Williamson Pins Down First Gator

BARBERVILLE, FL – Like a rocket lifting off from Cape Canaveral, defending Super DIRTcar Series champion Mat Williamson, from St. Catharines, ON, made the high line work to win his first career DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford Gator to kick-off the 2020 season at Volusia Speedway Park.

With a smile as wide as the Victory Lane he and his Buzz Chew Racing crew stood in, Williamson said: “Man it feels good to win in Florida!”

The thirty-lap Feature win did not come easy as Erick Rudolph and Anthony Perrego nearly overtook the Buzz Chew No. 88 in a close battle in turn two. 

“We got lucky when that caution came out. My guys in the infield were telling me Erick [Rudolph] was coming on the bottom. Sometimes you need a little bit of luck to win these things,” said Williamson. 

The 2020 DIRTcar Nationals are already head and shoulders above Williamson’s results from 2019. Tonight’s win is his first at Volusia Speedway Park.

“We didn’t run too spectacular here last year, so to get it for Buzz, who is here, is really cool,” he said. 

[ytp_video source=”ZSCF38l9WsU”]

Ransomville, NY native Erick Rudolph charged to claim second place in the 26-car field of Big Block Modifieds. It looked like the No. 25R was primed for a run at the lead before the Feature’s only caution flew. 

“I got to second pretty quick there but I fizzled out a bit. Mat [Williamson] had a really good car. Before the restart I was catching him,” noted Rudolph. “After the restart, he took off and got a buffer on me and I wasn’t able to close in on him.”

“This is my best run here to date so I am really happy with that. The week is young and hopefully, we can get a Gator,” noted Rudolph. A win at DIRTcar Nationals would be his first. 

The standout driver of the green and black No. 44 Anthony Perrego was stout in every race session. He found something his Big Block Modified liked and drove on to a third-place finish.

Midway through the race, Perrego caught Williamson and Rudolph to make it a three-way battle for the lead. Unfortunately for the Montgomery, NY native, a caution flag flew for Andy Bachetti, who pulled off with engine trouble. That would be the only caution flag of the race. 

“That was definitely a good run racing up against those two cats up there [Wiliamson and Rudolph]. Before that caution, I thought I had a shot at him,” said Perrego. “We were rolling the bottom pretty good. Once that yellow came out, I think someone knocked some water out on turns three and four so I kind of lost my line there.”

Perrego never let the leaders out of sight but had to settle for the bottom step on the podium. 

The 5-time NAPA Super DIRT Week champion and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors World Truck Series star Stewart Friesen cut through the field to finish fourth from his nineteenth place starting position.

Matt Sheppard started the night out well with a Heat Race win and a third-place starting position in the Feature. Unfortunately, the 7-time Super DIRTcar Series champion from Waterloo, NY faded throughout the race and was forced to settle for seventh. If history is any indication though, Sheppard and his MSM crew will turn it around for another chance at a Gator. 

Super DIRTcar Series rookie contender Jessey Mueller took the win in the first Last Chance Showdown number one of the night. Mueller struggled in Time Trials which put him towards the back in his Heat Race but the rookie persevered and qualified for the 30-lap Feature. He started twenty-first and moved up to finish nineteenth against a stacked field of elite Big Block Modified drivers. 

Join us tomorrow night at Volusia Speedway Park for the race two of the 2020 DIRTcar National presented by Bozark Ford. If you can’t make it to the track, watch LIVE on DIRTvision. A month-long Fast Pass gives you access to all the action. 

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

Hard Charger Award: 44-Stewart Friesen[+15]

FULL RESULTS HERE

Contingency Awards:

VP Racing Fuels: 

$50 – Billy Dunn 

Drydene Performance Products: 

$50 – Billy Decker

$50 product – Brian Swartzlander 

ASI Racewear:

$50 – Matt Sheppard

Bicknell Racing Products:

$100 product: Mat Williamson

Billy Whittaker Cars:

$100 – Billy Decker

Cometic:

$50 – Brett Hearn

Comp Cams:

$50 – Justin Haers

$50 product – Mat Williamson 

DART:

$50 – Pat Ward

$100 product – Erick Rudolph

$100 product – Jessey Mueller 

Fox Racing Shox: 

$50 – Anthony Perrego

Wrisco:

$200 product – Mat Williamson

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]

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.

Be sure to tune in with our partners live on FloRacing.

First Career Win at Brockville for Sheppard

BROCKVILLE, ONT – Defending Series Champion Matt Sheppard’s bucket list just got a little shorter as he took his No. 9S Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified to the front for an elusive win at Brockville Ontario Speedway. Rival Larry Wight captured the second step of the podium while Mat Williamson finished third. Sheppard has now retaken the Super DIRTcar Series points lead over Williamson, but only by the slightest margins.

Matt Sheppard took this round in the Championship battle after Williamson got the big NAPA Super DIRT  Week win at Oswego Speedway. Sheppard willed his Big Block to the front from twelfth to pick up his first Series win of his career at Brockville.

“We’ve had a lot of really good runs here but just never came away with a W,” Sheppard said with a grin. “I can’t think of a better time than tonight. This thing was a rocket ship. We just missed the Billy Whittaker Fast-Time Award, we won our Heat Race, and the track was fast and racy tonight.”

“The Bullring” was tacky with multiple lanes, which made for some incredible racing action throughout the field. Sheppard took full advantage.

“It’s not often you start twelfth and go to the front here at Brockville. There was moisture at the bottom. We kept switching around to a bunch of different lanes,” Sheppard described.

Now the Championship points are practically a dead heat with Sheppard holding a slight lead.

“Mat has been good here especially as of late. We’re not going to go down without a fight. We’ll check Brockville off the bucket list and go on to Charlotte.”

In second was Larry Wight with his familiar crimson red Gypsum Racing Big Block Modified. He started in the second row and never fell out of the top three. Wight looked fast but described a struggle with the track and his race car.

“I was in survival mode. We’ll take the second place rather than wrecking the car trying to catch Sheppard,” Wight said. 

With the season winding down, we are winding up for the Can-Am World Finals and Wight is ready.

“We are going into the big races with extra points. We gotta gather up everything we can and try to finish off the year on as high a note as we can.”

Mat Williamson finished third and lost the points lead but it’s far from over.

“That was a battle out there. That was probably the toughest race car I’ve ever gotten to a finish. It was tough and I’m just happy to get up on the podium.”

Willamson noted his concern for Rudolph who was involved in a hard wreck in turn one during the Feature. He walked away. “That was a violent flip,” said Williamson.

Jack Lehner, who is running his first full-time season with the Super DIRTcar Series, put in a great Time Trial, took second in his Heat Race, and drew the pole for the 100-lap Feature. Lehner lead past the halfway point but Matt Sheppard jumped him on a restart to grab the lead. Lehner finished fifth which is his best Series finish.

The KSE Hard Charger for the race was Mario Clair who advanced fifteen positions to finish ninth. He used all available racing lanes to get the job done.

Next up is the Can-Am World Finals where Matt Sheppard and Mat Williamson will settle their duel for the 2019 Super DIRTcar Series Championship.

FEATURE (100 Laps)

1. 9S-Matt Sheppard [12][$7,500]; 2. 99L-Larry Wight [3][$4,000]; 3. 88-Mat Williamson [6][$2,500]; 4. 91-Billy Decker [4][$1,800]; 5. 2L-Jack Lehner [1][$1,600]; 6. R70-Ryan Arbuthnot [15][$1,400]; 7. 26-Ryan Godown [13][$1,300]; 8. 35-Mike Mahaney [10][$1,200]; 9. 124-Mario Clair [24][$1,100]; 10. 27J-Danny Johnson [8][$1,000]; 11. 19-Tim Fuller [20][$800]; 12. 21A-Peter Britten [21][$700]; 13. 54-Steve Bernard [23][$600]; 14. 21-Yan Bussiere [16][$575]; 15. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [19][$550]; 16. 37-Paul StSauveur [25][$525]; 17. 111-Demetrios Drellos [2][$500]; 18. 7MM-Michael Maresca [7][$500]; 19. 96C-JF Corriveau [5][$500]; 20. 25-Erick Rudolph [11][$500]; 21. 8-Tim O’Brien [14][$500]; 22. 17-Marcus Dinkins [26][$500]; 23. 96-Brian McDonald [18][$500]; 24. 66-Kyle Dingwall [22][$500]; 25. 66X-Carey Terrance [17][$500]; 26. 38-Luke Whitteker [9][$500]

KSE Hard Charger Award: 124-Mario Clair[+15]

Williamson Conquers Billy Whittaker Cars 200

OSWEGO, NY – Oct. 13, 2019 — Would he make it or not? The closing laps of Sunday’s Billy Whittaker Cars 200 capped a drama-filled NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week at Oswego Speedway, where Mat Williamson had enough fuel to charge to the checkers while the car that was closing fast did not.

A late caution set up a shootout to the checkered flag. Williamson, a 29-year-old from St. Catherines, Ontario, was in front with an even younger Anthony Perrego and the sport’s winningest driver, Brett Hearn, closing hard. Then, on the last lap and hoping to pounce on Williamson, former winner Tim Fuller swung around Hearn in turn two, then Perrego’s machine suddenly ran out of fuel and slowed as Williamson raced under the checkers with Fuller in second and Hearn third.

In a breakout season for Williamson, winning his first $50,000 Billy Whittaker Cars 200 — joining Stewart Friesen as the only Canadians to win the race — etches his name in the record book among the greatest drivers in the history of Big Block Modified racing.

“Wow! What a dream season,” Williamson said. “When we got hooked up with Buzz and Brian, and the whole Buzz Chew team, I was more than excited about it. I know how much work they put into it and how much they deserve to win a race like this. When we got it done at Orange County this year it was awesome, but I’ve wanted to win this one for a long time. I grew up watching races like this. It’s incredible to get it done.”

Williamson was ecstatic in Victory Lane. The Buzz Chew team swarmed the car in celebration and the winner was quick to recognize them.

“I have such great guys behind me,” Williamson said. “I say it every time, but I can’t say it enough. Those guys are so smart in the pit area. At the beginning of the week I told them that the less I had to worry about, the better we would be. I told them it’s whatever they want to do for strategy. I could never say we lost a race because of what they did. We nailed it today. It’s incredible.”

As it turned out, the win was also a huge gain for Williamson in the Super DIRTcar Series championship points race. Leader Matt Sheppard failed to complete the 200-lapper, finishing 31st.

“I think it was a good points night to catch Matt,” Williamson said. “I know he didn’t finish. Hopefully we narrowed that gap and we can be there at the end.”

The points race comes down to the Northeast Fall Nationals next weekend at Brockville Ontario Speedway and the Can-Am World Finals Nov. 7-9 at the Dirt Track at Charlotte.

But at Oswego, North Country hero Fuller parked the black St. Lawrence Radiology No. 19 firmly in second place after making up two positions on the final restart.

“I was fourth with two laps to go,” Fuller said. “We struggled all day. We fought back to second. Who would’ve thought?”

Fuller’s small band of dedicated crew members worked hard to keep the No. 19 up front coming off pit lane.

“I still have the same guys I had 20 years ago to do these stops,” he said. “It takes a lot.”

Hearn is accustomed to being up front during NAPA Super DIRT Week, but the his road to the front was a rocky one.

“The strategy that we had at the beginning of the race wasn’t going to work with all the early yellows,” he said of the wild first 100 laps. “I got a left front flat. I got into a little jingle on a restart. We had to get back into the pits anyway. We lost all of our track position and I thought we were in trouble. But I came through subtly.”

But there was nothing subtle about the way Hearn worked aggressive lines and great restarts to knife his way through traffic and back to the front.

“I made some good passes and before you knew it, I was in the top five,” he said. “At one point there with 10 laps to go, I thought we had the fastest car on the track. All in all, not a bad day for us.”

Billy Decker captured the $1,000 STOP Tech/GPS Pole Award and piloted the No. 91 Gypsum Express to Saturday’s 150-lap DIRTcar 358 Modified victory, but his hopes of doubling up on the weekend wasn’t to be as he rebounded from early contact for an eighth-place finish.

Eight-time Super DIRTcar Series champion Sheppard put his No. 9s on the outside pole and picked up the $750 award from long-time partners Dig Safely 811 NY. Unfortunately, a mechanical failure on lap 122 forced the two-time Billy Whittaker Cars 200 winner to retire from the event.

From tearing around the Talladega high-banks in his NASCAR Truck to thundering through Oswego with his Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified, Stewart Friesen had his work cut out for him. Due to his conflicting race schedule, Friesen was forced to rely on a guaranteed starting spot he earned winning The Big Show XI earlier in the season.

Starting 31st, Friesen made ground all day working his way up to sixth, which was good enough for the KSE Hard Charger Award. The 25 positions the No. 44 advanced was just one car more that third-place finishing Hearn.

There is one award no one wants to get and that’s the Hard Luck Award. However, great sponsors like Bart Contracting step up to help out the drivers who might need some help just getting their car on the trailer. This year’s Bart Contracting Hard Luck Award goes to Alan Johnson, who was involved in a chaotic turn 3 melee that put his No. 14J on its roof. Johnson and company received $1,000 for their mishap.

Area Auto Racing News has long been a partner with NAPA Super DIRT Week with the Best Appearing Car sponsorship. Jessey Mueller’s vibrant blue and yellow No. 19 was a standout paint scheme amongst over 300 other polished racing machines. Mueller was strong all week in both modified divisions, but his Billy Whittaker Cars 200 was cut short by a broken left rear shock mount.

Notably, Super DIRTcar Series star Mike Mahaney was involved in a hard wreck in turn one with Ryan Watt. Following the crash Mahaney let out his frustration on Watt’s body work. Mahaney finished 28th and Watt 29th.

Next up for the Super DIRTcar Series is the Loud & Dirty Northeast Fall Nationals, where vital Championship points are up for grabs. With only 10 points separating Sheppard and Williamson, it could be a decisive Feature in the 2019 battle for supremacy in Big Block Modified racing.

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Drellos Denies All Challengers in First-Career Series Win

19 0921 ALBANY GRAPHIC

MALTA, NY – September 21, 2019 – It’s a rare moment in motorsports when a rookie pulls out a huge victory in the top echelon of their driving discipline. On this night, Rookie of the Year contender Demetrios Drellos did just that, shocking the world of Big Block Modified racing by winning his first Super DIRTcar Series race at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in one of the biggest races of the year.

Drellos battled back the best in the business including Matt Sheppard, Larry Wight, Billy Decker, and Mat Williamson to pick up $10,000 and a guaranteed start in the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at NAPA Super DIRT Week XLVIII. Billy Decker crossed the line in second and Mat Williamson had his two-race win streak broken with a third-place finish.

The night of racing started out well for the Queensbury, NY driver Demetrios Drellos after setting the second fastest lap in his Time Trial group, which put the No. 111 on the outside pole for his Heat Race. Pole-sitter Matt Sheppard got the best of him but soon the roles were reversed. In the Dig Safely NY 811 Redraw, Drellos drew the pole position and Matt Sheppard’s designated drawer put the No. 9s on the outside pole.

At the drop of the green flag, The Greek Streak outdueled Sheppard to retain the top spot in the early going. He eventually stretched out a substantial lead with the first caution coming around lap 40. After that, the rest of the heavy-hitters like Larry Wight, Billy Decker, and Mat Williamson stepped up to the plate but Drellos denied all-comers.

“Every lap that clicked by I thought Larry, Matt, Billy, or Williamson would get by on the bottom. I was just so persistent on the top. I know it’s really risky picking the top lane here on the restarts but the top has been so fast here. It worked out for me,” said Drellos.

The No. 111 pilot sliced and diced his way through heavy lapped traffic in the latter half of the race. The track conditions were conducive to fast, side-by-side racing, which made the traffic difficult to work through.

“I follow a lot of good guys on the Series and they aren’t afraid to take risks in lapped traffic. You gotta go and if you don’t go, someone’s gonna pounce on you,” Drellos explained.

Needless to say, Drellos was a very happy driver in Victory Lane. He’s worked hard learning new tracks and refining his Time Trial program all season.

“It’s been such a learning curve running with these guys every week and it’s finally paid off.”

Drellos’ voice wavered with emotion as The Voice of the Super DIRTcar Series Shane Andrews interviewed him in Victory Lane when he said, “I watched a lot of Super DIRTcar Series races from those seats right up there and it feels really amazing to be standing down here not too many years later beating the best.”

The win will take a little time to sink in because it’s a rare feat to beat your heroes at their own game:

“I’m speechless, to be honest. You have Mat Williamson, Matt Sheppard, Billy Decker, Pat Ward, Tim Fuller, I mean, I’ve watched those guys for years. They are just unbelievable stars here. Just to say I beat them in a Super DIRTcar Series race is something I never even dreamed of.”

The Franklyn Flyer Billy Decker was the final driver to reach the rear bumper of the No. 111 but he too failed to overtake the young rookie.

Mat Williamson now has four podium finishes in a row including two race wins. The team has been constent all year but now Williamson is clicking off great finishes and has begun reeling in points leader Matt Sheppard.

“Confidence as a lot to do with it. It seems like when we won Orange County [Centennial Celebration] it started rolling from there. Forutnately I have a really good car owner and really good crew guys. They make my job real easy behind the wheel,” noted Williamson.

The racing surface was tacky and provided a lot of grip from the bottom to the top of the speedway.

“We tried to move all over the place. The track was really fast and racy,” said Williamson. “I think we tightened up a little bit too much. Demetrios was really good. Hats off to those guys, it’s cool to see him win.”

Mike Mahaney stormed through the field to pick up sixteen positions as the KSE Racing Hard-Charger Award. He finished seventh after starting deep in the field, but the tenacious Huttig No. 35 team’s hard work paid off.

In the Dig Safely NY 811 Redraw, Peter Britten had his daughter for a designated drawer. The curly-haired youngster joyfully picked up a neon yellow t-shirt and awarded Britten one free Hoosier Racing Tire, but also a twelfth place starting position.

Home-track hero Kenny Tremont Jr., who picked up the 2019 Mr. DIRT Track USA title at Lebanon Valley Speedway, set the fastest lap in Time Trials, which granted him the Billy Whittaker Cars Fast-Time Award.

The next Super DIRTcar Series race is the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 on Sunday, October 13 at Oswego Speedway to conclude NAPA Super DIRT Week XLVIII.

FEATURE (100 Laps)
1. 111-Demetrios Drellos [1][$10,000]; 2. 91-Billy Decker [11][$5,000]; 3. 88-Mat Williamson [4][$2,500]; 4. 44-Stewart Friesen [15][$1,800]; 5. 99L-Larry Wight [7][$1,600]; 6. 9S-Matt Sheppard [2][$1,400]; 7. 35-Mike Mahaney [23][$1,300]; 8. 93-Danny Varin [8][$1,200]; 9. 18-Anthony Perrego [16][$1,100]; 10. 2-Ronnie Johnson [3][$1,000]; 11. 19m-Jessey Mueller [5][$800]; 12. 20-Brett Hearn [17][$700]; 13. 19-Tim Fuller [21][$600]; 14. 25-Erick Rudolph [18][$575]; 15. 97-Bobby Hackel [10][$550]; 16. 3d-Matt Delorenzo [6][$525]; 17. 2L-Jack Lehner [24][$500]; 18. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [22][$500]; 19. 26-Ryan Godown [25][$500]; 20. 74-JR Heffner [13][$500]; 21. 91NY-Jackie Brown [19][$500]; 22. 27J-Danny Johnson [26][$500]; 23. R2-Rusty Smith [27][$]; 24. 21A-Peter Britten [12][$500]; 25. 17-Marcus Dinkins [28][$]; 26. 115-Kenny Tremont [9][$500]; 27. 96S-Paul St.Sauveur [14][$500]; 28. 3j-Marc Johnson [20][$500]

KSE Hard Charger Award: 35-Mike Mahaney[+16]

Mat’s in the Money

19 0914 mohawk graphic 3

HOGANSBURG, NY – September 14, 2019 – Mat Williamson made a daring race-winning pass overtaking Billy Dunn and Matt Sheppard to win at Mohawk International Raceway. Williamson went into this weekend without a single Super DIRTcar Series win in 2019 but now he will wake up on Sunday morning with two. The Mohawk win is worth $10,000 as well as a guaranteed start in the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at NAPA Super DIRT Week XLVIII. Billy Dunn maintained second and Matt Sheppard settled for third. 

Demetrios Drellos, in his black and white No. 111, brought the field to the green flag alongside Erick Rudolph. Drellos led the early stages but slipped up and over the cushion allowing Billy Dunn to inherit the lead. Dunn, Sheppard, and Williamson were locked in a battle when a lapped car forced the leaders to change their racing lines. Suddenly the No. 88 drove high and whipped by Dunn and Sheppard for the lead. 

Mat Williamson is a force to be reckoned with in the Super DIRTcar Series and this weekend is proof positive of that. Friday night he took the win in the Duel at the Demon 100 at Brewerton Speedway and tonight he walks away with $10,000 and a Billy Whittaker Cars 200 guaranteed start. 

Williamson described his race:

“We’ve got a really good car. It was the same thing as last night. We were fortunate with the starting position [fourth both nights]. I dropped back there at the start and I was like, “Man if we don’t get up there before it rubbers we’ll be in trouble.” I think I was back as far as eighth and had to come back up. I made a Bonzai move going into three and four to get around Billy [Dunn]. With the rubber down, it made it challenging at the end. Fortunately, we were up front.”

At the halfway point Williamson took the No. 88 around the outside for a stunning pass on then-leader Billy Dunn. 

“It was a Bonzai move to get around him and he got checked up by a lapped car. He’s great to race with and I’m surprised he didn’t give me any shots in the bumper at the end,” Williamson said with a chuckle. 

It takes a great team to get on a roll in the Super DIRTcar Series. 

“I can’t thank Buzz Chew enough. Spot, Ernie, and Dan, they work on the car every week. My guys came with me tonight and worked their tails off in the pit area,” he said, proudly looking at his crew. 

Runner-up Billy Dunn had a strong night in his Graham Racing machine. A bobble while working around lapped traffic cost him the win but he is happy with the direction of his racing program. 

“This Graham Racing car was really good. We made some petty big changes after the Heat Race. We got it dialed in so we could drive to the front before it rubbered.”

Battles were intense all over the track, especially in the first half of the race. Unfortunately for Dunn, a lapped car unintentionally changed the dynamics of the race for the win.  

“Sometimes that’s the way it goes. Lapped traffic didn’t get out of the way but hey they are racing too,” said Dunn. 

“Two seconds in these cars that I haven’t run much. I gotta thank Ray Graham for the opportunity and my crew guys. They worked their tails off and hopefully, we can build some momentum for the end of the year.”

Defending Series Champion Matt Sheppard showed off once again why he is a champion. The No. 9s is always there at the end. 

“We didn’t get a very good start and dropped back a little bit. We passed a lot of cars and got up here with the leaders,” noted Sheppard. 

Tricky track conditions made strategic decisions very difficult but for Sheppard, the whole race came down to this lap-forty moment:

“I was about a half a car length short of being Mat [Williamson] to the rubber down there out of one and two at about lap 40. I would have never dreamed that that would be the difference between first and third tonight.”

Larry Wight picked up the Billy Whittaker Cars Fast-Time Award after setting the quickest lap out of the thirty-five car field. Wight and his Gypsum Racing teammate Billy Decker both finished the night with top tens. 

Louie Jackson Jr. picked up eight positions to finish sixteenth earning him the KSE Racing Hard Charger Award. 

In the Dig Safely NY 811 Redraw Mike Mahaney drew number 12 out of 12 possible starting positions. For that, he is granted one free tire courtesy of Hoosier Racing Tire. 

The Super DIRTcar Series is back at it again next Saturday, September 21 for another $10,000-to-win NAPA Super DIRT Week XLVIII qualifier. 

FEATURE (100 Laps) 1,88-Mat Williamson [4][$10,000]; 2. 49-Billy Dunn [7][$5,000]; 3. 9S-Matt Sheppard [8][$2,500]; 4. 25-Erick Rudolph [2][$1,800]; 5. 124-David Hebert [9][$1,600]; 6. 19-Tim Fuller [10][$1,400]; 7. 99L-Larry Wight [6][$1,300]; 8. 91-Billy Decker [13][$1,200]; 9. 31-Lance Willix [14][$1,100]; 10. 111-Demetrios Drellos [1][$1,000]; 11. 35-Mike Mahaney [12][$800]; 12. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [11][$700]; 13. 22C-Mario Clair [18][$600]; 14. 26-Ryan Godown [5][$575]; 15. 21A-Peter Britten [15][$550]; 16. 18J-Louis Jackson [24][$525]; 17. 42P-Pat Ward [17][$500]; 18. 27J-Danny Johnson [20][$500]; 19. 66X-Carey Terrance [16][$500]; 20. R2-Rusty Smith [25][$500]; 21. 17-Marcus Dinkins [27][$500]; 22. 2L-Jack Lehner [21][$500]; 23. 63d-Domonic Dufault [23][$500]; 24. R70-Ryan Arbuthnot [3][$500]; 25. 23m-Mike Stacey [19][$500]; 26. 96S-Paul St.Sauveur [26][$500]; 27. 23-Cameron Black [22][$500]

KSE Hard Charger Award: 18J-Louis Jackson[+8]

Contingency Sponsor Awards:

VP Race Fuels $50 – Billy Decker

Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux $100 – Larry Wight

Cometic Gaskets $50 – Peter Britten

Comp Cams $50 – Demetrios Drellos

Fox Racing Shox $50 – Erick Rudolph

JE Pistons $50 – Tim Fuller

MSD Ignition $50 – Billy Dunn

MSD Ignition $25 – Ryan Arbuthnot

NGK Spark Plugs $50 – Erick Rudolph

DART $50 –Demetrios Drellos

Drydene $50 – 

ASI Racewear $50 – 

Product Prizes

Hoosier Racing Tire (1 Free) – Mike Mahaney

Bicknell Racing Products – Mat Williamson

Comp Cams – Billy Dunn

JE Pistons – Peter Britten/Rusty Smith

KSE Racing Products – Marcus Dinkins

Wrisco Aluminum – Mat Williamson

NGK Spark Plugs – Peter Britten

DART – Matt Sheppard/Marcus Dinkins 

Drydene – Marcus Dinkins

Mat Williamson, Demon Slayer

19 0913 Brew Graphic

BREWERTON, NY – September 13, 2019 – Mat Williamson, from St. Catherines, Ontario, can add Demon Slayer to his list of credentials as he won this year’s Duel at the Demon 100 at Brewerton Speedway. Williamson finally put it all together to park the No. 88 Buzz Chew Big Block Modified in Victory Lane in 2019. 

Brewerton Speedway regular Chris Hile picked up his third career top five in Series competition while battling some of the best drivers in the business. Another home track hero and Series star Larry Wight worked his No. 99L around the top and bottom of the track to make a run for the lead but was forced to settle for third. 

 Williamson was locked in battle with Ryan Godown who challenged him for the lead several times in the early going. Then late in the race it was Chris Hile who wanted to make a run in the No. 88. 

 “We were starting to fade at the end. I didn’t know what to do. This field of Modified drivers is the best in the Northeast,” said Williamson.

This was the first Series win for Williamson and his first in the Buzz Chew No. 88. He was ecstatic to pick up the checkered flag for his car owner. 

“When you are out there leading you are trying not to disappoint the guys that are sitting in the grandstands. These guys worked their butts off all night. To get a win here for Buzz and his whole family is awesome,” Williamson said with a grin. 

Chris Hile added another race to his career top five list on the Series trail. 

If there had been a few more laps, we may have been talking about his first Series win. “I think if this race was 105 or 110 laps, it would have been real nice. I’m sure my buddy Mat is happy with it being 100 laps,” Hile quipped. 

The track appeared to take most divers by surprise with how slick it became throughout the 100-lap Feature. 

“This is a Brewerton surface that we remember from a long time back,” said Hile in Victory Lane. 

“These last couple of months it’s been pretty fast here. Racing on a slippery track was our bread and butter. We were good but ran out of time at the end.”

Hile’s goal was to go hard in the late-going. 

“We tried to conserve early and it’s easy to burn your stuff up. We tried to just float around and then in that last 20 laps we a really gave it. If we had caught lapped traffic a couple of laps earlier, I think we would have had a shot at him [Williamson].”

Lightning Larry Wight brought the No. 99L home third but felt he left something on the table.  

“We missed the set up a little bit. This is the slickest Brewerton’s been in a couple of months and it kind of snuck up on us a little bit,” said Wight.

Like Hile, Wight worked to preserve his equipment for the end.

“I spent the first three-quarters of the race trying to save my right rear, hoping that those guys pounding the top would use up theirs. We finally figured out you can win more races if you have something to finish with,” Wight said with a grin. 

Queensland, Australia driver Batman Peter Britten had a difficult start to the night. After failing to qualify out of the Heat Race or Last Chance Showdown, Britten was forced to rely on a provisional to start the 100-lap Feature. 

The Northeast Custom Flatbed No. 21A started all the way back in position 25 out of the 28 starting drivers. Batman wasted no time swinging into action and began passing cars left and right. Before long Britten found himself in the top ten and walked away with a seventh-place finish and the KSE Hard Charger Award. 

The Gypsum Racing driver Billy Decker had tremendous speed right off the trailer. Decker took the No. 91 and posted a quick enough time in Time Trials to take home the Billy Whittaker Cars Fast-Time Award. Unfortunately, Decker didn’t draw as well as he drove and drew the number twelve. Although Decker had to start twelfth, he took home a free Hoosier Racing Tire.  

Next, the Series heads North to Mohawk Int’l Raceway for a $10,000-to-win NAPA Super DIRT Week XLVIII guaranteed start. 

FEATURE (100 Laps) 1. 88-Mat Williamson [4][$7,500]; 2. 5H-Chris Hile [7][$4,000]; 3. 99L-Larry Wight [2][$2,500]; 4. 9S-Matt Sheppard [11][$1,800]; 5. 25-Erick Rudolph [18][$1,600]; 6. 83X-Tim Sears [3][$1,400]; 7. 21A-Peter Britten [25][$1,300]; 8. 27J-Danny Johnson [19][$1,200]; 9. 91-Billy Decker [12][$1,100]; 10. 26-Ryan Godown [5][$1,000]; 11. 6H-Max McLaughlin [22][$800]; 12. 14J-Alan Johnson [20][$700]; 13. X-Chad Phelps [15][$600]; 14. 42P-Pat Ward [24][$575]; 15. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [16][$550]; 16. 9X-Tyler Trump [6][$525]; 17. 2L-Jack Lehner [17][$500]; 18. 109-Billy Whittaker [8][$500]; 19. 43-Keith Flach [1][$500]; 20. 111-Demetrios Drellos [21][$500]; 21. 24-Jimmy Witko [13][$500]; 22. 83-Brian Swartzlander [14][$500]; 23. R2-Rusty Smith [26][$500]; 24. 96S-Paul St.Sauveur [27][$]; 25. 62s-Tom Sears [10][$500]; 26. 17-Marcus Dinkins [28][$]; 27. 44-Philip Vigneri [23][$500]; 28. 11R-Rob Bellinger [9][$500]

KSE Hard Charger Award: 21A-Peter Britten[+18]

Contingency Sponsor Awards:

VP Race Fuels $50 – Danny Johnson

Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux $100 – Billy Decker

Cometic Gaskets $50 – Alan Johnson

Comp Cams $50 – Max McLaughlin

Fox Racing Shox $50 – Erick Rudolph

JE Pistons $50 – Erick Rudolph

MSD Ignition $50 – Chris Hile

MSD Ignition $25 – Marcus Dinkins

NGK Spark Plugs $50 – Matt Sheppard

DART $50 –Billy Decker

Drydene $50 – Peter Britten

ASI Racewear $50 – Peter Britten

Product Prizes

Hoosier Racing Tire (1 Free) – Billy Decker

Bicknell Racing Products – Mat Williamson

Comp Cams – Chris Hile 

JE Pistons – Jack Lehner/Demetrios Drellos

KSE Racing Products – Danny Johnson

Wrisco Aluminum – Mat Williamson

NGK Spark Plugs – Jack Lehner

DART – Chris Hile/Keith Flach

Drydene – Chris Hile

Wight Out in Granby

19 0906 Granby graphic

GRANBY, QUE – September 6, 2019 – In what will go down as one of the greatest races in Super DIRTcar Series history, Lightning Larry Wight faced down defending Series Champion and points leader Matt Sheppard as well as his own Gypsum Racing teammate Billy Decker to claim $7,500 and Autodrome Granby glory. The trio of top Series drivers raced wheel-to-wheel for 100 laps, battling for the lead almost non-stop. In the end, Wight won on the topside while Sheppard took the bottom and due to a flat left front tire lost second to Mat Williamson in his fast family-owned No. 6.

Larry Wight visited Victory Lane in Series competition for the first time since his win at Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway and did it in style. Wight started on the outside pole and battled with Ryan Godown, Billy Decker, and in the end Matt Sheppard to secure his $7,500 win.

The No. 99L was fast off the trailer, “We had a really good car all night,” said Wight. “I thought maybe about halfway through the race we hadn’t tightened up enough or the track was going away faster than we thought. But the right rear Hoosier finally started working a little bit. It paid off to ride around on the bottom for the first half of the race and try and save that thing a little bit.”

Speaking of tires, rival Matt Sheppard finished the final fifteen to twenty laps with a flat left front tire. Despite the flat, Sheppard still put up a titanic fight for the lead.

“Matt [Sheppard] could have four tires or three tires, he’s still the car to beat. It doesn’t matter. We caught a break there. He clipped the wall and I clipped the wall around lap 20 but mine stayed up thankfully. It was a great race. Our car was free enough to run that top and keep it straight so we were able to get by him,” Wight noted.

Crossing the line in second place was St. Catherines, Ontario native Mat Williamson in his black and red No. 6 Big Block Modified. Williamson prowled around the top of the field but took care of his race car in order to be there at the end.

“Hats off to Larry [Wight]. He ran a great race,” Williamson congratulated. “I don’t know if we were a second-place car. Matt [Sheppard] got a flat and we were able to get by him. But we were trying to save our stuff for the end. I was wicked tight and throwing the car getting into the corner. I’m surprised we have as much tire left as we do.

Williamson fearlessly drove the No. 6 to the top where only Wight, Decker, and a few others would dare put their cars on the monstrous five-eighths of a mile speedway. That would prove to be the difference for Williamson as he used the top line to get around the three-wheeling-but-fast Matt Sheppard for second.

Thanks to the heroic efforts of Matt Sheppard behind the wheel of the No. 9S, the MSM machine came home on the podium. In the final frame of the race, Sheppard and Wight were racing side-by-side, lap after lap.

Unfortunately, Sheppard clipped the inside jersey barrier causing his left front tire to go flat.

But he didn’t need it.

“I think we had the best car here tonight. We just didn’t have the best driver,” said Sheppard. “I clipped the wall a little bit in turns three and four and it was enough to flatten it. At one point I actually got the lead back with it flat and I just couldn’t hold on long enough. Every time we put a run on Larry [Wight] I thought we might get him but the car would do something kind of funky on me getting into the corner. I just didn’t know what it was going to do anymore. I’m thankful it happened as close to the end as it did and I’m thankful we could hold on for third.”

While the finish was impressive by all who witnessed it, Sheppard couldn’t hide his disappointment after leading so much of the middle part of the race.

“The bottom got really, really low and if you weren’t just about scraping your left front on the wall, you weren’t going very fast. We were pretty fast for most of the race. We turned the corners 160 times and all it took was one to end our night.”

Peter Britten from Queensland, Australia, was another fast car off the trailer. He did well in Hot Laps, Time Trials, and won his Heat Race. Unfortunately, that’s when his good luck ended. In the Top 12 redraw out in front of the massive Granby grandstand, Britten picked the twelfth starting position. Although he had to start twelfth, Britten received a free tire certificate from Hoosier Racing Tire.

Britten was very fast in the opening stages and had moved up six spots to sixth when something broke on the No. 21A and his night was done.

Next up on Saturday, September 7, the Series travels an hour north of Granby to the bullring of Le RPM Speedway.

FEATURE (100 Laps) 1. 99L-Larry Wight [2][$7,500]; 2. 6m-Mat Williamson [7][$4,000]; 3. 9S-Matt Sheppard [3][$2,500]; 4. 91-Billy Decker [4][$1,800]; 5. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [6][$1,600]; 6. 25-Erick Rudolph [5][$1,400]; 7. 54-Steve Bernard [18][$1,300]; 8. 26-Ryan Godown [1][$1,200]; 9. ONE-David Hebert [21][$1,100]; 10. 27J-Danny Johnson [10][$1,000]; 11. 49-Francois Bernier [16][$800]; 12. 66X-Carey Terrance [19][$700]; 13. 21-Yan Bussiere [9][$600]; 14. 2L-Jack Lehner [14][$575]; 15. 44g-Sabastien Gougeon [24][$550]; 16. 35B-Francois Bellemare [23][$525]; 17. 111-Demetrios Drellos [8][$500]; 18. 18J-Louis Jackson [17][$500]; 19. 35-Mike Mahaney [11][$500]; 20. 71-Pierre Hebert [13][$500]; 21. 73jr-Mathieu Boisvert [22][$500]; 22. 96-JF Corriveau [15][$500]; 23. 59-Yanick Mathieu [27][$500]; 24. 21A-Peter Britten [12][$500]; 25. R2-Rusty Smith [20][$500]; 26. 17-Marcus Dinkins [25][$500] DQ: 25s-Steve Bernier