Don Spatorico, Jesse Cotriss and James Michael Friesen were preparing their cars Friday night at Ransomville Speedway for what was hoped would be a night of intense racing at the Niagara County oval.
Spatorico and Cotriss were deadlocked atop the track’s Ransomville DIRT.car Sportsman standings with 484 points each. Sitting just three points behind the leaders was Friesen with 481. Unfortunately, the standings were left unchanged because of the thunderstorm that caused the program to be postponed until next Friday.
That leaves six weeks of racing in DIRT.car Sportsman which should prove entertaining and interesting.
Spatorico, a multi-time and defending DIRT.car Sportsman champion at Ransomville, has one victory at the track this season.
“It seems that the points battle the last three years or so has come down to a battle between me and Jesse,” said Spatorico. “We just can’t seem to get away from each other. I got a win early this year and thank God for that because last year it took me almost the whole year to get one.
“This season the car has been consistent but my finishes have been a little worse then normal. I’ve had a couple flat tires and last week we had an engine problem. Being in the thick of the points is fun but it makes it a little more nerve-racking when you’re out there racing. It gives you something to shoot for.
“I tend to watch where Jesse is at when I‘m out there or James Michael because he is starting to catch us in the points, too. You got to be careful and make sure you don’t wreck early. As far as the rain goes, if I was leading the points right now I’d be rain parading but since we’re tied I wished we raced.”
Cotriss has been able to have a good season while adjusting to a new Bicknell Racing Products chassis which is much different from the older Bicknell car he drove in the past.
“We’re changing the car every week, trying to dial the car in so that we have something really fast for the end of the year,” Cotriss said.
Last winter the Cotriss team purchased the 2013 Bicknell built car replacing the 2002 Bicknell chassis.
“Getting used to the new car has been a challenge because it is a tall cage type of car,” said Cotriss who is winless at Ransomville this season. “It’s a totally different kind of car to drive. It has not the same setup as the older one did. I almost won a race this year here. I had the lead and I lost it to Boyd MacTavish. We’re going forward with the car and I’m happy.
“I think there are as many as four guys who can win this championship this year including James Michael and Boyd so it won’t be easy. If I had a big points lead I might have been able to live with the rain tonight but when it’s this close I wished we were able to race for it tonight.”
MacTavish has 454 points.
Friesen has scored a division-leading three victories this season and could well overtake the leaders before the season ends.
“I just got to pick-up my consistency,” stressed Friesen. “I have a few good runs and got some wins but I also have had some mediocre runs that have cost me maybe being ahead a little bit. I’m just going to try to stay a little more consistent and maybe get some more top fives.”
He had a good starting spot in the heat race and was disappointed it rained.
“Things worked out good last week at Raceway 5,” said Martin who is fifth in Ransomville points with 419. “I started fourth in the feature after I finished second in the heat race. I got in the lead in the feature race right off the get-go and got the win. ”
• Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa., won the 63rd annual Sunoco Modified Race of Champions 200 Saturday at Oswego Speedway. Local drivers finishing were: Erick Rudolph, second; Chuck Hossfeld, third; Bobby Holmes, sixth; Andy Jankowiak,18th; Patrick Emerling, 19th; Bill Putney, 21st; Mike Fiebelkorn, 27th and Karl Hehr, 28th.
• Jeremy Wonderling scored his third BRP Can Am 360 Late Model victory of the season when he won the series’ stop last Thursday at Raceway 5.
• A thunderstorm ended racing at Wyoming County International Friday with Toad Bradshaw leading the SST Sportsman Modified Mid Season Championship race on lap 12.
The remaining 18 laps will be run this coming Friday night.