Rising to the challenge is what separates a top-notch driver from the rest of the pack. Whether it’s dominating a race, going on a winning streak or sealing a win with a late-race pass, drivers slowly rise to the top of the field and make a name for themselves.
That’s why FK Rod Ends, who has nearly 10,000 combinations of rod ends and spherical bearings available and carefully crafts their products, is proud to honor the 2019 “Team FK Driver of the Year” from the short track ranks of America on Speed51.com.
Throughout the 2019 racing season, an esteemed panel of short track industry insiders voted on which driver had the most success on the track. The driver with the most votes was awarded “Team FK Driver of the Month."
Now, with the 2019 season concluded, we have calculated the votes from throughout the season to determine the “Team FK Driver of the Year.”
After pulling off a major upset for the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified season championship in his first full-time season in the series, Mat Williamson of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada has been named the FK Rod Ends Driver of the Year.
Williamson's first SDS title came in a season of great change for the 29-year-old driver, going into battle in the series with the Buzz Chew team from Long Island. After finding their footing at the DIRTcar Nationals in February, Williamson and the No. 88 camp set to work in the points race, racking up consistent finishes through the spring and summer, while keeping the seven-time champion Matt Sheppard in sight.
Then as the weather began to cool in September, Williamson struck with back-to-back wins at Brewerton Speedway (NY) and Mohawk Int'l Raceway (NY), setting up a run of momentum for the biggest crown in all of Big-Block Modified racing, Super DIRT Week. After winning his qualifier, Williamson went to war on October 13 at Oswego Speedway (NY), coming away with the trophy after 200 laps for the biggest win of his career, as well as a real shot at a title.
In the end, the same consistency which put Williamson into contention for the Super DIRTcar title would get the job done in the end over the final three points races of 2019, edging Matt Sheppard by just 28 points, and derailing his hopes of a fifth-straight title.
Success elsewhere in Northeast Dirt Modified competition added to Williamson's glory in 2019, winning five times on the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series with the Wendt's No. 6 crew. He also teamed with the Behrent's No. 3 camp once again on the year, where they claimed a huge check in August at the Orange County Fair Speedway (NY) during the track's Centennial Celebration Final.
Overall, Williamson enjoyed a career-best season with 22 wins, 62 top fives and 74 top 10s in 82 starts.
For his stellar championship season, pulling off one of the best upsets in recent memory, Mat Williamson is the 2019 FK Rod Ends Driver of the Year on Speed51.com.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Content Specialist - Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51Photos.com