Ransomville's Erick Rudolph notched his fifth win of the season on Friday night at Ransomville Speedway in the Krown Undercoating 358 Modifieds on Fan Appreciation Night.
Other victors from the evening include Pendleton's Garrison Krentz with his first win of the season in the Investor’s Service Sportsman, Port Robinson, Ontario's Billy Bleich the Ki-Po Chevrolet Street Stocks, Ransomville's Cole Susice taking home his second win of the year and Appleton's Mike Martin with his first win on the season in the Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman. With the win, Susice adds on to his Gippster’s Collision Mini Stock points lead.
Initially starting from the fourth pole position, Rudolph was able to overtake pole leader Mat Williamson on the opening lap. This was important for Rudolph, as he entered the race 23 points ahead of Williamson for the divisional lead.
Williamson and Rudolph took charge in front of the competition early on, but would then be slowed down due to Steve Lewis Jr. stopping on the racetrack in lap eight. Rudolph briefly gave up the lead after the restart, with he and Williamson definitively leading the race in a heated battle.
With lapped traffic coming into play, Rudolphs would then get underneath Williamson on lap 19. He would extend his lead from there, with Williamson lagging behind with the extra traffic. The win would be Rudolph's fifth of the season at the "Big R" and his 21st overall in 2019. Williamson finished second behind Rudolphs and his points lead is now pushed to 27 with one race left this season.
Chad Brachmann placed third for his third consecutive top-three performance, with Gary Lindberg placing fourth and Mike Bowman coming in fifth.
The Investor’s Service Sportsman also had it's second-to-last points race of the year on Friday, with Derek Wagner commanding an early lead after starting from the outside pole. After his dominant start, however, Noah Walker's stoppage on the 19th lap slowed Wagner down.
Krentz was in second for the better portion of the race until then, he was able to slide past Wagner on turn two after the two competitors started out alongside each other on the restart. Krentz would then pull away late, finishing ahead of Wagner, Brett Senek, Jonathan Reid and Zach George, in that respective order. Senek's points lead is now down to just 13 heading into the final race of the season.
For the Ki-Po Chevrolet Street Stock feature, this race was decided with a series of events transpiring in the last five laps. Pete Stefanski, who was second in the points standing, would cause a stoppage with five laps to go and then headed for the pits.
Pat Dell, Jaren Israel, Cory Sawyer and Bleich would then be left on the track after battling for the lead for most of the race. Israel and Dell would make contact in turn three, leading to them getting physical with each other down the stretch. Taking advantage of their tiff, Bleich would sneak by to take the lead for good. Sawyer would try to make a run for the lead as well, but was sent to the moat along the front straightaway and he then hit the inside retaining wall to end his night.
Bleich would have some smooth riding from there, finishing ahead of Anthony Guthrie in second place, followed by Chris Dziomba, Dan Korpanty and Zach Bleich. Sawyer was still able to keep his points lead intact for the track title over Stefanski. Stefanski would come back around to place seventh, while Sawyer would place eighth.
In the Gippster’s Collision Mini Stocks, Susice claimed his second win of the season, leading all 15 laps from the pole position. Susice also covered the field, as he extended his points lead in the division. Ryan Plante finished in second place, with Mike Kramarz in third. Chuck Cala and Nick Tarnowski rounded out the race as top-five finshers.
Martin was able to record a big late season win in the Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman. Martin took the lead at the halfway point of the race on turn two, passing Sam Junkin. He then put things on cruise control over the final seven laps to secure the victory. Junkin finished in second place, with Tyler Vinson, Orval Harris and Bubby Pawlak rounding out the top-five.
Martin’s first win of the season was crucial, as he cut into Butch Zimmerman's 18 point lead for the track championship. The win, along with a seventh place finish by Zimmerman, cut the lead to just two points heading into the final points race of the season next weekend.
On Friday, August 30, Ransomville will crown its next track champions in all three open-wheeled classes on Season Championship Night. The Modified championship will be decided with a $2,000-to-win, 50-lap main event race. Also, there will be a $1,000-to-win 4/6-Cylinder demolition derby presented by Triple T Auto Parts. The racing will begin at 7:15 p.m.