Terrance & Marc Johnson Claim Victories In DIRTcar 358-Modified Heat Races During S-T-R Trailer Repair ‘Friday Night Lights’
New Yorkers Earn First-Ever Triumphs At Syracuse Mile During NAPA Super DIRT Week
By Kevin Kovac, DIRTcar Racing P.R.
SYRACUSE, NY – Oct. 11, 2013 – Carey Terrance of Hogansburg, N.Y., and Marc Johnson of Guilderland, N.Y., combined to give a fresh look to NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week Victory Lane as each earned first-ever triumphs at the one-mile New York State Fairgrounds in the Twin 20-lap DIRTcar 358-Modified heat races that were part of the S-T-R Trailer Repair ‘Friday Night Lights’ qualifying program.
Terrance, 32, controlled the first 20-lapper from start-to-finish, while the 33-year-old Johnson inherited the top spot when race-long pacesetter Chris Raabe of Napanee, Ont., slowed on a lap-18 restart and marched on to capture the second heat race. Both drivers collected $1,000 checks for their efforts.
The key move for Terrance in the evening’s first small-block qualifier came on the original start. Taking advantage of his outside pole starting spot, he outgunned front-row mate Ronnie Johnson of Duanesburg, N.Y., to assume immediate command and never looked back.
In a race slowed by just a single caution flag on lap 11, Terrance kept Johnson at arm’s length throughout the distance and beat the pole winner for Saturday’s ‘Salute to the Troops’ DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship 150 to the finish line by 1.653 seconds.
“I knew from running the ‘Futures’ race with the big-block (earlier on Friday) that (the track) was one lane getting in to turn one,” said Terrance, who is in contention for the overall DIRTcar 358-Modified points championship. “I took the lead in that race but the caution came out and I had to go back to second, so I knew the initial start (in the 358-Modified heat) would be crucial. I had to try and get an edge there on (Johnson) and I just pushed it on the start and the officials said it was good.”
The checkered flag continues a dream NAPA Super DIRT Week for Terrance, who was the lone driver to qualify among the top six in both big-block and 358-Modified time trials on Thursday. He will make his seventh career start in Saturday’s 358-Modified Championship 150 and his first-ever appearance in the Syracuse 200 on Sunday.
“This is the overall best effort we’ve ever put in for DIRT Week,” said Terrance, whose career-best finish in the 358-Modified Championship 150 is a ninth in 2012. “We’re here with a big-block too and we’ve gotten a lot of help from Matt and Bobby Hearn (at Teo-Pro Car), and so far being fast in time trials with both cars and winning the heat really has us excited.”
Defending DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship 150 winner Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., finished third in the first heat, running steadily behind the leaders for the entire distance. Five-time 150 victor Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y., was fourth and Tim Sears Jr. of Clay, N.Y., placed fifth.
Donnie Corellis of Averill Park, N.Y., who finished 15th, claimed the final transfer spot to the 150.
Marc Johnson was a surprised – but also very satisfied – winner of the second 20-lapper. He felt resigned to finishing second after chasing Raabe from the start, but when Raabe slowed off turn two following a lap-18 restart Johnson obligingly accepted the top spot and didn’t let it go.
With Raabe limping onto the inside cinder track to keep the race under green-flag conditions, Johnson steered his family-owned Troyer car across the finish line 0.964 of a second in front of St. Catharines, Ont.’s Mat Williamson.
“I was on the hammer (trying to catch Raabe) but I was down a little on gear,” said Johnson, a regular at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y., who is no relation to former Syracuse 200-winning Johnsons Jack, Alan and Danny. “They were handling me pretty good on the restarts, but we caught a break and were able to get a win.”
Johnson will make his fourth career start in the 358-Modified Championship 150. He’s run strong in all three of his previous appearances, finishing as high as sixth in 2010.
“We put everything into this, we work really hard and we’ve run well here, so we’re really excited,” said Johnson. “The first year we were here (in ’09) we finished ninth, won the Rookie of the Race and won the Hard Charger Award. The next year we finished sixth and led some laps, and last year we were good but overheated. We feel pretty good about our chances tomorrow.”
The drive of the second 20-lapper was authored by Stewart Friesen of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., who started last (28th) because he didn’t log a qualifying lap on Thursday after losing an engine. With a borrowed engine under his car’s hood he charged through the field to finish third, solidly putting him into the 150 field.
Billy Dunn of Watertown, N.Y., and overall DIRTcar 358-Modified points leader Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y., placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
The second heat was slowed by three caution flags, including one on lap 14 for a hard turn-three crash involving Chad Jeseo of Averill Park, N.Y.
The ‘Salute to the Troops’ 358-Modified Championship 150 is scheduled to get the green flag on Saturday (Oct. 12) at 1:30 p.m.
For more information on NAPA Super DIRT Week, visit www.SuperDIRTWeekonline.com.
DIRTcar 358-Modified Heat No. 1 Finish (20 laps): 1. Carey Terrance, 2. Ronnie Johnson, 3. Tim McCreadie, 4. Billy Decker, 5. Tim Sears Jr., 6. Brett Hearn, 7. Larry Wight, 8. J.R. Heffner, 9. Jeff Sykes, 10. Alain Boisvert, 11. Mario Clair, 12. Dale Planck, 13. David Hebert, 14. Rick Laubach, 15. Donnie Corellis, 16. Brandon Sweet, 17. Bob McGannon, 18. Kevin Albert, 19. Yan Bussiere, 20. Jasmin Leveillee, 21. Brian McDonald, 22. Darwin Greene, 23. John McClelland, 24. Rich Scagliotta, 25. Henry Maier, 26. Brian Swarthout, 27. Aaron Jacobs (DNS) Bob Sarkisian, Ryan Godown
DIRTcar 358-Modified Heat No. 2 Finish (20 laps): 1. Marc Johnson, 2. Mat Williamson, 3. Stewart Friesen, 4. Billy Dunn, 5. Erick Rudolph, 6. Pat Ward, 7. Kenny Tremont, 8. Willy Decker, 9. Tim Fuller, 10. Andy Bachetti, 11. Jimmy Horton, 12. Andrew Krause, 13. Jimmy Blewett, 14. Wayne Jelley, 15. Chad Brachmann, 16. Clement Therrien, 17. Tim Currier, 18. Ryan Arbuthnot, 19. Scott Flammer, 20. Tommy Flannigan, 21. Neal Williams, 22. Olden Dwyer, 23. Chris Raabe, 24. Matt Billings, 25. Chad Jeseo, 26. Jeff Rockefeller, 27. Scott Boudinot, 28. Gary Wagner (DNS) Dan Humes, Dominic Buffalino, John Lutes Jr.
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.