Dunn Lives A Dream With Dramatic Victory In Syracuse 200 To End NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLII
One Day After Losing 358-Modified 150 On Final Lap, Good Fortune Vaults Young Driver To First-Ever Super DIRTcar Series Win
By Kevin Kovac, DIRTcar Racing P.R.
SYRACUSE, NY – Oct. 13, 2013 – Billy Dunn experienced the highs and lows of the fabled New York State Fairgrounds in one amazing weekend.
Twenty-four hours after suffering a crushing last-lap defeat at the Moody Mile, Dunn combined cagey strategy with a healthy dose of good fortune to score a dramatic star-making victory in the 42nd annual Syracuse 200 big-block Modified classic that capped NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLII.
Dunn, 29, of Watertown, N.Y., made his decision to pit late in the distance pay off to the tune of $50,000-plus in cash and a career-first Super DIRTcar Series big-block Modified triumph. With many of his rivals falling to the wayside in the caution-filled final laps because their cars didn’t carry enough fuel to finish a race that was extended by new rules mandating that the last 25 circuits run under green-flag conditions, Dunn kept gaining positions and finally assumed command for good on lap 197 when Stewart Friesen of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., ran out of gas.
Read more: Dunn Wins Syracuse
Stewart Friesen Powers to Pole for NAPA Super DIRT Week Syracuse 200
Ronnie Johnson claims top spot for Saturday’s 358-Modified Salute to Troops 150
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Oct. 10, 2013 – The 42nd NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week came to life on Thursday afternoon at the New York State Fairgrounds “Moody Mile” as 68 Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds and 54 DIRTcar 358-Modifieds began their quests to win this weekend’s premier events.
Two-time Syracuse 200 champion Stewart Friesen made one spectacular lap of the one-mile oval to put himself at the top of the qualifying list for the Syracuse 200 on Sunday. Then he topped that with an even faster second circuit, securing his first-ever pole position starting spot for the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified classic.Read more: Friesen Claims Pole for Syracuse 200
Billy Decker wins thriller at Rolling Wheels Raceway’s continuation of Super DIRTcar Series Stars & Stripes 100
Nate Reynolds picks up the win in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified division
ELBRIDGE, N. Y. – Tuesday, October 8, 2013 – For this year’s NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLIII, Billy Decker hit the ground running. The Unadilla, N. Y., driver, who won the pole in last year’s running of the Syracuse 200, kicked off his week with a win at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park.
“It’s been way to long,” said Decker, whose claimed his last Super DIRTcar Series win in June of 2011. “We pride ourselves in these Super DIRTcar Series races. We weren’t the best car, but it feels good to win tonight – I’m doggone tickled-to-death.”
The Stars & Stripes 100 continued Tuesday, Oct. 8, with the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series 100-lapper starting from lap 25, which is where it left off Sunday, Sept. 1, when inclement weather hit the speedway. In the September portion of the race, Decker wrestled the lead from pole sitter Dave Rauscher in lap 8. He started on the pole for the Tuesday’s continuation of the feature race, but lost the lead to Brett Hearn in lap 30.Read more: Decker wins Stars & Stripes 100
Matt Sheppard wins thriller at Mohawk International Raceway
Defending series champion battles track champion Billy Dunn to the finish
AKWESASNE, N. Y. - Saturday, September 15, 2013 - After a thrilling 100 laps, Matt Sheppard, of Waterloo, N. Y., claimed victory in the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series feature at Mohawk International Raceway.
Sheppard charged forward from his 11th starting position to crack the top-five by lapp 25. Soon enough, Sheppard was in second and challenging then-leader Billy Dunn for the top spot. Sheppard took the lead in lap 56, and the two swapped positions several times in an exciting battle to the finish.
"Me and Billy went at it for…I don't know how many laps, but it seemed like a lot," said Sheppard, the three-time defending Super DIRTcar Series Champion. "It was a lot of fun. All I know is we had a good car, we got up front."Read more: Matt wins Mohawk
Bachetti fends off Heffner, Hearn to take Super DIRTcar Series win at Lebanon Valley Speedway
Hearn pits twice and charges to third, maintaining series point lead
WEST LEBANON, N. Y. - With three wins at Lebanon Valley Speedway already under his belt, Andy Bachetti, of Great Barrington, Mass., has been strong all season at his home track, and Thursday's 100-lap "Mr. DIRT Track U.S.A." for the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series was no different. Against a competitive field, Backetti seemed to effortlessly cruise to Victory Lane at "The Valley of Speed" Thursday, Aug. 15, taking home the hefty $17,500 winner's share.
"The pressure was on," said Bachetti, who, after placing second in his heat, redrew the pole and started the race on the outside front row. "It was definitely mine to win or lose, starting there. We just had to conserve and be consistent and keep everything underneath us."Read more: Bachetti bests Valley
What a difference a year makes: Brett Hearn claims first win of career at I-96 Speedway
Illness kept Hearn from making Michigan trip last year, this year "The Jet" is stronger than ever
LAKE ODESSA, MICH. - Monday, August 7, 2013 - A year ago Brett Hearn couldn't race, with sudden illness keeping him from traveling with the Super DIRTcar Series for its inaugural race at I-96 Speedway. Now he's come full circle, not just making a full recovery, but picking up a win after leading all 100 laps there in Tuesday's "Michigan 100" with his first-ever attempt at racing the half-mile clay oval.
"Just when I thought I couldn't see a new track, or win at a new track, we come here, and it was awesome," said Hearn, whose return to the series last August brought him victory at Lebanon Valley's "Mr. DIRT Track U. S. A." and later on wins in the prestigious NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week VP Small Engine Fuels 200 and Orange County Fair Speedway's Eastern States 200. "When I couldn't make this trip last time around, we didn't know what was going to happen. I'm glad to be here this year and I hope to come back here next year. It was a blast."Read more: Hearn Triumphs at I96
Sheppard outmaneuvers Bowman to capture Super DIRTcar Series win at Merrittville Speedway
Matt Sheppard and Danny Johnson charge ahead in lapped traffic to podium finishes
THOROLD, ONTARIO - Monday, August 5, 2013 - After battling through lapped traffic for the lead over St. Catharines racer Mike Bowman, three-time Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series Champion Matt Sheppard took his second series win of the season at Merrittville Speedway Monday, Aug. 5.
"We've had a lot of great race cars at Merrittville over the years, and I think this is probably the best one we've ever had," said Sheppard, of Waterloo, N. Y. Before Bowman's win in 2012, Sheppard claimed three consecutive Super DIRTcar Series races at Merrittville Speedway. "I love this place, I have a lot of success here."Read more: Matt takes Merrittville
Sheppard takes first Super DIRTcar Series win of season at Autodrome Granby
Haers, Sheppard rebuild from prior day's breakdowns to claim top finishes
GRANBY, QUEBEC – July 23, 2013 – There's nothing like a comeback, and three-time defending Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series Champion Matt Sheppard was ready for one after mechanical issues in Monday's series event left him in 26th place. And, sure enough, "Super" Matt Sheppard delivered a comeback the very next night, taking the win at Autodrome Granby Tuesday, July 23.
"We drove to the lead last night, and I think we had the car to win that race. I just had some bad luck, had a part break," Sheppard, of Waterloo, N. Y., said of Monday's race at Autodrome Drummond. "We rebounded well tonight, got the car back together. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going for the rest of the season."
After breaking down in the 64th lap of Monday's race while in the lead, the team got to work on the FX Caprara/XTreme Lubriccants 9s, determined to redeem themselves in Tuesday's 100-lapper at Autodrome Drummond. Sheppard's car was fast right off the trailer, claiming the second-fastest lap time overall in time trials.Read more: Sheppard Wins Granby
Planck wrestles lead from Dunn to take Super DIRTcar Series win at Autodrome Drummond
"The Natural" claims first series win with Mike Payne Racing
"The Natural" Dale Planck, of Cortland, N. Y., wrestled the lead from Billy Dunn, of Watertown, N. Y., with 15 laps to go in Monday's Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series feature, taking the win in a six-leader, 100-lap race.
"The car wasn't quite what I wanted it to be early in the race," said Planck, who, after drawing the 12th spot, had his work cut out for him just breaking the top five. "I was just hoping that later in the race it would come around, and, sure enough, at about lap 60 or 70, it just started rolling around the middle good."
In the Mike Payne owned 7z, Planck charged forward late in the race, claiming second after a lap-79 caution took leader Haers to the pits. Haers's was the fourth car of the race, after Steve Bernard's, Matt Sheppard's and Danny Johnson's, to break while in the lead.
With Haers out of the race, Dunn inherited the lead and held on to it on the restart. Planck challenged for the lead in lap 82, and nearly claimed it, but another yellow in lap 82 slowed his momentum and brought the field back together.
Ever persistent, Planck charged forward on the restart, breaking through Dunn's defense in lap 84 to claim the lead.
"I felt like I was a little better than Billy Dunn there, but that one restart went back a lap, so it was back to second," Planck said of the lap 82 restart. "He was pretty much in block mode at that point, so I had to try to find a different way around him."
Planck outlasted the remaining caution-free 15 laps to claim his first Super DIRTcar Series win of the season, and his first series win with his new team, Mike Payne Racing.
"It feels awesome, definitely. First series win of the year, first series win with Mike Payne and the new team, and it feels great," said Planck, also a small block Modified star, claiming last year`s DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Championship. "It`s been a couple years since I`ve raced a Big Block full-time, so it`s nice to get back in the swing of things with the Big Block. We just worked so hard - Mike and the team worked so hard - to try to get to this point in the race, and here we are. I`m very happy."Read more: Planck Wins Drummond
Super DIRTcar Series Driver Hearn Wins Big at The Big Show 5
For the First Time Ever, Promoter/Driver Hearn Wins His Own Race
MALTA, N. Y. - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - Super DIRTcar Series driver and race promoter Brett Hearn has been known to bring crowds in packed grandstands to their feet, but this time he really outdid himself. After a three-wide pass for second, a thrilling battle with Gary Tomkins for the lead, and fending off late-race challenges from Billy Dunn, Hearn went for the win Tuesday, July 9, at Albany-Saratoga Speedway for the race he promotes, The Big Show 5 presented by Recovery Sports Grill Malta.
"I don't think we could ask for a better race track, a better show," said Hearn, celebrating his first-ever win at The Big Show. "There was some heavy-duty racing there."Read more: Hearn Wins Big @ "The Big Show"