Williamson takes 'Super Fan' race at Ransomville

Photo courtesy Tom Stevens PhotographyMat Williamson poses after winning his second straight Modifieds event Friday night at Ransomville Speedway.

Mat Williamson of St. Catharines, Ontario captured the “Super Fan” Joseph Scholtisek 40 presented by Sunset Bar & Grill, Bailey Brothers Landscaping and Rutland Corwin Funeral Home on Friday night at Ransomville Speedway. Williamson came out on top after thrilling three-way battle in the closing laps between himself, Erick Rudolph and Mike Bowman.

In additional action, Kyle Inman (Darien) picked up his second win of the season in the Investors Service Sportsman. Cory Sawyer (Niagara Falls) scored his third win of 2019 in the Ki-Po Chevrolet Street Stocks. In the Gippster’s Collision Mini Stocks, Chris Leone (Niagara Falls) won the Dick Wilkinson Tribute race. Bubby Pawlak (Burt) won his third Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman feature.

The Krown Undercoating 358 Modifieds had $2,000 up for grabs for the winner on Friday night with the 40-lap “Super Fan” Joseph Scholtisek race. The race served as a living tribute for loyal Ransomville Speedway fan Joseph Scholtisek, who has gone through recent health issues. 

Mike Bowman and Allan Wills started on the front row after the top 12 qualifiers took part in a redraw. Wills led the opening lap before giving way to Bowman on lap 2. The race was slowed only once by caution on lap 5 when Jesse Cotriss spun out in turn four.

The race restarted with Bowman leading Wills, Rudolph, Williamson and Pete Bicknell. Bowman took off from the field while Wills, Rudolph and Williamson battled for second place. Williamson started tenth, but was already running fourth by lap 2. He took over third from Rudolph on lap 6, but eventually gave the position back four laps later.

Williamson and a few other cars tried to run the bottom line in the opening laps, but the field quickly discovered the top side of the race track was the way to go. With that outside line being the quick way around the track, it forced drivers to make slide job passes to pick up positions.

Rudolph was unable to overtake Wills for second place as the race went past the halfway point. He attempted to pull a slide job on Wills on lap 21, but the pair made contact on the front straightaway. Williamson slid by Rudolph to regain third place as Rudolph recovered from the contact. Six laps later Williamson managed to get a strong enough run to clear Wills for second place, and Rudolph followed suit to move back into third.

By this time, Bowman had built up over a 2-second lead on his closest challengers, but was also driving into heavy lapped traffic. Williamson made up that deficit to catch Bowman with less than 10 laps to go. He made a couple attempts to overtake Bowman as the leaders weaved their way through the lapped cars. Finally on lap 37, Williamson cleared Bowman out of turn two to take the lead for good.

Williamson scored his second win a row at the “Big R” and the $2,000 top prize. Rudolph got by Bowman on the final lap to secure a second place finish. Ryan Susice and Allan Wills rounded out the top five finishers.

The 25-lap Investors Service Sportsman featured the talented front row of reigning track champion Brett Senek and Kyle Inman. Inman outdueled Senek from the outside of the front row on the opening lap to take the lead.

The race got off to a rough start as Jonathan Reid spun on the opening lap, which triggered a multi-car incident that also involved Noah Walker and David Fingerlow. The only other caution of the race came on lap 7 when Garrison Krentz slowed on the track after tagging the wall.

Inman pulled away throughout the second half of the race to score his second win of the season at Ransomville. The victory came as a relief for Inman after seeing potential victories get away from him recently at Utica-Rome and Can Am Motorsports Park.

Andrew Smith came through the field to finish second. Senek finished third. Derek Wagner and Cameron Tuttle rounded out the top five.

The “Huckster” Cory Sawyer captured his third Ki-Po Chevrolet Street Stock feature of 2019. Sawyer passed Jaren Israel for the lead on lap 4, and led the rest of the way. The 20-lap race featured a spirited battle at the front of the field between Sawyer, Israel, Pat Dell, Pete Stefanski and Billy Bleich.

Sawyer and Israel finished first and second. Dell edged Bleich at the checkered flag for third place. Stefanski completed the top five.

The Gippster’s Collision Mini Stocks took part in the Dick Wilkinson Tribute Race, which paid tribute to the oldest race winner in the history of Ransomville Speedway. Chad Lederhouse and Chris Leone led the field to green. Lederhouse led the opening lap, but lost the top spot to Leone one lap later.

Leone led the next 19 laps, but the race was in doubt the entire time as Lederhouse, Howard Jones and Cole Susice stayed right on his tail. Leone had to survive a late race restart with three laps to go to clinch the victory. Lederhouse and Jones followed him closely across the finish line. Ryan Plante finished fourth. Susice overcame mechanical issues to come home fifth.

Bubby Pawlak kept his hot streak going in the Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman as he won for the third week in a row. Pawlak passed Clayton Cain for the lead on lap 6, and never looked back as he easily drove on for the win. Butch Zimmerman, Cain, Mike Martin and Kyle Richner posted top five finishes. 

The GRIT Sportsman Series returns to Ransomville Speedway on Friday. The Modern Corporation will present a full card of racing that begins at 7:15 p.m.