Bridgeport Crowns Friesen ‘King of the Big Blocks’

SWEDESBORO, NJ – 28 premier Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified drivers charged into 100 laps of the unknown at the newly reconfigured high-banked, Bridgeport Motorsports Park at outset of the ‘King of the Big Blocks’ 100. 

Every driver in the field rose to the occasion and fought hard for the win but only the 5-time NAPA Super DIRT Week champion, Stewart Friesen, would be crowned ‘King of the Big Blocks.’ In Victory Lane, an emotional Stewart Friesen dedicated his win to the late Danny Serrano who passed away after working all Winter to prepare the new Bridgeport Motorsports Park for race season. 

Friesen won his Heat Race to make it to the Redraw and randomly selected 9th. With 100 laps to run, there was plenty of time for the Halmar International no. 44 to make up the necessary ground.

The Gypsum Racing cars of Larry Wight and Billy Decker led the field to the green flag. The no. 99L took off and jetted out to an early lead while Ryan Godown, Chris Hile, and Mike Mahaney duked it out for the rest of the top 5.

The next 20 laps stayed green and Decker began reeling in Wight. Slowly but surely Wight started to fade. On lap 20, Wight relinquished the lead to Decker. At the same time, Friesen began making serious inroads to the top 5 passing both Mike Mahaney and Chris Hile in one fell swoop for 4th. 

Everything changed on lap 25. 

Decker, while running in the lead, suffered a flat tire and brought out the caution. Incredibly, Decker was able to fight through the field all the way back to second place. 

“I didn’t expect to be on the podium but when it blew, sometimes getting a new tire early can win you the race,” said Decker. “By the looks of Friesen’s tire [in Victory Lane], we weren’t far off.”

On the restart, Friesen jumped to 2nd and then the lead, but suddenly the caution came out for Matt Sheppard and Mike Mahaney.  Both went behind the wall before starting their charge to the front once again. 

Friesen then outdueled Wight for the lead and drove off. Wight later retired from the race due to a mechanical failure. 

At the halfway point, Friesen was leading but Matt Sheppard worked his way back up into the top 5. Sheppard finally caught up with Friesen with 12 laps to go and made the pass. Almost immediately the no. 9S slowed and brought the caution flag out. His night was over although he did receive a free Hoosier Racing Tire for redrawing position 12. 

Friesen noted the Sheppard pass: “I figured the tire was shot because we started skatin’ pretty good. The car was getting upset in the bumps off of turn 2 a little bit. I tried to guard the bottom but Matt [Sheppard] got me on the top,” said Friesen. “I don’t know what happened but Danny Serrano was looking out for me tonight.”

Then it was Billy Decker’s turn to try and take down Friesen. He threw everything he had at him. “You have to hit it just right to get a run,” said Decker. “I was close but didn’t want to lay iron on him. I was trying. I didn’t come here to finish second.” 

3rd place finisher Jimmy Phelps was very happy with the result.

“The car was a lot better than me all night. We didn’t qualify well and I don’t think it had anything to do with the car, “said Phelps. “It just took me a while to get used to this place. What a great, racy place.”

The no. 98H never went away and the Baldwinsville Bandit never gave up. 

“It took me 50-60 laps to get to the top of turns 1 and 2 and the car could drive all over in 3 and 4. But I am happy. I wasn’t sure about halfway we had climbed up to 10th and then went back to 15th. Fortunately, the attrition helped us make it back in there.”

Follow SuperDIRTcar.com for all official race updates as well as Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute info, photos, videos, and more. 

PHOTO: Quinten Young 

King of the Big Blocks 100 Feature results:

1) STEWART FRIESEN 2) Billy Decker 3) Jimmy Phelps 4) Andy Bachetti 5) Michael Maresca 6) Peter Britten 7) Tim Fuller 8) Billy Dunn 9) Mike Mahaney 10) Mat Williamson 11) Demetrios Drellos 12) Jessey Mueller 13) Dave Marcuccilli 14) Chris Hile 15) Jack Lehner 16) Brandon Grosso 17) Ryan Watt 18) Tyler Dippel 19) Marcus Dinkins 20) Erick Rudolph 21) Billy Pauch Jr. 22) Matt Sheppard 23) Ryan Godown 24) Rick Labauch 25) Larry Wight 26) Neal Williams 27) Chad Phelps 28) Ryan Krachun

Contingency sponsorship awards:

Billy Whittaker Cars $100 – Stewart Friesen

VP Racing Fuels $50 – Billy Decker

Cometic Gasket $50 – Chris Hile

Comp Cams $50 – Demetrios Drellos

Fox Racing Shocks $50 – Marcus Dinkins

ARP $50 – Peter Britten

DART $50 – Demetrios Drellos

Drydene $50 – Peter Britten

ASi Racewear $50 – Tim Fuller 

Bicknell Racing Products $100 certificate – Stewart Friesen

Comp Cams $50 certificate – Billy Decker

Hoosier Racing Tire (free tire) – Matt Sheppard

Wrisco Aluminum – Stewart Friesen

ARP $50 certificate – Chris Hile

DART $100 certificate – Billy Decker

DART $100 certificate – Marcus Dinkins

Drydene $50 – Ryan Watt

PIT STOP: The View from Central New York

OSWEGO, NY – As we all wait impatiently for the start of this year’s edition of the Super DIRTcar Series, I look back to when it all started. I was just a junior in college at SUNY Oswego.

There had been various modified racing series over the years. There were Challenge Cups and there were attempts to have team races representing tracks from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Canada with three members to each team. A novel concept. 

However, none had them staying power of what has become the Super DIRTcar Series. But who are the legends, the men to beat, and the future stars of the series? Let’s start with the all-time Super DIRTcar Series Feature winners list. 

Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at Oswego Speedway, 2018 – Chris Owens photo

Top 10 All-Time Super DIRTcar Series Feature Winners List (Points and Non-Points) 

140 Brett Hearn
89 Danny Johnson
78 Matt Sheppard
70 Billy Decker
57 Alan Johnson
39 Bob McCreadie
32 Stewart Friesen
31 Jack Johnson
31 Tim Fuller
28 Jimmy Horton

The Legends

Wayne Reutimann charges down the backstretch of The Moody Mile, 1973 – Courtesy of the NAPA Super DIRT Week Program

I remember when the Schaefer Circle of Champions raced the what would become the first series shows back in 1972 at tracks like Five Mile Point, Rolling Wheels, Fonda, Flemington, Twin Valley, Orange County, Nazareth, East Windsor, Lebanon Valley, Weedsport, Merrittville and The Mile.

Chuck Ciprich all smiles at NAPA Super DIRT Week – Courtesy of the NAPA Super DIRT Week Program

Winners included the likes of Buzzie and Wayne Reutimann along with Will Cagle, Kenny Brightbill, Dick Hansen, Don Beagell, Chuck Ciprich, Stan Ploski, and Bobby Rossell. These names were always at the top of the results in the race papers. 

Kenny Brightbill in Victory Lane at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, 1979 – Courtesy of the NAPA Super DIRT Week Program

The Super DIRTcar Series has been the lone series that brought together the elite of Northeast Modified racing on a regular basis. For fans, it is treated to have so many of the legends of the tour still with us today and competing on a regular basis.

The winningest driver is Brett Hearn and although he has taken up a management role at Orange County, he hasn’t totally walked away from possibly running a Super DIRTcar Series show from time to time.

Brett Hearn and Billy Pauch talk shop, 1986 – Courtesy of the NAPA Super DIRT Week Program

Whoever would have thought that Danny Johnson, who won his first tour race in 1983, would be second in the all-time win list and still be racing when the resumption of action commences in 2020.

Danny Johnson, 2019 – Pete MacDonald photo

Youthful compared to the guys he is surrounded by in the all-time win list, Matt Sheppard is third and he’s managed to achieve that climb in just 15 years.

The other still competitive drivers in the top 10 list of all-time winners include Billy Decker, Alan Johnson, Tim Fuller, Stewart Friesen, and Jimmy Horton.

Billy Decker triumphant, 2001 – Courtesy of the NAPA Super DIRT Week Program

Alan Johnson still finds time to hit the tour while The Sensational One Jimmy Horton is usually on the roster for NAPA Super DIRT Week and when the tour hits Orange County.

Alan Johnson in chase-mode in the Last Chance Showdown at NAPA Super DIRT Week before going on to win the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 from last, 1989 – Courtesy of the NAPA Super DIRT Week Program

Tim Fuller has been running the tour on and off for years successfully. His win total would be far more substantial it not for his years following the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model tour. 

There is no doubt that within the next 10 years The Doctor, Billy, Alan, Tomkins, Fuller, and Tremont will find other things to do other than sit in the cockpit of a Modified.

Okay, so maybe The Doctor will never quit, but you never know.

The Men to Beat

Obviously, Matt Sheppard has set the bar and after four consecutive years of winning the title will continue to be the man to beat.

Matt Sheppard, 2019 – Pete MacDonald photo

Mat Williamson had the season of his life a year ago in capturing the Super DIRTcar Series title and the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at NAPA Super Dirt Week and he too is going to be around for a long time to come.

Mat Williamson, DIRTcar Nationals, 2020 – Joe Grabianowski photo

Others who will help maintain the high caliber of racing on the Series include Larry Wight and Erick Rudolph.

Erick Rudolph, DIRTcar Nationals, 2020 – Terry Page photo

Stewart Friesen also should find his way to his share of SDS shows as he too is one helps the tour maintain its luster.

I think Peter Britten and Mike Mahaney will continue to be mainstays on the tour fielding strong entries year after year. 

Peter Britten, Airborne Speedway, 2019 – Joe Grabianowski photo

Teams change goals and aspirations. For some, the thrill of running on the tour and the prestige that comes with it is a dream or their ultimate goal in racing. They try it, for maybe a year or two, and say, “Well, I did it.”  However, others are in for the long haul.

Jimmy Phelps is a driver that can get hot any minute and be a real threat on the tour.

Jimmy Phelps on the gas at Autodrome Drummond, 2019 – Joe Grabianowski photo

Betting on Futures

How does it feel predicting the future Super DIRTcar Series stars? Let me use just one word…Unpredictable.

Certainly, Demetrios Drellos made his presence known last year as a rookie and getting his first tour win as even when I talked to him in February still couldn’t believe his team actually won in the very first year.

Demetrios Drellos, Autodrome Granby, 2019 – Joe Grabianowski photo

Jack Lehner is still quite young and he has a program that might allow him to be in this thing for the long run. He’s still learning and getting his feet wet. Jack made strides last year and he is one of the Young Ones.

Jack Lehner, Weedsport Speedway, 2019 – Joe Grabianowski photo

Chris Hile, a regular in Central New York, has proven to be competitive the series races he selects to run. He is doing the tour for the first time this year and if he can adapt to some tracks he’s never seen he could be a contender. There is no reason why he couldn’t finish in the top ten in the point standings.

Chris Hile, Eldora Speedway, 2019 – Mike Mallet Photo

If anyone has followed Tim Sears Jr. they know just by watching him for one single night that this kid has talent. The team has received some assistance from John Wight over the years when they are in need, but he would be a tremendous addition to the series. He is the future of Big Block Modified racing and needs to find a ride.

There are a bunch of DIRTcar 358 drivers with the talent to make that step up if sponsors and support can be found including Davie Marcuccilli, Corey Wheeler, Kyle Dingwall, Ryan Arbuthnot, and Jordan McCready.

Corey Wheeler and Todd Root race door-to-door at Oswego Speedway, 2019 – George Smith

However, my base of operation is in Central New York so those are the drivers that stand out to me. Series talent comes from all parts of the Northeast and Canada. 

It’s difficult to see what the future might hold especially in the crazy world we are currently surviving in. When the economy eventually bounces back, the sponsors and fans will be able to remain involved and the longest Big Block Modified series in the Northeast will continue to give fans their fill of the stars of racing. 

There is no crystal ball, but in witnessing racing since the late 60’s I thoroughly understand that times change, drivers change, racing changes, but our sport and in this case the Super DIRTcar Series live on.

Billy Foley is a prolific writer for racing news website Dirt Track Digest and announcers weekly at Brewerton and Fulton Speedways.

Orange County Fair Speedway: DIRTcar Track Spotlight

MIDDLETOWN, NY – In 2020 DIRTcar welcomes back the legendary Orange County Fair Speedway to the fold as the Big Block Modifieds entered the Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship in addition to two Super DIRTcar Series tour stops. 

Director of Motorsports and eight-time Super DIRTcar Series Champion Brett The Jet Hearn also ushered in the return of the Eastern States 200 as a points-paying Super DIRTcar Series race for 2020. 

Last year, the Middletown, NY landmark celebrated its centennial in grand fashion. Along with DIRTcar, Orange County Fair Speedway is well-situated to excel in providing professional, high-speed racing action with many of the best Big Block Modified drivers in the country each and every week. 

Orange County has been running weekly racing since 1950 and has been in operation since 1919. The .625 of a mile Orange County Fair Speedway is the site of one of the most prestigious Big Block Modified races in the world, Eastern States 200. 

This year, the Eastern States 200 is the final points-paying race before the Super DIRTcar Series heads to The Dirt Track at Charlotte for the Can-Am World Finals. It’s also the only other 200-lap Big Block Modified race along with the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 on the schedule. 

The Super DIRTcar Series is also slated to appear during the annual Orange County Fair, New York State’s second-largest Fair on Tuesday, July 28. Both stops on the series trail will boast five-digit to win figures. Plus, Orange County boasts a massive $102,000 point fund in addition to the DIRTcar Hoosier Tire Weekly Championship point fund.

Another highlight on the schedule falls on Sunday, August 2 when the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars return to Middletown.

Some of the greatest legends dirt modified racing called the famous fairgrounds oval at Middletown home. Drivers like Frankie Schneider, Buzzie Reutimann, Will Cagle, Gary Balough, Jimmy Horton, and of course Brett Hearn. But others made their mark too like Rick Eurich, Jeff Heotzler, Stewart Friesen, The Doctor Danny Johnson, and dozens more. 

Brett Hearn took the 2019 track championship against a stout field including Tommy Meier, Mike Gular, Horton, Jerry Higbie, Anthony Perrego, and more. This year the field is even more competitive: Matt Sheppard and Mike Mahaney will join the fray on Saturday nights. 

Recent renovations to the grandstands, fencing, pit area, restrooms, and a new, racy track surface that compliments the Hoosier Racing Tire have been key to the rejuvenation of the century-old race track attracting new fans, racers, and sponsors. Chris Larsen and his Halmar International have been the key to the historic track’s future.  

Don’t make your trip to Middletown a day trip. The Middletown population is just under 30,000, which finds many activities for visitors from shopping malls, theaters, and parks. Resorts World Catskills Casino is just a short drive away and of course, New York City is a little over an hour away. 

Bookmark the Orange County Fair Speedway website and follow them on Twitter and Facebook

Tentative 2020 Orange County Fair Speedway Schedule

Saturday, May 16 – Military Appreciation Night DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks, Rookie Sportsman

Saturday, May 30 – Saturday Night Racing – DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, Small Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks

Saturday, June 6 – Nostalgia Night – Jimmy Horton Tribute – DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, Sportsman 

Saturday, June 13 – Orange Crush – The Sprint Smashtacular – Monster Trucks

Saturday, June 20 – Graduation Night – Rookie Championship, DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks, Rookie Sportsman

Saturday, June 27 – Construction Night – DIRTcar Big Block Modified, Small Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stock 

Thursday, July 2 – Modified Twin 50s – USAC – DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, USAC Sprint Cars

Saturday, July 11 – Bike Night – DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, Small Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks

Saturday, July 18 – First Responders Night – DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, Small Block Modifieds, Street Stocks

Tuesday, July 28 – Battle of the Midway – Super DIRTcar Series, Sportsman

Sunday, August 2 – World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars, Small Block Modifieds

Saturday, August 8 – Marky Traverse Street Stock Memorial – Sportsman, Street Stock 

Saturday, August 15 – King of the Catskills Qualifier, DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks

Wednesday, August 19 – The 101 Summer Championship, DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, Sportsman

Saturday, August 22 – Saturday Night Racing – Small Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stock, Vintage Modifieds

Saturday, August 29 – Champions Night – DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, Small Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks 

Saturday, September 12 – Eve of Destruction – Demo Derby

Saturday, October 17 – Open Eastern States practice

Friday, October 23 – STSS

Saturday, October 24 – Eastern States 100 – Small Block Modifieds

Sunday, October 25 – Eastern States 200 – Super DIRTcar Series

Utica-Rome Speedway: DIRTcar Track Spotlight

VERNON, NY – February 27, 2020 – The legendary Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, NY features three DIRTcar sanctioned Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship divisions every Sunday night as well as highly anticipated special events including the Super DIRTcar Series, Empire Super Sprints, Monster Trucks, and even a music festival. 

Some of the greatest drivers to ever strap into a race car in the Northeast have contested the Central New York half-mile clay oval. Before it was dirt, NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Richie Evans was an icon at the track. Today, seven-time Super DIRTcar Series champion Matt Sheppard, 2019 Utica-Rome Speedway track champion Erick Rudolph, and many more vie for supremacy in series races as well as Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship action. 

Race fans can count on a premium level of competition every Sunday night in Vernon, NY with three DIRTcar sanctioned divisions in action. Last year, Erick Rudolph fended off Billy Dunn and Pat Ward to take his first Utica-Rome Speedway track championship in the exciting DIRTcar 358 Modified class. 

In 2019, the dynamic DIRTcar Sportsman Modified driver Matt Janczuk took the track championship over front-runners Kyle Inman and Alan Fink. In the DIRTcar Pro Stocks, Nick Stone had a close track championship win over Josh Coonradt. Mike Welch finished third. 

The Utica-Rome season comes into 2020 with a roar on Sunday, April 19 with a $2,500-to-win DIRTcar Big Block Modified Spring Break special. All three of Utica-Rome’s DIRTcar Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship divisions will be in action as well including a $1,500-to-win DIRTcar 358 Modified race. 

All the above drivers put on an incredible show every year at NAPA Super DIRT Week and fans can experience that thrill every Sunday night at Utica-Rome. 

Highlighting Utica-Rome Speedway’s dynamic 2020 schedule are the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds and Empire Super Sprints. On Sunday, September 6, the stars and cars of the Super DIRTcar Series roll into Utica-Rome for a $7,500-to-win 100-lap Feature. The points race will be hot in this late-season battle. 

In what has become a Fall classic, the speedway opens up the racing action for NAPA Super DIRT Week XLIX on Tuesday, October 6 when the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series and the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series take on the half-mile speedway. This will be the second stop at Utica-Rome for the 358 Series as the second Series race of the year takes the green on Sunday, May 10 in celebration of Mother’s Day. Each event will boast a nice, hefty $4,000 winner’s share.

The DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series also makes three stops in Vernon, NY in 2020. First is the Father’s Day special on June 21 where a Central Region event pays $1,000 to win. The newly formed Eastern Region races on Sunday, August 2 for the Jan Corcoran Memorial. Then the Series joins the 358s during NAPA Super DIRT Week XLIX on Tuesday, October 6 as a part of the fall Championship Series which also pays $1,000 to win. 

The Empire Super Sprints are in town three times on three holiday weekends. The first falls on Sunday, May 24. Then, Utica-Rome caps off Central NY Speedweek on Sunday, July 5. The final visit is Sunday, September 6. 

There’s more to do at Utica-Rome Speedway than just world-class racing. FrogFest Featuring country singer Dylan Jakobsen on Saturday, May 30. 

Nearby the track, visitors can check out the famous Turning Stone and  Vernon Downs Casinos. If you want to slow down from the pace of the race track, stop in at the Bull Farm Antiques and Market. For some great tunes and food, schedule your lunch or dinner at the Nothin’ Fancy Country Rock Saloon.

Weedsport Speedway: DIRTcar Track Spotlight

WEEDSPORT, NY – Weedsport Speedway and the history of DIRTcar are inextricably intertwined. Every Super DIRTcar Series star has tested their mettle on the .375-mile Central New York dirt track and the 2020 schedule is primed to bring the excitement to race fans once again. 

Weedsport Speedway is the ultimate test of a driver’s car and throttle control. Multiple racing lines from the top to the bottom of the track develop in every race. Only the best of the best have figured out the fastest way around. Matt Sheppard and Erick Rudolph have been the ringers as of late but by all accounts, the Super DIRTcar Series field is catching up. 

Weedsport hosts three Super DIRTcar Series races plus the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars, DIRTcar 358 Modified Series, DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series, and the DIRTcar Pro Stock Series in 2020. 

The Super DIRTcar Series kicks Weedsport’s racing season off on Monday, May 25. The Heroes Remembered 100 is quickly becoming a Memorial Day tradition for racers and fans across the Northeast. 

Round two at the historic Central New York oval falls on Sunday, June 26 when we celebrate the induction ceremony at the Northeast Dirt Hall of Fame with the classic $10,000 to win Hall of Fame 100. 

The Cavalcade of Cup Weekend, Friday & Saturday, September 11-12, is one of the premier dirt track racing events in the Northeast. The weekend culminates with the 100-lap Super DIRTcar Series Feature. Also on the card is the only DIRTcar Pro Stock Series race of the year at Weedsport. The Empire Super Sprints are scheduled for the weekend as well. 

One of the highlights on the schedule comes on Saturday, August 1 when the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars come to town along with the DIRTcar 358 Modifieds. The Greatest Show on Dirt is sure to pack the stands once again. 

The final race of 2020 at Al Heinke’s preeminent facility takes place on Wednesday, October 7. The NAPA Super DIRT Week Kick-Off Party features the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series and the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series. The Sportsman will be in the midst of the Fall Championship Challenge.

Non-Series DIRTcar sanctioned races include DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, and DIRTcar Sportsman. All scheduled Features count towards the Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship standings. 

Weedsport’s diverse schedule also includes the American Flat Track Bike Series, USAC Sprint Cars, All-Star Sprints, and more including the Empire State Ride to benefit cancer research and treatment at Roswell Park in Buffalo, NY. 

Don’t make your visit to Weedsport Speedway a day trip. There are multitudes of great restaurants, shopping, and activities in nearby Syracuse, NY. Don’t miss the famous Dinosaur BBQ or Middle Ages Brewery for some pre-race lunch and libations. If all the racing has you itching to get behind the wheel, hit RPM Raceway in the huge Destiny USA mall for indoor karting. 

There are plenty of hotels nearby but none are closer than the Days Inn right off the Weedsport New York State Thruway exit only a half-mile away from the speedway. 

If you are a returning fan or a first-timer, there is something for everyone at Weedsport Speedway. 

Weedsport Speedway 2020 schedule:

Sunday, May 3 – Test and Tune – All divisions

Monday, May 25 – Heroes Remembered – Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds, CRSA Sprints

Sunday, June 7 – All-Star Showcase – All-Star 410 Sprints, Champion Oil DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds

Sunday, June 14 – Thunder on the Erie – USAC National Sprints, Champion Oil DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, CNY Mod Lites

Friday/Saturday, July 3-4 – New York Short Track – American Flat Track Bike Series

Sunday, July 26 – Hall of Fame 100 – Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds, Classics on Dirt

Thursday, July 30 –  Empire State Ride – Cycling to benefit Roswell Park Alliance Foundation

Saturday, August 1 – Empire State Challenge – World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds

Sunday, August 9 – Legends Reunion – Empire Super Sprints, DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds, Dirt Modified Nostalgia Tour

Friday/Saturday, September 11-12 – Champion Oil DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, Empire Super Sprints, Super DIRTcar Series, RUSH Late Models, DIRTcar Pro Stock Series, CNY Mod Lites

Wednesday, October 7 – NAPA Super DIRT Week Kick-Off Party – DIRTcar 358 Modified Series, DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series

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. 

Stay up to date with on the Super DIRTcar Series with news, photos, videos by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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][]

Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds Volusia Speedway Park February 15th, 2020 | HIGHLIGHTS

Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds Volusia Speedway Park February 15th, 2020 | HIGHLIGHTS

Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified Feature Event Highlights from Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida on February 15th, 2020.

FIT TO BE TIED

CONCORD, NC – Nov. 7, 2019 – In the midst of the closest Super DIRTcar Series championship battle of all time, every timed lap and every Heat Race at the Can-Am World Finals is vital. On Thursday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Mat Williamson drew first blood with a Billy Whittaker Cars Fast Time Award and won his Heat Race to draw even with defending Series champion Matt Sheppard.

Sheppard fought hard in his Heat Race, but finished second to Billy Decker, which was worth four points. Williamson cruised to victory in his respective Heat Race and picked up five. The Billy Whittaker Cars Fast Time Award is worth a huge five points and that is what Williamson needed to level off the top of the standings.

The next points opportunity will be the rescheduled Friday Heat Races from Thursday night’s program. Friday’s Heat Races will begin following Opening Ceremonies at 3:45 p.m. In a stroke of fate only racing could provide, Sheppard and Williamson start second and third, respectively, in Friday’s third Heat Race.

Rookie sensation Demetrios Drellos was fastest in each of his Time Trial groups and went on to win his Heat Race in convincing style. He’ll try to go two-for-two in Heat Race 4 on Friday.

The veteran Decker drove his Gypsum Express No. 91 quickest both of his Time Trial groups, and he also won his Heat Race. Decker will be tough to beat in the Features.

Super DIRTcar Series officials have opted to cancel the two Last Chance Showdowns and start all 38 cars in both Features.

Be sure to tune in with our partners live on FloRacing.

A CHAMPIONSHIP DOWN TO A “T”

CONCORD, NC — Nov. 4, 2019 — The Can-Am World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte is set to host one of the tightest Super DIRTcar Series championship points races in history. Mat Williamson has won three out of the past five Series races, including NAPA Super DIRT Week XLVIII’s Billy Whittaker Cars 200, launching him into a neck-and-neck race for the title with Matt Sheppard. Sheppard has nine Series wins to his credit in 2019, but Williamson’s consistency has kept him in the hunt all season long. 

Last year Erick Rudolph was the man trying to take down ‘Super’ Matt Sheppard, but he fell short at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The 2019 race has Sheppard up on Williamson by a mere six points. Unfortunately for Sheppard, the No. 9S suffered a mechanical failure at Oswego Speedway with absolutely vital points on the line. 

Meanwhile, Williamson did everything he could do for points by becoming only the second Canadian national to win the Billy Whittaker Cars 200. Sheppard swung right back the next week at Brockville Ontario Speedway with a statement win, coming from 12th to win. 

The pair of Mat(t)s are separated by just six points heading into the Cam-Am World Finals doubleheader. Last year, a pair of veterans collected the wins. Brett Hearn and Tim Fuller showed the premier field of Big Block Modifieds the way around the Carolina clay oval. 

A great class of rookies is vying for Rookie of the Year honors and race wins. Demetrios Drellos won the biggest race of his career at Albany-Saratoga in a NAPA Super DIRT Week qualifier. 

Saratoga Springs’ Jack Lehner led over half of the 100-lap Feature at Brockville and finished a career-high fifth place. Can he pick up his first career win in front of the biggest crowd in dirt racing? 

Ryan Godown, from Ringoes, NJ, has been knocking on the door of his first Super DIRTcar Series win all year long. He came the closest at the Battle on the Midway at Orange County Fair Speedway where he finished runner-up to Matt Sheppard. 

Never count out the Gypsum Racing team as they’ll be bringing the heat down to Charlotte with one goal: Win. Larry Wight and Billy Decker are running third and fourth in Series points, but star driver and three-time DIRTcar 358 Modified Series driver Erick Rudolph is looking to leap from both of them to take third in Series points. 

Jimmy Phelps hasn’t had the 2019 season he envisioned but with a brand new Bicknell chassis, he’s looking to capture momentum going into 2020. Can The Baldwinsville Bandit play spoiler and lock up a pair of wins amidst the Championship battle?

In his familiar orange No. 27J, Danny Johnson is one of the greatest Big Block Modified drivers of all time. Johnson was inducted into the DIRT Hall of Fame this year and wants to close out his historic season in Victory Lane. 

Series regulars Marcus Dinkins, Paul St-Sauveur and Rusty Smith will also be on hand to test their Big Blocks on the red North Carolina clay. 

There are always plenty of invaders looking to put their names in the record books as winners on The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Gary Tomkins, Anthony Perrego, Max McLaughlin, Billy Pauch Jr., Chris Hile, Phil Vigneri, Yan Bussiere, Justin Wright and Tyler Siri have all thrown their hats in the ring.

The Can-Am World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte have included the Super DIRTcar Series since 2010. Every year it proves itself to be the premier dirt track racing event in the world. All three top series will be on hand once again to thrill the capacity crowd. Don’t miss it!

Get your Can-Am World Finals tickets here.

Check out the full Super DIRTcar Series points standings.