Paddock Scores First Career Sprint Car Feature Win at Canandaigua

Dillon Paddock after picking up his first career sprint car feature victory Thursday night at Land of Legends Raceway. (Nick Meka Photo)

From Marty Czekala

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (July 4, 2024) — Land of Legends Raceway just loves first-time winners.

May 18, it was Matt Rotz’s time to score his first career victory.

On Independence Day? It was Dillon Paddock.

The No. 8 took the checkered flag for his first career CRSA victory to become the 79th different winner in CRSA history.

“It’s about time,” Paddock said post-race. “I feel like it was long overdue. All my guys and sponsors stick with me. No one gives up. They want to see us do good and we keep coming out no matter what happens the week prior.”

Paddock had a two-second lead over Darryl Ruggles with two laps to go. As he came to the white flag, a caution waved for fifth place running Tyler Chartrand and Dustin Sehn, colliding in turn three.

“I don’t really think too much [about it,]” said Paddock on the final yellow. “I didn’t know I had that much of a lead. Makes me get a lot more confidence in the car.”

This stacked the field back up for a green-white-checkered. Ruggles went low while Paddock stayed high, using the outside as momentum to pull away and take the win.

Paddock and Tomy Moreau started on the front row for the second DisBatch Brewing Company Challenge race. The No. 8 wasted no time getting to the front with Ruggles behind. The Land of Legends Wall of Famer would throw a slidejob into turn one to his No. 48jr out front on lap three. The two would go wheel-to-wheel in the opening circuits with Ruggles.

Lap five would bring out the feature’s first yellow for Ethan Gray, who suffered a mechanical issue.

On the restart, “The Motorized Madman,” Ruggles held serve and opened a gap after Paddock had a risky restart. That lead of up to a second wouldn’t last long as on lap 13 into turn three, Paddock threw a slide job to snatch the lead back.

When in lapped traffic, Paddock was cruising past backmarkers like it was a Sunday drive, increasing the lead to 2.7 seconds, the race’s biggest lead. But then with two to go, Chartrand and Sehn brought out the race’s second and final yellow.

Ruggles grabbed an opportunity to go for the lead, but Paddock would take his first career win by 1.4 seconds.

The battle for the win brought déjà vu to both Paddock and Ruggles as June 1 in weekly action at Land of Legends saw the two race each other hard for the win, with Ruggles taking the checkers for the 48th time at his home track in a 305 Sprint.

This time? Paddock leveled the score.

“I stuck to what I was doing, ripping the top and keeping my momentum up,” Paddock said. “Darryl was getting a little snug where I would catch him and put the move on. Felt good to pass someone like Darryl who has so many wins and is one of the top guys here every week.”

“Dillon’s a good, clean driver and runs very well,” stated Ruggles post-race. “I was just a little tight the whole race. I got out front, he saw where I was running. He was really fast and due for one.”

Tomy Moreau also was a factor at one point. The No. 22 driver kept his car within the top five all night and, at one point, with nine to go, closed in on Paddock and Ruggles for the lead before getting too high in turns one and two. It was still a good points night for “The Canadian Kid,” finishing ahead of Jordan Hutton and the latter finished fifth.

“I got to thinking about points racing too because we’re racing Saturday,” explained Moreau. “I can’t crash the car. I felt we were as fast as Darryl and Dillon but at times I couldn’t make the pass each deal. Pretty happy and going to try again Saturday.”

John Cunningham was the feature’s Powdertech Powdercoating Hard Charger, starting 23rd and finishing 11th.

Blake Warner’s last lap pass to win heat four was named the Maguire Family of Dealerships “Magnificent Move of the Race.”

Honeoye Auto Parts also gave away bonuses Thursday night, with the top three receiving $500, $250 and $100, respectively.

“The Future Stars of Sprint Cars” won’t have to wait long to touch dirt, as they return to Genesee Speedway in Batavia Saturday for racing.

A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 8-Dillon Paddock[1]; 2. 48JR-Darryl Ruggles[3]; 3. 22-Tomy Moreau[2]; 4. 80-Bobby Parrow[10]; 5. 66-Jordan Hutton[13]; 6. 21B-Blake Warner[5]; 7. 29-Dalton Herrick[15]; 8. 14-James Layton[17]; 9. 45-David Ferguson[8]; 10. 28-Ron Greek[9]; 11. J27-John Cunningham[23]; 12. 26J-Johnny Kolosek[22]; 13. 9K-Kyle Pierce[16]; 14. 2-Randy Years[11]; 15. 18C-Dan Craun[20]; 16. 99-Adam Depuy[25]; 17. 4-Cliff Pierce[24]; 18. 12-Tyler Chartrand[4]; 19. 23-John Smith[6]; 20. 77-Matt Rotz[12]; 21. D9-Dustin Sehn[21]; 22. 33-Scott Landers[18]; 23. 17E-Ethan Gray[7]; 24. 14X-Lance Dusett[14]; 25. 18-Timmy Lotz[19]

B Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 33-Scott Landers[1]; 2. J27-John Cunningham[4]; 3. 18C-Dan Craun[2]; 4. 26J-Johnny Kolosek[3]; 5. 4-Cliff Pierce[6]; 6. 99-Adam Depuy[13]; 7. 48A-Alysha Bay[16]; 8. 29T-Tori Kaplin[7]; 9. 410-Jerry Sehn Jr[12]; 10. 9-Alan Buchanan[11]; 11. 10-Nathan Pierce[9]; 12. 1NY-Mark Reynolds[5]; 13. 33Z-Sydney Wetherbee[8]; 14. 121-Spencer Burley[10]; 15. 30-Kirsten Dombroski[14]; 16. Z28-Tucker Donath[15]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 17E-Ethan Gray[1]; 2. 23-John Smith[4]; 3. 48JR-Darryl Ruggles[8]; 4. 8-Dillon Paddock[7]; 5. 25G-Tyler Graves[2]; 6. J27-John Cunningham[6]; 7. 26J-Johnny Kolosek[9]; 8. 9-Alan Buchanan[3]; 9. 30-Kirsten Dombroski[5]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 12-Tyler Chartrand[1]; 2. 22-Tomy Moreau[6]; 3. 45-David Ferguson[9]; 4. 77-Matt Rotz[8]; 5. D9-Dustin Sehn[4]; 6. 1NY-Mark Reynolds[3]; 7. 29T-Tori Kaplin[5]; 8. 10-Nathan Pierce[7]; 9. 48A-Alysha Bay[2]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 28-Ron Greek[1]; 2. 80-Bobby Parrow[5]; 3. 2-Randy Years[7]; 4. 18-Timmy Lotz[3]; 5. 9K-Kyle Pierce[8]; 6. 33-Scott Landers[9]; 7. 4-Cliff Pierce[6]; 8. 99-Adam Depuy[2]; 9. Z28-Tucker Donath[4]

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 21B-Blake Warner[5]; 2. 66-Jordan Hutton[1]; 3. 14X-Lance Dusett[4]; 4. 29-Dalton Herrick[6]; 5. 14-James Layton[7]; 6. 18C-Dan Craun[8]; 7. 33Z-Sydney Wetherbee[2]; 8. 410-Jerry Sehn Jr[3]; 9. 121-Spencer Burley[9]