RPW Column: Williamson Gets Well-Needed Win Sunday At Weedsport; Decker Leads Over 80 Laps & Finishes Second

Column By: MARTY CZEKALA / RPW – WEEDSPORT, NY – It was the thrill of a much-needed victory for Mat Williamson and the agony of defeat for Billy Decker.

The Super DIRTCar Series made its first Weedsport stop of the year, and the home of DIRTCar NE put on a show with fans in attendance for the first time since the pandemic.

The promoter of “The Port,” Jimmy Phelps and Decker, made up the front row as the 100 lap feature went green. Phelps led the opening 3 laps clear until Billy Decker took a peek top shelf for the lead.

Decker was a pivotal contender to watch out for earlier in the night as he passed Matt Sheppard on the high side to win Heat 2 the same way. Side-by-side Phelps and Decker for many laps. Decker would lead at the stripe, barely coming to lap seven, but Phelps running the rubbered in bottom groove would clear at lap nine. Decker fought back, and on lap 15, Decker went downstairs as Phelps opened a hole in turns three and four that gave Decker the lead.

“The Franklin Flyer” then decided it was time to check out, leaving a battle for second up for grabs. Stewart Friesen attempted the outside on Phelps on lap 20 while lapped traffic was on the bottom and nearly scraped the wall. Mat Williamson and Justin Haers had an excellent scrum for 4th around that time. Haers would get the edge and then passed Friesen on the bottom to take 3rd as Friesen faded back to 5th.

Mat Williamson then decided it was time to eat on lap 32, as he got by Haers for 3rd and immediately closed in on Phelps. It wouldn’t be until lap 47 as Williamson tried the basement and took P2 in the first set of corners.

The only issue was Decker was gone and had around a 5-5.5 second lead over Williamson until the 1st yellow came out on lap 84 as Todd Root was off the pace in turn 2.

That. Changed. Everything.

Decker was getting ready to run off with his first SDS win since the season finale in 2019. Still, the three-time series champ had a date with Williamson for the restart, and “Money Mat” knows how to come out clutch in late-race scenarios.

Decker selected the inside line on the restart, and Williamson fired better than Decker did to give Williamson the lead for the first time. A lap later, the yellow flew as Kevin Root spun in turns 3 and 4.

A 15 lap shootout then went down. Williamson selected the top side for the restart and held serve with Decker on his tail, looking for a final gasp. It came with 3 to go as the leader caught up to lapped traffic to help Decker close in. Decker tried the inside off of turn 2 coming to the parallel sticks of flagman Dave Farney but didn’t work, allowing Williamson to pull away for his first Super DIRTCar Series win since his Super DIRT Week 200 victory in 2019.

“I thought he was gonna take the inside. I didn’t know if I could roll around him on the outside. Obviously, I wasn’t going to roll around by him on the bottom, I don’t think, but happy he did,” Williamson told RPW when asked about the restart.

This was a win the Buzz Chew Racing #88 team needed, as it hasn’t been the best start for the team coming in 8th in points with only one top-five and one top ten.

“We’ve been okay Weekly racing. We had a good run last night at Fulton. We just needed to knock a win out to show that 2019 wasn’t really a fluke and that we can win these races. To come back tonight was much needed. It’s a big confidence booster…Hopefully, we can get a few points and start to climb our way back up because the last little bit we struggled, and we haven’t been the caliber I think we need to be,” Williamson said.

Billy Decker, finishing 2nd, admitted he had a good car, and it was fun to race, but he made the wrong lane choice.

“We had a really good racecar. He fired a little better on the restart than he did. I think I made the wrong lane choice, ended up costing us a win,” Decker commented.

Stewart Friesen was able to come back and finish 3rd and remain in the Super DIRTCar points lead.

“We were off a little bit. Just ran a little bit too hard in the beginning and sealed the tires up. Trying to get around and move around the middle. Got lucky with those last couple of cautions trying to scuff the tires and get them back underneath me and make a couple banzai runs around the top and get a couple spots back. Solid points night, and we’re on to the next one,” Friesen stated.

44 cars checked in for the Big Block event, 28 made the feature.

On the undercard, the CRSA Sprints put on an incredible showing in their second-ever trip to Weedsport. Last week, fans were given a treat to watch at Land of Legends between Bobby Parrow and Alysha Bay. This week? Parrow, along with Darryl Ruggles and Jeff Trombley.

The 25 lap feature put Jordan Hutton and Dalton Herrick on the front row. Right out of the gate, Ruggles charged on the outside from 6th to 3rd in half a lap. On lap 2, he was already challenging for the runner-up spot looking on the bottoms and took P2 on lap seven from Herrick while in lap traffic. Lap 11 brought the first yellow out as Hank Katz spun.

On the restart, Jeff Trombley would get a significant jump on the single-file restart to get up to 3rd. Ruggles would then get the lead from Hutton immediately on the outside. Then Trombley entered the picture taking P2 at the line from Hutton. Trombley was not waiting to challenge. On lap 13, Trombley got to the inside on Ruggles, pulling a slide job to take the lead. In the same lap, Bobby Parrow got into the picture in third as he started from 11th on the grid. With 10 to go in lapped traffic, Ruggles tried to counter back on the bottom in 1 & 2, but it didn’t work. In 3 and 4, he pulls an UNO Reverse card on Trombley with a slide job of his own to snatch the lead back. Two laps later, Trombley’s chance at a win would end when he took it deep outside and tagged the outside concrete wall.

Ruggles would hold serve on the restart, but Parrow, like he has done at Land of Legends the past two weeks, tried the outside with six to go and took the lead out of turn 4. The racing would get as insane as it was as Ruggles put a slider on Parrow in 1 & 2 that barely led to contact and Parrow just scraping the wall without a hinder to it. Three to go as the top two got into lapped traffic, they split a backmarker as Parrow sent it in on the bottom of three and four to take the lead, bringing the crowd into a frantic frenzy. Coming to the white, Parrow had the race won until Dan Craun spun in turn four in front of the leaders, putting us in a green-white-checkered finish.

Attempt #1, Ruggles fired better on the restart in second and tried the inside after getting by the restart cone but got tight on the exit. It looked like his race was over but caught a break when Dana Wagner flipped in turn two to bring out a red flag. On the second attempt, though, Parrow fired better as Ruggles tried the outside in turns one & two to set him up for the second set of corners. Still, it did not work as Parrow went back-to-back in CRSA Sprint competition.

“The track came to us. I can’t believe it. We’ve been playing with the car all night and kept getting quicker and quicker and quicker just about anywhere,” Parrow said on the DIRTVision broadcast. “Lapped traffic helped a lot; it was really good for us.” 21 cars signed in for the 305 Sprint competition.

Matt Guererri, who claimed that he “sucked” at Weedsport last week after his Land of Legends win, took home the checkers in the Sportsman race by 4.5 seconds over Brett Senek. Guererri also recorded the fastest lap by four-tenths at 17.615s, the only driver in the 17-second club. This class saw a whopping 60 cars check-in, with only 24 making the field, bringing the total car count to 125.

Tomorrow night, the Super DIRTCar Series heads East to Lebanon Valley for Mr. Dirt Track, a 100 lap feature with the winner taking home $13.5k. Racing begins around 7 pm ET. As for Weedsport, their next event is set for June 13th with the DIRTCar Sportsman Classic, with a 75 lap event alongside Big Blocks, 358 Modifieds, and the NY6A Microsprints.

For full interviews with the Super DIRTCar Series top 3, along with pre-race interviews from Friesen, Mike Mahaney, and Max McLaughlin, check out the RSN Trackside Facebook page.

Super DIRTCar Series (100 Laps)
88 Mat Williamson ($7500), 2. 91 Billy Decker (0.931s), 3. 44 Stewart Friesen (3.942s), 4. 3 Justin Haers (4.101s), 5. 98H Jimmy Phelps (4.960s), 6. 99L Larry Wight (6.013s), 7. 9s Matt Sheppard (7.514s), 8. 32C Max McLaughlin (8.429s), 9. 25 Erick Rudolph (8.643s), 10. 21A Peter Britten (9.964s), 11. 111 Demetrios Drellos (11.458s), 12. 5H Chris Hile (-1L), 13. 27J Danny Johnson (-1L), 14. 2L Jack Lehner (-1L), 15. 32R Ronnie Davis (-1L), 16. 42P Pat Ward (-2L), 17. X Chad Phelps (-2L), 18. 28M Jordan McCreadie (-2L), 19. 83X Tim Sears Jr. (-3L), 20. 33J Robbie Johnston (-3L), 21. 4 Kevin Root (-4L), 22. 22W Brandon Walters (-4L), 23. 35 Mike Mahaney (-15L), 24. 15 Todd Root (-19L), 25. 84 Gary Tomkins (-56L), 26. 17 Marcus Dinkins (-57L), 27. 20T Tyler Trump (-72L), 28. 19 Tim Fuller (-75L)
Heat Winners: 21A Britten, 91 Decker, 98H Phelps, 32C McLaughlin
Fastest Lap: 98H Phelps 17.108s

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