Williamson Bookends DIRTcar Nationals in Victory Lane

BARBERVILLE, FL – When the sun rose and heated up the Florida air this morning, only 50 laps on The World’s Fastest Half-Mile were all that separated Gypsum Racing’s Larry Wight from his third DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford Big Gator Championship. 

Wight needed to finish fifteenth or better to prevent teammate Billy Decker from taking it for himself. Fortunately for the No. 99L, Wight finished sixth sandwiched between Decker in fifth and his other teammate Pat Ward in 

Championships are often won in the shop as well as the race track and the Gypsum Racing team knows that well. 

“It’s a combination of good preparation, a good car, a good motor, and a phenomenal crew. Having a family to back that up and allow us to put in the hours and put in the time at the track and come down here,” noted Wight. 

The Super DIRTcar Series pounded the Florida clay five nights in a row and the track was different every night, which created challenging and dynamic racing.

“The track threw us for a loop tonight. We didn’t think it would get as slick,” said Wight, of Phoenix, NY. “We thought the top would be a little bit better so we tried to get the car freed up versus last night. I guess we should have left it a little bit snugger.”

Wight hopes he can bring home momentum and race data to Can-Am Speedway to start another run at the Super DIRTcar Series championship. 

Although it’s not the Big Gator, defending Super DIRTcar Series Mat Williamson is more than happy the Buzz Chew Racing team’s efforts were rewarded with two Gator wins, including tonight’s $5,000 grand prize. 

The race for the Big Gator championship probably would have come down to Wight and Williamson had the No. 88 not suffered a broken left rear shock, which resulted in a 15th place finish for the defending Series champion. 

“That Buzz Chew Chevrolet was pretty good. I think everyone in our pit area was disappointed with what happened Thursday night,” said Williamson, of St. Catharines, ON. “It just made us work harder and show everyone what we’re made of.”

Only Williamson and Wight found Victory Lane at this year’s DIRTcar Nationals. Williamson’s broken shock on Thursday and the Gypsum team’s dominance tipped the championship scales in Wight’s favor. 

“That’s what championships are made of,” Williamson said. “Hats off to Larry [Wight] and his guys, they had a solid week. We tried our best and couldn’t beat them. It goes to show how good they are,” Williamson said. 

The Buzz Chew Racing team struggled at the DIRTcar Nationals in 2019. They’ve been bound and determined to come back and succeed at Volusia. Bookending the week with wins and competing for the overall points title felt like redemption. 

Runner up Jimmy Phelps and his HBR crew worked hard all week on their new Bicknell chassis and set up package. 

“This is a new program for us with the chassis and coil-over suspension. We came down here with some stuff in mind that we wanted to play with,” said Phelps. “We got ourselves a little off track Wednesday and Thursday. It took until Thursday or me personally to figure out where I wanted to be on the race track. A top 5 last night and a podium tonight, we’re pretty happy with our progress.”

The Baldwinsville Bandit went on to say: “We learned a lot. We got beat by the hottest guy on dirt right now. There’s nothing to hang our heads about. We learned a ton that we can take back north with us. 

Another driver with early-week woes was the seven-time Super DIRTcar Series champion Matt Sheppard. The driver from Waterloo, NY recorded finishes uncharacteristically down the order throughout the week but showed improvement every single night. 

“We had a really good car tonight. We’ve been chasing this thing all week and we made a big stride tonight. We had a good car all night. Track position was very key,” said Sheppard. 

And of course, there’s the part that no one from the northeast is looking forward to. 

“Now we make the long trip home back to the snow.”

Brett Hearn knows the fast way around Volusia Speedway Park. In fact, The Jet holds the record for consecutive victories with 5 at the Florida oval. Tonight Hearn picked up 12 positions to finish eleventh from twenty-third. 

Next up, the Series first points race takes place on Saturday, April 11 at Can-Am Speedway in Lafargville, NY for a $7,500-to-win 100-lap Feature. 

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FEATURE (50 Laps)

  1. 88-Mat Williamson [2][$5,000]; 2. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [1][$2,500]; 3. 9S-Matt Sheppard [4][$1,500]; 4. 49-Billy Dunn [5][$1,000]; 5. 91-Billy Decker [7][$800]; 6. 99L-Larry Wight [3][$700]; 7. 42P-Pat Ward [10][$650]; 8. 4-Andy Bachetti [19][$600]; 9. 25R-Erick Rudolph [11][$550]; 10. 19-Tim Fuller [15][$500]; 11. 20-Brett Hearn [23][$475]; 12. 44-Stewart Friesen [6][$450]; 13. 7MM-Michael Maresca [8][$425]; 14. 44P-Anthony Perrego [16][$400]; 15. 19M-Jessey Mueller [9][$375]; 16. 21A-Peter Britten [24][$350]; 17. 30-Ronnie Johnson [21][$325]; 18. 3-Justin Haers [18][$300]; 19. 23-Kyle Coffey [13][$300]; 20. 111-Demetrios Drellos [28][$300]; 21. 83-Brian Swartzlander [12][$300]; 22. 46-Jeremy Smith [14][$300]; 23. 32-Jim Rasey [25][$300]; 24. 8-Rich Scagliotta [26][$300]; 25. 1G-Darwin Greene [17][$300]; 26. 30M-JoJo Watson [22][$300]; 27. 1-Billy Pauch [20][$300]; 28. 7-Rick Laubach [27][$300]

Hard Charger Award: 20-Brett Hearn[+12]

FULL RESULTS HERE

Contingency awards:

VP Racing Fuels: 

$50 – Andy Bachetti

Drydene Performance Products: 

$50 – Larry Wight

$50 Certificate – Peter Britten

ASI Racewear:

$50 – Pat Ward

Bicknell Racing Products:

$100 Certificate – Mat Williamson

Billy Whittaker Cars:

$100 – Matt Sheppard

Cometic:

$50 – Stewart Friesen

Comp Cams:

$50 – Tim Fuller

$50 Certificate – Mat Williamson

DART:

$50 – Erick Rudolph

$100 Certificate – Jimmy Phelps

$100 Certificate – Kyle Coffey

Fox Racing Shox: 

$50 – Matt Sheppard

Wrisco:

$200 Certificate – Mat Williamson

2/15/20 Volusia Speedway Park

FEATURE (50 Laps)
1. 88-Mat Williamson [2][$5,000]; 2. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [1][$2,500]; 3. 9S-Matt Sheppard [4][$1,500]; 4. 49-Billy Dunn [5][$1,000]; 5. 91-Billy Decker [7][$800]; 6. 99L-Larry Wight [3][$700]; 7. 42P-Pat Ward [10][$650]; 8. 4-Andy Bachetti [19][$600]; 9. 25R-Erick Rudolph [11][$550]; 10. 19-Tim Fuller [15][$500]; 11. 20-Brett Hearn [23][$475]; 12. 44-Stewart Friesen [6][$450]; 13. 7MM-Michael Maresca [8][$425]; 14. 44P-Anthony Perrego [16][$400]; 15. 19M-Jessey Mueller [9][$375]; 16. 21A-Peter Britten [24][$350]; 17. 30-Ronnie Johnson [21][$325]; 18. 3-Justin Haers [18][$300]; 19. 23-Kyle Coffey [13][$300]; 20. 111-Demetrios Drellos [28][$300]; 21. 83-Brian Swartzlander [12][$300]; 22. 46-Jeremy Smith [14][$300]; 23. 32-Jim Rasey [25][$300]; 24. 8-Rich Scagliotta [26][$300]; 25. 1G-Darwin Greene [17][$300]; 26. 30M-JoJo Watson [22][$300]; 27. 1-Billy Pauch [20][$300]; 28. 7-Rick Laubach [27][$300]

Hard Charger Award: 20-Brett Hearn[+12]

Qualifying Flight-A
1. 7MM-Michael Maresca, 17.567; 2. 99L-Larry Wight, 17.73; 3. 19M-Jessey Mueller, 17.769; 4. 23-Kyle Coffey, 18.13; 5. 48T-Dave Rauscher, 18.213; 6. 1G-Darwin Greene, 18.494; 7. 7-Rick Laubach, NT; 8. 21A-Peter Britten, NT

Qualifying Flight-B
1. 9S-Matt Sheppard, 17.561; 2. 91-Billy Decker, 17.598; 3. 46-Jeremy Smith, 17.794; 4. 42P-Pat Ward, 17.83; 5. 3-Justin Haers, 17.997; 6. 6D-Dillon Steuer, 18.036; 7. 30M-JoJo Watson, 18.16; 8. 44R-Russell Morseman, 19.039

Qualifying Flight-C
1. 98H-Jimmy Phelps, 17.714; 2. 49-Billy Dunn, 17.72; 3. 19-Tim Fuller, 17.821; 4. 25R-Erick Rudolph, 18.071; 5. 4-Andy Bachetti, 18.086; 6. 20-Brett Hearn, 18.111; 7. 8-Rich Scagliotta, 18.186; 8. 32-Jim Rasey, 18.516

Qualifying Flight-D
1. 88-Mat Williamson, 17.622; 2. 111-Demetrios Drellos, 17.731; 3. 44-Stewart Friesen, 17.738; 4. 30-Ronnie Johnson, 17.93; 5. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 17.959; 6. 1-Billy Pauch, 17.981; 7. 44P-Anthony Perrego, 18.019; 8. 13-Rick Regalski, 18.477

Heat #1 – Flight (A) – Spon.-1 (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 7MM-Michael Maresca [1]; 2. 99L-Larry Wight [2]; 3. 19M-Jessey Mueller [3]; 4. 23-Kyle Coffey [4]; 5. 1G-Darwin Greene [6]; 6. 7-Rick Laubach [7]; 7. 48T-Dave Rauscher [5]; 8. 21A-Peter Britten [8]

Heat #2 – Flight (B) – Spon.-2 (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 9S-Matt Sheppard [1]; 2. 91-Billy Decker [2]; 3. 42P-Pat Ward [4]; 4. 46-Jeremy Smith [3]; 5. 3-Justin Haers [5]; 6. 30M-JoJo Watson [7]; 7. 6D-Dillon Steuer [6]; 8. 44R-Russell Morseman [8]

Heat #3 – Flight (C) – Spon.-3 (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [1]; 2. 49-Billy Dunn [2]; 3. 25R-Erick Rudolph [4]; 4. 19-Tim Fuller [3]; 5. 4-Andy Bachetti [5]; 6. 20-Brett Hearn [6]; 7. 32-Jim Rasey [8]; 8. 8-Rich Scagliotta [7]

Heat #4 – Flight (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 88-Mat Williamson [1]; 2. 44-Stewart Friesen [3]; 3. 83-Brian Swartzlander [5]; 4. 44P-Anthony Perrego [7]; 5. 1-Billy Pauch [6]; 6. 30-Ronnie Johnson [4]; 7. 111-Demetrios Drellos [2]; 8. 13-Rick Regalski [8]

LCS1 – Last Chance Showdowns (10 Laps) – Top 6 Transfer
1. 30-Ronnie Johnson [4][]; 2. 30M-JoJo Watson [2][]; 3. 20-Brett Hearn [3][]; 4. 21A-Peter Britten [9][]; 5. 32-Jim Rasey [7][]; 6. 8-Rich Scagliotta [11][]; 7. 44R-Russell Morseman [10][$75]; 8. 111-Demetrios Drellos [8][]; 9. 6D-Dillon Steuer [6][$75]; 10. 48T-Dave Rauscher [5][$75]; 11. 13-Rick Regalski [12][$75]; 12. 7-Rick Laubach [1][]

Lightning Strikes Twice

BARBERVILLE, FL – For the second night in a row, Lightning Larry Wight was showered in confetti on the front stretch of Volusia Speedway Park at the DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford. 

Both wins were mirrored by two other important factors: Larry Wight started on the outside pole and five-time NAPA Super DIRT Week Champion Stewart Friesen finished in his Hoosier Racing Tire tracks. The pilot of the No. 25R Erick Rudolph, from Ransomville, NY, took the final step of the podium. 

Wight, of Phoenix, NY, has now won 3 of the last 5 Super DIRTcar Series races at Volusia Speedway Park. 

“This car has just been on a rail,” said Wight. “We were fortunate enough to be able to put the same set up as we did last night. The track didn’t lay rubber or anything and we were still glued to it. We’ve got something rolling so I hope we can keep it going for the rest of the week. Hopefully, it will transfer to something up north.”

The 30-lap Feature began with Wight hard on the gas on the outside of pole-sitter Rick Laubach. Wight passed him on the opening lap with the same move he made the night before on Brett Hearn. Right now, Wight and his team have the car right where he wants it.

“The car is good enough that I don’t even have to run the cushion. It’s a wall over in 3 and 4,” noted Wight. To try and run that lap after lap without losing the nose or hurt the car is almost impossible. We were able to run about halfway below it, right on the crown where it kind of flattens off. It seemed to like it.” 

Five-time NAPA Super DIRT Week Champion Stewart Friesen started fifth and quickly made his way to Wight’s tail. The race ran green until lap 13 when Tuesday’s winner and former Gator Championship points leader Mat Williamson broke a left rear shock. The Buzz Chew Racing team quickly changed the broken part and sent the No. 88 back into the fray where he made his way back up to 15th.

Friesen then lined up beside Wight on the lap 13 restart. 

“Any time you have Stewie right behind you, you don’t want to see a restart. He’s phenomenal on restarts and he can usually make stuff happen. The farther I could keep him behind me the better.”

Friesen has probably had his fill of staring down Wight’s exhaust pipe, but his Halmar Racing team is adept at giving Friesen what he needs to win. 

“These guys have been working really hard,” Friesen said. “ We’ve just got nothing for ‘em there. We’re going to take the day off and go run Daytona tomorrow and think about what we are going to do to this thing for Saturday because we are lacking a couple of tenths there and it showed. We’ll put it back together and come up with something.” 

Rudolph is ready to take a couple of steps up the podium. Although the Gator Championship points standings show him in third, second place runner Stewart Friesen will be racing at Daytona International Speedway Friday, February 14 meaning Rudolph will likely overtake Friesen in points. Consistency is a huge part of Rudolph’s success. 

“We had similar speed to Friesen,” Rudolph said. “We’ve had a decent car. I’m proud of our consistency this week. We’ve got two more races here and I’m looking forward to those. The team is really driving here.” 

It was Sheppard who knocked out the quick time of the night clearing Time Trial runner up Wight by 3 tenths. After struggling mightily the past two nights, it looked like the 7-time Series champion had turned a corner. Unfortunately, there’s more work to be done as Sheppard slipped back in the field and finished seventh. 

After a tough week, Demetrios Drellos, driver of the No. 111, finally cracked the top 10. Drellos ran well in Time Trials and finished second in his Heat Race to get into the Albany-Saratoga Speedway Redraw. Drellos’ 10th-place finish is his best of the week after fighting mechanical gremlins. 

The fourth Super DIRTcar Series race of the Florida Tour at Volusia Speedway Park is Friday. If you can’t make it to the track, log in with DIRTvision and get a month-long Fast Pass to catch all the action live. 

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FEATURE (30 Laps) 1. 99L-Larry Wight [2][$3,000]; 2. 44-Stewart Friesen [5][$1,500]; 3. 25R-Erick Rudolph [4][$1,000]; 4. 7MM-Michael Maresca [3][$800]; 5. 20-Brett Hearn [7][$700]; 6. 91-Billy Decker [12][$650]; 7. 9S-Matt Sheppard [8][$600]; 8. 44P-Anthony Perrego [10][$550]; 9. 49-Billy Dunn [18][$500]; 10. 111-Demetrios Drellos [6][$450]; 11. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [11][$400]; 12. 21A-Peter Britten [19][$375]; 13. 42P-Pat Ward [14][$350]; 14. 7-Rick Laubach [1][$325]; 15. 88-Mat Williamson [15][$300]; 16. 19M-Jessey Mueller [9][$275]; 17. 30-Ronnie Johnson [22][$250]; 18. 19-Tim Fuller [21][$250]; 19. 23-Kyle Coffey [17][$250]; 20. 46-Jeremy Smith [13][$250]; 21. 83-Brian Swartzlander [20][$250]; 22. 3-Justin Haers [16][$250]; 23. 32-Jim Rasey [24][$250]; 24. 4-Andy Bachetti [25][$250]; 25. 48T-Dave Rauscher [26][$250]; 26. 1-Billy Pauch [23][$250]

Hard Charger Award: 49-Billy Dunn[+9]

FULL RESULTS HERE

Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds Volusia Speedway Park February 12th, 2020 | HIGHLIGHTS

Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds Volusia Speedway Park February 12th, 2020 | HIGHLIGHTS

Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified Feature Event Highlights from Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida on February 12th, 2020.

Bozard Ford DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park February 11th, 2020 | HIGHLIGHTS

Bozard Ford DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park February 11th, 2020 | HIGHLIGHTS

DIRTcar Nationals DIRTcar Late Models Feature Event Highlights from Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida on February 11th, 2020. To view the full race, visit DIRTVision.com.

Bozard Ford DIRTcar Nationals Late Models at Volusia Speedway Park February 10th, 2020 | HIGHLIGHTS

Bozard Ford DIRTcar Nationals Late Models at Volusia Speedway Park February 10th, 2020 | HIGHLIGHTS

DIRTcar Nationals DIRTcar Late Models Feature Event Highlights from Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida on February 10th, 2020. To view the full race, visit DIRTVision.com.

Bozard Ford DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park February 9th, 2020 | HIGHLIGHTS

Bozard Ford DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park February 9th, 2020 | HIGHLIGHTS

DIRTcar Nationals UMP Modifieds Feature Event Highlights from Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida on February 9th, 2020. To view the full race, visit DIRTVision.com.

Bozard Ford DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park February 8th, 2020 | HIGHLIGHTS

Bozard Ford DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park February 8th, 2020 | HIGHLIGHTS

DIRTcar Nationals UMP Modifieds Feature Event Highlights from Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida on February 8th, 2020. To view the full race, visit DIRTVision.com.

Bozard Ford DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park February 7th, 2020 | HIGHLIGHTS

Bozard Ford DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park February 7th, 2020 | HIGHLIGHTS

DIRTcar Nationals UMP Modifieds Quad-Feature Event Highlights from Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida on February 7th, 2020. To view the full race, visit DIRTVision.com.