CONCORD, NC – They’ve raced against each other many times before on their home track of Ransomville Speedway. But on Thursday night, when Mat Williamson and Erick Rudolph met each other on The Dirt Track at Charlotte for the World of Outlaws World Finals, it meant a little something more.
The two Ransomville Speedway regulars lined up behind each other on the grid to start off the Feature, with Rudolph starting on the outside of row one and Williamson starting on the inside of row two. Having competed at the 4/10-mile oval several times in their careers, both competitors knew they needed to have a superior machine to take home the win.
Rudolph maneuvered around pole-starter Anthony Perrego after trailing him for the first seven laps. On his pass, Williamson was not far behind, passing Perrego as well, dropping him into third. It then became a tight battle between the two leaders, with the two cars riding neck and neck around the turns. Williamson eventually moved to the bottom coming into Turn 3 and 4, sneaking past #25 to take the lead.
That was all the #88 Buzzchew Racing driver needed to seal the deal. From then on, Williamson took advantage of the clean air to distance himself from the rest of the pack, bringing him closer and closer to victory as he pulled away.
“Once I got him, I could use the whole race track up,” Williamson said. “That was a big benefit. This place is a lot about momentum and once you get the lead you get momentum.”
Williamson crossed the finish line in first, capturing the $10,000 purse and giving himself additional cushion on his way to securing a second-place finish for the season. Rudolph stayed in the runner-up position for the final third of the race, keeping a steady hand to fend off a charging Matt Sheppard, the expected Series winner to be crowned on Saturday night.
“He [Williamson] just seemed like he had a really good car on the long runs,” Rudolph said. “He just had the superior machine tonight. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow, but we’re really proud of second place.”
Sheppard crossed the finish line in third, rounding out the podium. It was his season’s 13th top-five finish and 15th top-10 finish.
Perrego finished in fourth and Demetrios Drellos finished in fifth. Jimmy Phelps stayed in third place in the points race with a sixth-place finish.
UP NEXT: The Super DIRTcar Series Big Blocks will return to The Dirt Track at Charlotte tomorrow for their second day of racing in a $10,000-to-win, 30-lap Feature.
The Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans by many important sponsors and partners, including: Case Construction Equipment (Official Construction Equipment), DIRTVision (Official Live Broadcast Partner), Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), SIS Insurance (Official Insurance Provider), VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel), Chevy Performance Parts, iRacing (Official Online Racing Game) and NAPA Auto Parts. Contingency sponsors include: ARP (Automotive Racing Products), ASI Race Wear, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Bicknell Racing Products, Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux, Cometic Gasket, COMP Cams, Fox Factory, MSD, My Place Hotels, Swift Springs, and Wrisco-Wieland Metal Services (Exclusive Racing Aluminum); along with manufacturer sponsors, including: FIREBULL, Intercomp, and Racing Electronics.
- By Michelina Friss, Super DIRTcar Series PR Coordinator