Column By: MARTY CZEKALA / RPW – WEEDSPORT, NY – Jimmy Phelps led 93 laps to take the rescheduled Hall of Fame 100 victory at “The Port” in the Super DIRTCar Series.
The win ended a points-paying drought dating back to November 2019 during night one of the World Finals.
Phelps would make an early pass on polesitter Ronnie Davis III on the bottom of turns three and four to lead lap eight.
“This feels great. Especially to do it here,” Phelps told RPW, who won at Weedsport two weeks ago in a 358 undercard race to the World of Outlaws. “We didn’t really have a great racecar. We had speed. Thank god it got us in the redraw. Went to work, and that thing was excellent all night in the feature. Good track position, which could control the pace a little bit. Super happy.”
At lap 46, Phelps faced a challenge from Series points leader Matt Sheppard after “Super Matt” threaded the needle on a restart to go from fourth to second.
“I was nervous because the 9s runs pretty good here. When the [second] yellow came out [on lap 71], I knew we had our hands full. I knew he started from the sixth row, so for him to be already there, I’m thinking, ‘he had a pretty good hot rod under him.’ Fortunately, we could keep it at bay,” Phelps explained.
Sheppard would get a chance at the restart lining up outside the front row but faded late in the final long run to Mike Mahaney. The latter would charge late in the going, breaking into the top five at lap 74 and a podium spot on lap 86.
“To get by Sheppard, I think he was catching a lapped car, and I was searching to find a way around him. I made something work through the middle of three and four and thought, ‘let’s try this,’ and stuck it on the outside, going into one and staying side by side down the backstretch, and was able to clear him out of four. The timing was just right there. Matt’s been hard to beat at a lot of tracks,” Mahaney commented, who finished second.
Sheppard finished P3 after starting from the 11th due to the redraw.
“We were a little too good too early. I was a little surprised I made it second there. Still a good run for us. Congrats to Jimmy. He was really good. It’s a long week and a good start to the week. Good for the points deal, we’ll try again tomorrow,” Sheppard told Dan Kapuscinski in his interview with DIRTVision post-race.
Outside the podium, a career-best finish for Dave Marcuccilli in the Super DIRTCar Series, finishing fourth with a 358 engine and his first top five with the tour.
“We’re thrilled with it and being competitive the whole race. We weren’t that far away from Jimmy for most of the race. On the longer runs, I could get a little bit better like Matt and stuff like that. I could get to him. I just couldn’t get by him. We’ve been running like garbage on the Series the last couple of years, but we’ll take this.” an excited Marcuccilli said.
42 drivers checked in.
The Series heads to Brewerton tomorrow night for the second night of SummerFAST.
For more with Phelps, Mahaney, and Marcuccilli, head to the RSN Trackside Facebook page.
Feature (100 Laps)
1. 98H-Jimmy Phelps; 2. 35-Mike Mahaney; 3. 9S-Matt Sheppard; 4. M1-Dave Marcuccilli; 5. 5H-Chris Hile; 6. 99L-Larry Wight; 7. 25R-Erick Rudolph; 8. 4-Anthony Perrego; 9. 88-Mat Williamson; 10. 215P-Adam Pierson; 11. 70A-Alex Payne; 12. 83X-Tim Sears Jr; 13. 21A-Peter Britten; 14. X-Chad Phelps; 15. 2L-Jack Lehner; 16. 12S-Darren Smith; 17. 7Z-Zachary Payne; 18. 32R-Ronnie Davis III; 19. 8H-Max McLaughlin; 20. 37-Paul St Sauveur; 21. (DNF) 49-Billy Dunn; 22. (DNF) 91-Billy Decker; 23. (DNF) 3J-Marc Johnson; 24. (DNF) 42P-Pat Ward; 25. (DNF) 17-Marcus Dinkins; 26. (DNF) 84-Gary Tomkins; 27. (DNF) 19-Tim Fuller