In a field laden with heavy talent, Tim Fuller used decades of experience and driving intuition to navigate through the competition and score the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series win at Can-Am Speedway Friday night.
At the start, defending DIRTcar 358 Modified Series champion Dave Marcuccilli led the way, followed by Jordan McCreadie. Lance Willix II and Matt Caprara were in an immediate battled for third place.
After the first restart on Lap 5 of the 50-lap matchup, the competitors returned to their same positions, with Caprara applying heavy pressure to McCreadie for second place. As the focal point stayed on the battle for second, defending track champion Tim Fuller was steadily making his way up the ranks. By Lap 6, he had climbed his way into fourth place, lying in wait for any potential mistakes by those in front.
Marcuccilli lengthened his lead to a straight away by Lap 12, chipping away at the hopes of other drivers for a potential challenge as the race wore on. But Fuller was not to be dissuaded, as he ran tight on the inside of Caprara, passing him for third around Turn 1.
He didn’t stop there. As second place McCreadie ran high and wide off Turn 4, Fuller’s #19 machine did not skip a beat. He staying tight to the inside and passed the 2023 Glen Ridge Motorsports track champion to move up another spot. Then, the yellow lights came on as Willix II unexpectedly came to a stop off Turn 2, bringing Marcuccilli’s commanding lead to a temporary halt.
When the green flag dropped once more, Fuller started right where he left off, aggressively challenging Marcuccilli and forcing him to make a move. He planted himself on the inside lane that had worked for him up until that point, while Marcuccilli moved up running high and wide. It was too generous of a gesture to the veteran driver, as Fuller passed into the lead on Lap 29.
He did not waver for the next 10 laps, continuing with his winning formula. On Lap 38, he clipped an implement tire lining the track, shaving a small distance off of his lead. But that was the only error that Fuller committed, as he navigated his way through lapped traffic. Marcuccilli valiantly pursued him through the field, but did not have enough speed to close the gap.
The Watertown, NY resident crossed the finish line first, capturing the $4,500 payday. It was his his eighth career DIRTcar 358 Modified Series win.
” (Dave) Marcuccilli set quite a pace there,” Fuller said. “I just kept picking them off. I knew it would come later as the race went on…it worked out. It’s really tough to make up that kind of time. I knew lapped traffic was going to play a part. I’m just very fortunate.”
Marcuccilli held on behind him, recording the runner-up finish.
“It just took a couple laps for me to get going,” Marcuccilli said. “I missed the bottom down there when I was racing with (Fuller)…he runs really good here. I was lucky enough to start up front. We’ll take it.”
Super DIRTcar Series rookie Felix Roy continued showing the marked improvement that has emerged over the course of the season. After starting in 12th, he charged his way up to seventh place by Lap 26. After he fired hard on the last restart of the race, he rocketed up four positions to third where he eventually finished.
“It was tough,” Roy said. “I started 12th and I slowly gained position. I got a good final restart. At the end, I had something for Dave (Marcuccilli), but in lapped traffic he started to gain some space on me. I’m happy with third.”
Erick Rudolph finished in fourth and Zach Payne finished in fifth.
UP NEXT: The DIRTcar 358 Modified Series heads to Weedsport Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 9, for the 75-lap, $5,000-to-win, Cavalcade Cup Weekend.
DIRTcar 358 Series Feature 50 Laps
1. 19-Tim Fuller; 2. M1-Dave Marcuccilli; 3. 91-Felix Roy; 4. 25R-Erick Rudolph; 5. 7Z-Zachary Payne; 6. 49-Billy Dunn; 7. 29-Matt Caprara; 8. 39-Ryan Bartlett; 9. 6M-Mat Williamson; 10. 01-Chris Raabe; 11. 35-Mike Mahaney; 12. 28-Jordan McCreadie; 13. 21C-Taylor Caprara; 14. 38J-Jarrett Herbison; 15. 66X-Carey Terrance; 16. 18W-Scott Webb; 17. 45R-Preston Forbes; 18. 3-Chris Mackey; 19. 31-Lance Willix; 20. 55-Matt Woodruff; 21. 7S-Shaun Shaw; 22. 3RS-Dalton Slack; 23. B2-Bob Henry Jr; 24. 9-Tyler Meeks; 25. 66W-Derek Webb; 26. 21-Andrew Howard; 27. 117-CJ Castelletti; 28. R70-Ryan Arbuthnot; 29. (DNF) 60-Jackson Gill; 30. (DNF) 5-Amy Holland