Tomkins Makes Last Lap Stunner at Weedsport Speedway to capture first Super DIRTcar Series win since 2008!


Tomkins Makes Last Lap Stunner at Weedsport

Captures his first Super DIRTcar Series victory since 2008

By Mandee Pauch

WEEDSPORT, N.Y. – Aug. 9, 2016 – Just when everyone thought the race was over it was Gary Tomkins who made a last lap pass over Erick Rudolph to capture the Super DIRTcar Series Hall of Fame 100 at Weedsport Speedway and take home the $10,000 paycheck.

“That last restart the tires didn’t feel right so I went to the bottom, got my rhythm back and caught back up to Erick,” Tomkins said in victory lane. “I stuck it into one that one time and it stuck and I thought ‘oh boy here we go.’ I thought maybe if Erick gave me room on the front stretch we could do it and he did.”

Rudolph and Stewart Friesen brought the 30-car field to the initial green.

Rudolph held on strong to position No. 1 over Friesen as Friesen worked the outside lane to chase him down.

Rudolph had two car lengths over Friesen as Rudolph crept up on lapped traffic on lap 11 but was soon to be halted on lap 13 as the first caution of the night was brought out.

Gary Tomkins took advantage of the lap 19 restart and gained third position from Jimmy Phelps.

15th starter Danny Johnson made his way into the top ten by lap 30.

At the halfway mark Rudolph led the way over Friesen, Tomkins, Jimmy Phelps and Matt Sheppard.

Sheppard snuck passed Phelps on the bottom for fourth as Phelps pushed up on lap 51 then leaving the door open for Billy Decker to slide by Phelps to take fifth spot.

Rudolph once again caught up to the back of the field on lap 58.

Johnson worked his way around the outside to capture fifth position from Decker on lap 60.

Phelps surrendered a top ten spot on lap 63 as he was forced to pit due to problems in the front end of his 98H machine.

Tomkins slid to the outside into turns three and four and drove passed Friesen to take over second position on lap 77 and soon drove away from Friesen as he chased down Rudolph.

Lap 81 saw 20th starter Pat Ward slowly advancing through the field into eighth position.

Tomkins patiently inched his way up to Rudolph’s rear bumper with fifteen laps to go.

Tomkins was looking to the topside as Rudolph held tight to the bottom.

Rudolph and Tomkins caught the back of the field with just eight laps remaining allowing Tomkins to close the gap even more but was then halted as the fifth caution of the night was brought out, forcing the field to tighten back up.

Friesen and Sheppard battled back and forth for the third spot as Johnson jumped in to join the battle as Rudolph and Tomkins pulled away from the field.

Tomkins once again found the rear bumper of Rudolph with just two laps remaining as he dove to the outside giving everything he could.

Tomkins made a last lap charge by diving to the outside of Rudolph and sailing away to take the Hall of Fame 100 victory. Tuesday nights Hall of Fame 100 was Tomkins first Super DIRTcar Series win since 2008.

The top five respectively were Tomkins, Rudolph, Friesen, Sheppard and Johnson.

“Al Heinke has done an awesome job with this facility. One thing he didn’t change was the track,” Tomkins said. “It’s been the same over the years and when the track would get slick that’s when I used to make a lot of money, in the middle of the track. When it stuck I thought, ‘lets see if we can run it like we used to’ and it did. It rolled around there pretty good.

It means a lot to be a Hall of Fame champion. I can’t thank everyone enough who helped us out. I grew up here so it means a lot to win here.”

Runner up, Erick Rudolph led all laps except the very last one. He was in complete shock by Tomkins last lap pass on the outside.

“I don’t know where he came from. Eight laps before with that last restart I saw him but was able to pull away,” Rudolph said. “I started on the bottom, wasn’t getting passed and didn’t seem like I was getting much pressure so I stayed down there. I saw him coming on the outside. He must have found something up there.”

Stewart Friesen who is currently in a very close battle with Sheppard for the points title limped his 44 machine to a third place finish.

“It’s another great night for the Halmar team. We had a right front shock blow out about halfway through so we were just hanging on there best we could,” Friesen said.

“On a challenging track like this tonight it gets the car a little upset. We tried to battle through it and keep our forward momentum best we could.”

Races Notes: 41 modifieds attempted to qualify. 30 modifieds started the 100-lap feature event.Billy Decker set fastest time overall in time trials with a 16.564. Five cautions were brought out during the 100-lap feature. Gary Tomkins last Super DIRTcar Series was back in 2008.

The Super DIRTcar Series will be on a two-week break and will be back in action on Thursday, Sept. 1 at Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. for Mr. DIRT Track USA.

Follow the series on Twitter @SuperDIRTcar, or click

Super DIRTcar Series Statistical Report; Aug. 9, 2016; Weedsport Speedway; Weedsport, N.Y.

A-Main (100 Laps) – 1. 84-Gary Tomkins; 2. R25-Erick Rudolph; 3. 44-Stewart Friesen; 4. 9s-Matt Sheppard; 5. J27-Danny Johnson; 6. 8r-Rob Bellinger; 7. 91-Billy Decker; 8. p42-Pat Ward; 9. 5H-Chris Hile; 10. 19-Tim Fuller; 11. 6m-Mat Williamson; 12. L99-Larry Wight; 13. 99-Ryan Phelps; 14. X-Chad Phelps; 15. 56-Vince Vitale; 16. H18-Peter Britten; 17. 35-Frank Cozze; 18. m88-Mike Mahaney; 19. H98-Jimmy Phelps; 20. 76-Bobby Varin; 21. 6H-Max McLaughlin; 22. 43-Keith Flach; 23. J57-Willy Decker; 24. J14-Alan Johnson; 25. 20-Brett Hearn; 26. 8-Rich Scagliotta; 27. 88-Dave Allen; 28. 93-Ryan Bartlett; 29. H43-Jimmy Horton; 30. 16-Mike Bowman

Last Chance Showdown 2 (8 laps) – 1. 93-Ryan Bartlett; 2. 99-Ryan Phelps; 3. 43h-Jimmy Horton; 4. 56-Vince Vitale; 5. X-Chad Phelps; 6. B18-Dave Blaney; 7. X66-Carey Terrence; 8. 109-Billy Whittaker; 9. W27-Nick Webb; 10. 49-Billy Dunn;

Last Chance Showdown 1 (8 Laps) – 1. 42p-Pat Ward; 2. h18-Peter Britten; 3. J15-Alan Johnson; 4. 16-Mike Bowman; 5. 88-Dave Allen; 6. 7m-Michael Maresca; 7. 23-Kyle Coffey; 8. T48-Dave Rauscher; 9. 22-Brandon Walters

Heat 4 (8 Laps) – 1. 9s-Matt Sheppard; 2. J57-Willy Decker; 3. 98h-Jimmy Phelps; 4. 6h-Max McLaughlin; 5. 43-Keith Flach; 6. 93-Ryan Bartlett; 7. 56-Vince Vitale; 8. 109-Billy Whittaker; 9. W27-Nick Webb; 10. 49-Billy Dunn

Heat 3 (8 Laps) – 1. R25-Erick Rudolph; 2. 5h-Chris Hile; 3. 8r-Rob Bellinger; 4. J27-Danny Johnson; 5. 8-Rich Scagliotta; 6. H43-Jimmy Horton; 7. 99-Ryan Phelps; 8. B18-Dave Blaney; 9. X66-Carey Terrence; 10. X-Chad Phelps

Heat 2 (8 Laps) – 1. 20-Brett Hearn; 2. 88-Mike Mahaney; 3. 84-Gary Tomkins; 4. 99L-Larry Wight; 5. 76-Bobby Varin; 6. P42-Pat Ward; 7. 16-Mike Bowman; 8. 7m-Michael Maresca; 9. 22-Brandon Walters

Heat 1 (8 Laps) – 1. 44-Stewart Friesen; 2. 91-Billy Decker; 3. 19-Tim Fuller; 4. 6m-Mat Williamson; 5. 35-Frank Cozze; 6. H18-Peter Britten; 7. J14-Alan Johnson; 8. 88-Dave Allen; 9. T48-Dave Rauscher; 10. 23-Kyle Coffey

Group 4 Qualifier – 1. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 16.895; 2. J57-Willy Decker, 17.122; 3. 43-Keith Flach, 17.179; 4. H98-Jimmy Phelps, 17.253; 5. 49-Billy Dunn, 17.263; 6. 93-Ryan Bartlett, 17.370; 7. 6h-Max McLaughlin, 17.445; 8. W27-Nick Webb, 17.471; 9. 109-Billy Whittaker, 17.494; 10. 56-Vince Vitale, 17.508

Group 3 Qualifier – 1. 5H-Chris Hile, 16.874; 2. R25-Erick Rudolph, 16.950; 3. 8-Rich Scagliotta, 16.958; 4. 8r-Rob Bellinger, 17.014; 5. 99-Ryan Phelps, 17.072; 6. H43-Jimmy Horton, 17.183; 7. X66-Carey Terrence, 17.287; 8. J27-Danny Johnson, 17.428; 9. B18-Dave Blaney, 17.509; 10. X-Chad Phelps, 17.637

Group 2 Qualifier – 1.20-Brett Hearn, 16.620; 2. M88-Mike Mahaney, 16.832; 3. 76-Bobby Varin, 16.900; 4. 99L-Larry Wight, 17.015; 5. 42p-Pat Ward, 17.069; 6. 84-Gary Tomkins, 17.080; 7. 16-Mike Bowman, 17.219; 8. 7m-Michael Maresca, 17.410; 9. 22-Brandon Walter, 17.433; 10. 1-Tyler Dippel, NT

Group 1 Qualifier – 1. 91-Billy Decker, 16.564; 2. 44-Stewart Friesen, 16.659; 3. 19-Tim Fuller, 16.839; 4. H18-Peter Britten, 16.893; 5. 6m-Mat Williamson, 16.944; 6. J14-Alan Johnson, 17.156; 7. 35-Frank Cozze, 17.314; 8. 88-Dave Allen, 17.555; 9. T48-Dave Rauscher, 17.674; 10. 4-Tim Murphy, 18.536; 11. 23-Kyle Coffey, NT

The Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast is brought to fans by many important sponsors and partners, including: Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel), Chevy Performance Parts and NAPA Auto Parts; in addition to contingency sponsors, including: ASI Race Wear, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Fox Shocks, Henry’s Exhaust Systems, Intercomp, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Mike’s Racing Heads, Motorsports Safety Systems, MSD, Pole Position Raceway, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum; along with manufacturer sponsors, including: Beyea Headers, Racing Electronics and TNT Rescue.


Rust wins thriller at 25th annual Harris Clash


By Ryan Clark

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (Aug. 9) – Joel Rust had the greatest seat for the best race in the house for most of 25 laps Tuesday night at Hamilton County Speedway.

Little did he know, a short time later it would lead the Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified driver to a victory lane celebration as the winner of the Harris Clash.

Rust, who started inside of row two, chased front row starters Chris Abelson and Kelly Shryock for all but three-quarters of a lap in the 25th annual event. Contact between the front-runners allowed Rust to escape to the first Harris Clash win of his career.

Abelson built an early lead while Shryock pursued multiple car-lengths behind him. Shryock closed to within a car-length by lap 10 and searched high and low to work past the leader.

While the former Clash winners engaged in a battle for the lead, Rust cut a half-straightaway deficit into just a couple car-lengths in the waning laps.

Contact between Abelson and Shryock forced Abelson into a spin in the middle of turns one and two just after the field had taken the white flag.

Shryock slowed after the contact while Rust slipped between them and emerged down the back stretch as the leader. He led the final half lap on his way to victory and a $2,000 payday.

Josh Ruby raced his way to second ahead of sixth row starters Richie Gustin and Ryan Ruter. Tim Ward, who qualified through a B feature and started 14th, completed the top five.

“I kept my patience and it worked out,” Rust said in victory lane. “The track started taking rubber and hooking up in turns one and two. In four I couldn’t really gain, so I was just trying to maintain.”

“I was really close to them and kind of stayed back enough in case something happened,” continued the latest qualifier on the 2017 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot.

“My initial reaction was to brake,” he said of the incident that provided him the opportunity to steal the lead. “I was on the brakes really, really hard. Luckily Abelson rolled down the track and I was just able to shoot the gap.”

Earlier in the night, Abelson was victorious in the Dash at the Clash, a 10-car event that showcased feature winners at select events leading up to the Harris Clash.

Abelson drew the pole position and was challenged throughout by Ricky Thornton Jr., who led a pair of laps in the middle of the 10-lapper. Abelson ran the top side past Thornton to regain the lead on the sixth circuit on his way to the $500 victory.

Adam Armstrong made it look easy in the 20-lap feature for the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods. From his outside front row start, Armstrong assumed the lead at the drop of the green and quickly pulled away from traffic.

Armstrong’s lead was already most of a straightaway when the race’s lone caution slowed action on lap seven.

On the restart, Armstrong again set sail while Jake Sachau, who restarted fifth, swept to the outside and settled into second by the time the field exited turn two.

Although Sachau pulled away from the rest of the field, Armstrong continued to build his lead.

Armstrong maintained a comfortable advantage by the time he entered slower traffic with two to go. He raced to the victory, picking up the $1,000 winner’s share and leading all 20 laps in the process.

Sachau earned runner-up honors ahead of regular season Hamilton County track champion Ty Griffith. Brett Lowry raced from a B feature and 13th starting spot to finish fourth ahead of Nick Meyer.

“We made a couple laps and the car felt really good,” said Armstrong. “I’ve raced on some tracks that were similar to how tonight was and I could tell how good the car was.”

“It’s the Harris Clash, you gotta go,” he said of encountering lapped traffic late. “I just knew as long as I hit my marks, we’d be alright.”

A field of 66 Modifieds and 51 Northern SportMods were on-hand Tuesday night, the second of six consecutive nights of racing during Iowa Modified Speedweek.

Action continues Wednesday night, Aug. 10 at Buena Vista Raceway in Alta for the finale of the 2016 Hawkeye Dirt Tour.

Wednesday’s Modified winner at BVR earns $1,000 and national, regional, state and local track points will be given. Pit gates open at 5 p.m. and the grandstand opens at 5:30 p.m. Hot laps are at 6:45 p.m. with racing to follow.

Admission to the grandstand is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and veterans with ID, and kids 12 and under are $2 or free with the donation of a non-perishable food item for the local food bank. Pit passes are $25.

IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks and Mach-1 Sport Compacts complete the program. More information is available by calling 712 267-3278 and at the website.

The final three events of the six-day Hawkeye state swing will be held at Hancock County Speedway Aug. 11-13 for the Night of 1,000 Stars, Night of 10,000 Stars and Night of All Stars.

All Iowa Modified Speedweek events are broadcast by IMCA.TV.


Modified feature – 1. Joel Rust, Grundy Center; 2. Josh Ruby, Lakota; 3. Richie Gustin, Gilman; 4. Ryan Ruter, Kanawha; 5. Tim Ward, Harcourt; 6. Scott Hogan, Vinton; 7. Chris Abelson, Sioux City; 8. Jimmy Gustin, Gilman; 9. Jesse Dennis, Corning; 10. Corey Dripps, Reinbeck; 11. Kyle Strickler, Mooresville, N.C.; 12. Tom Berry Jr., Boone; 13. Jesse Sobbing, Malvern; 14. Cody Laney, Torrance, Calif.,; 15. Chase Ellingson, Iowa Falls; 16. Paul Stone, Winton, Calif.; 17. Lance Mari, Imperial, Calif.; 18. Ethan Dotson, Bakersfield, Calif.; 19. Tyler Prochaska, Iowa Falls; 20. Scott Olson, Blairsburg; 21. Rob VanMil, Barnesville, Minn.; 22. John Logue, Boone; 23. Ricky Thornton Jr., Harcourt; 24. Kelly Shryock, Fertile.

First heat (top two) – 1. Ellingson; 2. Rust; 3. Berry; 4. Stone; 5. J.D. Auringer, Waterloo; 6. Steve Reynolds, Springfield, S.D.; 7. Josh Rogotzke, Sanborn, Minn.; 8. Billy Vogel, West Fargo, N.D.; 9. Adam Larson, Ankeny; 10. Clint Wendel, Mason City; 11. Shawn Ritter, Keystone. 

Second heat – 1. Shryock; 2. Hogan; 3. Sobbing; 4. Clay Money, Penokee, Kan.; 5. Colt Mather, Keswick; 6. Jeremy Mills, Garner; 7. Racer Hulin, Laurel; 8. Chase Conway, Westhope, N.D.; 9. Ashley Schaaf, Lincoln, Neb.; 10. Jardin Fuller, Memphis, Mo.; 11. Ed Thomas, Waterloo.

Third heat – 1. Abelson; 2. Olson; 3. Dripps; 4. Jesse Hoeft, Forest City; 5. Mark Elliott, Webster City; 6. Tad Reutzel, Burt; 7. Laney; 8. Ronn Lauritzen, Jesup; 9. Troy Jerovetz, Green Bay, Wis.; 10. Justin Medler, Minot, N.D.; 11. Randy Havlik, Ankeny. 

Fourth heat – 1. Ruby; 2. Logue; 3. VanMil; 4. Prochaska; 5. Ron VerBeek, Oskaloosa; 6. Luke Lemmens, Kewaunee, Wis.; 7. Brandon Brinton, Ames; 8. Stacey Mills, Webb; 9. Kelly Buckallew, Memphis, Mo.; 10. Shane DeMey, Denison; 11. Cody Knecht, Whittemore.

Fifth heat – 1. Richie Gustin; 2. Dennis; 3. Ward; 4. Mari; 5. Mike Mashl, De Pere, Wis.; 6. Kyle Brown, State Center; 7. Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.; 8. Strickler; 9. Eric Elliott, Boone; 10. Trey Kline, Schleswig; 11. Tristan Vesterby, Webster City; 

Sixth heat – 1. Ruter; 2. Jimmy Gustin; 3. Thornton; 4. Dotson; 5. Mike Hansen, Dickinson, N.D.; 6. Jon Snyder, Ames; 7. Troy Cordes, Dunkerton; 8. Nate Hughes, Humboldt; 9. Brandon Leeman, Roland; 10. Jeff Coon, Elysian, Minn.; 11. Gordon Head, Des Moines.

First B feature (top four) – 1. Berry; 2. VanMil; 3. Stone; 4. Prochaska; 5. Wendel; 6. VerBeek; 7. Larson; 8. DeMey; 9. Stacey Mills; 10. Ritter; 11. Knecht; 12. Vogel; 13. Rogotzke; 14. Brinton; 15. Lemmens; 16. Auringer; 17. Reynolds; 18. Buckallew.

Second B feature – 1. Ward; 2. Strickler; 3. Sobbing; 4. Mari; 5. Brown; 6. Mather; 7. Jeremy Mills; 8. Hulin; 9. Marriott; 10. Mashl; 11. Money; 12. Conway; 13. Kline; 14. Vesterby; 15. Thomas; 16. Schaaf; 17. Eric Elliott; 18. Fuller.

Third B feature – 1. Dripps; 2. Thornton; 3. Laney; 4. Dotson; 5. Lauritzen; 6. Hoeft; 7. Medler; 8. Hansen; 9. Jerovetz; 10. Cordes; 11. Leeman; 12. Hughes; 13. Mark Elliott; 14. Coon; 15. Snyder; 16. Head; 17. Reutzel; 18. Havlik.

Dash – 1. Abelson; 2. Thornton; 3. Shryock; 4. Dotson; 5. Jeremy Mills; 6. VanMil; 7. Hogan; 8. Ruby; 9. Lemmens; DNS Logue.

Northern SportMod feature – 1. Adam Armstrong, Carlisle; 2. Jake Sachau, Denison; 3. Ty Griffith, Webster City; 4. Brett Lowry, Montezuma; 5. Nick Meyer, Whittemore; 6. Doug Smith, Lake City; 7. Jared VanDeest, Holland; 8. Randy Roberts, Boone; 9. Johnathon Logue, Boone; 10. Brayton Carter, Oskaloosa; 11. Robbie Conway, Westhope, N.D.; 12. Jack Housley, Runnells; 13. Jake McBirnie, Boone; 14. Frank Packer, Madrid; 15. Ryan Jenkins, Omaha, Neb.; 16. Erik Laudenschlager, Minot, N.D.; 17. Rocky Caudle, Ellsworth; 18. Cory Rose, Boone; 19. Shane Swanson, Forest City; 20. Josh Appel, Mason City; 21. Josh Sink, Red Oak; 22. Andy Edwards, Parkersburg; 23. Todd Boulware, Jefferson, S.D.; 24. John Peed, Webster City.

First heat (top two) – 1. Sachau; 2. Griffith; 3. Edwards; 4. Robert Moore, Maxwell; 5. Cory Pestotnik, Boone; 6. Taylor Musselman, Urbandale; 7. Packer; 8. Clint Luellen, Minburn.

Second heat – 1. Roberts; 2. Peed; 3. Housley; 4. Dan Paplow, Dundee, Minn.; 5. Carter; 6. Dan Drury, Eldora; 7. Christopher Elliott, Webster City; 8. Jeff Deal, Fort Dodge; 9. Mike Lemay, Westhope, N.D.

Third heat – 1. Armstrong; 2. Caudle; 3. Laudenschlager; 4. Logue; 5. VanDeest; 6. McBirnie; 7. Sam Wieben, Dysart; 8. Tim Plummer, Norway; 9. Rick Rohr, Beatrice, Neb.

Fourth heat – 1. Swanson; 2. Boulware; 3. Lowry; 4. Appel; 5. Wayne Dotson, Bakersfield, Calif.; 6. Colby Fett, Algona; 7. Brett Vanderheiden, Earlham; 8. George Gilliland, Lehigh; 9. Taylor Elliott, Webster City.

Fifth heat – 1. Smith; 2. Rose; 3. Conway; 4. Trent Roth, Columbus, Neb.; 5. Jenkins; 6. Brad Ratcliff, Webster City; 7. Autumn Anderson, Mason City; 8. Carter VanDenBerg, Oskaloosa.

Sixth heat – 1. Meyer; 2. Sink; 3. Nate Whitehurst, Mason City; 4. Austin Schrage, Cresco; 5. Craig Garner, Clarinda; 6. J.J. Andersen, De Pere, Wis.; 7. Bryan Johnson, Roland; 8. Paul Price, Iowa Falls.

First B feature (top four) – 1. Lowry; 2. Appel; 3. Packer; 4. Edwards; 5. Fett; 6. Moore; 7. Luellen; 8. Taylor Elliott; 9. Gilliland; 10. Pestotnik; 11. Venderheiden; 12. Musselman; 13. Dotson.

Second B feature – 1. Housley; 2. Conway; 3. Carter; 4. Jenkins; 5. VanDenBerg; 6. Paplow; 7. Ratcliff; 8. Roth; 9. Anderson; 10. Christopher Elliott; 11. Deal; 12. Drury; 13. LeMay.

Third B feature – 1. Laudenschlager; 2. Logue; 3. VanDeest; 4. McBirnie; 5. Plummer; 6. Wieben; 7. Andersen; 8. Schrage; 9. Price; 10. Garner; 11. Johnson; 12. Rohr; 13. Whitehurst.