Tim Fuller Defends His Home Turf

0
145
Tim Fuller (19) battles alongside Mat Williamson during Saturday's Super DIRTcar Series feature at Mohawk Int'l Raceway. (Dave Dalesandro Photo)

AKWESASNE, N.Y. – Tim Fuller proved his dominance at Mohawk Int’l Speedway for the 10th time in 2018 with a victory during Saturday’s Super DIRTcar Series event.

His first victory of the season with the Super DIRTcar Series was his record-extending 10th at Mohawk this year. He also became the second driver in history to sweep the 358 modified and big-block modified portions of the Mohawk Nationals.

Mat Williamson put up a stout fight against Fuller, but once again took second behind the No. 19 after finishing second to him the previous night in DIRTcar 358 Modified action. Billy Dunn quietly slipped into third place with a strong run in the No. 3rs.

Erick Rudolph led the field to the green flag with Ryan Arbuthnot on the outside. Rudolph ran the low line and kept the lead for the first quarter of the race, but behind him, it was not so peaceful.

Jimmy Phelps moved up through the field to take second and began pressuring Rudolph for the lead. Unfortunately for Rudolph and Phelps, multiple restarts allowed Fuller to jump into the top three. While the No. 25r of Rudolph stayed glued to the bottom, Fuller allowed the car to drift through the middle until it grabbed traction on the high line.

Fuller used that alternative line to catch and pass Rudolph for the lead on lap 27. Ryan Arbuthnot pulled into second place and gave Fuller a few runs on the high line, but ultimately failed to complete the pass.

On lap 45 Williamson started making noise at the front of the pack and pulled a slide job on Fuller in turn two for the lead. Fuller fought back on the bottom and the two raced side-by-side until the halfway point, when Carey Terrance took an off-track excursion outside turns one and two to bring out the caution flag.

After the restart, Williamson gapped Fuller and it looked like it was his race to lose. With 25 laps remaining, Fuller began to reel in Williamson. Fuller then made the winning pass for the lead while in lapped traffic with 14 laps to go.

“We’ve struggled on the series,” said Fuller in victory lane. “It’s not that we didn’t have the right stuff, it’s more that we didn’t have the manpower. It’s tough finding people. It’s a grind. But as far as Mohawk, we come in here and we have our act together. It’s going good.”

The No. 19 is powered by a W-16 engine, which can have an advantage against Big-Blocks on dry, slick surfaces.

“Early the big-blocks were strong and could really drive off the bottom. For the last two nights me and Mat Williamson have had good runs,” said Fuller. “He was gone. I couldn’t run with him. I figured I’d let him go out there and burn up his tire because that’s the only hope I had. It finally blew off a little bit where he started dying a little bit on the outside and he had to run the bottom. That’s where this W-16 works.”

Runner-up Mat Williamson had a familiar site at MIR for the second night in a row: The back of Fuller’s car in victory lane.

“We were struggling at the end. Tim had a really good car and he’s a hell of a driver. To finish second to him again, he’s no slouch. First Big-Block tonight what more can you say,” Williamson said.

The finish:

Tim Fuller, Mat Williamson, Billy Dunn, Jimmy Phelps, Peter Britten, Matt Sheppard, Danny Johnson, Max McLaughlin, Erick Rudolph, Ryan Arbuthnot, Justin Haers, Brett Hearn, Yan Bussiere, Lance Willix, Rich Scagliotta, Jeff Sykes, Jack Lehner, Kyle Dingwall, Corey Wheeler, Adam Roberts, Dave Rauscher, Greg Atkins, Carey Terrance, Larry Welling, Kevin Hamel, Steve Bernard, Mario Clair, Chad Brachmann, Louie Jackson, Brian McDonald.