Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – BARBERSVILLE, FL – Former Super DIRTcar Series Champion Mat Williamson finished third on Friday night at the Volusia Speedway Park.
That keeps him in the hunt for the overall 2022 DIRTcar Nationals championship.
However, he wasn’t happy with the result.
On a lap 24 restart, while running in the second position, the Buzz Chew Racing 88 crossed the start finish line ahead of leader Max McLaughlin. DIRTcar officials threw the caution quickly and sent Williamson back one row, putting the 98H of Jimmy Phelps into second.
That’s how the race would end, with McLaughlin your winner, Phelps in second and Williamson third. However, the St. Catherines, ONT driver wasn’t pleased with the penalty.
“Yea, we got boned,” Williamson said. “This is the second time it’s happened to me with the Super DIRTcar Series. The VP Making Power point is useless.”
How did Williamson see the situation unfold?
“Last night, Max (McLaughlin) sped up and then slowed right down,” he said. “We got to the making power point, which is supposed to be the end of zone where the leader can fire, and I went.”
Unfortunately, that sent Williamson back one row, though in a different position than he thought he’d be placed.
“The last time they penalized me for a restart infraction, it was two spots,” he said. “This time, it was one. The inconsistencies are what people get frustrated with.”
Does Williamson think he could have captured the win on Friday night without the penalty?
“I am not sure, as we’ll never know now,” he said. “However, I’d like to think we had a shot. My team has worked very hard to give me great equipment this week and I’d like to think we could have won again on Friday.”
Now the Buzz Chew team’s focus shifts to Saturday night, where they’ll compete for the big 50-lap $5,000-to-win DIRTcar Nationals finale. Both Williamson and Phelps trail Nationals point leader McLaughlin by five points heading into the event.
Will Mat be concentrating on points or going after the feature win?
“It is win or bust tonight,” he said. “We’ve been playing around with some different options with the car down here in Florida. Hopefully it all pays off with us in victory lane.”
Time to see who will take home the “Big Gator” after all is said and done on Saturday night.