Sheppard, Williamson, and Decker repeat Time Trial success in Qualifying Heats
After an hours long rain delay, the stars of the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds hit the track at Oswego Speedway Saturday night one more time before Sunday’s Feature race.
Three 25-lap Qualifying Heats saw 24 cars qualify for the $50,000-to-win, Billy Whittaker Cars 200 championship.
Qualifying Heat 1
Starting off in the pole position, Matt Sheppard shot out in front of the rest of the field and never looked back. Ryan Godown followed in pursuit trying to keep in step with the eight-time and defending Series champion, but to no avail. Sheppard continued on his current hot streak and recorded the fastest time in his field for the second night in a row, taking home the $4,000 first place check.
“The cars been excellent the last two or three days,” Sheppard said. “The track had a lot of bite, that first one. It’s starting to polish off now. Definitely hammered down the fastest we’ve seen all week here. We still had a really good race car. It’s a pleasure to drive when it’s that balanced,” Sheppard said.
Godown held his ground against a charging Stewart Friesen, taking home second while Friesen finished third.
Marc Johnson (fourth) and Jimmy Phelps (fifth) rounded out the top five finishers.
Qualifying Heat 2
Defending Super DIRT Week champion Mat Williamson continued to build his momentum for Sunday’s Feature with a solid performance in the second Qualifying Heat. Like Sheppard, Williamson bolted out in front after starting on the pole and never relinquished his position. His most difficult challenge was navigating the lapped traffic he encountered halfway through the matchup. Williamson maneuvered strategically, keeping his significant lead over his competitors.
Peter Britten and Erick Rudolph trailed several car lengths behind in second and third until “Mad Max” McLaughlin aggressively charged forward, making his presence known. Running in a retro-scheme #Z8 designed specifically for Super DIRT Week, McLaughlin charged up five positions around his competition using both the inside and outside of the track.
Behind Williamson, Peter Britten finished second, Max McLaughlin finished third, Erick Rudolph finished fourth, and Anthony Perrego finished fifth.
QUALIFYING HEAT 3
After qualifying for Sunday’s Feature on the inside of row two, four-time Super DIRT Week champion Billy Decker repeated his success on Saturday. Starting in the pole position, Decker fired hard at the start to jump out to an early lead. He showed his tenacity after maintaining his lead on three restarts, doing so by taking advantage of the inside of the track.
“This JSR car is pretty good,” Decker said. “These guys have been working pretty hard all week. We unloaded pretty good and we’ve been making small improvements all along. We’re going to dissect some information and then make a big swing at it tomorrow.”
Mike Mahaney, who secured a sixth place starting position for Sunday’s Feature in Time Trials, gave a repeat solid performance finishing second. Darren Smith finished third, Tim Sears Jr finished fourth, and Kyle Coffey finished fifth.
UP NEXT: The Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds will run the $50,000-to-win Billy Whittaker Cars 200 on Sunday, Oct. 9 to see who will be crowned the champion of the 50th Running of NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either at DIRTVision.com or by downloading the DIRTVision App.
Heat 1 (25 Laps): 1. 9S-Matt Sheppard; 2. 26-Ryan Godown; 3. 44-Stewart Friesen; 4. 9-Marc Johnson; 5. 98H-Jimmy Phelps; 6. 215-Adam Pierson; 7. 2-Jack Lehner; 8. 84-Gary Tomkins; 9. 19-Tim Fuller; 10. 125-Jackson Gill; 11. 43-Jimmy Horton; 12. 21C-Brian Calabrese; 13. 58M-Marshall Hurd; 14. 8-Rich Scagliotta; 15. 7-Rick Laubach; 16. 14M-CG Morey; 17. 27W-Nick Webb; 18. 9X-Tyler Trump; 19. 16-Aaron Jacobs; 20. 01C-Bob Henry Jr; 21. 76-John Brown; 22. 4V-Billy VanInwegen Jr; 23. 26R-Corey Cormier; 24. 28T-Michael Trautschold; 25. (DNS) 713-Tommy Collins; 26. (DNS) 18-Ryan Macartney
Heat 2 (25 Laps): 1. 88-Mat Williamson; 2. 21A-Peter Britten; 3. Z8-Max McLaughlin; 4. 25-Erick Rudolph; 5. 4-Anthony Perrego; 6. 98-Rocky Warner; 7. 27J-Danny Johnson; 8. 3-Justin Haers; 9. 35L-LJ Lombardo; 10. 28-Jordan McCreadie; 11. 62S-Tom Sears Jr; 12. 20-Brett Hearn; 13. 7Z-Zachary Payne; 14. 37M-Mathieu Desardins; 15. 49-Billy Dunn; 16. 36B-Ben Bushaw; 17. 14S-Brian Swarthout; 18. Z4-JJ Courcy; 19. 19W-Justin Wright; 20. 1NY-Gregory Atkins; 21. 48TOO-Dave Rauscher; 22. 4C-Michelle Courcy; 23. 17T-Richie Tobias Jr; 24. (DNS) 36-Brian Whittemore; 25. (DNS) 11S-James Sweeting
Heat 3 (25 Laps): 1. 91-Billy Decker; 2. 35-Mike Mahaney; 3. 12-Darren Smith; 4. 83X-Tim Sears Jr; 5. 39-Kyle Coffey; 6. 28L-Gary Lindberg; 7. 7D-Tyler Dippel; 8. 5H-Chris Hile; 9. 34-Kevin Root; 10. 22-Tanner Van Dohren; 11. 99L-Larry Wight; 12. X-Chad Phelps; 13. 70A-Alex Payne; 14. 02-Roy Bresnahan; 15. 37-Paul St Sauveur; 16. 27-Jeremy Pitts; 17. 63-Adam Roberts; 18. 17-Marcus Dinkins; 19. 0-Matt Humes; 20. 74-Dave Flannigan Jr; 21. 115-Kenny Tremont Jr; 22. 27JR-Daniel Johnson; 23. (DNS) M1-David Marcuccilli; 24. (DNS) 15-Todd Root; 25. (DNS) 11-Steve Lewis Jr