Story By: MICHELINA FRISS / DIRTCAR – WEEDSPORT, NY – While the Cavalcade Cup Weekend at Weedsport Speedway is a two-day event, Larry Wight already claimed two trophies on night one.
The Phoenix, NY driver pulled double duty, racing with the Super DIRTcar Series and the Empire Super Sprints and scored the victory in both series.
After capturing the win in the 25-Lap ESS Feature, Wight returned to the pits to jump into his Big Block Modified. Starting on the outside of row two for Super DIRTcar Feature, Wight wasted almost no time charging forward.
He claimed the lead by Lap 7, passing Zach Payne, Justin Haers and Chris Hile to get there. Then, pulled away by several seconds, leaving the question if anyone could catch “Lightning Larry.”
He went uncontested for a portion of the 60-Lap Feature, with only one caution coming on Lap-3. It wasn’t until he encountered lapped traffic for the first time starting on Lap 19 that he ran into some problems.
“It was pretty much just hit my marks. Don’t kill a tire,” Wight said. “Don’t overheat the right rear, just in case we get a yellow and then have it sealed up. I clipped the wall there coming out of four, trying to get under some lapped cars. That [left front tire] went flat on me and that really hurt me, so I couldn’t really maneuver much. I kind of had to run the bottom. I couldn’t really maneuver. We were able to hold them off.”
Wight’s tire went down around Lap 30, meaning he had half the race left to manage the issue. Wight finessed his way through, staying ahead of Zach Payne and Chris Hile by a safe distance.
However, on Lap 50, a potential answer to the question of if anyone could catch Wight arose. Mastering the high-side of the 3/8-mile track, “Super” Matt Sheppard was on a charge, moving his way into third with the leaders in sight.
The current Super DIRTcar Series points leader did not have the luck of the draw for the Feature, starting 12th. But he did not let the challenge stop him, quickly charging forward, picking off his competitors one by one. By Lap-50, he passed Jimmy Phelps for fourth and Chris Hile for third place. Payne, in second, was next on Sheppard’s list.
After passing Payne, he set his sights on Wight for the final challenge. On the final lap, Sheppard gave it all he had to pass the #99L, closing to Wight’s bumper in the final corner, but it ultimately was not enough.
“I was able to get rolling on the top and drive up to second,” Sheppard said. “I just kind of ran out of time at the end. I think we had the car to win, car to beat, but unfortunately it was a tough draw and no cautions again. Twelfth to second, we were right there at the end. It was a really good run for me and my team. I really would have like to win it, but what are you gonna do?”
With the second-place finish, Sheppard remains in the points lead with three events left in the season, including the 50th Running of NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week at Oswego Speedway.
Zachary Payne finished third to round out the podium with Chris Hile in fourth and Rocky Warner fifth.
UP NEXT: The Super DIRTcar Series returns to Weedsport Speedway Sunday for the second race of the Cavalcade Weekend, paying out $10,000 to the winner and a guaranteed starting spot at the 50th Running of NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week.
Feature (60 Laps)
1. 99L-Larry Wight; 2. 9S-Matt Sheppard; 3. 7Z-Zachary Payne; 4. 5H-Chris Hile; 5. JS98-Rocky Warner; 6. 98H-Jimmy Phelps; 7. M1-Dave Marcuccilli; 8. 91-Billy Decker; 9. 35-Mike Mahaney; 10. 83X-Tim Sears Jr; 11. 21A-Peter Britten; 12. 88-Mat Williamson; 13. 3J-Marc Johnson; 14. 22-Tanner Van Dohren; 15. 70A-Alex Payne; 16. 8H-Max McLaughlin; 17. 4-Anthony Perrego; 18. 19-Tim Fuller; 19. 60-Jackson Gill; 20. X-Chad Phelps; 21. 215P-Adam Pierson; 22. 12S-Darren Smith; 23. 32R-Ronnie Davis III; 24. (DNF) 44-Stewart Friesen; 25. (DNF) 3-Justin Haers; 26. (DNF) 9X-Tyler Trump