RPW Column: Super DIRTcar Series Power Rankings Ahead Of Memorial Day Racing Weekend

Column By: STEPHEN DURHAM / RPW – WEEDSPORT, NY – It is Memorial Day Weekend and we got back to back nights of Super DIRTcar Series racing at Weedsport Speedway and Lebanon Valley Speedway.

It was “Superman” Matt Sheppard having a strong rebound after motor issues at Bridgeport to dominate CanAm and grab the win. Friesen grabbed a second consecutive runner-up spot.

Williamson and McLaughlin are knocking on the door of grabbing wins and trying to take away the points lead away from Friesen. Jack Lehner is showing speed and growth on the series early on in the 2022 campaign.

It is Williamson who leads the way in this week’s Power Rankings.

 

1) Mat Williamson (Previous Rank: 1):

It was another top 5 run for Williamson at CanAm, coming home in 5th. Williamson came home 3rd in his respective heat race behind Jimmy Phelps and eventual winner Matt Sheppard. Williamson redrew to start 3rd for the 75 lapper. Williamson is the defending winner of the Heroes Remember 100 at Weedsport. As the series heads to Lebanon Valley for the King of Spring 100, Williamson was the runner-up finisher last May.

2) Max McLaughlin (Previous Rank: 2):

“Mad” Max has been on a solid run since DIRTcar Nationals, capturing another top 5, but it did not come easy. McLaughlin finished 5th in his qualifying race, and that would start him 18th for the Thunder in the Thousand Island’s 75 lapper. McLaughlin would drive his way into the top 5 by the end of it, and come home 4th. McLaughlin knows his way around Weedsport, capturing a win back in 2020 during Oktoberfast week, and finished 8th last May, and two 2nd place finishes in July and September of 2021. Lebanon Valley has not been friendly though to Max, with the most recent two finishes being a DNF this past September and 17th last May.

 

3) Jimmy Phelps (Previous Rank: 4):

Phelps has been quietly fast and strong in 2022 since the start down in Florida. Phelps came home in 6th at CanAm after starting 2nd. Phelps has the highest averaging finishing position in the seven series races in 2022. Phelps had a top 5 run at Weedsport last May with a 5th place run, and an 8th place finish in July. For the Valley of Speed, Phelps had a pair of 11th place runs in both visits for 2021.

 

4) Matt Sheppard (Previous Rank: 5):

You can’t have much of a stronger rebound after engine issues than winning at the following race. Sheppard would redraw and start on the pole and dominate at CanAm, capturing the win. It is Sheppard’s first win in the series in 2022, with plenty of more wins coming. Sheppard had a 7th place run last May, 12th in July, and was the winner on the September weekend. For Lebanon Valley, Sheppard is the defending winner of the spring event last May, and came home 2nd in September for Mr. DIRT USA.

 

5) Stewart Friesen (Previous Rank: 6):

Friesen is hungry for a win in the Super DIRTcar series, grabbing another 2nd place finish in back to back races from Bridgeport and CanAm. Friesen did feed that hunger with a win at Texas Motor Speedway in the Camping World Truck Series though. Stewie leads the Super DIRTcar Series in points currently over McLaughlin. For Weedsports history, Stewie came home 3rd last May, winner in July on Hall of Fame Weekend, and 4th in September. For Lebanon, it was an 18th place finish in May and a 4th place run in September.

 

6) Peter Britten (Previous Rank: 3):

Britten was another driver that was contending for the Hard Charger award at CanAm, coming from 20th, to finish 10th. A strong start for Britten in the 2022 campaign, with two top 10s to start the regular season off after a strong showing in Florida. Britten grabbed a top 10 at Weedsport last May, and 11th and 12th in the July and September races. Last May was tough for Britten at the Valley of Speed, coming home 20th, but rebounded in September to come home 6th.

 

7) Larry Wight (Previous Rank: 6):

For “Lightning” Larry, he had to come through the Last Chance Showdown to make it into the main event. He would win the second last chance race and start 24th on the grid. He would fight his way to a 14th place finish by the end of the day. Wight had a 6th place run last May at Weedsport and a 9th place run in July. Wight brought home a 9th place finish at Lebanon last May as well.

 

8) Jack Lehner (Previous Rank: 10):

Lehner is showing speed in the young 2022 season. Winning his heat race, he would start 7th in the 75 lapper, and come home with an eventual 11th place finish. It is back to back 11th place finishes for “The Ginga Ninja”. Weedsport was not all that kind to Lehner in 2021, finishing 14th last May, and a pair of 24th place finishes the rest of the season. Lehner did grab a top 10 at Lebanon last May finishing in 10th.

 

9) Marc Johnson (Previous Rank: 9):

Similar to Wight, Johnson had to come through a Last Chance Showdown to make it into the feature event. We would do so by winning it and starting 21st, coming home 16th at the end of the night. Many of these tracks have been new to Johnson, but being a two-time modified champion at Albany-Saratoga, one of the most competitive weekly tracks, I expect him to continue to grow in the series. Johnson did not race at Weedsport in 2021, but did finish 3rd at his Saturday home last May and 14th in September, and already has found victory lane at the high banks early in 2022.

 

10) Erick Rudolph (Previous Rank: Unranked):

Rudolph was absent from Bridgeport, but returned at CanAm with the series, capturing a strong top 10 run in 7th. Weedsport has been a strong place for Rudolph, finishing 9th last May, was the Hard Charger in July finishing 4th after gaining 20 spots, and 6th in September. Rudolph did win in 2019 in May at Weedsport as well. For Lebanon, Rudolph finished 6th in May and 9th in September.

 

On the Radar:

Tim Fuller:

It was a stout run for Fuller, winning his heat race over Friesen and redrawing 6th. Fuller had a tough run last May at Weedsport, but rebounded over the course of 2021 with a 6th place run in July and 3rd in September.

 

Justin Haers:

A strong run for Haers in his start to the regular season in the Super DIRTcar Series, coming home in 8th. Haers finished 4th last May, but had tough goings in July and September finishing 15th and 17th.

 

Billy Decker:

It was a strong run at Bridgeport, but struggled at CanAm coming home in 17th. Decker came home 2nd last May for Weedsport, and finished 7th in July, and another top 5 in September coming home 5th. At Lebanon, Decker came home 14th last May, but a strong top 5 run in 4th in September.

 
 
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