Being the fastest Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified qualifier at the New York State Fairgrounds is a prestigious accomplishment.  Being named the recipient of the award during the final appearance at the “Moody Mile” makes it even more special.

 

Larry Wight, from nearby Baldwinsville, New York, was the fastest in Thursday morning practice, which meant he would be the final driver to go out to qualify.  After the first time-trial lap, it did not appear that he could beat the quick time set by defending race winner Stewart Friesen.  Then, after crossing the start-finish the second time, the No. 99 shot to the top of the charts with a time of 29.154 seconds for his first pole at the “Moody Mile”.

 

“The first lap I just missed my mark and I knew that I wasted a lap, so I kind of tried to make sure I could at least get down the frontstretch to be able to lay down a good second lap,” Wight told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.  “It’s huge for us.  To go into the record books as the last one to do it means a lot.  To show up here with a new car and be fast right out of the box makes it a lot easier on us.”

 

It has been a team effort for the 23 year-old driver, who has honestly only won a handful of Big Block Modified races in his brief career.

 

“Dan Neal (crew chief) has been busting his hump trying to get this thing together,” said Wight, who beat 74 other cars for the pole.  “We’ve really been putting in a lot of hours.  Bobby Hearn (from TEO ProCars) did some special stuff for us to make sure it would be top notch; Kevin Lanphear in our engine shop making sure we had a stellar piece.  We have Dave Reedy on our side with Penske Shocks watching the track for us and making sure that we’re right on top of it.”

 

While one fast lap is impressive, competitors will have to be consistent for 200 circuits on Sunday.  Wight remained confident in the potential for his performance the remainder of the weekend.

 

“I think we can do it,” Wight said.  “It would be nice to get the trifecta if we can get the heats in tomorrow and everything.”

 

Friesen came up one spot short in qualifying, but is pleased with the performance of his racecar.

 

“It’s really good; it’s very comfortable,” Friesen noted.  “We put up a very good time there on the first lap and then tried to hold it wide open off of four and got it right out of the groove in the second lap.  As the tires get more heat in them it should get better and better.”

 

Although he has won the big event three times in the last five years, Friesen would like nothing more than to win the “Finale at the Fairgrounds”.

 

“It would be amazing and something that is totally wild,” Friesen described.  “It’s just an awesome event with so much history, and it’s really a shame that we’re losing it.  We’re going to try our hardest to win it.”

 

A total of six drivers locked themselves in for Sunday’s feature.  Hogansburg, New York’s Carey Terrance turned in an extraordinary run with the third-fastest time, while 358 Modified fast qualifier and 2013 winner Billy Dunn was fourth.  Pat Ward, in a tribute scheme to his father, and last year’s fast-qualifier Matt Sheppard rounded out the cars in the show for Sunday.

 

The 44th running of NAPA Super DIRT Week continues with the Hurricane 100 for 358 Modifieds Thursday night at Brewerton Speedway with $10,000 on the line.  Friday at the fairgrounds will include Sportsman Modified and USAC Silver Crown time trials as well as 358 Modified Twin 20s and Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified Triple 20s to set more of the starting field.

 

By Aaron Creed, speed51.com New York / Pennsylvania Editor – Twitter: @aaron_creed

 

Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified Qualifying Results (Top 6 Locked In):

1 99L Larry Wight 29.154
2 44 Stewart Friesen 29.281
3 66x Carey Terrance 29.324
4 49 Billy Dunn 29.353
5 42p Pat Ward 29.629
6 999 Matt Sheppard 29.707
7 20 Brett Hearn 29.762
8 43 Keith Flach 29.936
9 91 Billy Decker 29.952
10 6 Jimmy Phelps 29.968
11 66 Duane Howard 30.095
12 39 Tim McCreadie 30.123
13 14J Jimmy Horton 30.191
14 115 Ken Tremont Jr 30.256
15 220 John Ferrier 30.294
16 1 Tyler Dippel 30.305
17 74 JR Heffner 30.368
18 35 Frank Cozze 30.413
19 2RJ Ronnie Johnson 30.424
20 6 Mat Williamson 30.430
21 63 Adam Roberts 30.529
22 32c Vic Coffey 30.548
23 747 Ryan Godown 30.557
24 7 Rick Laubach 30.603
25 98 Eddie Marshall 30.623
26 5 Billy VanInwegen 30.648
27 31m Jamie Maier 30.673
28 11 Robert Bellinger 30.676
29 19 Tim Fuller 30.681
30 71 Pierre Hebert 30.699
31 14H Jeffrey Heotzler 30.706
32 1M Mathieu Desjardins 30.824
33 21M Bob McGannon 30.870
34 51M Dominick Buffalino 30.914
35 28p Eldon Payne Jr 30.950
36 8 Rich Scagliotta 30.965
37 14 Brian Swartout 30.987
38 56 Vince Vitale 31.035
39 21a Peter Britten 31.040
40 34B Andy Bachetti 31.220
41 27J Danny Johnson 31.248
42 5* Tyler Siri 31.270
43 62s Tom Sears Jr. 31.296
44 74 Dave Blaney 31.399
45 M40 Mark Forte Jr 31.422
46 816 Jeffrey Rockefeller 31.433
47 96 Todd Milton 31.502
48 88 Dave Allen 31.615
49 22c Mario Clair 31.661
50 17 Marcus Dinkins 31.821
51 151 Brian McDonald 31.880
52 48T Dave Rauscher 31.893
53 2K Mark Kislowski 31.919
54 47 Bob Sarkisian 31.925
55 08 Mark D’Ilario 31.933
56 FX1 Frankie Caprara 31.976
57 39 Alain Therrien 31.996
58 12B Kevin Britten 32.006
59 7z Gary Tomkins 32.020
60 3A Kevin Albert Jr 32.083
61 7s Michael Sabia 32.116
62 72 Tommy Flannigan 32.314
63 19 Jessey Mueller 32.338
64 77 Bob Hamm Jr 32.685
65 77B Roy Bresnahan 32.841
66 96 Mike Turner 32.924
67 24 Patrick Dupree 33.046
68 87 Neil Stratton 33.138
69 45 Steve Feder 33.240
70 1NY Gregory Atkins 33.497
71 13 Rick Regalski 33.584
72 29 Kyle Redner 33.687
73 R13 Ralph McBride 33.977
74 99 Mikael Labreche 35.076
75 1H Justin Haers No Transponder

 

75 Big Blocks Mods & Top-Six Locked in for Syracuse Finale