OSWEGO, NY — Day three of NAPA Super DIRT Week started with Time Trials and wrapped up with the Gander Outdoors Friday Night Lights qualifying races for the DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds and DIRTcar Sportsman, setting the bulk of the starting field for the Camping World 150 tomorrow afternoon and the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 and Chevy Performance 75 on Sunday before tomorrow’s Last Chance Showdowns complete the field.
Tim Fuller claimed the DIRTcar 358 Modified Fast Time Award with a lap time of 20.899 in his Number One Speed Equipment 3rs machine.
“The Slack team prepares great cars for Oswego,” Fuller said. “We definitely don’t come here to lose.”
In addition to Fuller, Erick Rudolph, Mat Williamson, Matt Sheppard, Ronnie Davis III and Stewart Friesen all locked themselves into the top six starting spots for the Camping World 150 on Saturday.
The DIRTcar 358 Modified teams battled for three $1,000 top prizes in the Gander Outdoors Friday Night Lights Triple 25s. In addition to the first-place cash, drivers were fighting for a starting spot in Saturday’s Camping World 150. Starting lineups for the 25 lap qualifiers were determined by the Time Trial results from earlier Friday afternoon.
Triple 25 #1
Tim Fuller started on the pole and collected the checkered flag in the first 25-lap qualifier for the 358 Modifieds. A lap 22 yellow pinned Matt Sheppard alongside for the restart, but Fuller drove away to a comfortable victory. Sheppard, Jimmy Phelps, Larry Wight and David Hebert completed the top five. Gary Lindberg, Mario Clair, Mike Mahaney, Alan Johnson and Steve Bernier finished sixth through tenth and qualified for the main event on Saturday.
Triple 25 #2
Erick Rudolph dominated the second 25-lap qualifier for the 358 Modifieds. Only one yellow flag slowed the field on lap 3 for Billy Dunn and Tyler Boniface getting together in turn two. Ronnie Davis III, Carey Terrance, Corey Wheeler and Billy Whittaker rounded out the top five. Todd Root, Brian McDonald, Tim Sears Jr., Michael Parent and Jordan McCreadie all qualified for the main event on Saturday.
Triple 25 #3
Mat Williamson held off challenges from Stewart Friesen on five different restarts to pick up the victory in the third 25 lap qualifier for the 358-Modifieds. Friesen, Pat Ward, Peter Britten and Brett Hearn finished in the top five. Marc Johnson, Louie Jackson Jr., Danny Johnson, Kenny Tremont Jr., and Billy Decker all punched their ticket into Saturday’s main event.
The Big-Block Modifieds of the Super DIRTcar Series took Hot Laps and Time-Trials today to lock in the Top 6 starting positions and found out what their cars have for the 5/8-mile Oswego Speedway. The Baldwinsville Bandit Jimmy Phelps took the Teo Pro Car Pole Award with a time of 21.233.
Jimmy Phelps was happy to be at the top, but he and his team are in it for the long haul. “In practice we were really good. I was afraid of it locking down there. I can’t thank the guys enough. We’ve had a real good tail end of the season. That’s a testament to HBR and Teo but we’ve got a long way to go.”
Keith Flach will start on the outside pole and was awarded the Dig Safely NY 811 Outside Pole Award. It will be Flach’s first time starting on the front row of the Billy Whittaker Cars 200. “It makes the rest of the weekend a little bit less stressful. First time on the front row for the 200 so that’s pretty cool. Hopefully we can keep it going later tonight in the Triple 25. So many things can go on in Time-Trials but fortunately for us it worked out.”
Gary Lindberg Jr.’s effort locks him into the third starting place. Peter Britten’s time put him in fourth and he is determined visit Victory Lane on Sunday. “I race for a living. When I’m at a race track, I want to win,” he noted.
Tim Sears Jr.’s first effort has already paid off with a Top 6 starting position. “It’s real good for us. It’s our first time here. We haven’t been here yet.”
Stewart Friesen rounded out the Top 6 with his Time-Trial lap, “I can’t thank everyone at Halmar Racing team enough. We have two great race cars here. I think with a couple of adjustments we’ll find the speed.”
The Gander Outdoors Friday Night Lights Triple 30s brought the huge crowd to their feet with fantastic drives from winners Peter Britten, Danny Johnson, and Gary Lindberg. Graham Motorsports won two out of the three qualifiers making them the hot team of the weekend. NAPA Super DIRT Week surprise Gary Lindberg timed in the Top 6 and went on to win his 30-lap qualifier.
Peter Britten is looking to redeem his last lap loss from last year’s Billy Whittaker Cars 200 with a comeback NAPA Super DIRT Week in 2018. The win did not come easy as he raced wheel to wheel with pole sitter Jimmy Phelps to take the win.
“I was racing right there with Jimmy [Phelps] and that team [HBR] is always tough. We were working pretty hard and trying to make sure we came here competitive,” noted Britten in Victory Lane. He continued, “It’s just good to be out there and have a race work out in your favor for once. It was a little backwards and forwards there with the lapped cars. I was pretty pleased to come away with a win.”
Although the $4,000 to-win Triple 30 victory felt good, Britten remains focused on Sunday. “It’s good to get momentum on your side and get a win. You just gotta try and keep that momentum coming on Sunday. To win a Heat Race on Friday night is great but it isn’t $50,000 on Sunday.”
Britten’s teammate Danny Johnson came away with a win in the second Triple 30. He had to get around a fast Keith Flach to get it done. “I had a good run on the outside and he slid up a little bit in turn one. I was able to drive underneath him [Keith Flach] on the bottom. The car was hooked up pretty good. I gotta thank Billy Colton, Troyer, Peter Britten, and Ray Graham for letting me run their hot rods. I’m ecstatic to be up here on the stage.” Johnson has come on strong in the second half of the year and with a few breaks going his way, he could be a serious threat to Matt Sheppard’s Championship Points lead.
The hard work starts long before the cars hit the track. Johnson noted, “I went into Billy’s tent and asked him for some help and he hooked me up. I gotta thank him for that.”
Out of left field came Gary Lindberg to NAPA Super DIRT Week. He timed in the Top 6. Lindberg had a lucky break with a caution canceling out a potentially winning pass by Stewart Friesen but that shouldn’t take anything away from his Cinderella story. He noted, “I thought he had me [Stewart Friesen] there. I got caught behind a lapped car. I was patient and thought I got a good run there, and I know I had to get around him otherwise Stew was going to get around me. I went to go around him and Stew ducked under me. That was lucky that the caution came out and they gave it back to me”
Over ninety DIRTcar Sportsman Modified went under the clocks late Friday afternoon in hopes of garnering one of the six “locked in” spots for Sunday’s Chevy Performance 75. Dave Marcuccilli captured the pole position.
Just seconds after Adam McAuliffe had knocked Jackson Gill off the pole with a 22.197 lap, the driver of the M1 sent McAuliffe to outside the front row with a 22.190.
As the time trials wound down current series point leader Kevin Root was within .005 of a second behind Marcuccilli and set himself on the outside of the front row.
Starting directly behind the front row are McAuliffe (22.197), just .0007 of a second behind the M1, Shane Pecore (22.373), Jackson Gill (22.374) and David Schilling (22.407).
Marcuccilli will be pole sitter for the third consecutive year.
Sixteen more spots were filled for Sunday’s Chevy Performance 75 as 90 DIRTcar Sportsman ran four 15-lap qualifying races on Friday night at the Oswego Speedway. Robert Bublak, Will Shields, Dave Constantino and Ryan Stabler had relatively easy victories in outdistancing fields of more than 20 cars.
Bublak Wins First Qualifier
After an initial start that saw Bob Henry Jr. grab the lead the yellow came out immediately for a complete restart. Bublak took over as the green flag flew and Henry settled into second place. However, on the fifth lap a strong challenge was initiated by Andrew Buff who crept up on the rear end of Henry’s 79 as the duo raced off of turn two. The green to checker event saw Bublack and half a second ahead of Henry Jr. and following were Buff and James Michael Friesen earning qualifying spots in the Sunday Chevy Performance 200. Guaranteed starters Dave Marcuccilli started at the rear and used it as a shake down run and Jackson Gill decided not to put his car on the track.
Shields Runs in Front
In a caution filled 15 lapper Will Shields was ahead of most of the difficulties as he outran Martin Pelletier by 1.1 second and Kyle Inman by 1.4 seconds as the trio will be joined by fourth place (and eighth place starter in the heat) Jessica Power on Sunday.
The first yellow came out for a turn four incident on lap one for spinning Bobby Deleon and Kearra Backus. After the restart a gaggle of cars got together between three and four with Oswego Speedway legend Joe Gosek getting pushed up the track and caught against the wall. The squeeze play put him in motion as the car flipped two and a half times before coming to rest on its side. Gosek crawled out uninjured, but the car was the worst accident thus far of Super Dirt Week 2018. Not only was Gosek’s car heavily damaged, but Tighe Sherlock also received the hook treatment for front end damange. The Chris Hulsizer ride was also involved as was Cole Hentshcel.
Power moved into fourth on the restart as she made a low move off turn two under Corey Cormier and near the end she was feeling some pressure from Pablo Pascarella and Mike Fowler, but she earned her spot in the main event.
Only two yellow flag periods hampered Dave Constantino’s run to victory in the third race of the night. Guaranteed starter Adam McAuliffe sat this one out as he coasted around the tail end of the field.
From the green the outside polesitter took the lead and Constantino held on for an eight-tenths of a second win over Connor Cleveland. Robert Delormier found himself back in third after starting on the pole, but he was still handily in third.
With five laps to go Brad Rouse, running fourth, got around in the first turn and backed into the wall while Cedric Gavureau collided with the 18R. That shuffled the standings with five laps to go and in the end Constantino, Cleveland, Darryl Nutting (from his seventh starting spot) and Delormier qualified for the big show.
Stabler Wins Finale
In the last race of the night Ryan Stabler took off at the green while Jeremy Pitts and Tyler Thompson were dicing for second and third. It remained that way throughout the race with the positions remaining the same. Alan Fink was scrambling to hold on to the final available qualifying spot for the night, but Brianna Ladouceur was stalking him throughout the final laps. Once again the yellow flag remained in the holster of starter Dave Farney as Stabler won by 1.3 seconds over Pitts.
-Super DIRT Week Press Release
-Photo credit: Super DIRTcar Series