Column By: MARTY KELLY III / RPW – OSWEGO, NY – For St. Catherine’s, Ontario’s Mat Williamson, it has been quite a good few days.
Since October 2nd, the Canadian driver has won five feature events, including his most recent triumph at Oswego, his 2nd Super Dirt 200 win in a row.
Williamson took the lead late in the going when leaders Peter Britten and Tyler Dippel made contact exiting turn four, sending Britten into the outside wall and Dippel to the pits with a flat tire.
Dippel had stalked Britten for several laps before pulling to the inside off turn four, bouncing through the ruts and colliding side by side with Britten.
Upon the single file restart, which was used throughout the race due to dust and surface issues, Williamson pulled away from the field and survived unchallenged through the remaining laps.
It was Williamson’s fifth win in nine days, three with the big-block #88 and three with his small-block #6. He defeated Tim Sears Jr. in Fulton’s Outlaw 200 on October 2nd, Jimmy Phelps at Brewerton for the Demon 100 on October 5th, Sears again at Weedsport for “The Kickoff” on the 6th, Ronnie Davis at Brewerton again on the 7th in the Hurricane Harvey, and then Decker at Oswego on the 10th. In between, he was 2nd in the small-block championship to Stewart Friesen on Saturday Night.
Williamson stood at the left side door of his Buzz Chew Chevrolet #88 car by the infield stage after the race, clutching the trophy for the 200-lap affair in one hand, and an admittedly less-than-cold beverage in the other, which he was offered by a crewman who braved the sea of press, photographers, and officials to deliver.
“Everybody was mad on pit road when we went out and we were walking on the racetrack looking at it, we knew we shouldn’t be racing, but it didn’t race that bad,” he said.
The two ends of the Oswego Speedway were very different from each other on Sunday.
“One and two…you could move around a bit and pass cars. Three and four you just kinda had to be in the middle…It wasn’t as bad as the holes looked on facebook or on pictures,” he said.
Williamson remains humble, even after his speedy rise to Super Dirt stardom.
“Still, we’re just Mat Williamson. I ain’t no king of the hill. I ain’t the best. Matt Sheppard has won more championships than I can count on one hand, Billy Decker has won more of these races than I can count on one hand. Them two guys that finished behind me are amazing racecar drivers and hall-of-famers.”
Williamson said he grew up watching his heroes win the big-block championship event.
“We’ll take it, we’ll embrace it. We’ll try to build back better and try and go to Charlotte and maybe move up a few points positions.”
Despite winning two Oswego big-block races, the Outlaw 200, and the Orange County Centennial among others, Williamson is nowhere near content with all he has accomplished in his young career.
“We haven’t won the small-block race here, that’s on the bucket list…Maybe when Stewart retires we can win the Fonda 200. Until then we’ll just try and win a few races, we didn’t have a great year this year until about Tuesday night at Brewerton, things kinda turned around.”
Williamson offered high praise for the track crew all week long despite the tricky conditions.
“That track was a product of what they had to deal with weather-wise. Jeramie Corcoran couldn’t have worked harder on it. He should get the MVP of the week even thought the conditions weren’t what everybody wanted,” he said. “I think he slept for four hours…he kept working on it, trying to make it better.”
For “Money Mat,” the next heist is at Pennsylvania’s Port Royal Speedway for the Short Track Super Series Speed Showcase 200, where he will be eyeing another novelty check worth $50,000.
“Buzz deserves this…all my guys, I gotta thank them. I’m just the lucky one that gets to drive this car,” he said.