Wight Whistles by ‘The Jet’ at Volusia

BARBERVILLE, FL – February 12, 2020 – Brett “The Jet” Hearn started on the pole, but it was Larry Wight, from Phoenix, NY, who lit the afterburners and squeezed between the No. 20 and the front stretch wall for the victory. 

The defending DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford champion is white-hot at The World’s Fastest Half-Mile Volusia Speedway Park. The No. 99 Gypsum Racing Big Block Modified has now graced Victory Lane at Volusia two out of the last four races at the speedway. 

As he often does, Wight found purchase on the high side. 

“That thing just came alive on the top. We were able to run that middle-to-top through 1 and 2 and right through the middle in 3 and 4,” said Wight. “It felt like the car was just glued to the track, so I just kept running that line and I didn’t see anyone showing a nose. It’s one of those deals where you’re the leader and you don’t know what line is better.”

After making the fateful pass on Hearn, Wight built a lead. A few restarts bunched up the field and Stewart Friesen drew in. 

“As soon as he showed that nose I knew it was time to go to the bottom. I knew if I could get a couple lapped cars and not have to get off the bottom, we’d be alright. I caught Jeremy Smith and I just stayed there. I knew Stewie would have to Bonzai-it to make it work.”

Wight’s DIRTcar Nationals success has come with a lot of trial and error and heartbreak. 

“We’ve always enjoyed coming down here. We’ve been really close over the past six years. There were a lot of wins we let slip out,” noted Wight. “I just think we have a better handle on the car. The crew is meshing. Brandon and Jake are just working their tails off on this thing. We finished last season on a high note and this is a great way to kick off this season.”

Once Wight established his lead it was Stewart Friesen, from Sprakers, NY, that stepped up to the plate. Late in the race, Friesen caught Wight in lapped traffic. Friesen drove the Halmar Racing No. 44 deep into turn 1 but failed to get alongside Wight. After 30 laps Friesen finished in second. 

“The track narrowed up late in the race and I wasn’t able to get a run on him,” said Friesen. 

Friesen is currently second in Gator Championship points. He also busy day at the Daytona International Speedway with 2 practice sessions in his NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series No. 52.

DIRTcar Nationals Championship points leader and defending Series champion Mat Williamson rounded out the podium. The Buzz Chew No. 88 driver from St. Catharines, ON pulled eighth in the Albany-Saratoga Speedway/The Big Show 12 Top 8 Redraw. It took five calculated moves to pick up a third-place finish. 

Williamson and his team know as well as anyone that consistency wins championships. 

“There are 3 more races in this deal. It just goes to show you how good this Buzz Chew team is. We unloaded fast and that’s because of all the hard work during the winter in the shop,” said Williamson. 

The track conditions at Volusia Speedway Park always keep the drivers guessing and hitting the right set up is key. 

“The track was a little bit slippier,” noted Williamson. “I felt our car was a little better last night than it was tonight. When you start on the pole you can get into clean air and control the race. I think we’ve got a little bit of work to do.”

It looked as though the stars were aligning for Brett Hearn when he drew the pole position in the Albany-Saratoga Speedway/Brett Hearn’s The Big Show Top 8 Redraw. 

At the start, Hearn was immediately contested by Larry Wight. The No. 99L drew alongside the Madsen Motorsports No. 20 and after a lap-long door-to-door, Wight bested the 900 plus Feature winner coming out of turn 4. He finished fourth in the 30-lap Feature.  

Hearn crossed the line second to Erick Rudolph in his Heat Race and was coming on strong before Dave Farney threw the checkered flag. It appears that ‘The Jet’ is fully armed and ready for take-off. 

The Gypsum Racing No. 91 of The Franklin Flyer Billy Decker struggled in Time Trials, which set him back in the Heat Race. Fortunately for the race fans in attendance at Volusia Speedway Park, Decker passed 9 cars to go from sixteenth to seventh making him the race’s hard charger. 

Join us tomorrow night at Volusia Speedway Park for the race three of the 2020 DIRTcar National presented by Bozark Ford. 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 [4][$1,500]; 3. 88-Mat Williamson [8][$1,000]; 4. 20-Brett Hearn [1][$800]; 5. 49-Billy Dunn [5][$700]; 6. 25R-Erick Rudolph [6][$650]; 7. 91-Billy Decker [16][$600]; 8. 44P-Anthony Perrego [9][$550]; 9. 4-Andy Bachetti [3][$500]; 10. 21A-Peter Britten [12][$450]; 11. 1-Billy Pauch [10][$400]; 12. 30-Ronnie Johnson [14][$375]; 13. 19-Tim Fuller [19][$350]; 14. 42P-Pat Ward [21][$325]; 15. 19M-Jessey Mueller [22][$300]; 16. 111-Demetrios Drellos [17][$275]; 17. 3-Justin Haers [11][$250]; 18. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [13][$250]; 19. 9S-Matt Sheppard [15][$250]; 20. 23-Kyle Coffey [24][$250]; 21. 46-Jeremy Smith [20][$250]; 22. 83-Brian Swartzlander [18][$250]; 23. 48T-Dave Rauscher [25][$250]; 24. 7-Rick Laubach [7][$250]; 25. 7MM-Michael Maresca [23][$250]; 26. 6D-Dillon Steuer [26][$250]; KSE Hard Charger Award: 91-Billy Decker[+9]

SEE FULL RESULTS

SEE GATOR CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

Contingency awards:

VP Racing Fuels: $50 – Anthony Perrego

Drydene Performance Products: $50 – Erick Rudolph; $50 Certificate – Demetrios Drellos

ASI Racewear: $50 – Billy Decker

Bicknell Racing Products: $100 Certificate – Larry Wight

Billy Whittaker Cars: $100 – Stewart Friesen

Cometic: $50 – Ronnie Johnson

Comp Cams: $50 – Peter Britten $50 Certificate – Larry Wight 

DART: $50 – Andy Bachetti; $100 Certificate – Stewart Friesen; $100 Certificate – Matt Sheppard

Fox Racing Shox:  $50 – Mat Williamson

Wrisco: $200 Certificate – Larry Wight

CHAMPION CELEBRATIONS

LIVERPOOL, NY – Nov. 24, 2019 – The best DIRTcar racers in the Northeast were honored Saturday night at the annual DIRTcar Night of Champions after a season where fans were treated to one of the closest Super DIRTcar Series championship battles of all time.

More than $212,000 in cash and awards was handed out to nearly 100 drivers across four series as well as the four divisions of DIRTcar Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship.

Mat Williamson outran Matt Sheppard in the final two races of the season to become the Super DIRTcar Series’ first Canadian champion. As Sheppard put it, it’s the consistency that wins championships.

Williamson — piloting the No. 88 Buzz Chew Bicknell chassis Big Block Modified and his family-owned No 6 — was up front all year, but it wasn’t until a Friday the 13th in the Duel at the Demon 100 at Brewerton Speedway when Williamson would finally break out. He went back-to-back with wins at Brewerton and Mohawk Int’l Raceway, and then one month later picked up his final and most memorable checkered flag of 2019. He cemented his place in Super DIRTcar Series history by picking up the victory at NAPA Super DIRT Week’s Billy Whittaker Cars 200.

Those late-season wins catapulted the 28-year-old St. Catharines, Ontario, driver to new heights. Williamson is a champion in every way, but while nothing could shake him up en route to winning the title, getting on stage in front of his team, crew, family and competitors made for too much emotion to hold back.

“First things first is that I am really nervous to be up here right now,” Williamson said. “This is my whole dream to be up here, but I didn’t think it would happen at this age. I looked up to Billy [Decker], Matt [Sheppard], and Brett [Hearn] and everyone who has done this, who I watched growing up.”

Williamson split his time between two cars. The Buzz Chew Racing No. 88 competed in the US races while the family-owned No. 6 took on a majority of the Canadian tracks.

“It says a lot about the super team that we have behind us,” Williamson said. “The guys work so hard and put in so much preparation going into it. Everybody that’s behind me elevates my level and make me better. The preparation of both cars was second to none. It also says a lot of Billy the Kid engines. It’s one hell of a motor to finish every race and every lap.”

Family is extremely important in racing and the Super DIRTcar Series is no exception.

“I have to thank my family,” Williamson said. “My Mom and Dad for getting me to this point in life, to build me into the man today and my girlfriend. She sticks by me.”

For the first time in four years, Sheppard was interviewed by Shane Andrews not as Series champion but as runner-up. It last happened in 2014 when Super Matt fell to Billy Decker.

“This feels a little weird,” Sheppard said with a smile on stage with Andrews. Sheppard congratulated Williamson and his team. Although the No. 9s fell short of another championship, Sheppard led the Series in wins with nine.

Decker, of Unadilla, NY, rounded out the top three. Decker bookended the season with a DIRTcar Nationals win at Volusia Speedway Park in the first race of the season, and then capped off 2019 by winning the finale at the Can-Am World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Decker’s consistency was also key as he only finished outside of the top 10 on three occasions.

Ryan Godown, from Ringoes, NJ, was voted Rookie of the Year as the highest finishing rookie in the points standings. Godown’s best finish came at the Orange County Fair Speedway where he crossed the line in second place to pick up a guaranteed start at NAPA Super DIRT Week.

Fifth-place finisher Erick Rudolph was awarded the KSE Hard Charger of the Year Award. The No. 25R made up the most positions four times throughout the 2019 Super DIRTcar Series season.

Despite finishing fifth in Super DIRTcar Series points after his championship run in 2018, Rudolph still put together a tremendously successful year. Rudolph took his DIRTcar 358 Modified program to the highest reaches in 2019, scoring the overall DIRTcar 358 Modified Series title plus Track Championships at Ransomville Speedway and Utica-Rome Speedway.

“I can’t believe how blessed I am to be able to do what I do here,” Rudolph said. “I am extremely thankful for the opportunities that I have and hope to keep doing the same in the future. I gotta thank my car owners, my sponsors and everyone in my group. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do what I am doing today.”

No one can deny how good Kevin Root is in his DIRTcar Sportsman Modified. For the second year in a row, Root scored the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series championship. After claiming the Central Region championship, Root went on to have a fantastic NAPA Super DIRT Week in five nights straight of competition cement his second crown.

At the banquet, Root noted that with his current resume he’s, “open to job offers.”

Root’s son, Nicholas, was awarded the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Crew Chief award and took home an eagle for himself. Hopefully, Dad will give him some room on the mantle.

C.D. Beauchamp has a new nickname. According to banquet host Shane Andrews, C.D. can only stand for one thing: Championship Driver. Beauchamp took his slick No. 88x to the top and brought the DIRTcar Pro Stock Series championship home to Quebec.

In addition to the four series champions, weekly racers were also honored. Matt Sheppard in the Big Block Modified class, Mat Williamson in the 358 Modified division, Brad Rouse in Sportsman and Josh Coonradt in Pro Stocks were all honored for their Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship titles.

“Amazing season. Amazing team,” said Beauchamp. “They do so much for me and everyone is just amazing. They give me a good car every race. I’m just the driver, they do all the hard work. This is a family operation.”

Stay tuned to SuperDIRTcarSeries.com and DIRTcar.com as the 2020 season comes together. As always, make plans to escape the winter by coming to the DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford Feb. 4-15 at Volusia Speedway Park near Daytona Beach, FL.

Going All In

19 0917 albany graphic

MALTA, NY – Sept. 12, 2019 – As the Super DIRTcar Series gears up for the NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week Billy Whittaker Cars 200, there is one final piece of business outstanding — the final guaranteed starting spot, which goes to the winner of Saturday’s $10,000-to-win Feature at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

This race was not initially slated to be a NAPA Super DIRT Week qualifier, but the excitement of the high stakes races was enough for Albany-Saratoga Speedway officials to bump up the huge finale to their “Massive Malta Weekend” to make it a $10,000-to-win. Teams should note that the event also pays $1,000 for 10th and $500 just to take the green flag!

Earlier this season, the Series raced on the famous eastern New York dirt track, where Stewart Friesen edged out Brett Hearn for the guaranteed start and $11,111 in The Big Show XI. Race fans have come to expect nothing less than specular wheel-to-wheel racing at Albany-Saratoga.

While Matt Sheppard has a strong lead on his fellow Super DIRTcar Series stars, it is not insurmountable, especially with the premier Series race teams gunning for the top spot behind him including Mat Williamson, Erick Rudolph, Larry Wight, Billy Decker and Jimmy Phelps.

Peter Britten, Mike Mahaney and Demetrios Drellos have many laps around the Malta oval and should not be counted out.

Home track hero and 900-plus-win Big Block Modified superstar Brett ‘The Jet’ Hearn was the runner up in his own Big Show back in June. The famous No. 20 will be looking for retribution on Saturday night.

Albany-Saratoga regulars like 2019 Track Champion Marc Johnson, Matt Delorenzo in the No. 3D, Mr. DIRT Track USA Champion Kenny Tremont Jr., and many more will be on hand to battle the Series stars.

Plus, for those outside region, this race will be broadcast live in HD by at FloRacing.

For update-to-the-minute Race Day photos, news and notes follow the Super DIRTcar Series on Twitter and Facebook. Check us out on Instagram for stunning images and information on upcoming events.

Take a look at the Series standings here.

NAPA Auto Parts Celebrates Eight Years as Title Sponsor of Super DIRT Week

082119 SDW NAPA ANNOUNCE

OSWEGO, NY — Aug. 21, 2019 — NAPA Auto Parts will be a key partner in Super DIRT Week for the eighth consecutive season, extending one of racing’s longest running event sponsorships.

As NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week is preparing for its fourth year at Oswego Speedway on Oct. 9-13, the tradition of “Racing’s Biggest Party” is ready to celebrate its 48th year as DIRTcar Racing’s biggest event.

The partnership between NAPA Auto Parts and DIRTcar Racing is so fitting because NAPA caters to people who prefer to use their “NAPA know how” to maintain their daily drivers, hot rods and even race cars by supplying high-quality parts and service to its customers, who are also huge fans of racing.

“The racing at Oswego Speedway during NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week has been incredible, especially with all of the last-lap battles and close finishes in last year’s event,” said NAPA Auto Parts General Manager Ryan Nowitzke. “We are always excited when customers come into our stores and let us know how much they appreciate NAPA being part of Super DIRT Week. The connection we’ve built through the years is unparalleled in the Northeast and we can’t wait to see how the racing stacks up this year.”

The classic blue and yellow NAPA Auto Parts logo is immediately recognized by all automotive do-it-yourselfers and anyone who appreciates the great selection and availability of parts for cars, trucks or anything that makes you get up and go.

With 58 distribution centers, 16,000 NAPA AutoCare Centers, and more than 16,000 independently-owned and company-owned stores, including over 100 stores Central New York, NAPA Auto Parts is one of the most recognizable and dependable institutions in the automotive industry. NAPA’s inventory includes nearly a half-million parts for all automotive and industrial applications.

We are less than two months away from dropping that green flag on NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLVIII. Fans from across the United States and Canada will descend upon Oswego for five consecutive days of non-stop DIRTcar Racing action, with the crown jewel of Super DIRTcar Series racing, the Billy Whittaker Cars 200, putting the exclamation mark on a jaw-dropping week of dirt racing.

“We are very proud of our long partnership with NAPA Auto Parts and Super DIRT Week,” said DIRTcar Racing CMO Ben Geisler. “Our fans are absolutely their customers so it’s a great fit. Their support over the past eight years has allowed us to continue making improvements at Oswego. Most importantly, we always enjoy hearing stories about our fans in their stores. The partnership is good for everybody involved.”

NAPA Super DIRT Week will kick off with early parking for campers at Oswego Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 6. Early Bird tech inspection for all classes and competitors starts on Monday, Oct. 7. On-track activities will begin shortly after the procession of cars through the streets of Oswego at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 9.

A week of racing across four divisions at the historic 5/8th-mile all comes down to 41 Super DIRTcar Series drivers looking to write their names in the history books next to the names of Buzzie Reutimann, Bob McCreadie, Brett Hearn, Stewart Friesen and countless other drivers.

The Billy Whittaker Cars 200 pays a whopping $50,000 to the winner. The granddaddy of all Super DIRTcar Series events is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13.

Tickets and camping spots for the 48th annual NAPA Super DIRT Week are available online or by calling 844-DIRT-TIX. Stay tuned to NAPA Super DIRT Week, Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing social media channels for additional information regarding NAPA Super DIRT Week. Lastly, make sure to download the NAPA Super DIRT Week app for mobile devices for all the late-breaking information.