WEEDSPORT, N.Y. – Friday, May 9, 2014 – After a gripping season in 2013, the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series takes to the track in May to begin another exciting year. The DIRTcar 358-Modified Series kicks off Sunday, May 18, at Cornwall Motor Speedway in Cornwall, Ontario, then heads directly to Thorold, Ontario, for a second 100-lapper Monday, May 19, at Merrittville Speedway.
Last year’s small block Modified tour ended on a high note for driver Erick Rudolph whose victory in the series finale gave him the boost he needed to claim his first-ever DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Championship. The 22-year-old out of Ransomville, N.Y., hopes to carry the momentum over to the new season.
“It was nice to get the win and the championship all at once,” said Rudolph, who, with two series wins and three top-five finishes beat out challenger Mat Williamson, of St. Catharines, Ontario, for the title. “Each race we went to – we didn’t really finish up front, but we were having solid finishes and we just kept working and working.”
Hard work paid off for the No. 25 race team, as Rudolph steadily progressed in the ranks. The team topped off their season with a win at the series finale at Brockville Ontario Speedway in Brockville, Ontario.
“It was like icing on the cake, to win the last feature of the year after the team, and myself, worked so hard all year,” said Rudolph, whose consistency in 2013 paid off over and over again, helping him claim the Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship with 12 wins overall as well as a track championship at Humberstone Speedway.
In 2014, Rudolph hopes to continue staying ahead of the pack. He said he expects the notorious D-shape track at Merrittville to present a challenge for many teams during Monday’s racing action, and that Sunday’s Canadian Nations at Cornwall should feature high-speed battles.
“I really like going to Cornwall,” Rudolph said of the quarter-mile oval. “It’s high-banked and, for the size of the track, you can get up to some.”
Grandstand gates open at 5:30 p.m. both nights and racing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. For more information about the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series, visit www.dirtcarump.com/category/divisions/358-modifieds.
AT A GLANCE
Minute Auto Wash sponsor Gaetan’s Chip Stand Canadian Nationals
DATE: Sunday, May 18
TIME: Racing begins at 7 p.m.; gates open at 5:30 p.m.
DIVISIONS: DIRTcar 358-Modified Series (100 laps), Mohawk Racing Parts Pro Stock Series (40 laps), plus Sportsman, Semi Pro & Mini Stock
LOCATION: Cornwall Motor Speedway, Civic #16981, Cornwall Centre Rd., Long Sault, Ontario, Canada
ABOUT THE TRACK: Quarter-mile high-banked oval
Zavitz Financial Strategies & Employee Benefits presents DIRTcar 358-Modified Series at Merrittville Speedway
DATE: Monday, May 19
TIME: Racing begins at 7 p.m.; grandstand gates open at 5:30 p.m.
DIVISIONS: DIRTcar 358-Modified Series (100 laps), Hoosier Stock Duel on the Dirt (20 laps), Ballhockey.com Enduro Qualifier #1 accelerated by Niagara College
LOCATION: Merrittville Speedway, 2371 Merrittville Highway, Thorold, Ontario, Canada
ABOUT THE TRACK: 3/8-mile banked clay track
The Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast Region is brought to fans by several sponsors and partners including Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, Chevy Performance Parts, NAPA Auto Parts, Safety-Kleen, and Velocita USA. Contingency partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio, ASI, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix, ButlerBuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Integra Shocks, Intercomp, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Motorsports Safety Systems, MSD LLC, Fox Shocks, Racing Electronics, Superflow and Wrisco Industries.