Justin McKay[6]; 10. 28-Jordan Moden[15]; 11. 99S-Steven Miller[22]; 12. 26-Greenley George[19]; 13. 44C-Abby Castile[18]; 14. 4-Mike Kramarz[11]; 15. (DNF) 68-Dave DiPietro II[9]; 16. (DNF) 114-Don Rosinski[14]; 17. (DNF) 18W-James Harbison[12]; 18. (DNF) 24M-Tyler Moore[21]; 19. (DNF) 9-Sheldon Gardner[13]; 20. (DNF) 55-Dillon Adamczak[16]; 21. (DNF) 61-Derek Wagner[10]; 22. (DNF) 72-Jessie Truax[20]; 23. (DNS) 42-Colby Adamczak; 24. (DNS) 68F-Curtis Friesen

Hoosier Racing Tire Award:  Dave DePietro (Free Tire)

Post-Race Tech: MSD Wiring was checked on the top three. All three passed. Tire samples were also taken.

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