Mat Williamson scored another high-profile win Sunday afternoon, capping Super DIRT Week with a victory in the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at Oswego Speedway.
Williamson outlasted call comers in DIRTcar Racing’s marquee event, turning back Tim Fuller and Brett Hearn. Anthony Perrego was charging fast and gaining ground on Williamson, but ran out of fuel on the final circuit. Fuller was able to make the best of it, passing Hearn amid the exchange.
The fuel situation has been uncertain for Williamson, who had been leading for an extended period, and Perrego.
Williamson assumed the lead on lap 49 and stayed there through lap 58. He captured the top spot for good on lap 120, and chased his way to the $50,000 winner’s check from there.
Earlier in the year, Williamson grabbed $100,000 by winning the centennial anniversary race at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown.
Competitors completed far more than the scheduled 200 laps. Caution laps counted, , except after lap 175, when they didn’t count at all. There were a total of 22 cautions, and estimates placed the actual laps completed in the 275-280 range. That’s around 50 extra miles, albeit under pace-car conditions.
Ryan Godown finished fourth ahead of Jimmy Phelps. Stewart Friesen was next, racing to sixth after finishing fifth in Saturday’s NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Talladega Speedway. Chris Hile, pole-sitter Billy Decker, Jimmy Horton and Mark Johnson filled out the top 10.
Matt Sheppard broke down on lap 122, drawing the 15th caution, and five laps later Duane Howard and Tom Sears tangled to elicit the 16th yellow flag. At that point, the race was averaging a caution period every eight circuits.
Sheppard would up 31st. Williamson has been chasing him all year in the Super DIRTcar Series standings, although updated points weren’t available when the Times went to press Monday.
The Super DIRTcar Series races again Saturday at Brockville Ontario Speedway, part of the annual Loud and Dirty Northeast Fall Nationals.
• Kyle Inman’s terrific Super DIRT Week culminated in a DIRTcar Sportsman Chevy Performance 75 victory. Battling with Kevin Root and Matt Janczuk, Inman took command with 25 laps remaining and collected the $4,000 check. Root and Janczuk followed, with Moise Page and Robert Delormier rounding out the top five.
• In the DIRTcar Pro Stock championship, Josh Coonradt was untouchable in the Wilkins RV 50. Coonradt took the point when pole-sitter Tony Markou spun into the fence, then held off Rob Yetman through the middle portion of the race. The track became slick and there was a flurry of multi-car wrecks in the final 10 laps. This allowed Markou to rally and claim third behind runner-up Sid Harmer Jr. Harmer had plenty of looks at the leader on the restarts, but couldn’t do anything with Coonradt. Jason Casey and Josh Towslee rounded out the top five.
Saturday’s action was affected in a big way by the weather. The last-chance qualifier and 360 sprint-car events at Fulton Speedway were canceled, allowing for the Salute to the Troops 150 and final qualifying events at Oswego to be completed as planned.
At the end of a long day, Billy Decker won his seventh Super DIRT Week 358-Modified Salute to the Troops championship race. Erick Rudolph was leading when Decker struck on a restart. Rudolph raced to second ahead of Larry Wight. Wight was leading when Rudolph made a bid and took the top spot on lap 106. Tim Fuller and Mat Williamson rounded out the top five.
Rob Bellinger and Michael Maresca picked up wins in the Super DIRTcar Series last-chance showdowns; Steve Bernier and Jordan McCreadie scored victories in the DIRTcar 358-modified last-chance races; Kane Bristol, Brad Rouse and Scott Kerwin were victorious in the DIRTcar Sportsman last-chance events; and Pete Stefanski won the DIRTcar Pro Stock last-chance race.
The Friday Night Lights program included a total of 12 heat races for all four main divisions.
Phelps, Sheppard and Williamson scored wins in the Super DIRTcar Series Modified 30-lap heats.
Three DIRTcar 358 Modified heats were contested, each 25 laps each. Pole-sitter Phelps took the checkers in the opener, and Williamson and Fuller nabbed the others.
Inman, Delormier, Chris Mackey and Andrew Buff were the victors in the four 15-lap DIRTcar Sportsman heats.
For the first time, the Pro Stocks were part of the Friday Night Lights program. Rob Yetman and Chris Cane won 12-lap qualifiers.
In time trials earlier in the day, the DIRTcar Sportsman division had 103 entries post times. Kevin Root was the fastest in 22.457 seconds, 0.03 seconds ahead of Delormier.
In DIRTcar Pro Stock qualifying, Markou grabbed the pole. It was his first time racing Super DIRT Week, and this marked his first season back in a car after a 20-year hiatus. Coonradt was 0.06 seconds slower than Markou.
Action picked up at Oswego with time trials for the Modified and 358-Modified rides.
Decker secured his eighth career Billy Whittaker Cars 200 pole, lapping Oswego’s 5/8-mile layout in 20.316 seconds. Sheppard was next, 0.18 seconds behind. Williamson, Fuller, Perrego and Justin Haers locked into the top six starting spots for the 200-lap championship.
Phelps secured the pole for the DIRTcar 358-Modified Salute to the Troops 100 with a lap of 20.948 seconds. Rudolph was second. Fuller, Dave Marcuccilli, Williamson and Todd Root also locked into the top six.
At Brewerton Speedway, Williamson captured the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Hurricane 100, using a perfect lap 76 restart to overtake Rudolph. Rudolph restarted on the outside after the yellow lights came on for a Tim Sears flat tire. Williamson charged around the inside of the first turn and emerged with the lead. Rudolph was second ahead of Maresca, Decker and Mike Mahaney.
Inman took the DIRTcar Sportsman Series checkers. Kevin Root moved from seventh to second in the final seven laps. Adam Pierson, Alan Fink and Mark Yorker filled out the top five.
At Weedsport Speedway, Wight won the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series event, recovering from a blown engine suffered the night before. Maresca pulled even with Wight on a lap 75 restart, but he was unable to clear the leader. Maresca, Williamson, Phelps and Marcuccilli rounded out the top five.
Janczuk had an equally gratifying outing in the DIRTcar Sportsman Series event. Tom Juno offered him a ride after Janczuk’s No. 33x was destroyed the night prior. Janczuk wheeled the No. 25 to victory lane after taking the lead on lap 12 of the 30-lap main. Jackson Gill, Pierson, Kevin Root and Mackey rounded out the top five.
Williamson triumphed in the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Pre-Game 100. He led every lap, shaking off the advances of Wight and a hard-charging Rudolph. Rudolph, Mahaney, Ryan Arbuthnot and Alan Therrien rounded out the top five.
Kevin Root forged the decisive lead change on lap 12 and checked out from there in the DIRTcar Sportsman Series feature, leaving Gill and Fink to battle for scraps. Fink ultimately took second ahead of Inman, Gill and Charlie Tibbitts.
Short Track Supernationals
Sheppard won the 2019 edition of the Short Track Supernationals Saturday night at Afton Speedway. He is the 12th winner in 12 runnings of the event. His $5,825 victory in the 50-lapper was event No. 7 in the Short Track Super Nationals North Region Series.
Sheppard started fourth, chasing Bobby Varin for 21 laps before moving to the lead. From there, he carved his way through lapped traffic and was never pressured. He was perfect on a late restart with three laps remaining.
Sheppard is now on the verge of a feat even more significant. Sunoco Race Fuels and Insinger Performance have offered a $25,000 bonus to a driver who can win both the Short Track Super Series North and South region points races. Add in the American Racer Cup, which Sheppard already has locked up, and the bonus climbs to $57,500.
Sheppard needs only to start the feature Nov. 2 at Georgetown (Del.) Speedway to win the South Region. He currently leads the North Region, which concludes Oct. 24 at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown.
Hoag weekend at Outlaw
Outlaw Speedway will open for the Dutch Hoag Memorial this Friday and Saturday.
Friday’s program includes the 360 Sprints. The open format event is expected to draw the top stars from the Empire Super Sprints, United Racing Club and Patriot Sprint Tour. Hoosier Tire Crate Sportsman and Outlaw Speedway-style 4-Cylinder events are planned too, while the Modifieds will compete in a dash that will reward the top two with front-row starting positions in Saturday’s 70-lap Hoag tribute.
The Street Stocks also will compete in a dash Friday, with the top two locking into Saturday’s 100-lap affair.
Friday’s racing begins at 7 p.m.
Saturday’s docket is packed. The Modifieds are the headliner, as a $7,000 check goes to the winner. The Street Stock Empire 100 shares the marquee, with a $2,000 winner’s check at stake. The final installment of the Outlaw Speedway American Racer Tire Crate Sportsman Series, an Outlaw Speedway Rules Hobby Stock main, the 600 Sprints and an Open Rules 4-Cylinder race are part of the day too.
Street Stock competitors should note that transponders are mandatory. Saturday’s action will start at 4 p.m.
Paradise opens for demo derby
Paradise Speedway will host its annual fall cleanup demolition derby Saturday.
The full-size division will pay $1,500 to win. The compacts ($1,000), a junk run ($500), a youth derby ($300) and figure 8 races ($300) are on the schedule too.
Gates open at 9 a.m. The derby starts at 2 p,m. For rules, visit fallcleanupdemolitionderby.com.