Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – WEEDSPORT, NY – Mat Williamson had an unbelievable 2019 racing season behind the wheel of the Buzz Chew Racing Modified. Sunday night at the Weedsport Speedway, he regained some of the magic from that season…literally.
So far in 2021, Williamson hasn’t had a lot of success on the Super DIRTcar Series trail. With one top 10 finish in four races, a third at Bristol Motor Speedway in the second race of the year, the team was sitting in eighth in series points heading into the Heroes Remembered 100 at the Port.
That’s when the defending Series champion and his team decided to go back to the drawing board.
“This is the same car we won Super DIRT Week at Oswego with,” Williamson said after the win. “It’s won some races and we added to that tonight.”
As good as the team was in that season, Williamson knew they could be just as strong again, and running this car on Sunday night was a way to try and give himself and the entire team a shot in the arm.
“The car was tight all night, and to be honest, the guys started playing on the spring smasher and Coco came up with a combination he felt we’d be good with,” he said. “I told him I didn’t want to try it tonight. We’re going to run our standard deal, we’re going to follow the BRP setup book and we’re going to get some confidence back.”
It worked. Williamson moved his way to the runner-up spot in the 100-lap affair and was content happy with that as the first 83 circuits and gone without a caution. Leader Billy Decker had checked out and nobody looked to be in his zip code, especially in constant lap traffic.
“I was good on the outside in lap traffic,” he said. “Danny Johnson gave me a hell of a time as he was flinging the car in and I couldn’t get momentum and roll him on the outside. Finally I got clear of him and saw Billy out front and was like hopefully we can hang on to second because nobody was catching him.”
Then, the yellow silk flew and finally Mat had his chance.
“Obviously, everybody here knows we wouldn’t have won this race tonight if that caution didn’t come out,” he said. “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.”
The desire to improve what you’re doing is there for any team, and Buzz Chew Racing is no different. However, when you test things, sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.
“We sometimes put ourselves out in left field trying to get better,” he said. “Obviously, it works, sometimes. The late success we had in 2019 was because we experimented in the middle of the summer that year. Now, we’re back to what we were doing and hopefully we can race with these guys.”
The car Williamson’s got his eye on is Stewart Friesen, who had his worst finish on tour this season Sunday evening a third. He’s the standard everyone’s chasing right now.
“Hopefully we can race with the 44 now,” he said. “He had an off night tonight, but he obviously sets the bar pretty high and it makes us work hard to try and get better.”
Even with the win, this car isn’t the piece the team will use at Lebanon Valley for the $13,500-to-win early season Mr. DIRT Track event.
“The Valley’s one of those places you bring your A-game with your motor program,” he said. “Billy the Kid obviously builds a hell of a motor and the engine for there isn’t something you want to come to Weedsport with. We’re going to unload our other car there and see what we can do.”
How close is that piece to the car Williamson ran for the Kevin Starchek-owned S&S Asphalt team in two races at the Valley this season?
“It’s within five pounds on the scales and five pounds on the spring smasher,” he said. “I guess we’ll see what we came up with and if the work we did was worth it.”