VERNON — Mat Williamson took home the $4,000 top prize in the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Pre-Game 100 Tuesday night at Utica-Rome Speedway.
“I have to thank my guys for giving me a fast hot rod all night,” he said. “We hope to keep things rolling with the 358 series races at Weedsport and Brewerton this week.”
Erick Rudolph came on strong late to finish in the second position, while Mike Mahaney completed the podium. Ryan Arbuthnot and Alan Therrien finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Williamson had a lucky redraw and led the 30-car field to the initial green flag. Jordan McCreadie hung with Williamson for the first couple of laps before Williamson pulled away, beginning his dominant drive.
Rudolph was the early mover of the redraw cars, cracking the top five by lap-15. Much of the field was running on the outside of the track, but Rudolph and Mahaney were running the inside line with success.
On lap 25, Williamson had a half backstretch lead, but the battle for second between McCreadie and Therrien was back and forth. The two drivers traded positions until a lap 29 yellow flag flew for Lance Willix’s rear-end issue.
The race resumed with a lap-33 restart where Mahaney and Larry Wight went four-wide, splitting Rudolph and Arbuthnot in turn two. The group raced four-wide down the backstretch, before Arbuthnot and Rudolph backed out of the four-wide affair entering turn three.
Mahaney’s car was stout in the middle stages of the race and as he worked around Therrien on lap 52 to take the second spot away. A lap 59 yellow flag set up a restart with Williamson and Mahaney. Williamson elected to start from the outside and brought the line with him. Wight shot from the fourth spot up to second and challenged Williamson off the second turn. Williamson maintained the lead through the third and fourth turns.
Wight began cutting down his deficit with 25-laps remaining, but off of turn four on lap 81, a trail of smoke ended Wight’s rally. Mahaney inherited the second spot, with Rudolph close behind.
Williamson ran upon heavy lapped traffic on lap 93, but effectively worked his way through to go on to a comfortable margin of victory.
DIRTcar 358 Modified Pre-Game 100
Feature finish: 1. Mat Williamson, 2. Erick Rudolph, 3. Mike Mahaney, 4. Ryan Arbuthnot, 5. Alan Therrien, 6. Dave Marcuccilli, 7. Rocky Warner, 8. Chad Brachmann, 9. Rusty Smith, 10. Yan Bussiere, 11. Kyle Dingwall, 12. Greg Martin, 13. Ryan Bartlett, 14. Michael Parent, 15. AJ Miller, 16. Gary Lindberg, 17. Larry Wight, 18. Alex Therrien, 19. Bobby Varin, 20. Jordan McCreadie, 21. LJ Lombardo, 22. Kyle Inman, 23. Matt Janczuk, 24. Ronnie Johnson, 25. Ronnie Davis III, 26. Pat Ward, 27. Lance Willix, 28. Corey Wheeler, 29. Billy Whittaker, 30. Fred Carleton.