FULTON — The Showdown at Sundown on Thursday at Fulton Speedway came down to two cowboys from the west.
Erick Rudolph dominated most of the 100-lap DIRTcar 358 Modified Series race. Mat Williamson, however, spoiled Rudolph’s night with a dramatic pass on a late-race restart that followed with a come-from-behind victory.
Williamson was pumped to edge out rival Rudolph, who set the Billy Whittaker Cars Fast-Time Award for the second race in a row. Rounding out the podium was Danny Johnson, who started in position number 10.
Williamson was third place at the recent The Big Show 11, and at Can-Am Speedway on Wednesday. He broke through to take the win.
“(Rudolph) had a good car early,” Williamson said. “We ran into lapped traffic and it was challenging for me. You (have to) plan on cautions. I didn’t see anyone poking their nose for second, so I rode around on the bottom to save my tires for a late-race restart and that’s what we got. It was pretty awesome to get a win like that tonight.”
It is Williamson’s first trip to Victory Lane at Fulton Speedway.
“I thought we had the car to win last year at the Outlaw 200,” he said. “Unfortunately, mechanical issues took us out of that. I can’t say enough about this thing tonight. It was pretty stout on the restarts and luckily we were here at the end.”
Williamson competed at Ransomville Speedway on Friday. Next up for Williamson is the Super DIRTcar Series as they head to Cornwall Motor Speedway and Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway on Sunday and Monday, respectively.
“We (have) keep this momentum going into the long road trip,” he said. “I can’t thank the guys that came with me this week enough and a win like tonight makes everything worthwhile.”
Rudolph was disappointed to lose the lead so late in a race that he had dominated. Rudolph was pleased with his car and the race he put together, but ultimately believed he should have won. Not one to dwell, the No. 25R driver moved on to discuss his Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship race at Ransomville Speedway Friday night.
“Going into Ransomville (Friday), we’ve had a good race car there,” he said. “We are running really consistent. I’m really proud of the car, the team, and all my sponsors and supporters. Hopefully, we can keep that consistency going.”
Johnson found himself back on the podium with the No. 83 car.
“We had a good race car, there’s no doubting it,” he said. “We had troubles last night where it jumped out of gear. We thought we had it fixed, but it still jumped out of gear about five times. I held it in gear with one hand and kept my other hand on the wheel.”
Johnson’s new team is starting to find a rhythm.
“I am real fortunate to have these guys behind me (and car owner Chris Stevens) and bring the car to the track and get it going,” he said. “We made some changes and got it going really good.”
A total of 46 small-block modifieds filled the pits at Fulton along with 52 DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds that saw the complete show checkered in just three hours.
After two rounds, Williamson leads the point standings. He is followed by Rudolph and Mike Mahaney.
Tim Fuller, who won at Can-Am Speedway on Wednesday, pulled off early in the race with mechanical woes and did not return to the speedway.
Chris Hile finished 13th, the lucky number chosen to receive a free Hoosier Racing Tire.
The next DIRTcar 358 Modified Series race is Sunday, July 14, at Cornwall Motor Speedway followed by a trip to the Mohawk International Raceway just across the border.
Showdown at Sundown 100 feature: 1. Mat Williamson; 2. Erick Rudolph; 3. Danny Johnson; 4. Dave Marcuccilli; 5. Mike Mahaney; 6. Chad Brachmann; 7. Todd Root; 8. Bobby Harrington; 9. Tim Sears; 10. Chris Raabe; 11. Corey Wheeler; 12. Justin Haers; 13. Chris Hile; 14. Larry Wight; 15. Steve Bernier; 16. Tyler Meeks; 17. Ronnie Davis; 18. Yan Bussiere; 19. Lance Willix; 20. Kyle Dingwall; 21. Michael Parent; 22. Pat Ward; 23. Jordan McCreadie; 24. Jeff Sykes; 25. Mark Dilario; 26. Ryan Arbuthnot; 27. Tyler Thompson; 28. Tyler Trump; 29. Tim Fuller; 30. Dale Planck.