Syracuse, NY – 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

POS

No.

Name

Best Tm

1

49

Billy Dunn

30.838

2

1T

Tyler Dippel

31.189

3

20

Brett Hearn

31.382

4

115

Kenny Tremont Jr.

31.401

5

91

Billy Decker

31.416

6

17JR

J.R. Heffner

31.526

7

44F

Stewart Friesen

31.560

8

66x

Carey Terrance

31.620

9

6

Jimmy Phelps

31.733

10

1M

Mathieu Desjardins

31.746

11

22c

Mario Clair

31.810

12

76

Ronnie Johnson

31.895

13

7m

Mike Maresca

31.902

14

FX1

Frankie Caprara

31.947

15

29k

Ryan Krachun

31.954

16

3J

Marc Johnson

31.971

17

47

Bob Sarkisian

32.104

18

3a

Kevin Albert

32.119

19

25R

Erick Rudolph

32.132

20

4*

Tim McCreadie

32.140

21

21R

Ryan Darcy

32.152

22

25P

Michael Parent

32.160

23

151

Brian McDonald

32.172

24

21

Yan Bussiere

32.204

25

45

Wayne Jelley

32.207

26

21m

Bob McGannon

32.218

27

25J

Chad Jeseo

32.222

28

73

Alain Boisvert

32.267

29

8

Rich Scagliotta

32.374

30

91z

Jerry Higbie

32.409

31

87

Neil Stratton

32.444

32

111

Demeirjouis Drelllos

32.450

33

115F

Stephane LaFrance

32.455

34

99L

Larry Wight

32.463

35

1

David Hebert

32.536

36

O8

Mark D’Ilario

32.541

37

39T

Clement Therrien

32.583

38

83x

Tim Sears Jr.

32.655

39

26

Ryan Godown

32.699

40

R40

Ryan Forte

32.753

41

17

Matt Janiak

32.759

42

37s

Tommy Flannigan

32.790

43

24

Patrick Dupree

32.804

44

14

Brett Wright

32.826

45

1NY

Greg Atkins

32.846

46

14s

Brian Swarthout

33.053

47

12

Brian Sage

33.217

48

12b

Kevin Britten

33.396

49

3B

Scott Boudinot

33.629

50

21s

James Henry

33.886

1

27

Robert Bublak

34.048

51

3m

Brady Fultz

34.249

52

99

Mickael Labreche

35.740

53

16

Aaron Jacobs

35.864

54

21x

Eric Williams

36.078

55

1

Chris Raabe

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

30

57

Brandon Sweet

Dunn Sets 358 Fast-Time – Qualifying Heat Line-Ups