MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE: McLaughlin Caps OktoberFAST with Emotional First Career Series Win

WEEDSPORT, NY – October 11, 2020 – There was a little magic in Max McLaughlin’s right foot as he peddled his Billy Whittaker Cars Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified to his first career Series win. McLaughlin’s Sweeteners Plus No. 32c flashed across the Weedsport Speedway finish line beneath Dave Farney’s double checkered flag display to win DIRTcar OktoberFAST presented by DIRTVision’s $10,000 finale.

Not only did Max McLaughlin, from Mooresville, NC, win his first Series race but he made it happen by passing a Weedsport master, Matt Sheppard, at a track that McLaughlin once called home, literally.

“I was crying with five laps to go. Thank you Sweeteners Plus, Cellular Sales, and the Coffeys for giving me this ride. Al Heinke is the reason I’m here right now,” said McLaughlin. “When I was fifteen years old my family was out of money and I didn’t know if we’d keep racing. Al Heinke gave me the opportunity to keep racing. He owns this place and I lived here! I lived here for over a year.”

At last, McLaughlin conquered Weedsport’s fabled Victory Hill.

“I’ve been trying to get a Series win here. I’ve been second to Sheppard, Friesen, Rudolph, and everybody in the book. I gotta have a record for most seconds without a win,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin and Sheppard’s fates mirrored each other throughout the week. Matt Sheppard built the car for Vic Coffey and as it happened both drivers struggled through the first half of OktoberFAST. But at Land of Legends Raceway, Sheppard broke through with a win and McLaughlin was in the hunt.

“We thrashed this week. We were not very good at the beginning. Neither Matt [Sheppard] or I were running well. We worked our tails off every night.”

“I’m so thankful for everybody. This car was amazing. My idol in dirt racing growing up was Matt Sheppard and he built this race car. To pass him for the win…we’re going to celebrate tonight.”

In an already clearly emotional Victory Lane, McLaughlin dedicated his win to many important people in his life including Andy Phelps, Jimmy Phelps’ Father, who passed away earlier this year, and World of Outlaws and DIRTcar Racing’s Chris Dolack, who is on the minds of everyone in the dirt racing world.

The only car to beat Matt Sheppard was one he built. The No.9s took off from the pole position and powered his way into a healthy lead for the first half of the race. St. Catharines, ON driver Mat Williamson kept him on a short leash and traded the lead with Sheppard. Several other drivers began to close on Sheppard and Williamson like Pat Ward, Jimmy Phelps, and finally Max Mclaughlin from his seventh-place start spot.

“We weren’t that good on long runs. The car was just starting to get out from under me. I actually held on longer than I thought I would. I think we were very close. A couple of small tweaks before the Feature and we would have been sitting out in front,” Sheppard noted. “It was quite a turnaround from the beginning of the week. We’re definitely in the ballpark now.”

Jimmy Phelps too had a lot to celebrate about McLaughlin’s win having been his teammate and racing mentor before McLaughlin’s jump to the asphalt racing world.

“It was a great night. The track was really good. We didn’t have a great draw. My car felt good on the bottom. I knew I had to keep the left rear warmed up,” Phelps said. “We got ourselves up in the hunt and it was awesome to watch our buddy Max win his first Super DIRTcar Series race. I felt like we had a second-place car but we didn’t have anything for Max.

Mike Mahaney, from King Ferry, NY, was a man on a mission in the 75-lap Feature. Mahaney had an exceptional OktoberFAST, scoring podium finishes in all Billy Whittaker Cars Super DIRTcar Series Features up until Weedsport. Due to disqualification in his Heat Race, Mahaney was forced to start Last Chance Showdown where he nearly drove from last place to qualify but fell just short.

Luckily Mahaney had a Series provisional to fall back on and started on the fourteenth row of the Feature. He knuckled down and carried his No. 35 seventeen positions which awarded him the Stirling Lubricants Hard Luck Award.

Matt Sheppard put it all together in Time Trials and recorded a 15.874-second lap around Weedsport Speedway and thanks to the night’s special award sponsor, Stirling Lubricants, he added another $500 to his winnings. Max McLaughlin was second fastest, the reverse of the Feature order. It’s fair to say Sheppard and McLaughlin dominated the night’s results.

DIRTcar OktoberFAST presented by DIRTVision has concluded. The unprecedented event saw hundreds of race cars and thousands of laps all live on DIRTVision on some of the Northeast’s premier DIRTcar race tracks.

Keep up on the Super DIRTcar Series by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and SuperDIRTcarSeries.com.

Feature (75 Laps)

  1. 32C-Max Mclaughlin [7][$10,000]; 2. 9S-Matt Sheppard [1][$5,000]; 3. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [10][$2,500]; 4. 44-Stewart Friesen [17][$1,800]; 5. 88-Mat Williamson [2][$1,600]; 6. 99L-Larry Wight [4][$1,400]; 7. 42P-Pat Ward [3][$1,300]; 8. 20-Brett Hearn [5][$1,200]; 9. 25-Erick Rudolph [15][$1,100]; 10. 35-Mike Mahaney [27][$500]; 11. 7MM-Michael Maresca [14][$800]; 12. 5H-Chris Hile [9][$700]; 13. 21A-Peter Britten [25][$600]; 14. 28-Jordan Mccreadie [13][$575]; 15. 3-Justin Haers [26][$550]; 16. 91-Billy Decker [8][$525]; 17. 83X-Tim Sears [23][$500]; 18. 111-Demetrios Drellos [19][$500]; 19. 60-Jackson Gill [20][$500]; 20. X-Chad Phelps [11][$500]; 21. 19M-Jessey Mueller [28][$]; 22. 215-Adam Pierson [6][$500]; 23. 4-Andy Bachetti [18][$500]; 24. 2020-Tyler Trump [21][$500]; 25. 32R-Ronnie Davis [16][$500]; 26. 19-Tim Fuller [22][$500]; 27. 15-Todd Root [24][$500]; 28. 98-Rocky Warner [12][$500]

Stirling Lubricants Hard Charger Award: 35-Mike Mahaney[+17]

Full results

BREAK OUT THE BACKUP: Sheppard Switches Cars and Wins Land of Legends OktoberFAST Cash

CANANDAIGUA, NY – October 10, 2020 – Fans of Matt Sheppard were wondering where exactly where the “Super” has been during this week’s DIRTcar OktoberFAST presented by DIRTVision. Many had him pegged to win multiple Billy Whittaker Cars Super DIRTcar Series Features and certainly, a few podium finishes this week. But that did not materialize until tonight at Land of Legends Raceway

Matt Sheppard, from Waterloo, NY,  held off repeated challenges from King Ferry, NY’s Mike Mahaney, who, with another third-place finish, is now on a four-race streak of top threes. That’s the best streak he and his Adirondack Auto, Tony Monaco Landscaping No. 35 team has ever had on the Super DIRTcar Series trail. 

Second-place finisher Mat Williamson, from St. Catharines, ON, passed Mahaney late for second and was reeling in race winner Matt Sheppard in the final ten laps. Unfortunately for the Buzz Chew Chevrolet race team, the lap counter was not their friend and the 60-lap SuperGen Products/Champion Power Equipment OktoberFAST Feature went to the seven-time Super DIRTcar Series Champion Matt Sheppard. 

The Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply No. 9s has been mired mid-pack most of this week. The team threw everything they had at the car setup-wise but couldn’t make it handle the way he needed it to. So they went with the most drastic change of all and prepared an entire car for Land of Legends Raceway, a track Sheppard has won a lot of races on. 

Like Clark Kent ducking in and out of a phone booth, “Super” Matt went back to the shop and reemerged with his $7,500 Feature-winning mount. 

“We’ve had a miserable week. We brought this new car out today and it was a Hail Mary,” Sheppard said. “We knew if there was any place that we could turn it around that it would be here tonight.”

“I put the same setup in this car that I had in the other one all week and it was a rocket ship. The other one not so much,” Sheppard said grinning. “Thank God everything went our way. The car was flawless all night.”

Matt Sheppard has won over 70 Feature races at Land of Legends Raceway in Canandaigua, NY. The 60-lap OktoberFAST Feature win was his 79th all-time Super DIRTcar Series victory. He is now ten wins away from equalling Danny Johnson’s second-place position on the all-time wins list. 

2019 Super DIRTcar Series champion Mat Williamson has been in a similar situation as Sheppard for much of OktoberFAST and scoring a top-three finish was an important confidence boost going into the $10,000-to-win 75-lap OktoberFAST Feature at Weedsport Speedway.  

“We made a lot of changes and we’ve been working with Integra Shocks all week. We’ve been fast for a year and a half so we were really religious to our setup,” Williamson noted. “We were open to change today because obviously what we were doing wasn’t going to win us any races. The race track was favorable to passing tonight. We were there at the end.”

Williamson was pleased with how racy they were in the Feature during the second half of the race. 

“We struggled for the first 30 laps, just hanging in there. We would have liked to see the cushion go away a little bit but you could throw some slide jobs,” said Williamson. “It was good hard racing with Mike [Mahaney] and we hope we put a show on for the fans.”

Mike Mahaney isn’t tired of stepping on the podium but he would love to check out the view from the top step. 

“I am real happy with our consistency this week. We’re doing well. I can’t say enough about my team. They’ve been working hard.” said Mahaney. 

The Adirondack Auto race team competed in both the Billy Whittaker Cars Super DIRTcar Series races and the Bicknell Racing DIRTcar 358 Modified Series events. Despite all of that Mahaney has been the most consistent of all the drivers during OktoberFAST. 

But it takes a Herculean effort to make that happen. 

“I think they were all exhausted today. We got here at four in the morning and woke up at 9:30 to move in so it’s a lot. I’m happy to be doing it. I love driving race cars.”

“Matt [Sheppard] was faster than us most of the race. I was really hoping the track would get a little slicker. It usually does but man it stayed fast around the top and he did an awesome job,” Mahaney said. 

“Congratulations to him and Mat Williamson. We had a good race for second at the end. I didn’t mean to get into him in the wall on the front stretch,” said Mahaney. “I didn’t see him coming. Once he got there we threw a couple of sliders at each other and hopefully made it exciting for the fans.”

Like Williamson said, good hard racing.

Fittingly, Justin Haers, from Phelps, NY, won the SuperGen Products/Champion Power Equipment Fast-Time Award. Haers has always called Canandaigua home and to be at the top of the charts of a premier Big Block Modified field was a special moment. Haers had some issues in the Feature and finished twentieth. 

Another Land of Legends Raceway regular had a huge night. Erick Rudolph, from Ransomville, NY, took the SuperGen Products/Champion Power Equipment Hard Charger Award for passing fifteen cars to finish fourth. Rudolph made it up to third but the inside line had a disadvantage on restarts and Mat Williamson reclaimed the position, ending his run to the front. 

Join us Sunday, October 11 at DIRTVision.com for the Stirling Lubricants OktoberFAST finale at Weedsport Speedway. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and SuperDIRTcar.com for OktoberFAST coverage. 

Feature (60 Laps)

  1. 9S-Matt Sheppard [2][$7,500]; 2. 88-Mat Williamson [7][$4,000]; 3. 35-Mike Mahaney [4][$2,500]; 4. 25-Erick Rudolph [19][$1,800]; 5. 91-Billy Decker [14][$1,600]; 6. 32C-Max Mclaughlin [5][$1,400]; 7. 99L-Larry Wight [11][$1,300]; 8. 19-Tim Fuller [12][$1,200]; 9. 98-Rocky Warner [8][$1,100]; 10. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [10][$1,000]; 11. 5H-Chris Hile [15][$800]; 12. 20-Brett Hearn [16][$700]; 13. 14J-Alan Johnson [24][$600]; 14. 3J-Marc Johnson [18][$575]; 15. 111-Demetrios Drellos [6][$550]; 16. 165-Rex King [9][$525]; 17. M1-David Marcuccilli [21][$500]; 18. 1Z-Jessica Friesen [26][$500]; 19. 2-Jack Lehner [22][$500]; 20. 3-Justin Haers [3][$500]; 21. 48TOO-Dave Rauscher [28][$]; 22. 121-Gary Tomkins [13][$500]; 23. 10S-Ryan Susice [25][$500]; 24. 42P-Pat Ward [1][$500]; 25. 44-Stewart Friesen [20][$500]; 26. 19W-Justin Wright [17][$500]; 27. 19M-Jessey Mueller [27][-]; 28. 49-Billy Dunn [23][$500]

 

SuperGen Products/Champion Power Equipment Charger Award: 25-Erick Rudolph[+15]

PERREGO DOUBLES UP AT OktoberFAST

LAFARGVILLE, NY – October 9, 2020 – Anthony Perrego, from Montgomery, NY, wheeled a perfect 60-lap race to win his second career Billy Whittaker Cars Super DIRTcar Series Feature and second win of OktoberFAST. Hot on his heels, the No. 7mm of Michael Maresca crossed the finish line in second after a late-race charge fell short. And once again at OktoberFAST, Mike Mahaney, from King Ferry, NY, parked his No. 35 on the podium for the third time in three races.

Anthony Perrego pinned it right out of the gate. The No. 44 handled perfectly for the newly minted Series winner. At the drop of the green Perrego roared into Can-Am Speedway’s first turn with the holeshot on the field. From there it didn’t matter what happened behind him because all he saw was lapped traffic and Head Starter Dave Farney’s flags.

Except for one resilient Michael Maresca from Pierrepont, NY. Perrego had to be perfect because a black and orange door made an appearance on his left side more than once.

Maresca gave Perrego a good look at his St. Lawrence Radiology Big Block Modified entering turn one on a restart with nine laps to go. But Perrego slammed the door, Maresca yielded the low line, and the No. 44 parked in Victory Lane for the second time in four days.

Perrego was proud of his team and thrilled to double up on OktoberFAST wins and his first two Super DIRTcar Series wins.

“To not have a Series win coming into this week and get two is pretty cool,” said Perrego. “I wish we could do them all but who knows maybes next year we’ll do the whole Super DIRTcar Series.”

Michael Maresca took his chance on a restart with nine laps to go. He dove deep into turn one, trying to secure the low line through the corner.

“Anthony has raced me clean a lot so I lifted. I drove it in pretty deep and had to hit the brakes,” Maresca said of his final shot at the lead. Further challenges were hampered because Maresca clipped an implement tire and knocked the toe out in the final laps.

Despite that, he was relieved to have a strong finish after struggling for the last two nights.

“Pretty happy to get to second after starting sixth. We had a really terrible first two nights. We haven’t run the Big Block much and we were pretty far off,” said Maresca.

Mike Mahaney has had an outstanding OktoberFAST nabbing podiums in every Super DIRTcar Series race so far.

“It’s a great week for us. I can’t thank the team enough. Our car has been solid and very consistent,” said Mahaney. “I just keep thinking that if we keep running up front that one of these days we’ll win one,” he joked.

Two OktoberFAST events remain so that’s two more chances for Mahaney to reach the top step.

200 DIRTcar Northeast stars packed the Can-Am Speedway pit area for night three of DIRTcar OktoberFAST presented by DIRTVision. The racing was nonstop all night which included the Bicknell Racing DIRTcar 358 Modified Series and Racing Electronics DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds.

St. Lawrence Radiology sponsored all of the special awards in all three divisions highlighted by Stewart Friesen’s lightning-quick lap to pick up the $500 Fast Time Award. Jimmy Phelps continued his OktoberFAST speed going second quick overall.

Queensbury, NY’s Demetrios Drellos grossed nine positions up through the field for the St. Lawrence Radiology Hard Charger Bonus worth $250.

Join us again tomorrow night on DIRTVision from the Canandaigua, NY half-mile Land of Legends Raceway where the Billy Whittaker Cars and Trucks Super DIRTcar Series and Racing Electronics DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series pick up the action for night five of DIRTcar OktoberFAST presented by DIRTVision.

Feature (60 Laps)
1. 44P-Anthony Perrego [1][$7,500]; 2. 7MM-Michael Maresca [6][$4,000]; 3. 35-Mike Mahaney [3][$2,500]; 4. 25-Erick Rudolph [4][$1,800]; 5. 44-Stewart Friesen [7][$1,600]; 6. 49-Billy Dunn [9][$1,400]; 7. 20-Brett Hearn [2][$1,300]; 8. 99L-Larry Wight [12][$1,200]; 9. 88-Mat Williamson [8][$1,100]; 10. 28-Jordan Mccreadie [13][$1,000]; 11. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [10][$800]; 12. 19-Tim Fuller [14][$700]; 13. 2-Jack Lehner [17][$600]; 14. 32C-Max Mclaughlin [21][$575]; 15. 83X-Tim Sears [20][$550]; 16. 42P-Pat Ward [5][$525]; 17. 1Z-Jessica Friesen [23][$500]; 18. 21A-Peter Britten [22][$500]; 19. 111-Demetrios Drellos [28][$]; 20. 19M-Jessey Mueller [24][$500]; 21. 62S-Tom Sears [26][$500]; 22. 98-Rocky Warner [18][$500]; 23. 2020-Tyler Trump [19][$500]; 24. 5H-Chris Hile [16][$500]; 25. 9S-Matt Sheppard [11][$500]; 26. 91-Billy Decker [27][$]; 27. M1-David Marcuccilli [25][$500]; 28. 3J-Marc Johnson [15][$500]

St. Lawrence Radiology Charger Award: 111-Demetrios Drellos[+9]

HBR GETAWAY CAR: Baldwinsville Bandit Jimmy Phelps Doubles Down with Pair of OktoberFAST Victories at Fulton

FULTON, NY – October 8, 2020 – On night three of DIRTcar OktoberFAST presented by DIRTVision, Jimmy Phelps was simply untouchable. Phelps, from Baldwinsville, NY, wheeled his Billy Whittaker Cars Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified and his HBR No. 98H Bicknell Racing DIRTcar 358 Modified to Victory Lane on the same night at Fulton Speedway to win a grand total of $12,500. 

Mike Mahaney, from King Ferry, NY, was the best of the rest. Mahaney made some aggressive moves early to put himself in a position to go after the lead. The No. 35 Adirondack Auto Big Block Modified was a serious threat to the leader but he could not keep up with Phelps in traffic. 

After a difficult OktoberFAST opener for Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario’s Stewart Friesen had a much-improved race night and made the podium. The No. 44 climbed up through the field in a hurry and got right up to Mahaney’s back bumper. Friesen and his stout Halmar team maintained and finished third.  

It was a night of incredible numbers. 235 cars in three divisions raced a total of 32 races. There were 380 laps of side-by-side racing on a beautiful Fulton Speedway surface. 

Jimmy Phelps had some numbers of his own. Since he played double duty Phelps had to draw for a Qualifying Group twice. He drew the number 63. Twice. 

After that, it was a matter of getting into the redraw for both races. Phelps accomplished that by going out and winning them. “The Bandit” still had a little luck left on his side. He drew the pole for the Bicknell Racing DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Feature. Then he drew the pole again for the Billy Whittaker Cars Super DIRTcar Series Feature on the front stretch live on DIRTVision. 

“It was a great night for us. With the limited amount of racing, we’re just happy we get to race here,” Phelps said. “It was a perfect night for us.”

“We found a new baseline and we got ourselves back on track everywhere we went. We came to a few practice nights and for whatever reason, it was excellent here,” noted Phelps. “We knew three weeks ago that we had to come back to Fulton with that package. This car is just really good.”

The final 52 laps of the 60-lap Feature were non-stop without a caution. Phelps caught up with a very strong pack of Big Blocks racing side by side in front of him. That’s when he made the move of the race. 

“When you get held up in lapped traffic you know somebody is coming up. When I made it four-wide I had a run. I was down in the grip. I had to get down in front of those guys and just hope they let me in,” said Phelps. “Fortunately, it worked out. We put it all together.”

Second place finisher Mike Mahaney had the best view of Phelps’ move. 

“Jimmy made some crazy moves through lapped traffic. I split through two cars and I thought that was pretty cool but Jimmy dropped low and made it four-wide out of turn four and I wasn’t going to clear them. He got a big split,” Mahaney said laughing. 

With a third-place finish on Tuesday at Albany-Saratoga Speedway and a second at Fulton, Mahaney is racing with confidence. 

“The car is really rolling right now. The hard work is paying off. I am really happy with it. Tonight we really wanted to win but I never got a chance at it. I really would have liked a caution and had a chance to race him without cars in front of us. We didn’t get that and he did a better job of getting through the traffic. He earned it.”

Mahaney made several strong charges for the lead. He was at Phelps door and bumper several times before traffic separated them. 

“When I got to lapped traffic I really lost my rhythm. It got super tight. It was weird. There nothing wrong with the race car. It didn’t fall off. I messed up. Later it got better and I knew Stewie was coming,” noted Mahaney. 

Stewart Friesen was filling Mahaney’s mirror for the second half of the race. Friesen felt he was battling tire heat after catching up to the No. 35. 

“We were just playing the tires. Mahaney fired off and put the pressure on Phelps. I overheated the right rear tire a little bit. I kept putting around the yuke tires trying to save my stuff,” said Friesen. “I would get the left rear in the bite off of turn four but then I was slipping the right rear and ended up sealing it up a little bit. That was it.” 

Eight-time Super DIRTcar Series champion Brett Hearn turned the fastest lap in Time Trials awarding him $500 from Penske Racing Shocks. Plus, “The Bandit” stole another $250 for being second quick, his night’s only blemish. 

Weekly Fulton favorite Tim Sears was the Penske Racing Shocks Hard Charger award winner. 

Join us live on DIRTVision Friday, October 9 at “The Nasty Track” Can-Am Speedway for night four of DIRTcar OktoberFAST. 

Feature (60 Laps)

  1. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [1][$7,500]; 2. 35-Mike Mahaney [5][$4,000]; 3. 44-Stewart Friesen [8][$2,500]; 4. 88-Mat Williamson [6][$1,800]; 5. 99L-Larry Wight [13][$1,600]; 6. 5H-Chris Hile [2][$1,400]; 7. 98-Rocky Warner [12][$1,300]; 8. 25-Erick Rudolph [10][$1,200]; 9. 91-Billy Decker [4][$1,100]; 10. 49-Billy Dunn [18][$1,000]; 11. 2-Jack Lehner [20][$800]; 12. 62S-Tom Sears [11][$700]; 13. 83X-Tim Sears [25][$600]; 14. 9S-Matt Sheppard [15][$575]; 15. 19-Tim Fuller [7][$550]; 16. 21A-Peter Britten [23][$525]; 17. 32C-Max Mclaughlin [19][$500]; 18. 4V-Billy Vaninwegen [16][$500]; 19. M1-David Marcuccilli [24][$500]; 20. X-Chad Phelps [22][$500]; 21. 19M-Jessey Mueller [14][$500]; 22. 111-Demetrios Drellos [26][$500]; 23. 15-Todd Root [17][$500]; 24. 17-Marcus Dinkins [28][$]; 25. 2020-Tyler Trump [3][$500]; 26. 4-Andy Bachetti [21][$500]; 27. 20-Brett Hearn [9][-]

Penske Racing Shocks Hard Charger Award: 83X-Tim Sears[+12]

Full results here.

PERREGO POUNCES: Last Lap Decides First OktoberFAST Feature

MALTA, NY – October 6, 2020 – The Super DIRTcar Series roared to life once again at Albany-Saratoga Speedway launching a week’s worth of Big Block Modified action all across New York State. Anthony Perrego, the 26-year-old driver from Montgomery, NY, made every lap count and picked up the $7,500 payday with a last-lap pass on local hero Ronnie Johnson. Meanwhile, Mike Mahaney was within striking distance of the leaders after starting 11th but had to settle for a strong 3rd place finish. 

Ronnie Johnson, from Duanesburg, NY, rocketed from the VP Race Fuels Making Power Point to lead the field to start the 60-lap Billy Whittaker Cars Super DIRTcar Series DIRTcar OktoberFAST presented by DIRTVision Feature into turn one. 

Early in the race Albany favorite Matt DeLorenzo and 2019 Super DIRTcar Series champion Mat Williamson, from St. Catharines, ON, made strong charges for the lead but Johnson kept them at bay by riding the cushion up top. On lap 18, Johnson caught the tail of the field and had to start working through traffic. Pennsylvania’s Rex King Jr. was the first to fall to the No. 2RJ but he wouldn’t be the last. 

By lap 20 Anthony Perrego, in the No. 44, began to show his nose to Johnson on the bottom part of the track. Perrego actually got alongside Johnson just as the caution flag flew for the first time in the Feature. 

A succession of cautions claimed the likes of Pat Ward who slowed with an engine issue and front-runner Matt DeLorenzo who clipped the front stretch wall on the restart and suffered a flat tire. Luckily, the driver of the No. 3D was able to clear the track in turn four as he entire field was on the gas right behind him. 

The race ended on a long green-flag run and that played directly into the hands of Anthony Perrego. 

“The top was really dominant throughout the race but it got a little dirty and he [Ronnie Johnson] started to back up to me. I’ve run a lot of races here and when you rip around the top like that, the tire overheats,” Perrego said. “I’ve had it happen to me where I got passed.”

Although he’s a young racer, that’s the type of decision making and knowledge that a veteran driver might have. Catching Johnson was one thing but passing him is another story.  

“In traffic, most of the guys were blazing around the top side and I knew he could get a few cars between us. He was looking for the bottom but every time he moved down he’d lose traction,” noted Perrego. “I think that’s really where we got him at the end. He probably kept seeing my nose and number and started moving down.

Perrego was amped to get his first career Super DIRTcar Series win. 

“I am really happy for the team. We’ve really turned things around here and we’re glad to get a big one!” 

There are, of course, two sides to a last lap thriller. Ronnie Johnson may lose some sleep over this one but it was a very strong run for the No. 2RJ. He led 59/60 laps, which thanks to Bart Contracting, earned him another $250 for leading the most laps without winning. A bittersweet award to say the least. 

Here’s how Johnson broke it down:

“Anthony was working the bottom and I was getting freer and freer as the race went on and I really couldn’t move my line. I led 58 laps up there. But that’s just the way it goes. I don’t know what I could have done differently there,” said Johnson. “I’ll probably lay awake tonight thinking about it. It’s disappointing but it was a sold run. 

Mike Mahaney was crowned the Albany-Saratoga Speedway DIRTcar Big Block Modified track champion in September. He used that expertise to drive up from 11th, passing many of the best Big Block Modified drivers there are to capture the final step on the podium. 

At the green flag, it was go time for the No. 35 Adirondack Auto machine and the car just worked. 

“Starting from 11th, especially earlier on, I was very aggressive moving around, going top, bottom, wherever it took to get the spots,” Mahaney said. “Everybody was on the top but once they started to go in different lanes, I could go where they weren’t. I had a great race car in either lane. That got us some spots early and got us to the front.”

Mahaney’s drive thrilled race fans everywhere watching at home on DIRTVision. 

Super DIRT Week is known for brand new wraps and paint jobs on cars. Mahaney’s team continued that tradition and with good reason. 

“Tony Monaco, from Tony Monaco Landscaping, his daughter is fighting breast cancer. We wrapped the car with pink and put “Keep fighting Maryann” on the car because we want to raise awareness about it. We want to remind everyone fighting cancer to stay strong and to know we got their backs. Plus, it’s a great paint scheme that we get to support them with.”

Matt Sheppard, to the surprise of many, had to transfer out of the Last Chance Showdown to make the field. He won that race and continued his campaign in the 60-lap Feature by passing another 11 cars to pick up the $250 Bart Contracting Hard Charger Award. 

Race fans will be eager to see if “Super” Matt Sheppard returns to form at Utica-Rome Speedway tomorrow live on DIRTVision. 

Gypsum Racing’s Billy Decker set the fast time of the night and grabbed an extra $500 from Bart Contracting for his trouble. 

Join us tomorrow where the Billy Whittaker Cars Super DIRTcar Series, Bicknell Racing Products DIRTcar 358 Modified Series, and COMP Cams DIRTcar Pro Stock Series will be in action beginning with Hot laps at 5PM exclusively on DIRTVision at Utica-Rome Speedway. 

Feature (60 Laps)

  1. 44P-Anthony Perrego [2][$7,500]; 2. 35-Mike Mahaney [11][$4,000]; 3. RJ2-Ronnie Johnson [1][$2,500]; 4. 115-Ken Tremont [8][$1,800]; 5. 99L-Larry Wight [15][$1,600]; 6. 91-Billy Decker [5][$1,400]; 7. 88-Mat Williamson [6][$1,300]; 8. 3J-Marc Johnson [10][$1,200]; 9. 9S-Matt Sheppard [21][$1,100]; 10. 5H-Chris Hile [7][$1,000]; 11. 25-Erick Rudolph [12][$800]; 12. 44-Stewart Friesen [20][$700]; 13. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [14][$600]; 14. 98-Rocky Warner [24][$575]; 15. 19-Tim Fuller [16][$550]; 16. 21A-Peter Britten [26][$525]; 17. 32C-Max Mclaughlin [17][$500]; 18. 2-Jack Lehner [18][$500]; 19. 19M-Jessey Mueller [13][$500]; 20. 20-Brett Hearn [19][$500]; 21. M1-David Marcuccilli [3][$500]; 22. 165-Rex King [22][$500]; 23. 97-Bobby Hackel [23][$500]; 24. 3D-Matt Delorenzo [4][$500]; 25. 42P-Pat Ward [9][$500]; 26. 111-Demetrios Drellos [25][$500]

 

9S-Matt Sheppard[+12]

Bridgeport Crowns Friesen ‘King of the Big Blocks’

SWEDESBORO, NJ – 28 premier Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified drivers charged into 100 laps of the unknown at the newly reconfigured high-banked, Bridgeport Motorsports Park at outset of the ‘King of the Big Blocks’ 100. 

Every driver in the field rose to the occasion and fought hard for the win but only the 5-time NAPA Super DIRT Week champion, Stewart Friesen, would be crowned ‘King of the Big Blocks.’ In Victory Lane, an emotional Stewart Friesen dedicated his win to the late Danny Serrano who passed away after working all Winter to prepare the new Bridgeport Motorsports Park for race season. 

Friesen won his Heat Race to make it to the Redraw and randomly selected 9th. With 100 laps to run, there was plenty of time for the Halmar International no. 44 to make up the necessary ground.

The Gypsum Racing cars of Larry Wight and Billy Decker led the field to the green flag. The no. 99L took off and jetted out to an early lead while Ryan Godown, Chris Hile, and Mike Mahaney duked it out for the rest of the top 5.

The next 20 laps stayed green and Decker began reeling in Wight. Slowly but surely Wight started to fade. On lap 20, Wight relinquished the lead to Decker. At the same time, Friesen began making serious inroads to the top 5 passing both Mike Mahaney and Chris Hile in one fell swoop for 4th. 

Everything changed on lap 25. 

Decker, while running in the lead, suffered a flat tire and brought out the caution. Incredibly, Decker was able to fight through the field all the way back to second place. 

“I didn’t expect to be on the podium but when it blew, sometimes getting a new tire early can win you the race,” said Decker. “By the looks of Friesen’s tire [in Victory Lane], we weren’t far off.”

On the restart, Friesen jumped to 2nd and then the lead, but suddenly the caution came out for Matt Sheppard and Mike Mahaney.  Both went behind the wall before starting their charge to the front once again. 

Friesen then outdueled Wight for the lead and drove off. Wight later retired from the race due to a mechanical failure. 

At the halfway point, Friesen was leading but Matt Sheppard worked his way back up into the top 5. Sheppard finally caught up with Friesen with 12 laps to go and made the pass. Almost immediately the no. 9S slowed and brought the caution flag out. His night was over although he did receive a free Hoosier Racing Tire for redrawing position 12. 

Friesen noted the Sheppard pass: “I figured the tire was shot because we started skatin’ pretty good. The car was getting upset in the bumps off of turn 2 a little bit. I tried to guard the bottom but Matt [Sheppard] got me on the top,” said Friesen. “I don’t know what happened but Danny Serrano was looking out for me tonight.”

Then it was Billy Decker’s turn to try and take down Friesen. He threw everything he had at him. “You have to hit it just right to get a run,” said Decker. “I was close but didn’t want to lay iron on him. I was trying. I didn’t come here to finish second.” 

3rd place finisher Jimmy Phelps was very happy with the result.

“The car was a lot better than me all night. We didn’t qualify well and I don’t think it had anything to do with the car, “said Phelps. “It just took me a while to get used to this place. What a great, racy place.”

The no. 98H never went away and the Baldwinsville Bandit never gave up. 

“It took me 50-60 laps to get to the top of turns 1 and 2 and the car could drive all over in 3 and 4. But I am happy. I wasn’t sure about halfway we had climbed up to 10th and then went back to 15th. Fortunately, the attrition helped us make it back in there.”

Follow SuperDIRTcar.com for all official race updates as well as Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute info, photos, videos, and more. 

PHOTO: Quinten Young 

King of the Big Blocks 100 Feature results:

1) STEWART FRIESEN 2) Billy Decker 3) Jimmy Phelps 4) Andy Bachetti 5) Michael Maresca 6) Peter Britten 7) Tim Fuller 8) Billy Dunn 9) Mike Mahaney 10) Mat Williamson 11) Demetrios Drellos 12) Jessey Mueller 13) Dave Marcuccilli 14) Chris Hile 15) Jack Lehner 16) Brandon Grosso 17) Ryan Watt 18) Tyler Dippel 19) Marcus Dinkins 20) Erick Rudolph 21) Billy Pauch Jr. 22) Matt Sheppard 23) Ryan Godown 24) Rick Labauch 25) Larry Wight 26) Neal Williams 27) Chad Phelps 28) Ryan Krachun

Contingency sponsorship awards:

Billy Whittaker Cars $100 – Stewart Friesen

VP Racing Fuels $50 – Billy Decker

Cometic Gasket $50 – Chris Hile

Comp Cams $50 – Demetrios Drellos

Fox Racing Shocks $50 – Marcus Dinkins

ARP $50 – Peter Britten

DART $50 – Demetrios Drellos

Drydene $50 – Peter Britten

ASi Racewear $50 – Tim Fuller 

Bicknell Racing Products $100 certificate – Stewart Friesen

Comp Cams $50 certificate – Billy Decker

Hoosier Racing Tire (free tire) – Matt Sheppard

Wrisco Aluminum – Stewart Friesen

ARP $50 certificate – Chris Hile

DART $100 certificate – Billy Decker

DART $100 certificate – Marcus Dinkins

Drydene $50 – Ryan Watt

Williamson Bookends DIRTcar Nationals in Victory Lane

BARBERVILLE, FL – When the sun rose and heated up the Florida air this morning, only 50 laps on The World’s Fastest Half-Mile were all that separated Gypsum Racing’s Larry Wight from his third DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford Big Gator Championship. 

Wight needed to finish fifteenth or better to prevent teammate Billy Decker from taking it for himself. Fortunately for the No. 99L, Wight finished sixth sandwiched between Decker in fifth and his other teammate Pat Ward in 

Championships are often won in the shop as well as the race track and the Gypsum Racing team knows that well. 

“It’s a combination of good preparation, a good car, a good motor, and a phenomenal crew. Having a family to back that up and allow us to put in the hours and put in the time at the track and come down here,” noted Wight. 

The Super DIRTcar Series pounded the Florida clay five nights in a row and the track was different every night, which created challenging and dynamic racing.

“The track threw us for a loop tonight. We didn’t think it would get as slick,” said Wight, of Phoenix, NY. “We thought the top would be a little bit better so we tried to get the car freed up versus last night. I guess we should have left it a little bit snugger.”

Wight hopes he can bring home momentum and race data to Can-Am Speedway to start another run at the Super DIRTcar Series championship. 

Although it’s not the Big Gator, defending Super DIRTcar Series Mat Williamson is more than happy the Buzz Chew Racing team’s efforts were rewarded with two Gator wins, including tonight’s $5,000 grand prize. 

The race for the Big Gator championship probably would have come down to Wight and Williamson had the No. 88 not suffered a broken left rear shock, which resulted in a 15th place finish for the defending Series champion. 

“That Buzz Chew Chevrolet was pretty good. I think everyone in our pit area was disappointed with what happened Thursday night,” said Williamson, of St. Catharines, ON. “It just made us work harder and show everyone what we’re made of.”

Only Williamson and Wight found Victory Lane at this year’s DIRTcar Nationals. Williamson’s broken shock on Thursday and the Gypsum team’s dominance tipped the championship scales in Wight’s favor. 

“That’s what championships are made of,” Williamson said. “Hats off to Larry [Wight] and his guys, they had a solid week. We tried our best and couldn’t beat them. It goes to show how good they are,” Williamson said. 

The Buzz Chew Racing team struggled at the DIRTcar Nationals in 2019. They’ve been bound and determined to come back and succeed at Volusia. Bookending the week with wins and competing for the overall points title felt like redemption. 

Runner up Jimmy Phelps and his HBR crew worked hard all week on their new Bicknell chassis and set up package. 

“This is a new program for us with the chassis and coil-over suspension. We came down here with some stuff in mind that we wanted to play with,” said Phelps. “We got ourselves a little off track Wednesday and Thursday. It took until Thursday or me personally to figure out where I wanted to be on the race track. A top 5 last night and a podium tonight, we’re pretty happy with our progress.”

The Baldwinsville Bandit went on to say: “We learned a lot. We got beat by the hottest guy on dirt right now. There’s nothing to hang our heads about. We learned a ton that we can take back north with us. 

Another driver with early-week woes was the seven-time Super DIRTcar Series champion Matt Sheppard. The driver from Waterloo, NY recorded finishes uncharacteristically down the order throughout the week but showed improvement every single night. 

“We had a really good car tonight. We’ve been chasing this thing all week and we made a big stride tonight. We had a good car all night. Track position was very key,” said Sheppard. 

And of course, there’s the part that no one from the northeast is looking forward to. 

“Now we make the long trip home back to the snow.”

Brett Hearn knows the fast way around Volusia Speedway Park. In fact, The Jet holds the record for consecutive victories with 5 at the Florida oval. Tonight Hearn picked up 12 positions to finish eleventh from twenty-third. 

Next up, the Series first points race takes place on Saturday, April 11 at Can-Am Speedway in Lafargville, NY for a $7,500-to-win 100-lap Feature. 

Stay up to date with on the Super DIRTcar Series with news, photos, videos by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

FEATURE (50 Laps)

  1. 88-Mat Williamson [2][$5,000]; 2. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [1][$2,500]; 3. 9S-Matt Sheppard [4][$1,500]; 4. 49-Billy Dunn [5][$1,000]; 5. 91-Billy Decker [7][$800]; 6. 99L-Larry Wight [3][$700]; 7. 42P-Pat Ward [10][$650]; 8. 4-Andy Bachetti [19][$600]; 9. 25R-Erick Rudolph [11][$550]; 10. 19-Tim Fuller [15][$500]; 11. 20-Brett Hearn [23][$475]; 12. 44-Stewart Friesen [6][$450]; 13. 7MM-Michael Maresca [8][$425]; 14. 44P-Anthony Perrego [16][$400]; 15. 19M-Jessey Mueller [9][$375]; 16. 21A-Peter Britten [24][$350]; 17. 30-Ronnie Johnson [21][$325]; 18. 3-Justin Haers [18][$300]; 19. 23-Kyle Coffey [13][$300]; 20. 111-Demetrios Drellos [28][$300]; 21. 83-Brian Swartzlander [12][$300]; 22. 46-Jeremy Smith [14][$300]; 23. 32-Jim Rasey [25][$300]; 24. 8-Rich Scagliotta [26][$300]; 25. 1G-Darwin Greene [17][$300]; 26. 30M-JoJo Watson [22][$300]; 27. 1-Billy Pauch [20][$300]; 28. 7-Rick Laubach [27][$300]

Hard Charger Award: 20-Brett Hearn[+12]

FULL RESULTS HERE

Contingency awards:

VP Racing Fuels: 

$50 – Andy Bachetti

Drydene Performance Products: 

$50 – Larry Wight

$50 Certificate – Peter Britten

ASI Racewear:

$50 – Pat Ward

Bicknell Racing Products:

$100 Certificate – Mat Williamson

Billy Whittaker Cars:

$100 – Matt Sheppard

Cometic:

$50 – Stewart Friesen

Comp Cams:

$50 – Tim Fuller

$50 Certificate – Mat Williamson

DART:

$50 – Erick Rudolph

$100 Certificate – Jimmy Phelps

$100 Certificate – Kyle Coffey

Fox Racing Shox: 

$50 – Matt Sheppard

Wrisco:

$200 Certificate – Mat Williamson

Wight’s Perfect V-Day

BARBERVILLE, FL – February 14, 2020 – Lightning Larry Wight, from Phoenix, NY, joined elite company in the record books by winning his third DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford Feature win in a row. Only Brett Hearn and Kenny Brightbill have won three or more consecutive races at Volusia Speedway Park in Super DIRTcar Series competition. 

Wight’s first 2 wins this week came from the outside pole position but tonight the No. 99L started seventh with 6 very fast Big Block Modifieds in his way. 

Wight’s teammate The Franklin Flyer Billy Decker started on pole-sitter Rick Laubach’s outside but slid to the bottom on the backstretch and outmuscled Laubach out of turn 4 on the initial start. 

As the race progressed and Decker built a lead, most of the top runners were on the high side of the speedway. Wight made his way by 2 of the fastest cars on the property; Anthony Perrego and Matt Sheppard. Then it was time to reel in the leader. 

For the win, Wight was forced to pass the one car on the track he didn’t want to: Gypsum Racing teammate Billy Decker. 

“He got stuck behind those lapped cars. He didn’t move up in time and we were able to get that top. I thought after I messed up the first time going after it, Billy would have taken the top away from me but he left me just enough room to enter above the cushion and cut down. Luckily the car turned just enough for it,” Wight described. 

Due to a rain shower before Hot Laps and superior track preparation, the surface was full throttle. 

“The track crew did a phenomenal job getting that track turned around today in the short amount of time they had once the rain stopped,” Wight noted. “This car has been working no matter what the surface is. Luckily we haven’t changed the set up much. That goes to show you we got it working good.” 

Larry Wight has won 4 out of the last 6 Super DIRTcar Series DIRTcar Nationals Features. 

Billy Decker is a 3-time winner at The World’s Fastest Half-Mile. He was 4 laps away from his fourth.

“When you lose the lead it’s disappointing,” said Decker. “We lost to the right guy but we certainly wanted the win.” 

Larry Wight has everyone in the Gator Pond scrambling for set up changes. The Gypsum Racing team put their heads together and worked on the No. 91 throughout the day.

“We made some changes but it wasn’t enough. He [Wight] is just too versatile,” conceded Decker. 

In third was last night’s hard-luck candidate Mat Williamson from St. Catharines, ON. The Buzz Chew Racing team went hammer down to get the No. 88 back to the front. 

“We gave it all we had. We were disappointed after last night’s mishap. Fortunately tonight we turned things around,” said Williamson. “We got here at 8 o’clock this morning and put in a day’s work and it really paid off for the guys.”

After starting ninth, Williamson needed a track he could make gains on. 

“The track was challenging but it was racy. Given the weather we had today, you can’t complain. It’s a factor. Hopefully, it’s similar tomorrow.”

Join us tomorrow night at Volusia Speedway Park for the final race of the 2020 DIRTcar National presented by Bozark Ford. Don’t miss it as we will crown the 2020 DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford Big Gator Champion!

 If you can’t make it to the track, log in with DIRTvision and get a month-long Fast Pass to catch all the action live. 

Stay up to date on social media by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

FEATURE (30 Laps)

  1. 99L-Larry Wight [7][$3,000]; 2. 91-Billy Decker [2][$1,500]; 3. 88-Mat Williamson [9][$1,000]; 4. 44P-Anthony Perrego [13][$800]; 5. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [8][$700]; 6. 4-Andy Bachetti [5][$650]; 7. 9S-Matt Sheppard [3][$600]; 8. 111-Demetrios Drellos [10][$550]; 9. 49-Billy Dunn [19][$500]; 10. 19-Tim Fuller [15][$450]; 11. 7-Rick Laubach [1][$400]; 12. 25R-Erick Rudolph [20][$375]; 13. 42P-Pat Ward [25][$350]; 14. 83-Brian Swartzlander [14][$325]; 15. 3-Justin Haers [11][$300]; 16. 19M-Jessey Mueller [17][$275]; 17. 46-Jeremy Smith [26][$250]; 18. 7MM-Michael Maresca [6][$250]; 19. 32-Jim Rasey [22][$250]; 20. 20-Brett Hearn [12][$250]; 21. 21A-Peter Britten [4][$250]; 22. 23-Kyle Coffey [18][$250]; 23. 30-Ronnie Johnson [23][$250]; 24. 6D-Dillon Steuer [24][$250]; 25. 1-Billy Pauch [16][$250]; 26. 30M-JoJo Watson [21][$250]

 

Hard Charger Award: 42P-Pat Ward[+12]

 

FULL RESULTS HERE

Lightning Strikes Twice

BARBERVILLE, FL – For the second night in a row, Lightning Larry Wight was showered in confetti on the front stretch of Volusia Speedway Park at the DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford. 

Both wins were mirrored by two other important factors: Larry Wight started on the outside pole and five-time NAPA Super DIRT Week Champion Stewart Friesen finished in his Hoosier Racing Tire tracks. The pilot of the No. 25R Erick Rudolph, from Ransomville, NY, took the final step of the podium. 

Wight, of Phoenix, NY, has now won 3 of the last 5 Super DIRTcar Series races at Volusia Speedway Park. 

“This car has just been on a rail,” said Wight. “We were fortunate enough to be able to put the same set up as we did last night. The track didn’t lay rubber or anything and we were still glued to it. We’ve got something rolling so I hope we can keep it going for the rest of the week. Hopefully, it will transfer to something up north.”

The 30-lap Feature began with Wight hard on the gas on the outside of pole-sitter Rick Laubach. Wight passed him on the opening lap with the same move he made the night before on Brett Hearn. Right now, Wight and his team have the car right where he wants it.

“The car is good enough that I don’t even have to run the cushion. It’s a wall over in 3 and 4,” noted Wight. To try and run that lap after lap without losing the nose or hurt the car is almost impossible. We were able to run about halfway below it, right on the crown where it kind of flattens off. It seemed to like it.” 

Five-time NAPA Super DIRT Week Champion Stewart Friesen started fifth and quickly made his way to Wight’s tail. The race ran green until lap 13 when Tuesday’s winner and former Gator Championship points leader Mat Williamson broke a left rear shock. The Buzz Chew Racing team quickly changed the broken part and sent the No. 88 back into the fray where he made his way back up to 15th.

Friesen then lined up beside Wight on the lap 13 restart. 

“Any time you have Stewie right behind you, you don’t want to see a restart. He’s phenomenal on restarts and he can usually make stuff happen. The farther I could keep him behind me the better.”

Friesen has probably had his fill of staring down Wight’s exhaust pipe, but his Halmar Racing team is adept at giving Friesen what he needs to win. 

“These guys have been working really hard,” Friesen said. “ We’ve just got nothing for ‘em there. We’re going to take the day off and go run Daytona tomorrow and think about what we are going to do to this thing for Saturday because we are lacking a couple of tenths there and it showed. We’ll put it back together and come up with something.” 

Rudolph is ready to take a couple of steps up the podium. Although the Gator Championship points standings show him in third, second place runner Stewart Friesen will be racing at Daytona International Speedway Friday, February 14 meaning Rudolph will likely overtake Friesen in points. Consistency is a huge part of Rudolph’s success. 

“We had similar speed to Friesen,” Rudolph said. “We’ve had a decent car. I’m proud of our consistency this week. We’ve got two more races here and I’m looking forward to those. The team is really driving here.” 

It was Sheppard who knocked out the quick time of the night clearing Time Trial runner up Wight by 3 tenths. After struggling mightily the past two nights, it looked like the 7-time Series champion had turned a corner. Unfortunately, there’s more work to be done as Sheppard slipped back in the field and finished seventh. 

After a tough week, Demetrios Drellos, driver of the No. 111, finally cracked the top 10. Drellos ran well in Time Trials and finished second in his Heat Race to get into the Albany-Saratoga Speedway Redraw. Drellos’ 10th-place finish is his best of the week after fighting mechanical gremlins. 

The fourth Super DIRTcar Series race of the Florida Tour at Volusia Speedway Park is Friday. If you can’t make it to the track, log in with DIRTvision and get a month-long Fast Pass to catch all the action live. 

Stay up to date on social media by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

FEATURE (30 Laps) 1. 99L-Larry Wight [2][$3,000]; 2. 44-Stewart Friesen [5][$1,500]; 3. 25R-Erick Rudolph [4][$1,000]; 4. 7MM-Michael Maresca [3][$800]; 5. 20-Brett Hearn [7][$700]; 6. 91-Billy Decker [12][$650]; 7. 9S-Matt Sheppard [8][$600]; 8. 44P-Anthony Perrego [10][$550]; 9. 49-Billy Dunn [18][$500]; 10. 111-Demetrios Drellos [6][$450]; 11. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [11][$400]; 12. 21A-Peter Britten [19][$375]; 13. 42P-Pat Ward [14][$350]; 14. 7-Rick Laubach [1][$325]; 15. 88-Mat Williamson [15][$300]; 16. 19M-Jessey Mueller [9][$275]; 17. 30-Ronnie Johnson [22][$250]; 18. 19-Tim Fuller [21][$250]; 19. 23-Kyle Coffey [17][$250]; 20. 46-Jeremy Smith [13][$250]; 21. 83-Brian Swartzlander [20][$250]; 22. 3-Justin Haers [16][$250]; 23. 32-Jim Rasey [24][$250]; 24. 4-Andy Bachetti [25][$250]; 25. 48T-Dave Rauscher [26][$250]; 26. 1-Billy Pauch [23][$250]

Hard Charger Award: 49-Billy Dunn[+9]

FULL RESULTS HERE

Wight Whistles by ‘The Jet’ at Volusia

BARBERVILLE, FL – February 12, 2020 – Brett “The Jet” Hearn started on the pole, but it was Larry Wight, from Phoenix, NY, who lit the afterburners and squeezed between the No. 20 and the front stretch wall for the victory. 

The defending DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford champion is white-hot at The World’s Fastest Half-Mile Volusia Speedway Park. The No. 99 Gypsum Racing Big Block Modified has now graced Victory Lane at Volusia two out of the last four races at the speedway. 

As he often does, Wight found purchase on the high side. 

“That thing just came alive on the top. We were able to run that middle-to-top through 1 and 2 and right through the middle in 3 and 4,” said Wight. “It felt like the car was just glued to the track, so I just kept running that line and I didn’t see anyone showing a nose. It’s one of those deals where you’re the leader and you don’t know what line is better.”

After making the fateful pass on Hearn, Wight built a lead. A few restarts bunched up the field and Stewart Friesen drew in. 

“As soon as he showed that nose I knew it was time to go to the bottom. I knew if I could get a couple lapped cars and not have to get off the bottom, we’d be alright. I caught Jeremy Smith and I just stayed there. I knew Stewie would have to Bonzai-it to make it work.”

Wight’s DIRTcar Nationals success has come with a lot of trial and error and heartbreak. 

“We’ve always enjoyed coming down here. We’ve been really close over the past six years. There were a lot of wins we let slip out,” noted Wight. “I just think we have a better handle on the car. The crew is meshing. Brandon and Jake are just working their tails off on this thing. We finished last season on a high note and this is a great way to kick off this season.”

Once Wight established his lead it was Stewart Friesen, from Sprakers, NY, that stepped up to the plate. Late in the race, Friesen caught Wight in lapped traffic. Friesen drove the Halmar Racing No. 44 deep into turn 1 but failed to get alongside Wight. After 30 laps Friesen finished in second. 

“The track narrowed up late in the race and I wasn’t able to get a run on him,” said Friesen. 

Friesen is currently second in Gator Championship points. He also busy day at the Daytona International Speedway with 2 practice sessions in his NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series No. 52.

DIRTcar Nationals Championship points leader and defending Series champion Mat Williamson rounded out the podium. The Buzz Chew No. 88 driver from St. Catharines, ON pulled eighth in the Albany-Saratoga Speedway/The Big Show 12 Top 8 Redraw. It took five calculated moves to pick up a third-place finish. 

Williamson and his team know as well as anyone that consistency wins championships. 

“There are 3 more races in this deal. It just goes to show you how good this Buzz Chew team is. We unloaded fast and that’s because of all the hard work during the winter in the shop,” said Williamson. 

The track conditions at Volusia Speedway Park always keep the drivers guessing and hitting the right set up is key. 

“The track was a little bit slippier,” noted Williamson. “I felt our car was a little better last night than it was tonight. When you start on the pole you can get into clean air and control the race. I think we’ve got a little bit of work to do.”

It looked as though the stars were aligning for Brett Hearn when he drew the pole position in the Albany-Saratoga Speedway/Brett Hearn’s The Big Show Top 8 Redraw. 

At the start, Hearn was immediately contested by Larry Wight. The No. 99L drew alongside the Madsen Motorsports No. 20 and after a lap-long door-to-door, Wight bested the 900 plus Feature winner coming out of turn 4. He finished fourth in the 30-lap Feature.  

Hearn crossed the line second to Erick Rudolph in his Heat Race and was coming on strong before Dave Farney threw the checkered flag. It appears that ‘The Jet’ is fully armed and ready for take-off. 

The Gypsum Racing No. 91 of The Franklin Flyer Billy Decker struggled in Time Trials, which set him back in the Heat Race. Fortunately for the race fans in attendance at Volusia Speedway Park, Decker passed 9 cars to go from sixteenth to seventh making him the race’s hard charger. 

Join us tomorrow night at Volusia Speedway Park for the race three of the 2020 DIRTcar National presented by Bozark Ford. If you can’t make it to the track, log in with DIRTVision and get a month-long Fast Pass to catch all the action live. 

Stay up to date on social media by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

FEATURE (30 LAPS) – 1. 99L-Larry Wight [2][$3,000]; 2. 44-Stewart Friesen [4][$1,500]; 3. 88-Mat Williamson [8][$1,000]; 4. 20-Brett Hearn [1][$800]; 5. 49-Billy Dunn [5][$700]; 6. 25R-Erick Rudolph [6][$650]; 7. 91-Billy Decker [16][$600]; 8. 44P-Anthony Perrego [9][$550]; 9. 4-Andy Bachetti [3][$500]; 10. 21A-Peter Britten [12][$450]; 11. 1-Billy Pauch [10][$400]; 12. 30-Ronnie Johnson [14][$375]; 13. 19-Tim Fuller [19][$350]; 14. 42P-Pat Ward [21][$325]; 15. 19M-Jessey Mueller [22][$300]; 16. 111-Demetrios Drellos [17][$275]; 17. 3-Justin Haers [11][$250]; 18. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [13][$250]; 19. 9S-Matt Sheppard [15][$250]; 20. 23-Kyle Coffey [24][$250]; 21. 46-Jeremy Smith [20][$250]; 22. 83-Brian Swartzlander [18][$250]; 23. 48T-Dave Rauscher [25][$250]; 24. 7-Rick Laubach [7][$250]; 25. 7MM-Michael Maresca [23][$250]; 26. 6D-Dillon Steuer [26][$250]; KSE Hard Charger Award: 91-Billy Decker[+9]

SEE FULL RESULTS

SEE GATOR CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

Contingency awards:

VP Racing Fuels: $50 – Anthony Perrego

Drydene Performance Products: $50 – Erick Rudolph; $50 Certificate – Demetrios Drellos

ASI Racewear: $50 – Billy Decker

Bicknell Racing Products: $100 Certificate – Larry Wight

Billy Whittaker Cars: $100 – Stewart Friesen

Cometic: $50 – Ronnie Johnson

Comp Cams: $50 – Peter Britten $50 Certificate – Larry Wight 

DART: $50 – Andy Bachetti; $100 Certificate – Stewart Friesen; $100 Certificate – Matt Sheppard

Fox Racing Shox:  $50 – Mat Williamson

Wrisco: $200 Certificate – Larry Wight