Column By: STEPHEN DURHAM / RPW – MALTA, NY – The two over Memorial Day weekend were thrilling, giving us two different winners with Stewart Friesen at Weedsport, and Lebanon Valley regular LJ Lombardo defending home territory and being crowned King of the Spring 100.
Williamson and McLaughlin continue to show speed and consistency and are on the heels of Friesen for the Super DIRTcar Series points lead, and will take the lead this weekend. Sheppard is beginning to show more speed, and is moving up in the rankings with Friesen right behind him.
Will need to continue to also see if Phelps can rebound after a tough go at Lebanon, and continue the string of top 10s he had going.
1) Mat Williamson (Previous Rank: 1):
Williamson has started off 2022 on the right foot so far and continues to show consistency as we get into the last week of June. “Money” Matt has two top 5s in the last three starts and a top ten. Currently sitting 4 points behind Stewart Friesen as they head to Malta. The most recent visit for the series back in September of 2021, Williamson came home 6th, and the most recent previous June race back in 2019, Williamson came home 3rd.
2) Max McLaughlin (Previous Rank: 2):
As the series heads into the fifth race of the regular season, McLaughlin finds himself 3rd in the points, 22 points out of first. Lebanon Valley hasn’t been too kind to Max, but a 6th place finish at Weedsport and 4th at Can-Am continues to show consistency on the smaller tracks. In September, Max came home 14th, but showed strength back in 2019, when he came home 4th.
3) Matt Sheppard (Previous Rank: 4):
A 4th place finish at Weedsport and 14th at High Banks, Sheppard is beginning to string together the finishes he expects, but will be eager to capture more checkered flags. Sheppard finds himself right now 4th in the standings heading to “The Great Race Place,” where he has shown speed with 5th and 6th place finishes in 2019, and 3rd this past September.
4) Stewart Friesen (Previous Rank: 5):
A tough break for Friesen at Lebanon ended his bid for a strong finish. Friesen did capture a win at Weedsport, to help widen his points lead on the series. Friesen since February, is tied with Williamson with an average finishing spot of 5, missing only one start while in Volusia. Friesen will miss Malta due to the NASCAR Truck Series running in Nashville on Friday night.
5) Jimmy Phelps (Previous Rank: 3):
Phelps had strong runs at Can-Am and Weedsport with two top 10s, but struggled at Lebanon with a 17th place finish. Phelps currently sits sixth in the standings heading into Malta. Phelps has shown strong runs in the past at Malta, finishing 13th in September. In 2019, Phelps had a 7th place finish in June, but an 18th place finish in September.
6) Larry Wight (Previous Rank: 7):
Wight wasn’t at Lebanon, but had a strong showing at Weedsport, coming home in 5th after winning his heat race and redrawing 8th starting position. Wight has been pretty quick around Albany-Saratoga, with an 8th place finish in September last year, and 5th in 2019 in September.
8) Peter Britten (Previous Rank: 6):
The past two races were pretty challenging for the Australian native. The former Lebanon Valley regular had issues and came home 24th after starting on the front row. Britten will look to turn things around in a big way, at the place where he was crowned champion in 2017 as the modified champion after 2 wins on the season. It was 5th place finish last September for Britten, but struggled in the previous two starts in 2019.
9) Jack Lehner (Previous Rank: 8): It is back to back top 10s for Lehner, finishing 8th at Lebanon and 10th at Weedsport. Lehner will return to his Friday hometrack at Malta to try and continue his early season success. In the most recent visit, Lehner finished just outside of the top 10 in 11th position.
10) Marc Johnson (Previous Rank: 9):
It was nearly a perfect homecoming to Lebanon Valley for The King of the Spring 100, coming home in 2nd behind winner LJ Lombardo. Johnson picked up the heat race win over Williamson and Lombardo to begin his night. He would then redraw 10th starting spot, and work his way up to 2nd by the end of the night. Albany-Saratoga will be another sweet homecoming, for the two time modified champion at “The Great Race Place.”
10) Billy Decker ( Previous Rank: Unranked):
Decker picked up his first top 5 on the 2022 season on the series at Lebanon Valley after struggling at Can-Am and Weedsport. Decker will look to continue his momentum heading to Albany Saratoga. Decker finished 9th this past September, 6th June of 2019, and finished 2nd in September of 2019, so expect him to try and continue to keep the momentum rolling.
On the Radar:
Erick Rudolph: It has been a quiet year so far Rudolph, but he did grab a 3rd place finish at Weedsport over the Memorial Day weekend.
Mike Mahaney: Mahaney had a strong showing at Weedsport as well over the Memorial Day weekend, coming home in 2nd. A visit to Albany-Saratoga can help get more momentum rolling, considering he won the most recent series visit back in September, and two top 10s in the 2019 visits. Mahaney also captured the modified championship in 2020.
LJ Lombardo: It was a great way to finish out May for Lombardo, capturing likely the biggest win of his young career, taking the crown as King of the Spring 100 at Lebanon.