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STILL GOING STRONG: Tim Fuller Returns to Victory Lane on World Finals’ Penultimate Night

Fuller on his car

Tim Fuller read the track correctly to make his way around Anthony Perrego for his third Series win of the season

Tim Fuller made the long drive from Watertown, NY to Charlotte, NC for one reason.

He just loves to race.

After a decorated career that has spanned over 30 years and counting, and an induction into the Northeast DIRT Modified Hall of Fame last July, Tim Fuller showed, once again Friday night in front of a packed house at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, that he can still compete with the best-of-the-best.

Fuller was the SRI Performance/ Stock Car Steel pole award winner, joined by Anthony Perregoto his outside at the start of the Feature. At the drop of the green flag, Perrego shot out in front of Fuller, taking a commanding lead to start the 30-lap Feature. Mat Williamson followed behind in third place.

The Walden, NY native held strong, staying in the lead while hitting lapped traffic and having to read the ever-changing track conditions correctly.

Perrego ran his Four Star Racing #4 predominately middle-in, weaving his way through the 30-car field. Fuller wasn’t far behind, using his second-place perspective to strategize his path to the lead.

As Perrego struggled to find the optimal groove and began to lose speed in the congestion, Fuller slipped around him coming off Turn 2, taking the lead on Lap 24.

“When you’re in second, I’ve always said it, you’re the one in the prime spot,” Fuller said. “He made a little mistake and I had to capitalize right in that moment.”

The yellow flag dropped seconds after the change in hands for the lead, bringing the field to a temporary caution. On the restart, Williamson made a move of his own, passing Perrego on the inside in almost identical fashion to Fuller on Lap 25.

Finally, out in clean air, the new race leader pulled away from the pack with plenty of endurance left in his machine. He ticked the last five laps off the counter with a steady hand, clocking his third Super DIRTcar Series win this season, and first Series win in five years at The Dirt Track at Charlotte – exactly five years since his last win there on Nov. 3, 2018.

“(Anthony) Perrego took off (at the beginning of the race) guns ablazing,” Fuller said. “I wasn’t going to run at that speed, simply because I knew he had only one hard tire on him. As it was taking rubber, you’re just burning the tires down. I wasn’t going to pass him like that, until we got into traffic. Once we got into traffic, my tire was a little better than his and that was it.”

Williamson held on in his Buzz Chew Racing #88 to finish in second place. It was his second podium finish of the World Finals and 13th top-five finish of the season.

“Fortunately, Tim (Fuller) took the bottom on the restart (on Lap 24) and kinda got me to get under Anthony (Perrego),” Williamson said. “I was in the rubber and (Perrego) wasn’t. He probably had a better car than I did, I think. He took off on me early in the race, I couldn’t race with him, but fortunately that caution came out.”

Fuller, Perrego, Williamson on track
Tim Fuller’s patience paid off as his pass around Anthony Perrego led to his third Series win of the season Friday night. (Photo: J. Norgaard)

Perrego finished in third place, his third-top five finish this season. He attributed his loss of speed to the decisions made in lapped traffic and the affect it had on his car.

“We took off really good there on the initial start,” Perrego said. “We got to the lapped cars, and we just got really loose. I don’t know why, if it was just the air from the other guys or the pace of the car slowing down made us free, I’m not too sure. We’ll go to work tomorrow.”

Erick Rudolph finished in fourth and Matt Sheppard finished in fifth. With his top-five finish, Sheppard mathematically clinched his 10th Super DIRTcar Series championship. The Waterloo, NY driver will officially be crowned the 2023 Series champion Saturday night with a massive celebration on the front stretch of The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

UP NEXT: The Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds return for the 40-lap, $15,000-to-win, season finale at the Dirt Track at Charlotte. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch every lap of racing and Sheppard be crowned champion live on DIRTVision.

Super DIRTcar Series Feature (30 Laps): 1. 19-Tim Fuller[1]; 2. 88-Mat Williamson[3]; 3. 4*-Anthony Perrego[2]; 4. 25-Erick Rudolph[4]; 5. 9S-Matt Sheppard[8]; 6. 83X-Tim Sears Jr[7]; 7. 70A-Alex Payne[6]; 8. 26-Ryan Godown[10]; 9. 8H-Max McLaughlin[11]; 10. 98H-Jimmy Phelps[5]; 11. 111-Demetrios Drellos[14]; 12. 84Y-Alex Yankowski[15]; 13. 35-Mike Mahaney[17]; 14. 12-Darren Smith[23]; 15. 4SL-Bob Hentschel[16]; 16. 27J-Danny Johnson[24]; 17. 21A-Peter Britten[12]; 18. 91-Felix Roy[20]; 19. 33-Louden Reimert[27]; 20. 2-Jack Lehner[18]; 21. 215-Adam Pierson[25]; 22. 99L-Larry Wight[13]; 23. JS98-Rocky Warner[28]; 24. 5H-Chris Hile[26]; 25. 91D-Billy Decker[21]; 26. 14-CG Morey[29]; 27. 2A-Mike Gular[22]; 28. 54-Steve Bernard[9]; 29. ONE-David Hebert[19]; 30. (DNF) 17-Marcus Dinkins[30]