On an adventurous and attrition-filled evening at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (NC), Jimmy Phelps survived to win the Super DIRTcar Series feature at the Can-Am World Finals for his first win in the series this year.
Phelps assumed the lead on lap 22 when leader Billy Decker slowed with a flat tire, coming up short in his bid for his first-ever win at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. For Phelps, it was his first win at the venue since November 5, 2010 in the first-ever Super DIRTcar Series event at the track.
“The car was super,” said Phelps in victory lane. “These guys busted their butts, it’s a new car. They got it together and I’m tickled pink.”
Even after taking the lead, Phelps held off a hard-charging Erick Rudolph to score the victory.
“I knew we had a decent car. I didn’t know how good Erick was. I knew he made up some serious ground out there. I wasn’t restarting the greatest.”
Ultimately, Phelps survived that restart, as well as earlier incidents and flat tires that derailed contenders such as Decker, Matt Sheppard and more.
“We went on those long green runs early and then the leaders got tore up in traffic. It worked out.”
Rudolph settled for a second-place finish after starting ninth, unable to capitalize on the late race caution and overthrow Phelps for the top spot.
“I think maybe I had a better shot [with the caution], but he was the class of the field tonight. He did what he had to do on the restarts there, and he had a fast hot rod tonight.”
Rudolph’s runner-up finish continues a trend of second-place runs, as the New York native finished in that spot three times in various DIRTcar Modified competition in October.
“We were really good in the middle of the summer. Lately we’ve been having a lot of second-place finishes, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of with the competition we’re against.”
Larry Wight completed the podium for the Super DIRTcar Series feature, taking advantage of the end of the year to experiment with his car. With no stake in the championship battle, Wight made a major change to his entry and came away pleased with the results.
“We made some wholesale changes to the car. This morning we decided to transfer from a torsion-bar car to a coil car. We half-a—scaled it in the parking lot. Obviously, we were going in the right direction, we just need to make a couple of minor changes to the car so it’s not so loose and we’re burning off the right-rear.”
Pat Ward finished fourth, with championship contender Mat Williamson rounding out the top five. Matt Sheppard rebounded from a flat tire to finish 10th, but will enter Saturday’s season finale trailing Williamson by 18 points.
The Super DIRTcar Series will conclude its season as part of the Can-Am World Finals Saturday. Opening ceremonies begin at 3:45 p.m. Eastern.
Fans who missed Friday’s racing can visit Speed51’s Race Day Now updates from the event by clicking here. Speed51 will be back at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Saturday for more Race Day Now coverage of the Can-Am World Finals.
Unofficial Super DIRTcar Series Results
|22||37||Paul St. Sauver|
|34||15||Billy Pauch, Jr.|
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 photo / Duane Canfield