It is a good thing that Tracey Williamson does not have eyes in the back of her head or she would have been more nervous than she already was Friday night, and would have seen her son Mat Williamson soar down the straightaways, power slide through the turns and win the DIRT.car 358 Modified feature race at Ransomville Speedway.
The victory Williamson's first at Ransomville with the CW Racing Wendt's Propane No. 6 team after taking over the wheel of this car when longtime team driver Scott Kerwin partially retired following last season. Williamson won for his No. 6 CW team earlier this season at Fulton Speedway.
During Friday's race, Tracey stood in the top area of one of the track's corporate suites, but was too nervous to watch in the customary fashion. Instead, facing the back wall, she had her back to the on-track activity and nervously kept tabs on the race viewing a scoring app on her cell phone.
Only after her victorious son crossed the finish line to accept the checkered flag did she turn around and with a large smile and jubilation in her voice began a celebration worthy of a proud mother. Tracey is like most other driver's mothers in that they are understandably very tense when their child is at the wheel of high-speed race machinery.
"I watched him win tonight on my phone," Tracey said laughing. "I don't watch him. It's just me. I'm rooting and watching him but in a different way. I'm always proud of him."
Williamson, of St. Catharines, Ont., took the top spot from Pete Bicknell on lap seven and never looked back in an event that would see the final 29 circuits run caution free. Bicknell placed second with three-time 2019 Ransomville winner and current points leader Erick Rudolph third.
Rudolph, who had a very impressive drive Friday from his 11th-place starting position, now leads Williamson by a 10 points in the Ransomville DIRT.car 358 Modified season standings.
After the race, Mat knew the nature of his mom's race viewing.
"She's always been like that," Mat said. "She'll watch on Race Monitor and that's about all she'll do. She gets a little nervous when I'm on the track, so I'm very happy she was here tonight for the win. I'm sure she'll hang around tonight to celebrate with me as well as my dad (Randy Williamson).
"I was using up everything that I had tonight up front. In a short 30-lap race, you have to go for it at the beginning and I certainly got out to a lead. Once I got a decent lead, I didn't want any yellow flags for sure. It's cool to win here with this team. We picked up a win a couple weeks ago at Fulton and it was a pretty big one for the team.
"Pete Cocco and Paul Wendt make it happen. Without them I wouldn't be here right now. I feel like we have many more wins ahead of us."
The win was the first for Williamson at Ransomville since May 18, 2012. He has raced off and on at Ransomville over the last few seasons. He has four DIRT.car 358 Modified triumphs at Merrittville Speedway in his family-owned No. 6 this season and is the division defending points champion.
When Butch Zimmerman, 66, earned the Street Stock championship in 2016 at Batavia's Genesee Speedway, he proclaimed that his long racing career was over and retirement was at hand. Now Zimmerman, of Burt, is back behind the wheel, this time racing the No. 0 Maxwell Station/Zehr's On The Lake/Greg Zimmerman Novice Sportsman. He has a pair of wins at Ransomville this season and placed seventh on Friday. He leads the Ransomville Novice Sportsman points by four over Mike Martin.
"I didn't end up selling the Street Stock after my championship, so I ran it one more year then I sold it," Zimmerman said. "I figured I was all done. Then my cousin (Jim Zimmerman) gave me the chance to race this Sportsman, which I hadn't driven in 22 years. I started 25th last year in a big race at Batavia and finished 10th. So he gave me the car to race and then some sponsors came on, so I'm doing it this year, but if I don't get some bigger sponsors for next year, I can't do it anymore.
"The car's been really good. I got Brad Patterson, Scott Just and my son John [Zimmerman] helping me. We got the car hooked up, but we're running a motor that sat out back along with my whole car for two years on a trailer with grapevines growing through it. We pulled it out and ran it last year and I went through it all this year and made it right. I enjoy it so much. This is my 44th year of actually driving. I've met a lot of new people and got a lot of friends over the years. It's addicting and hard to give up."
Lalomia races asphalt, dirt
Veteran fans will remember when the late Ben Lalomia drove his familiar 8NY in competition. Now his grandson, Tom Lalomia Jr., 36, of Tonawanda, carries on the tradition and number. He races on asphalt in the Four-Cylinders and on dirt at Ransomville in the Novice Sportsman. He placed third at Ransomville on Friday.
"This takes me back to family roots where my grandfather started on the dirt and I'm giving it a try now," Lalomia Jr., said. "My grandfather drove in the late 1940s and 1950s in stock cars. He started on dirt but raced asphalt, too. I started my racing in a Four-Cylinders in 2010. I ran real well at Lancaster and Wyoming County and had a lot of fun.
"I wanted to do something different and move up a little bit so this Novice Sportsman class is what I chose to do now. I still have the asphalt car around. Bob Hanel Sr. and I share that asphalt car. Bobby Woch and Kevin Bainbridge drive the asphalt car, too."