By Robby Knowles
CENTRAL SQUARE, NY — Oct. 10, 2019 — Mat Williamson aced a lap 76 restart en route to his fifth DIRTcar 358 Modified Series victory of the year in the Hurricane 100 Thursday night at Brewerton Speedway.
Williamson was running in second behind Erick Rudolph when the yellow flag came out on lap 76 for Tim Sears Jr.’s right rear flat tire. Rudolph elected to restart from the outside, forcing Williamson to the bottom. Both drivers were on the gas early in turns three and four, but Williamson emerged with the lead in turn one and wouldn’t look back from there.
“That restart was definitely the key,” Williamson said. “We both fired early, but I was able to hit the brown in the middle and get a great run.”
Williamson hopes to carry the momentum into Oswego, “we’re excited about Oswego because we feel we have two hot rods, but the competition will be tough.”
Luck was on Williamson’s side once again with the redraw, as he started on the pole with Chad Brachmann alongside.
Williamson took the lead at the drop of the green flag, but Brachmann powered around him on the outside on lap 8. Brachmann began pulling away out front.
Mike Mahaney was the car on the move in the early going, charging from the 12th and final redraw spot. Mahaney was running the extreme outside line in turns one and two and on lap 30, he forced a four-wide moved that launched him from seventh to fourth.
Two laps later, Lance Willix came to a halt in turn two, bringing out a yellow flag.
The race resumed with a lap 36 restart where Rudolph and Mahaney got around Williamson, dropping him back to fourth.
At the halfway point, Rudolph had taken the lead away from Brachmann, while Mahaney, Williamson and Larry Wight were running inside the top five.
The yellow flag came out on lap 52 for Ryan Arbuthnot, but while under yellow, Brachmann slowed along the front stretch and took his machine to the pits with a rear end issue.
Wight was looking like he was going to have a card to play after the restart on lap 57, but a couple laps later he bounced over the cushion in turn one, dropkicking him back three spots from the third-place battle.
The field would have an extended green flag period of 19 laps, until Sears’ right rear flat on lap 76. Williamson would take the lead on the restart and cruise home to victory.
Rudolph had to settle for second, while Mike Maresca came on strong late to complete the podium. Billy Decker used the inside lane in the closing laps to pickup three spots and salvage a fourth-place finish and Mahaney rounded out the top five.
Wight, Dave Marcuccilli, Glenn Forward, Ronnie Davis III and Tyler Trump finished in positions six through 10.
DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Hurricane 100: 1. MAT WILLIAMSON, 2. Erick Rudolph, 3. Mike Maresca, 4. Billy Becker, 5. Mike Mahaney, 6. Larry Wight, 7. Dave Marcuccilli, 8. Glenn Forward, 9. Ronnie Davis III, 10. Tyler Trump, 11. Kyle Dingwall, 12. David Schilling, 13. Tim Sears Jr., 14. Todd Root, 15. Phil Vigneri, 16. Chad Brachmann, 17. Ryan Arbuthnot, 18. Ryan Bartlett, 19. Lance Willix, 20. Gary Lindberg, 21. Yan Bussiere, 22. Kyle Inman, 23. Greg Martin, 24. Corey Wheeler
DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Heat 1: MAT WILLIAMSON, Mike Maresca, Larry Wight, Mike Mahaney, Todd Root, Ryan Bartlett, Kyle Inman
DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Heat 2: CHAD BRACHMANN, Lance Willix, Dave Marcuccilli, Gary Lindberg, Tyler Trump, Phil Vigneri, Glenn Forward, Corey Wheeler
DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Heat 3: BILLY DECKER, Erick Rudolph, Ronnie Davis III, Tim Sears Jr., Ryan Arbuthnot, Kyle Dingwall, Yan Bussiere, David Schilling
BILLY WHITTAKER CARS FAST TIMER $100 AWARD: Mike Maresca 14.374