Tim McCreadie entered Super DIRT Week knowing that he would need to earn a top-six qualifying spot during Thursday’s time trials at Oswego Speedway (NY).  The current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points leader did just that, but it wasn’t without a few bumps in the road along the way.

 

While Matt Sheppard earned the pole with a fast lap of 21.210 seconds around the 5/8-mile clay oval, it was McCreadie stealing the show and qualifying in the final locked-in position after a rollercoaster day.

 

“It was everything for us, for Sweeteners and this whole Modified program because that was what we had to do,” McCreadie told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.  “I was pretty happy with the car yesterday and again this morning, and then we had just a couple things (go wrong).”

 

300x250 STSS Afton PPV 2017.10After jumping to the top spot on the practice charts Thursday morning, McCreadie’s No. 39 contacted the outside wall in turn three.  The damage was sufficient enough that he required a tow back to the pit area.

 

McCreadie’s team immediately went to work attempting to diagnose a steering issue.  As practice drew to an end, the team believed they had the problem fixed and sent McCreadie out for another run.

 

As he entered turn three, his car once again failed to turn as he entered the corner and ended up making even harder contact with the outside wall.  Without a timed hot lap, McCreadie was placed in the final qualifying group for time trials.

 

“I don’t know if it’s just the way I’m driving it or the brake pedal or what we were doing with biases and pressures to the front (tires) if that did it or the steering box, but it never seemed like it would turn,” McCreadie explained.  “We crashed twice and I don’t think I’ve ever done that.

 

“These guys here did everything after that.  They had me just stay out of the way and they changed racks, front axles and all four shocks were a little tweaked.  It’s amazing and they’re the reason we’re in the top six.  I put us in that situation and they got me out of it.”

 

Knowing he needed to qualify in the top six due to his obligations the next two days with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in Pittsburgh, McCreadie went out and turned a lap fast enough by eight-thousands of a second to lock himself into Sunday’s main event.

 

“I knew the first lap when I went into (turn) one that we were sixth on the board,” he stated.  “I thought that we could get a little bit better and I really tried to concentrate.  I thought I went through one and turn maybe as good as I had maybe all weekend and three and four I entered really good, and then I just didn’t really put the car in the rubber.  The easiest part of the corner was the rubber and I just didn’t really do it.  I kind of wheel spun all the way off of four, so the second lap just didn’t feel as good as the first.  It just goes that way sometimes. I didn’t know it was that close, but we’ll take it.”

 

Leading the way during Thursday’s qualifying was Sheppard, who earned his second straight Super DIRT Week Big-Block Modified pole award at Oswego.

 

“The track started rubbering up in three and four, started locking down and you could definitely get on the gas a lot harder,” the polesitter said of his qualifying run.  “This is a great day and we start on the front row Sunday, but obviously, we come here to try to win the race.  Happy to sit on the pole but it’s really not all that important.”

 

Rick Laubach, Billy Decker, Keith Flach and Dom Buffalino completed the top five during Thursday’s qualifying.

 

For Buffalino, an underdog at this weekend’s event, qualifying in the top six is a win in itself.

 

“We didn’t come here planning on timing in the top six in Big Blocks, so to time fifth is pretty cool,” he said joyfully.  “The car wasn’t even that good in practice and my crew chief changed a bunch of stuff. He said, ‘I’m not even telling you what I did. Just go out there.’ Which is fine, I don’t care.  You’ve just got to drive it like nothing is different and if you drive it expecting one thing or the other you’re not going to be fast.

 

“Fifth is cool.  I never thought I’d be taking pictures on the fronstretch after time trials, so I’m happy.”

 

When asked how it felt like to be locked into Sunday’s main event, Buffalino didn’t have an answer.

 

“I don’t really know how that feels yet.  I don’t think it’s sunk in,” he stated.  “I never really thought about it, but it’s cool to know we’re starting fifth and starting second in our heat race.”

 

Race fans can find on-demand Trackside Now coverage of Thursday’s qualifying at Oswego by clicking here.

 

-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51

-Photo credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

 

Super DIRT Week Big-Block Modified Qualifying Results

Oswego Speedway (NY) - October 5, 2017

Pos # Driver Time
1 9s Matt Sheppard 21.210
2 8a Rick Laubach 21.344
3 91 Billy Decker 21.434
4 43 Keith Flach 21.551
5 51M Dominic Buffalino 21.616
6 39 Tim McCreadie 21.623
7 109 Billy Whittaker 21.731
8 6h Max McLaughlin 21.854
9 115 Kenny Tremont Jr 21.858
10 19 Tim Fuller 22.027
11 7x Steve Paine 22.084
12 49 Billy Dunn 22.103
13 43H Jimmy Horton 22.133
14 14J Alan Johnson 22.163
15 25r Erick Rudolph 22.199
16 151 Brian McDonald 22.218
17 3 Justin Haers 22.250
18 21 Yan Bussiere 22.259
19 93 Danny Varin 22.277
20 88 Mike Mahaney 22.283
21 8 Rich Scagliotta 22.291
22 711 JaMike Sowle 22.326
23 99L Larry Wight 22.329
24 22w Brandon Walters 22.359
25 21g Kody Graham 22.421
26 42p Pat Ward 22.433
27 98h Jimmy Phelps 22.474
28 84 Gary Tomkins 22.491
29 28p Eldon Payne Jr 22.511
30 18b Bodie Bellinger 22.536
31 27j Danny Johnson 22.563
32 21a Peter Britten 22.585
33 7m Michael Maresca 22.635
34 0 Dan Humes 22.656
35 66x Carey Terrance 22.673
36 44 Stewart Friesen 22.687
37 37s Tommy Flannigan 22.700
38 3j Marc Johnson 22.708
39 48T Dave Rauscher 22.773
40 19m Jessey Mueller 22.910
41 5 Tyler Siri 22.933
42 5G Ryan Godown 23.062
43 7s Michael Sabia 23.063
44 20 Brett Hearn 23.108
45 35 Frank Cozze 23.180
46 02 Roy Bresnahan 23.327
47 34h Cody Bleau 23.396
48 27w Nick Webb 23.648
49 63 Adam Roberts 23.799
50 14s Brian Swarthout 23.920
51 28 Mike Trautschold 25.057
52 36 Brian Whittmore 24.261
53 9 Daniel Johnson 24.331
54 47s Corey Wheeler DQ
55 74 JR Heffner DQ

 

McCreadie Takes Bumpy Road to Super DIRT Week Qualifying Spot