Erick Rudolph Wins Friends of Brian Stevens
Memorial at Merrittville  

Brian Stevens Race  

Max Blair Wins RUSH Late Model Victoria Day Classic;
Rob Murray and John Burt Also Collect Checkers  

By: Steven Petty

 THOROLD, ONTARIO (May 18, 2015)… Third generation driver Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, NY took home $4,444.44 as the winner of the Friends of Brian Stevens Memorial for the 358 Modifieds on Zavitz Financial Strategies and Employee Benefits night. With the victory, is now a guaranteed qualifier for the 358 Modified Super DIRTcar Series event at Syracuse during Super DIRT Week in October.

Max Blair from Centerville, Pennsylvania won the first ever visit by the RUSH Late Model Touring Series in their Victoria Day Classic. Rob Murray from St. Catharines, Ontario would win his second Hoosier Stock feature event of the weekend. John Burt won the first qualifier for the Ballhockey.com Enduro accelerated by Niagara College.  

Merrittville regulars Bill Bleich and Tyler McPherson led the field of Pinty’s 358 Modifieds to the green flag for their 44 lap main event with Bleich out into the early race lead with Erick Rudolph battling Tyler McPherson and clearing McPherson for second on lap one. Scott Wood would get around McPherson to take over third by lap seven and began chasing down the lead duo of Bleich and Rudolph. Tim McCreadie, driving the BCL Racing number 7 entry came to a stop in turn four to bring out the races first caution on lap 12. McCreadie would need assistance getting back to the pit area.  

The restart would see Danny Johnson get turned around in turn one to bring out the caution once again. The restart saw Bleich and Rudolph take off with Wood, McPherson and Freddie Carleton racing in the top five. Erick Rudolph, the third generation driver from Ransomville, NY would pass Bleich to take over the lead. Wood would pass Bleich for second on lap 17. Randy Chrysler was the driver on the move, starting ninth on the grid, would race his way into the top five by lap 30 after battling with Pete Bicknell and Brett Hearn for several laps. The leaders would hit lap traffic as Rudolph and Wood would check out over the rest of the field. Rudolph would pull away and see the checkered flags first as he would score the win and be a guaranteed starter for the 358 Series race at Syracuse in October. Wood would finish in second and was followed to the line by Tyler McPherson in third. “I never had a better feeling car here than I did tonight” stated Rudolph in victory lane.  

The RUSH Late Model Touring Series Victoria Day Classic was led to the green flag by Phil Potts and Brian Knowles with Potts opening up an early advantage. Max Blair went underneath Dennis Lunger Jr and Brian Knowles to take over second on the opening circuit. Jorden Peters spun in turn four to bring out the races first caution on lap four. The restart would see Blair go to the outside of Potts and would complete the pass entering turn three with Potts, Lunger, and the Knowles brothers Jason and Brian running in the top five. Blair would immediately start pulling away from the field as Lunger would get pressured by Jason Knowles as Knowles would take over the third on lap eight. The caution would come back out as New York racer TJ Downs spun on the front straightaway. Blair would take off on the restart as Brian Knowles would pass Lunger to regain the fourth spot. Bryce Davis would pass Lunger to take over fifth on lap 14 and then at the halfway mark, would pass Jason Knowles to take over fourth place. The caution would come back out one more time as Jason Knowles spun in turn four. Eric Wilson also spun to avoid contact. The mid race restart would see Davis’s strong run come to an abrupt halt with a flat right rear tire. The yellow lights would come back on as Brian Knowles and Canadian racer Colton Ledingham spinning in turn one. The restart would see Blair pull away from the field and start to open up his advantage. Rob Pietz would use his Merrittville knowledge to his advantage as he quietly worked his way up through the field and was running in the top five after a lap 20 restart. Max Blair would pull away from the field to pick up the $2000 payday and picking up the win in the inaugural visit by the RUSH Late Model Touring Series to Merrittville.  

Bill Bleich Jr and Chris Crawford led the field of Hoosier Stocks to the green flag for their 20 lap feature go on Victoria Day with Bleich taking the advantage. Jim Lampman and Kyle Pelrine came together on the opening circuit to slow the field down for the first time. Bleich would jump up front on the take off lap with qualifying winner Pete Reid and Lee Winger raced in the top three at the end of lap one. Kevin Knapp would pass Winger to take over third and then went after Reid for second and would complete the pass on lap three. Mark Fawcett passed Reid for third on lap four and then went to work on Bleich and Knapp on lap five. Knapp and Fawcett would pull away from the field and would begin battling each other for the race lead. Rob Murray, who picked up the win on Saturday night moved into position number three and began chasing down the lead duo. Mark Fawcett would move into the lead on lap 13 with Murray getting around Knapp for second just one lap later. Murray would reel in Fawcett with five laps remaining. Lee Winger spun in turn four on lap 17 to bring out the caution. The restart would see Fawcett take off with Murray in second. Murray would go underneath Fawcett and would complete the pass on the white flag lap and would then drive away from Fawcett to pick up his second win on the weekend.    

John Burt outlasted 43 other competitors to grab the victory in the 20 lap Ballhockey.com Enduro qualifier number one accelerated by Niagara College. With the win, Burt is now a guaranteed starter for the Enduro in September. 

RACE RESULTS: 

Pinty's 358 Modifieds: ERICK RUDOLPH, Scott Wood, Tyler McPherson, Tim Jones, Freddie Carleton, Pete Bicknell, Tommy Flannigan, Boyd MacTavish, Bill Bleich, Brett Hearn, Robbie Krull, Mat Williamson, Mike Bowman, Mark D’llario, James Michael Friesen, Travis Miller, Chris Bellamy, Chris Steele, Danny Johnson, Wayne Conn, Chad Brachmann, Tim McCreadie, Billy Dunn, Todd Gordon, Randy Chrysler Heat Winners: Freddie Carleton, Scott Wood, Brett Hearn  

RUSH Late Models: MAX BLAIR, Phil Potts, Brian Knowles, Dennis Lunger Jr, Colton Ledingham, Rob Pietz, Brian Knowles, Jorden Peters, Jeff Dayman, Bryce Davis, Eric Wilson, Randy Hall, Doug Gavette, TJ Downs, Tim Gillespie, Ken Winfield Did Not Start: Paul Grigsby, John Waters Heat Winners: Max Blair, Randy Hall Dash for Cash Winner: Phil Potts   Hoosier Stocks: ROB MURRAY, Mark Fawcett, Jim Lampman, Pete Reid, Kevin Knapp, Dave Bailey, Kyle Pelrine, Bill Bleich Jr, Brad Sheehan, Jason Fontaine, Lee Winger, Ed McLean, Chris Crawford Heat Winners: Pete Reid, Kyle Pelrine   Enduro Top 5: JOHN BURT, Jason Coutu, James Mercer, Joe Swanson, Wayne Thorne

Hoosier Stocks: ROB MURRAY, Mark Fawcett, Jim Lampman, Pete Reid, Kevin Knapp, Dave Bailey, Kyle Pelrine, Bill Bleich Jr, Brad Sheehan, Jason Fontaine, Lee Winger, Ed McLean, Chris Crawford Heat Winners: Pete Reid, Kyle Pelrine  

Ballhockey.com Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College Top 5: JOHN BURT, Jason Coutu, James Mercer, Joe Swanson, Wayne Thorne

MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS The 2015 64th Anniversary Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series for Merrittville Speedway’s 5 Divisions is brought to race fans and racers by division sponsors – Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Rick’s Delivery, Rev’s Full Throttle Powersports, Hoosier Tire Canada and Van Raine Construction and Contingency Partners http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/contingency.html  in addition to many marketing partners. Visit them at http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/sponsors.htm and visit them when you require their products and/or services. Lucas Oil Products is one of the fastest growing additive lines in the consumer automotive industry featuring a premium line of oils, greases and problem-solving additives. Through innovative product research and development, along with aggressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil Products has established itself as the top selling additive in the industry. Race fans can look for Lucas Oil Products at their favourite automotive retailer or maintenance center including KC Auto Parts, RCM Racing Equipment and Tim Phillips Garage.

 

 

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