FULTON, N.Y. — official series release —
Brad Rouse passed fellow St. Catharines, Ontario rival James Friesen twice on the final lap to win the DIRTcar Northeast Sportsman Series 30-lap opener Saturday night at Fulton Speedway.
Rouse put his Rick’s Delivery/St. Amant Auto No. 18R up at the top of the track and roared off the fourth turn to edge Friesen by a half car-length after Friesen had retaken the lead entering the third turn.
“It was checkers or wreckers,” Rouse said. “I wasn’t going to lift at that point. He’s a good racer and he battled me, but I wasn’t going to give in.”
Rouse said he had difficulty as the leader on a restart following a lap-25 caution and was unable to hold Friesen at bay. “Once the tires warmed back up, I was able to get back up to him,” he said.
Mathieu Desjardins of Sorel, Quebec, the 2014 Series champion, finished third after starting on the front row and being in contention throughout. Dave Marcuccilli of Cayuga, N.Y., and Todd Root of Warners, N.Y., were next in line. Desjardins swapped the lead with his front row partner Jack Meeks three times in the first four laps.
Friesen first took the lead by diving underneath Desjardins on lap 13. He made his getaway in lapped traffic while Rouse took over second. Rouse gained the point with nine laps to go, but the yellow flag was thrown two laps later.
Forty-five Sportsman were on hand for the Fulton opener. Friesen, Meeks, Desjardins, Ron Davis III and Mike Button were the heat winners.
The second event of the DIRTcar Northeast Sportsman Series is slated for CanAm Motorsports Park in Lafargeville, N.Y., on Wednesday, June 3.
For more information on CanAm Motorsports Park, click www.canammotorsportspark.com.
DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series (30-Laps) – 1. Brad Rouse ($1,000), 2. James Michael Friesen, 3. Mathieu Desjardins, 4. Dave Marcuccilli, 5. Todd Root, 6. Alan Fink, 7. Shane Pecore, 8. Billy Clark Jr., 9. Martin Pelletier, 10. Dave Rogers, 11. Mike Button, 12. Jeremy Pitcher, 13. Ron Davis III, 14. Adam Hilton, 15. Tony Finch II, 16. Joey Ladouceur, 17. Chris Thurston, 18. Jessica Power, 19. Ryan Stabler, 20. Louie Jackson Jr., 21. Jack Meeks, 22. JJ Courcy, 23. Corey Barker, 24. Chris Cunningham, 25. Mike Taylor, 26. Nick Webb, 27. Sid Harmer Jr., 28. Mike Stacey, 29. Eric Giguere. DNS: Robert Bublak Jr.