Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – BARBERVILLE, FL – In the late stages of Thursday night’s Super DIRTcar Series race at the DIRTcar Nationals, Billy Decker looked like a man destined to be holding the checkered flag when all was said and done.
That was, until leader Max McLaughlin moved to the highside off of turn two with a couple laps left, forcing the Gypsum Wholesalers #91 to change lanes.
Decker had been making up ground on the leader while running the upper most groove. Once Max switched, Decker had to as well.
That appeared to be the turning point, as McLaughlin went on to win and Decker had to finish a close second. A red car was in victory lane, but Decker wish it’d had a 91 on the door.
“We just had to go where he wasn’t,” Decker said. “I think we were as good as he was on the bottom, but he fired a little better on the restarts than we did.”
Due to the rain, the track held a lot of bite so multiple grooves came into play. However, once Decker could see where Max was running, he began to make his move.
“After a few laps, I think we got it rolling,” he said. “It was one of those deals where he had to stick to his lane. I started hazing the outside and closing the gap.”
Decker was closing in on McLaughlin in a hurry, but as stated, once the leader moved up, that was the race.
“He obviously got the signal from the infield to move,” Decker said. “If he didn’t, he was going to finish where I did.”
For Decker, he felt he had the car that could have won. It was a situation where the Frankin Flyer was a little too late.
“Max had to move (off the bottom),” he said. “I just didn’t get him soon enough.”
Now, Decker and the rest of the Super DIRTcar Series drivers will get ready to tackle the Volusia Speedway Park again on Friday for night number four of action at the DIRTcar Nationals.