LIVE UPDATES 10/8: NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week Qualifying
Qualifying Day action at the New York State Fairgrounds one-mile oval of NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLIV began. Hot laps for the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds and 358-Modifieds hit the track at 10 a.m. in advance of time trials for both divisions.
After a break in on-track activity at 12 noon for the annual Media Day press conference, time trials for the ‘Salute to the Troops’ 358-Modified Championship 150 are scheduled to begin at 1:20 p.m. and the race against the clock for the Syracuse 200 Big-Block Modified classis are set for a 2:45 p.m. commencement.
The top six starting spots in the Syracuse 200 and ‘Salute to the Troops’ 358-Modified Championship 150 will be locked in after today’s time trials. Results will also be used to align each division’s heat races (Triple 20s for Big-Blocks, Twin 20s for 358-Mods) on Friday afternoon.
Be sure to refresh your browser regularly to read the latest live updates of the action on the ‘Moody Mile’ and other news and notes throughout the day, and check back later tonight for results from the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series ‘Hurricane 100’ at Brewerton (N.Y.) Speedway.
Wight flashes to Big-Block pole
4:25 p.m. — The last driver scheduled to hit the track in Big-Block Modified time trials, Larry Wight roared around the one-mile oval in blistering 29.154 seconds to grab the pole position for Sunday’s Syracuse 200. The 22-year-old will make his eighth start in the 200 but first from the pole.
Three-time and defending Syracuse 200 champion Stewart Friesen earned the outside pole for the 200-miler with a lap of 29.281 seconds.
Also locking into the race in positions 3-6 were Carey Terrance (29.324), Billy Dunn (29.353), Pat Ward (29.629) and Matt Sheppard (29.707).
The top six qualifiers posed with their cars for a group shot (photo by Alex Bruce) on pit road.
Dunn grabs 358-Mod pole
2:55 p.m. — Billy Dunn ripped off a 30.838-second lap late in the qualifying session, putting him atop the speed chart and earning him the pole position for Saturday afternoon’s Salute to the Troops 358-Modified 150. It’s the first 358-Modified pole at the Moody Mile for the 31-year-old driver, who won the Big-Block Modified Syracuse 200 in 2013.
Tyler Dippel, a 15-year-old sensation from Wallkill, N.Y., was second-fastest with his lap of 31.189 seconds, putting him on the outside pole for the 150-miler in his first-ever competitive appearance at Syracuse.
Also locking into Saturday’s 150 in positions 3-6 were Brett Hearn (31.382), Kenny Tremont (31.401), Billy Decker (31.416) and J.R. Heffner (31.526).
The top six qualifiers are pictured below (photo by Bill Moore Jr.).
Full results from 358-Modified time trials can be seen by clicking here.
Teammates top practice charts
1:50 p.m. — Time trials for the 358-Modifieds are now underway. Billy Dunn (31.793 seconds) and Brett Hearn (31.876) were the quickest in the division’s practice sessions.
Gypsum Racing teammates Larry Wight and Billy Decker, meanwhile, were the fastest in Thursday’s Big-Block Modified hot laps. Wight turned a lap of 30.196 seconds while Decker clocked in at 30.453 seconds. Third-fastest was Dave Blaney, the former World of Outlaws Sprint Car champion and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular who is returning to Syracuse action for the first time in two decades.
Qualifying groups for both the 358-Modifieds and Big-Blocks were set in inverse order of Thursday’s practice times.
358-Modified Time Trial Groups
|GROUP 1||GROUP 2||GROUP 3|
|37s||Tommy Flannigan||27||Robert Bublak||83x||Tim Sears Jr.|
|21x||Eric Williams||1NY||Greg Atkins||26||Ryan Godown|
|32c||32c – Vic Coffey||24||Patrick Dupree||8||Rich Scagliotta|
|343||Randy Sweetman||12||Brian Sage||91z||Jerry Higbie|
|99l||Larry Wight||14||Brett Wright||3a||Kevin Albert|
|115s||Stephane Lafrance||111||Demeirjouis Drelllos||45||Wayne Jelley|
|3m||Brady Fultz||76||Ronnie Johnson||7m||Mike Maresca|
|4*||Tim McCreadie||17||Matt Janiak||1M||Mathieu Desjardins|
|16||Aaron Jacobs||14s||Brian Swarthout||O8||Mark D’Ilario|
|99||Michel Labreche||151||Brian McDonald||29k||Ryan Krachun|
|57||Brandon Sweet||39T||Clement Therrien||21R||Ryan Darcy|
|21s||James Henry||21||Yan Bussiere||1||David Hebert|
|3BX||Scott Boudinot||R40||Ryan Forte||25P||Michael Parent|
|87||Neil Stratton||73||Alain Boisvert||47||Bob Sarkisian|
|25J||Chad Jeseo||12b||Kevin Britten||25R||Erick Rudolph|
|115||Kenny Tremont Jr.|
Big-Block Modified Time Trial Groups
|GROUP 1||GROUP 2||GROUP 3|
|72||Tommy Flannigan||1||David Hebert||31m||Jamie Maier|
|x||Edward Kitchell||77b||Roy Bresnhan||5*||Tyler Siri|
|75||Jeff Miller||77h||Bob Hamm Jr.||2K||Mark Kislowski|
|77||Dan Weisener||151||Brian McDonald||22c||Mario Clair|
|3m||Jimmy Maier||13||Rick Reglaski Jr.||111||Demeirjouis Drellus|
|3J||Marc Johnson||FX1||Frankie Caprara||816||Jeff Rockefeller|
|14||Brett Wright||12b||Kevin Britten||88||Dave Allen|
|99||Mickael Labreche||3a||Kevin Albert||1||Chris Raabe|
|29||Kyle Redner||O8||Mark D’Ilario||45F||Steve Feder|
|87||Neil Stratton||96||Mike Turner||21m||Bob McGannon|
|R13||Ralph McBride||47||Bob Sarkisian||63||Adam Roberts|
|115F||Stephane LaFrance||96m||Todd Milton||27J||Danny Johnson|
|1NY||Greg Atkins||M40||Mark Forte Jr||14h||Jeff Heotzler|
|24||Patrick Dupree||39T||Clement Therrien||17||Marcus Dinkins|
|7||Mike Maresca||48T||Dave Rauscher||25P||Michael Parent|
|GROUP 4||GROUP 5||GROUP 6|
|5||Billy VanInwegen||39||Tim McCreadie||6||Jimmy Phelps|
|1M||Mathieu Desjardins||6m||Mat Williamson||35||Frank Cozze|
|62s||Tom Sears Jr.||14J||Alan Johnson||42p||Pat Ward|
|98||Eddie Marshall||7||Rick Laubach||20||Brett Hearn|
|220||John Ferrier||28p||Eldon Payne||66x||Carey Terrance|
|8||Rich Scagliotta||74||J.R Heffner||44||Stewart Friesen|
|71||Pierre Hebert||19m||Jessey Mueller||1T||Tyler Dippel|
|19||Tim Fuller||747||Ryan Godown||999||Matt Sheppard|
|7s||Michael Sabia||1H||Justin Haers||49||Billy Dunn|
|14s||Brian Swartout||66||Duame Howard||74d||Dave Blaney|
|11||Rob Bellinger||115||Kenny Tremont||91||Billy Decker|
|1||Tyler Dippel||2RJ||Ronnie Johnson||99L||Larry Wight|
|34||Andy Bachetti||32c||Vic Coffey|
|56||Vince Vitale||21a||Peter Britten|
|51m||Dominick Buffalino||43||Keith Flach|
1:30 p.m. — World Racing Group CEO Brian Carter (above – Alex Bruce photo) spoke during the annual Media Day in the infield press center, touching on the sadness of the last NAPA Super DIRT Week at the Syracuse Mile but also the great memories from the event’s 44 years and the excitement of the October motorsports extravaganza’s bright future starting in 2016 at the brand-new Central New York Raceway Park in nearby Hastings.
“It might be different, but it’s gonna be special,” Carter said of next year’s NAPA Super DIRT Week at the half-mile CNYRP. “We’re gonna do everything we can to carry forward the momentum we feel in the pit area this week.”
The Media Day program also included comments from former Syracuse 200 winners Brett Hearn and Frank Cozze; Super DIRTcar Series director Mike Perrotte (no 2016 Super DIRTcar Series schedule was released, however); local meteorologist Wayne Mahar (he said there’s rain in the forecast for Friday but the rest of the weekend looks great); and various sponsor representatives.
Director Northeast marketing director Jeff Hachman (below, far right) took to the microphone to announce the three recipients of this year’s Buzzie Reutimann Outstanding Contribution to Super DIRT Week award: longtime DIRTcar staffers (below, l-r) Jack Speno (victory lane coordinator and DIRT Motorsports Hall of Fame curator) Gary Spaid (scoring) and Dave Dixon (electrician).
Champ replaces a champ
1 p.m. — A driver change took place before Thursday afternoon’s on-track action even began.
Three-time Syracuse 200 winner Alan Johnson appeared to have his best Super DIRT Week ride in years with the ever-expanding Halmar Racing team, but the veteran racer apparently didn’t mesh with the the operation headed by four-time Syracuse 200 victor Gary Balough and was out of the car’s seat this morning. A.J. was quickly replaced by two-time Syracuse 200 champion Jimmy Horton, who came to the Moody Mile without a machine to drive but with his helmet and driver’s suit with him just in case a ride opened up.