Billy Decker wins thriller at Rolling Wheels Raceway’s continuation of Super DIRTcar Series Stars & Stripes 100
Nate Reynolds picks up the win in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified division
ELBRIDGE, N. Y. – Tuesday, October 8, 2013 – For this year’s NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLIII, Billy Decker hit the ground running. The Unadilla, N. Y., driver, who won the pole in last year’s running of the Syracuse 200, kicked off his week with a win at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park.
“It’s been way to long,” said Decker, whose claimed his last Super DIRTcar Series win in June of 2011. “We pride ourselves in these Super DIRTcar Series races. We weren’t the best car, but it feels good to win tonight – I’m doggone tickled-to-death.”
The Stars & Stripes 100 continued Tuesday, Oct. 8, with the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series 100-lapper starting from lap 25, which is where it left off Sunday, Sept. 1, when inclement weather hit the speedway. In the September portion of the race, Decker wrestled the lead from pole sitter Dave Rauscher in lap 8. He started on the pole for the Tuesday’s continuation of the feature race, but lost the lead to Brett Hearn in lap 30.
Hearn started the race third and charged ahead at the first green flag to take second. He wrestled the lead from Decker using the inside groove after a double-file restart in lap 29. By lap 31 Hearn, the series point leader and last year’s NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLII Big-Block Modified champion, had established a significant lead over Decker.
The race seemed to be Hearn’s for the taking, with the Madsen Motorsports No. 20 almost effortlessly cruising ahead of the field on every restart. A caution in lap 31 slowed the pace as Danny Johnson’s No. 66 slowed to a stop in turn 1, but Hearn wasn’t threatened.
“The Jet” Hearn flew ahead, leaving Decker, Matt Sheppard and Billy Dunn to battle for the next best positions. The three were nose-to-tail heading into lap 37, all looking for their opportunity to get ahead. Justin Haers rounded out the top 5 in the Phelps Cement Products No. 3. Yellow conditions slowed the pace in lap 44 and again in lap 47 with no changes in the top-five off the restarts.
Early race leader Rauscher slowed in turn 3 to bring a lap-49 caution and Justin Wright brought another caution in lap 54. Off the lap 58 restart, Dunn claimed third over Sheppard and Brachmann fifth over Haers, but Hearn remained unchallenged in the front.
More yellow laps brought by Matt Billings in lap 64 and Tim Currier in lap 69 gave some drivers the chance to gain ground. Danny Johnson, who started tail after a mechanical issue in lap 31 took him to the pits, had made his way to fifth after Sheppard in fourth and Dunn in third.
The race gained momentum, with Hearn claiming a growing lead over Decker, until cautions in laps 81 and 84 brought the field back together. Off the lap-84 restart, Danny Johnson lost a tire on the front-stretch, nearly flipped, and collided with the No. 43 of Keith Flach. Both drivers were able to walk away unharmed, but both cars were too heavily damaged to continue racing.
In lap 87, another top-five racer took to the pits when Dunn’s No. 49 popped a flat to bring out the yellow flag. Caution conditions returned in lap 94 when Dunn and Tim Currier came together in lap 94. he Through all the commotion, Hearn kept the lead, and by lap 90 Decker was still in second, followed by Sheppard in third, Haers in fourth and Jimmy Phelps in fifth.
With just five laps to go, and still able to keep a significant lead over his competitors, Hearn looked ready to claim the Stars & Stripes 100. However, in lap 96, the No. 20 slowed to a stop in the back-stretch to bring the final caution of the race. Hearn pitted, leaving Decker in first and Sheppard in second to take the checkered flag.
“We were way too tight, had to wrestle the car all night,” Decker said. “I guess it paid off to just stick with it.”
Finishing second over Hearn puts Sheppard in a good place in Super DIRTcar Series point standings with only a few events left in the season.
“It was a good points night and we had a great race car tonight,” said Sheppard, the three-time defending series champion. “Track position was a little bit at a premium tonight. I think we had as good a car as Bill did tonight, but passing him would have been a different story.”
Rounding out the top five in Tuesday’s race are Haers in third, Phelps in fourth and Chris Hile in fifth. Hearn returned to the track in lap 96 and gained several positions, finishing the race ninth. Despite his last-minute loss of position, Hearn was far from disappointed in the night’s performance.
“I would rather have a dominant car and have that happen than run tenth and not know why,” Hearn said.
In the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified division, Nate Reynolds cruised to an initial lead and led all 30 laps to take home the night’s feature race trophy. He fended off early challenges from Frank Burnell, establishing a significant lead early in the race.
A lap-9 tangle in turn 3 involving Bruce Batzel brought the first caution of the race. Tyler Dippel charged ahead on the restart to claim second from Burnell and was poised to challenge Reynolds for the lead. However, Reynolds stayed ahead, even after cautions and restarts in laps 21 and 23.
Reynolds claimed the win Tuesday in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified division, followed by Dippel in second, Don Spatorico in third, Jim Spano in fourth and Daryl Nutting rounding out the top five.
“It feels awesome,” Reynolds said in Victory Lane. “It’s been a long season – we’ve been so close so many times, we just couldn’t pull it off.”
Racing continues throughout the Central New York region during NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLIII, which opens Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. In addition to an action-packed schedule of qualifying events and championship rounds in Syracuse, a number of satellite events are bringing the action to the surrounding areas. Wednesday night, the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series takes on Weedsport Speedway for the historic track’s only event of the 2013 season. Thursday, Oct. 10, DIRTcar returns to Brewerton Speedway for the 358-Modified Series Hurricane 100. Rolling Wheels Raceway lights up again Saturday, Oct. 12, for “The Greatest Show on Dirt,” the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series, alongside the popular Big-Block Modified “Win and You’re In” event, a qualifier for Sunday’s Syracuse 200. For more information and to view a full schedule of events, visit www.superdirtweekonline.com.
Rolling Wheels Raceway Park
October 8, 2013
Super DIRTcar Series A-Main:
1. 91 Billy Decker, Unadilla, N. Y.
2. 9s Matt Sheppard, Waterloo, N. Y.
3. 3 Justin Haers, Phelps, N. Y.
4. 98h Jimmy Phelps, Baldwinsville, N. Y.
5. 5H Chris Hile, Syracuse, N. Y.
6. 7z Dale Planck, Homer, N. Y.
7. 3b Chad Brachmann, Sanborn, N. Y.
8. 38 Ryan Susice, Ransomville, N. Y.
9. 20 Brett Hearn, Sussex, N. J.
10. 8 Rich Scagliotta, Hillsborough, N. Y.
11. T21 Dave Marcuccilli, Cayuga, N. Y.
12. 88 Alan Johnson, Middlesex, N. Y.
13. 19w Justin Wright, Piffard, N. Y.
14. 21a Pete Britten, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
15. 48T Dave Rauscher, Waterloo, N. Y.
16. 10v Billy VanInwegen, Sparrowbush, N. Y.
17. 5* Tyler Siri, Watkins Glen, N. Y.
18. 10c Tim Currier, Auburn, N. Y.
19. 49d Billy Dunn, Watertown, N. Y.
20. 66 Danny Johnson, Rochester, N. Y.
21. 43 Keith Flach, Ravena, N. Y.
22. 74m Matt Billings, Brockville, Ontario
23. 83x Tim Sears, Jr., Clay, N. Y.
24. 21 Derrick Podsiadlo, Penn Yan, N. Y
25. 711 JaMike Sowle, Fultonville, N. Y.
26. 7x Steve Paine, Waterloo, N. Y.
27. 62s Tom Sears, Jr., Clay, N. Y.
28. 8R Rob Bellinger, Dexter, N. Y.
29. 84 Gary Tomkins, Clifton Springs, N. Y.
30. 83 Brian Swartzlander, Natrona Heights, Penn
Did not start:
02 Roy Bresnahan, Palermo, N. Y.
07 Tim Kerr, Picton, Ontario
14g C. G. Morey, Rutland, Vt.
16 Lance Willix II, Theresa, N. Y.
21k Randy Chrysler, Lewiston, N. Y.
42 Matt Pupello, East Greenbush, N. Y.
63 Adam Roberts, Watertown, N. Y.
77 Brian Sage, Brockport, N. Y.
DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds A-Main (30 laps): 1. 6R Nate Reynolds, 2. 1T Tyler Dippel, 3. 5 Don Spatorico, 4. 1s Jim Spano, 5. 21 Taylor Caprara, 6. 42 Daryl Nutting, 7. 11b Bryon Turner, 8. 25g Nick Guererri, 9. 19J Joe Kline, 10. 3a Adam Hilton, 11. 316 Dan Wiesner, 12. 8s Justin Sharp, 13. 57 Bruce Batzel, 14. 57b Frank Burnell. DNS: 11N Ricky Newton, m1 Mike Marcuccilli, 28 Russ Marsden, 1a Andrew Smith, 11b Ray Hendershot, 316 John Ellsworth, 1R Kyle Rohner, 66 Gary Sampo
Super DIRTcar Series Qualifying (ran Sunday, September 1)
Heat 1 (8 laps): Decker, Tomkins, Swartzlander, Britten, D. Johnson, Flach, VanInwegen, Podsiadlo, Bresnahan, Willix
Heat 2 (8 laps): Dunn, Planck, Billings, Marcuccilli, Brachmann, Tim Sears, Jr., Siri, Pupello. DNS: Kerr
Heat 3 (8 laps): Phelps, Haers, Scagliotta, Hile, Paine, Bellinger, Tom Sears, Jr., Chrysler, Morey
Heat 4 (8 laps): Hearn, Sheppard, Rauscher, Sowle, Currier, A. Johnson, Susice, Wright. DNS: Sage, Roberts
B-Main 1 (10 laps): Tim Sears, Flach, Siri, VanInwegen, Podsiadlo, Pupello, Willix, Bresnahan. DNS: Kerr
B-Main 2 (10 laps): A. Johnson, Bellinger, Tom Sears, Wright, Susice, Chrysler, Morey. DNS: Sage, Roberts
Time Trials: 1. Britten, 20.046; 2. Decker, 20.055; 3. Tomkins, 20.460; 4. Phelps, 20.461; 5. Haers, 20.504; 6. Dunn, 20.648; 7. Swartzlander, 20.693; 8. Hearn, 20.695; 9. Sheppard, 20.715; 10. Flach, 20.731; 11. D. Johnson, 20.735; 12. Bellinger, 20.892; 13. Planck, 20.955; 14. Billings, 21.008; 15. Hile, 21.018; 16. VanInwegen, 21.046; 17. Scagliotta, 21.107; 18. Paine, 21.147; 19. Rauscher, 21.165; 20. Wright, 21.166; 21. A. Johnson, 21.168; 22. Chrysler, 21.200; 23. Sowle, 21.238; 24. Podsiadlio, 21.291; 25. Marcuccilli, 21.340; 26. Siri, 21.390; 27. Brachmann, 21.392; 28. Tom Sears, 21.400; 29. Pupello, 21.456; 30. Tim Sears, 21.537; 31. Bresnahan, 21.589; 32. Morey, 21.670; 33. Currier, 21.796; 34. Susice, 21.824; 35. Roberts, 22.005; 36. Willix, 22.402
DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Qualifying (ran Sunday, September 1)
Heat 1: Wiesner, Burnell, Spano, Caprara, Guererri, Dippel, Newton, Marcuccilli, Marsden, Batzel
Heat 2: Hilton, Spatorico, Reynolds, Smith, Hendershot, Ellsworth, Nutting, Rohner, Kline, Sampo
The Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast Region is brought to fans by several sponsors and partners including Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, Chevy Performance Parts, NAPA Auto Parts, and Safety-Kleen. Contingency sponsors are ASI, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix, ButlerBuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Integra Shocks, Intercomp, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, KSE Racing Products, Motorsports Safety Systems, MSD Performance, Penske Shocks, Racing Electronics, Superflow and Wrisco Industries. Super DIRT Week sponsors include: Beyea Headers, Draco Springs, Fast Shafts, Fluidampr, FK Rod Ends, Fox Shocks, Pro Fabrication and Turbostart. Lighting for Super DIRT Week is brought to you by Musco Lighting.