Mat Williamson knows the winning formula at Volusia Speedway Park. And he executed it for the third time at DIRTcar Nationals Thursday night.

On a restart with five laps to go, the St. Catharines, ON driver roared from fourth to first, passing Anthony Perrego with three laps remaining to score his first Super DIRTcar Series win of 2024.

“I figured my only shot was to Hail Mary it,” Williamson said. “If we came out sixth, we came out sixth. If we won the race, we won the race. It’s nice to get a gator and knock the rust off, and hopefully, we’ll walk out of here with a big gator.”

Jimmy Phelps and Demetrios Drellos led the field to the green in the 30-lap Feature, battling wheel to wheel for the first seven laps as Drellos held the advantage. That changed when Phelps’ momentum carried him ahead of the #111 on Lap 8.

While they battled for the lead, Perrego closed behind them, hoping to earn redemption after a second-place finish on Tuesday.

The Montgomery, NY driver snuck underneath Drellos for second on Lap 15 and set his sights on Phelps. The #4* only needed one more lap to take the lead, storming past the “Baldwinsville Bandit” in traffic in Turn four on Lap 16. 

From there, Perrego pulled away, seeming destined to earn his first DIRTcar Nationals win. But on Lap 26, a red flag for Darren Smith, who flipped in Turn 1, changed his fortune for the second straight night.

Mat Williamson
Mat Williamson has won 3 out of the last 4 Super DIRTcar Series races at Volusia Speedway Park/Joe Grabianowski photo

That’s when Williamson made his move. When the race resumed, “Money Mat” stormed past Larry Wight as they reached Turn 1 to take over third and stole the runner-up spot from Phelps as they exited Turn 4. At that moment, he pulled his Bicknell Chassis to the back bumper of Perrego’s car, letting him know he was there.

One lap later, Williamson’s momentum carried him around the outside of Perrego in Turn 4, taking the lead as they completed Lap 27. 

From there, Williamson cruised to the $6,000 prize, earning his 23rd career Super DIRTcar Series victory—tying Steve Paine and Tim McCreadie for 12th on the all-time wins list.

Despite the win, Williamson said he needed to muscle the car around the track to get the most out of his car. It’s a strategy that’s worked over the last two years at “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.”

“I don’t know if we had the best car,” Williamson said. “It was the same as last year. We really needed to go hard into the corner and drive the wheels off the thing.”

For the second straight night, Perrego finished second, matching his best DIRTcar Nationals finish. He said his car wasn’t the same after the red flag.

“When Smith got upside down, we sat there for a while,” Perrego said. “You can kind of sit there and watch the track change. I don’t know if the tires sealed up, but we definitely had something happen there. The car was never as good as what it was.”

Larry Wight grabbed the final spot on the podium—his second consecutive top 10. After getting off to a fast start, the Phoenix, NY driver said it got harder to handle his Big Block toward the end.

“I think I might’ve ran the middle too many times and sealed up the right front,” Wight said. “Then, on that restart, I was really even worse. But after last night, this was a good run for us, and we’ll take it. If we keep putting it on the podium, the wins will come.”

Jimmy Phelps, the JAM Performance Fastest Hot Lap award winner, crossed the line fourth for the second straight night, while Erick Rudolph rounded out the top five.

Rex King Jr. earned the Billy Whittaker Cars and Trux Quick Time award.

After two nights of action at Volusia Speedway Park, Williamson holds a four-point lead over Perrego in the chase for the Big Gator.

Here’s a look at the top five in DIRTcar Nationals points:

  1. Mat Williamson          304
  2. Anthony Perrego         -4
  3. Matt Sheppard            -12
  4. Jimmy Phelps              -12
  5. Erick Rudolph              -12

For a full look at the Big Gator points standings, CLICK HERE

The Super DIRTcar Series returns to Volusia Speedway Park for their third night of action during the 53rd Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals. For tickets, visit

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

DIRTcar Nationals Night 2 (30 Laps): 1. 88-Mat Williamson[8]; 2. 4*-Anthony Perrego[7]; 3. 99L-Larry Wight[5]; 4. 98H-Jimmy Phelps[1]; 5. 25-Erick Rudolph[4]; 6. 111-Demetrios Drellos[2]; 7. 3J-Marc Johnson[6]; 8. 9S-Matt Sheppard[10]; 9. 8-Peter Britten[12]; 10. 165-Rex King Jr[3]; 11. 2-Jack Lehner[13]; 12. 32R-Ronald Davis III[9]; 13. 16X-Dan Creeden[15]; 14. 91D-Billy Decker[11]; 15. 91-Felix Roy[19]; 16. 1-Billy Pauch Jr[22]; 17. 44-Stewart Friesen[21]; 18. 7-Rick Laubach[23]; 19. 20-Brett Hearn[20]; 20. 84Y-Alex Yankowski[24]; 21. 15X-Justin Stone[18]; 22. 7Z-Zachary Payne[16]; 23. 14-CG Morey[27]; 24. (DNF) 12-Darren Smith[14]; 25. (DNF) 58-Louden Reimert[25]; 26. (DNS) 32C-Justin Haers; 27. (DNS) 70A-Alex Payne