Tim Fuller Grabs the Pole for Riccelli-Northern Salute the Troops 150
by Clayton Johns
OSWEGO, NY — Oct. 6, 2016 — Tim Fuller was the only driver to crack the 22-second bracket as his lap time of 22.829 seconds earned him the pole for the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Riccelli-Northern Salute the Troops 150 at the 45th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week.
Fuller was the first car to hit the track for time trials after fastest time in the noon practice session. He took full advantage of his qualifying position to grab the pole for Saturday’s 358 Modified main event.
“I was so close to the wall. You have to nip the wall down here in turn one and I can’t believe I didn’t hit it,” Fuller said following time trials. “That’s all we had to do – we just had to hit it right.”
Watertown, NY driver Billy Dunn maintained the second-fastest spot in time trials with a lap of 23.008 seconds. Dunn, a 358-Modified regular, earned a starting spot on the outside of the front row for Saturday’s 150-lap feature event.
“Getting locked in is such a huge deal. This makes it so much easier going into the weekend. From the looks of this racetrack and how slick it’s getting, track position is going to be really important,” Dunn said.
Brett Hearn was the biggest mover in time trials. He advanced from 10th fastest following practice to third quick in the qualifying session as part of the second group to take time.
“[The car] was pretty good. I’m really happy we were able to advance from our 10th-place time in practice,” Heard said. “I think right now we just have to plan for the heats tomorrow night. We’ll do all the things we normally do here at Super DIRT Week [to get ready].”
Completing the top-six guaranteed starters for Saturday’s event were Matt Sheppard, Marc Johnson and Carey Terrance. While Fuller was certainly happy to lock into the front row, he acknowledged there’s still plenty of racing to be done.
“The only thing this does is guarantee you aren’t going to have any dust on the car at the drop of the green flag. Once we get in to the race, it’s fair game for everybody,” Fuller said.
The noon-hour practice session was the only track time prior to time trials for drivers in the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series, save for those pulling double duty in a Big-Block Modified. The lack of information and continued uncertainty means there will still be plenty of adjustments ongoing over the next two days.
“I still think everybody’s trying to figure this place out and figure their cars out. I don’t think anybody has their car where they want it,” Dunn said. “There’s things I want to change to try and get better, so we’ll go into the qualifier tomorrow night with some changes.”
The final track time for the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series prior to Saturday’s Riccelli-Northern Salute the Troops 150 is Twin 25-lap heat races on Friday night at Oswego. It presents one final opportunity for drivers to tune their setups before the $20,000-to-win showdown on Saturday afternoon.
Qualifying Results – 1. 3rs- Tim Fuller, 22.829, 2. 949- Billy Dunn, 23.008, 3. 20- Brett Hearn, 23.016, 4. 14- Matt Sheppard, 23.025, 5. 3j- Marc Johnson, 23.087, 6. 66x- Carey Terrance, 23.205, 7. 66- Stewart Friesen, 23.277, 8. 99L- Larry Wight, 23.281, 9. 28- Gary Lindberg, 23.313, 10. 46- Billy Decker, 23.325, 11. 27j- Danny Johnson, 23.325, 12. 42p- Pat Ward, 23.379, 13. 25p- Michael Parent, 23.384, 14. 62- Erick Rudolph, 23.392, 15. 2rj- Ronnie Johnson, 23.402, 16. 14j- Alan Johnson, 23.420, 17. 1- David Hebert, 23.507, 18. 19m- Jessey Mueller, 23.585, 19. 19n- Chad Phelps, 23.603, 20. 7m- Michael Maresca, 23.651, 21. 01- Chris Raabe, 23.672, 22. 8- Rich Scagliotta, 23.697, 23. 115- Kenny Tremont Jr., 23.794, 24. 88- Dave Allen, 23.929, 25. 111- Demetrios Drellios, 23.938, 26. 22c- Mario Clair, 24.012, 27. 02- Roy Bresenthan, 24.141, 28. 47s- Corey Wheeler, 24.180, 29. 24- Patrick Dupree, 24.244, 30. 23- Joey Ladouceur, 24.335, 31. 21- Yan Bussiere, 24.346, 32. 37s- Tommy Flannigan, 24.376, 33. 26- Rick Richner, 24.460, 34. 04- Mike Butler, 24.562, 35. 16w- Lance Willix III, 24.599, 36. 96- Jean-Francois Corriveau, 24.652, 37. 27w- Nick Webb, 24.773.