Fresh off his Feature win, Max McLaughlin looks to capitalize on his momentum while Matt Sheppard looks to stay in form and Mat Williamson continues to look for a way to the top of the podium
The Super DIRTcar Series is heading back to Pennsylvania for its first return to Big Diamond Speedway in Pottsville, PA since 2009.
The Big Block Modifieds will take to the 3/8-mile track to contend for a $7,500 payday in the 75-lap Feature in one of the most competitive seasons even with six different winners in six points-paying races and 10 different winners in 11 races overall.
Though the Series has not made many trips to the Eastern Pennsylvania track, there is some established history. Eight time and defending Super DIRTcar Series Champion Matt Sheppard won the coveted 2014 Coal Cracker race while 2022 Series Rookie of the Year contender and Pennsylvania-native Alex Yankowski won in 2021. Fellow Rookie of the Year contender and Pennsylvania driver Mike Gular was the track champion in 2020.
Sheppard, Land of Legends Raceway Feature winner Max McLaughlin and Mat Williamson – the current top three in points – will lead the for the battle to win in Pennsylvania.
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 at Big Diamond Speedway:
CHARGE TO THE TOP: Max McLaughlin passed local driver Justin Haers in stunning fashion on Lap 73 during the Stars and Stripes 76 at Land of Legends Raceway to take home the win on June 30. It was his first career points-paying victory and with it he moved up to second in the point standings.
McLaughlin will look to continue the momentum and be the first driver this season to earn back-to-back victories. He has experience at Big Diamond Speedway, having finished ninth in the Coalcracker last year.
EXPANDING THE RESUME: Eight time and defending Super DIRTcar Series Champion Matt Sheppard charged from 11th place to third place for a podium finish at Land of Legends Raceway on June 30. The solid finish made him the new points leader – four points ahead of Feature winner Max McLaughlin.
After posting a DNF at Bridgeport on May 3, Sheppard has steadily climbed his way back to the top of the leaderboard and looked true to his usual form. He comes into Big Diamond with a slight advantage over his competitors, having some previous experience competing at the track. Sheppard won non-Series races in 2014 and 2019.
PA HOMECOMING: While Pennsylvania locals Alex Yankowski and Mike Gular have had a slow start to their Rookie of the Year campaigns – each picking up one top-10 finish in six starts. However, this week, they return home to a track they’ve both had success at.
Yankowski, of Covington Township, PA, won the Coalcracker at Big Diamond Speedway last year and finished third in track points. Gular, of Harleysville, PA, won the track championship at Big Diamond in 2020.
CONTINUING CONSISTENCY: Though Mat Williamson has yet to find the podium in a points-paying race this season, his consistent finishes have kept him towards the top of the leaderboard. The St. Catharines, ON driver currently sits in third place in the point standings and is tied for third for Heat Races won. The #88 Buzz Chew Racing driver will continue his charge for his first Feature win of the season at Big Diamond Speedway and try to become the seventh different winner in seven races during the championship season, so far.
LOCAL CONTENDERS: The local contenders looking to challenge the Series regulars will be plentiful. Duane Howard, who won the last Series race at Big Diamond Speedway in 2009, is the current points leader at Big Diamond with his #15g Modified. In total, Howard has eight victories at Big Diamond.
Joining him will be fellow track championship contender Brett Kressley, driver of the #19k Modified who won with the Pennsylvania Tri-Track Modifieds Series at Big Diamond in June, along with the likes of Louden Reimert, Nick Rochinski and Craig Von Dohren – all in the top-five in track points.
Big Diamond Speedway
Big Block Track Record: 17.450 seconds set by Tim Fuller on April 26, 2009
AROUND THE TURN: The Super DIRTcar Series will travel to Weedsport Speedway in Weedsport, NY on July 24th for the Hall of Fame 100 with $10,000 and a guaranteed starting spot at the 50th Running of NAPA Super DIRT Week on the line.
2022 FEATURE WINS:
1-Stewart Friesen – 2
-Max McLaughlin – 2
3-Peter Britten – 1
-Mat Williamson – 1
-Jimmy Phelps – 1
-Ryan Godown – 1
-Matt Sheppard – 1
2022 HEAT WINS:
1-Peter Britten – 5
-Matt Sheppard – 5
3-Mat Williamson – 4
-Jimmy Phelps –4
5-Stewart Friesen – 3
-Max McLaughlin – 3
7-Jack Lehner – 2
-Tim Fuller – 2
10-Demetrios Drellos – 1
-Rick Laubach – 1
-Ryan Godown – 1
-Ryan Krachun – 1
-Billy Dunn – 1
-Ronnie Davis III-1
-Kenny Tremont Jr.-1
-Tim Sears Jr-1
2022 BILLY WHITTAKER CARS FAST TIME AWARD
1-Peter Britten – 2
-Max McLaughlin – 2
3-Jack Lehner – 1
-Jimmy Phelps – 1
-Stewart Friesen – 1
2022 LAPS LED
1-Stewart Friesen – 105
2-Matt Sheppard – 84
3-Jimmy Phelps – 79
5-Ryan Godown – 65
9-Mat Williamson – 26
10-Max McLaughlin – 20
11-Alex Yankowski – 10
1-Stewart Friesen – 5
2-Max McLaughlin – 4
3-Peter Britten – 3
-Jimmy Phelps – 3
5-Mat Williamson – 2
-Matt Sheppard – 2
9-Jack Lehner – 1
-Larry Wight – 1
-Tim Fuller – 1
2022 Super DIRTcar Series Schedule & Winners
#/Day, Date/Track/Location/Winner (Total Wins)
1. Tuesday, Feb. 15 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Stewart Friesen (1)
2. Wednesday, Feb. 16 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Peter Britten (1)
3. Thursday, Feb. 17 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Mat Williamson (1)
4. Friday, Feb. 18 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Max McLaughlin (1)
5. Saturday, Feb. 19 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Jimmy Phelps (1)
6. Tuesday, May 3 / Bridgeport Motorsports Park / Swedesboro, NJ / Ryan Godown (1)
7. Wednesday, May 18 / Can-Am Speedway / LaFargville, NY / Matt Sheppard (1)
8. Sunday, May 29 / Weedsport Speedway / Weedsport, NY / Stewart Friesen (2)
9. Monday, May 30 / Lebanon Valley Speedway / West Lebanon, NY / LJ Lombardo (1)
10. Friday, June 24 / Albany-Saratoga Speedway/ Malta, NY/ Mike Mahaney (1)
11.Thursday, June 30 / Land of Legends Raceway/ Canandaigua, NY/Max McLaughlin (2)