Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds The Dirt Track at Charlotte November 9th, 2019 | HIGHLIGHTS

Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds The Dirt Track at Charlotte November 9th, 2019 | HIGHLIGHTS

Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified Feature Event Highlights from The Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord, North Carolina on November 9th, 2019.

11/09/19 — Can-Am World Finals (Saturday)

After the crimson Carolina clay settled back on The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Mat Williamson, from St. Catharines, ON, was crowned the first Canadian driver in history to win the Super DIRTcar Series Championship. Williamson’s second-place finish was enough to relegate seven-time Series Champion Matt Sheppard to second place in the points standings. Gypsum Racing’s Billy Decker won the race, bookending his Super DIRTcar Series season with trips to Victory Lane. The twenty-four-year-old Pierrepont, NY driver Michael Mareca made an impressive run up to the final step on the podium.

FEATURE (40 Laps)
1. 91-Billy Decker [4][$8,000]; 2. 88-Mat Williamson [2][$4,000]; 3. 7MM-Michael Maresca [8][$2,500]; 4. 9S-Matt Sheppard [1][$1,800]; 5. Z8-Max McLaughlin [7][$1,600]; 6. 111-Demetrios Drellos [5][$1,400]; 7. 25-Erick Rudolph [3][$1,300]; 8. 35-Mike Mahaney [14][$1,200]; 9. 5H-Chris Hile [6][$1,100]; 10. 19-Tim Fuller [12][$1,000]; 11. 99L-Larry Wight [22][$900]; 12. 84-Gary Tomkins [18][$800]; 13. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [16][$700]; 14. 15-Billy Pauch [10][$650]; 15. 49-Billy Dunn [17][$600]; 16. 54-Steve Bernard [26][$600]; 17. 26-Ryan Godown [19][$600]; 18. 27J-Danny Johnson [20][$600]; 19. 83-Brian Swartzlander [13][$600]; 20. 21A-Peter Britten [23][$600]; 21. 28ZT-Gary Lindberg [24][$600]; 22. 2L-Jack Lehner [29][$600]; 23. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson [27][$600]; 24. 5st-Tyler Siri [15][$600]; 25. 18AP-Anthony Perrego [9][$600]; 26. 42P-Pat Ward [31][$600]; 27. 37-Paul StSauveur [30][$600]; 28. 20-Brett Hearn [11][$600]; 29. 98T-Tyler Thompson [25][$600]; 30. 3-Justin Haers [21][$600]; 31. 19W-Justin Wright [28][$]

KSE Hard Charger Award: 99L-Larry Wight[+11]

Qualifying Flight-A
1. 7MM-Michael Maresca, 15.902; 2. 5H-Chris Hile, 15.981; 3. 18AP-Anthony Perrego, 15.998; 4. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson, 16.032; 5. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 16.164; 6. 44V-Phil Vigneri, 16.197; 7. 49-Billy Dunn, 16.2; 8. 42P-Pat Ward, 16.6; 9. 21X-Eric Williams, 16.982; 10. 17-Marcus Dinkins, 17.61

Qualifying Flight-B
1. 88-Mat Williamson, 15.712; 2. 15-Billy Pauch, 15.715; 3. 35-Mike Mahaney, 15.848; 4. Z8-Max McLaughlin, 15.924; 5. 84-Gary Tomkins, 16.012; 6. 2L-Jack Lehner, 16.153; 7. 3-Justin Haers, 16.179; 8. 21A-Peter Britten, 16.194; 9. 98T-Tyler Thompson, 16.869

Qualifying Flight-C
1. 111-Demetrios Drellos, 15.854; 2. 25-Erick Rudolph, 15.954; 3. 26-Ryan Godown, 16.105; 4. 20-Brett Hearn, 16.116; 5. 5st-Tyler Siri, 16.372; 6. 19W-Justin Wright, 16.405; 7. 66X-Carey Terrance, 16.568; 8. 21-Yan Bussiere, 16.925; 9. 14NY-Daniel Johnson, 17.549; DQ. 28ZT-Gary Lindberg, 16.511

Qualifying Flight-D
1. 91-Billy Decker, 15.717; 2. 9S-Matt Sheppard, 15.9; 3. 19-Tim Fuller, 15.901; 4. 98H-Jimmy Phelps, 15.954; 5. 27J-Danny Johnson, 15.956; 6. 99L-Larry Wight, 16.011; 7. 54-Steve Bernard, 16.018; 8. 37-Paul StSauveur, 16.35; 9. 37MD-Jeremiah Shingledecker, 16.617

Heat #1 – Flight (A) – Spon.-1 (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 7MM-Michael Maresca [1]; 2. 5H-Chris Hile [2]; 3. 18AP-Anthony Perrego [3]; 4. 83-Brian Swartzlander [5]; 5. 49-Billy Dunn [7]; 6. 42P-Pat Ward [8]; 7. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson [4]; 8. 21X-Eric Williams [9]; 9. 44V-Phil Vigneri [6]; 10. 17-Marcus Dinkins [10]

Heat #2 – Flight (B) – Spon.-2 (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 88-Mat Williamson [1]; 2. Z8-Max McLaughlin [4]; 3. 15-Billy Pauch [2]; 4. 35-Mike Mahaney [3]; 5. 84-Gary Tomkins [5]; 6. 3-Justin Haers [7]; 7. 21A-Peter Britten [8]; 8. 98T-Tyler Thompson [9]; 9. 2L-Jack Lehner [6]

Heat #3 – Flight (C) – Spon.-3 (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 111-Demetrios Drellos [1]; 2. 25-Erick Rudolph [2]; 3. 20-Brett Hearn [4]; 4. 5st-Tyler Siri [5]; 5. 26-Ryan Godown [3]; 6. 66X-Carey Terrance [7]; 7. 19W-Justin Wright [6]; 8. 28ZT-Gary Lindberg [10]; 9. 21-Yan Bussiere [8]; 10. 14NY-Daniel Johnson [9]

Heat #4 – Flight (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 91-Billy Decker [1]; 2. 9S-Matt Sheppard [2]; 3. 19-Tim Fuller [3]; 4. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [4]; 5. 27J-Danny Johnson [5]; 6. 99L-Larry Wight [6]; 7. 54-Steve Bernard [7]; 8. 37-Paul StSauveur [8]; 9. 37MD-Jeremiah Shingledecker [9]

LCS1 – Last Chance Showdowns (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 3-Justin Haers [2][$]; 2. 21A-Peter Britten [4][$]; 3. 98T-Tyler Thompson [6][$]; 4. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson [3][$]; 5. 21X-Eric Williams [5][$600]; 6. 2L-Jack Lehner [8][$600]; 7. 44V-Phil Vigneri [7][$600]; 8. 42P-Pat Ward [1][$600]; 9. 17-Marcus Dinkins [9][$600]

LCS2 ( Laps)
1. 99L-Larry Wight [2][$]; 2. 28ZT-Gary Lindberg [5][$]; 3. 54-Steve Bernard [4][$]; 4. 19W-Justin Wright [3][$]; 5. 37-Paul StSauveur [6][$600]; 6. 37MD-Jeremiah Shingledecker [8][$600]; 7. 14NY-Daniel Johnson [9][$600]; 8. 66X-Carey Terrance [1][$600]; 9. 21-Yan Bussiere [7][$600]

SECOND TO NONE

CONCORD, NC — The entire 2019 Super DIRTcar Series season came down to Saturday night’s Can-Am World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Seven-time champion Matt Sheppard was on the pole opposite the hottest driver on the tour, Mat Williamson, who was seeking his first crown.

Williamson had a slight 18-point advantage in the title bout, leaving him almost no room for error.

After letting Billy Decker power past both of them, Sheppard and Williamson battled side-by-side and when the crimson Carolina clay settled, Williamson was second behind Decker — two spots ahead of Sheppard — to become the first Canadian driver in history to win the Super DIRTcar Series Championship.

Gypsum Racing’s Decker bookended his Super DIRTcar Series season with trips to Victory Lane in the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park and Saturday night’s win in the season finale. Michael Maresca, a 24-year-old Pierrepont, NY driver, made an impressive run to third.

Williamson, his family racing operation, and the Buzz Chew No. 88 combined to put together one of the greatest seasons of Big Block Modified racing ever. His season started out with strong runs and consistent finishes, but he ended it with a NAPA Super DIRT Week Billy Whittaker Cars 200 Championship and the overall Super DIRTcar Series Championship. That alone accounts for $90,000 of winnings.

Looking back, Williamson never let a cloud of doubt enter his vision.

“I had belief is these guys the whole time,” said Williamson, of St. Catharines, Ontario. “I just had to believe in myself and know that we could do it. The team is second to none. They deserve this and they’ve worked harder than anyone. We had our growing pains, but we worked harder and stuff got better.”

One of the turning points in the season came after a poor result at Weedsport Speedway, a track where Williamson has long struggled. The Buzz Chew team came back to it with resolve and made a podium run to prove they could succeed anywhere.

“We’ve always struggled at Weedsport,” he said. “Not just us but my own team with my own car. I kept working harder. There was a point when Buzz did not want to go back to Weedsport because we sucked there. We kept telling Buzz, ‘Stick with it. Stick with it. We’ll work on it and get better and better.’ We got beat at Merrittville, at home, and we knew we had to get better and we learned some stuff there. We brought that to Weedsport, and Brewerton and Mohawk.”

Williamson carried a freight train of momentum throughout the final third of the season and he needed every bit of it to defeat Sheppard.

He admitted to doing the math while racing for position. With Sheppard and Decker swapping the lead, Williamson became a huge Decker fan.

“When Matt got by Billy [Decker] there, I got a little nervous,” he said. “I’ve always liked Billy, but I was the biggest Billy Decker fan ever. It was nerve-wracking man. … From the moment I woke up I knew we were going to do good things today.”

Sheppard’s chance to add another Championship to his Hall of Fame résumé was handicapped before he even took the green flag. Unfortunately, Sheppard’s motor lost a cylinder during the pace laps.

“I dropped a cylinder,” Sheppard said. “I just kept the foot to the floor trying to keep it going the best I could, but I don’t think it would have mattered. If I would have won the race, Mat still came in third.”

No one knows what it takes to win Super DIRTcar Series Championships like Sheppard. He gave full credit to Williamson and his team.

“They deserve it, they had the most consistent year and that’s what this Championship is about,” Sheppard said. “This isn’t NASCAR with playoffs. We won the most races and had really good finishes but, in the end, we had more bad nights than they did. Hats off to them, the driver, the crew and the team. Everyone there did a great job. They did what they needed to do and that’s why they’re the Champions.”

If Sheppard could point to one moment in the season that changed the Championship outlook, it would have to be the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 where he broke an axle as a result of incidental contact with Michael Maresca.

“Oswego is the big one … the thirty-first really hurt,” he said.

However, Sheppard was content with the result and knows he and his team did everything they could do to be there at the end.

“I’ve been on both ends of it before,” Sheppard noted. “This isn’t the first Championship I’ve lost by a few points. Luckily for us we’ve been on the good end more than the bad end.”

Decker kicked off 2019 with a win on the first night of the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park and capped it with a win at the Can-Am World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

“Charlotte’s been a pain in my side, but now I have a much higher opinion,” Decker said. “It got away from us (Friday) night. This win is a product of LJL Racing and the Gypsum Wholesaler team. The team is fun to be a part of. Losing yesterday had me down pretty hard and we came out swinging today. What a great race car. It feels good to get a win here at the Can-Am World Finals.”

Third-place runner Maresca was a rocket in the second half of the race.

“I found that top side, and it was kind of tricky racing Mat and Matt. I had to give them a lot of room. They were racing for a Championship, so I was just trying to be respectful of them,” Maresca said.

Maresca still feels guilt over the contact me made with Sheppard at NAPA Super DIRT Week despite Sheppard clearing him of full responsibility.

“I feel I messed that Championship up enough and I feel bad about it,” Maresca said of the contact with Sheppard at Oswego. “I just wanted to race clean and hopefully earn those guys respect.”

Larry Wight picked up 11 positions to finish 11th and that was good enough to be the KSE Hard Charge of the race.

FEATURE (40 Laps) — 1. 91-Billy Decker [4][$8,000]; 2. 88-Mat Williamson [2][$4,000]; 3. 7MM-Michael Maresca [8][$2,500]; 4. 9S-Matt Sheppard [1][$1,800]; 5. Z8-Max McLaughlin [7][$1,600]; 6. 111-Demetrios Drellos [5][$1,400]; 7. 25-Erick Rudolph [3][$1,300]; 8. 35-Mike Mahaney [14][$1,200]; 9. 5H-Chris Hile [6][$1,100]; 10. 19-Tim Fuller [12][$1,000]; 11. 99L-Larry Wight [22][$900]; 12. 84-Gary Tomkins [18][$800]; 13. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [16][$700]; 14. 15-Billy Pauch [10][$650]; 15. 49-Billy Dunn [17][$600]; 16. 54-Steve Bernard [26][$600]; 17. 26-Ryan Godown [19][$600]; 18. 27J-Danny Johnson [20][$600]; 19. 83-Brian Swartzlander [13][$600]; 20. 21A-Peter Britten [23][$600]; 21. 28ZT-Gary Lindberg [24][$600]; 22. 2L-Jack Lehner [29][$600]; 23. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson [27][$600]; 24. 5st-Tyler Siri [15][$600]; 25. 18AP-Anthony Perrego [9][$600]; 26. 42P-Pat Ward [31][$600]; 27. 37-Paul StSauveur [30][$600]; 28. 20-Brett Hearn [11][$600]; 29. 98T-Tyler Thompson [25][$600]; 30. 3-Justin Haers [21][$600]; 31. 19W-Justin Wright [28][$]

KSE Hard Charger Award: 99L-Larry Wight[+11]

11/08/19 — Can-Am World Finals (Friday)

Jimmy Phelps grabbed his first Super DIRTcar Series win of 2019 just in the knick of time. Phelps battled it out with the heavy hitters of Big Block Modified racing to take the checkered flag. Erick Rudolph and Larry Wight rounded out the podium. 

FEATURE (40 Laps)
1. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [7][$8,000]; 2. 25-Erick Rudolph [9][$4,000]; 3. 99L-Larry Wight [12][$2,500]; 4. 42P-Pat Ward [14][$1,800]; 5. 88-Mat Williamson [15][$1,600]; 6. 7MM-Michael Maresca [22][$1,400]; 7. 19-Tim Fuller [17][$1,300]; 8. 27J-Danny Johnson [26][$1,200]; 9. 26-Ryan Godown [18][$1,100]; 10. 9S-Matt Sheppard [6][$1,000]; 11. 21A-Peter Britten [16][$900]; 12. 98T-Tyler Thompson [31][$800]; 13. 3-Justin Haers [35][$700]; 14. 111-Demetrios Drellos [5][$650]; 15. 83-Brian Swartzlander [2][$600]; 16. 35-Mike Mahaney [30][$600]; 17. 20-Brett Hearn [38][$600]; 18. 84-Gary Tomkins [3][$600]; 19. 91-Billy Decker [1][$600]; 20. 2L-Jack Lehner [20][$600]; 21. 28ZT-Gary Lindberg [29][$600]; 22. 37-Paul StSauveur [27][$600]; 23. 19W-Justin Wright [24][$600]; 24. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson [11][$600]; 25. 37MD-Jeremiah Shingledecker [33][$600]; 26. 21-Yan Bussiere [34][$600]; 27. 54-Steve Bernard [19][$600]; 28. 44V-Phil Vigneri [28][$600]; 29. 18AP-Anthony Perrego [8][$600]; 30. 21X-Eric Williams [32][$600]; 31. 5H-Chris Hile [25][$600]; 32. 5st-Tyler Siri [13][$600]; 33. 14NY-Daniel Johnson [37][$600]; 34. 15-Billy Pauch [21][$600]; 35. Z8-Max McLaughlin [10][$600]; 36. 49-Billy Dunn [4][$600]; 37. 66X-Carey Terrance [23][$600]; 38. 17-Marcus Dinkins [36][$600]

KSE Hard Charger Award: 3-Justin Haers[+22]

Qualifying Flight-A
1. 98H-Jimmy Phelps, 15.901; 2. 49-Billy Dunn, 15.95; 3. 25-Erick Rudolph, 16.003; 4. 5st-Tyler Siri, 16.177; 5. 19-Tim Fuller, 16.24; 6. 37MD-Jeremiah Shingledecker, 16.252; 7. 15-Billy Pauch, 16.264; 8. 28ZT-Gary Lindberg, 16.337; 9. 5H-Chris Hile, 16.484; 10. 14NY-Daniel Johnson, NT

Qualifying Flight-B
1. 91-Billy Decker, 15.739; 2. 42P-Pat Ward, 15.87; 3. 18AP-Anthony Perrego, 15.966; 4. 7MM-Michael Maresca, 15.969; 5. Z8-Max McLaughlin, 15.991; 6. 35-Mike Mahaney, 16.142; 7. 26-Ryan Godown, 16.184; 8. 27J-Danny Johnson, 16.196; 9. 21-Yan Bussiere, 16.216

Qualifying Flight-C
1. 20-Brett Hearn, 15.872; 2. 9S-Matt Sheppard, 15.916; 3. 88-Mat Williamson, 15.975; 4. 84-Gary Tomkins, 16.133; 5. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson, 16.139; 6. 66X-Carey Terrance, 16.235; 7. 54-Steve Bernard, 16.252; 8. 3-Justin Haers, 16.351; 9. 98T-Tyler Thompson, 16.354; 10. 37-Paul StSauveur, 16.421

Qualifying Flight-D
1. 111-Demetrios Drellos, 15.778; 2. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 16.013; 3. 99L-Larry Wight, 16.184; 4. 21A-Peter Britten, 16.233; 5. 44V-Phil Vigneri, 16.356; 6. 2L-Jack Lehner, 16.47; 7. 19W-Justin Wright, 16.492; 8. 21X-Eric Williams, 16.93; 9. 17-Marcus Dinkins, NT

Heat #1 – Flight (A) – Spon.-1 (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer
1. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [1]; 2. 49-Billy Dunn [2]; 3. 25-Erick Rudolph [3]; 4. 5st-Tyler Siri [4]; 5. 19-Tim Fuller [5]; 6. 15-Billy Pauch [7]; 7. 5H-Chris Hile [9]; 8. 28ZT-Gary Lindberg [8]; 9. 37MD-Jeremiah Shingledecker [6]; 10. 14NY-Daniel Johnson [10]

Heat #2 – Flight (B) – Spon.-2 (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer
1. 91-Billy Decker [1]; 2. 18AP-Anthony Perrego [3]; 3. Z8-Max McLaughlin [5]; 4. 42P-Pat Ward [2]; 5. 26-Ryan Godown [7]; 6. 7MM-Michael Maresca [4]; 7. 27J-Danny Johnson [8]; 8. 35-Mike Mahaney [6]; 9. 21-Yan Bussiere [9]

Heat #3 – Flight (C) – Spon.-3 (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer
1. 9S-Matt Sheppard [2]; 2. 84-Gary Tomkins [4]; 3. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson [5]; 4. 88-Mat Williamson [3]; 5. 54-Steve Bernard [7]; 6. 66X-Carey Terrance [6]; 7. 37-Paul StSauveur [10]; 8. 98T-Tyler Thompson [9]; 9. 3-Justin Haers [8]; 10. 20-Brett Hearn [1]

Heat #4 – Flight (D) (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer
1. 111-Demetrios Drellos [1]; 2. 83-Brian Swartzlander [2]; 3. 99L-Larry Wight [3]; 4. 21A-Peter Britten [4]; 5. 2L-Jack Lehner [6]; 6. 19W-Justin Wright [7]; 7. 44V-Phil Vigneri [5]; 8. 21X-Eric Williams [8]; 9. 17-Marcus Dinkins [9]

Point Made

CONCORD, NC — Nov. 8, 2019 — High drama for the Super DIRTcar Series championship exploded on Friday in the Can-Am World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. While Mat Williamson and Matt Sheppard waged a battle for series supremacy that started during their Heat Races, Jimmy Phelps powered to his first Super DIRTcar Series victory of the season.

Sheppard and Williamson were tied for the Super DIRTcar Series championship lead entering Friday’s action in the closest championship bout in Series history. As luck would have it, Sheppard and Williamson were scheduled to start second and third in a Heat Race with vital points at stake long before the Feature was set. Then pole-sitter Brett Hearn was issued a penalty for a work area infraction, moving Williamson to the front row next to Sheppard. Williamson, eager to take the points lead going into the Feature, jumped the start and was sent back a row under yellow. Sheppard went on to win the race and Williamson took fourth, creating a three-point advantage for Sheppard.

Finally, when the green flag waved on 40-lap Feature, Sheppard was charging through the top 10 while Williamson was mired mid-pack. Then the luck swung back toward Williamson as Sheppard’s car suddenly veered sideways in front the pack in turns one and two. Max McLaughlin made contact, but it was just enough to straighten Sheppard out without doing too much damage.

Third-place running Larry Wight was behind Sheppard when “I suddenly had a full view of the side of the 9s!”

But that wasn’t all fate had in store for Sheppard. Entering the third turn Sheppard again struggled with his brakes and clipped the rear bumper of Wight.

“I wasn’t sure what was going on there, but I know I felt something in turn three when we were going to the bottom there,” Wight said of the contact.

The contact was enough to cut down the right front tire on Sheppard’s machine, forcing him to the work area.

Incredibly, Sheppard minimized the damage by clawing his way through the 38-car field to finish 10th, now trailing Williamson by 18 points headed into Saturday’s action.

As the championship stands, Williamson leads Sheppard by 18 points. If Sheppard wins Saturday’s Can-Am World Finals Feature, Williamson would need to finish third or better to win his first Super DIRTcar Series crown.

Williamson had his own trouble throughout the day. He felt he left points on the table in the Heat Race after being penalized for jumping the start alongside Sheppard.

“Today was tough,” said Williamson, of St. Catharines, Ontario. “We felt we got the raw end of the deal on the calls (the officials) made. But we got through it and stuck with it all day and now we can control our own destiny (Saturday).

“We’ll make some changes and we should be better.”

Meanwhile, Phelps and his HBR team had struggled for most of 2019. Despite always running in the top 10, it seemed as though they couldn’t break into Victory Lane. A recent chassis change has helped Phelps get back on track, and that was never more evident than on Friday night.

“It feels great on a lot of levels,” said Phelps, of Baldwinsville, NY. “We were shy on the results page for the season, and this is great, but it doesn’t make up for all the hard work and grief that the team went through all year. They haven’t seen the results that they deserve for how hard they worked. This really helps going into the off-season.”

The No. 98H looked right at home at the top of the field all night. While some attrition played into his hands, Phelps had a fast race car.

“You couldn’t ask for a better car on a better night on a better stage. We are very fortunate that we were able to do it,” Phelps noted.

The Baldwinsville Bandit described his race as he chased Billy Decker and took the lead:

“Our car rolled the bottom really well and that helped early with getting some track position. Each restart we got a couple spots. Once we got into clean air I was on par with Decker. It would have been interesting to know if we had enough to get by him. [Decker suffered a flat tire]”

Second-place Erick Rudolph, of Ransomville, NY, took a couple stabs at Phelps while he led, but the No. 98H was not to be denied a Can-Am World Finals victory.

Rudolph looked strong all race in his blue and white No. 25R. While he missed taking the win, he and his team were very happy with their result.

“Second is my best ever finish here,” Rudolph said. “I’m not sure I was ever even in the top five. We’ve been coming here for a while and just never really had the stuff. Tonight, we had the stuff and we had the chance and that’s a true testament to the team. I think Jimmy [Phelps] had the car to beat tonight and a couple contenders dropped out too. We put ourselves in a position to win and that’s all we can ask for.”

Larry Wight crossed the finish line third in his crimson Gypsum Racing Big Block Modified in what some might say was essentially a brand-new car or at least an experimental one for the team.

“We did a lot of changes to the car today,” Wight said. “We switched over from a bar car to a coil car. We were running around the pits trying to find all the parts to do it. I gotta thank Paul St-Sauveur. He gave us the last piece we needed for the left rear. We had a good car. We just need to fine tune it a little bit. We haven’t been on coils at all this year so now we are on the learning curve that everyone went through at the beginning of the year and doing it at the last race.”

Why the big change and why now?

“I got sick of following coil cars,” Wight said. “So, I finally bit the bullet and joined them. Jake and Brandon did a great job getting everything swapped over. It’s an untested car I’m happy we finished third.

Wight will be looking to improve by two positions in Saturday’s Feature.

For the sixth time this season, Decker picked up the Billy Whittaker Cars Fast-Time Award. He took advantage of his quick-time by staying out in front for the duration of his Heat Race. That put Decker in the Top 8 Redraw and he pulled the number one position. Unfortunately, Decker wound up cutting a tire in the Feature while leading and finished nineteenth.

The KSE Hard Charger of the race was Justin Haers for passing a mind-boggling 22 cars in the 40-lap Feature. Haers will be a force to reckoned with in Saturday’s Feature at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

There is one schedule update for Saturday. The event kicks off with Opening Ceremonies at 3:45 pm followed by Super DIRTcar Series Last Chance Showdowns.

If you can’t make it to the track, be sure to tune in for the conclusion of the 2019 Super DIRTcar Series Championship tomorrow at 4 PM! Watch live with our live streaming partner FloRacing to catch all the action and drama of the Championship battle.

FEATURE RESULTS (40 laps) View full results here.

FEATURE (40 Laps) — 1. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [7][$8,000]; 2. 25-Erick Rudolph [9][$4,000]; 3. 99L-Larry Wight [12][$2,500]; 4. 42P-Pat Ward [14][$1,800]; 5. 88-Mat Williamson [15][$1,600]; 6. 7MM-Michael Maresca [22][$1,400]; 7. 19-Tim Fuller [17][$1,300]; 8. 27J-Danny Johnson [26][$1,200]; 9. 26-Ryan Godown [18][$1,100]; 10. 9S-Matt Sheppard [6][$1,000]; 11. 21A-Peter Britten [16][$900]; 12. 98T-Tyler Thompson [31][$800]; 13. 3-Justin Haers [35][$700]; 14. 111-Demetrios Drellos [5][$650]; 15. 83-Brian Swartzlander [2][$600]; 16. 35-Mike Mahaney [30][$600]; 17. 20-Brett Hearn [38][$600]; 18. 84-Gary Tomkins [3][$600]; 19. 91-Billy Decker [1][$600]; 20. 2L-Jack Lehner [20][$600]; 21. 28ZT-Gary Lindberg [29][$600]; 22. 37-Paul StSauveur [27][$600]; 23. 19W-Justin Wright [24][$600]; 24. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson [11][$600]; 25. 37MD-Jeremiah Shingledecker [33][$600]; 26. 21-Yan Bussiere [34][$600]; 27. 54-Steve Bernard [19][$600]; 28. 44V-Phil Vigneri [28][$600]; 29. 18AP-Anthony Perrego [8][$600]; 30. 21X-Eric Williams [32][$600]; 31. 5H-Chris Hile [25][$600]; 32. 5st-Tyler Siri [13][$600]; 33. 14NY-Daniel Johnson [37][$600]; 34. 15-Billy Pauch [21][$600]; 35. Z8-Max McLaughlin [10][$600]; 36. 49-Billy Dunn [4][$600]; 37. 66X-Carey Terrance [23][$600]; 38. 17-Marcus Dinkins [36][$600]

KSE Hard Charger Award: 3-Justin Haers[+22]

FIT TO BE TIED

CONCORD, NC – Nov. 7, 2019 – In the midst of the closest Super DIRTcar Series championship battle of all time, every timed lap and every Heat Race at the Can-Am World Finals is vital. On Thursday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Mat Williamson drew first blood with a Billy Whittaker Cars Fast Time Award and won his Heat Race to draw even with defending Series champion Matt Sheppard.

Sheppard fought hard in his Heat Race, but finished second to Billy Decker, which was worth four points. Williamson cruised to victory in his respective Heat Race and picked up five. The Billy Whittaker Cars Fast Time Award is worth a huge five points and that is what Williamson needed to level off the top of the standings.

The next points opportunity will be the rescheduled Friday Heat Races from Thursday night’s program. Friday’s Heat Races will begin following Opening Ceremonies at 3:45 p.m. In a stroke of fate only racing could provide, Sheppard and Williamson start second and third, respectively, in Friday’s third Heat Race.

Rookie sensation Demetrios Drellos was fastest in each of his Time Trial groups and went on to win his Heat Race in convincing style. He’ll try to go two-for-two in Heat Race 4 on Friday.

The veteran Decker drove his Gypsum Express No. 91 quickest both of his Time Trial groups, and he also won his Heat Race. Decker will be tough to beat in the Features.

Super DIRTcar Series officials have opted to cancel the two Last Chance Showdowns and start all 38 cars in both Features.

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A CHAMPIONSHIP DOWN TO A “T”

CONCORD, NC — Nov. 4, 2019 — The Can-Am World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte is set to host one of the tightest Super DIRTcar Series championship points races in history. Mat Williamson has won three out of the past five Series races, including NAPA Super DIRT Week XLVIII’s Billy Whittaker Cars 200, launching him into a neck-and-neck race for the title with Matt Sheppard. Sheppard has nine Series wins to his credit in 2019, but Williamson’s consistency has kept him in the hunt all season long. 

Last year Erick Rudolph was the man trying to take down ‘Super’ Matt Sheppard, but he fell short at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The 2019 race has Sheppard up on Williamson by a mere six points. Unfortunately for Sheppard, the No. 9S suffered a mechanical failure at Oswego Speedway with absolutely vital points on the line. 

Meanwhile, Williamson did everything he could do for points by becoming only the second Canadian national to win the Billy Whittaker Cars 200. Sheppard swung right back the next week at Brockville Ontario Speedway with a statement win, coming from 12th to win. 

The pair of Mat(t)s are separated by just six points heading into the Cam-Am World Finals doubleheader. Last year, a pair of veterans collected the wins. Brett Hearn and Tim Fuller showed the premier field of Big Block Modifieds the way around the Carolina clay oval. 

A great class of rookies is vying for Rookie of the Year honors and race wins. Demetrios Drellos won the biggest race of his career at Albany-Saratoga in a NAPA Super DIRT Week qualifier. 

Saratoga Springs’ Jack Lehner led over half of the 100-lap Feature at Brockville and finished a career-high fifth place. Can he pick up his first career win in front of the biggest crowd in dirt racing? 

Ryan Godown, from Ringoes, NJ, has been knocking on the door of his first Super DIRTcar Series win all year long. He came the closest at the Battle on the Midway at Orange County Fair Speedway where he finished runner-up to Matt Sheppard. 

Never count out the Gypsum Racing team as they’ll be bringing the heat down to Charlotte with one goal: Win. Larry Wight and Billy Decker are running third and fourth in Series points, but star driver and three-time DIRTcar 358 Modified Series driver Erick Rudolph is looking to leap from both of them to take third in Series points. 

Jimmy Phelps hasn’t had the 2019 season he envisioned but with a brand new Bicknell chassis, he’s looking to capture momentum going into 2020. Can The Baldwinsville Bandit play spoiler and lock up a pair of wins amidst the Championship battle?

In his familiar orange No. 27J, Danny Johnson is one of the greatest Big Block Modified drivers of all time. Johnson was inducted into the DIRT Hall of Fame this year and wants to close out his historic season in Victory Lane. 

Series regulars Marcus Dinkins, Paul St-Sauveur and Rusty Smith will also be on hand to test their Big Blocks on the red North Carolina clay. 

There are always plenty of invaders looking to put their names in the record books as winners on The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Gary Tomkins, Anthony Perrego, Max McLaughlin, Billy Pauch Jr., Chris Hile, Phil Vigneri, Yan Bussiere, Justin Wright and Tyler Siri have all thrown their hats in the ring.

The Can-Am World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte have included the Super DIRTcar Series since 2010. Every year it proves itself to be the premier dirt track racing event in the world. All three top series will be on hand once again to thrill the capacity crowd. Don’t miss it!

Get your Can-Am World Finals tickets here.

Check out the full Super DIRTcar Series points standings.