On a night honoring hall of fame motorsports journalist Don Davies at Albany-Saratoga, Mat Williamson added another item to his racing resume Tuesday night.

Following the race’s Lap 46 invert, the 2019 Super DIRTcar Series champion passed Tim Sears Jr. five laps later and held on to win the Don Davies New York Modifieds 76 Tuesday night, earning his first Series win at “The Great Race Place.”

“Don and (Don’s wife) Jo Ann have always been a staple around here,” Williamson said. “I’m from far away from here and they treated me like family. I miss Don being at the racetracks a lot.

“What a cool race, in honor of a great man.”


Williamson and Matt Sheppard, the pole-sitter, led the field to the green flag in the 46-lap segment, with Sheppard gaining the early advantage.

However, the 10-time defending Super DIRTcar Series champion’s lead didn’t last long. The two raced side-by-side for a lap before Williamson’s momentum on the outside lane nosed the Buzz Chew Chevrolet No. 88 ahead of Sheppard as they completed Lap 3.

The St. Catharines, ON driver tried pulling away from the field, but four cautions slowed his momentum before a long green flag run starting on Lap 21.

As Williamson reached the back of the field, Alex Yankowski ascended toward the front, putting his left front tire as close to the inside wall as possible. Yankowski used that momentum inside of Turn 4 to dive under Sheppard and take second away on Lap 28, setting his sights on Williamson.

Yankowski needed four more laps to catch Williamson, who struggled in lap traffic. As the two approached Ryan McCartney, a lap car, Williamson chose the top and left the bottom open for the No. 84Y. Then, Yankowski snuck underneath both McCartney and Williamson in Turns 1 and 2, taking the lead on Lap 36.

From there, Yankowski pulled away and held on to win Segment 1, earning $2,000 for his efforts.

Sheppard caught Williamson in lap traffic and thundered underneath his rival to wrestle away second on Lap 46. Williamson settled for third, while Stewart Friesen and Tim Sears Jr. rounded out the top five.

Series points were awarded in Segment 1, meaning Sheppard earned the most points out of the full-time Super DIRTcar Series drivers.

After his podium finish in the segment, Williamson leads the Super DIRTcar Series standings by seven points over Anthony Perrego, who finished 13th. Sheppard is third in points and trails Williamson by eight.


After the first 46 laps were complete, Yankowski drew a no. six pill, meaning the top six finishers from segment one were inverted. That put Ronnie Johnson and Sears on the front row.

When the race resumed, Johnson led Sears into Turns 1 and 2. But by the time they returned to the start/finish line, Sears used the outside line to nose ahead and lead Lap 47.

As the Hastings, NY driver pulled away, Williamson and Stewart Friesen, who restarted in row two, split Johnson as they battled into Turns 1 and 2. Williamson then passed Johnson and Friesen as they entered the backstretch and started chasing Sears.

Then, Williamson switched lanes and closed the gap between him and Sears, diving under the No. 83X in Turns 3 and 4 and beating him to the flag stand to reclaim the lead on Lap 51.

Mat Williamson and Tim Sears Jr.

Like the first segment, Williamson struggled in lap traffic, allowing Friesen to close within three car lengths in the final five laps. However, it was enough for “Money Mat” to win the $7,600 prize and his 25th Super DIRTcar Series Feature.

“That was a cool racetrack,” Williamson said. “I’d get into lap traffic in front of me on the bottom, and I didn’t know if I could get them in the middle. I slipped up there a couple of times, and Matt (Sheppard) and Alex (Yankowski) got by me. It seemed like I was doing all the wrong things.

“I finally got the car rolling in that second half. Got by [Sears] and Ronnie, and what a race. That was a lot of fun.”

Friesen crossed the line second, earning his third consecutive Series podium.

“We were fast all night,” Friesen said. “It was an interesting format. I tried to play it the best I could to give myself a good hand at the end, and it just took us a little too long to get rolling for the second segment.

“It was a great event in memory of a great guy. It feels good to be a part of this and be on the podium.”

Yankowski moved up three spots in the final 30 laps, finishing third. It’s his first Series podium since his World of Outlaws World Finals victory in 2021.

“When I read that format, I said someone was going to be mad on Lap 46, and it was me,” Yankowski said. “It is what it is. We came out here just to race at a great racetrack. We watched the highlights, and this was definitely one of the best racetracks we’ve been at all year.

“Hats off to these guys. There’s some awesome fans here. It’s good to have some energy in the grandstands, and it’s cool to have a 76-lap race for a heck of a guy.”

Sheppard crossed the line fourth, and Tim Sears Jr. rounded out the top five.

UP NEXT: The Super DIRTcar Series returns to action on Thursday, July 4, for the Stars and Stripes Spectacular at Land of Legends Raceway in Canandaigua, NY.

If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision, either online or with the DIRTVision app.

Don Davies NY Modifieds 76 (76 Laps): 1. 88-Mat Williamson[2]; 2. 44-Stewart Friesen[8]; 3. 84Y-Alex Yankowski[5]; 4. 9S-Matt Sheppard[1]; 5. 83X-Tim Sears Jr[10]; 6. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson[3]; 7. 98H-Jimmy Phelps[11]; 8. 4*-Anthony Perrego[16]; 9. 3G-Matt Delorenzo[15]; 10. 70A-Alex Payne[13]; 11. 2-Jack Lehner[20]; 12. 111-Demetrios Drellos[4]; 13. 3J-Marc Johnson[19]; 14. 8-Rich Scagliotta[18]; 15. 35-Mike Mahaney[26]; 16. 21A-Peter Britten[23]; 17. 99-Kolby Schroder[21]; 18. 99L-Larry Wight[25]; 19. 28-Michael Trautschold[28]; 20. 12-Darren Smith[7]; 21. 91-Felix Roy[27]; 22. 15X-Justin Stone[9]; 23. 20-David Schilling[22]; 24. 32C-James Meehan[12]; 25. 27J-Danny Johnson[17]; 26. (DNF) 19F-Tim Fuller[6]; 27. (DNF) 18-Ryan Macartney[14]; 28. (DNF) 215-Adam Pierson[24]

Contingency Awards:
JAM Performance Fastest Hot Lap Award: Tim Fuller ($100)
Billy Whittaker Cars Quick Time Award: Tim Fuller ($100)
VP Racing Fuels Award: Anthony Perrego ($50)
ARP Bolts Award: Matt Sheppard ($50)
ASI Racewear Award: Jack Lehner ($50)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Award: Mat Williamson ($50)
Cometic Gasket Award: Marc Johnson $50
Comp Cams Award: Alex Payne ($50)
DIG Racing Products: Anthony Perrego ($50)
Fox Factory Award: Alex Yankowski ($50)
MSD Award: Tim Sears Jr. ($50)
Swift Springs Award: Jimmy Phelps ($50)
Hoosier Racing Tire Award: Matt Delorenzo (Free Tire)
SRI Performance/Stock Car Steel Pole Award: Stewart Friesen ($100)

POST RACE TECH: Checked for aluminum blocks. Followed purple wire on MSD box go distributor. Pulled belly pans. Followed all electrical and brake lines for traction control.