Search
Close this search box.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Pennsylvania Return, Super DIRT Week Qualifier on Tap For Big Diamond-Weedsport Race Week

7

The stars of the Super DIRTcar Series make their lone trip to Big Diamond Speedway on July 11 followed by a Super DIRT Week 51 Qualifier at Weedsport Speedway on July 16

Two key stops on the 2023 schedule await the Super DIRTcar Series this week with a return to the Keystone State and a Super DIRT Week guaranteed starting spot on the line.

The Series makes its lone Pennsylvania stop at Big Diamond Speedway in Pottsville, PA for 75-lap, $7,500-to-win, Anthracite Assault 75 on Tuesday, July 11. Then, The Beasts of the Northeast return to Weedsport Speedway on Sunday, July 16, for the 100-lap, $10,000-to-win, Hall of Fame 100 – also a Super DIRT Week Qualifier.

Nine-time and defending Series champion – and most recent Series winner – Matt Sheppard scored the first Super DIRT Week guaranteed starting spot with his win at Lebanon Valley Speedway. If he wins at Weedsport, the guaranteed starting spot will go to the second-place finisher.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online or by downloading the DIRTVision App.

 Here are the top storylines to follow:

 LEADIN’ THE WAY: Nine-time and defending Series champion Matt Sheppard, of Waterloo, NY, is fresh off his second win of the season, which helped him extend his points lead to 35. With that momentum, he returns to Big Diamond Speedway eyeing back-to-back victories with the Series and at the Pennsylvania track. He led 64 of the 75 laps last year to score his first Series win at the track.

During the Series’ first of three visits to Weedsport Speedway this year in May, Sheppard left with third-place finish. It extended his streak of top-four finishes at the track to five in a row. He won the Cavalcade Weekend in 2021 and then posted finishes of fourth, third and second last year.

FIGHTIN’ BACK: Mat Williamson, of St. Catharines, ON, opened the season with four wins in the first five races. Since then, he’s had finishes of eighth, eighth and 14th, putting him now second in points – 35 points behind Matt Sheppard. Big Diamond Speedway will be his first chance to regain some momentum and try to improve upon his ninth-place run there last year.

But then he’ll return to the site of one of his most dominating performances. At Weedsport Speedway in May, Williamson lapped the field up to fourth place on his way to his third win at the track and 13th career Series win overall.

STEADY HAND: “The Batman” Peter Britten, of Brisbane, QLD, has experienced a strong, consistent start to the first half of the season, putting together a run of four top 10 finishes in a row – three of them being top fives, including his most recent fifth-place finish at Orange County Fair Speedway. With that consistency, he’s now moved up to third in Series points and will try to keep it going at Big Diamond Speedway, looking to improve upon his 16th-place run from last year.

x

One of Britten’s top-five finishes this year came during the Series’ Memorial Day Weekend visit to Weedsport Speedway where he posted a fourth-place finish. It was his first top-five finish at the track since 2017. Britten will look to continue the steady improvement and score his first career victory at the track.

HOME TEAM: Heinke-Baldwin Racing teammates Jimmy Phelps and Max McLaughlin return to Big Diamond Speedway riding two different waves of momentum. After starting the season with three top 10s in a row, Phelps has finished outside the top 10 in his last two starts, while McLaughlin scored his first top 10 since April in the last Series race at Orange County Fair Speedway.

Big Diamond Speedway wasn’t kind to either HBR driver last year as Phelps finished 15th and McLaughlin suffered a 27th-place finish. However, both have found a wealth of success at Weedsport Speedway – owned by their owner Al Heinke and located on the same property as their HBR shop. McLaughlin has two Series wins at Weedsport and Phelps has three – including a win during the Hall of Fame 100 last year.

During the Series’ Memorial Day visit to the track, Phelps finished second and McLaughlin finished 13th.

PA STARS: The Series stars will be joined by a group of Pennsylvania talent ready to compete for the generous payday. Fifteen-year-old Tanner Van Doren recently scored the best Series finish of his career, finishing sixth at Orange County Fair Speedway. The Schnecksville, PA resident will look to carry that momentum into Big Diamond Speedway and rebound from last year’s DNF with the Series.

Former full-time Series drivers Alex Yankowski, of Covington Township, PA, and Mike Gular, of Harleysville, PA, are also expected to join the field at the Anthracite Assault at Big Diamond Speedway.

Yankowski, the 2021 Coal Cracker champion at Big Diamond, delivered a fourth-place finish with the Series at the track last year, charging up eight positions from 12th.

Currently fourth in track points, Gular will also look to use his knowledge of Big Diamond to improve upon his career best Series finish of fourth, which he scored at Bridgeport Motorsports Park in April. Last year, he finished he finished 12th at Big Diamond with the Series.

Stat Glance

Track Facts
Big Diamond Speedway
Configuration: 3/8-mile
Website: bigdspeedway.net

AROUND THE TURN: The Super DIRTcar Series will head to Land of Legends Raceway on Wed., July 19 for a 70-lap, $7,500-to-win, showcase.

2023 FEATURE WINS:
1-Mat Williamson-4
2-Matt Sheppard-2
3-Max McLaughlin-1
4-Chris Hile-1

2023 HEAT WINS:
1-Matt Sheppard-4
2-Mat Williamson-3
-Peter Britten-3
4-Jimmy Phelps-2
-Jack Lehner-2
-Erick Rudolph-2
-Rick Laubach-2
8-Stewart Friesen-1
-Justin Stone-1
-HJ Bunting-1
-Mike Mahaney-1
-Matthew Stangle-1
-Billy Decker-1
-Larry Wight-1
-Brett Hearn-1
-Dan Creeden-1
-Darren Smith-1
-Anthony Perrego-1
-Marc Johnson-1
-Andy Bachetti-1
-Mathieu Desjardins-1
-Chris Hile-1
-Ronnie Johnson-1
-Marc Johnson-1
-Andy Bachetti-1
-Mathieu Desjardins-1
-Chris Hile-1
-Ronnie Johnson-1

2023 BILLY WHITTAKER CARS FAST TIME AWARD
1-Mat Williamson-2
-Darren Smith-2
-Marc Johnson-2
4-Jack Lehner-1
-Mathieu Desjardins-1

2023 LAPS LED
1-Matt Sheppard-132
2-Mat Williamson-96
3-Darren Smith-59
4-Perrego-39
5-Chris Hile- 32
-Larry Wight-32
7-Max McLaughlin-30
8-Demetrios Drellos-29
9-Jack Lehner-24
-Rick Laubach-24
11-Peter Britten-22
12-Brett Hearn-11
13-Mike Mahaney-2

2023 Super DIRTcar Series Schedule & Winners
#/Day, Date/Track/Location/Winner (Total Wins)
1. Wednesday, Feb. 15 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Max McLaughlin (1)
2. Thursday, Feb. 16 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Mat Williamson (1)
3. Saturday, Feb. 18 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Mat Williamson (2)
4. Sunday, April 23/Bridgeport Motorsports Park/ Swedesboro, NJ/ Mat Williamson (3)
5Sunday, May 28/ Weedsport Speedway/ Weedsport, NY/ Mat Williamson (4)
6. Monday, May 29/ Lebanon Valley Speedway/ West Lebanon, NY/ Matt Sheppard (1)
7. Tuesday, June 13/Albany-Saratoga Speedway/ Malta, New York/ Chris Hile (1)
8. Monday, July 3/ Orange County Fair Speedway/ Middletown, NY/ Matt Sheppard (2)