Dunn Earns Pole For Syracuse’s Salute to the Troops 358-Modified Championship 150
Former Syracuse 200 Champ Tops 15-Year-Old Dippel In NAPA Super DIRT Week Qualifying (photo by Bill Moore Jr.)
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Oct. 8, 2015 – Billy Dunn of Watertown, N.Y., stood amazed with his car’s performance after ripping off the fastest lap in Thursday afternoon’s 358-Modified time trials to earn the pole position for Saturday’s Salute to the Troops 150 during NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLIV at the New York State Fairgrounds.
“That was actually the easiest qualifying lap I’ve ever done here,” said the 31-year-old Dunn, who won the headline Big-Block Modified Syracuse 200 in 2013 one day after running out of fuel while the 358-Modified 150. “We made some small changes to the car just before time trials and it was on rails. This Bicknell car-Integra Shocks-Mr. Radiator motor (combination) was just hooked up.”
Using a brand-new Bicknell frame, Dunn mastered a one-mile oval that was producing increasingly quick speeds as the sunny fall day wore on.
“It’s getting faster and I think we’re gonna see some pretty fast times in the Big-Block time trials (that followed the 358-Modified qualifying),” said Dunn, who earned a $750 prize from Pole Position Raceway for his efforts. “Hopefully it doesn’t stay like this all week, though. It’s fun time-trialing on a real fast track like this, but it ain’t fun racing on it. Hopefully it’ll get slickened up here in the next couple days and we’ll be able to do a little bit of racing.
“I’m just happy right now,” he added. “We’ve had a lot of success here but never had a pole, so it’s pretty special to get one here at the last (NAPA Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds before the track is razed). I’m glad we were able to do it.”
Dunn’s fast lap topped Tyler Dippel of Wallkill, N.Y., a 15-year-old sensation whose circuit of 31.189 seconds gave him the outside pole for Saturday’s 358-Modified 150 in his first-ever competitive appearance at the Syracuse Mile.
Did Dippel, a high-school sophomore taking a few days off from classes to race in the NAPA Super DIRT Week activities, feel any jitters upon taking his first laps at the menacing track?
“A little bit,” admitted Dippel, who received $500 from Central New York Golf Carts for landing on the outside pole. “But the car was just awesome. I was expecting at least a top-10 run — I knew the car had speed. I just didn’t know it had that much speed.”
Once Dippel secured the number two starting spot for the small-block main event, he struggled to find the words to put his performance in perspective.
“I’m just so happy to get that done,” said Dippel, who drove a Teo-Pro car powered by a Billy the Kid engine. “Just … wow. I don’t even know what to say.”
Brett Hearn of Sussex, N.J., grabbed the third starting spot for the 150 with a lap of 31.382 seconds. He will bid for his third straight and seventh overall triumph in the race that boasts a $20,000 first-place prize.
Also locking into the 150-miler in positions 4-6 was four-time event champion Kenny Tremont of West Sand Lake, N.Y., six-time race winner Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y., and J.R. Heffner of Stephentown, N.Y.
The remainder of the 40-car starting field for the Salute to the Troops 358-Modified Championship 150 will be determined by the Pullens Truck Center twin 20-lap heat races on Friday afternoon, last-chance events on Saturday and provisional starters.
For more information on NAPA Super DIRT Week XLIV, visit www.superdirtweekonline.com.
Salute to the Troops 358-Modified Championship 150 Qualifying Results
|4||115||Kenny Tremont Jr.||31.401|
|38||83x||Tim Sears Jr.||32.655|
358-Modified Twin 20 Heat Race Lineups
|TWIN #1||TWIN #2|
|1||49||Billy Dunn||1||1T||Tyler Dippel|
|2||20||Brett Hearn||2||115||Kenny Tremont Jr.|
|3||91||Billy Decker||3||17JR||J.R. Heffner|
|4||44F||Stewart Friesen||4||66x||Carey Terrance|
|5||6||Jimmy Phelps||5||1M||Mathieu Desjardins|
|6||22c||Mario Clair||6||76||Ronnie Johnson|
|7||7m||Mike Maresca||7||FX1||Frankie Caprara|
|8||29k||Ryan Krachun||8||3J||Marc Johnson|
|9||47||Bob Sarkisian||9||3a||Kevin Albert|
|10||25R||Erick Rudolph||10||4*||Tim McCreadie|
|11||21R||Ryan Darcy||11||25P||Michael Parent|
|12||151||Brian McDonald||12||21||Yan Bussiere|
|13||45||Wayne Jelley||13||21m||Bob McGannon|
|14||25J||Chad Jeseo||14||73||Alain Boisvert|
|15||8||Rich Scagliotta||15||91z||Jerry Higbie|
|16||87||Neil Stratton||16||111||Demeirjouis Drelllos|
|17||115F||Stephane LaFrance||17||99L||Larry Wight|
|18||1||David Hebert||18||O8||Mark D’Ilario|
|19||39T||Alan Therrien||19||83x||Tim Sears Jr.|
|20||26||Ryan Godown||20||R40||Ryan Forte|
|21||17||Matt Janiak||21||37s||Tommy Flannigan|
|22||24||Patrick Dupree||22||14||Brett Wright|
|23||1NY||Greg Atkins||23||14s||Brian Swarthout|
|24||12||Brian Sage||24||12b||Kevin Britten|
|25||3B||Scott Boudinot||25||21s||James Henry|
|26||27||Robert Bublak||26||3m||Brady Fultz|
|27||99||Mickael Labreche||27||16||Aaron Jacobs|
|28||21x||Randy Sweetman||28||1||Chris Raabe|
|29||32c||Vic Coffey||29||343||Randy Sweetman|
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, Pole Position Raceway and Dig Safely New York. Contingency sponsors are ASI, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix, ButlerBuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, FX Caprara, Fox Shox, Impact Race Products, Intercomp, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Mobil 1, Motorsports Safety Systems, MSD Performance, Racing Electronics, Superflow, TNT Rescue and Wrisco Aluminum.