Veteran racer beats out Chad Brachmann for the lead
THOROLD, ONTARIO – May 20, 2014 – “The Doctor” Danny Johnson, Rochester, N.Y., outmaneuvered his competition Monday at Merrittville Speedway to claim victory in race two of the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series.
“I shocked myself,” said the veteran racer, who quickly charged from his 16th starting spot to the lead in Monday’s 100-lapper. “You never know what you got until you get out there, and the car was good at the start. I started passing cars and I was able to go right up to the front.”
Ryan Susice, of Ransomville, N.Y., started on the pole after picking up a heat race win and finishing fourth overall in time trials. He took the lead at the green flag and maintained his position when an early race caution slowed the pace in lap 1.
Meanwhile, Chad Brachmann, of Sanborn, N.Y., was quickly gaining ground behind the leader. Brachmann started fifth on the grid, and by lap 7 the No. 3 was challenging the No. 28 of Todd Gordon for second. In lap 13, Brachmann overtook leader Susice with a quick backstretch pass on the topside.
Around lap 20,Brachmann reached heavy traffic at the tail of the field, which threatened his reign in lap 27 when a lapped car spun as he went for the pass. Brachmann dodged the other car and drove safely out of harm’s way, maintaining his lead position.
The yellow flag waved for the second time that feature race, and Johnson was able to take full advantage of the lap-35 restart. He leapt into the top-five, challenging Gordon for fourth. By lap 38, he had won the battle and was setting his sights on World of Outlaws Late Models star Tim McCreadie in third.
Johnson pulled up beside McCreadie in lap 42, but the Watertown, N.Y., racer was making moves of his own and attempted to pass Susice for second, putting Johnson one car length behind. In lap 42, Johnson found speed off turn one to charge between McCreadie and Susice in a three-wide slide job that garnered him second place.
Brachmann held on to the lead after a lap 47 caution and subsequent double-file restart, but Johnson found his opportunity at the next restart following a lap-59 yellow. Johnson powered to the lead at the lap 67 restart, and refused to give up his new position.
A three-car collision in lap 73 involving Brandon Easey, Mario Clair and Ryan Arbuthnot brought the fifth and final caution of the race. At the lap-75 restart, Johnson motored forward and quickly put some distance between the No. 27j and the rest of the field.
Behind him, McCreadie battled with Brachmann in an attempt to claim second, but former race leader Brachmann fended him off. Brachmann finished the race second and McCreadie third.
“I saw Tim (McCreadie) poking his nose under me a couple of times, so I had to alter my line a little bit to defend at the end,” Brachmann said. “I knew I wasn’t going to catch Danny at the end, so we did what we had to do to hold on to second.”
Mat Williamson, of St. Catharines, Ontario, finished fourth after starting 12th and early race leader Susice finished fifth. Rounding out the top ten are Pete Bicknell in sixth, Robbie Krull in seventh, Mike Bowman in eighth, Chad Chevalier in ninth and Chris Steele in tenth.
The DIRTcar 358-Modified Series heats up again early July, with two much-anticipated race nights. The small block series invades Humberstone Speedway in Port Colborne, Ontario, on Tuesday, July 1, traveling from there straight to Ransomville Speedway in Ransomville, N.Y., for a feature race night Wednesday, July 2.
DIRTcar 358-Modified Series, Round 2
Merrittville Speedway – May 19, 2014
A-Main (100 laps):
1. 27J Danny Johnson – Rochester, N.Y.
2. 3b Chad Brachmann – Sanborn, N.Y.
3. 7 Tim McCreadie – Watertown, N.Y.
4. 6 Mat Williamson – St. Catharines, Ontario
5. 38R Ryan Susice – Ransomville, N.Y.
6. 42 Pete Bicknell – St. Catharines, Ontario
7. 37s Robbie Krull – Cambria, N.Y.
8. 71 Mike Bowman – St. Catharines, Ontario
9. 12 Chad Chevalier – Port Colborne, Ontario
10. 17c Chris Steele – St. Catharines, Ontario
11. 7z Dale Planck – Homer, N.Y.
12. 08 Mark D’Ilario – Smithville, Ontario
13. 115 Stephane LaFrance – St. Albert, Ontario
14. 21K Erick Rudolph – Ransomville, N.Y.
15. 15J Tim Jones – Sanborn, N.Y.
16. 38 Scott Wood – Thorold, Ontario
17. 66x Carey Terrance – Hogansburg, N.Y.
18. 06 Brandon Easey – St. Catharines, Ontario
19. 16 Lance Willix II – Theresa, N.Y.
20. 96 Fred Carlton – St. Catharines, Ontario
21. 22c Mario Clair – Drummondville, Quebec
22. 22J Travis Miller – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
23. 17d Danny O’Brien – Iverary, Ontario
24. 108 Bill Bleich – Port Robinson, Ontario
25. R70 Ryan Arbuthnot – Renfrew, Ontario
26. 777 Tyler W. McPherson – St. Catharines, Ontario
27. 88b Chris Bellamy – Hamilton, Ontario
28. 28 Todd Gordon – St. Catharines, Ontario
29. 72 Tommy Flannigan – St. Catharines, Ontario
30. 91 Travis Cunningham –Grimsby, Ontario
31. 88p Shayne Pierce – Welland, Ontario
21k Randy Chrysler – Lewiston, N.Y.
B-Main (8 laps): Planck, Rudolph, Carlton, Bleich, Miller, Bellamy. DNS: Pierce
Qualifying Heats (top 6 transfer, top 3 redraw)
Heat 1 (8 laps): Williamson, McPherson, LaFrance, Steele, Flannagan, Terrance, Carlton. DNS: Chrysler
Heat 2 (8 laps): Susice, Brachmann, Jones, Arbuthnot, Bowman, Clair, Rudolph, Pierce
Heat 3 (6 laps): Bicknell, Easey, Gordon, Wood, Krull, Willix, Bleich, Bellamy
Heat 4 (8 laps): Chevalier, McCreadie, O’Brien, Johnson, Cunningham, D’Ilario, Planck, Miller
Time Trials: 1. Jones 15.598; 2. Steele 16.340; 3. Rudolph 16.452; 4. Susice 16.492; 5. Easey 16.514; 6. O’Brien 16.519; 7. Bicknell 16.553; 8. Arbuthnot 16.577; 9. Wood 16.585; 10. Chevalier 16.587; 11. McCreadie 16.590; 12. Williamson 16.598; 13. Brachmann 16.629; 14. Bowman 16.664; 15. Clair 16.692; 16. Pierce 16.696; 17. LaFrance 16.809; 18. Terrance 16.824; 19. Gordon 16.833; 20. McPherson 16.844; 21. Cunningham 16.848; 22. Johnson 16.853; 23. Planck 16.866; 24. Chrysler 16.884; 25. Krull 16.905; 26. Carleton 16.917; 27. Flannagan 16.948; 28. Bellamy 16.983; 29. Miller 17.086; 30. Bleich 17.134; 31. Willix 17.215; 32. D’Ilario 17.338.
DIRTcar 358-Modified Series notes: Erick Rudolph time trialed in the No. 25, but packed it up when oil pressure dropped, driving Chrysler’s No. 21k the rest of the night – Findings from a post-race technical inspection after the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Round 1 at Cornwall Moto Speedway Sunday night resulted in a fine of $600 and a penalty of 40 series points
DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Schedule
|Sun., May 18||Cornwall Speedway||Cornwall, Ontario||100||100||M. Clair|
|Mon., May 19||Merrittville Speedway||Thorold, Ontario||100||100||D. Johnson|
|Tues., July 1||Humberstone Speedway||Port Colborne, Ontario||100||100|
|Wed., July 2||Ransomville Speedway||Ransomville, NY||75||100|
|Sun., Aug. 31||Cornwall Speedway||Cornwall, Ontario||125||150|
|Fri., Sept. 5||Autodrome Granby||Granby, Quebec||75||150|
|Fri., Sept. 12||Mohawk International Raceway||Akwesasne, New York||100||150|
|Fri., Sept. 19||Le RPM Speedway||St-Marcel De Richelieu, QC||100||150|
|Sat., Sept. 20||Brighton Speedway||Brighton, Ontario||100||150|
|Wed., Oct. 8||Cayuga County Fairgrounds Speedway||Weedsport, NY||75||150|
|Thurs., Oct. 9||Brewerton Speedway||Brewerton, NY||100||150|
|Sat., Oct. 11||New York State Fairgrounds||Syracuse, NY||150||150|
|Fri., Oct. 17||Brockville Speedway||Brockville Speedway||100||150|
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