PORT COLBORNE, ON – Cody McPherson continues to make a statement in hopes to repeat as DIRTcar Sportsman champion for 2023. It took two late race, green, white, checkers to pass race long leader Billy Bleich to win his third West Region Series event out of three starts.
In what look to be a non-stop event with Bleich going wire to wire, a yellow on lap 29 for a spun car in turn two changed the entire outlook of the event.
The restart put McPherson’s familiar #7 alongside Bleich and when the green lights shined, he stayed alongside his rival going into turn one. “I needed that restart, this was Billy’s race. I tried everything to get by him but he was so good down in that low lane,” McPherson commented on the event’s unfolding, “When the restart happened I was going to roll the middle and try to maybe pinch him a bit. It worked.”
With McPherson out-front and looking to receive the checkers, a multi-car incident occurred in turn one. Yellow lights were on again which made for another green, white, checker. “Yea, didn’t want to see that second yellow. You just don’t know if he could do the same I did to him,” he said with some concern, “I tried to get a good jump and it seemed to work. The car took off.”
The win extended his lead slightly over Brett Senek who came home in third. In the runner-up slot was Merrittville tough luck finisher in James Michael Friesen. He too used those last two restarts to move himself from fifth to second at the finish.
“I was really just locked in the middle of the field for so many laps. I was trying to make the top work but the bottom was so good,” Friesen summed up, “The restarts I was able to make some moves and get a bit lucky to grab second. We will take it.”
For Senek, It was a bit of a late race charge just like the week prior at Merrittville and this time it resulted in a podium finish. “The restarts helped me also. I was kind of settled in and was going to take what I could get,” Senek quipped, “On the restarts I found a lane to get a couple of cars. That helped some in points, I’m behind Cody be we do have a shot.”
Bleich took fourth at the finish, not the result he wanted. Chad Chevalier came from his tenth place to grab fifth at the end. The next five was made up of Taylor Vanderzanden, Nelson Mason, Curtis Friesem, who also receives a free Hoosier Tire, Justin Sharp and Kyle Richner.
Taking the heat wins were McPherson, James Friesen and Jay Mallory. A total of 24 cars made up the pit log.
DIRTcar Sportsman West Region 30 – Cody McPherson ($1,250), James Michael Friesen, Brett Senek, Bill Bleich Jr., Chad Chevalier, Taylor Vanderzanden, Nelson Mason, Curtis Friesen, Justin Sharp, Kyle Richner, Phil Vigneri III, Matteo Panunte, Rob Pietz, Jay Mallory, Terry Smith, Tom Princiotta, Matt Sharpe, Nathan Peattie, Tyler Pulchalski, Jeff Panunte, Adam Leslie, Chris Hawkins, Doug Walsh Jr.