Just four nights after going for a wild ride in his No. 99 Big-Block Modified at Utica-Rome Speedway (NY), Larry Wight bounced back in a big way by scoring his first Super DIRTcar Series victory of the season Thursday night at Airborne Park Speedway (NY).
Wight started from the fifth spot and took over the lead from Keith Flach on a lap 32 restart, never looking back on the way to his third career Super DIRTcar Series win.
“It’s huge to come out with a car that we haven’t run since the tail end of last year, and to have it be this dominating is definitely a big boost of confidence showing that we’re part of the series, we’re here and we can compete,” Wight told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “To show up to a track that we’ve never been to before other than some hot laps back in 2009 when it was still asphalt, between me and (Crew Chief) Scott (Jeffery) just putting our heads together and figuring out this track and figuring out what to do with the car, to be able to run that good just shows that we have a good thing going right now.”
Thursday night’s race was the first ever race for the Super DIRTcar Series at Airborne Park Speedway. After getting comfortable with the track in hot laps and time trials, Wight and his crew made the perfect adjustments for a dominating performance in the feature.
Wight’s only challenge of the night came on lap 97 when the second yellow flag of the night came out. Despite sophomore Max McLaughlin breathing down his neck on the restart, “Lightning Larry” pulled away to Victory Lane.
After the race, Wight wasn’t able to compare the track at Airborne to any other track; instead calling it a mixture of two other New York tracks.
“I’d say the closest I can think of would be a mix between a Malta and a Ramsomville,” the race winner said in victory lane. “The track seems to come and go like Malta does, but the corners are really sharp like Ransomville with long straightaways. We were able to use a little bit of our knowledge to take a little bit from this track and a little bit of that track to have a good setup.”
With his victory, Wight will find himself making a leap up the Super DIRTcar Series championship standings. Defending champion Matt Sheppard (suspended) and Stewart Friesen (NCWTS race), who was previously second in the standings, both missed Thursday’s race. Championship leader Billy Decker also suffered misfortune in the form of a mechanical failure late in the race while running in the top five.
“Billy had some misfortune there so that gave us a jump in the points,” Wight said. “I would’ve liked to put Brett (Hearn) down a lap to help out a little bit more in the points, but we’ve just got to keep running strong and keep everyone behind us.”
Max McLaughlin drove through the field to tie his career best Super DIRTcar Series finish with a second. Brett Hearn was originally scored in the third spot at the finish, despite going off the pace during the closing laps of the race. After a post-race review, Super DIRTcar Series officials recognized that Hearn should have been scored a lap down on the race’s final restart. Therefore, a revised finish was posted and Hearn dropped to sixth and Jimmy Phelps was credited with the third place finish. Tim Fuller and Pat Ward completed the top five.
Next up for the Super DIRTcar Series is a visit north of the border to Cornwall Motor Speedway (ON) on Sunday, July 9.
Stay tuned to the Speed51 Network powered by JEGS for video highlights and interviews from Thursday night’s race.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com